We haven’t quite had enough winning yet to get it out of my system. So when the Mariners’ offense starts to pull its old timey shit of getting guys on base, usually in scoring position, but with no outs, it is so so so hard to just not default to the same old tired saying: Same Old Mariners.
But alas, the Mariners have been losing lately, a lot. So that is what we get. Same old Mariners. We get the Mariners opening both the third and the fourth innings with doubles and we get the Mariners finishing both the third and the fourth innings with no runs scored.
Meanwhile, James Paxton was doing his thing, which involves still notching triple digits on the fastball despite it being his 100th pitch. Paxton allowed a lot of chances early on, but he also shut down his fair share of them—until the bottom of the 8th inning.
But before we go there, let’s go back in time, when the Mariners were trying to potentially win the game. The SOM presence was there and strong, but then the New and Different Mariners showed up. Robinson Cano reached on a single to center in the top of the sixth and then Kyle Seager punched them both home with a home run to right field.
New and Different Mariners 2, Detroit Tigers 0.
Paxton wasn’t rock solid tonight, however. The Tigers were able to squirrel a couple of runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings. And that right there is where the horror of the SOM is able to take hold. The Mariners had secured two runs while leaving plenty on base, and for whatever reason, it just didn’t seem like the Mariners deserved to win this game.
It is a defeatist attitude I’d like to drop. But I don’t quite know how to drop it, outside of watching the Mariners win more games than they lose. Unfortunately, as of late, the Mariners lose a lot of games. The goodwill that quickly formed at the start of this season has been rapidly deflating as of late. Today was the perfect example.
Now we sit in the bottom of the eighth inning. Paxton is over 100 pitches, Justin Upton is intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Mike Aviles steps into the batters box, and hindsight is always 20/20 but perhaps Scott Servais should have made a pitching change, or something. Instead, Aviles hits a whimper of an infield single to put the Tigers up 3-2, and then Brian McCann adds a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
And then the SOM comes up, a firm clench around my heart, and they tell my brain, we are not going to win this game.
There is more to talk about this game, but I don’t want to. I’m busy watching the USMNT get demolished by Argentina at the moment. The Mariners were 0-8 with runners in scoring position this game. The Tigers were 3-8. As much as you want to look at advanced statistics and sabermetrics to try and find some nice things to cling to, the fact of the matter remains the same: if you struggle to score when you have a multiple guys on second and no outs, you will struggle to win the game.
It isn’t Same Old Mariners on the season quite yet, but the Mariners haven’t been doing themselves, or us, any favors as of late. And because of that, that horrible taste in the mouth is allowed to linger longer than it should after games like this.