Last year, Nathan initiated a series of posts celebrating the best moments of the 2015 season, a tradition we will carry on this year with a slightly more...shall we say, robust body of work to choose from. Count down towards the New Year with us as we punt 2016 into the past and celebrate some of our favorite moments of the 2016 season with a delicious, yet calorie-free, daily treat.
Day 1- 4/13: Dae-Ho Walks It Off, He Walks It Off
- The box score
The LL recap:
On April 12, the Mariners lost to the Rangers, 8-0. It was a crummy game, and a crummy loss, during which Cano, Cruz, and Seager all went 0-for, and was the fifth straight loss by a 2-6 team that looked like it was heading to tank even harder than the 2015 team. The final game of the series was a day game at home against the Rangers, a low-scoring, sleepy affair that the Mariners were on pace to edge a 2-1 victory until Joel Peralta decided to offer this 77 mph curveball to Delino DeShields:
And so to extras. Cishek pitched two scoreless, so he deserves some share of the credit, but the real hero of the day was when the world’s most lovable rookie stepped up to the plate in place of Adam Lind. It couldn’t have been a more high-pressure situation if Hollywood scripted it: tied game, two outs, with two strikes, and the bottom of the order looming in the 11th. Diekman threw Dae-Ho a 97 mph fastball at the very top of zone, and then this:
The Mariners would go on to be world-beaters in the rest of April, and it started here, on this day, in this moment.
Matt would also write in that recap, with chilling prescience:
We might also look back and think what could have been, while Lee bounces around waivers after carrying a mid .100s batting average into May with a penchant for buckling at anything that bends. Like Cruz's walk-off etched with meaning by Dave Sims' all-too eager pen, it will hurt, it will make us want to follow Jaycen back up to that single seat, all alone. Bury our faces in our mitts.
We are there now, in that single seat, alone. It took longer than we thought to get here, but here we are, nonetheless. Baseball aside, I know that the loss of Dae-Ho is painful for many members of our community. Those who loved his infectious smile and generosity of spirit and genial presence are affected; those who were excited to see a Korean baseball player represented here in our own backyard are also saddened. There is a sense that a light somewhere has gone out, especially here as the days shorten and darken, and we plug in our multicolored light strings, little messengers of hope against the darkness. Many people don’t like this time of year because it is dark, and quiet, and still; the world slows in wintertime, and so we fill it with holiday bustle and noise and festivals of lights and Christmas music force-fed into your earholes at every available opportunity (do they know it’s Christmas time at all? Better play this song eleventy billion more times just in case!). But winter is also a time to appreciate and reflect upon the blessings you have, and look forward to those the coming year will bring. It is in that spirit I appreciate the blessing of Dae-Ho, who burned so brightly for us in such a short time.