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Mariners fail to avenge NBA Finals

America groans as the Mariners fall short

You’re out, bub Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Just two short months ago, the Toronto Raptors accomplished what no team from Canada ever had: they won the NBA Finals. That is to say: for the first time ever, an American team did not win the NBA Finals. Understandably, Americans everywhere were infuriated. Never mind the fact that just one player on the Raptors was actually Canadian (forward Chris Boucher, who did not play in the Finals). This was a clear affront from Canada to their neighbors to the south.

So what were Americans to do about it? The only thing they really could: try to beat up on the other major sports team (sorry, soccer and hockey fans) that represents Canada. For the most part, they’ve done a good job of it. The Blue Jays are having almost as bad a year as the Mariners. Even the Orioles have taken some measure of American revenge against these mediocre Canadians.

Tonight, the Mariners finally had their shot.

I did mention that the Blue Jays are having almost as bad a year as the Mariners, right? Not quite as bad.

Unfortunately, the Mariners made sure everyone knew tonight that they were having the worse year. They started Matt Wisler as the opener for Wade LeBlanc. Not exactly anybody’s idea of “setting the lineup up for success”. Then again, the Blue Jays were running out a person named Jacob Waguespack, who I am still not sure is real. Waguespack? There have to be a finite number of last names, right? And Waguespack is one of them? Ridiculous.

Real, imagined, human, or robot, Jacob Waguespack mowed through the Mariner lineup tonight. Tim Lopes did manage an early two-run single, but the Mariners failed to do much of anything else against the Waggy Boy in his five-plus innings of work.

For what it’s worth, Waguepack’s pitches did seem to be working well, though his command was a bit spotty. His fastball was topping out near 94 MPH while his changeup sat in the low 80’s. Whatever it was, he was inducing weak contact all the way through the sixth.

Meanwhile, Wade LeBlanc was inducing extremely strong contact with the Blue Jays’ bats. When former-Astro Derek Fisher hit a dinger off of Wade, you knew it might be that kind of game. When Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit the world’s most screaming line drive one inning later, you knew it was that kind of game.

Randal Grichuck immediately followed up that laser with one of his own, putting the Mariners in a 6-2 hole. It was a hole they never climbed out of. To his credit, LeBlanc settled down and managed to go seven innings, keeping the bullpen rested in advance of the projected bullpen day tomorrow.

If you were watching the rest of this game in search of moral victories, Wade’s endurance might have been the only one. Even the only other Mariner run came with an egregious TOOTBLAN courtesy of Mallex Smith.

So it was that, when it came to America’s revenge tour, the Mariners did not do their part. They’ll have five more chances against the Blue Jays this season, all of which will come in the next nine days. With tomorrow being a bullpen day and Sunday being Yusei Kikuchi’s start (and Kikuchi being the owner of the league’s worst qualified FIP), the Mariners may have to wait until next weekend to win one.

Of course, in anticipation of the annual Canadian take-over of T-Mobile Park, I will be staying far away. Unless you enjoy being mad and/or sad, I recommend doing the same. Wait, you’re voluntarily reading about the Mariners. Of course you enjoy being mad and/or sad.

See you at the ballpark next weekend!