To start off this series of recaps I’m gonna start with an analogy from the 1995 movie Friday.
DISCLAIMER: if you have never seen the movie this will go straight over your head… But I’m going ahead and assuming you’ve seen it because it’s hilarious. If you haven’t, I suggest you go watch it.
This part of the movie is at the end. In this analogy, the Mariners are Craig. Deebo, represents the unforgiving reality of the baseball gods this season/series. Craig and Deebo go back and forth, Craig starts to gain momentum but Deebo ends up temporarily knocking him flat on his back. This is where the parallel to the 2015 Mariners season comes in. This whole season we’ve been fighting back and forth with the baseball gods, attempting to gain some momentum. Nearly every time this season, I’d say, we go up 5-0 and proceed to lose 11-5… Figuratively speaking, these games and this season we have been constantly getting knocked out by Deebo and have struggled to get back up, but good news everyone! If you’ve seen the movie you know that Craig gets back up and KNOCKSDEEBOOUTMAYYNE *ChrisTuckerVoice*. So, my dear Mariners fans, the first game of this series (or really the majority of the season) against Oakland is getting beat up by Deebo. The following game was that little glimmer of hope that is gonna help us see the good and encourages us to not give up. It’s the “COME ON CRAIG, GET UP CRAIG” moment, if you will. The third is the triumph, the series win and the momentum that will help us finish this season strong. It’s our turn to knock out Deebo and get Nia Long to date us. Let’s go Craig, let’s go Mariners.
MONDAY/ FREE #KUMANONO TSHIRT GIVEAWAY/ (HISHASHI IWAKUMA v. FELIX DOUBRONT):
Monday evening was the first home game Kuma had pitched since August 13th, also known as the day that he threw his first ever no hitter (5th in Mariners’ history). As a tribute to our dear Bear, the first 20,000 people to arrive to Safeco received a t-shirt commemorating the feat. The game started with lots of fun, but ended up with sad me eating three Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I’ll just leave that there.
The first starts with a Marte single, Nelly Cruz strikeout and then with Robinson Cano up, he lines a hit back up the middle that absolutely nails Doubront in the leg. He ends up being okay, but man is that a scary moment for any pitcher. On the other side of the ball Kuma was pitching like he meant it and we left runners on in the first two innings.
In the 3rd inning, the Mariners don’t leave anyone on base. It’s here where they found some offense and boy oh boy that was FUN! Truly one of the funnest innings I’ve gotten the chance to witness in a long time. They did it on a #MARTEPARTAY double (then he stole third!), a very scary Nelson Cruz H.B.P., Cano R.B.I. single to score Marte, a Guti THREE RUN HOME RUN (!!) and a solo shot by Mr. Mark Trumbo. This part was good. This was the momentum Craig the Mariners had going into the fight that made it look like, “hey we might actually win this thing”.
Then comes the 5th inning and much like the 6th inning of Friday’s game, it was very much not welcome. The rest of this is gonna be fast because this game was really a bummer to watch when all was said and done. Kuma gives up a total of seven runs on two doubles, a single and a soul crushing home run. Jesus Montero plays an awkwardly dumb fielding decision to keep the inning going and Kuma is replaced by Olmos. Our poor, poor bullpen then gives up four more runs and we lose… Badly. This is us getting knocked out by Deebo. The good news is that we all know our mid-90s comedies and that Craig the Mariners eventually gain enough strength to get back up. We’ll be okay Mariners fans… We’ll be okay. As always, go Mariners.
TUESDAY/ GET UP CRAIG (Mike Montgomery v. Jesse Chavez):
This is our “COME ON CRAIG GET UP CRAIG MOMENT”. Yesterday’s game was awful to watch unfold, but there is always something better to look forward to when all the bad stuff has gotten out of the way.
Mike Montgomery had previous success against the A’s and was hopefully going to repeat his luck with this game. That did not happen… He lasted less than two innings while giving up five earned runs. This game was drudging along right where last night’s game ended. It seemed like all fight was gone and we were just gonna go through the motions until the game finished…. SURPRISE. Nelson Cruz, hitter of all the home runs, had something to say about his team being down 5-0. Like many times this season, Nelson hit a baseball very, very far and gave this team some hope. Austin Jackson then hits a double and Logan freakin’ Morrison of all people smacks a ball into the right field corner that ricochets off the foul pole, and whatttya know, the Athletics lead is now down to a slim 5-3.
Now to the 5th inning. The inning that gave us so much trouble last night… Today, the 5th inning was our time to come back and Craig, it’s time to get up. COME ON CRAIG. COME ON MARINERS. With two outs and runners at the corners, Robinson Cano hit a single to bring in Zunino… 5-4 Athletics. Chavez walks Seth Smith for the second walk of the inning and the bases are loaded. If you’ve watched the Mariners even semi-closely this season, you know we have left the bases loaded approximately 1,738 times this season, but not today… We’re fighting back today! Austin Jackson comes absolutely clutch with a two run single and brings in what ends up being the eventual winning run. Somewhere in there Robinson Cano becomes the first player in MLB history to record 30 doubles in his first 11 consecutive seasons. He did it on bloop shot to left and an excellent slide into second, right under the glove of Brett Lawrie. Yes he Can-o!
The final score is 6-5 Mariners and we all win and go home happy. Way to get back up, Craig. Let’s get back up on our feet and knock Deebo out… and who better to deliver the knock-out punch then the King himself? No one. That’s who. Go Mariners.
WEDNESDAY/ HAPPY FREAKIN FELIX DAY Y’ALL (Felix Hernandez v. Chris Bassitt):
Here we are, trying to knock out Deebo the Athletics series. We struggled the first two days. The first losing in horrible fashion and the second falling behind then piecing together a come back win to beat Oakland 6-5. Today is the day that we win, and not a barely got that last run, win. We will show the baseball gods that we aren’t going out that easy and we’re gonna win this fight if its the last thing we do!
As we know, this season has been a series of unfortunate events, filled with bad breaks and even worse luck. If there has been one guy that we can could count on to put the team on their back every dang season, be consistent (as consistent as a sport like baseball can get) and show us what a franchise guy is… That guy is Felix Hernandez. However this season, even the King could not escape the misfortunes that have bestowed the 2015 Mariners.
Today, on the first pitch of the game Billy Burns smacks a homerun to right field and it’s 1-0 A’s. Only Ian Kinsler and Jose Reyes have accomplished a leadoff home run against Felix before, the first of those three coming in 2011. We don’t want people to hurt our King anymore, and watching him struggle is painful. Luckily, Felix did normal Felix things and shut down the rest of the side on 10 pitches. I even had a co-worker of mine come into my office and say “Felix already gave up a home run… He’s gonna get rocked again”. This is the same coworker that told me just a few weeks ago that he was jumping on the Astros bandwagon… *sigh*
The bottom half of the 1st inning some beautiful things happened. All nine Mariners players reached the plate and batted around for the VERY FIRST TIME this season, if you count batting around as 10 men coming to the plate in the inning. Ketel Marte started the inning with a single and was the last out of the inning. In between Marte at bats we have RBI singles from Cruz, Trumbo and Morrison and an RBI double from Seth Smith. The only people who did not get on base in the inning were Seager and Sucre. By innings end it was 4-1 Mariners. Yippee!
Cruz puts the Mariners on the board again in the 6th with a single that scores Marte. Also, I know I’m not alone when I get excited about Ketel Marte. Just in the short time I’ve started writing about my dear Mariners I’ve noticed that I write “____ that scores Marte” a whole lot. This means the kid gets on base a shit ton and when the likes of Seager and Cruz are batting behind you… Oooooweee, watch out now y’all. Anyway back to the game. Felix has not given up a run since the lead off HR to Burns, but in the 7th he gives up a solo shot to Brett Lawrie. Need not to worry folks, we promptly got that run back in our half of the inning with a Sucre RBI groundout that scores LoMo. 1-2-3 goes Oakland in the 8th and Felix’s day is done. Bullpen gets day off (mostly). They are happy.
Felix ends with 8 strong innings, 3 hits allowed (2 of which were solo home runs), 1 BB and 7 SO. He exits with a comfortable 6-2 lead, but the Mariners weren’t done yet! No no, we still got some scorin’ to do! In the bottom of the 8th our 2&3 hitters, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz, make it little easier to breathe and hit back to back home runs. God bless you Kyle and Nelson, my goodness you two are fun to watch. 8-2 Mariners. Vidal Nuno closes out the game only giving up one hit. I promptly email my coworker a series of celebratory expletives that were the equivalent of saying “na na na na boo boo we won HA-HA,” in adult. Mariners > Astros.
Going into writing this re-cap I knew that the Mariners had to win this last game to make my analogy work. We needed that no doubt about it game that Mariners fans could enjoy without stressing about the many what-ifs we’ve gotten to know over the last 5 months. After the King gave up the first run on the first pitch we settled down, gained our composure and we KNOCKEDDEEBOOUTMAYYNE. Way to fight Craig, we appreciate you.
Next up, Chicago White Sox. Go Mariners.