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Athletics Ignore Leash Laws, Run Wild Over the Mariners

Bark in the Park Night? More like Whimper Softly in the Park Night.

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays
Who’s a good boy? Not the Mariners tonight.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It’s the 8th straight loss at home and the 9th loss in the last 11 games. It’s been a dismal streak, made all the more dismal because it followed a 6 game winning streak.

It was a good night for dogs to come to the ballpark (I mean, if there’s ever really a good night for that). Shiny, happy dog faces cannot fail to lift our spirits. All the tv shots and Twitter pictures of dogs enjoying their time at the park were certainly a nice counterpoint to the Athletics circling the bases like Sam Gaviglio was a tree and a squirrel ran up him.

The thing about dogs is that they’re kind of dumb. I mean this in the nicest possible way. They don’t understand baseball. They have no idea what winning is. They just like to eat food and be pet and go for walks.

Lucky bastards.

Growing up, we had a Golden Retriever-Black Lab-German Shepherd mix. We decided his favorite player was Jay Buhner (his nickname was The Bone, dogs like bones). Every time Jay Buhner came up to bat we’d tell the dog excitedly that Jay Buhner was up to bat. He’d jump around and pant happily. He had no idea what was going on. He’d be happy for a while, and then he’d go back to doing his dog things.

Dogs might be on to something when it comes to watching Mariners baseball.

Gaviglio’s night got off to a rough start. Whatever 1st inning curse that has befallen Mariner starters bit him tonight. Single, walk, RBI double, strikeout, 2 RBI double, walk, fly out, and, mercifully, a pop up to end the inning. He allowed a leadoff double in the 2nd inning, but calmed down and retired the next 5 batters in order. He ran into trouble again in the 5th inning. Khris Davis avenged his 2 strikeouts by hitting a 3-run home run to centerfield. Bruce Maxwell repeated the favor with a solo shot two batters later, ending Gaviglio’s outing. It was the first time he failed to pitch 5 complete innings in his 9 starts.

The good news from Gaviglio’s start? He struck out 6. He fought back from a disastrous first inning that felt much worse than the 3 runs it yielded. He showed he can fight back when he’s struggling and not hitting his spots.

Some guy named Yovani Gallardo came out of the pen in long relief, going 4.1 innings and allowing no runs on 1 hit, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

The Mariner’s offense struggled against Paul Blackburn, making only his second Major League start. He pitched 7.2 innings and only gave the Mariners one run to work with. If we’re looking at this from a dog’s perspective, there are still a few things to get excited about:

  • Jean Segura had 4 hits
  • Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger broke slumps
  • Mitch Haniger hit a home run to score the first Mariner run
  • Danny Valencia hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning when the team attempted to rally
  • Jarrod Dyson hit a triple. Triples are always fun.

There were a few times when it would have been best to clear the room with a dog fart:

  • The base running, oh the base running. The Blans, they were a-Tootin’. In the 3rd inning Mitch Haniger broke his slump with a sharp double. He tried to advance to 3rd on a Jarrod Dyson fly out and was out by quite a bit. In the 4th inning, Jean Segura was caught leaning off first base and picked off.
  • Ben Gamel and Danny Valencia each hit into double plays.

It wasn’t a fun game. It was a frustrating game. It was game that went to the dogs early on.

And the dogs seemed pretty happy to be hanging out the ballpark anyway.