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Mariners fall to Padres, fans fall to indifference

zzzzz

San Diego Padres v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

This wasn’t the most upsetting loss of the year. This wasn’t the saddest loss of the year. The game was frustrating, yes, but we’ve all become accustomed to that the past couple months. Frustration is old hat.

I’m hard pressed to find a game this season that’s felt more deflating than this one, though.

It’s not like there weren’t things to cheer for tonight. Marco Gonzales made his first start in nearly three weeks tonight, and looked quite good. Operating on a conservative pitch count, Marco looked crisp through five innings, and his changeup and cutter looked sharper as he went on - this sequence to get Manuel Margot in the fifth was outstanding.

Though he only struck out two, Gonzales was able to grab eight swinging strikes from the Padres to go with a bevy of weak contact. The one run he gave up in the fourth wasn’t terribly egregious: sometimes even Eric Hosmer gets an infield hit to score a run. Though we shouldn’t expect him to go any deeper than five or six innings in the last few weeks of the year, tonight was a very solid first step back, and seeing how Marco finishes is something to keep an eye on.

Robinson Canó also destroyed a ball:

Alas, that’s where the fun ended. The M’s made Bryan Mitchell work a bit tonight, but couldn’t push across anything other than Robi’s dinger. They had chances, too, none more enticing than in the second inning. After Kyle Seager (!) ripped a ground-rule double to right, a Ben Gamel walk and Mike Zunino single loaded the bases with just one out. Mitchell was laboring and teetering, and the very least Dee Gordon had to do was get the ball in the air.

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Shawn Armstrong, Nick Vincent, and Álex Colomé all looked effective tonight, with no performance standing out more than Vincent’s striking out the side in the seventh. Despite the bats blowing yet another chance to grab a run in the eighth, Edwin Díaz came in for the ninth.

It did not go well.

Hunter Renfroe and Eric Hosmer greeted Edi with back-to-back singles, and while he was able to get the enormous Franmil Reyes on a foul tip, Wil Myers drilled a hanging slider into the left-field corner. The Padres beat Edwin Díaz. Man. Mike Zunino, Dee, and Mitch Haniger went down in order, and I shrugged.

It was getting dark out tonight even before first pitch. It was cool enough that I wore a jacket while walking to the store tonight. Fall is just around the corner, and with it another bout of Mariner apathy sets in. Oakland winning tonight (but seriously why even pay attention there at this point) set them to 8.5 games back. Playoff odds have dipped under one percent. Though of course there are still eighteen more games left, individual players to watch - maybe, hopefully one last Maple Grove? - it’s been harder and harder to muster motivation to watch with much vested interest.

with apologies to Jeff Sullivan

Welcome to the Tropic of Cairo, folks. Sometimes it isn’t so bad here.