The Mariners had a fantastic come-from-behind win last night in Houston, thanks to their ability to get the bases loaded in the top of the 9th in a tied game, some major tanking on Astros pitcher Luke Gregersen’s part, a Robinson Cano 3-RBI triple, and some excellent baserunning by Leonys Maritin, Norichika Aoki, and Seth Smith. The Astros were undone by their own ballpark; everyone suffers the center field ramp in Minute Maid Park sooner or later. So in honor of that and because I haven’t been able to post them here, today’s entry will be about last Friday’s Felix Hernandez win.
In case it’s not obvious to some, I don’t pay attention to a lot of mainstream music or pop culture in general, so I don’t know the song that is used when Felix walks out of the bullpen and back to the dugout for the start of the game; I have no context for it outside the ballpark. But I won’t lie, it makes me choke up just about every time. The King’s Court was there, Cynthia and I were full of food and beer, and I was ready for some baseball. I was a bit emotional.
I don’t have many decent photos from the middle of the game, plus we were busy watching it and talking with the people around us, but eventually Cynthia needed some coffee (she is one of those crazy people who can drink caffeine at night and still sleep), so we went downstairs to say hi to a friend of ours who works there, and see if he’d let us sit above the plate for the rest of the game. He did.
Take a moment if you will to appreciate this guy with the electric K in the left center of this picture. Every time people would chant, he stood up and turned it on, and it blinked. It was marvelous, and I wish my camera had been able to do it any justice. My comment on Twitter that night that “this doesn’t happen anywhere else in baseball” may have been a bit overreaching, but outside of the K Zone the White Sox have tried to set up for Chris Sale (and I say “tried” because I do not believe it is nearly as successful as the King’s Court has been), I haven’t heard of any other cheering section – promoted by the teams or not – that is nearly as much of an event or spectacle as the King’s Court. The marketers for the Mariners may have struck gold with this one, but the fans that keep coming and selling out the section are who make the lower left field so special when Felix Hernandez hits the hill.
Felix leaving the hill. He didn’t put up much of an argument when Nick Vincent came out to spell him, he just sort of knew he was done, and sauntered back to the dugout, amidst a standing ovation. Business like normal in Seattle for the King.
And then boom, the Mariners win!
It was a good night at the ballpark, in spite of the ensuing traffic snarl that occurred later due to the newly-closed viaduct.
Tonight we have Taijuan Walker against Doug Fister in Houston with an early game that I am going to try to make it home for in time. The Mariners are still being fun to watch, and I am having a bit of an existential crisis in that I’d really like to go to a game next week when they come home, but I can’t go watch baseball because I’ll be watching baseball…somewhere else. I may decide at the last minute to go to Monday’s trial against the Tampa Bay Rays because this team is just so fun to watch right now, and next weekend I will be in Denver and unable to take in any of the three-game series vs the Angels. I don’t know, it will depend on how much I have packed and how much money I want to spend before hitting the Mile High City. So this week, go Mariners, and go Rockies too!