In the pregame discussion poll, I asked you to vote on your favorite New York City foursome. Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer were the runaway winners, so we’re doing a Seinfeld cap.
Mariners Twitter today was in a sour mood, with lots of frustration and anger. But the Mariners very quickly put us all in the calm headspace Frank Constanza so desperately wanted. Julio lasered a 112-mph single and Ty France took one of the more brutal-looking (but totally fine) HBPs he’s had in a while. Teoscar Hernández followed that up with an RBI single, and Cal Raleigh then loaded the bases for Eugenio Suárez, who came through with a 2-RBI double.
A sac fly later and the Mariners had a four-run lead before the Yankees even got a turn at bat. With a rookie on the mound for Seattle and Yankee Stadium being a bandbox, a four-run lead wasn’t enough to make the game feel out of reach, but after the Mariners’ last couple games, it was pure relief.
The airing of the Yankees fans’ grievances
Four runs might not have been enough to be truly comfortable, but it only took another inning to turn the game into a laugher. Kolten Wong hit his first home run of the season and Ty France hit a bomb of his own two batters later. My favorite thing about the Mariners playing on the East Coast is that it always reminds me how great the Mariners fans are. I’m not going to say we’re the best fans in baseball, but I will say it’s exceedingly rare for Mariner fans to boo their own players. Not so for the Yankee fans whose boos started with the Wong home run and only grew louder as the evening went on.
Josh Donaldson was in the pool!
It shrinks? It shrinks. Sometimes our embarrassment is so devastating, it doesn’t even matter whether we have an excuse. So it was in this third-inning sequence in which sentient Blockbuster Video Josh Donaldson committed two errors in the same play.
After some impressive negotiating from Scott Servais and an eight-minute delay, the umpires also gave Mike Ford third base. When Ford then scored on a sac fly, we all credited Scott with the RBI.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Teoscar Hernández
Teo may have had a rough April and May, but he is not broken. He continued his hot June tonight, going 3 for 4 (though with a TOOTBLAN) with the highlight coming in the fourth with this titanic 437-foot blast:
Cal Raleigh, by contrast, had a decent start to the year but has gone ice cold in June. Well, tonight he showed some signs of life, going back-to-back with Teo. There’s nothing wrong with either of these guys.
It was after I literally shouted Elaine Benes’s catchphrase that I connected the dots and decided this should be a Seinfeld recap. But I don’t know what other reaction you can even have to a play like this:
Tragically, it must be noted that late in the game, Geno also gifted Isiah Kiner-Falefa his first career strikeout. But that’s the best play I’ve seen in a month, and it went along with his first-inning 2-RBI double, another hit and two walks. That’s enough offense and defense to offset striking out to a utility player, and so in a crowded field tonight, Geno gets the Sun Hat Award for notable individual contribution to the game.
Bryan Woo is real, and he’s spectacular
On the other side of the ball, we got to see Bryan Woo make his fourth career start. And for the third time in a row, he showed himself to be a legitimate Major League pitcher. He walked three but was otherwise unimpeachable, striking out five with 12 whiffs. He took a no-hitter into the sixth, though with his pitch count too high to really be invested in the possibility. Once he gave up two hits, he was pulled with 93 pitches, but Ty Adcock cleaned things up with a double play.
The most encouraging thing about Woo’s start was that for the third straight game, he performed well using a different approach. Against the Angels, he was all four-seamers, his best pitch. Facing the White Sox, he was dancing back and forth between his slider and sinker, moving on opposite sides of the plate and then, having made batters dizzy, he caught them off guard with his good four-seamer at the top of the zone. Tonight, he did yet a new thing, going heavy fastball again, but using his four-seamer and sinker in roughly equal measure. His command was worse than you’d want to see, but the Yankees were utterly lost anyway.
Coming into this year, Bryan Woo was on my radar a bit, but I didn’t have high expectations. At this point, though, I’m having a hard time imagining the Mariners without him. Called up in a “Marco’s hurt and Flexen’s been bad; maybe this will work” situation, he’s proven himself to be very much for real. Even Aaron Boone agrees.
Yada, yada, yada
The starters came out of the game having given up 10 and 0 runs, respectively, and yada, yada, yada, the Mariners won 10-2.
You can stuff your sorries in a sack, Mister!
This game was an apology of sorts from the Mariners for blowing the last two games. But as fun as this game was, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve seen them do this before—get hot for a second and make believers of us only to pull the rug out from under us. I’m sick of these false starts. They are going to have to get hot for an extended stretch to get back into things. And they may do it. This could well be the beginning of something. But I’ve said that before.
In the end, though, whether they pull it off or not, the Mariners are fundamentally unlike Seinfeld, a show whose guiding ethos was: “No hugging. No learning.” The 2023 Mariners might be a rollercoaster, but they do learn, and boy do they hug.