Tonight’s game let us all go through the entire emotional roller-coaster of this season in one game. We got to be apathetic, angry, hopeful, excited and then terribly disappointed all in one game. Actually this was more like three games rolled into one. First we had our normal outing by Ryan Rowland-Smith allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, while the Red Sox starter John Lackey pitched a no-hitter all the way to the bottom of the 8th with two down. This appeared to be another dumb yet ordinary Mariners game.
But then magically in the bottom of the 9th a second game developed that was fun and exciting as the Mariners rallied for 5 runs to tie this game. As I sat with my friends watching this inning we kept looking at each other as if to ask each other if it was ok to believe again in this team. After all didn’t Franklin Gutierrez just deliver a two-run bomb? Of course he did, followed by a series of hits and errors by the brash boys from Bean Town and all of a sudden we were alive and cheering in the restaurant just like the faithful down at the Safe.
And for a few innings as our relievers did their job we relished in our near-death experience like comrades in a lifeboat. Yes the second game of tonight’s game was wonderful indeed knowing that we had busted-up Lackeys no-no and even came back to tie the game 6-6! Who cares if this season is a bust we are going to push the mighty Red Sox out of the AL East race and let them suffer a bit, as we have paid our dues this year thank you very much.
The third game of tonight’s game was worse than the first game of just getting beat by a better team. And though round three of this 13 round prize-fight was terrible, the fight itself felt ok as at least we indeed did throw some punches, just not the knock-out punch we needed. As we headed into round 12 this one was starting to feel like a play-off game with every pitch, and out, magnified by the sheer drama of the earlier rounds. And we really had a shot in the 12th as Jack Wilson blooped a lead-off single to start the frame, followed by an infield single by Ichiro that ex-Mariner Adrian Beltre mishandled. Figgins then laid-down a perfect bunt to give the Mariners runners at second and third with one down. This is the moment when the ghosts of the 2010 season started to creep into my mind whispering to me names like Eric Byrnes, Jose Lopez etc. I brushed the demons aside however until half-way through the Gutierrez intentional-walk as I realized that it would indeed be the Mariners poster-child for dysfunction ……Jose Lopez up with the bases loaded and one out. And yes he did what Lopez the loper does best…He choked with a weak pop-up. Our other wayward teenager Milton Bradley followed Lopez and popped out himself.
At this point we knew it was only a matter of time before the Red Sox put us out of our collective Mariners-Misery so we got up and left the restaurant. Of course part of being a Mariners fan, especially this year is you actually can’t believe it is happening so you have to subject yourself to the actual dismal reality to believe it is actually happening. So after watching through the window outside for a minute we came back indoors for the final round. The only good part of the top of the 13th was watching Adrian Beltre’s long home run shot go foul by a couple of feet. I noticed he did not do his little dance at the plate or appeal his own check-swings like he did when he played for us, and alas he did not drive in the go-ahead run. And no the other ex-Mariner Mike Cameron didn’t put the dagger in our hearts tonight. No, the death-blow came from a double with two outs and two runners aboard by Eric Patterson who had come in to relieve ex-Mariner Bill Hall. The bottom of the 13th we had a classic Mariners 1,2,3 inning and the tide sucked another chunk of the souls of me and my fellow Mariners fans out to sea once again……http://jeffsmariners.com