Apr 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws out the first pitch to Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) prior to the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners won again on Tuesday, coming from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That’s four games against the Halos and four wins so far this season, in case you’d lost count. With every further win, the Mariners put themselves in better and better position for the long run. In fact, the M’s playoff odds are inching closer to fifty-fifty, and the team is now second to only the San Francisco Giants for best record in all of baseball. But as usual, it’s important to remember that there’s no guarantee this dream stays alive.
A win tomorrow is no guarantee, and a winning season is even further from that. The odds are in the Mariners favor, but that’s been the case before. And yes, not much could top a contending season, but even if the Mariners were to fall out of it, they’re still dominating the Angels. The Mariners haven’t dominated the Angels in a while, and last year you may for some reason remember that they couldn’t even beat up on the Astros. Maybe this is the year the Angels miss the playoffs entirely because of their record against Seattle. Maybe this is the year the Mariners win 18 games against LAAnaheim. Maybe the Mariners never lose to the Angels, win the division, and win the World Series! And Mike Trout demands a trade to Seattle! Maybe this, maybe that! What we have now is four wins against a hated rival, and that’s satisfying. Beyond satisfying, really.
Once again, the Mariners beat the Angels after falling behind in the first. James Paxton started his night by getting joke of a leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun to ground out. Mike Trout followed with a single, and Albert Pujols followed Trout with a dinger. David Freese decided that he too wanted to play the home run game, and all of a sudden it was 3-0 Bad Guys. Paxton got Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick out and found his way back to the dugout without further trouble. Three runs is bad for any inning, but of course, it could have gotten worse.
Paxton, one could argue, might have been shaken up after three of the first four batters he faced scored. He could have fallen apart. But instead he came back extremely strong, barreling through the next four innings with four strikeouts and no baserunners. He was cruising through the Angels lineup and was even pitching with a lead, but more on that in a second. After allowing a leadoff single to Calhoun, Paxton threw one pitch to Trout before the infield and coaches converged on the mound. Paxton didn’t appear to be in notable pain, but was pulled with what the team is calling a strained lat. Which translates to “the guy is hurt, but maybe it’s nothing or maybe it’s a whole helluva lot worse than nothing.” Keep your fingers crossed.
The bullpen shut things down for four innings, with Yoervis Medina leading the way in Paxton’s wake. Danny Farquhar was next up with 1.2 innings, and though he didn’t really face the best (Trout) part of the order, it is nice to see him pitching effectively in non-save situations. Having the team’s best reliever available all night and not just in one specific, limiting situation is a real neat thing. Tom Wilhelmsen relieved Farquhar to strike out Trout, which is nutso. Fernando Rodney issued his trademark two walks and got the save, powered by a pair of strikeouts.
Corey Hart was the big hero, slapping two long home runs that effectively sealed the game for Seattle. Hart’s big night started with a three run blast in the third that scored Robinson Cano and Justin Smoak. The bomb followed a Smoak single that scored Brad Miller, who had reached on a strikeout wild pitch that could have been the inning’s third out. Hart added a solo shot in the seventh to cap the scoring
and eliminate the Angels from playoff contention.
Today’s game once again features the Mariners and Angels, with Roenis Elias looking to once again be dominant and amazing beyond our wildest dreams. Garrett Richards takes the mound for LA of A, and while he too is off to a nice start to the season, he also is an unfortunate member of a cursed Angels team. You see, the Angels have been trying their darndest to beat the M’s, but there’s voodoo in the air. Or something. Mariners rule Angels drool! Game’s at 7:10. Enjoy it.