What’s an 8-7 loss between friends?
Losses like this are a bit like constructive criticism. A blowout checks both teams out quickly, leaving everyone in a difficult state to recover from. But a back and forth thriller? Even between two doomed teams in a pre-forsaken season that’s fairly gripping for players and fans alike. Today the Mariners were held in contention by players with a potential future in teal and held back by those whose time may be limited.
Wade LeBlanc had another difficult start, but grading on the curve of “was his curve hit into space every third pitch”, it was not too shabby. Poor Wader Tot has struggled before and after his IL stint, but made it 5.0 innings without a walk and just three runs. Working with some extra stress due to some shaky defense and poor fan activities, it was passable from Wade, and the offense had his back.
People who came to play besides those fans included: Mallex Smith, Shed Long, and Tim Beckham. It might be too late to salvage Mallex’s season-long numbers but he’s looked unrecognizable in the past few games, spraying the ball all over, making mayhem on the bases, and leaving his helmet as a diabolical calling card on triples.
Shed Long has looked increasingly comfortable at the plate as well, and despite the extremely disappointing ankle sprain to J.P. Crawford we’re fortunate to get to see another young infielder hitting well and consistently. Shed sprayed doubles to both corners of the outfield today and walked in his other two plate appearances. Beckham chipped in with a stellar diving play on defense and, well, his own calling card at the dish.
2019 Mitch was 2019 Mitch and struck out thrice but added a two-run dinger to tally seven runs, which should usually be enough.
It was not.
Ye olde bullpen made a mess of things, halted only by an inning and a third of sharp work by The Good Austin Adams.
This is saved as “Austin Adams death slider” pic.twitter.com/083lCp5xY4
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 29, 2019
Jesse Biddle AND Roenis Elias racked up blown saves on the day, with Biddle muffing a dribbler and then whizzbanging the throw down the right field line like a child growing frustrated with their failed efforts to skip a rock. Roenis wasn’t sharp, his third straight poor outing since his 7-out save in Oakland a week or so back. Perhaps he needs a longer break, his command was shakier than his velo. Taking over with the score 7-7, Anthony Bass was the man to take the final lump, though he pitched well enough to escape a loss. With two outs and nobody on, a Nomar Mazara fly ball tailed on Domingo Santana, and once again the tricky movement proved too much for him to track.
The M’s would put a pair on in the 9th but a double play ball culled the threat. The losses are all disappointing but the processes are variable, and after yesterday’s disasterpiece, simple sufferings like today feel like saccharine on the tongue. Tomorrow comes the Angels who are famously not the Rangers, and I can’t wait for that.