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Waiting for baseball

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners
He pitched strangely and wildly and well, and deserves recognition of that.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

12:25 PM PST

There are six hours and 45 minutes until baseball. Four hours and 35 minutes until work is done. Today has sapped so much of my energy; baseball where are you? Justin Verlander starts against the Mariners today. It's his first start as an Astro, and his third against Seattle this season. He has a perfect 11-11 record in career starts against our team, but the Tigers have lost both of his starts vs the M's this year. The Tigers are not the Astros. I am desperate for a good game tonight; I need baseball in all its escapist glory. Please let this not be a recap of animal fun facts.

12:55 PM PST

Ash is falling, and the sky is a hazy ochre. It looks like a "Spare the Air" day from my childhood in California, when abysmal air quality confined our PE activities to the multipurpose room. I'm worried about the lungs of Heredia, Dyson, Haniger, Gamel, etc. I suppose I'm worried about the lungs of the Astros players, too.

7:10 PM PST

At last, baseball.

7:49 PM PST

Oh no, baseball. (Ariel Miranda lands strangely on his right leg. Every fan's heart stops. The radio feed cuts out. Robinson Canó immediately approaches and talks to him, and plays translator when a trainer and Mel Stottlemyre Jr. come out to the mound. We're so lucky that Robbie is on our team, particularly in uncertain moments like these, with a Spanish-speaking player who has been slower to pick up English.)

7:51 PM PST

Okay, baseball. (Miranda will stay in the game. He is the only member of the rotation to have made all his starts, and he was not even supposed to be starting in the majors.)

7:59 PM PST

Oh no, baseball. (Miranda walks the bases loaded after striking out Brian McCann. Some way, some how, he gets Alex Bregman to fly out to Mitch Haniger in right, and then gets Jose Altuve to ground out to Kyle Seager. Only one run scores. This is the time for the team to capitalize on their good fortune. They've hit Verlander before.)

8:10 PM PST

I am hopeful. We are hopeful. Yonder Alonso, who singled and was then moved to second after a Canó single, is hopeful. Nelson Cruz grounds out. His at-bats have been painful to watch, like asking Paul Bunyan to chop down the giant beanstalk after taking a bite from the witch's poison apple. I think I'm mixing up my fables and fairytales.

8: 36 PM PST

Kyle Seager ties it up with a solo shot. Imagine how much the Rangers fanbase would have hated him if Verlander had gone there, instead of Houston.

This does not include tonight's at-bats

9:00 PM PST

A combined no-hitter against the Astros would be incredible. But so much pressure to write that recap! And so many more minutes of anxiety! Not to mention all. Those. Walks. This really would be the most typical 2017 Mariners no-hitter.

9:04 PM PST

Heart stops. Then resumes, this time with a saucy Latin beat. Miranda barehands a comebacker to get the out at first; the joy of his athleticism is two-fold- it is wonderful to watch him make these athletic feats look so effortless, and it's also fantastic to see the extra confidence in Miranda's gait after making those plays.

9:08 PM PST

Scott Servais you imbecile. (Servais leaves the left-handed Miranda in against switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez, who is much stronger from the right side. There are literally enough relievers in the pen to field two basketball teams. This is the moment where a benign recap could turn into (another) indictment of bullpen management.)

9:09 PM PST

Scott Servais you are spared. For now. (Gonzalez lines out to Ben Gamel, and Miranda finishes his 112 pitch outing with a quality start and a no-hitter still intact.)

9:12 PM PST

Sorry your pitcher isn't as freakishly reactive and athletic, Astros. (Canó line drive boomerangs off of Verlander's arm/wrist. Root Sports takes this opportunity to pan over to Kate Upton in the stands (again). It's fortuitous that she can pull off orange.)

9:17 PM PST

I am hopeful. We are hopeful. Robinson Canó, who singled and advanced to second on a Nelson Cruz single, is hopeful. Leaving Verlander in against Seager could prove to be AJ Hinch's fatal flaw.

9:18 PM PST

AJ Hinch is smart, or lucky, or, likely, a combination of the two. Seager grounds into a double play, and Haniger looks entirely lost with his second strikeout of the night.

9: 37 PM PST

Emilio Pagan has been the third most valuable pitcher on the 2017 Mariners.

Emilio Pagan has been the third most valuable pitcher on the 2017 Mariners.

Emilio Pagan has been the third most valuable pitcher on the 2017 Mariners.

Emilio Pagan has been the third most valuable pitcher on the 2017 Mariners.

Emilio Pagan has been the third most valuable pitcher on the 2017 Mariners.

(Emilio Pagan gives up a two-run home run to former Angel Cameron Maybin. There is no longer a no-hitter banner across the homepage of the At Bat app.)

9:50 PM PST

Ryan Garton gives up the second hit of the game, on a single from Carlos Correa. I imagine Miranda sitting on the bench sadly, with a towel over his head, a la Félix.

9:57 PM PST

Robinson Canó singles again. He'll go 3 for 4 on the night. It doesn't matter, though.

10: 06 PM PST

Shae Simmons throws nine pitches and retires the side. He's really good, and that's going to be something I'll need you all to understand for the future. John agrees.

10:12 PM PST

Ken Giles appears on the mound. I close my laptop. Giles strikes out Seager, Haniger and Gamel with ten pitches. It is a fitting end to the game.

10:18 PM PST

The Seattle Mariners lose to the Houston Astros 3-1. The Mariners had seven hits. The Astros had two. Familiarity is rarely a good thing.

11:35 PM PST

I post this recap. There are 19 hours and 35 minutes until baseball.