As the mercury pushes closer and closer to 90 degrees and all Washingtonians proceed to melt into the ground from whence they came, the Mariners insisted on adding to the pain by falling to the Texas Rangers, 3-2.
Add playing on the weekends to the long list of quirky things about this Seattle Mariners squad this year. The Mariners are now 10-17 on games played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
There are a long list of reasons why today's game was unfortunate. So let's start from the beginning.
Unfortunate reason #1: Hisashi Iwakuma pitched a great game when the Mariners really needed him too.
The Mariners starters have been rather uninspiring as of late, but Iwakuma was anything but today. His splitter was the best it has been all year, and for much of the game, the Rangers couldn’t figure out a single thing against him. After Jurickson Profar opened the bottom of the first with a single, Iwakuma retired 12 straight batters.
He was ahead in counts and was rolling, only needing 89 pitches through seven frames. Iwakuma will of course take the loss because losses are dumb like that, but it was encouraging to see Iwakuma turn in a performance like that. It has been a bit of time.
Unfortunate reason #2: Derek Holland has not been good this year
Holland has pitched into the seventh inning once this year. That one time is today. He has been a mediocre pitcher at best this season, and the Mariners made him look like an ace as they flailed their way to pretty much nothing throughout much of the game. Holland finished the game with seven innings pitched, giving up three hits and two walks. His only mistake pitch was this one to Nelson Cruz, which was appropriately mashed where it belonged.
Unfortunate reason #3: That bottom of the fifth inning was painful to watch
The Mariners entered the bottom of the fifth leading 2-0 thanks to Cruz's home run, and with the way the offense wasn't doing much, it seemed like it would be enough. Iwakuma was rolling and the Mariners looked like they were on their way to salvaging at least one game from the series. Then Stefen Romero happened.
The Rangers were able to get one run, but the second one falls squarely on Romero. Bobby Wilson hit what originally would have been just a fly ball to left. Romero, appeared unconcerned with the fact that runners were on the base paths and just flat out lolly gagged his throw back to the infield. Elvis Andrus basically stole home on the boneheaded play, and the game was tied.
Romero proceeded to double down, over running the ball on the very next play which allowed Profar to get the third and final run. We can ignore the physical error, those happen. But the mental error was bad. Unless Romero is having some sort of medical issue that isn’t allowing his body to function as normal, he should’ve thrown the ball immediately into the infield with something slightly resembling a sense of urgency. In a close game where all the runs meant a lot, he literally let one waltz right home under his nose.
Unfortunate reason #4: Scott Servais still makes dumb decisions sometimes
Norichika Aoki made it to second base on an error in the top of the eighth inning. Servais pinch hit Adam Lind for Franklin Gutierrez so that the Rangers could counter that move basically immediately. Lind platoons, obviously, and he is rather terrible against left-handed pitching. Unfortunately, for him, Jake Diekman is a left-handed pitcher. So when Servais made the call and Lind came trotting up, it wasn't too hard to guess what was going to happen.
I will be legitimately surprised if Lind does not strike out right here.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) June 5, 2016
Unfortunate reason #5: Watching the Mariners lose on the weekends is getting tired and dumb
Honestly, who the hell knows why the Mariners struggle so much when they do, but the weekends are supposed to be nice, relaxing and fun. The Mariners seem intent on ruining everybody's weekend. At least this time they had the decency to get swept by an AL West team on the road instead of at home.
There are plenty of other unfortunate reasons that this was a dumb game, but I'll leave it at that. It is hot outside and I am cranky because the Mariners lost. Realistically, after a game like that, they don't deserve too many more words on the matter.
Mariners return home for a three-game series against the Indians promptly followed by another three-game series with the Rangers, which has even more importance following this weekend. Suddenly, the Mariners are only four games ahead of Houston. That was a brutal weekend.