Life is first boredom, then fear - Philip Larkin
Then today’s game, I suppose, was the Benjamin Button of games. In that the events of the first inning — first, the top third of the lineup that has been so dependable is retired in five minutes; second, Marco Gonzales has to throw over 40 pitches to get through a single inning — lent themselves to a great deal of fear.
There was the obvious fear, of course, of losing the baseball game. Going down 3-0 in the first inning is no way to start a game that you would like to eventually win. It also triggered the more latent fears: the irrational fear that the top of the lineup will turn back into pumpkins any day, and the somewhat-more-rational fear that Marco Gonzales will always be a pumpkin. The events of the next several innings did little to assuage these fears.
Marco ended up getting pulled for Casey Lawrence in the third inning, who proved to be somehow worse. It was quite a feat for Casey Lawrence to be worse than Marco Gonzales today. Take, for example, this non-comprehensive list of things that are better than Marco Gonzales was today.
- Your housemate flushing the toilet while you’re taking a shower.
- Mild to moderate insomnia
- Asking “What?” to somebody a third time and still being unable to hear them, so you smile and say “yeah” and hope that it was an acceptable response.
- Waking up and forgetting that you didn’t change the laundry last night, panicking and putting a single pair of pants in the drier so they dry as quickly as possible, taking them out at the last possible moment before work, and they’re still a little damp. What’s more, they sat wet overnight, so you smell like mildew all day.
So, if we pretend that we are ever-deductive Aristotle, and we note that Marco managed to be worse than those things, we know also that Casey Lawrence was also worse than all of those things. Probably more things, too.
As I watched Casey Lawrence pitch, the fear of the first few innings turned to mere boredom. As bad as fear can be, boredom sometimes seems more insidious. If I am actively doing something, and I’m still bored, that means I’m actively wasting my time, right? And by extension, my life?
Any way, it was in the midst of this daily existential meltdown that the seventh inning rolled around and I noted that the Mariners still did not have a hit. That certainly would have made the game notable. Except then, Daniel Vogelbach (bless his soul), lined a ball up the middle that Alcides Escobar was unable to snag. And so it was that this became Just Another Boring Loss.
The one saving grace of this boring loss ended up being the ever-fun cameo of a position player pitching. And yet even that was made less fun! A clear opportunity for Ichiro to pitch was floundered, as Taylor Motter was called upon for duty. He did make the most of it, however.
This is the one good thing that happened today.
First, Taylor Motter immediately gave up a dinger to Mike Moustakas. Ok, that’s fine. It happens to real pitchers all the time. Next, Taylor Motter issues a walk to a guy named Cheslor Cuthbert which I thought was the ultimate humiliation. It was not, as it will turn out. Finally, Motter first-pitch-beans Jorge Soler.
Now that Motter has firmly established himself as a bonified not-pitcher, up steps Major League hitter Paulo Orlando, who was subjected to the most humiliating experience of 2018 so far.
To be fair, there was a weird amount of movement on that pitch. Still. The Mariners may have been two-hit by one of the worst teams in the Major Leagues, but none of them were struck out by a position player.
So it was that this game was frightening, and then boring, and then over. And now I am back to frightened, because the Angels won again, and even though it’s April, I already feel like the Mariners are running out of time.