Yovani Gallardo started his Thursday like he starts all of his days at home, with his standard breakfast of plain scrambled eggs with a side of plain multigrain toast, lovingly prepared by his wife Patricia. He read the sports page, skimmed the front page, and checked in to see what Beetle Bailey was up to on the funnies page. Typical Beetle, up to no good again.
Due to the early game time, Yovani had to be off to the ballpark. He hugged his wife and kissed Yovani, Jr on the head before grabbing the keys to his silver 2006 Mitsubishi Galant. He drove slowly out of his sensible and rural subdivision before turning on his favorite pump up jam and playing it at a responsible level once he hit the freeway. He quietly sang along to the chorus.
“Go hard today / The past is the past you know
Can't worry the past cause that’s yesterday / It's a new day bro
Ima put it on the line cause it's my time”
Yovani’s mind drifted back to 2009 when he first heard the song in his Milwaukee days. It was the same day he hit a 3 run home run off Randy Johnson. He would throw his first complete game a few weeks later. 2009 was a pretty good year, he thought. Maybe leaving the NL was a mistake? Nah, gotta push forward. Can’t worry about the past. Hmmm, I do wish I would have gotten to hit in Coors again for old time’s sake, though.
Before Yovani knew it, it was the third out of the top of the third inning. Yovani wordlessly made his way back to the dugout, suspecting his day might be done. Yep, coach says so. Damn. 5 runs in 3 innings. Not great, Yo.
He hung his head for a bit, looking up only to receive a few perfunctory atta boys from teammates. He remembered his song. “Can't worry the past cause that’s yesterday.” He thought of his wife and son. He smiled.
Well, folks, I regret to inform you that some bad things happened today at the baseball game. Our precious ageless slugger and leading DH All Star vote getter Nelson Cruz took a pitch off his left hand from Kyle Freeland in the bottom of the third inning. Jean Segura, American league batting leader and best hitting Mariners shortstop since Alex Rodriguez (don’t @ me), hurt his ankle on a bad slide into second base while trying to advance on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning (he was called out, but mayyyyy have been safe?). Cruz took his base, but then exited the game after the inning. Segura needed to be helped off the field by trainers. Both were stomach-churning to witness.
Injuries, man. The ace James Paxton returns for one game and then we potentially two of the most reliable hitters in the current lineup. We don’t know how serious either injury is quite yet, but this season is really something.
As mentioned, ol’ mediocre Yovani was even less passable than usual. After a fairly quick 1-2-3 first inning, he boarded the strugglebus for a 39 pitch second inning resulting in four runs. After giving up one more run in the third, Scott Servais had seen enough and brought in Casey Lawrence for mop-up duty.
And there’s a silver lining for today, Casey Lawrence! He went ahead and set a new team record with nine strikeouts in a relief appearance, tossing 86 pitches over 5 innings. I mean, he nearly finished the dang ball game.
Casey Lawrence has the highest pitch count by a Mariners reliever not just this year, but the last 3. We have a new Brave Little Toaster.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) June 1, 2017
Huge credit to him for actually taking a mop-up role, pitching his ass off, and only giving up one more run to keep the team within striking distance. You know what else is cool about Lawrence? He was terrible when he was on the Blue Jays so it causes some Blue Jays fans indigestion to see him do well for another team. Sounds familiar, right?
Another good thing that happened today was the mighty Guillermo Heredia going yard again. Way to go, Guillermo. Very sick one-handed tasteful bat flip, too. Very much approve of that. I would like to officially lobby for Heredia to be the 2 hitter until Haniger comes back, thank you very much.
That’s about all that’s worth saying about this one. The winning streak ends at four games and the uphill battle back to .500 continues this weekend against the bizarro Mariners aka the Tampa Bay Rays.