There was a moment pretty early in yesterday’s game when I thought “well, I’m glad I’m writing the recap tomorrow and not today.” Yet here we are.
The score today was better than the score yesterday. Our pitching gave up fewer runs and our offense scored more runs. Instead of losing by 13 runs we lost by 4. Those are tangible things that were better about today’s game. For other reasons I think this game was worse, though, and I’ll get to that after I get through this pesky game part.
The game part won’t take long - today’s game happened in two innings, save for Mitch Moreland and Omar Narvaez each sending one text to their respective teams’ group texts saying “we still hanging out?” but nobody texted back.
The Mariners started the game out like they didn’t like their loss yesterday and had decided to try winning today. After a leadoff strikeout from Mitch Haniger, J.P. Crawford singled to center and scored on a two-out double by Daniel Vogelbach. Domingo Santana thought Vogelbach’s decision to hit a double was good and followed with one of his own, scoring Vogelbach. Jay Bruce thought, “why, it’s good that each of you hit half a home run, but I think I’ll do a whole one,” so he hit a home run and Felix hugged everyone in the dugout, happy to have four runs before he’d thrown a pitch.
Felix pitched a clean bottom half of the first. Mitch Moreland started the bottom of the 2nd off with a home run, but none of his friends texted him back even though these were plans they’d made a while ago, so they all just called it an inning at that. Not before Felix recorded his 2,500th career strikeout against Michael Chavis, though.
But it would all go downhill from there.
Moreland’s friends felt bad for bailing on him so they all had a big party in the 3rd inning. With one out, Felix gave up a walk, four straight singles, and another walk and he left the game with the bases loaded. The usually-reliable Roenis Elias could tell the Red Sox were in the middle of a party so he let them finish, giving up a single and a home run to empty the bases before recording the final two outs of the inning, with Shed Long, in his debut, making a nice grab to finally get the third out.
The score, which had been 4-1 at the beginning of the inning, was now 9-4. Even in the next inning Elias was thinking about letting the party continue, walking two batters but not allowing any more runs.
Connor Sadzeck, Cory Gearrin, Zac Rosscup and Brandon Brennan would pitch the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings respectively, and each would allow at least one base runner but the Red Sox were done scoring runs.
The Mariners’ only other base runners would reach on a fielding error (Edwin Encarnacion in the 3rd inning) and two walks (Shed Long and Mitch Haniger, both in the 7th inning). In every other inning they would send three up and receive three right back, save for the 9th inning when Narvaez tried to get everyone together but the rest of the team was unresponsive, not even a “sorry Denise, I’m not going to make it after all” from Ryon Healy, who had been talking all week about how pumped he was to hang out.
This wasn’t a good game and yesterday wasn’t a good game. And it’s not like it’s a competition to be the worst of the two games or anything, but yesterday’s horrible loss didn’t seem as significant as this one because the stakes were lower. It would have been great if Swanson had come up to fill in for the injured Wade LeBlanc and had knocked our Sox off. But he didn’t do that and we weren’t really expecting him to. Swanson getting roughed up yesterday wasn’t good but it wasn’t very significant. Today Felix was bad once again. I think we’ve all been hoping he would pull through this year and, while not necessarily return to his Cy-Young form, be a good MLB starting pitcher for a while longer. With each bad game that seems less and less likely. I just don’t think it’s going to happen and it’s only going to get more painful to watch.
I’m wrong a lot. Let’s hope I’m wrong.