I’ve confessed this before in these electronic pages, but I don’t really watch movies. It’s not that I dislike movies—they’re fine, mostly, the ones that I have seen—but the big franchises are just so much to keep up with. How many Avengers movies are there? I feel like there could be five, or there could be fifty. I’m not even sure whose universe is whose. Are Spider-Man and Thanos friends? Where does the raccoon fit into all this? Is there a werewolf? Is this a Twilight tie-in? It’s just a lot, if you haven’t ever set foot there. Same thing with Star Wars. And Game of Thrones isn’t a movie franchise (yet), but it’s a similar time investment. It’s all just so overwhelming! Where does one find the time? In this economy??
The thing is, of course, that between late February and October, most of my screen time is consumed with baseball: either watching the major leagues or minor leagues, or staring at a computer screen while writing about baseball, or listening to a minor-league game over the radio, and often doing some combination of the three together. This leaves not a lot of time to invest in learning all about whatever cultural phenomenon is currently owning the zeitgeist, although it does lead me to try to get strangers at bars interested in Ljay Newsome’s K/9 this season. Because I am history’s second-greatest monster, none of this will stop me from avoiding writing about this truly horrible, terrible Mariners game by instead writing about Marvel movies, none of which, and I cannot stress this enough, I have seen. (Still, if you’re super spoiler-averse, you might want to check out here, in which case, let me summarize the game for you: the Mariners committed more errors than they scored runs. They did not win the baseball game today.)
Today Erik Swanson got the start, and his innings pattern went: bad-good-bad-good. The Internet tells me that this mirrors the path of the Marvel movies between 2013 and 2016. However, where 2017 gifted the world Thor: Ragnarok, which I have not seen but 1) have heard people liked; and 2) have Google image searched and appears to feature a pretty killer headpiece (I love a good headpiece!), the fifth inning of today’s game is where the game, already pretty out of hand, turned into a laugher.
Can we instead talk about this headpiece and where I can buy it, though? Because not only would I enjoy wearing it and channeling its power when having to recap a game like this, but also I could use a dramatic chandelier (YES my design aesthetic is industrial hunting lodge, why do you ask).
Swanson, coming off two respectable outings, struggled today against a Rangers club that was anxious to attack him in the zone. Some poor batted ball luck in the first put him behind 1-0, but Swanson was also overthrowing his fastball. When he did come onto the plate, the Rangers punished the ball, at one time in the third rifling off five straight hits. Swanson missed his spot in that inning several times, quite badly, including grooving a slider right in the middle of the plate TWICE for home runs to Elvis Andrus, which, okay, and Hunter Pence, which, no. The third inning was bad, but it wasn’t the worst on the day. The Internet tells me this bad-but-not-the-worst is akin to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I, again, have not seen, but image searched and found this picture of, which is, as the kids say, a MOOD:
I have no idea what’s going on here, but I feel like Thor walked into a Sephora right before this scene and was told “we have something that’s absolutely going to make your eyes pop!” Also, developing your shoulder muscles to the point of obscuring your neck is quite a lewk, like a musclebound version of an Elizabethan ruff. Weird but I don’t hate it, unlike this inning.
Unfortunately, things would get worse from the third, leading into the aforementioned painful fifth inning. The inning started with Tim Beckham committing an error on a routine ground ball, continued with two straight hits, and then Domingo Santana dropped an easy sacrifice fly. Maybe like hitting, bad fielding is catching; the Mariners would make two more errors before the end of the game, one semi-defensible boot by Dee, and one indefensible dropped fly ball by Mallex. It was a Spring Training error from someone who didn’t have a Spring Training, but as the calendar prepares to flip to May, it’s getting pretty late for that excuse. Anyway, the Mariners had more errors in that inning than they put runs on the board this game, and that’s just...not a winning formula.
...Unlike these guys! They’re so cute! If I were to watch a Marvel movie, could I just start here without needing to know anything else? Here is where I would like to shoehorn in a Mariners player who was good on the day, but unfortunately, they were all pretty bad. Vogey and Dee each had two hits, and Vogelbach worked a walk, so I guess you could make this them. Vogelbach did get thrown out at third when the new backstop proved to have been manufactured by the Texas Brick Company, but he also took an extra base on a wild pitch, prompting this reaction from Rougned Odor:
Everyone loves Vogey pic.twitter.com/URAYCY3Vwg— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 28, 2019
From here on, the game went from “boring and bad” to “incredibly boring and bad.” I’m not even sure there is a Marvel Universe analog for it, because Marvel movies seem to be mostly successful, even the less-good ones, and this game was like, Mars Needs Moms levels of badness. I will say the one Marvel movie I’ve seen bits and pieces of, and maybe the reason I haven’t felt inspired to go back to the franchise, is The Incredible Hulk, which was on in the background while I was working on a sewing project one weekend on ABC Family or whatever that cable channel is that just re-runs the same movie back to back all weekend? Anyway from what I could gather it was like the movie speed Speed but with a big green guy and the whole movie’s central premise could have been solved with some essential oils and Enya music. Which, come to think of it, is also a way to cope with the Mariners’ back-to-back shellacking at the hands of the Rangers which reduced their carefully-built plus run differential into dust (I’m told that dust has something to do with the Avengers, I can only assume the plot of one of the movies centers around the aeolian processes of the prairie states in the 1930s). The Mariners get a day off tomorrow to think about what they’ve done, and I get a day off to maybe watch one of these movies and see what all the hype is about.