Coming off a stretch of playing solid ball for a couple weeks with optimism running high, the Mariners of the most recent week of play served us up plenty of anxiety and held out on sharing the Xanax.
Did the Mariners—along with their fans—desperately need some time to catch their breath and relax?
Yeah, you could say that.
Four times in five games these Mariners lost in the final frame, three times in extra innings and all four losses being handed to their until-then solid closer Brandon League.
League came into the game in the 10th inning on Sunday against the White Sox at home. A single and a pair of doubles later, League found himself out of the game. All told, three runs were charged to him in the loss.
Two nights later, after a day off, we went to extra innings in Baltimore. The Mariners scored in the top of the 13th and League was sent to the hill again, this time for a save opportunity. One run was scored after a couple hits, but Brendan Ryan cut down the winning run at the plate. No matter, though. The next batter, Matt Wieters, singled and Felix Pie crossed the dish for the walk off win.
When the Mariners lost in normal fashion the following night, we were able to ease back into our normal routines.
Until the very next game when again in extra innings the Mariners scored in the top half of the 12th. Enter Brandon League, again, as manager Eric Wedge pledged to stick with his closer. A Derek Lee single and two hit batters later, League was in hot water. You can probably guess what happened next, but we're here to relive the anxiety, so allow me to re-inform you that J.J. Hardy singled and two runs scored for yet another walk off loss.
On Friday, the Mariners were in a new city. Would their fate be better in Cleveland?
With a 4-2 lead going to the bottom of the ninth inning, out trotted Brandon League. The entire city of Seattle was popping Tums and pacing their living rooms. There would be no nice and easy 1-2-3 ninth against the Indians, as League gave up back-to-back doubles to get the Indians within one run. After a couple ground outs, Travis Haffner sent a shot to center and once again the Mariners defense trotted off a field with their tails between their legs.
Not exactly the type of week you write down, seal into a time capsule and re-live with your kids a few decades later, now is it?
The final two games against the Indians were postponed due to rain. It seemed as if Mother Nature was skipping by the house that holds the baseball Gods and heard their chuckling. She decided to give us a break, and provided Seattle with a sunny Saturday while its Mariners were drowned in Cleveland.
If there's a team struggling worse than the Mariners, it's the Minnesota Twins. They have the worst record in baseball and are losers of eight straight.
The two rain-outs in Cleveland pushed the rotation back, so the Mariners will send Michael Pineda out to face Scott Baker and Felix Hernandez draws Francisco Liriano in a quick two-game set at Safeco Field beginning tonight.
There's a retractable roof here, and the two best pitchers on the squad are facing a team struggling mightily and missing some of their biggest stars.
The craziness can't possibly continue. Right?