I dunno, what was all that stuff about winning a bunch of games and breaking the streak of non-playoff seasons? Yeah, you know what? Forget I said anything, I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was THINKING that this was a team that was pretty darn close to making the post-season last year, a team that made some pretty obvious upgrades to the offense, a team that gave itself a lot of bullpen options to choose from, and a team that – if nothing else – put together a veteran, savvy starting rotation to keep us in most games. With that offense, and some solid bullpen play, this certainly looked like a team that could do some damage!
But, yeah, Mariners. IT’S THE SAME OL’ MARINERS, EVERYONE!
Who are the Same Ol’ Mariners? You know, they’re the key guys who get injured at the worst times. They’re the superstars who suddenly become terrible. They snatch defeats from the jaws of victory. They provide fans with just enough hope to fool themselves into falling for this team yet again, and then they pull that rug out from under us and laugh at the idiots who fell flat on their asses. Jerry Dipoto can do his damnedest to turn over the roster and make all the trades he wants, but regardless, what he’s going to get in return for all of his hard work are the Same Ol’ Mariners, here to bungle at baseball and waste all of our time for yet another summer. By October, the Same Ol’ Mariners end up where they always end up: in their homes, watching playoff baseball on TV, patting their backs for jobs well done.
Technically, Felix had a quality start last night – going 6 innings, giving up 3 runs – but I don’t know if anyone would describe that performance as “quality”. He did have that 14-pitch at-bat to Mike Trout, as well as keeping him off the bases all three times he faced him. And, you know, not for nothing, but any time your starter only gives up 3 runs in 6 innings, you should probably win that game (especially if you have an offense as well-regarded as Seattle’s). But, you know, the Same Ol’ Mariners are who the Same Ol’ Mariners are.
In this case, their best set-up reliever (Evan Scribner) gives up a 2-run homer to Mike Trout in a 3-3 game, ultimately resulting in a 5-4 loss.
I wouldn’t blame the mediocre pitching entirely. With the Same Ol’ Mariners, it’s always a TEAM effort! The night started off pretty promising, with Mitch Haniger hitting a 2-run homer in the first inning to set the tone. 2-0 was eventually chipped away, one run at a time, by the Angels working over our Ace. The worst part was our inept offense made THEIR starter, Ricky Nolasco, look like an Ace, as he settled down to go 6 innings, still giving up just the two runs. We owned that guy in the past, but not even the luxury of facing probably the worst starting pitcher we’ll see on this road trip was enough for our offense to get going.
There were opportunities, of course! In the fifth, Valencia got to third with one out, only to find Mike Zunino would rather go fishing than make smart decisions on which baseballs to swing at. He did make up for it a little bit, knocking in a 2-out RBI single in the 7th inning (to, at the very least, get Felix off the hook for the loss). In our best and last shot of the night, down 5-3, Segura and Cano both singled to put runners at the corners. Nelson Cruz could’ve busted out of his slump in a major way, but instead only hit a sac fly. With two outs, Kyle Seager could’ve busted out of his slump in a major way, but instead struck out and that was that.
Two series into the regular season, two series defeats. Would you expect anything less from the Same Ol’ Mariners? I know I wouldn’t! This afternoon, Kuma comes in to try to salvage something out of this waking nightmare. I wouldn’t count on it.