As summer's warm embrace exits stage right in favor of autumn, falling leaves appear to be accompanied by falling hopes. The Mariners, whose playoff odds reached a lofty 45.2% on August 22nd, now languish at a mere 8.6%. Last night's gut-wrencher served as a reminder why it has become so easy to give up on the M's, in many ways. It is not because they are certain to let you down, as we have seen all year with thrilling comebacks and close shaves. It is, however, easy to choose not to care and seek to avoid heartbreak. With that in mind, I am a firm subscriber to the belief of loving and losing > never having loved. Since the "Lovable Losers" brand is already pretty well wrapped up, though inapplicable this season, the M's might as well start winning.
What better place to start than the first sign of relief at the end of a pitching gauntlet rarely seen during the regular season? We have Félix. The Rangers have *checks notes* another lefty, named Martín Pérez who has finished in the top-five in Cy Young voting *shuffles through files* 10 fewer times (0) than the last six pitchers the M's have faced, was ranked as the top active player from his nation *pores over data* at least two times fewer (also 0) than that group, but has led the MLB in walks allowed infinitely more frequently than the previous six combined (this year is the 1). He has been a very average pitcher, and hopefully that will be enough to get the Mariners back on the wagon. If we are to ascribe narrative to anything in this sport, it would be King Félix saving us, but that might just be foolish.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Shawn O'Malley - RF||Nomar Mazara - RF|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Ian Desmond - CF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Carlos Beltran - DH|
|Franklin Gutierrez - DH||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Dae-Ho Lee - 1B||Mitch Moreland - 1B|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Carlos Gomez - LF|
|Guillermo Heredia - LF||Robinson Chirinos - C|
|Felix Hernandez - RHP||Martin Perez - LHP|
Again the Mariners will roll with Franklin Gutierrez hitting cleanup as the DH, with a fairly concerning explanation on Nelson Cruz's absence, which will likely stretch another couple games. Seattle has 30 games left to make up four games in the wild card, which is a lot better than what we've usually had at this point in the year.
Game Time: 11:10 AM PT
TV: ROOTNW, MLBTV
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle, 910 ESPN Portland
Happy Félix Day.