It turned out to be a very good ballgame. As long as you’re not an As fan, anyway.
Perfect weather: sunny and warm, but not furnace heat. SPF 80 sunscreen may have been overkill, but better too much than not enough. I’ve had enough painful sunburns to last me a lifetime, thanks.
Decent seat: five rows back from the Mariners’ bullpen, which made for an interesting perspective, even if it was further away from the infield than I really would have liked. I did have the fun of seeing a foul ball zoom by overhead. Here’s a shot of the Mariners’ closer warming up to give a sense of the perspective I had.
The Mariners came from behind to win for the second day in a row. Can’t argue with that.
And some of the questions from this morning’s post got answered.
Franklin should be back, spiked shin and all, soon, possibly as early as Friday. Miller, the SSotF did a creditable job filling in at second, which allowed Brendan Ryan to play short (more on Ryan shortly).
Early on, it looked like the imposter pitcher showed up, but then Iwakuma got his act together. The seventh inning was rocky as well, but he and the team survived.
No astounding emergency call-ups for the As, but they had better call up or otherwise acquire a catcher unless Norris will be back very soon. As we’ll see in a moment, trusting everything to their current healthy catcher is a risky business.
Donaldson’s bat apparently took the day off, as he went 0 for 4. Coco Crisp’s wrist is holding up so far. Not only did he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw, but he also launched the vicious foul ball I mentioned in the third paragraph.
So that’s a 5-4 road trip for the Mariners against three of the best teams in the league–or at least, three playoff contenders, depending on how you really feel about Tampa Bay.
Back to Brendan Ryan. Ryan is arguably the best defensive shortstop in the game today, and one of the worst hitters in the majors. Which explains why I started looking for a wall to bang my head against when he came to the plate with two outs, two on, and the Mariners down by a run. When he fell behind 0-2, I stopped looking for a wall and started eyeing the back of the seat in front of me. And then he did this:
I was very glad to see Vogt get up and finish the game. My first reaction when I saw him rolling on the ground was “The As catchers are cursed this year.” I said earlier that the As need a backup catcher desperately. Had Vogt not been able to continue, their only choice would have been Josh Donaldson, who was a catcher before he moved to third base. Not a good place for the team to be in. But Vogt is apparently OK, and the As are undoubtedly digging through the waiver wire looking to see who’s available.
Certainly the Mariners caught a break there. Looking at the replay, that second run might actually have been the third out, but that happens some times. All part of playing the game.
Also notable on that play: If you have very sharp eyes, you might see me in the background as Ackley and Vogt collide. Look five rows up behind the Sonic.net sign at the 1:30 mark.
There you have it: one of the worst batters on the team came through with exactly the hit the Mariners needed, they took the lead, and went on to win. Perfect. And that is why I watch baseball.