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Mariners Get Separation Anxiety, Compulsively Return to .500

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Just can’t stay away from you...

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Well, this wasn’t ideal. Coming into this series, this was technically the game the Mariners were second-most likely to win (behind tomorrow’s James Paxton start). Given that Yovani Gallardo was starting against a randomly-decent-this-year Trevor Cahill, I’m not sure why. Yovani has been... fine since being sent to the bullpen. Though his results have been acceptable, his peripherals haven’t improved much. It was hard to have much confidence in him tonight.

It was pretty bizarre, then, when Yovani actually pitched well through the first 4 innings. His stuff was as mediocre as ever, but the results were there. He was backed first by a Kyle Seager dinger in the 2nd and then this Danny Valencia dinger in the 4th, which ended up getting Royals manager Ned Yost tossed.

I get why Yost was mad. The ball ended up about 20 feet to the right of the foul pole. It was challenged and upheld, though. Maybe Yost was trying to fire up the Royals players. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover, however, was not fired up.

I hope to one day be as relaxed as him while in literally any situation.

Alas, the inning after that is where the game started to go downhill. Yovani walked Mike Moustakas and immediately gave up a dinger to Brandon Moss (still fuck that guy). He then walked two more guys to start the 6th inning, and was immediately pulled. Mike Rzepczynski allowed only one of those runs to score, but it was enough to make it a tie game.

Emilio Pagan came on in the seventh, and didn’t really care to uphold the whole “Mariners have a good bullpen” narrative of the last thirty days. He wasn’t exactly helped out by Danny Valencia, who dropped what would have been the second out of the inning. The two runs that Pagan allowed probably would have scored any way, but who knows, he might have pitched to Lorenzo Cain and Melky Cabrera a little differently.

Regardless, none of it ended up mattering. Brandon Moss (seriously, fuck that guy) hit another dinger in the 8th. The defense lost focus when it mattered most, the bullpen couldn’t hold it in a close game when it mattered most, and the offense couldn’t produce against some okay-at-best (Mike Minor and Joakim Soria excepting) Kansas City pitchers when it mattered most.

Realistically, it was always going to be hard to win a Yovani Gallardo game. It makes it harder when it was an eminently winnable game.

So the Mariners are back down to .500. James Paxton will probably put them back above .500 tomorrow. Felix’s start, who knows? Erasmo Ramirez’s? In all likelihood, if the Mariners were all going to the mall tomorrow and needed to decide on a meetup place in four days in the event that Casey Lawrence got really lost, they’d probably meet right back here at .500. Around, and around, and around we go.

Go M’s.