Remember Erik Bedard? Former Seattle Mariners GM Bill Bavasi insistently traded for Bedard once upon a time, giving up a bevy of prospects who would go on to become Baltimore Orioles standouts. Not that Bedard was a bad pitcher – he was awesome – but simply because the Mariners were not the right team to be making that trade, and especially not at the time when they made it. That trade cost the Mariners a star outfielder and a chance to avoid a total slash-and-burn rebuild.
Bedard, for his part, gave the M’s some good half-seasons, then went the way of fading ex-stars, bouncing from bottomfeeder to bottomfeeder. This year he’s with the Rays. He hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t been terrible. He has beaten the Mariners, now, after leading Tampa Bay to a 4-0 shutout win last night.
And just like that, the Mariners have no winning streak. They’ve once again fallen to one of the league’s worst teams, as Tampa currently holds the worst record in the majors. This game actually represented the end of Tampa Bay’s ten-game losing streak, which was the longest in the majors this season. While the Rays suck right now, they were recently predicted (and projected!) by many to claim the AL East crown. So this isn’t you’re average loss to the worst team in baseball, I guess is what I’m saying? Whatever. The Mariners beat good teams and lose to bad teams.
Bedard was legitimately excellent: eight strikeouts in six innings, four hits, one walk. Chris Young, making the start for Seattle, was legitimately unwatchable: five walks in five innings, three strikeouts, seven hits, three runs. The whole more-walks-than-strikeouts thing is back, and Young’s WAR is at zero after 68.1 innings. We want to love Chris Young because he’s smart and gets inexplicable results. But sometimes he’s bad, and that gives pause. We’ll just have to keep playing wait-and-see with him.
Offense! Just kidding, there was no offense. The Mariners got shut out! Robinson Cano hit two singles, and two is also the numbers of home runs he has through 243 plate appearances. Cole Gillespie also had two hits, and is now batting .333, or the same as Robinson Cano. Gillespie has zero homers, of course, but we don’t care all that much about that. So there are your big offensive contributors on the day, and a complaint about each of them because Mariners fandom necessitates negativity at any and all opportunities.
Roenis Elias. Alex Cobb. Tropicana Field. 1:10pm. You know what? I don’t feel good about this game. It’s funny, how one loss changes things. The M’s are now tied with the Orioles for the last playoff spot, meaning that if the season ended today they’d have to play a play-in game to get to the play-in game. Worse yet, a loss last night to a losing team means the M’s will always lose to losing teams, and Cobb’s a good pitcher, so the odds just further tanked. But then again, Elias gets better every day, and if he throws a complete game shutout the M’s can hardly not lose! Logic. Sports fandom is all about logic.