Watching baseball has gotten a lot more difficult for me lately. The weather’s finally gotten nice, the Ms have been pretty awful this year (though not as awful as last), and nobody’s paying me for my big dumb opinions here. Sometimes taking a day or two off and taking up space on my friend’s boat or spending the evening watching a movie or two feels like a much more valid alternative than tuning in for a game. And far less stressful. When put tonight’s game on, I thought maybe it might turn out well for us. We had two runs already in the first inning which the Texas Rangers eagerly responded to, and the Ms lineup battled with Alexi Ogando, and came out on top, forcing Ogando to throw 77 pitches and give up 8 hits and 6 earned runs over the course of just 2.2 innings. Ogando was excused from his post, and I thought perhaps the Ms might have found a weak spot in the Rangers dragon armor.
But when Michael Pineda had to be pulled after a pretty decent 6 innings and Josh Lueke came in for relief and really just did a bang-up job of giving up two more runs, I figured we were done for. And I was right. But still, I kept watching because it was only 8pm, and I really didn’t have much else to do or take care of, and hey, every time you watch a game you might see something that you’ve never seen before. And I did; I saw a foul ball nearly hit Nolan Ryan, and I’ve never seen that before. I saw Jeff Gray get himself out of a nasty jam while tying the game, and I’ve never seen that before, either. It’s been heavily hinted at, but never just out there in the open like that. So really, if you look at it like that, tonight’s game was sort of a success.
In the top of the 9th with Mike Carp batting and Dustin Ackley having just gotten a walk out of Neftali Feliz, I got the sense that the Mariners were trying – really trying – to win this game. Not saying that they don’t always try, but Ackley looked frisky and ready to steal second, on high alert to anything Neftali Feliz might try in the way of a pickoff. But I also got the sense that they wouldn’t win. Because the Texas Rangers have Neftali Feliz, and the Mariners have the Mariners. Also, it’s a day of the week that ends in “Y”. To his credit, Carp’s last swing would have taken the ball pretty far, had he been able to put the bat on it; you sure can’t say he didn’t want that pitch. But the ball was a slider, it slid, Carp swung, and that was the end of that.
For some reason known only to Eric Wedge, Gray was allowed to come into the 9th inning again, and he allowed Ian Kinsler to walk. Better than hitting, I guess, but to my way of thinking – why prolong the torture? And watching Endy Chavez put down a bunt against Aaron Laffey that Miguel Olivo dropped – dropped! – and then Josh Hamilton slapped a single to left field to drive the winning run in because there was no way that Trayvon Robinson was ever going to get it back to the plate…eh, screw it. That wasn’t even a proper sentence, and I just don’t care.
On the bright side, I didn’t have to stay up too late tonight to finish watching the game, I got some laundry folded, and tomorrow I get to go fishing again to try and nab another pink for my parents visit this weekend. We’ll be surrounded by Red Sox fans, but Felix Hernandez will be pitching, and the King’s Court will be in full effect (I understand another section has been opened due to high demand), and I’ll be with my family at the ballpark, so things won’t be so bad.