You know what’s more difficult than finding something to say on the internet about a game loss? Finding that thing to say when you’re running on less than 5 hours of sleep. Sure, people do it all the time, but they get paid; I’m running this mess for nothing, and actually pay to keep it up. That seems pretty masochistic of me this year, doesn’t it? It’s also difficult to say anything that thousands of others aren’t already thinking, it’s difficult to remain optimistic about your team (I’m actually really looking forward to the bandwagoning portion of the 2010 baseball season this year), and it’s difficult to make a game post that isn’t simply a recap of something you already knew was going to happen.
For what it’s worth, I thought that David Pauley did an OK job through his scoreless five innings. But collapse was inevitable, and Pauley did exactly that, giving up the first run to the Angels on a Peter Bourjos solo home run over center field. That would have been fine, but Pauley continued throwing over the plate, which resulted in two more home runs, a single from Bobby Abreu to center, and a two-runner from Hideki Matsui over right field, after a Torii Hunter single. We managed to grab two runs in the bottom of the 7th, but it wasn’t going to do us any good. Our version of bringing it tonight was somewhat akin to the fat kid who gets beat up every day, and decides one day to retaliate by saying “you suck” to the bully under his breath. I hate to tell you this, Mariners, but whispering falls way out of a bully’s hearing range. Speak loudly and swing a big stick. Maybe next year?
I can’t totally blame Pauley – using Jamey Wright and Sean White in relief isn’t the best idea, and if our offense (outside of Ichiro, Russell Branyan, and Franklin Gutierrez) had the slightest idea how to hit a ball, maybe none of this would have ever been an issue. Is it foolish of me to think that even though our bullpen is not as great this year as it was last year (despite having mostly the same guys in it), our problem is not necessarily pitching? Am I simplifying things too much that way? I feel like I am, but I find myself far more annoyed with the offensive branch of this team than any of the hurlers. Maybe it’s just that mentally I still live in a world where .500 is possible, and I remember what it felt like. I really do think this season has been far more painful than 2008 for me. It’s far more difficult to watch a team made up of players you like lose their shirts and dignity (sometimes in the same night) than it is to see that same thing happen with a team that employs Jose Vidro, Richie Sexson, Brad Wilkerson and Jeff Clement. I’m sure I’ve probably said that before, but for me it bears repeating. This year has been downright ugly.
A questionable call in the 9th did cost us…something – mainly Franklin Gutierrez’s safety at second base. Had the call by umpire Jerry Meals been a little more thorough (Gutz’s foot was on the bag before he was ever tagged), we might have been able to turn things around. Might have. But it took the wind out of whatever sails we might have been hoisting this evening. Even a run on a wild pitch with two outs did not light a fire under us, and the final score of this one was 5-3.
I just found out that Dan Haren will be pitching tomorrow night’s game against Felix Hernandez. I haven’t had enough time to keep up on everything, so it’s been a nice surprise delivered by FSN in the past 5 minutes since the game ended. I am incredibly excited about this, because Haren did not pitch during last year’s home series against the Diamondbacks, and I was incredibly bummed about it. Haren is a favorite. Seeing him go up against another favorite just about makes my week.
Also coming up in the near future, Friday game against the Cleveland Indians, the annual USS Mariner event, Conor and I go back up to Everett on the 7th to see some sweet AquaSox playoff action, and at least one playoff game from the Tacoma Rainiers, who will be taking care of their playoffs in SafeCo while the Ms are on another road trip. Trying to get the baseball buffet in before winter brings me Thunderbirds hockey and Green Bay football. It’s not easy for someone on my (lack of) pay scale and time, but someone’s gotta do it.