Coming off a loss and an off day, the Seattle Mariners could have been vulnerable. With Chris Young on the mound anything can happen, in theory, but maybe we’re at the point where we can separate theory from reality. When Young pitches, the opposition doesn’t really score. Who the hell knows why, but Young makes the M’s less-than-vulnerable. And with Young pitching, the Mariners picked up a nice win last night.
Safeco Field was packed, a combination of Friday night and fireworks night. That’s the reality, but I’m going to choose to instead believe that everyone came out for Chris Young and Endy Chavez. Those were the heroes tonight, those guys, of all guys, and it hardly felt abnormal. Two players who projected to be old guy minor leaguers, leading an unexpected Mariners team to yet another victory.
Young exhausted his pitch count after just five innings, but the Mariners used to win Eric Bedard starts, too. Young was actually decent: only one walk to four strikeouts, four hits, and one run. He got more outs in the air than on the ground, of course, but that’s just who he is. Can’t knock the guy for being himself when it’s leading to otherwise unexplainable success, I guess.
Against Trevor Bauer, the M’s offense did one or two things. Maybe three things, if “things” means “scoring runs” to you. Chavez opened the game with a single, which is nice because offense is nice and not nice in that it shows this team thinks Endy Chavez is their best leadoff option. Two outs later, the count on Kyle Seager ran to 3-1 and Chavez swiped second. Seager singled on the next pitch and the Mariners had a run. Brad Miller singled in a run in the fourth. Then Endy Chavez, again, of all people, hit Bauer’s last pitch of the night over the wall in right. There’s nothing quite like a slap hitter hitting a home run to remind you the extent to which anything can happen in a game of baseball.
That homer was the difference between a win and a loss, of course, as Cleveland scored one against Fernando Rodney in the ninth. Rodney recorded the save regardless, and then the fireworks began. Safeco Field does not skimp on their fireworks shows. This wasn’t forty five seconds of roman candles – this was nearly ten minutes of good ol’ explosions in the sky. All in celebration of Chris Young. All hail Chris Young.
Roenis Elias vs. Josh Tomlin tonight at 7:10. Don’t worry about Tomlin, he’s just another established major league arm who Elias has been way better than this year. There’s a bunch of reasons the Mariners are in a playoff spot, and Elias is a big one. A win tonight would be his third straight, and these are the things that fuel surprise contenders. Which is a roundabout reminder that somehow the Mariners are contenders. And there’s nothing quite as surprising (and awesome) like that.