I’m trying. Even though I haven’t posted much, I promise I’m trying to be into this game, this season, this team. They haven’t made it easy, but I’ve watched every game, outside of taking a walk around my neighborhood during last night’s 8-0 debacle. I think the very existence of the casual fan is starting to make more sense to me now, though. I may never go back to casual fandom, but there have been a lot of days lately where it doesn’t seem like a horrible idea. I actually envy the casual fan, to an extent. Daily heartbreak is not a part of their existence. They can shrug off a losing season as simply a losing season, without having any emotional investment in it. I tried for a long time to not get that into this game or this team. I didn’t want anything that I had no control over to have that much control of me. But 2009 – a little slice of hope – has made it inevitable that baseball will always have me in its icy grip. I don’t think that there is anything I’ll be able to do to change that.
I didn’t go into tonight’s game with a lot of hope at all. Doug Fister is good, but our offense is not. Generally speaking, at least. In the 6th and 7th innings today, they played like an actual baseball team – hitting things, stealing things, running around things, catching things…like they’re supposed to! There were some less-than-desirable errors, and some questionable Ichiro slowness, but the Mariners seemed to be working at playing the game of baseball like it was said they could before this season started.
Howie Kendrick missing the catch in the first/second gap during the bottom of the 8th put the go-ahead runs on with Rob Johnson up to bat. RJ did a pretty decent, un-RJ-like job tonight both offensively and defensively, until that at-bat, where he struck out swinging. But the game was still tied, and thus, in my mind, there was still a little hope. If nothing else, the situation at least felt a little more inspired.
Yet we still lost, in extras. It was only by one run, but it was given up by David Aardsma in the 10th inning (his second inning of work) to Bobby Abreu, an RBI double. I’m going to tomorrow’s game, and hopefully the weather will be nice. Right now, I’m debating having sushi, good cold food on what I’m hoping will be a warm day. Jason Vargas is on the hill (again, I seem to have purchased the Jason Vargas ticket package), going up against Ervin Santana. I will go with a heavy heart, and my fingers crossed.