20 strikeouts and clubhouse buzz

Sep 26, 2012, 1:15 AM | Updated: 1:53 pm

By Shannon Drayer

So I can cross 20-strikeout game off my baseball bucket list.

It was the strangest 20-strikeout game I have ever seen. Okay, it was the only 20-strikeout game I have ever seen (buy hey, I saw an 18-strikeout game last week!), but it was indeed strange.

I mean, 20 strikeouts and only two combined from Justin Smoak and Miguel Olivo. Heck, John Jaso had two! Smoak homered twice, once from each side of the plate. It was the first time he has done that as a pro.

Probably the strangest thing about this game was that I felt comfortable with Smoak up to bat with a runner on down three runs in the seventh. He has actually looked like a hitter the last two weeks. On Sunday, when he was intentionally walked, I was disappointed. I want to see him swing the bat now.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to swing the bat in the ninth. With 20 strikeouts, I guess the Mariners didn’t deserve the chance to get to their hottest hitter. The Mariners lost the game 5-4 and the Angels live to fight another day for the postseason.

Before the game, video of Zack Greinke was not the only thing on the TVs in the clubhouse. Oh no, the Mariners were watching and talking about what every other sports fan was talking about Tuesday: the final play of the Seahawks game.

Mariners talk MNF on Beyond the Baselines.

A good number of guys went out to dinner together Monday night and the game was on where they ate, but the sound was muted so initially there was confusion over what they were seeing. Once it got sorted out there was disbelief.

“As a fan it’s disappointing to see what’s happening over there,” Brendan Ryan said. “You just want to see the calls right. The bottom line is, we just have to get the calls right no matter the sport or situation.”

Ryan called the failure to call pass interference on the final play comical but as a guy who has gotten away with a thing or two on the field he could appreciate what he saw from Golden Tate in the postgame interviews.

“I loved Golden Tate’s comments on it,” he said. “He absolutely pled the fifth.”

Ryan then gave a sly look and joked, “I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know why he decided to dive for the ball the way he did when the ball was clearly in the air. That was his choice.”

Right.

Bullpen coach Jaime Navarro is a huge Packers fan having pitched for the Brewers for the majority of his career and he still owns a home in Wisconsin.

“I go to a lot of their games,” he told me. “It’s ridiculous. I don’t know what to say. I can’t believe it. They don’t know what they are doing.”

The good news in or for the clubhouse is that there was no major impact by the play on the Mariners fantasy league. Tom Wilhelmsen had the Packers’ defense but won the week anyway much to the relief of league commissioner/Mariners video coordinator Jimmy Hartley.

“I was checking all the scores to make sure it didn’t affect the outcome and it didn’t,” he said. “I’m glad that I didn’t have to deal with that issue today!”

All’s well that ends well, at least in the clubhouse.

One other piece of news from today: Michael Saunders was not with the team as he left for his offseason home in Colorado after Sunday’s game to be there for the birth of his first child. His daughter was born Monday morning and no word yet on when he will return, but Michael told me Sunday that as this was his first child he wanted to be able to take his daughter and wife home from the hospital before rejoining the team. Good to see him take a little time even if it is only a day or two. What a year for Michael.

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20 strikeouts and clubhouse buzz