Picture Me Rolling: Mariners Pull One Out Of Their Asses To Stay In The Race

Last night was a good one for the M’s.  It started off with me not watching a single minute of the debate, because holy shit who needs that noise, right?  As we motored on, the Mariners were able to scratch one across in the first, and another in the third (the latter of which was the first Cano homer of the night).  Considering Collin McHugh was on the mound, and he has some supernatural mastery over the Seattle Mariners, getting anything at all – let alone MULTIPLE runs(!) – was more than I ever could’ve hoped for.

To his credit, Hisashi Iwakuma brought his A-Game.  Boy did we need that!  TBH, we need that from literally everyone on this team, for the next 6 games and (hopefully) beyond, but that’s neither here nor there.  Kuma went 6 innings of 1-run ball, and was pulled with 84 pitches to his credit.  No fucking around, here.

As the bullpen dug in to do its thing, word was coming down from around the league:  the Blue Jays lost to the Yankees and the Tigers lost to the Indians.  It’s not super important for the Blue Jays to lose – indeed, it would be nice for us if they proceeded to walk all over the Orioles this week – but I suppose there’s a remote chance the Jays fall off the face of the Earth and blow a sure thing.  The real big win was the Indians over the Tigers, which put us (spoiler alert) into a dead heat, and an even 2 games behind the idle Orioles with, again, 6 games to go.

Our seventh & eighth inning guys were able to handle their business with no problem, and our offense even managed an insurance run when the pitcher threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt, allowing Ketel Marte to score from first base.

With a 2-run lead, even though he’d pitched the day before, Edwin Diaz was handed the ball to close it out.  Unfortunately, he was stuck trying to get through the heart of the Houston order, which is like Dip to our pitchers’ cartoon arms.

Look at poor Edwin Diaz, blowing a save again ...

Look at poor Edwin Diaz, blowing a save again …

They tied it up in the 9th, and I couldn’t watch anymore, so I didn’t see how Diaz managed to get out of the inning.  Nevertheless, he managed to keep it tied, and we had extras to contend with (and I was able to turn the game back on without throwing the remote through my TV).  Thankfully, again, this is September, so we have a surplus of pitchers at our disposal.  We were able to keep it scoreless in the 10th, and that allowed Robbie Cano – with two outs in the top of the 11th – to be the hero we so desperately needed.  His solo homer – the second such homer off his bat last night – put us up 4-3.  We handed the game to Nick Vincent, who also had to go through the heart of the order, but fortunately the two singles he gave up didn’t come around to hurt us.

I’m going to keep writing about the Mariners this week as long as it continues being fun, so let’s keep the good times going!

As a reminder, here’s what the schedule looks like the rest of the week:

  • Mariners:  2 more @ Houston, 4 vs. Oakland
  • Detroit:  3 more vs. Cleveland, 3 @ Atlanta
  • Baltimore:  3 @ Toronto, 3 @ NY Yankees

King Felix goes tonight against Mike Fiers.  So help me God, if the Mariners don’t lay off the curveball in the dirt, my head is going to explode.

Also, not for nothing, KINDA wish we could’ve somehow avoided Felix having to play against Houston again, particularly after his rocky start against them two weeks ago in Safeco.  He already doesn’t have the greatest career numbers against the Astros (4.07 ERA in 9 games, with a .292 batting average against, an .815 OPS against, and an INSANE .372 BABIP – which is his highest BABIP among teams he’s played more than once in his career), but take a look at his last two appearances against them, spread out over the last two years:

  • 9/16/2016 – 4.1 innings, 6 runs, 5 earned, 9 hits, 2 homers, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
  • 6/12/2015 – 0.1 innings, 8 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 homers, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Boy does THAT not inspire confidence in our King.  He actually had great numbers against the Astros pre-2015, but that also coincides with the Astros being a last place team.  They’ve been considerably better the last two years, and Felix has not been able to find an adjustment that works.  Hopefully, that changes tonight, or our season is screwed, and I’ll have to listen to all the Felix haters all over again.

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