Caveat: it’s only August 9th. But still.
The Seattle Mariners are 2 games over .500 for the fourth time this season, but this one was pretty special.
For starters, Jesus Christ God Dammit Ariel Miranda sure did suck again! 6 runs in 5 innings, including 2 more home runs to give him 29 home runs given up on the season, which is the MOST in the entire Major Leagues. 29 homers in 23 games for Christ’s sake! 29 homers in 131.2 innings! Or a homer every four and a half innings. That’s un-fucking-sustainable! You can’t give up this many homers in a season and expect to keep your job! I don’t care how low your WHIP is, or how many of those homers are solo homers, eventually that shit’s gonna catch up to you and you’re going to blow up spectacularly!
Take last night, for instance. Bottom of the first inning, he gave up a double and a walk before Khris Davis’ 3-run bomb to put the Mariners in a HUGE hole. I’ll accept watching a Miranda start where he battles, or where he looks great those few and far between times, but I absolutely will not accept watching a start where he looks like every other non-Paxton starter in this fucking organization. No thanks. Suffice it to say, I was pretty much done with the game after that (and, with my crazy schedule, that’s not a huge sacrifice, considering I would go to bed at 8pm anyway).
What I missed, apparently, was one for the ages. The M’s got one back in the top of the third when Zunino scored from third on a groundout, but the damage was limited, and the deficit would increase in the bottom half by a couple more runs. Dyson punched an RBI single to left to make it 5-2 in the fourth, but the A’s would extend it back to 6-2 in the fifth on a solo homer.
With Ariel Miranda sufficiently knocked out of the game (at 86 pitches no less, because he’s efficient even when he’s fucking terrible), that’s when the real fun began. Gamel knocked in two runs on a double in the sixth, Cruz knocked in another run in the seventh, and Valencia hit a sac fly in the eighth to tie it up. Along the way, the Mariners got some remarkable relief pitching from the likes of Casey Lawrence, Nick Vincent, and Scrabble to push this game into extras.
Then, in the top of the tenth (after the Mariners walked three times in the ninth and somehow still didn’t score), with two outs, Leonys Martin continued his hot streak since being called back up, jacking a solo homer to right field to give the Mariners the lead. Edwin Diaz got into a little mini-jam, but got himself out of it for his 24th save on the year. That puts him 18th all time in Mariners history in most saves in an individual season. His 42 career saves over his two-season career is 12th on the Mariners’ all time saves list, just a hop and a skip behind the likes of Brandon League, Bobby Ayala, Eddie Guardado, and Fernando Rodney. So, you know, if you’re expecting Edwin Diaz’s career to go up in smoke, just give him another month or so. History dictates once a Mariners closer gets between 50-70 saves, he automatically forgets how to get guys out.
What a crazy, VERY important win! I mean, with the way the A’s are giving up on this season, there’s absolutely no excuse to lose either of these games in this 2-game series. I know it’s baseball, and anything can happen, but if the Mariners are going to somehow shock the world, they’re going to need to beat up on teams like the A’s. This is where you EAT!
If it’s all right with you, I think I’ll close by stopping and smelling the roses a little bit. It’s, frankly, mindblowing how the Mariners are still hanging around in this Wild Card race. I know there have been other seasons where the Mariners have been in contention in recent years, but this one definitely feels more special given all the Mariners have had to overcome and all that they’ll continue to have to overcome.
First and foremost, it looks like Felix has the same injury he had earlier this year. They’re saying he’ll be out 3-4 weeks, which puts us into September, but if it’s as bad as the last one was – where he ended up missing almost 2 full months – we might not see him again in the regular season, if at all this year. I hope the rest of the team can pick him up and carry us into the playoffs, for Felix’s sake, but I’m going to be heartbroken for him if we FINALLY get there for the first time in his career and he ultimately can’t go. From a psychological standpoint, that might actually be worse than not going at all.
We also got word that David Phelps will miss 2-3 weeks, so it sounds like he’s not as bad off as Felix. I’m going to hold my breath if it’s all the same to you and hope we get him back on the shorter end of that range rather than the longer.
In Recent Transaction News, Yonder Alonso made his Mariners debut last night, going 1 for 5 with a single, batting in the 2-hole. Many Yonder jokes were had by all on Twitter.
In Active Roster News, I couldn’t even begin to tell you when this started, but the Mariners are rolling with a 12-man bullpen again. With Alonso and Valencia effectively platooning at first base, Danny Espinosa as our only utility infielder, and Leonys Martin as our fourth outfielder, the Mariners really can’t afford to go with anything less than a 4-man bench. With 20 games left in the month – before rosters expand in September – look for the M’s to start shuttling relievers back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma. At some point, they’re going to have to figure out how much more Erasmo Ramirez they want to see in the rotation; I think my breaking point happened about 3 years ago, but I’ll give the organization another start or two before I start taking bids from local pipe bomb makers.
Terrorism jokes are still funny in this day and age, right?