I’ve watched enough Mariners games that my brain has developed a subconscious heuristic for creating expectations of each game.
To develop the expectation, it first asks: who are the Mariners playing?
Is it the Angels? Mike Trout will do a bunch of stuff, Albert Pujols will play like he’s still good, Kole Calhoun will do something to piss everyone off, but the Mariners might still end up winning, because the Angels are almost as embarrassing as the Mariners.
Is it the White Sox? The Mariners will be violently eviscerated. José Abreu or Tim Anderson will hit a grand slam, and at least one player you’ve never heard of will hit a home run.
Is it the Rangers? Doesn’t matter who wins, both teams will score at least six runs.
Is it the A’s? The game will be boring as hell. It’ll be a blowout, or it’ll be a 2-1 snoozer, and either way, it’ll make you question whether you actually like baseball.
Tonight it was the A’s. The game was boring as hell. It was a blowout, and it made me question whether I actually like baseball.
Second - who is starting for the Mariners?
Is it literally any starter for the 2019 Mariners? They will probably get blasted to hell, and if they don’t, the bullpen will probably take whatever tenuous lead they’ve been given and snap it like a twig.
Tonight, it was not a starter for the 2019 Mariners. It was a member of aforementioned bullpen. To be specific, it was Gerson Bautista. Gerson Bautista opened for Wade LeBlanc.
If Wade LeBlanc were a musician, he would be approximately ZooTunes caliber. You’re down to go and see him, but the attraction lies mostly in the sunshine and the venue. He isn’t quite a placeholder, but he also did not say “no” to the Zoo people when they asked him whether he’d be willing to play at ZooTunes.
However, if Wade LeBlanc is milquetoast and is still playing hits from the 1970’s to which many of us may have been conceived, Gerson Bautista opened for him. If Gerson were a musician, he would be the guy who headlined Hempfest in 2014, and it went pretty well, but mostly because nobody was capable of paying attention to the actual music. A banshee playing a chalkboard xylophone would have been at least medium-ly received. So for Gerson to open for Wade LeBlanc at ZooTunes was somewhat insulting to Wade, but he also didn’t have a whole lot of leverage, so he kinda just had to grin and bear it.
Here, indeed, went nothing. Gerson Bautista pitched the first inning and instantly halved the Mariners chances of winning, giving up three runs. He bombed, and the patrons of ZooTunes threw, I don’t know, antelopes at him.
With Gerson summarily booed off the stage, out came Wade. Maybe he was shaken at his big show already having been ruined, but he didn’t fare much better. His voice quavered as he tried to remember the words to songs he’s been performing for twenty years. The first mistake completely shot his confidence, and the ZooTunes audience switched to throwing live raccoons. They probably give those out at the zoo, right?
Meanwhile, each Mariner hitter was fulfilling the “boring as shit” Oakland A’s prophecy, because it is their inescapable destiny to play teal-versus-green snoozers ad nauseam. It was their destiny from the moment they became Mariners. The most interesting thing that happened in the first few innings was Kyle Seager getting wrung up on a low would-be ball four and arguing about it. Scott Servais came out to save Kyle, kneeled in front of the umpire to show him that the ball was actually six inches above the ground, you asshole, and got tossed.
So it was that the Mariners lost. The final score, as is usually the case with Mariners-A’s games, was a-lot-to-a-little.
The only somewhat redeeming part of the game was J.P. Crawford. J.P. has a delightful defensive play in the bottom of the fifth, diving to his left to snag a ground ball and having the awareness to throw it to the nearby Dylan Moore, who was able to relay it the first for the out. J.P. also had the only actual Mariners RBI. No, Mac Williamson’s RBI groundout did not count as an actual RBI, no matter what the scorebook may say.
Tough game, but it was the A’s, so what did you expect?
We’re almost halfway through the season. So there’s that.