Luis Castillo: Princess Peach
You’d think being a princess would come with some sort of authority, or at least a little soft power. But Princess Peach is among the most bureaucratically inept characters who isn’t purposefully satirical. I don’t mean to victim-blame here, but how does she keep not only getting kidnapped but also having to rely on a plumber to rescue her? How about reforming your national security apparatus? It really should be within the control of a pitcher as powerful as Luis Castillo to carve through a lineup with a team wRC+ of 87, but he kept getting hit hard, allowing four runs and only getting six whiffs on his 99 pitches. Still, just like Mario bails out Peach, the Mariners’ lineup bailed out Castillo.
Cade Marlowe: Dairy Queen
It’s not great, but it gets the job done just fine and at bargain prices.
Ty France: King Félix
You’re looking for a dominant performance? Look no further than Ty France. France came into the evening with a 244 wRC+ against the Royals, and he somehow bumped that number up tonight. He’s now the best visiting hitter in the history of Kauffman Stadium with at least 30 ABs, going 18 for 33. He reached all five times tonight, including three walks. Talk about a Kansas City BBQ.
Sam Haggerty: Queen of Jordan (Angie Jordan)
When Jack and Liz are trying to get Tracy’s wife out of their hair in a mid-series episode of 30 Rock, it dawns on them to give her a reality show. Eventually we actually got to see two full episodes of the show within a show, Queen of Jordan, even as Angie was never a regular character on 30 Rock itself. But they were my favorite episodes even if they weren’t the best. We haven’t seen Sam Haggerty much this year, but when we have, I’ve always been so excited. He showed why tonight, reaching twice as a pinch hitter. It’s his way till payday.
Josh Rojas: Princess Aurora
Slept through all the important parts of the story.
Eugenio Suárez: Princess Leia
Princess Leia is a diplomat (Good Vibes Only!) and a warrior. Where Leia is able to command a space force and pick up a phaser herself from time to time, Geno wields a cannon of an arm, making three good plays in a row tonight. He mimed putting his arm back in its holster after the third play, a strong throw to nab the speedy Bobby Witt, Jr.
Gold Glover Eugenio Suárez sounds pretty nice... just sayin'... pic.twitter.com/MSWABQ7BlQ— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 17, 2023
And of course, there’s the iconic hair.
Teoscar Hernández: Queens (NYC borough)
Queens is home to the New York Mets, who came into the year with enormous expectations, but have flopped. Still, they’re not without their moments, like when Pete Alonso hit four home runs over a three game period. Teo had a rough game again today like most of the season, going 0 for 3 and leaving five runners on base all by himself. But he did pick up an important RBI on a sac fly in the eighth.
Gabe Speier: the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin)
In Aretha’s biggest hit, she demands a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. For the second night in a row, Speier pitched a scoreless inning against the team that put him on waivers. Sock it to him.
Julio Rodríguez: Prince
Prince was scheduled to perform the Halftime Show for Super Bowl XLI. The story goes that as it rained that day, he was warned about the impact it would have on his performance. His response was to ask, “Can you make it rain harder?” And the result was an unquestioned top 5 halftime show. What I’m saying is that Prince was a guy who knew how to put on a show. You know that’s our J-Rod, who opened the game tonight with a double, part of a four-hit night with two RBIs.
Dylan Moore: George VI
King George VI was called the Accidental King. The second son, he wasn’t supposed to become king and never expected to be, but when his brother David abdicated in order to marry a divorcee, he stepped up and helped lead the Allies to victory in World War II. Dylan Moore was supposed to pinch hit for Josh Rojas tonight in order to get the matchup advantage after KC brought in a lefty reliever. But when Cabby was picked off before a pitch was thrown, it was too late to undo having put DMo in the game. Facing a northpaw to lead off the next inning, he reached on an error. He really wasn’t supposed to be on base. But he ended up being exactly the right man for the moment, as his baserunning helped him score from third on a very shallow sac fly, just barely evading Salvador Perez’s tag at the plate. It was the run that put the Mariners up for good, and the key moment of the game, earning him tonight’s Sun Hat Award.
Dominic Canzone: Louis XIX
Louis XIX was the King of France for literally 20 minutes. Nothing of consequence happened during his reign.
Cal Raleigh: the Queen of Diamonds (Dottie Hinson)
The main character of A League of Their Own was the Peaches’ star player who had a knack for spectacular moments. A catcher and power hitter, she hit some real bombs.
José Caballero: the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith’s titular character from the 90s family sitcom spent his early years in West Philadelphia until he famously got into one little fight and his mom got scared. After moving in with his ultra-rich aunt and uncle, he was a fish out of water. Similarly, José Caballero is a bit of an odd fit for a regular MLB player, having spent most of his minor-league career as an org guy rather than a capital p prospect. But just like the Fresh Prince, he forged his own path. As Smith turned his school uniform jacket inside out, Cabby is getting on base with slap hitting and getting hit by pitches, and then he wreaks havoc once on base, having stolen his 20th base tonight. But for as cool as he made it look, Smith’s character was still just a kid with a lot to learn; so too was Cabby overly aggressive on the bases and got caught for the third out of an inning twice.
Matt Brash: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains
Game Of Thrones’ hero/villain possessed a nuclear grade weapon relative to her rivals, and she wasn’t afraid to use it. Where she had her multiple dragons, Matt Brash has his 100-mph heater and two breaking balls. But Daenerys spent much of the series unable to actually take the Iron Throne, and her dragons caused a lot of damage when they weren’t used judiciously. So too does Matt Brash tend not to be as dominant as someone with his weapons ought to make him. Usually, it’s been when he can’t land it in the zone, but tonight it was a home run from someone named Nelson Velázquez. It was still a nasty pitch, but the damage hurt, bringing the Royals to within one before Brash finished them off for his third save.