One month ago I would have told you to calm down, relax, everything is going to be fine, the Mariners are a good baseball team.
A few weeks ago I would have maybe said see the thing is that even the best team of all time had the equivalent of a month-and-a-half-losing-streak or something of the sort, maybe quietly responding to declarations of Armageddon with a photo of the oven, its timer still slowly ticking on into the future.
Well today I don't quite feel like doing any of that, because the goddamned Mariners continue to once again be the goddamned Mariners, losing baseball games in the most obnoxious way possible while throwing out an otherwise fully competent lineup of professional baseball players which actually do great things rather than simply being capable of them in theory. And yet still, I have to tell you that it's fine, and whatever. When you stub your toe it fuckin hurts. But if that happens then it means you still have a toe to stub.
Today it was Taijuan, and he was really, for the most part, not too shabby. He ran into trouble in each of the first few innings but managed to get out of it every time: in the first, he was aided by an out on the basepaths thanks to Chris Iannetta's watchful eye versus a stealing Mookie Betts. In the second there were two on the left side of the bags, but then a strikeout, and enough movement bending ever-so-slightly to catch the part of the bat Christian Vazquez didn't want to hit it with. In the third, a double play. Eventually, Taijuan was pulled after only 88 pitches, and we didn't find out later that
Servais said Walker's pain in the foot was to the point where they couldn't take him any further in the game— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 19, 2016
Walker said the foot started hurting in the first inning and got worse each inning. By the fifth, he wasn't able to push off anymore— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 19, 2016
Ah, very nice, you see this is a Real Good thing that has happened. Hopefully it isn't a big deal going forward, as all the other rotation injuries seem to have been the result of freak accidents rather than a long, drawn out process. That said, it sure isn't the kind of thing you want to read with a still-broken Felix Hernandez, a sore Wade Miley, and two other injury-prone starters being oddly, perhaps uncomfortably healthy for what seems like the first time ever. All that, coupled with the fact that the Mariners lost this game in the most obnoxious form possible--after they had won it--has to make you think that something is going to give sooner or later (go Jerry, go).
Had the Mariners not been facing David Price, today's line would have been quite a bit more discouraging. Price walked nobody, struck out seven, and gave up hits to only six batters. One of those batters, our lord and savior Franklin Gutierrez, hit a ding donger just over the right field wall in the top of the fourth to put the M's up 1-0. I was incidentally in a little tiny-ass book shop in Concord, Massachussetts right as it happened, and the guys behind the counter were following the game on their computer. Another one from this Gutierrez fellow the older man said. He's had a hell of a series. The other man, stocking shelves, said something to the effect of where was Dombrowski when he was jumpin' through the minors, and I swear I almost bought copies of Gray's Anatomy and Beowulf just to appease the gods, but I of course did not. Then Vidal Nuño came in.
Nuño promptly gave up two hits to Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz, then promptly got Hanley Ramirez to tap a soft grounder right up the middle into the awaiting glove of Ketel Marte. Marte probably could have gone home, but Ramirez isn't the fastest runner in the world, and David Ortiz would steal only his second base since 2014 later this afternoon, so Marte went for the double play. They only got one. Tie game.
After this, Nuño managed to pick off Ramirez sleeping at first for the second out of the inning. But then he hit Jackie Bradley Jr. before Servais pulled him for Edwin Diaz. Unfortunately, the firethrowing youngster ran into his first trouble of his short career, giving up a single to Chris Young before walking Travis Shaw, then giving up a 1-0 homer to Mookie Betts to open the seventh. It gave the Sox the lead and then they never looked back, despite threatening Nick Vincent in the eighth inning with a leadoff triple that never materialized into anything. And that is how the Mariners lost to the Red Sox today, Father's Day, June 19th in the year of our lord two-thousand-sixteen.
There is a lot of baseball left to be had and a lot of stupid baseball in the books, stupid baseball that really could have gone a whole hell of a lot different had the most minor of adjustments been made with an eye pointed towards tomorrow. Meanwhile those books still sit on the shelves of that Concord bookstore, and the Mariners sit an uncomfortable three games above .500 as they get ready to head to Detroit to close out the road trip. I hope this turn of events will be met with whatever emotion you choose to deploy, but the truth about all of this is really simple: the only place we have to direct our anger towards is the Mariners, and the only place we have to direct our joy is in the exact same direction. When the Mariners drop yet another game which they had already won, we will feel slighted, cheated in fact, but that's only because we actually believed, in our hearts, that they were going to win it all along. I leave it up to you to decide who the idiot is in this particular scenario.