One of the first things they teach you in creative writing classes is that it’s important to establish a degree of trust between the reader and the narrator, otherwise the story is flawed before it can even begin. So, in the interest of truth and full disclosure, allow me to share in a moment of honesty with you: I did not watch the game tonight. I followed along sporadically via GameDay for the first few innings, but did not even begin listening to the radio until the fourth inning. Yesterday’s game, triumphant victory that it was, was also exhausting to watch. It’s normal to live and die with each pitch of a playoff game (or so I’ve heard), but to do so on a random game in early June? That’s a lot of emotional investment for something that ultimately carries the same weight as, say, a Wednesday day game against the Miami Marlins. I left Safeco Field last night jubilant with the Mariners’ win, but also deeply tired after spending the last three hours defending our home territory from foreign invaders. Baseball exhaustion is real, even and perhaps especially for those of us whose lives so tightly revolve around it each day. It was worrisome to feel that way relatively early on in the season, so I gave myself permission to not become so utterly invested in this game.
While eating chips and salsa on the porch with family and friends, my phone buzzed with the notification that Nelson Cruz had scored the first run of the game on a Kyle Seager single to right. When I checked my phone and saw that Ariel Miranda had kept the Blue Jays offense scoreless through three, I nodded in understanding and tucked my phone away and took my turn in Rummikub. Kendrys Morales’ two-run home run was made more tolerable by the lemon bar I ate while watching an osprey swoop low over the trees. My careful nonchalance was spoiled in the bottom of the seventh inning when Jarrod Dyson singled, stole second and subsequently, thanks to an errant throw by Russell Martin and an unexpected fumble by Kevin Pillar in center field, scored. The score was tied at 2-2 going into the top of the eighth, and my mind was consumed with baseball once more. But then my ferry docked, and we all had to disembark, and I was immediately distracted by the sunset over the water, and the way the sun reflected on the sound in a deep, shimmering column of gold.
I missed it entirely when Scott Servais brought in Tony Zych, after Miranda went 6.1 innings with two earned runs off of 2 hits. Ezequiel Carrera’s immediate homer off of Tony Zych in the seventh stung briefly, but we were driving through an area with poor radio reception when Justin Smoak sent his 18th home run over the fence in right field, and the static dulled that pain. Other than a surprisingly successful instant replay challenge, the Mariners did little of note in their final two innings, and they lost to the Blue Jays in a mirror image score of last night’s game. The Ms could have made tonight good and they never looked completely out of it, but they ultimately fell flat in front of a sold out crowd of 45,000+ at Safeco Field. Meanwhile, I witnessed the perfect cloud rendering of a goose in the sky, wings outstretched.
I’m sorry, to those of you who came here for an in depth analysis of the collective 12 hits and six runs of this baseball game, but future recaps will be better at the expense of this one.