I decided to go to the M’s game last night, figuring it’s probably the last time I’m going to watch Ichiro play this year. Of course, the M’s go to New York in just over a week … but who knows if I’ll be around a TV with cable in just over a week?
It was strange, to say the least. Seeing Ichiro in another uniform. Seeing Ichiro warm up before his at-bat on the wrong side of the field. Seeing Ichiro do his weird stretching exercises in the outfield while the Mariners were up to bat.
Anyway, I got to give him a Standing O before his first at-bat (much less poignant, I’m sure, than Monday’s Standing O), I got to see him hit a rocket of a double off of Felix, but most importantly, I got to see him do not a whole lot of damage against the Mariners, because obviously I still want the Mariners to win.
And win they did. Felix wasn’t the Felix we saw ten days prior against the Rangers, but he was still effective. This is exactly the kind of Felix we saw in 2010 when he won the Cy Young Award. Seemingly every game with him going 7+ innings, giving up 2 or fewer runs. When he’s got it, he’s electric; when he’s wild, he still finds a way to be effective (even against the best lineups, like the one the Yankees trot out). If you’re tired of going to Safeco to watch the Mariners lose, then just start going to Felix games. You’re bound to be rewarded more often than not.
I’ll have to admit, once Felix was pulled (after hitting three of five batters, starting with a slider that nipped Ichiro on the foot and finishing with a change that broke A-Rod’s hand), I thought we were doomed. Either, Luetge was going to give up the tying run and this game would go to extras, or Luetge would give up the lead and we would lose in regulation. Obviously, since I went on a Tuesday, I knew I was sacrificing some sleep before work on Wednesday (where I’m up at 6am); the last thing I wanted to have happen was for the game to go into overtime.
Of course, I didn’t have to worry about that, because Luetge looked from being totally lost to totally in control over the course of a single at-bat. And, of course, I still did have to worry about that, because Joe Girardi is a God damn son of a bitch!
Seriously? Freddy Garcia had retired 15 batters in a row when he struck out Brendan Ryan in the 8th. HIS PITCH COUNT WAS AT FUCKING 89! Are you KIDDING me? Girardi is a fucking moron! He put four different relievers into that 8th inning, playing the lefty-righty-lefty-righty matchups to the fucking extreme, easily costing me an extra fucking half hour … when he could have just left The Chief in there and we all could have gotten home a lot sooner. The Chief was MOWING us down, I can’t stress that enough! Junkballer, 88 mph fastballer Freddy Fucking Garcia was the best pitcher in that game last night. And Girardi had to dick around with him like the New York Douchebag that he is.
I’m naming my bloodshot eyes Joe and Girardi this morning, that’s what I’m trying to say.
Anyway, once we got it into the 9th inning, I was pretty confident we had it in the bag. Wilhelmsen had about an hour to warm up, so you knew he’d be coming in on fire. Sure enough, his first fastball was 97 miles per hour. But, his off-speed stuff really owned the night, as he struck out pinch hitter Russell Martin looking to close off the night.
In spite of the 8th inning (where the M’s could only muster a single run, on a check swing single by Kyle Seager with the bases loaded), I had a good time. I decided to splurge with $90 seats. You know what $90 gets you in Safeco? Behind home plate, two rows behind the Diamond Club. I was in Row 10, just to the left of home plate (looking at home plate from where I was sitting). I didn’t realize seats that close were so cheap. I also didn’t realize how awesome it is to be in the Diamond Club! Yeah, it’s going to cost you somewhere around $300, but you get unlimited free alcohol, they have a buffet in a little underground room, they have people bringing you food – all of this is free. You also get parking AND padded seats. And a bouncer sitting on the steps to keep out the riffraff (no joke, you can’t even walk past Row 8 to take a picture of the field pre-game; and they’ve got a little black light where they check to see if you’ve got your wrist stamp for re-entry). I’m telling you, if I ever got Diamond Club seats, I would get SO shitfaced …