Game…sigh…75. Athletics at Mariners, I guess
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Bartolo Colon, 7:10pm
He looked again at the 8.5×11″ sheet that functioned as his ticket. “I miss old tickets” he thought, the latest in a litany of complaints he’d considered because he didn’t want to come out and say the real reason for hesitating. Iwakuma’s great, he thought. 2nd best pitcher on the team, having an incredible year. And Bartolo Colon. Could be a pitcher’s duel. Nothing like the tension of a pitcher’s duel. Offense held in check for 5, 6 innings, every at-bat, every ground ball or can of corn bigger than it should be – like every event is wearing a crisp charcoal suit.
You can put a charcoal suit on yet another three-pitch K (last pitch a foot outside) if you want to, he thought, just make sure you put it underground next. Didn’t we just do this? Iwakuma pitched, too. Extra innings without runs. Every event not magnified, not greater than itself – every event just *tired*. It was an ode to sleep, performed by the exhausted. “Excitement” doesn’t just rise over time in a game like that. It rises for a while, and then you get a bit restless, and then it’s all you can do to stop yourself from hating them – you’ve grounded out weakly four times and the fact that it’s close, the fact that this game is statistically improbable, doesn’t make me feel any better when you do it a fifth time.
Colon doesn’t miss bats. Puts the game in motion. Lots of chances. They can play spoiler a bit, with Oakland and Texas in a real race. Always liked Jaso. I’m still really curious to see what Kyle Seager’s ceiling is. I wonder if Nick Franklin will hit 20 HRs one year. How is it that a player can go from high-K to low-K in one year while moving up to the majors? The M’s had prospects, we were just confused over which ones they were. No matter. Montero can’t catch? Zunino can. Ackley can’t be a centerpiece middle-infielder? OK, we’ve got Franklin. The plan’s delayed, that’s all. A’s and Rangers were always going to be tough in 2013. And what can you say about Iwakuma?
Nothing that we haven’t said about Felix. The only good thing about last night was that it wasn’t at home. I hated seeing the crowd in a frenzy after seven straight hits, but I will have nightmares about that happening here. King’s Court stunned, K cards half lifted, hanging around the midsection like a shield. One kid near a field mic still yelling because she’s too young to understand that the M’s aren’t going to come back, that while Felix may not do this again for a long time, we just caught a glimpse of the end. The only thing to do is to be quiet. We go to games to *stop* seeing glimpses like that. That’s what we’re here for, unless Franklin Gutierrez is playing, and then we have an odd kinship with the glimpses – like we have something in common with someone as extraordinary as Franklin Gutierrez. And anyway, Felix has his Mark Trumbo. We hate Trumbo for it, but at least we know it, and we know his role, and hope any of his successes are short-lived and not-enough. We don’t know who Iwakuma’s Trumbo is yet, and that just makes it worse.
Taijuan Walker’s performance last night earned him a promotion. He’ll pitch Tuesday evening at Cheney Stadium.
In other heralded-prospect news, Brazilian lefty phenom Luiz Gohara makes his US debut tonight for Pulaski.
Last night, Edwin Diaz struck out 9 in 6 scoreless innings (giving up just one hit), but the game went scoreless into extra innings, where the P-M’s lost. A fitting introduction.