Last night was awful. Just horrible.
After seducing the entire fan base by drawing them in with delusions of 7 run leads and what turned out to be a phantasmal offense, Seattle savagely stabbed the beating hearts of Mariner fans in quickly coughing up the lead.
It’s early but it could conceivably be one of the harder losses to swallow this season.
The loss itself was a giant black mark but beneath that, the game featured many positives. John Jaso, receiving just his second start, continued to solidify himself as a potential fan favorite. Jaso bludgeoned a mammoth home run during the bottom of the third. Home Run Tracker measured his shot at 378 feet. On a brisk, wet, Seattle night, that ball went a long way. I don’t think hopes for Jaso were this high when we acquired him. He was an offensive-lacking catcher who had just enough potential to be average at the position. Yet with Miguel Olivo just one misplayed ball away from being chased out of Seattle by an angry mob girded with pitch forks and torches; Jaso has a rare opportunity to be loved, without having to be anything more than above average. Fun sample size fact for Mr. Jaso, he is currently the proud owner of a 100% contact rate. John Jaso has yet to swing and miss. Obviously that is a stat that he can’t maintain, but I’m pretty sure Miguel Olivo swung and missed at the first pitch of the season or something like that, so it’s nothing to sneeze at either.
On top of John Jaso, Justin Smoak checked in with 4-5 performance. I think most people wouldn’t admit to how worried they might have been when he got off to a slow start, but there was some amount of concern among the general fan base. But Smoak has begun to show signs of life, and with his performance last night he is well on his way to turning things around. Last night was the first four hit game of Smoak’s young career, and I speak for us all when I say I hope it is the first of many, many more.
Even something historical took place last night when Kyle Seager singled in the bottom of the 4th. That single represented the Mariners 50,000th base hit. 50,000 hits and no world series rings? The Marlins scoff at you Seattle.
What perhaps is the most unexpected positive of the night came from Mr. Brendan Ryan. Last week, I discussed my aggravation with Ryan and his tendency to hack at the first pitch with reckless ambition. Last night we witnessed something rather odd when Ryan drew four walks. That’s no typo…four…walks. With those walks last night Ryan’s OBP skyrocketed from .290 up to .361. He now leads the team in walks (6), OBP (.361), doubles (3), and HBP (1). Once again none of that is typo. This game was so very uncharacteristic of Ryan, and it was such a strange phenomenon to watch an overly aggressive free swinger rack up four free passes. This is one of baseball’s hidden treats. Watching a player achieve something outside of his skill set is one of my personal fan-favorite-moments. It would be similar to watching Willie Boom-Boom go 3-4 with 3 home runs, you’d just never guess.
Ryan just won’t let you stay mad at him for long. Between him, Jaso, Smoak, Seager, and just overall how many balls were hit on the button last night, it’s hard to stay discouraged about the loss. Yes, the loss was a little devastating considering the lead we had, but in a year in which the goal is developing our young, talented players it’s hard not be be happy with what you saw last night. Consider this, if that line drive by Montero had found some grass or if that home-run-in-any-other-park by Saunders had actually left the yard, the Mariners are probably looking a W rather than an L. Oh well, all you can do it take the positives and try and win one today.