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About Last Night: Daniel Vogelbach Hit a Grand Slam

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I choose joy. Or I try to.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The learned helplessness of a stretch of bad baseball reaches a point where you don’t know what to do, exactly, any more. The entire telos of the game is to win; other parameters on and off the field dictate the lanes we choose to stay in while seeking that end, but there isn’t too much point, metaphysically speaking, in watching a game with a truly preordained outcome. The Black Sox and Tim Donaghy didn’t just cheat, they broke the overall purpose of the game.

In play, out(s). Kyle Seager grounds into a double play, SS Marcus Semien to 2B Jed Lowrie to 1B Matt Olson. Nelson Cruz out at second base. 3 out.

The every-day nature of the MLB season inspires giddiness, when it all goes right, but despair, when it all goes wrong, by beating you over the head again and again and again with the same miserable result, lived a thousand different ways. It’s as bad as a head cold, when you’ve just forgotten what it feels like to be able to breathe through your nostrils. Like a corrupt referee or a player throwing a game, the game feels broken, like the Mariners shouldn’t even be on the field, because they’re frustrating the natural purpose of baseball: to have two teams each with a reasonable chance at winning. What does it even feel like to win any more? I don’t remember.

Ryon Healy strikes out swinging. 2 out.

At a certain point in a season like this, most fans have to check out to some degree. Apple-picking, the Seahawks, the Huskies, reading a new biography, something to remind us that there’s a lot here that is a lot more fun that losing baseball, that we don’t have to do this, and we can come back later and it will still be there, waiting for us, and we’ll have skipped a lot of frankly completely unnecessary misery. I don’t need to sit and watch preordained strikeouts and errors and surrendered ground-rule doubles, because the team does not need me, and I, ultimately, don’t need the team.

In play, run(s). 3B Alex Bregman homers (27) to left field. George Springer scores. Jose Altuve scores. 0 out.

He HOPPED

In play, run(s). PH Daniel Vogelbach hits a grand slam (4) to right center field. Kristopher Negron scores. Kyle Seager scores. Denard Span scores.