Not much clipping, but a win is a win and I’ll gladly take it.
I’ll be honest, I was expecting the Ms to get swept by the Angels. Felix Hernandez is one thing, but Dan Haren against our hibernating offense is quite another. I had no doubts about Felix, Felix is solid; and he was solid through 7 innings tonight, including catching a line drive off the bat of Alberto Callaspo that could have hurt him pretty badly, and actually did knock him down. I don’t think I would have liked to be Daren Brown telling him he wasn’t going out for the 8th, and I’m willing to bet that Felix didn’t take it well. Brandon League was called in, and but for the grace of Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman taking care of a double play on a Torii Hunter groundout, League could easily have obtained the loss tonight. Had Haren also been able to stay in the 8th, things might not have gone so well for us – but Kevin Jepsen was napping on the mound to the tune of 3 Mariners runs. Three Mariners runs that were scored by the running likes of Matt Tuiasosopo, Lopez, and Kotchman. David Aardsma spent most of the 9th making people wonder if a 2-run lead was enough; I’m starting to think maybe he does it on purpose.
Baseball is certainly a strange game sometimes.
The Mariners were again denied safety at a base because of Jerry Meals. I have never heard of Jerry Meals until this series, but I don’t care for him much. Meals is the kind of umpire that makes fans want replay. He’s the kind of umpire that makes the whole “umpires are blind” concept not so funny. You would think that a man of his stature (he’s a full head shorter than the 6’4″ Daren Brown) would be closer to plays and therefore more able to see them (yes, I just made a short joke), but so far Meals has done little to impress. Last night it was Franklin Gutierrez at second, tonight it was Ichiro at first. Both players were on the bag before the tag or throw even to the naked eye, and both were called out. The idea that we may have to deal with this man behind the plate some day gives me a mean case of the terrors.
So against some fairly hefty odds, we won a game against the Los Angeles Angels, pulling the Angels further back into third place. I can live with this. Unless some ridiculous calamity occurs, it does appear that the Texas Rangers will take the AL West. Had you asked me several months ago if I’d be OK with this in the future, my answer would have been a resounding “No”. But I find myself eerily calm with it, and I’m guessing the reason for that is the presence of Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe on the Rangers’ roster. As things stand right now, I’d like to see the White Sox, Tampa, or the Rangers fight the Yankees for World Series dibs. On the NL side, being as realistic as possible, I am fine with the Phillies or the Padres. I harbor no ill will against the NL Central, there just aren’t any teams there that I really care much about. I know I may lose some folks by saying that I’d actually kind of like to see the Cubs make it sometime soon, but that’s mainly out of genuine solidarity with people that I know who like the team. I honestly don’t know any fans of any of the other teams, and not being a fan myself, my bandwagon ride is short. Of course, I’ll go with any NL team over the Yankees, because frankly, the Yankees have too many rings, and I enjoy watching David beat Goliath – it’s one of the reasons I chose the Mariners, after all.
Tomorrow is a Jason Vargas start that I will likely end up missing. After spending 4 hours at the pharmacy tomorrow, I will have finished up all my externship hours, and I plan to have a bit of a small celebration with Tom around dinner time. I’ve seen more Vargas starts in person than any one person should legally be allowed to, so I wish him a lot of luck, and I’m OK with missing this one. That probably makes me a “bad” fan, as at this point in the season I guess I should be hoping for a loss to push us further down to the first draft pick; but I can’t bring myself to want a loss, I just can’t. Even now, even when I expect to lose, I still hope for a win. Even against the Yankees, or the Twins…or Texas. It’s pathetic, I know. Even with all the baserunning stupidity tonight, the late offensive surge, and Dan Haren just owning us, I still want the guys to win. It doesn’t allow me to make as many jokes on Twitter, but it does make me happy. I guess I just have to buck up and deal.