Four hours and forty minutes. It’s almost exactly enough time to watch Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro back to back (you’ll have to skim some credits to make up three minutes.) Perhaps, somewhere, someone did that tonight. Perhaps they began their mini-marathon at 7:10 Post Meredium Pacific Standard Time. They would have stayed up later than advised by four out of five doctors, but their experience would likely be positive. I’m not sure where the pendulum has swung on cinematic critique of Hayao Miyazaki but his work has never failed to interest and entertain me. Four hours and forty minutes, and they are filled with grief and joy and humor and wonder. Not a bad evening.
Four hours and forty minutes. It’s how long the flight back from Cleveland to Seattle was on the Mariners’ team plane on Sunday. The team had just suffered a loss against the defending AL champion Indians with their 7th/8th starting pitcher option on the mound. The mood was likely somewhat reserved, as most teams are following a loss, but enthusiastic about the trip home. Just 16% of the season had occurred, and while frustration had its pockets, the veterans of this club knew contention was just a hot streak away. Maybe even a homestand away. The players think of resetting as they soar through the air, free of the harassment of Porco Rosso. Not a bad evening.
440 Hz. That’s the frequency that has been agreed upon as the standard tuning pitch for concert performances in Western music. The “Stuttgart pitch” was selected in the early 20th century as an attempt to standardize musical performances and tuning across national boundaries. If you spend your life dedicated to musical performance, the sound above is likely what you will hear more frequently than any other note. Perhaps you attended a concert and heard this very tone. I’m glad for you, friend. Not a bad evening.
440 feet. Hanley Ramirez punished a baseball left down the middle by World Series hero Kyle Hendricks. Utterly demolished. Over 8% of a mile. A launch angle that would make Josh Donaldson smile if he had positive human emotions. A win for the Red Sox that preceded a heated series with the Orioles that has been beset with embarrassments for the franchise, none having to do with the win-loss record. Sunday night, however, their minds were elsewhere. Not a bad evening.
Four hours and forty minutes. James Paxton struggled with control and let his pitch count creep up even as he slipped out of multiple scoring threats. Five is smaller than six except when five walks overshadow six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Matt Shoemaker matched Paxton’s results, save for allowing Danny Valencia a home run in what my notes list as the 6th inning but my mind insists was late March. Nick Vincent, Marc Rzepczynski, and Tony Zych put together 2.1 shutout innings, but Edwin Diaz went down and in on Kole Calhoun and watched it redirected to up and away in the right field bleachers. Robinson Cano rewarded excellent at-bats by Jarrod Dyson and Ben Gamel in the bottom of the 9th with an RBI single to tie it, but the Mariners couldn’t push one more two-out run across. Angels’ closer Bud Norris, who may be a garden snail granted a very niche wish by a perceptive djinni, escaped the jam. That was the last time the offense would be heard from. Jean Machi had two shutout innings but gave way to James Pazos who gave way to Bob Christofferson preparing the field for tomorrow’s game, today. Pazos vanquished Calhoun but was done no favors by Chooch behind the plate against Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, or Luis Valbuena. A low line drive from Pujols eluded Ben Gamel’s range and the first game of May eluded the Mariners.
I watched it all, with the radio on and the tv muted so as to evade Jay Buhner’s impenetrable allegories. I laughed as Goldsmith admonished Mike Scioscia for his incessant whining about obvious balls and strikes. I ate a carrot midway through the eighth inning as Guillermo Heredia made a nice diving catch. It was not a bad way to spend an evening. The Mariners lost 6-4 in 11 innings. The season will continue tomorrow and the next day and for 135 more games no matter whether you or I or anyone else think it’s over or not. Tomorrow’s game will not feature Albert Pujols stealing third base, so I can guarantee it will be a more successful game than tonight’s frustrating loss. It certainly can’t be longer.