So until the end of today’s game, this is what I had written. It’s still true, but it’s not where I thought this game was going as I was writing it…
I work until either 5pm or 4pm, depending on how early I get downtown in the mornings. I try and listen to the beginnings of away games on the radio on my way home, but I haven’t been able to pay very good attention to them – the radio is on, but my brain just isn’t there. Today I think I figured out what it is – no Dave Niehaus. I didn’t think it was going to hit me that hard since I mostly watch on TV, but it looks like it’s really making a difference. I like Rick Rizzs, and in time this will normalize; but this year it’s just difficult. And today, Rizzs wasn’t even on the radio (he was doing the TV broadcast), so it was like listening to an alien broadcast – I could understand the language, but the words just weren’t making sense. I miss you, Dave.
By the time I got home, the Indians were already up one run. Then another. I decided it would be nice to wander into the kitchen and help Tom out with dinner, when I heard Rick Rizzs call Carlos Peguero’s first major league home run. I wasn’t going to drop everything and run into the living room and stay riveted to the TV, though. I’ve been cautious this year, and the last series has made me more gunshy than ever. I went about my business, finished up my part of dinner, poured some wine and went into the living room to unwind a bit. I was noticing that it was the top of the 7th already at around 5.30, when Justin Smoak wrapped his bat around a Fausto Carmona 4-seamer, sending it into the seats in center field. Chone Figgins was hanging out on base already, so that shot put us on top, 3-2. Then Jack Cust hit a double, making me rethink some stuff I was thinking about him on the bus ride home. A few batters later, Brendan Ryan drove Cust home, and it was clear that Carmona was suddenly struggling. It certainly wasn’t due to pitch selection – Carmona appeared to be throwing as many different types of pitches as there are to throw – but something was definitely off for him.
And then the rest of the game happened. We were up by two, and that was where we stayed, until Brandon League came in for the “save”. Doug Fister did well, our offense did what it was supposed to do in taking advantage of Carmona’s slow plummet out of the game during the 7th inning, but Brandon League just couldn’t stay on top of the lead that the lineup managed to give him. It’s situations like these that make me wish that ROOT Sports featured a pitch Fx tracker in the lower right hand of the screen for the whole game, not just when they feel like talking about it every so often. I find it difficult to watch GameDay and the game at the same time, especially when there is more of an exciting ending…or not, in this case. The point here is that I would have liked to have more of an overview of League’s pitching, and maybe get a more solid idea of his ability to locate this evening, because it just didn’t look like he was able to do that. Or maybe it was the fact that aside from 2-3 pitches in his 13-pitch outing, he was pretty much having a sinkerball party out there. Isn’t his splitter his big magical out pitch? He used that…twice. One was called a ball, and the other was put into play.
League was visibly upset as he watched Travis Hafner’s walk-off two-run homer go over the glove of Michael Saunders out in center. To his credit, Saunders tried. Boy, did he try. If you watch the replay of the hit, you’ll see him hanging in futility off the top of the wall as the ball falls behind it, hanging there well after the ball is down, as if he is willing his arm to be longer, the ball to fall shorter, the wall not to be there. And as League hung his head, I realize that, just like I mentioned this morning on Twitter, we did in fact get Hand Banana‘d by the Cleveland Indians.
The only good news to come from today is that David Aardsma isn’t going to have surgery on his elbow after all, which makes me incredibly happy. Skeptical, but happy. I guess if Dr Yocum says that this whole rest and relaxation thing is a doable scenario, then it’s a doable scenario. Who am I to question the professionals. The other good news is that things are looking up for Shawn Kelley, who is wanting to get a rehab assignment as soon as possible, and is right on target for a return. Whew! Also of some interest is our acquisition of this fellow off waivers from the White Sox. Jeff makes it sound like he’ll fit in as a more-of-the-same kind of thing in the bullpen. Lateral moves; who doesn’t love those, amirite?
Tomorrow after work, regardless of the weather, we are going to grill some food, hang out with some friends, and watch a little baseball. I suffer from this terrible condition in which I cannot back away from the angry kitty of Mariners baseball. Sometimes, I wish there was a pill – but until then, I made my blue and teal bed, so I guess I’ll lay in it.