*Disclaimer: This is being written from the bleachers of Everett Memorial Stadium, where Robinson Canó is making another rehab start, and where Team Lookout Landing triumphed over Team JSLAM/710 ESPN in the pizza box toss challenge
This series in Houston was supposed to be the Dark Time. The Mariners were supposed to cruise through the Blue Jays and the Rangers, then falter against the Astros because, well, everyone is supposed to falter against the Astros.
Two games later and they’re guaranteed to escape the snow globe hellscape of Minute Maid Park with a series split at least. And against Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, to boot.
The last few weeks have seen this team not just regressing, but actively playing at their collective floor (save for Nelson Cruz, hallowed be his name). Are they as good as their fiery hot June? Almost certainly not, but they’re certainly better than the 25-man dump truck crew we yelled at for the majority of July. Tonight was a good example of that middle ground - nothing was overwhelmingly flashy (save for those uniforms, which are groovy as all get out), but they played solid baseball against a very solid team.
Mike Leake was his perfectly underwhelming self, going six innings and allowing just two runs on eight hits. Adam Warren continued his campaign to make also-crummy-newcomer Zach Duke feel better about himself, but fell short by walking Tony Kemp and allowing a Jake Marisnick double but ultimately preventing any runs from scoring. Alex Colomé retired all three batters he faced, adding another tally to his scoreless innings streak, and Edwin Díaz, disgruntled with the home run he surrendered last night, disposed of Tyler White, Evan Gattis, and Derek Fisher with calm certainty. Did I mentione how good those uniforms are? They’re SO good.
And the offense? Well, they didn’t quite pull off another eight runs, but the new top of the order continued to prove their worth, with Mitch Haniger, Denard Span, Cruz, and Kyle Seager responsible for driving in all five runs. I think this lineup could have some staying power...if only the same were true of those uniforms.
*It’s currently 2-1 with the Eugene Emeralds in the lead, but the AquaSox have the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh so there’s some life left. Also, the Angels currently lead the A’s 4-3 in the seventh, if you’re into that sort of thing. Go AquaSox, go Mariners, go...Angels?
**VERY IMPORTANT EDIT: ROBINSON CANÓ GRAND SLAM! AquaSox lead 5-2!