It’s been really tough to admit that this is a lost season for the Seattle Mariners. Nothing’s going right, everything’s going wrong, and yet parity is so real that it feels like the M’s are always on the verge of being able to climb back into the race. How could they be out of it already, given how mediocre the American League as a whole has been? This team, with these expectations, is this bad, in this of all seasons?
I was surprised when the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday night. Surprised, because it was a win, and I already just expect this team to lose every day. But that was a positive game. A really encouraging win! Taijuan Walker had another excellent start. Another start without a single walk, by the way. He’s been amazing lately, and his amazingness more or less willed the M’s to a victory.
But J.A. Happ wasn’t as sharp the next night, and the offense decided to play dead. Then came today, with Felix Hernandez vs. Hector Santiago representing a pretty terrific mismatch. The King did his part, despite three walks (what’s up with him and those lately?), but the bats slept in yet again, only rallying late to send things to extras. The bases were loaded with no outs whenTom Wilhelmsen got Albert Pujols to ground into a huge double play. And then a wild pitch gave the Angels a win.
Seriously. The M’s were so, so close to losing this game, then got exactly the grounder they wanted from one of their biggest rival’s best players. They were so frustratingly close to salvaging a win when they were suddenly handed a loss. “Handed.” They did this to themselves. Wilhelmsen threw the ball away at the worst possible time. Walk-off, series-swinging loss in extra innings. On a wild pitch.
This loss wasn’t the perfect metaphor for the Mariners’ season because the perfect metaphor for the Mariners’ season is probably as simple as a balloon popping as it’s still being inflated. We were just starting to get excited about this franchise when they had to go blow up in our collective face. It’s like we’ve been punished for ever trying to get hyped in the first place. We even had reason to believe this team would be alright! And look at them now! They’re so miserable!
Whatever. I could talk about Robinson Cano‘s physical resilliance and good hitting as of late, but whatever. Nelson Cruz may be going through a slight power outage, but his average is healthy and he’s still smacking extra base hits. That’s cool, but it’s whatever. Walker’s emering? Whatever. Whatever whatever whatever. What-ev-er. That’s what the 2015 Mariners have done to my brain. They’ve whatevered it.
Go on and keep loving this team. I know I will, because I’m weak. I need the Mariners, and I don’t need them to be good in order to need them. The Mariners know this, and so they suck. We’ll never know why, but that’s what they do. It’s who they are. It’s not like they want to be so crappy, it’s just that their identity depends on it.
The Angels took two of three from the Mariners. You’re not surprised, I’m not surprised, the Mariners aren’t surprised. The sun will come out tomorrow and shine on the Seattle Mariners, who will probably lose even though it’s an off day. In that sense this is a special team, I guess.