The joke, of course, is that the Mariners both won today's ball game and successfully stole a base. This alone would be a thing worthy of praise but what you should really be excited about are the following bullet points:
- Nori Aoki notched two hits this afternoon, including a triple which led off the game on the second pitch of the day. The pitch missed the second base umpire by approximately four feet. The throw never even made it to third as Aoki had already slid in and stood up on his two feet like he owned the base in the first place. It would take another HBP and a fielder's choice grounder to score him, and still the Mariners ended the whole day with only two runs but WHATEVER THEY ALL COUNT THA SAME IN THA END
- Seth Smith, future platoon left fielder for the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, hit his 200th career double this afternoon. Think of all the things you've ever done 200 times: had a beer, slept in past 10, picked your nose, touched y--wait no I will stop there. Now think again about people who complain that athletes get paid a lot of money. These two thoughts are not necessarily incompatible but if you hold one or the other you should really reconsider them all.
- Michael Saunders is going to be a free agent next year, and is in line to earn a hefty payday after his first all-star season for a team seriously competing for the division lead for the second year in a row. On one hand, former LL-stat-man Logan Davis tweeted this in 2014. On the other, FLY, FLY AWAY HOME, MY DEAREST CONDOR.
- You may have missed that Danny Hultzen is probably retiring, but I bet that if you went back in time to 2011 and said that James Paxton was going to throw seven innings with three hits and nine strikeouts on the very day that the third head of Cerberus was cut off you'd be like holy shit how did James Paxton find a way to avoid aging for thirty years and then you'd have another drink, and then another.
- A tweet:
Edwin Diaz: 21.2 IP, 44 SO— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 23, 2016
So yeah, quite the day. Paxton looked great today, and while Michael Saunders led off his first career at-bat against his former team with a solo dinger, the majestic Canadian only allowed that one single run all afternoon, and again, struck out nine Blue Jays hitters on the afternoon. And even after that sentence, the real number we should be talking about today is seven: the amount of innings Paxton lasted to keep the bullpen fresh and also what seems to be the longest outing by a Mariners starter since Michael Dukakis was the nominee for President for the Democratic Party (also known as Jamie Moyer's THIRD SEASON in the league).
Going to have to cut this short as I'm getting ready to head to Cooperstown tomorrow--please, let me know what you want me to cover or take photos of in the comments and I'll do my best!--but with Iwakuma on the mound set against former Mariner R.A. Dickey, you have to think that the ship is still, somehow, upright and floating despite the end being in full sight for what seems like weeks now. But until then,