Game 160, Angels at Mariners
King Felix vs. CJ Wilson, 7:10pm
The baseball playoff races could all be decided tonight, or we could continue to bask in chaos for another few days. The Angels essentially need to win out, as the A’s sweep of the M’s means they’ve got more of a shot at passing the Rangers than they do of being caught by Anaheim. This would all be thrilling for the general baseball fan, and enjoyable for those who hate the Angels specifically, but its hard for many M’s fans to summon much emotion right now.
The team has essentially played spoiler by getting shut down by the Angels and A’s in succession. Its bullpen, one of the remaining interesting things about the 2012 team, is limping towards the finish line. The offense picked itself off the canvas and made a run at being merely ‘below average’ after 2.5 years of being hilarious. But a succession of close, winnable games against good teams makes the real improvement feel a bit hollow.
There have been signs of progress, and the team could surprise next year with a solid pick up or two and some luck, but the best farm system in baseball can’t make late-September baseball featuring a last-place team watchable. You know who can?
I feel all of us lean on Felix’s transcendent talent as a reason to watch/care, but in our defense, have you thought about how special his multi-year run is? Felix needs no projection. Felix doesn’t need luck to even out. Felix doesn’t need a veteran presence, he doesn’t need protection, he doesn’t need to make a few simple adjustments. He’s essentially the only part of this organization that doesn’t need more time. For that, Felix deserves every accolade he gets from M’s bloggers, writers, fans and even opposing batters. Tonight’s the final King’s Court of 2012. We’ll talk about 2013 tomorrow. Tonight, go to the game and yell. Watch it and remember what it feels like to care.
4: Montero (DH)
7: Olivo (C)
SP: King Felix