We, the fans of the Seattle Mariners, have for the most part already pretty much thrown in the towel for the 2011 season. Despite the fact that it’s “still early”, the general consensus, if you read Twitter, the blogs, all the various Mariners forums, and even the pros themselves, is that the 2011 Mariners are terrible, have no offense, a questionable bullpen, and Felix Hernandez with a small side of Michael Pineda, which, despite it being awesome, is not really enough to win baseball games. There has been a sense of doom and gloom and woe in the air both in virtual space and at SafeCo, and a lot of us have been running around feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. We’ve become used to the badness. At least I, with my three years and change worth of time put into this team, have certainly been seeing that. I don’t think I’m alone.
So a win like last night’s with Felix on the mound, and then a win like tonight’s with Erik Bedard throwing feel, quite frankly, a little dirty. I feel like I just saw something I wasn’t supposed to. I know I should be happy, but I just feel sort of confused. So how about them Mariners?
Justin Smoak hit another home run tonight with two men on to give the Ms their first strike at the Tigers in tonight’s 10-run game. And he hit it off of Justin Verlander, who is, as far as I can tell, still one of the best pitchers in baseball. He also drove those runs in after a close but bad call at the plate on a Chone Figgins attempt to score – I guess replay and other sources pegged Figgins as safe, but the ump called him out. So Smoak decided to take matters into his own hands. He spent the entire game doing that, actually – he went 2 for 4, driving in a total of 5 runs tonight. I hate to get too excited too early, but do we finally have the elusive hard-hitting first baseman? A reliably hard-hitting first baseman? I don’t even want to talk about it anymore, I feel like I’ll jinx it.
Erik Bedard. Erik. Bedard. Seven innings. SEVEN. 7!!! Five hits, one earned run, no walks, 88 pitches thrown. ERIK BEDARD!!! Again, it’s only one game, and I can’t allow myself to get too happy about this, because I don’t think my little heart could take the breakage that might occur should everything start going back downhill, but there, there is the Erik Bedard that I have now seen twice throw like it was thought he would when Bill Bavasi snatched him up from the Orioles for Adam Jones and some other guys whose names I cannot immediately recall because ERIK BEDARD! 88 pitches. Seven innings. Take that, haters!
The 9th inning was where we just beat the snot out of Joaquin Benoit, and Brad Thomas to score six runs, breaking the game wide open at the last minute. Both pitchers combined went through our entire lineup. The longest, weirdest inning I’ve seen in a while now. There’s just not much I can say here that anyone else isn’t already thinking, so I’ll settle for just being amazed and happy and a little stunned.
Miguel Olivo. This paragraph would probably read more like the one about Bedard, if I had the same experience with Olivo that it sounds like everyone else has had. Olivo went 3 for 4 tonight, and 2 for 4 last night driving in a run per night; but he was being driven in, so I’m not going to be picky here. Also, I like Olivo, so yay, Miguel Olivo!
Tomorrow is a Michael Pineda day, and it’s also an early game, so I get some sweet sweet baseball at work to lessen the drudgery of a really repetitive project I’ve been working on. This winning thing, though strange and perplexing, is working for me. Let’s do it again. A few more wins, and we can obtain .500!