Jarred Kelenic Breaking His Foot By Kicking A Water Cooler Is The 2023 Mariners Season In A Nutshell

I’m not mad at Jarred Kelenic for breaking his foot in a fit of frustration, just like I’m not mad at the Seattle Mariners for only managing a 2-2 split with the Twins this week. It is what it is. I’ve already given up on the 2023 season, and I suggest the organization does the same, by being sellers at the trade deadline.

And believe me, I understand the instinct to take out your rage on an inanimate object. This Mariners team makes me want to punch a hole through my television. It makes me want to scream into a pillow. It makes me want to throw my remote against a wall and decapitate my bobbleheads one by one.

But, I think this past week was the last time to feel any of that. If you haven’t come to the conclusion that a .500 Mariners team almost 100 games into the season isn’t good enough to suddenly transport itself into the playoffs by October, then I don’t know what else to tell you that your eyes haven’t seen all year long. This team is NOT good. It’s not bad, necessarily, but that’s how you get to be 48-48, right? Sometimes you’re shit, sometimes you’re the best team on the fucking planet.

There’s no switch in baseball that you can turn on and magically become what you were always meant to be. Baseball is the great equalizer. Over time, it shows you who you are, warts and all. Sometimes, you’re able to skate by on an unsustainable amount of good luck in close games, but eventually all the mediocre teams are weeded out and summarily destroyed, frauds that they are.

I was happy to hear – on the same day I posted about the Mariners being sellers at the trade deadline – that it looks like my dream will come to fruition. At the very least, I don’t see any blockbuster deals for a Luis Castillo-type coming our way anytime soon. I think the tea leaves are starting to blow the way I want them to with the players I mentioned getting rid of. I mean, how does Ty France fall to 7th in the batting lineup if he’s meant to be here through next year?

Of course, also on the same day I published that post, Kelenic’s injury came to light and he was put on the IL (presumably for the rest of the season, though I don’t know how long a fractured foot is supposed to keep you out), AND the Mariners won impressively to salvage a series split. It’s baseball, nothing makes sense.

The first game on Monday was encouraging enough; a 7-6 Mariners victory. Logan Gilbert gutted his way through 5 innings, limiting the damage to 2 runs. It took waiting until the fifth inning, but the M’s put up more than enough runs in those middle innings to win the game, taking a 7-3 lead heading into the ninth (Kelenic had 2 hits and 2 RBI, Suarez had the same). But, then Ty Adcock got bashed around for a 3-run homer in the 9th to give the game its final score, necessitating Paul Sewald coming in to get the final out.

That 9th inning was a harbinger for things to come, as we lost 10-3 on Tuesday. Bryan Woo laid a total egg, and the bullpen had to wear one. Ty Adcock had to pitch 2 more innings in this one – giving up 2 more runs – before being sent down with Isaiah Campbell, to make room for two more AA relievers. I don’t know what to tell you about the offense, other than Suarez hit another homer. We actually had a 3-2 lead after the first frame, before everything went to shit.

The Mariners were arguably worse in a 6-3 loss on Wednesday. This one featured a solid, if unspectacular start from Castillo (6 innings, 3 runs, 11 strikeouts, but also 2 solo homers, leaving us in a 3-0 hole). The M’s fought back to tie it at 3-3 with a Murphy solo homer and a Suarez 2-run bomb. But, then Andres Munoz came in for the 8th and kept giving up too much of the plate and getting knocked around accordingly. He’s not good enough to leave sliders hanging in the center of the zone. Also, for a guy who routinely touches 100 mph, it’s disconcerting to see him throw so many breaking pitches, especially to lefties, who can see them coming a mile away. One of our AA bullpen call-ups – Devin Sweet – pitched the 9th and gave up 2 more runs to give the game its final score. Not a great start to a Major League career!

Of course, that led to a 5-0 victory yesterday, because the Mariners are nothing if not a .500 ballclub (+/- 1 game). George Kirby followed up a shit start with a blazing one, going 7 innings, giving up 4 hits, striking out 10. Teoscar Hernandez accounted for the first two runs, Mike Ford hit a 2-run bomb late, and we scored on a wild pitch for our fifth and final run. Not too shabby for a team that was 1/8 with RISP.

Now, Toronto comes to town. People are up-in-arms about the Mariners selling Blue Jays gear in their stadium. Everyone’s gonna be even more upset when they see how many actual Blue Jays fans show up to drown us out. I’d just as soon avoid this series altogether, which won’t be hard to do. I’ve got Oppenheimer tonight at IMAX. I’ve got a wedding to attend tomorrow. And, we’re throwing a board game day on Sunday, complete with barbecue and bottled cider. MUCH more enjoyable than the stinky ol’ Mariners. Might even kick a water cooler for old time’s sake!

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