Mariners. Yankees. 13 innings. An instant classic.
Last night we watched an epic. We watched two aces lay waste to the opposing offenses. We watched the bullpens escape extra inning jam after jam after jam after jam (13 innings!). We watched hilariously bad baserunning. We watched two teams desperate for a win battle to the death for over four hours. We watched a man become a hero days before he’ll be designated for assignment. We saw everything, but Julio, runs, and the October weather.
Last night changed Seattle Mariners baseball forever
Whenever the Yankees come to town, you know the fair-weather fans and transplants will make their way to the ballpark and mess with the home field advantage. Last night was more of the same, but the home team’s crowd roared back. Yes, we heard the Yankees chants, but the pro-Mariners crowd roared back and we’re absolutely electric.
As the game wore on and it became clear one single run was going to give one of these teams an epic momentum-swinging win, the crowd felt that and the energy was palpable. We have not seen an environment like this in 20 years. Last night was different.
Luis Castillo is different. Having an ace like this changes the dynamic of the season for Seattle. Offense getting mowed down by Gerrit Cole? No biggie, I’ll meet him in the arena, and out-duel him even if I don’t get any help. He can carry Seattle through a series. He makes the thought of an upset legitimately possible now. Seattle made such an incredible trade.
Andrew Munoz brought the hottest heat on a night that showcased the best flamethrowers in the game. Munoz challenged eventual MVP Aaron Judge in a showdown that was appointment television, and he slayed him. The man throws heat and possessed sliders that are flat-out untouchable right now. When he struck out the side in the ninth, that was the moment we’ll look back on when Andres Munoz became the ace of the bullpen.
Matt Brash was told he couldn’t get his control in check and had to go learn to be a reliever for the rest of the year in Tacoma. He grinded, and when Seattle needed him most, he stepped up. A Houdini-like snag helped create a little league double play, before he locked in on his control issues, getting out of a bases-loaded one-out jam. To see him come through and win in those moments we’re awesome.
There are so many more players and moments that I could hit on, but this is about the team and the city. Last night, an unstoppable force in the New York Yankees met the immovable object in the resolve of the Seattle Mariners. Last night was more than just standing up to the evil empire. Last night was about standing up to adversity, the walls closing in on themselves as multiple Wildcard contenders grow closer, and the city wanting so desperately to believe in you, even though the history says otherwise.
The Mariners held their ground last night and won not just the hearts of nearly 40,000 fans at T-Mobile Park, but the city of Seattle and baseball fans everywhere. This game was a war, just like this season has been a war. Nothing has come easy, but nothing of worth ever is, and the Mariners earned a tough win last night, just like they’re marching to earn their first playoff appearance in 21 years.
The Seattle Seahawks have a game this week, but when you turn on the television, radio, or awesome baseball websites, you’re gonna hear about the Seattle Mariners. That’s pretty freaking cool.
Last night was the end of the old era of Mariners baseball. Even if the Mariners lose by 15 today, it won’t matter. What matters is that last night’s game got Seattle excited for Mariners baseball again. The future of this team is bright, and last night was a milestone moment in the rebirth of Seattle, Washington…Baseball Town.