The Seattle Mariners have us all in an awkward position right now. We want the team to succeed – we always want the team to succeed – but for a while, we were rewarded by actual success. Now the team’s slipped some, but this season is still a smashing success. Seriously, before the season who would have thought we’d all be frustrated by a Seattle team that is three games over .500 in August?
The 2014 M’s are a tease. They act like they’re good, then act like they’re quite good, while all the while hinting that perhaps they’re really just okay. There’s real drama to this season, given our constantly-adjusting expectations and the Mariners oft-exciting play. That all just goes to make losses like this one even more crappy.
Nick Markakis worked the count full leading off the bottom of the first inning. Hisashi Iwakuma, never one to walk the leadoff man, put one in the zone, and Markakis put it over the fence. That made it a 1-0 game, and that’s how it was for the next eight innings.
Iwakuma settled in, going 7.2 while striking out seven, allowing five hits and an uncharacteristic two free passes. Somehow, it wasn’t enough.
The game’s last pitch was also it’s most controversial, as Kendrys Morales was called out on a pitch that was pretty clearly not in the vicinity of the strike zone. He was, of course, the potential winning run at the time. It’s easy to be upset about the way this game ended, but the real frustration should be reserved for how the game got to that point.
The Mariners had to do a whole lot of not-hitting.
Try, try again, I guess. The Mariners split their road trip, and return home on Tuesday to face the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta, like Seattle, has slipped out of playoff position and is desperately trying to claw their way back.
It will be Felix Hernandez and Alex Wood facing off at the standard 7:10 start time. Remember, off-day tomorrow. Maybe go outside, go for a hike or something? It’s good to get away from baseball every once in a while. Especially when baseball’s been teasing you.