Today was a wonderful night for a ballgame. Unfortunately, I had to watch this Jason Vargas start from my living room – and to think there was one point in the season that Jason Vargas was the only pitcher whose starts we happened to have tickets for. Tomorrow I get a nice Doug Fister start, and I actually get to do pre-game stuff for the first time in about a month or so. It will be a nice change from having to frantically scramble through traffic from school to get to an already-full ballpark. I like to be able to ease towards the action, rather than be tossed into the middle of it. But that’s tomorow. The first game of the series against Texas was tonight.
I wasn’t expecting much tonight against the AL West leaders, but Vargas kept them from scoring until the third inning (hey, it’s the little things sometimes) on a Michael Young RBI before getting Josh Hamilton to ground into a double play to finish it up. The Mariners forked up a helping of offense in the bottom half of the third against Colby Lewis, who loaded the bases with nobody out. Lewis was forced to deal with Russell Branyan, but Branyan 3TO’d (leave me alone, it’s a verb now) his way to striking out on a changeup. Franklin Gutierrez managed to tie the game with a sacrifice bunt, sending Ichiro home to the dugout, but Matt Tuiasosopo was called out on strikes, and this is why we can’t have Nice Things.
The Rangers retrieved another run in the 4th, but so did we. Ours was on a wild pitch, but I’m a Mariners fan, and I will gladly take whatever I can get. Franklin Gutierrez took Lewis yard over the right field wall in the bottom of the 5th, giving us what would be the lead run. Jamey Wright came in to relieve Vargas in the top of the 7th (I’d love to see Vargas pitch a full game some day), and escaped with no damage done.
Brandon League came into the 8th after Wright, and did a bunch of Brandon League stuff. I don’t need to be an analyst to tell you what sort of stuff that is (and you don’t need to be an analyst to know what I’m talking about), but he got very very lucky in keeping our lead with a double play turned on Nelson Cruz byt Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman. It was just about this time that I retweeted some stuff on Twitter from the Mariners account, and now find myself the winner to this social media event next Tuesday. I had completely forgotten that they had done this last year, also with Ryan Rowland-Smith. A bunch of other folks will be there, too, and the tickets are pretty affordable. Otherwise, give the Mariners Twitter account a shot to see if you can win. This is pretty cool, but between this and that bag of promotional stuff I won at a game a few months back via Twitter, I can no longer say I never win anything. I think I’ll take winning for a while.
David Aardsma came in for the save and did away with his first two batters with a one-run lead. He then had to face Vladimir Guerrero, and I figured for sure a wonky fastball that was out and away would be Vlad’s to send over the fence. But it never happened. Vladimir Guerrero instead took a 2-2 splitter and grounded out to third to end the game 3-2, Mariners. We won. I clapped, and had the heart skips and everything. And Matt Tuiasosopo was kind of the star of the show tonight. A little. Who knew?
We have now won 40 games this season. A few days ago, Moira Koskey (she of Mariner Housewife fame) mentioned this via Twitter, the lack of solidarity she was starting to feel with the team. I have been right there with her – and then one win changes everything. We’ve only won 40 games, but with this one game, I’m all full of puppies and rainbows again, and looking even more forward to tomorrow’s contest against the Rangers. Am I crazy? Highly likely. I guess that’s baseball for you.
Also of some interest is that Jason Vargas just had a second child, a daughter. I didn’t even know he had a wife or a first child, so congratulations all around.