The Mariners had a very unfortunate series over the weekend, starting things out on Friday at .483 and sliding back to .475. I had hoped for a .500 season, but with the schedule looking like it does with series against the Rangers, Orioles, Angels and A’s again, I have my doubts. I appreciate the tiny jumps ahead the team has made at the tail end of this year, and I am hoping it means good things for next season. At this point, that is all I can do.
Standings don’t take a holiday though, and they sure don’t favor a family vacation. I took my family to Saturday’s game, where we enjoyed drinks, food, our own company, if not necessarily the ball being played. It was Latin Beisbol night, which meant the entire evening was punctuated by a Spanish-speaking announcer. It made an otherwise dull game a little more entertaining, along with dancers and a child’s interview with Felix – in Spanish, of course – played on the jumbotron during an inning break. The ceremonial first pitch was also thrown out by Diego Segui. Oh,and the weather was excellent, aside from a mini rain shower that caused the roof to close over us; but I can’t complain too much. My father always enjoys the 7th inning stretch, my mother enjoys getting fish and chips at Ivar’s, and my brother and his wife enjoy a three hour drive up from Portland. I kid, everyone had fun.
After spending pre-game down in The Pen so my mother could sit on the couches down there, everyone went their separate ways for food, while I stayed up in our seats to hold down the fort, and watched various on-field happenings. During the Supreme Court game, I took photos of a fist-bumping ritual that took place between the members of the bullpen and an as-then-unidentified player. Turns out that player is Kyle Seager.
Trayvon Robinson was in left field again, and again made a wonderful running catch right away in the first inning, putting the glove on a Seth Smith hit that I for a few fleeting moments thought was un-glove-able. I am madly in like with Robinson’s defense.
Hisashi Iwakuma did not have a good night. I had my hopes up, given that the last time I saw him pitch in person, the Mariners prevented the Angels from sweeping them, but Iwakuma, while being a nice surprise this year, is still an average pitcher, and the Oakland A’s are looking more and more like an above-average team. Iwakuma stuck it out until the lower top of the 4th inning, when he was removed from the hill and replaced by Carter Capps, after allowing Coco Crisp on base and Seth Smith to walk.
If anything good other than a family gathering came out of this game, it was that I got to discover Pat Neshek. Regular visitors here know how I love my sidearmers. Neshek didn’t last long – he faced three batters and gave up a walk before being spelled by Sean Doolittle – but he was fun to watch.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game; bits of it were downright ugly. But my family has seen both losses and wins over the past four years since we’ve been going every year together, and they still had a good time. I love our yearly games; with my work schedule it is the one reliable time of the year when we can all be in the same place. I also took my father out salmon fishing on my friend’s boat the next morning, and though I never talk about fishing here, the bite was on yesterday, and the four of us caught seven Cohos. Three of these are currently being cured in my refrigerator for smoking, because that is how we rock salmon in the Pacific Northwest. I have to brag a little; what we lacked in baseball game, we made up for in fish. It was a good day on the water. :
Now, I look forward to the Orioles coming back to town next week, and then the last game of the season, which I always try to go to. Tom is going to be out of town on tour during the months of October and most of November, so I’ll probably be flying solo this year, but I have to see the boys play one more time before I focus my attention on the playoffs, and the Baltimore Orioles. This playoff season may finally be very worth my full and undivided attention. I cannot wait!