Well, it finally happened. The Mariners have lost their entire cushion, and now sit in a tie with the Oakland Athletics for the final American League Wild Card spot. If the season ended right now, they would have to play a one-game playoff just to get into another one-game playoff. Robinson Canó’s return is just around the corner, but will it come too late? And will it be enough?
As if the city weren’t going to be on-edge enough, this is the first game of the annual series in which seemingly every single obnoxious person from Canada conglomerates in Safeco Field. It promises to be a loud and emotive environment for what could be a crossroads for the Mariners’ season.
And of course, the Mariners aren’t the only ones for whom this game is a crossroads. This game could be the culmination of three years’ worth of hemming and hawing over Félix Hernández. The man who for so long was the only beacon of hope in the face of relentless losing is now one of the things holding the team back from its first playoff appearance in 17 years. It’s baseball once again proving that it does not care about us all.
We knew this day would come. Even before this season, Jerry Dipoto went on record as saying the team’s success hinged on Félix. And while Félix hasn’t been as awful as his 5.58 ERA would indicate (he’s put up an FIP of 4.76), a 5.58 ERA is bad.
And after his latest outing, in which he sunk the Mariners almost immediately, the rumblings grew louder from Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto. With, Erasmo Ramírez (yes, Erasmo Ramírez) breathing down Félix’s neck, it’s now or never, and Félix knows it.
I don’t know that I’ve ever hoped for something as much as I hope now that Félix does well tonight. For what I hope isn’t the last time: Happy Félix Day.
|Curtis Granderson - RF||Dee Gordon - 2B|
|Randal Grichuk - CF||Jean Segura - SS|
|Justin Smoak - 1B||Denard Span - LF|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Yangervis Solarte - 3B||Mitch Haniger - RF|
|Teoscar Hernandez - LF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Brandon Drury - SS||Ryon Healy - 1B|
|Luke Maile - C||Mike Zunino - C|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Cameron Maybin - CF|
Game time: 7:10 PM PST
TV: Root Sports NW
Radio: 710 AM ESPN Seattle