This afternoon I attended the University of Washington softball game. The Huskies are the sixth-ranked team in the country and are playing in the NCAA tournament regional, which they are hosting. They blasted Michigan 12-4, and the game was called after five innings because of the mercy rule which states that the game can end after the fifth inning or later if a team leads by eight runs or more. So the Huskies hit a “walk-off” home run even though they were already ahead, because the home run put them up by that eighth run. It’s kind of a weird concept, but this game got me thinking...
If there was a mercy rule like that in baseball, this game against the White Sox would have been called pretty quickly.
The M’s fell down 4-0 in the first inning when Yovani Gallardo struggled out of the gates, which is a kind of viewing torture akin to running a mile. Nothing majorly painful for most, but it’s probably going to make you uncomfortably sweaty.
Things only got worse from there. Mike Pelfrey — MIKE PELFREY — was mowing guys down for the White Sox. Gallardo coughed up another run in the third and five more in the fourth. The M’s were essentially shoving a ghost pepper down the throats of those still watching when down 10-0. There’s nothing pleasant about it, and you already know the game is over. The only person who finds pleasure in it is your diabolical friend who gets to laugh as you make funny faces.
Dillon Overton replaced Gallardo after that, and he was able to stop the bleeding for a little bit, trying to put some cold water on that fresh burn. But then he gave up five more runs himself in the seventh. The M’s had scored one in the meantime on an RBI groundout by Jean Segura, but a 15-1 deficit for those watching is basically like doing this to yourself.
Watch as these high school students line up to get willingly doused with pepper spray by an instructor pic.twitter.com/xjAZIF7of1— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 17, 2017
Yeah, it was bad. If for some reason you stuck around long enough for it, the M’s handed fans a bowl of apology ice cream in the form of Mike Freeman pitching. That was definitely a treat. He loaded the bases and only gave up one run, which is better than some of the other pitchers did today...
Anyway, the Mariners had a problem on their hands. They didn’t have anyone lined up to start tomorrow, and now they’ve used up Overton. So now...
Servais said they are calling up Chris Heston to start tomorrow.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 21, 2017
And they’re not holding anything back tomorrow either.
Servais said they plan to use all of the bullpen if needed tomorrow with an offday on Monday— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 21, 2017
Whatever works, I suppose. They’re going to need Heston to be at least decent, because this team could seriously use a pick-me-up.
If the mercy rule existed in baseball, we wouldn’t have to deal with Heston tomorrow. But we also wouldn’t have gotten to witness Mike Freeman: MLB pitcher. So you take the good with the bad. I’m hoping for more of the good tomorrow.