An early-season reminder that it can always get worse
Last week, one of the few comments on the week in review came from Bill Hagthrop, who covered it rather succinctly: “My review and I summarize, Stink,Stank,Stunk.” This week’s Sea Us Summarize somehow brings even grimmer tidings. More stink, stankier, stunkiest, if you will. A sweep by the Houston Astros, a near sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays at home and the losses of Matt Festa to the 15-day IL with elbow tendonitis, Tom Murphy for at least a few weeks with a dislocated shoulder and Matt Brash to Tacoma by way of ineffectiveness. J.P. Crawford got in on the action, too, exiting Saturday’s game with back spasms and sitting on Sunday. At this point he’s day-to-day. It was an exceptionally grim stretch of baseball, made even more so by the fact that they are far better than they’ve actually been performing.
Record for the week:
Nobody rains on the Mariners’ parade like the Mariners do.
Player of the week:
The pickings are slim, but this week we’re giving the nod to George Kirby, who made his major league debut on Sunday against the Rays. The 2018 first round draft pick became the first pitcher in franchise history to throw 6+ scoreless innings in his first outing.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 8, 2022
And how cute was his passel of bros?
Kirby struck out the side in the first. https://t.co/fHZ92uGlxj
— Varsity Insider (@lohudinsider) May 8, 2022
Play of the week:
The good vibes may have only lasted a few minutes, but what good vibes they were. It was incredible to watch a man actively exorcise some of his demons on live television.
At-bat of the week:
We’re going to pettily give this one to Adam Frazier’s un-at-bat in the bottom of the 10th inning of Sunday’s game. Sure, I guess I can see Kevin Cash’s reasoning in skipping one of the M’s peskier contact hitters and setting up the double play with a slow runner at the plate. But also, it’s Ty France, currently the second-best hitter on the team?
Nemesis of the week:
Manuel Margot evidently picked up the Tsar of T-Mobile Crown that Salvador Pérez left behind after the Royals series, and wore it jauntily over the four-day stretch that the Rays were in town. I’m not sad about this being the final time the M’s will play Tampa in the regular season.
Favorite Mariners content:
I loved this extremely happy coincidental convergence of Kyle Lewis’ triumphant return to playing live baseball, and new writer Bren Everfolly’s writing – and presence at said return in Salt Lake City. They wrote beautifully about the melancholic twists and turns of the 2020 Rookie of the Year winner’s career thus far, and I remain amazed by the talent of all the new voices gracing LL’s front page of late.
Other than that, my favorite Mariners content was simply choosing to not watch the Mariners much this week. It’s like dealing with a temper tantrum: They know what they’re doing is wrong, and giving them any more attention will only fuel their fire (or, in this case, fuel my own frustrations). I will give a plug for watching – hear me out now – the Mets, who have been supremely entertaining and also happen to have one of the most fun broadcast teams in the league.
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
Here is the hottest tip I can give you for attending a baseball game at T-Mobile Park: Bring your own snacks. Heck, bring your own breakfast, lunch or dinner! Obviously it’s fun to have the traditional ballpark fare – or a few steps up with the new Marination or Din Tai Fung stands – but if you’re looking to save some money and/or are attending the game with folks who are anti-omnivorous, it’s a great way to go. For Mother’s Day, I packed a massive amount of picnic paraphernalia into my plastic Miami Marlins tote: Prosciutto, brie, artichoke hummus, crudités, caprese, baguette, the works. My mom, like so many of her contemporaries, loves lemon desserts, so I made these little gems but with circles and heart-shaped cutouts because I’m the favorite daughter.
Note: This mobile picnic strategy has also proven particularly successful for luring reluctant baseball fans to the park. For example, my father will be led almost anywhere with the promise of ample meats and cheeses. We packed up a boatload of salami and he was perfectly happy to cheer on George Kirby and the Hydro Racers.
Bold prediction for next week:
If the last few weeks haven’t been evidence enough, hot takes like this are not my forte and the Mariners have played abysmally regardless of my predictions. So this week…I predict that Seattle will remember how to hit the ball. And that there will be ample defensive shenanigans when the Phillies come to town.
It’s an NL East-a-palooza this week, with the Phillies flying in for a three-game series, an off-day, and then three games against the Mets at Citi Field. As someone who has been thoroughly Mets-pilled after living in upstate New York (shoutout to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies), I’m really looking forward to this week of baseball. As always, keep an eye out for Jake Mailhot’s brilliant series previews.
This week in Mariners history:
On May 3, 1998, Dan Wilson did this for the first time in Mariners history. Come for Dave Niehaus erring on the call, then frantically course-correcting to squeeze it in again, but stay for the Tigers outfielder simply lying on the turf, watching the horror play out.