I had to catch up on Walking Dead’s remaining two shows of the season before switching to the game, but was able to join the Mariners in progress in the second inning, as Erasmo Ramirez dealt some balls to the Angels. As I’m starting this post, I’m not sure how long I will last for this game. I’m still pretty beat from staying up for last night’s Anaheim smackdown, and I’d like to say that is enough for me, but CJ Wilson just made a very grave error in judgement, and walked Robinson Cano to load the bases for a switch-hitting Justin Smoak, who cleared everything out with a double and gunned the score to 4-0 in the top of the third. That makes me terribly giddy, and I might have to force myself to stay up.
I am trying to keep my expectations narrow and reasonable, but it’s fun to see an actual threat in our lineup for the first time since Ichiro’s guaranteed infield singles, and really, the first time in my history as a fan of this team. Clearly, opposing teams already know better than to give Cano a pitch, but the fact that it feels like Justin Smoak is already doing better in just two games than he has since he got here a few years ago is encouraging and hard not to get excited about. I know, I know; it’s still early, and I’m being hyperbolic. Just very excited for the return of the game.
Our wide lead didn’t last long. Raul Ibanez now wears an Angels uniform, which pains me to even look at. I didn’t mind him in New York, and definitely not in Philadelphia, and I’m sure glad he’s still playing because I have always liked him, but the Angels are far more detrimental to the Mariners than either of those teams could ever be, and it just sucks to see him in Angels red. Ibanez hits a dinger or two on occasion, and that is what he did to an Erasmo Ramirez 2-seamer right over the wall in center to score a based Josh Hamilton. Then Hank Conger popped up into the middle of a charging Cano and Abraham Almonte, and Stefan Romero, and nobody called anyone off and the ball dropped in the grass. Conger made it safely to first and Howie Kendrick took over the second bag. Ramirez got out of the inning successfully, but Lloyd McClendon already had Hector Noesi warming up in the bullpen, in anticipation of something going wrong.
Around this time, my internet crapped out on me; Comcast is the bane of my existence, but as they have basically monopolized the city of Seattle, we don’t have other options, without shelling out for a dish, which I am just not feeling like doing. Brad Miller took CJ Wilson long for a solo dinger in the top of the 6th after Ramirez finished pitching a nice solid 5th inning with no runs. Corey Hart nabbed an awkward swinging “bunt” single (can you really call it a bunt? He was clearly swinging away), and was all smiles as he reached the bag while Angels third baseman David Freese went to pick up the ball, muttering what I’m pretty sure were swear words. Dustin Ackley and His Magical Beard took a nice giant chunk out of the 4th pitch Wilson threw at him, and bounced it off the back wall of the field, scoring Hart. Score 6-2 Mariners.
And now comes the part where I have to admit defeat and go to bed. I’m not taking anything for granted with this game; our bullpen could implode, our defense could do the same, but Erasmo Ramirez is still on the hill in the bottom of the 6th inning, so maybe this won’t go so poorly for the Mariners after all. It is difficult to write when our internet keeps failing and the TV broadcast itself is digitizing and flickering in and out and I’m done fighting it for today. Ramirez just handed a 5th strikeout to Raul Ibanez, and I need to get some rest.