erik lundegaard


Sunday August 07, 2022

Nothing Guys from Nowhere Clobber M's 7-1

Bernardino’s stat line: How could a guy come in for 1/3 of an inning, give up a hit and a walk but no earned runs, and still lose?

A viral video made the rounds last week of a young New York construction guy complaining about the Yankees latest loss—which included Gerrit Cole giving up six run in the first inning—to, of all teams, the Seattle Mariners. It was the way he said it that was the chef’s kiss. He said it like it was preposterous. This podunk team, these nothing guys from nowhere, beating his team, the mighty New York Yankees, and raising his blood pressure. The Seattle Mariners. We all had a good laugh as the M’s took a series in the Bronx for the first time since 2016. It was a sign we were going places. 

Last night at the Mariners game, I felt a bit like that guy. We get clobbered 7-1 ... to the Anaheim Angels???

To be fair (to me), if we’d lost 7-1 and Shohei Ohtani had hit two homeruns, well, god bless. But Ohtani went 0-3 with a walk and a sac fly and didn’t look good at the plate. At all. So not only did the Mariners not win but we didn’t get to see a historic player doing historic things.

Instead we saw guys who don’t walk (Jared Walsh, 20 BBs against 117 Ks) walking on five pitches. We saw guys without hits (Mickey Moniak, 2 for 11) hitting the ball all over the place (he went 2-4 with a homerun). None of their 5-9 guys had OBPs over .300, a few had OPSes in the .400s, and their clean-up hitter, with the World War II-ready name Max Stassi, had a SLG in the .300s. Those stats reminded me of the bottomless futility of the early 2010s Mariners team, pre-Cano, when we were at the bottom of every important offensive stat in the Majors. Our 30-30-30 years. And yet these nothing guys from nowhere cleaned our clocks. Their 5-through-7 guys went 5-for-11 with 4 runs scored and 4 RBIs.

Meanwhile, the usually sure-handed J.P. Crawford kept letting things slip past him. We’ll give him the infield dribbler that he couldn’t barehand, even though it led to the Angels’ first run. But then he botches a relay? And in the 9th he bobbles a sure double play for an error? By then we were down 6-1, so it didn’t really matter, but it mattered for its pile-on effect. The thing didn’t happen cleanly and smartly. It was just … this again.

And just when we thought we were done with “this again.”

That accounts for some aspect of my frustration: I expect something from the Mariners now. Each game matters. It’s been a while.

I was also more laser-focused on the game because I went by myself. It was the second half of a “day-night doubleheader,” meaning two games played on the same day with separate admissions, and so, on my Mariners calendar printout, where normally I have a big circle around the date so I can tell at a glance which games I’m going to, this one had a smaller, tighter circle around the second game. And I never noticed. It wasn’t until Friday night, when MLB sent me a reminder that my tickets were now available in its Ballpark app that I went “Oh shit,” and tried to drum up business. To no avail. First Sat. night in August. Everyone was busy. So I went solo. As a result, I could focus on the Angels’ hitters horrific stats. And I could wonder over why Adam Frazier, a lefty, was leading off against lefty Reid Detmers. And I could wonder whether the scoreboard crew had screwed up yet again when it flashed M’s relief pitcher Brennan Bernardino’s stats:

0.1  IP, 1 HIT, 1 WALK, .500 BAA, 0.00 ERA, 0-1

I mulled over that one for a while. How could a guy come in for 1/3 of an inning, give up a hit and a walk but no earned runs, and still lose? If he’d let inherited runners score, it wouldn’t be his loss. I was guessing errors and unearned runs, but the answer was simpler if dumber. Bernardino game in for the 10th inning of a game against Houston and let the ghost runner score. Not an earned run but a loss. The ghost runner. Rob Manfred strikes again.

Mitch Haniger got a nice round of applause in his first game back, and went 1-3 with a walk—the one hit being a two-out, nobody-on double in the 8th. Eugenio Suarez followed with an HBP (why are they always hitting our batters?), and Carlos Santana strode to the plate. A homerun would make it 5-4 and we would be back in it. Instead a fly out to right and the fat lady cleared her throat.

I miss Julio. The Mariners miss him more.

Posted at 10:30 AM on Sunday August 07, 2022 in category Seattle Mariners