This week, heat blanketed Seattle like silence falls upon a crowd, stifling the city’s usual hum. We’re weak up here when it comes to meteorological extreme, built more for enduring long stretches of mild discomfort, not these flashes of aggression that global warming has begun to bestow upon us with greater frequency. I myself am not a summer person. My eccrine glands are constantly on high alert, I wilt when the thermometer ticks past 80 and I lack the laidback, chill personality that serves many of my peers so well in this season. But there is a moment at the end of each summer day that I always treasure, even more so when the temperatures are particularly high.
It’s that waning, pre-dusk hour, when the sun still keeps the world alight but its descent lends a gentle, golden orange to the city. Unlike the oppressive daytime, when everything feels sluggish but like we’re all still trying to power through with our usual freneticism, this period is a mutually agreed upon slow down - a siesta for Seattle at large. The air smells warm, a mixture of cooling asphalt and brittle grass buffeted by a salty-sweet breeze. Everything feels muted; the sounds of cars and voices, the colors of the trees and the clouds in the sky, all the edges softening gently to ease us into the night’s cool respite.
I wonder if we become good at finding silver linings because we are Mariners fans, or if those with this natural inclination are drawn towards the M’s? It’s not an optimism, per se, but rather a distinct ability to find something worth salvaging in even the dingiest, smelliest of dumpsters.
Record for the week:
The sweep of the Rangers was huge - and certainly necessary - but I’d argue the non-sweep in Houston was even more substantial. It wasn’t particularly pleasant, but they pulled off a win and kept their record above .500 for the week.
That Friday night blow out doing a lot of the heavy lifting here.
Player of the week:
Is there something about baseball men named Adam that makes them respond so well to negativity? First it was Adam Lind, who had an almost preternatural ability to perform well after Kate heckled him from the stands, and now it’s Adam Frazier, who seems to have heard the collective wails at his plate appearances and stepped up his game again.
Play of the week:
Can a trade be a play? I’m writing this, so I make the rules, and I’d be remiss to not have something in this week in review about the Mariners’ splashiest trade deadline acquisition in decades. On Friday it was confirmed that Seattle had traded for ace Luis Castillo in exchange for Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.
At-bat of the week:
Don’t mind me as I blatantly cherry-pick moments of the week that brought me the most joy. And Jesse Winker mashing a game-tying two-run homer in the top of the eighth off of Ryne Stanek certainly brought joy. Gonna be keeping this one, Marie.
Nemesis of the week:
Rafael Montero, former frenemy turned foe. 97 up and in, with enough sneaky movement to entice Julio to swing - and injure himself- on a pitch he had no business swinging at in the first place. Honorary mention goes to Minute Maid Park, whose dimensions make Barbie’s Dreamhouse look cavernous.
Favorite Mariners content:
To say that Carlos Santana has become beloved by Mariners fans and players alike is putting it mildly. The late-June acquisition has proven to be a core member of the clubhouse and a key component of their 14-game win streak, and Zach Mason put together a really lovely tribute to the “guy all young players look up to.”
LL is, of course, known for its creative, adroit recaps and this season’s new writers have taken up that mantel with aplomb. This week in particular, Bren Everfolly enchanted and Shay Weintraub flexed some new pitching analysis muscles. I also loved the Good Vibes polls and general discussion Eric Sanford prompted in his July-themed Fanpost Friday.
Outside of LL, I appreciated R.J. Anderson’s assessment of the Castillo trade and its ability to truly benefit both sides. This old gem from C. Trent Rosencrans also got me particularly stoked to watch Castillo pitch in a Mariners jersey.
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
Not to toot my own horn, but I baked one helluva cake this weekend. Five layers of luscious red velvet divided by thick swaths of cream cheese frosting, all decorated in a rather adorable - and accurate - medical theme. It isn’t every day that one of your favorite, cantankerous people (and his noble, noisy sidekick) prepares to leave the only city he’s ever called home to pursue his dream - and save a lot of lives along the way. I know for a fact he never reads this site, so feel safe in indulging in a little mush here by saying that the prospect of saying goodbye is devastating, but I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful to be part of his life. Our world is so very lucky to have him in it.
Bold prediction for next week:
It’s tough to make bold predictions when the lineup is in such a state of disarray: Julio, Diego Castillo and Dylan Moore on the IL, Ty France day-to-day and Sam Haggerty sporting a set of stitches befitting his walk-up song. I think the newly called-up Jarred Kelenic helps power the Mariners to at least one victory in New York, and the M’s return to Seattle ready to run roughshod on the hollow corpse of the Angels.
The injury-riddled Mariners are facing the Yankees in New York for a three-game series (spoiler: Marco vs the new Yankee Stadium went about as well as you’d expect), before returning home to a quartet of Trout-less Angels matchups. It will be the first time the Angels have come to Seattle since the now-infamous brawl, and I know I’m not the only one curious about what this series might bring.
This week in Mariners history:
All the trade deadline throwbacks, including these two, 15 years and a world apart.
- July 30, 1996: Jamie Moyer for Darren Bragg :)
- July 30, 2011: Doug Fister trade :(