Despite several golden opportunities, the Seattle Mariners lost tonight’s game, throwing their chips down like so many limp ground balls, poor approaches, and pitches off the black. The Angels, not content to simply waste another magical season from a generational star, executed well enough to perhaps ruin Seattle’s magical playoff push. Anaheim did so riding a brilliant start from young lefty José Suarez like a a dolphin through the loam of Seattle’s lineup. It was a crushing, careless loss from the M’s who could and should have won, but missed the extra hit that has been there so many times this season.
Unlike every game of the Oakland series, Seattle struck first, with a Jarred Kelenic RBI double scoring Abraham Toro courtesy of a relay future escargot zoomed by from Juan Lagares and David Fletcher.
And then…. That was it. The two runs Anaheim eked across against Marco proved enough. The M’s were punished once again for running their light-hitting utility-man out in left field, as Dylan Moore sadly missed multiple opportunities at the plate and of course the soaring double that narrowly eluded his glove and scored both the Angels’ runs. Seattle spoiled a leadoff triple Luis Torrens, two base appearances from J.P. Crawford, and a ninth inning leadoff double that electrified the sellout crowd. It was pure disappointment, no other word for it, for a group of players still less than world beating, but good enough to be Angel-beating.
After 24 blissful hours of control, the Mariners are once again at the mercy of others. All that went right for them is Tampa Bay’s humbling of the Yankees, putting them within tieable distance if the Rays sweep and Seattle recovers for two. The Red Sox, meanwhile, must stumble against the Nationals at least once, and Toronto has fluttered right back upon the shoulder of these M’s.
A shame it is to have seen this crowd sent home disappointed, and yet, through a numbness overwhelming me as I walk home along Occidental Avenue, I feel the energy still. It was rich and chaotic all night long. The spirit was there, reassuring and reverberant: we are here and we are full of possibility, hope, and, yes, belief. Perhaps it still is in the cards this season but if tonight is the stamp that extinguishes Seattle’s flame for 2021, it will not be for long. Cold comfort, but it is what remains when the fire has burnt low.