When I was 10, my family took a summer trip to Europe. It was a big one - five countries in a handful of weeks, I think. Before we left, I was talking to my dad about all the important things we were going to see, and how I wanted to make extra sure I wouldn’t forget any of it. He suggested that (when appropriate and allowed) I touch some element of a place or thing I wanted to remember and then touch the back of my neck, and that that way I would always carry a little bit of it with me. I followed his advice on that trip, grazing my hand over the stone wall of a castle in Loch Lomond, ghosting my fingers over the immense hanging branches of a willow tree in Sweden, surreptitiously tapping my fingertips against the wall next to one of Claude Monet’s water lilies, and so many more. It’s a practice I follow to this day, and it has a way of grounding me in the moment, solidifying the memory and tucking it into one of the more prominent storage boxes of my mind.
I want to do that with this week of Mariners baseball, to save the floating, gleeful feeling that this stretch of games lent to us all. Weeks like this are a big part of why I wanted to start SUS in the first place, as a means of preserving the highs and an excuse to live within those good memories for a little bit longer. Fans can love their team through the highs and the lows, but there’s no denying that it can be difficult to sustain levels of enthusiasm when things seem to constantly trundle south. Stretches like this help to fortify that love, to strengthen it for that next, inevitable downturn, and I hope you enjoyed this week of Mariners baseball even half as much as I did.
Record for the week:
The Monday off-day and entirely preventable postponed game in Lesser Washington on Tuesday make for a funky week, but that zero is the important thing here. No losses. Not a one. Just a pure, clear week of baseball-y goodness.
Since June, the Mariners have allowed more than five runs just five times. The last time they gave up more than six runs was June 27.
Player of the week:
We’re going to crown surprise second-time Mariner Carlos Santana with this most vaunted honor this week. The evidence speaks for itself.
Play of the week:
Good lord, Julio
At-bat of the week:
There are so many to choose from, but I’ve got to go with Eugenio Suárez’s 11th inning at-bat on Friday...
Nemesis of the week:
With all due respect to Blue Jays fans, many of whom I’m sure are lovely on literally any other weekend, it’s them this week. I don’t begrudge them their travel, but to see and hear your home stadium overrun with visiting fans is a uniquely unpleasant experience. It’s frustrating, of course, but it also sparks an embarrassing shame in the way they so easily overpower the home team fans. What does it say about our community that we’ve allowed these intruders to take over?
Favorite Mariners content:
I teased it quietly last week, but Lookout Landing is officially a credentialed outlet for your Seattle Mariners. We sent Grant Bronsdon to cover Friday’s game, not knowing he would be trapped in T-Mobile for upwards of eight hours, and his recap was chock-full of great firsthand quotes. Zach Gottschalk represented the site for Saturday’s pitching duel, and his About Last Night on Robbie Ray’s Rambo-style inning was excellent. Eric Sanford has the often-thankless task of creating FanPost Friday questions each week, and I particularly loved last Friday’s query about All-Star teams and the robust conversations in the comments.
Outside of LL, I personally found a tremendous amount of joy in watching the Kyle Lewis home run clips roll in from his rehab stint in Tacoma. Four dingers over four days? That’ll do, K-Lew. That’ll do.
Kyle Lewis has homered in 4 straight rehab games:— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) July 13, 2022
105 mph, 434 feet. pic.twitter.com/Hl7kKECjWX
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
It is a right of passage, as a baseball fan, to surreptitiously track an important game in the midst of a wedding. Obviously this can be tacky and gauche, so it must be done sparingly - and thoughtfully. Last Saturday I had the privilege of celebrating the marriage of two exceptionally Good humans - who just so happen to be Mariners fans (though that shouldn’t come as a surprise, since I met the bride while we both were working at the Hall). Fortuitously, their ceremony and reception were an afternoon-to-evening affair, so I only checked once as things wound down - just to see if I should bother tuning in on my way home. Lo and behold, it was certainly worth it. So we drove through Oregon wine country in the pinkish orange dusk, windows down, Rick Rizzs’ voice on the radio, and I ate a bag of Cheetos and they were perfect.
Bold prediction for next week:
This week, I think...
breathe in, breathe out
... I think the Mariners reach .500.
Just call me Istradamus (don’t do that, that’s a terrible name). I think this week the M’s will do enough to maintain a .500 record, but I’m a little weary of how an unexpected two-day off-day and subsequently crammed schedule will impact them (I was always an overly-cautious child). I’d love to see at least one Ty France ASG revenge dinger.
Frustratingly, the Mariners will be cramming two games into a getaway day today before flying to Texas for a four game series. Doubleheader and a flight doesn’t feel great, but at least the All-Star break starts on Monday. I’ve been dabbling more in the NL East this year (highly recommend if you love nonsense and/or chaos), and am particularly excited for this mini-series and any potential Nelson Cruz and/or Juan Soto x Julio content.
This week in Mariners history:
12 years ago this week, the M’s took a gamble on fueling the Rangers’ playoff chances that season and their own in the future with a trade that sent Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe and cash to Texas for Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matthew Lawson. At least we got this out of the deal: