The last few days have been kind of a blur. Friday was a bad pain day for me. I was looking forward to coming home and watching the game, but Oakland “fixed” that for me by not tarping their field earlier in the day, rendering the grass and dirt a slushy wet mess, and me and other Mariners fans gameless. You would think, with what is likely a multi-trillion dollar business, MLB could afford to build their Moneyball darlings a new park to play in. Billy Beane has certainly saved them enough money in talent. This is not to slam the A’s, by any stretch. Baseball is a business and sadly, sometimes not for the better. The A’s have done well for their city and fans the last few years. They deserve better than what they’re getting.
I missed yesterday’s Felix start unfortunately; I had the wedding of a dear friend to go to, and was not home for the game. But I hear it was Felix’s 27th-or-so game with 10 or more strikeouts, and there were more home runs from the offense. Judging by the score of 3-1 and hits given up on both sides it wasn’t an easy win by any stretch, but I have no problem, a win is a win, and the King is still the King.
Today was Erasmo Ramirez on the bump against Sonny Gray. If memory serves, Gray was pretty good last year, so at the outset of the game things looked like a good match. Today was a little league day at the park, and the kids had all been apparently given A’s woven bracelets. Through the broadcast, there was a very high-pitched whistling sound, and Shannon Drayer Tweeted that apparently the children had figured out how to turn them into whistles. Ryan Divish Tweeted shortly thereafter that there was actually a whistle attached to the thing. By the top of the 2nd listening to the broadcast, I wanted to claw my face off.
I had to eat in order to take medication, and I chose the top of the second to do so, during a commercial break. I was in the kitchen making a sandwich when the Mariners pulled in their first two runs of the game, scoring on Abraham Almonte and Brad Miller singles. There was another run brought in in the top of the 3rd for the Ms, but it only took one bad pitch to Brandon Moss with two men on base to even the score entirely. Pitching down the middle to Brandon Moss is a horrible idea.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sam Fuld smacked one to Abraham Almonte, but Almonte didn’t make it. Brad Miller swooped in and picked it up on the bounce, and blindly threw to first, where Justin Smoak gloved it and tried to tag Fuld out as he ran back to first, having failed to make it to second. The call was challenged. Replay showed an iffy call of out, and after review, the umps decided that in fact, Fuld was out at first. I am still dubious, but the call stands.
Erasmo Ramirez gave a single to Eric Sogard, a walk to Coco Crisp and a single to Josh Davidson in the bottom of the 5th. He was replaced by Chris Young, who was originally supposed to start on Friday. Young was working with no outs, and that worked against him. Sogard had scored on the single, and then Crisp scored on a Jed Lowrie groundout to center. Score 5-3, A’s.
Young was replaced by Dominic Leone, who was just called up to serve in relief. Leone could have done better, but he also could have done a lot worse; a hit a walk and a strikeout isn’t anything to shake a stick at, especially with a team like the A’s. He held Oakland to their five runs, and was replaced by Yoervis Medina, who started the bottom of the 8th inning by serving up a nice fat hittable 2-seamer to Yoenis Cespedes, who sent it over the wall in center. Score 6-3 Oakland. The Mariners offense had been put to bed for the rest of the game, and Jim Johnson came into the top of the 9th to shut everything down. The A’s took the series, but we are 4-2 for the road trip, so I’m not going to complain. The Mariners can now come home and bring baseball back to Seattle for real this time.
It’s going to be a busy next 48 hours for me, but the next time there is writing in this space, I am hoping it will be from 35,000 feet in the sky. Virgin America has wireless, and it is my intention to do my home opener blog post from the sky so I can get some sleep after the game and before I have to be at the airport at 4AM or so. I am not sure that the reality of this trip has quite hit me yet, and it’s crazy even to think about, that I’m finally going to get to do this. Stay tuned to this space as I attempt to bring the east coast west. And hope to see you all at Opening Day on Tuesday!