I took Spanish, not French, in school, so never had a ton of exposure to French culture like we got in Spanish class with Almodóvar movies and extra credit for going to Mexican restaurants and the like, but one thing I’ve always enjoyed is French art, especially the work of the French Romantics. While the Mariners couldn’t deliver a win—or anything close to it—on South of France Night, they did deliver some art (via the talented photogs in the pit) that brought me right back to my art history classes. Sometimes a picture really does say 1,000 words, so instead of my typical thousand-word recap, have a visual tour through tonight’s 10-3 drubbing by the Twins.
Bryan Woo will have a lot to think about after tonight’s outing. Tonight was a “growing pains” start for Woo as the Twins found his stuff not to Impress Them Much, to quote another great—well, not French artist, but Ontario-born, at least. He wasn’t helped out by some unforced errors including a triple that clanked off Jarred Kelenic’s glove, a passed ball/wild pitch situation, a hit batter, and a few walks, as well as some poor command of some pitches that didn’t tempt Twins batters into swinging. The Twins forced Woo to throw thirty pitches in an inning twice, unceremoniously ending his day after just 3.1 innings, having given up seven runs, six earned. There will be days like this when you field a team as young as the Mariners are; but hopefully not too many.
Even as the Twins scored two runs off Woo early, the Mariners battled back in the first against Bailey Ober, who looks like two kids in a gray trenchcoat up on the mound but comes in with Marco-like velocity on his fastball. J.P. got the party started with a single and then Eugenio Suárez, enjoying batting second as a birthday present from his manager, said Happy Birthday To Geno:
Nada mejor que conectar un HR el día de tu cumpleaños. pic.twitter.com/tuoaMnGffj— MLB Venezuela (@MLBVenezuela) July 19, 2023
But wait! There was more! Jarred Kelenic followd that up with a single and (Cal Raleigh struck out) Teo hit a single! Then Ty France did something rarely seen on a player’s bobblehead night: A Good Thing!
Unfortunately, the Mariners then proceeded to do some bad things, like Teoscar attempting to score on that hit from first.
Then the Mariners did another good thing with Mike Ford hitting a single! Then they did a bad thing when Ty France attempted to score on that single from second. It was all very “the frogurt is also cursed.”
And that’s all the Mariners would do against Bailey Ober. They stranded a Jose Caballero double at second in the second, as Cabby tried to fan the dying embers of that first-run party that he sadly didn’t get to take part in, and then they went down without complaint for the rest of Ober’s outing, excepting a very rude HBP of Suárez. You should get two bases when you get HBP on your birthday.
Meanwhile, the Twins roared back against Woo after the Mariners took that first-inning lead, coming back in the third to hang three more off of Woo; two of them came on a homer to Alex Kiriloff, who also had a triple and was thus on cycle watch for most of the game (he wound up with a single). Isaiah Campbell was able to quench the bleeding and then gave the Mariners a scoreless fifth despite walking the first batter he saw. The Mariners will need a long arm in the ‘pen down the stretch and Campbell, with his starter’s background, is a solid choice. Tayler Saucedo covered the sixth and seventh, allowing one run. Ty Adcock covered the eighth and the ninth. Fans covered their eyes.
The Mariners almost had a big fun moment in the bottom of the seventh when Mike Ford led off with a double against Jordan Balazovic, in for Ober. After Pollock and Caballero made outs, J.P. Crawford walked to extend the inning, bringing up Eugenio Suárez. Would Suárez have two birthday bombs?
He would not. Birthday and bobblehead magic isn’t real, the universe doesn’t care about our happiness—I knew I’d work existentialism in here somewhere—and the Mariners would lose, 10-3.