Bear with me as I bravely attempt to make it through this recap without vomiting.
Sorry, let’s try that again.
Today was Félix Day, which found the King coming off an encouraging first start back from his second DL stint of the season. Shockingly enough, he picked up right where he left off—9 Rangers up, 9 Rangers down. Félix was working his spots, staying down in the zone, and raining strikes.
Then the 4th inning happened, and Mariners fans far and wide were treated to the agony of an entire Deadgar Weekend concentrated into the span of several batters.
Facilitated by a trio of walks and some suboptimal fielding, the Rangers scratched out 3 runs, loading the bases for Rougned Odor. Scott Servais called upon Andrew “Mini-Maple” Albers to save the day, as he’s done repeatedly throughout the second half.
It didn’t work.
By the time the 4th inning had mercifully ended, the Rangers were up 7-2. They would add one more run in the 6th to make it 8-2. At that point the game was all but wrapped up...
...OR WAS IT?
Because the 2017 Mariners were born with some infuriating nucleotide in their DNA that precludes them at all costs from ever letting us down gently, they launched a bit of a comeback.
Starting with a run in the 6th inning on a Yonder Alonso double play, the M’s would cut the deficit to 3 runs in the 7th on a two-out two-run single by Robinson Canó.
Mike Zunino and Ben Gamel kicked off the 8th inning with back-to-back doubles, but after a failed pinch-hit/call-to-the-pen/pinch-hit sandwich, some TOOT-in’ and BLAN-in’ from Gamel, and quite possibly the worst bases-loaded at bat I’ve ever seen courtesy of Alonso, the one run was all they could muster.
The M’s even brought the game-tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th after a Kyle Seager single, but in moment of haunting beauty, Carlos Ruíz rode in from left field on a white stallion to pinch hit for the beleaguered Alonso only to line out *stifles bile* to end the game.
The M’s have lost 5 games in a row. This includes two losses against a Rangers team they took 3 out of 4 from just last week. Their playoff odds *wretches* have crept to *somebody hold my hair* 1.3%.
Now, because I’d prefer not go to bed nauseous, I’d like to share a few bright (read: dim) spots (read: specks nearly imperceptible to the human eye):
- Mitch Haniger went yard. Harbinger is positively raking in September (try that 180 wRC+ on for size), increasing his season wRC+ to 126. Plus he had a pretty tasty catch in center to rob Adrián Beltré of extra bases:
- Nelson Cruz also went yard. The 37-year-old slugger continues to defy his physio-temporal limitations and is hitting baseballs as hard as he’s ever hit baseballs at any point in his career:
- Shae Simmons struck out the side in the 8th inning. In 6 scoreless innings this season, he’s struck out 7, walked 2, and allowed just a single hit.
- Cleveland beat the Angels again tonight. Schadenfreude is a helluva drug.
- It’s decidedly sweater weather. Consider this moderately chilly recapper’s wardrobe rejuvenated.
- I recently heard about these guinea pigs that were named by a neural network, and it’s legitimately the best thing I’ve seen all month. “Fuzzable” and “Hanger Dan” kill me every time.
Boomsticks and Buzzberries aside, this 2017 season is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and today’s contribution was a special smorgasbord of frustration, pain, and chunks of Félix Hernández’s bicep.
Something tells me it’ll be a tough one to digest.