Seattle Mariners Rally, But Don’t Rally Enough


There is an ebb and flow to the marathon of baseball.  No one game is played exactly the same – if one were to look deeply enough into the statistics, the character of the players, and the relationships that build the ballclubs, it would be revealed that there is beauty in the details.  The little things, I suppose.  One of the great things about literature, specifically fiction, is that – one can ascertain their own interpretation of a particular text, and thus lead themselves to their own conclusions.  The adventure of reading is finding the moral of the story, and then finding out that your idea of that moral doesn’t quite match up with that of someone else.

In theatre, there is a school of thought that supposes a dichotomy of the genre: the existence of comedy and tragedy.  A comedy is the story of the rise in fortune of a sympathetic central character.  There is the character you relate to – the hero – that the audience can relate to and empathize with.  This character rouses up quelled emotions in the audience, and thus gains their attention through parallels in their own lives.  A tragedy depicts the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgement, producing suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience.

The Mariners have found a way to marry these schools of thought.

Tonight, the Mariners lost in dramatic fashion.  It’s both hard and easy to report such news, being that they have so much young talent that they are simply evaluating, it’s no surprise to anyone that they land themselves in these circumstances.  At least it shouldn’t be.  It’s easy, on the other hand, because it’s the 2011 Mariners.  We’ve been conditioned to accept this team.  After a seventeen-game losing streak, most find it difficult to find anything optimistic about this team.  There are some things, however.  The little things.

Mike Carp has extended his hitting streak to twenty games.  That’s twenty games for number twenty.  He doubled in a run, and now has the longest active hit streak in the majors.  I can’t remember what it felt like to have A-Rod, Griffey, Edgar and Jay all in the same lineup.  I remember it happened, I remember seeing it happened, but I can’t remember what it felt like.  I think if Dustin Ackley, Carp and Casper Wells can turn into some semblance of that, maybe that will be close to the same feeling.  It won’t be the same, but it’ll be close.

I’m sort of skipping past Michael Pineda because, well, they’ve sort of shut him down.  His irregular schedule has sort of taken him off his game, sort of.  His first inning was great, where he struck out Desmond Jennings on three called strikes, and induced a swinging strikeout to Evan Longoria.  Pineda just doesn’t have that pep in his step like he used to.  Either way, with his performance tonight, he showed that he can still hang in there.  He never gave up. Because of this attitude, his perseverance has rubbed off on the rest of the ballclub.

Enjoy these .gifs because, like I’ve said, it’s the little things that make this game great.

I still don’t get his swing.  I mean, I get it, but I don’t get it.  The .gif reveals that he has great hip-shoulder separation.  We’ve talked about his quick hands and strong wrists.  I don’t really need to get it, as long as he keeps doing this.  Another thing to notice:

This could be the future of your Seattle Mariners.  I just see confidence.  There are so many things to look forward to, yet, those visions are hampered by the current struggles of the team.  It’s just hard to look past misfortune, I suppose.

One of the struggles of the Mariners has been the Designated Hitter position.  I am by no means advocating that Wily Mo Pena should end up the DH of the future, but look what adding a little pop does to a lineup.  I mean, this was a no-doubter, and I heard on the radio side that the blast might’ve gone as far as 510-feet.  Good golly.

I mean, he stayed with a low curveball and just mashed it.  Look at the tracker- it was clearly going to be a bad pitch for him to hit, but he reached out and got it.  Also, pay attention to his little shuffle-step at the plate once he knows he’s gone yard.  Don’t you just love it?  When the Mariners find their DH of the future, it will be a bizarre elation, being that we haven’t had a serviceable one since Edgar Martinez.  We play in the American League!  What suffering.

Now, I bring you to this even more bizarre of an affair.  Dan Cortes is in the game, and he’s trying to make the last out of the inning.  This pitch was effectively a pitch-out.  A wild pitch, yes, but just look at where the ball went.

You see Cortes sort of surprised.  It’s that “Ack! I’ve done something wrong” moment.  Then there’s the play at the plate:

He looks like a wide receiver diving into an endzone.  It gets better.  I’m not sure how a professional ballplayer should react to that situation.

Dugout: Great job, Dan!
Cortes:  Thanks guys, I was trying really hard.
Dugout: Trying hard to hit Bard’s glove or the vendor’s tray of hot dogs?
Cortes:  Guys, I was trying really hard.  I still got the out!
Dugout: You should just do that everytime, I think it’ll work out better for you.

Cortes has the worst fist bump.

And it all ended with this pitch:

It was on the outside part of the plate and Johnny Damon just pulled it into the seats enough to get it out.

I mean, see that smug look on his face?  He’s trying his hardest not to laugh!  What a mean guy.

The Mariners head to Cleveland for some baseball games.  I’ve never been to Cleveland – does it actually rock?


Adam H. Wong
Follow: @themarinerspen