Tonight the Mariners played the Astros, and not to upset you with bad news, they lost. It was a sleepy 2-1 affair, where the Mariners didn’t have their first hit until the fourth inning, so it was at least a different kind of loss from last night’s blowout. Here’s the box score if you want to see exactly how things broke down. But a loss is still a loss, and at times the Mariners offense looked about as inspired as my collection of houseplants, so voila: The 2020 Mariners tonight as my collection of houseplants.
Nick Margevicius - Dracena marginata
Nicky Marge was pretty great tonight, making a start in place of the injured Kendall Graveman. He threw a ton of strikes, mixed his pitches well, and got 11 ground ball outs, while lasting through six innings and giving up just two runs—one on a mistake pitch home run to Yuli Gurriel, and one in the second when the Astros shifted their approach by attacking Marge early in counts, leading him to have to pitch his way out of some trouble, which he did, only allowing one run after starting the inning with runners on second and third with no outs. We love to see some damage control, especially after yesterday.
This dracena marginata is a plant I rescued from a big box store, which I imagine to be the equivalent of the Padres’ pitching development. It is flourishing in its new home, much like Nicky Marge(inata).
J.P. Crawford - Gardenia
This is Celine the Gardenia. She is both beautiful and dramatic, although a little bit of a diva and demands much attention to look her best. Much like JP in Philadelphia vs. in Seattle, setting is everything for gardenias—they like to bask in a glow but not too bright a spotlight, and they do better when paired up with other plants that let them shine, just like JP + Evan White in the field:
there might be things more beautiful than the pairing of J.P. Crawford's range + Evan White's ability to pick anything but if there are I don't know about them pic.twitter.com/jDxsvLmqWC— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 16, 2020
J.P. didn’t hit tonight but he made up for a somewhat sloppy game defensively last night with a couple highlight reel plays today:
JP's favorite Fleetwood Mac song? EVERYWHERE pic.twitter.com/nlGxpzEgNl— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 16, 2020
Evan White - baby Pilea plant
This is a baby pilea plant—also called the UFO plant, appropriate for a righty-hitting left-handed unicorn like E-White—that was recently separated from its mother. It is doing its best, but it’s tough for a little baby plant out in the world. This little terra cotta pot isn’t doing it any favors either, as TC leaches water away quickly, but it’s the only very tiny pot I have so, like Evan White not getting Triple-A reps, we’ve all gotta make the best of it. Recently it shot up this encouraging new little very green leaf, and tonight Evan White did this:
After Jon Heyman took yesterday to publicly blow up White on his Twitter, because Heyman never tires of taking shots at the Mariners, this felt extra-sweet. Grow, little UFO plant, grow.
Austin Nola - Goldfish plant
This goldfish plant lives in an extra-hot window and sits front and center, diffusing light so other plants behind it don’t get sunburned. It can take all kinds of heat and doesn’t get burned, tolerates it when I forget to water it regularly, and still puts out these adorable little goldfish-shaped flowers that delight me every time I see them. Austin Nola, pressed into everyday catcher service this year, takes a licking for his pitchers behind the plate every night, and still manages to steal some strikes with plus framing. And he hits! He is every bit as delightful as one of these little orange flowers.
Kyle Seager - Heart-leaf philodendron
If you’re just starting out with houseplants, the heart-leaf philodendron is a great place to start. It’s basically unkillable, and will tolerate both forgetful plant parents and non-ideal lighting situations. Flourishing under not-ideal conditions has been the hallmark of Kyle Seager’s career, the one Mariners prospect who Made It. It’s not a flashy plant, not an instagram darling, but it will grow and thrive no matter what and look nice on your bookcase. Other than Evan White and his home run, Kyle Seager had the only extra-base hit for the Mariners tonight. He’s slugging .513 on the season. Kyle Seager, you will always have my heart.
Daniel Vogelbach - Peacock Spikemoss
This peacock spikemoss looked beautiful for the first couple months I had it—lush and creeping with green and blue vibrant foliage, it was easily the most dramatic plant in my collection. However, over the spring and summer, things have steadily been headed downhill. The once-glossy foliage is dry and crispy, and any beautiful color has been leached out of it. I have tried all kinds of things to save it: I’ve moved it into various lighting situations, given it a special glass of water to drive up the humidity in the environment, and as a last-ditch effort, moved it into the bathroom to try to boost the humidity even further. Unfortunately nothing appears to be working and I fear things have progressed past the point of return. If this plant grounds another 3-0 pitch straight into the shift, I’m going to have to look into giving its pot away to something else.
Matt Magill - Pink waffle plant
Like Magill and his lip lettuce, this plant has kind of a goofy affect with its crinkle-edged leaves, but it’s a very solid little grower who adds interest and color and isn’t especially needy. In fact, this plant, like MM, is a pleasant surprise:
Like a plant finally in a good lighting spot, Magill has turned all those cool blues to red-hot reds. He pitched another perfectly capable inning tonight, striking out one and not walking anyone, which is the one blemish on his otherwise sterling 2020 stats, and unsurprisingly, is the Mariners’ best (healthy) reliever.
Tomorrow the Mariners’ anemic lineup will face another tough test with Lance McCullers on the mound as they try to avoid the sweep. I’ll be dosing my plants with some Superthrive tonight, maybe I can smuggle some down to Houston.