Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was never meant to be Lou Gehrig’s most enduring legacy. In a cruelly ironic twist of fate, Gehrig, who was known as the “Iron Horse” for his spectacular durability, is perhaps most closely associated with the disease that ultimately destroyed a body once capable of playing 2,130 consecutive baseball games. But the nature of remembrance eliminates individual authorship. We do not get to choose how we are remembered.
Just two games remain in the Mariners’ 2018 season, and I’m doing my damndest to appreciate each of these small baseball gifts, knowing full well that by mid-November I’ll find myself daydreaming about walking through the main concourse at Safeco Field, or pulling up highlights from a great win back in May. That being said, I can say, with almost complete certainty, that I will not remember, nor care to recall, this overlong, engorged-with-meaninglessness baseball game.
The Mariners scored seven in the second inning, thanks to four walks from Martin Perez, a fielding error from Nomar Mazara, and a little help from Nelson Cruz, Robinson Canó, and future-Sporcle-doom Cameron Maybin. Maybin then doubled in the third, Canó singled, and it was 9-0. The Rangers got to Wade LeBlanc in the fourth with back-to-back doubles by Adrian Beltré and Mazara, and a two-run home from Robinson Chirinos. Two more Rangers runs in the fifth opened up the opportunity for Edwin Díaz to tie the second-place MLB single season saves record, but an eighth inning double from Guillermo Heredia and a single from Super Maybin ended that dream.
The Mariners won this game by scoring 12 runs on 12 hits, with eight walks and 11 strikeouts. It was just as bizarre as the box score would have you believe, but not even my brain, fount of useless information that it is, could be bothered to tuck this game into the memory bank.
Somewhere within all that nonsense, Canó doubled for the 534th time in his major league career. He is now tied with Gehrig for 40th on the all-time doubles leaderboard.
This year, which started out with the kind of shiny hope our offseason selves couldn’t have even dreamt of, has aged into a pungent, sickening ooze. There were so many good moments, but time and failure have tinted them bittersweet; we formed those memories with posterity in mind - “this one-run triumph over the Astros bodes well for their possible postseason matchup!” - and now that overly-hopeful veneer has been scraped away. I wish that wasn’t the case, but we do not often get to choose how we remember.