Apr 25, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; The Seattle Mariners celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Texas 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Remember when the 2014 Seattle Mariners were the worst team in the history of baseball? That was Tuesday. Now it’s Saturday, and the Mariners have put together a little winning streak. Two – count ’em – two wins, folks. This team just can’t stop stringing together the W’s. If they can keep this streak going all year – which is possible – then the 2014 Seattle Mariners would likely be the best team in the history of baseball. Funny what a few days can do to your perceptions.
Okay, so it’s been a few days since the end of the horrific losing streak and not much has changed, aside from that the Mariners aren’t actively getting crushed by bottomfeeders anymore. The Mariners project to go a hair under .500 the rest of the way, putting them in their familiar fourth place and out of the playoffs. They are, of course, an extended winning streak away from becoming contenders, just like a lot of other baseball teams. But the Mariners just won, so we get to feel good about them. It’s good to feel good.
How did the Mariners beat the Texas Rangers? Roenis Elias was good, but he wasn’t the reason. Elias threw five and two thirds innings, striking out six and walking three. Strikeouts good, walks… acceptable, since Elias still must be viewed in the context of a fifth starter fresh out of AA. He allowed three runs, one of which came on an Adrian Beltre double and two of which came on wild pitches, though the second of said wild pitches was in fact thrown by Dominic Leone. The baserunner belonged to Elias, however, and this is yet another reason why FIP is better than ERA. But Elias was fine, and the bullpen was fine. The offense won the game. Here’s how.
Cole Gillespie made his first Mariners appearance, batting eighth and playing right field. He was good! Okay, he didn’t get a single hit or walk, and wasn’t actually good, but he reached on an error to lead off the fifth. Mike Zunino struck out, Gillespie was caught stealing, and Abraham Almonte was struck, by a pitch. Strike-em-out-throw-em-out is such a satisfying double play, unless it’s turned against your favorite team. Then it’s awful. Willie Bloomquist singled, setting the table for Robinson Cano‘s two-run double. Imagine that sentence a year ago, then consider the reality that not only is Robinson Cano on the Mariners, but Willie Bloomquist sometimes bats directly in front of him. So weird. So surreal.
Things broke open in the eighth with Neal Cotts on the mound. Robinson Cano singled. Corey Hart was hit by a pitch. Stefen Romero singled on a nice bunt. Justin Smoak doubled in two runs. Kyle Seager singled in one more. Nice try, Neal Cotts, you idiot. Alexi Ogando unleashed a wild pitch against intimidating pinch hitter Dustin Ackley, which scored a run. This game was defined by run-scoring wild pitches. Those are goofy. Fernando Rodney came in to close things out and was unthinkably awful, hitting a batter (another thing that happened a lot in this game!) and allowing two singles to load the bases. He walked in a run, then he walked in another. Ugh, closer.
Baseball tomorrow! Baseball all the time! Felix Hernandez and Colby Lewis are the starters. Felix Hernandez. Felix Hernandez. Felix Hernandez! Felix! Hernandez! Slightly strange 6:10pm start time. It’s Felix, in Seattle. Happy Felix Day! Go Felix!