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Decidedly imperfect Mariners triumph over Angels, remain in sole position of first Wild Card slot

If an offense waits until the last minute to act and still pulls of a W, was it still an annoying game?

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels
All these stadiums are yours for the taking, Julio
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

After spending more hours than I’d care to admit watching the Seattle Mariners play baseball in other cities, I can say with complete certainty that Angel Stadium is my least favorite place to watch the M’s play. It appears gaudy, plasticky and gimmicky, jettisoned into the middle of mediocre suburbia and surrounded by its own gratuitously expansive parking lots. And despite being the fourth-oldest ballpark in MLB, it lacks any rich history or sense of gravitas. It wasn’t even the filming location for the seminal classic Angels in the Outfield, because it was too busy hosting the Los Angeles Rams who were in the midst of a 5-11 season - including losing an historic 10 games by double-digits. Most recently, Angels Stadium was in the news after the City of Anaheim’s attempt to sell the ballpark and land to owner Arte Moreno was thwarted by none other than the FBI.

There’s some projection to this decision, I’m sure, given how Angel Stadium is home to the decidedly un-angelic Halos. And, as a former Bay Area resident, I have a not-quite-soft spot for the Oakland Coliseum, which does not try to be anything except a poorly-maintained multipurpose room on steroids and is likely close in the running for worst stadium in the American League. But at the end of the day I always come back to the fact that any Mariners game played in Anaheim will always just seem a little less interesting, a bit more like a slog to the finish.

And tonight’s game, despite its seemingly-impressive 8-2 score, was no different. There was an attempt at a perfecto, but we needn’t dwell on that. Robbie Ray did his #2 ace thing and struck out 10 over six innings for yet another quality start, despite the fact he seemingly ran over Luis Rengifo’s cat on his way to the stadium. The offense flopped around like a grouper pulled up onto the deck of a boat for most of the game, but seemingly awoke in the ninth and remembered they were playing the team that had tried to literally beat them up a few months ago.

Julio makes this look so easy.

The odd throuple triumvirate of Andrés Muñoz, Matt Festa and Erik Swanson allowed a single hit over three scoreless innings of work, M’s fans in attendance roared their approval and everybody danced.

After a tidy three hours and four minutes, the Mariners flee Angel Stadium (for the night) 10 games over .500 and in sole possession of the first Wild Card spot.