When I was a little kid, my preschool teacher had a slogan. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
It’s been about the little things this year. In case you’re new to the Mariners or something, you can’t go into a game with delusions of grandeur. There’s no Clayton Kershaw-level threat to throw a complete game shutout, nor a Mike Trout that threatens to redefine “home run” on every pitch. No, we get what we get, and we either throw a fit or sift through the silt of each game to find something worth focusing on.
That tonight, too, was going to be about the little things became extremely clear within the first five minutes. That tonight would be a long night was first suggested when Austin Nola set up for Justin Dunn to bury a slider here.
Justin Dunn instead floated the slider here.
Against Mike Trout, that’s a one-run mistake. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Three batters later, with a man on first, Nola told Dunn to throw his curveball down.
I think this is what industry experts call a “hanging curveball”.
Two mistakes, three runs, and with the way this Mariners team is equipped, we were left to focus on the little things. You know, other than Andrew Heaney eviscerating the Mariner lineup the first two times through.
The first good thing came in the top of the sixth, when 23-year-old Joey Gerber made his Major League debut. Gerber managed to retire the side in order on what must have been a very cool night for him. Albert Pujols isn’t exactly the Optimus Prime he was twelve years ago, but I’m pretty sure if I made my Major League debut against Albert Pujols I would involuntarily excrete something.
Just a half-frame later, the Mariners scored a run on an Austin Nola triple. At least, it was technically a triple. It probably wouldn’t have been a triple if not for an ill-advised dive by Angels left fielder Brian Goodwin. You can go look up the play yourself, but here is a photo of Brian Goodwin realizing that his dive is ill-advised.
Right after that, Kyle Lewis demonstrated his very good jumping-straight-up skills when he robbed Jason Castro of a dinger. I snark, and it was a legitimately good play, but home run robberies like this don’t exactly feel like web gems.
The bottom of the seventh saw Dylan Moore crack a dinger down the left field line. Per Baseball Savant, Moore is in the 99th percentile of the league in average exit velocity, so do with that knowledge what you will.
In the eighth, Kyle Lewis hit a double to begin his just-broken hitting streak anew, and also solidify today as the first game this season in which he did not strike out, which is encouraging. Austin Nola drove him in on a blooper to left, causing Angels reliever Félix Peña to get mad, which is always fun.
All of this, of course, was for naught. The Mariners were summarily retired in the ninth, and were defeated by the final score of 5-3. Justin Dunn and Erik Swanson looked Not Good today, but Joey Gerber’s MLB debut was fun, and Kyle Lewis not striking out was also fun. Angels players failing in funny ways was fun.
If you’ve liked the Mariners for a while, you find ways to watch games that don’t involve being married to the outcome. Give me Félix Peña screaming at a cloud about how a bloop single dropped in, and I’m good. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit, I guess.