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Mariners beat Angels, 7-6, in refreshing return to normalcy

UGH I AM BUSY this feels great

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
there’s a lot going on here
Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

I’ve told myself I’m not going to take a single game off. There are only sixty; how hard can that be? I’m not going anywhere, not seeing anyone; Zoom crafting sessions have lost their charm, Jackbox games have become repetitive. Free time is one long rainy day recess.

But a slight delay in recording tonight’s podcast caused me to miss the first few innings, beginning with a 1-2-3- inning from Marco Gonzales to open the game followed by a similarly quiet offensive inning from the Mariners, despite a walk and stolen base from J.P. Crawford, who is currently running a walk rate of 17% vs. his K% of 13%, which is absolutely delightful for your leadoff hitter. Go ahead and pre-order those Rebelution tickets at the Gorge, JP, you deserve it. Marco’s second inning would be as similarly efficient as the first, partially thanks to this nifty play from Shed:

Unfortunately, the Mariners were also set down without damage, despite a walk from Vogelbach and Albert Pujols demonstrating what it’s like when Evan White isn’t your first baseman. The Angels went ahead in the third when Marco missed his spot on a cutter and grooved a middle-middle pitch to Max Stassi, of all things, for an easy home run.

The Mariners would have Marco’s back in the bottom of the third, though. J.P. Crawford dunked in a single and made Mike trout chew some T-Mobile cud in the process:

Then Dylan Moore dropped a shallow pop fly in front of Trout, who was playing way back because he respects Dylan Moore’s power. Yeah, you heard me. Moore, for his part, celebrated by paying homage to his god Hophthathifathitat, the Jackrabbit, and I’m beginning to refine my theory regarding from where he draws his dark powers:

After Kyle Lewis flew out, moving JP to third, the Angels elected to go for a pitching change, capping Julio Tehran’s night at 52 pitches, much to his dismay. He had a point, as Tehran was replaced by Ryan Buchter for some sweet lefty-on-lefty action that made Kyle Seager say, excuse me, I don’t go in for any of that funny business:

That was Kyle Seager’s 200th home run! Good job, Kyle. That’s so incredible and impressive, and with all superhuman feats, all we can do is check in with the people who live with our heroes for some sense of perspective:

Yes, Julie, keep him humble. And maybe see if you can talk him back into the scruff while you’re at it.

The game would hold in that pattern, with the Mariners up 3-1, until Dylan Moore doubled in the fifth, barely missing an opposite-field home run. Moore was later driven in by Kyle Lewis, who continues to take whatever pitchers give him, putting the Mariners up 4-1.

The Angels offense would be quiet until the sixth, when the perpetually annoying David Fletcher and Mike Trout went back-to-back off Gonzales, pushing it to a one-run ballgame. The Mariners rallied, however, pouncing on new reliever Noe Ramirez in the 7th with back-to-back singles from The Kyles, who both scored on a double off the bat of Austin Nola. Mike Mayers came in to replace Ramirez but Evan White was ready, jumping on a slider in the middle of the plate to score Nola:

In the eighth, Taylor Williams, trying to hold things down, gave up a three-run home run to Mike Trout, again bringing the Angels within a run, but Carl Edwards closed things out in the ninth, earning his first save as a member of the Mariners.

Tonight I was a little cranky about recapping, something that hasn’t happened since last year, something I now recognize as a luxury. What a luxury it is to complain, because complaining means you know there is something better out there, something you deserve. Complaining means there is something left to complain about, and as frustrating as I often find it that the best player in several generations plays in our division, I am so happy to have him to complain about. UGH MIKE TROUT. Never have I felt more normal in 2020.