The Mariners had a special plan coming into tonight’s game. By casting an ancient spell, they would be able to make their pitches phase into the ethereal plane, rendering them unhittable. While this should normally be unnessecary against an A’s lineup collectively sporting a wRC+ of 88, the Mariners were thinking ahead. They have top ten hardest schedule in September, and with Texas and Houston suddenly getting the memo and winning games, any advantage would be helpful.
However, they botched it. For one, this ancient spell requires a human offering. The Mariners were ready to send out volunteering fan, but then George Kirby volunteered instead. He figured it would only be right, seeing as they were his pitches to be made ethereal. But the eldritch priest the Mariners dug up in Tacoma had apparently faked his degree in enchantment and messed up the spell. Instead of making George’s pitches nasty, he just made George sick, forcing the M’s to scratch him from the lineup.
A few minutes before the game, Julio stepped in, volunteering for the spell. He said that he was young and strong enough to handle the side effects if it went wrong. So the Tacoma priest tried again, and accidentally turned Julio’s left leg into a baseball bat. He was able to undo it, but it left Julio’s foot sore, and he too was scratched.
“Welp,” Servais said. “I guess we gotta start the game with Luke Weaver pitching and Cade Marlowe in center field.” So that’s exactly what they did. And it went exactly as well as one would expect from those events.
Luke Weaver struggled early. He battled the first two hitters he faced, but eventually secured the outs. It was with the third batter that he discovered that the spell had clearly not worked as intended. His pitches were very much not immaterial, as a hanging sweeper to Seth Brown was rocked into right field for a solo home run.
Neither a fan nor Seattle #Mariners right fielder Dominic Canzone (8) can reach the home run ball from Oakland Athletics' Seth Brown during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson) pic.twitter.com/FaFfVFB1oo— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) August 30, 2023
In the bottom of the first, the Mariners discovered something even worse. The spell, it turns out, had an effect. It made the Mariners bats unusable. The Mariners were quickly dispatched 1-2-3.
In the second inning, Oakland was able to one-up Seth Brown’s solo home run by having Shea Langeliers hit a two-run shot to straightaway center. The Athletics scored 3 runs while only making 4 outs.
For their turn in the second inning, Dominic Canzone reached on a fielding error by 2B Zack Gelof and advanced to second on a balk. Which didn’t matter, because Dylan Moore, after a long at-bat flew out to end the inning.
At this point, Ty France, stalwart sturdy first baseman attempted to once and for all accomplish the spell. He went to the clubhouse where the Tacoma necromancer hung his head in shame, and offered his left hand. The priest tried once again to make the spell work. But Ty, so resilient from taking so many plunkings, was too strong, and his offering was too severe. The spell was overpowering. Ty had to be taken out due to his hand swelling, but it wouldn’t matter. For only a smattering of hits would come for the rest of the game.
Now all pitches were immaterial, and the best way to reach base became walking. But that didn’t stop Teoscar Hernandez from lacing one up the middle anyway. It turns out ethereal bats can hit ethereal balls. His single was followed up by a walk from Cal Raleigh to move Teo into scoring position. A flyout and strikeout later and it looked like the Mariners were once again going to get nothing from their struggles, but Dylan Moore worked a 5 pitch walk to load up the bases for Cade Marlowe. Cade worked the count full, and took a 7th pitch that was not even in the same zip code of the zone. Teo walked in to score. That however, was it. The Mariners would get only one more hit until the ninth inning (an eighth inning 2-out single by Mike Ford).
In the ninth, Dylan Moore and Cade Marlowe led off with a pair of swinging strikeouts before Josh Rojas stepped in for Jose Caballero. Rojas, who has been scalding hot since being acquired at the deadline, lined a single into right field, flipping the lineup over. J.(OB)P. Crawford stepped in scalded a double down the left field line putting two runners in scoring position for Eugenio Suarez. With two outs, the runners would be in motion and any base hit into the outfield would tie the game.
He struck out.
It’s lame to lose to the 2023 Oakland Atheltics. Sorry to their fans, but their ownership made it that way. It does happen though. I think what makes this loss especially frustrating is that its so easy to see what went wrong. Three of the Mariners stars were missing! And they were pulled out at the 11th hour. And we don’t know when they’ll come back. Scott said that both Julio and Ty were feeling better during the game and that their conditions are day to day. With the quick turnaround for tomorrow’s day game, I think it’s unlikely that they play tomorrow, by expect them to be back by Thursday. As for George, Scott says that they’ll see how he feels tomorrow before they decide to re-slot the rotation.
It’s easy to blame Luke Weaver (and you should, he only got 2 swinging strikes), but he was told to get loose right before the game. Really you should blame the Tacoma priest that I made up.
A weird spell was cast on the clubhouse today, and that’s all there is to it.