I’m at that part of the Mariners season where I turn wistful. Like Bing Bong slowly disappearing in the Memory Dump in Inside Out, so too do the sands of my belief in a Mariners miracle. With time running out, I just want to see my team play some baseball before everything gives way to football for another offseason.
King Felix took the mound yesterday, and for three innings he looked like Classic Felix. I wasn’t deluding myself; I know he hasn’t turned anything around. I know that he’s still going to look amazing in short bursts, every once in a while, only for him to lose his release point, or lose his command, or whatever you want to call it. Can’t I just enjoy a little King Felix while the getting’s good?
As the fourth inning started, it was getting to be my bedtime. But, Felix was rolling, the season’s coming to a close, and I was willing to push it to the limits: 8:30, maybe even 9 o’clock! However long Felix was out there and looking good, I’d stay awake on my couch and root him on!
But, it was like Felix somehow knew that I needed to be fresh and alert today at work. So, he did what any good King would do, he took care of his people … by walking the bases loaded and giving up a few runs. With one out, and the bases loaded, Andrew Albers came on in relief, and promptly gave up a Grand Slam to put this game – and yours truly – to bed. I guess he won’t be getting the start on Saturday.
The Mariners would go on to make a game of it – as they do – but it’s hard to come back when you’re in the hole 7-1. A bunch of people had a bunch of hits, and things got really interesting in the seventh, when the M’s pulled to within 8-5. Cruz and Seager both walked to load the bases, then Yonder Alonso promptly swung at the first pitch to get the Rangers out of the jam. Didn’t really C the Z there. I can’t imagine a world where Yonder Alonso is back with the Mariners next year. He’s not the reason we failed, but he’s done very little to help this team succeed either.
In the end, the Mariners got another run in the eighth, and that was that. 8-6. Making this a 5-game losing streak, with 10 games to go. At this point, we should probably be rooting for the Mariners to lose.
HEY, we haven’t done this in a while! Let’s take a look at where the Mariners would draft next year! Right now, we’re tied with the Rays for 14th. We throttled the Rays this season, so that would seemingly give them the tie-breaker for better draft position.
With 10 games to go, there’s certainly room to move up in the draft order. As I noted, we’re tied with the Rays. The Orioles are just 1.5 games back (and remember, we have 3 more against the Indians to look forward to!). The Marlins are only 2 games back! And hell, the Blue Jays are 3 games back and they KILLED us this season! If we can somehow lose enough to leapfrog those teams, that would put us drafting 11th.
And then there’s Oakland. Bet you thought Oakland was so far back it would be IMPOSSIBLE for them to pass us in the standings! Well, you’re not far off, but it’s also not impossible! Now, hear me out: 5 games. That’s all that stands in our way. And, don’t forget, we play the A’s in Oakland next week, so if we can somehow get them to sweep us, that takes care of 3 games. Now, unfortunately, even if they do sweep us, we will still have won the season series 10-9, so I have to hope that I’m mistaken and the season series has no bearing on tie-breakers for MLB Draft purposes. Or, maybe we just go out and lose the whole fuckin’ thing! Aside from playing us, the A’s play their remaining 7 games against Texas. Unless you’re the Mariners this week, the Rangers aren’t unbeatable, so I’m still holding out hope that the Mariners can somehow sneak into a Top 10 draft pick.
The other option would be the Pirates, who are 5.5 games back, but they have 4 against the Nationals, and they’ve been pretty terrible these last few weeks.
I think I’ve got renewed life! Lose Mariners Lose! Paxton vs. Hamels tonight; can we get another night of Paxton with poor mechanics? Can Hamels fucking BRING IT!?! Go Rangers!