Well, this doesn’t look good. I approach the Rangers cautiously as far as thinking the Mariners will beat them, but I am still really jacked about this evening’s game.
I will be headed to Hooverville later today to meet my friend Eric, the Red Sox fan. Tonight, though, even with a Boston hat on, Eric will be a Mariners fan, just like he is every time we go to a game together and the Mariners are playing any team other than Boston. He’s flexible like that. I can dig it.
The last time I was at a game, I was wondering to myself if I would ever get the luck of the rotation with my season tickets to see Yu Darvish pitch. If my tickets didn’t already fall on a day when that happened, I thought, I’ll just get a separate ticket to come and see the game. As my apparently-very-good luck would have it, not only does Darvish pitch tonight, but of course he goes up against Felix Hernandez. I am both elated and concerned. Elated for the obvious reasons, and concerned because Felix seems to have had a difficult time lately rallying his offense to do the work they need to do to support him. And the last time the Ms went against Darvish, the news was not great. The last home game I was at, actually, was a Felix Hernandez start. It was a 1-hit shutout of the Minnesota Twins. Since then he has taken losses to both New York and Cleveland. To be fair, Cleveland was Felix’s own fault, one of those rare uncomfortable-to-watch Felix starts. So I only know what to hope for, and have no secure idea or theory on what will actually happen. Baseball is fun that way.
In order to quell any sort of apprehension I might have about tonight, I looked at their numbers on FanGraphs. They’re both fairly evenly matched, but there are some numbers where Felix fares better – like walk rates, home run rates, and FIP. I tend to gravitate to the good rather than the bad with stats, and maybe I shouldn’t be comfortable with this, but for some reason (probably lack of knowledge) it makes me happy, particularly the home run rates, because hey, Texas. I would imagine we’ll still see a home run from Texas tonight. Maybe we’ll see two. But up until today I thought that Felix had been getting more unfair shakes than he actually has been, and that makes me happy. I am definitely looking forward to tonight’s game, regardless. I’ll be jockeying for position on the bar on the Rangers side before the game, trying to get some good shots of him warming up. O, happy day!
As for the weekend series against the Rockies, I have to remain guarded about how proud I get of the team, but it was a nice group of games to see/listen to. I am hoping that it gave the boys a morale boost, to be hitting that well. The back-to-back dingers out of Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak, and then a nice shot off the bat of Mike Carp later in the game were nice to see, thin air or no. Park advantages go both ways, and the Rockies could have done something, but they didn’t; and the Mariners place in the overall standings reaped the benefit of that inaction. It’s just great to see the kids hitting a bit more. I was unable to have GameDay up during these games, so I don’t know how to explain the Mariners as we know them so far this year, vs. park factors, vs. pitching. But we got a sweep on the road. The Mariners get a slow clap and a “Bravo!” from me.
I wanted to write a post yesterday about Brandon League, but I just don’t have the energy to be negative lately; at least not in any more than 140 letters. I consider Twitter to be an outlet for heat-of-the-moment outbursts; what I say there is not necessarily completely indicative of how I really feel about things in the big picture. League’s “saves” have been horrifying to me this year to say the least. He did what he needed to do yesterday, and we won, but not before he scared the pants off over half the fanbase. I wish I would have had GameDay up yesterday, because it looked to me on the broadcast like every single pitch League threw was right down in the zone; and the Rockies batters were hitting them like they were. And you’ve got to think that the opposition, desperate to not be swept, was going to swing at anything someone tossed at them. There were a few Todd Helton swings that would have resulted in the death of an infielder if Helton had let go of the bat. The final strikeout was about as dramatic a swing as anything I’ve seen; Helton wanted a piece of that fastball, and he wanted it bad. But fortunately, he missed and the game was over before he could make League throw any more, or make him walk Helton to load the bases for Michael Cuddyer. So I’m thankful, but still a little scared.
I will be Tweeting my adventures as usual this evening, and will hopefully have some photos up before tomorrow’s game; which reminds me I need to charge my camera battery. Everyone smile, it’s Felix Day!