Sometimes when covering sports things you try to be cute, clever, and ensure an early bed time by writing a bit of the recap before the game is over. Sometimes games just have a pre-determined notion of how they will play out and it isn't too much of a reach to start early. Sometimes the narrative gets flipped as you are writing and then you realize that approximately 75 percent of your 800 words are pretty much useless.
BUT I COULD NOT GIVE ANY POOPS LESS BECAUSE LEONYS MARTIN CAME IN AND CLUBBED A WALK OFF TWO RUN HOMER LIKE HE OWNS THE GOD DAMN PLACE AND FINALLY ALL OF THOSE STUPID LOSSES WE SUFFERED AT HOME WE FINALLY DID TO THE OTHER TEAM AND GOD DAMN IT FEELS SO GOOD TO WIN 6-5.
Sorry about that outburst.
To make up for it I give you this, because, as the saying goes, animated GIFs of Leonys Martin jacking game winners are worth a thousand gigabytes.
That is Martin sprinting around the bases bringing the Mariners, Seattle, the Lookout Landing community, and everyone who has been going crazy on Twitter about home losses the victory that they all needed. The Mariners pulled within one run in the eighth inning because that is what the Mariners apparently do at home when they are behind in the eighth inning (but only the eighth inning).
Norichika Aoki played the unlikely savior of the night, considering his early performance. With two out and no-one on, Aoki clubbed a double. Martin came up, and just like that, the victory belonged to Seattle.
For much of the game, the above scene didn't seem too likely. The Mariners were sort of clunking along against a not very good opponent. They were busy leaving guys in scoring position and just playing one of those infuriating games that makes you loathe baseball. Nate Karns as sharp as a Goodwill knife covered in scotch tape. Scott Servais pulled him a couple batters too late in the fifth, and Nick Vincent didn't help the cause whatsoever. Vincent gave up a ground rule double to mighty Mariner slayer Marcus Semien and was pulled for Mike Montgomery. Montgomery gave up a double to Coco Crisp and just like that, the Athletics held a 5-2 lead.
It borderline seemed insurmountable. The Mariners were doing one of those things where they strand runners on bases and overall look like they want to lose at home. The rumblings started to come in on Twitter about how the Mariners suck at home and why oh why do they suck at home we must not be good if we can't win at home.
But the Mariners had other ideas for, dare I say it, the haters. Montgomery shrugged off his first few pitches and rolled the Athletics down exactly like they are supposed to be rolled down--wrapped inside a carpet and set on fire. He finished the game with 3.1 innings pitched, four strikeouts (including striking out the side), and retired seven-straight batters at one point. Despite coughing up a couple of runs early on, Montgomery kept the Mariners in it.
And all they needed was some of the late inning heroics. Nothing like a Robinson Cano home run in the eighth inning to make you feel all warm and gooey inside. Flash forward to the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, and some guy named Aoki is at the plate and he is pretty much the only person you don't want at the plate. Patience with Aoki was getting a bit thin around here. He added to that growing grumbling by getting caught stealing for the seventh time this year (seventh!) earlier in the game.
But good teams are made of good players, and maybe Aoki is actually good after all. Or maybe he is bad and has limited amounts of good in him. Whatever it is, he eventually did well tonight. He gave the Mariners just the little bit of life support they needed, and Martin blasted the Mariners with a AED powered by the sun itself so that we could all explode into little bits of sunshine, happiness, and ecstasy. After all of those stupid losses at home to stupid teams like the Athletics, the Mariners finally got a notch on the belt.