10/2/21 - 9:00am
Mariners fans woke to a stagnant fog this morning, both in the atmosphere and in their brains.
Walking through neighborhoods Friday evening, some uninformed residents may have heard expletives escaping through windows or screen doors, followed by groans and sighs. Friends getting coffee or taking a stroll discussed the previous evening’s events, trying to rationalize what happened - or what didn’t happen that should have. It’s logical to presume that even the birds gathered on a wire stretching over I5 this morning were chirping about last night’s events, having just heard the news from their seagulls friends who patrol T-Mobile Park until the last pitch signals their permission to swoop in on scraps. The one bird resting alone away from the flock was still too upset to talk about it.
Friday’s game started off in the Mariners favor as they took an early 1-0 lead with the help of young Kelenic who took Suarez opposite field for an RBI double - one of the few Mariners who adjusted to the lefty’s strategy while others struggled against breaking balls dropped on the outside edge of the plate all night long. A worrisome top of the third from Marco led to a no-out, two-run double from Walsh. Already nearing sixty pitches with an inability to consistently locate, the Angels had the opportunity to cash in for more runs. But three outs came quickly and a tourniquet was applied to stop any more red from running around the bases. It would be the only two runs the Angels would score. Quickly recovering from his funk in the third, Marco cruised through the next few innings and completed the sixth . The Angels weren’t the only ones with a vanishing offense however. After Kelenic’s RBI, Seattle bats took a sedative. Zeros posted inning after inning made every at bat feel like do-or-die towards the end of the game.
The bullpen kept the Mariners in the game, as a deadly Sadler shut down the 7th without question, followed by Sewald who struck out Ohtani to end the 8th. Sewald’s fist clenching yell was barely drowned out by the hollering of the crowd after such a massive out. But the bats couldn’t hold up their end of the deal. A couple shots of adrenaline from a leadoff triple by Torrens in the 7th and a leadoff double from Seager in the 9th put the crowd into a frenzy once again, but without any attempts to move runners over and a slew of the most unproductive outs the Ms went down quietly.
The inability of Seattle to score at least one run to tie the game with leadoff runners in scoring position classified this game as a soul-crushing, mind-boggling contest. One that put the fate of the Mariners in the palms of the Yankees and Red Sox. Sometimes those 2-1 losses feel so much worse than a blowout. Given the urgency of this game, that feeling was put on another plane. Another day, another game on the horizon however. Only a restless night of sleep will tell if those tired bats will wake up with renewed energy to keep the Mariners alive.