Cougin’ it: Mariners are MLB’s version of WSU football
By Jim Moore
If you were like me, you spent a good part of Thursday night flipping back and forth between the Mariners-Angels game and Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
After the Mariners went in front 7-0, I spent most of my time watching the fourth quarter of Game 7 because I was confident there was no way Felix Hernandez would blow a touchdown lead.
Maybe you did the same thing I did, turning back to the Mariners game in the fifth inning when Eric Wedge’s team had an 8-2 lead. I wasn’t concerned when the Angels put together four consecutive hits to make it 8-4. But when the next batter, Mark Trumbo, hit a three-run homer to make it 8-7, I began to worry.
By the time the Angels were done battering Felix, they had seven hits in a row and were back in the game. I wondered why Wedge didn’t lift Felix during that crazy hitting barrage, but maybe he was trying to get him through five innings so he could qualify for his ninth win of the season.
Even with ace Felix Hernandez on the mound, the Mariners managed to lose a seven-run lead en route to a 10-9 loss Thursday. (AP)
Even crazier, how in the world does Felix Hernandez allow seven hits in a single inning? In 12 of his previous 15 starts, he had given up six or fewer hits.
You knew what was going to happen after that: the Mariners would find a way to lose. Bad teams, as the Mariners have proven, lose games they’re poised to win.
But we all kept watching. Why?
• The Spurs-Heat game was over.
• A few diehards maybe thought: “Hey, we still lead 8-7, I’ll bet we can hold on for the win!”
• Cynics thought: “I wanna see how they blow it tonight!”
• Personally, I will never reach the point of seeing too much of the Sleep Country spokeswoman. No matter what is happening in a Mariners game, I cheer up every time she enters my family room.
Honestly, the Mariners are baseball’s version of Cougar football. At 32-42, they’re a slightly better version, but you always get the feeling that something will go wrong in any given game because it usually does.
They have lost 13 one-run games. They lost three walk-off games in Cleveland. Thursday night’s game might have been the worst of all – in the non-walk-off division, anyway
I can’t believe I thought this team was going to go 85-77. They’re on a pace to finish 70-92.
Now what? Should they call up converted outfielder Dustin Ackley, who’s hitting .389 for the Rainiers? Should they call up the rarely-healthy Franklin Gutierrez, who hit a home run in the Rainiers’ 12-11 loss to Colorado Springs Thursday night? Should they call up Erasmo Ramirez to replace Aaron Harang in the rotation?
One more question: Would any of these moves matter? You like to think they will, but with the way the Mariners are going, you suspect that they won’t.