Who would have thought .500 baseball would feel this good? Though it played out almost entirely opposite of how I hoped/believed it would, your Seattle Mariners did indeed manage to wrest half the available victories from their opponents this week. It felt good to have them back at home, and clearly the players themselves felt good about it given the substantially better baseball they demonstrated (Wednesdays daytime clunker notwithstanding). The flip side of this week’s performance, though, is that the Mariners played a number of games they came very close to winning. Storm clouds of not-quite-good-enough records past obscured some of the quasi-get-right joy. If, by some miracle, Seattle is in playoff contention down the stretch of this season, this week’s losses are some of the ones we’re going to look back at and curse.
On a non-Mariners note, a bit of housekeeping. Although I’m not sure if you can call this housekeeping, since the SUS readership is so slim - maybe more of a cursory rinsing or half-hearted-hand-sweeping-crumbs-off-the-counter-ing. Regardless of the term, I will be gone the next two weeks but FEAR NOT for I leave you in the capable hands of a LLWTBNL. Relatedly, if you have any kernels of wisdom about Iceland, Portugal or Provence, I’m all ears!
Record for the week:
Should’ve been at least 4-2, but I digress.
That 6-0 shutout of the Astros on Saturday was extremely satisfying, and also did a lot of heavy lifting for Seattle’s run differential this week.
Player of the week:
Ty France was characteristically excellent, and Julio Rodríguez mashed his first dinger at home, but this week’s glory goes to the return of the prodigal ROY: Kyle Lewis. For most of the off-season and well into this season it felt safest to simply assume we wouldn’t see Lewis in a Mariners uniform again. To have him not only in uniform and on the field, but clobbering home runs feels like the best kind of gift.
Play of the week:
Kyle Lewis gave us plenty of highlights this week, but a first home run back almost a year to the day since his last MLB game takes the cake. Particularly a 441 foot tank off of his good buddy Justin Verlander.
Kyle Lewis - Seattle Mariners (1) pic.twitter.com/fSUrPHFLw9— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 28, 2022
At-bat of the week:
I love that Julio jumped on the first pitch he saw from Verlander. No waiting around, no hesitation. Just this pure, sweet bliss.
(This seems like a lot of highlights from Friday’s game, and maybe it is, but Friday was also one of the most fun games the Mariners have played all season. I want to loll around in that game until my fingers and toes are pruny.)
Julio Rodríguez takes Justin Verlander deep! pic.twitter.com/ipFTNTHHG3— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 28, 2022
Nemesis of the week:
Despite facing off against some fearsome nemeses both past and present, the greatest enemy of the Mariners this week was themselves. They dropped the series against the A’s and couldn’t quite squeeze out a sweep of the Astros, all on games that would have been squarely in their grasp had they not decided to simply stop scoring runs.
Favorite Mariners content:
Tori and Nelly’s Dad channeled Kyle Lewis and made his own triumphant return this week with his inaugural 2022 recap. Buried on off-days, Becca Weinberg did a spectacular deep dive into the unusual background of the PitchCom creators, Kate Preusser manufactured some fun early in the week with a rumination on what Seattle players might do in the city on their off-days and John Trupin churned out feel-good content like the Grand Coulee.
Outside of our little corner of the internet, Larry Stone did something rather groundbreaking in the world of sports journalism: He admitted he has (thus far) been wrong.
It’s one thing for me to be wrong. The architects of the team are charged with augmenting the roster so that such deficiencies can be overcome. But the lack of roster depth, as well as organizational depth at the upper levels of the minor leagues, has been exposed this year.
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
You know what’s an extremely underrated evening beverage for the under-65 set? Decaf coffee. I don’t love drinking alcohol at home, but do enjoy cradling something in my hands while settled on the couch after work (and after drinking my 100+ ounces of water, Mom). Tea is obviously an excellent choice, but decaf coffee is a dark horse drink. Brew a small pot, splay out lavishly in the empty living room and sip while you listen to Mike Blowers grumble sneakily clever observations.
Bold prediction for next week:
I think the Mariners sweep. The Orioles? The Rangers? Fans off their feet with some beautiful baseballing? Who’s to say.
And how did I fare last week?
The Mariners win more than one baseball game. Julio steals five bases. TT dingers. Sam Haggerty walks it off on Wednesday. Marco throws a complete game. We see Kyle Lewis in the dugout at T-Mobile Park.
A 3-3 record, just like the M’s. Not too shabby, Last Week Isabelle.
A somewhat baffling Memorial Day off-day gave the Mariners a chance to acclimate to east coast time, and today they’ll begin a three-game series against the chaotic Baltimore Orioles. Cellar dwellers in the AL East, no one would say the O’s have played good baseball this season, but they’ve certainly been entertaining - and, were they in any other division they’d be squarely middle of the standings. After gallivanting around Camden Yards, Seattle hops over to Texas for three against Chris Young’s Rangers. Depending on the A’s shenanigans, this series could present a good opportunity for the M’s to move up in the divisional standings. What’s the longest word you can think of using only “M,” “A,” and “O”?
This week in Mariners history:
May 25, 1989: The Seattle Mariners acquire Brian Holman, Gene Harris and Randy Johnson to the Montreal Expos for Mark Langston.