On Saturday, the Mariners literally dropped the ball, resulting in the exact difference in the final game score. On Sunday … I don’t even know.
The Mariners loaded the bases in each of the first two innings; they knocked the starter out of the game after those first two innings; yet they managed to only scrape across two runs in those first two innings, and then zero runs the rest of the way. The Astros’ bullpen had to account for 7 innings of relief and they combined to give up a whopping 3 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7.
The Mariners obviously couldn’t compete with that, because these are the fucking Astros. They’re GOING to score more than 2 runs, and it’s not even going to be that difficult.
To be fair, the umpires both in Seattle and at the head office in New York, fucked up yet another replay challenge. In the second, with the bases loaded, Robbie Cano hit a would-be bases-clearing double. Two runs scored easily, with the third called out after a slide at the plate. Initially, he did look out, but upon replay, he pretty clearly looked safe. I think you have to work harder to make an argument that the replay was inconclusive than you do to get the fucking call right. You’re supposed to be allowed to use multiple different angles to get to the correct decision, and yet, Major League Baseball seems to throw all of this out the window and simply side with the Umpires on the field. I mean, how do you explain it when everyone at home, on Twitter, can see clear as day that the guy was safe; but the people in charge – who are supposed to have the same angles and the same ability to slo-mo the shit out of it – see something completely different?
I’d like to see the version of this game where Cano plated 3 runs and was standing at second base with Nelson Cruz coming to home plate and the Astros going out to make a pitching change. Maybe nothing would’ve changed; but relievers are different animals with inherited runners than they are coming into a clean inning.
Ariel Miranda – after being rock solid the first time through the lineup – got Astro’d in the fourth inning. A George Springer solo homer. A Jose Altuve infield single-turned-double on a throwing error. A Carlos Correa double to right to tie the game. A couple promising outs to hopefully limit the damage, but then a Yuli Gurriel 2-run bomb to left to put the game out of reach.
Miranda settled down to go 7.1 innings, while giving up just those 4 runs, which for him (and against the Astros) is pretty fucking good. But, obviously, he got no help from his offense.
James Pazos had a giant meltdown in the ninth, but it didn’t really matter. This Astros bullpen is apparently untouchable, so the game was beyond out of reach with them leading by 2 runs.
In Nagging Injury news, Danny Valencia has been out of the lineup the last couple days with a bum wrist. Also, Ben Gamel was given yesterday off after his 15-game hitting streak was snapped. He’s apparently got some kind of groin thing bothering him, which is supposed to be minor.
Thankfully, the Mariners get 2 whole days off this week, including one today, followed by a 2-game series against the Phillies, followed by an off-day Thursday, followed by a 3-game trip to Anaheim, followed by another 7-game homestand next Monday, followed by the All Star Break. Here’s to the Mariners taking advantage. It didn’t hit me – what with all the home games this month – but the M’s just finished up 20 games in 20 days. So, yeah, I’m sure these guys are beat up and sore as all get-out. It’s nice they get this comfortable stretch, especially with the month of August looming on the horizon.
Also, not for nothing, but I’m happy I get a couple days off this week from writing about baseball.
The M’s are back to .500. Here’s to getting back over the hump again against the hapless Phillies.