I regret to inform you all that baseball is bad again. So is bunting. Inertia is also bad when you’re sliding into second base so hard that you pop off the bag while the tag is on you so then it gets challenged and the previously safe call gets overturned. And so is missing a fly ball that hits your glove and then goes into foul territory, allowing a run to score. These are all bad things the Mariners did in a very long game of baseball that they did not win.
Yovani Gallardo, now the team’s best or second best starting pitcher by default, did quite well for himself with six innings of one-run ball. Four hits, 2 walks, and 3 strike outs is somewhere around Yo’s ceiling, so that’s one blessing we can count.
His counterpart, the singular Yu Darvish, had a modest 1 run game himself, but gave up 6 hits and 4 walks over 7 innings. For whatever reason, the Mariners have fared decent to middling historically against Darvish compared to the rest of the league. So yes, I dare say Darvish was out pitched by Gallardo tonight. Mark it down, Yovani. You did it.
Other good things that happened before the eventual undoing included Robinson Cano smacking a ding donger for the Mariners’ lone run and Nelson Cruz extending his hitting streak to 14 games. I’ll say it again: appreciate Nelson Cruz.
But yes, the game went into extra innings knotted at 1. Kyle Seager, Ranger Killer, was derelict in his duty in the bottom of 10th inning when instead of ending the game with runners on first and second and two outs, he elected to ground out directly to shitty old Mike Napoli, who is a Ranger once more. Dammit, Duerr.
Jean Machi came in to pitch in the 11th. I love rotund baseball players. Jean Machi is my new favorite reliever. Literally as soon as I had that thought, he hurt his pitching hand and left the game shortly thereafter. So it goes.
Next pitcher up, Evan Marshall, appeared to explode his hamstring on his second pitch and crumpled to the ground in visible and audible pain. Things were already dark, but man. I’ve watched a lot of bad shit in Mariners games over the years, but 2 relievers breaking back-to-back is a new one.
Emilio Pagan came in next and thankfully did not spontaneously melt like a cartoon doused in Dip in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Instead he struck out giant baseball man Joey Gallo to end the top of the 11th inning.
At this point it was 11:21 PM. Security and Alcohol Enforcement officers in the ‘Pen are exhausted. There have probably been no less than 10-12 vomit incidents to clean up. It’s time for the game to end and for everyone to go the fuck home. But, it was not to be as Heredia tried to take an extra base on a outfield bobble and was ruled safe but then actually out thanks to instant replay correcting humanity’s flawed nature.
Onto the 12th inning, which is when we usually get into #WeirdBaseball territory. When baseball games get long and silly, I instantly think of these two classic .gifs.
During these times, I hope to witness something as good or better, but rarely (well, never) do because this is the Mariners and we don’t get nice things.
Onto the 13th inning we went, and right on queue my 3 month old daughter began to stir after sleeping for 6 hours because that’s what newborns do. Just then, noted face-puncher Rougned Odor gifted us with a sweet, sweet mercy kill offering of a 2 run homer absolutely crushed to right field off Pagan.
The game officially crossed over into Saturday as the Mariners failed to do a damn thing in the bottom of the 13th inning and the game was finally over around 12:20 AM.
I’d be lying if my mind didn’t start wandering around the 11th inning or so to another certain infamous 1-1 tie game against the Rangers early on in another infamously shitty year for the Mariners. Cliff Lee’s magical debut at Safeco on April 30, 2010, was a game that broke the brain of many Mariners fans, myself included. Eric Byrnes, failed sacrifice bunt, gets cut from team, leaves clubhouse on a bike, etc etc etc.
Much has been said about the amount of preseason hype the 2017 team had and how it was similar to the preseason hype for 2010. While it’s tempting to say “here we go again,” I just look at the opening day rosters for 2017 and 2010 and I simply cannot wrap my head around this team losing 101 games. Then again, the ~15 or so healthy players left could get hurt and then we’ll have a fire sale for Cruz and Segura before the trade deadline and it’ll all go straight to flaming dumpster hell. Never can tell.
But as it stands now, this series is still winnable, so let’s start with that. Wrap everyone in bubble wrap until game time Saturday night. Good night.