Game 156, Mariners at Angels

marc w · September 27, 2015 at 10:27 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Jered Weaver, 12:35pm

One of the tired cliches of meaningless September baseball is that a team can play “spoiler” – that they have an opportunity to impact a playoff race that they themselves aren’t involved in. The verb feels odd, like this spoiling business is a game or musical instrument, and it’s never clear if this is a nice consolation prize or some awful baseball purgatory: watching others experience what you and your teammates can’t. Does it have to be forward-looking, or can the M’s look back on their season and identify spoilering back in, say, May? I bring it up because, despite their strong second half record, the M’s have brought joy to several teams in recent weeks. While they delayed the inevitable by a day, they were the opponent the Royals clinched the AL Central against. And now, they’re keeping the wild card chase pretty interesting, bringing the Angels to within a half-game of Houston and keeping them there last night. This is the necessary opposite of the “spoiler,” and because the M’s face Houston after this series, they will either spread joy again or, if you prefer, spoil their previous spoiling.

Instead of having a role in deciding playoff teams, most M’s fans are interested in this one because of the Angels’ starter. 11 days ago, Weaver was ejected after plunking Kyle Seager following a testy exchange as Seager settled into the batters box. I’ve been a bit surprised to see how many people saw this as a case of Seager trolling the competitive Weaver as opposed to Weaver picking a really odd thing to get pissed off about. In any event, it doesn’t sound like there’s any residual animosity here, so I doubt we’ll see an encore or an escalation, though I really hope Seager homers so we’ll get a chance to test that hypothesis.

1: Marte, SS
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cruz, DH
4: Cano, 2B
5: Montero, 1B
6: Smith, LF
7: Morrison, RF
8: Miller, CF
9: Hicks, C
SP: Iwakuma

The Angels seem to struggle against splitters, which bodes well for Iwakuma today. LoMo as an outfielder, however, does not. Thankfully, Iwakuma’s a ground ball guy.


5 Responses to “Game 156, Mariners at Angels”

  1. msfanmike on September 27th, 2015 11:39 am

    Winning is always better than losing, but the Mariners need a top 10 pick a lot more than they need to end up with the 11th-14th pick in next years draft, so go out there and non Knute Rockne yourselves right into the offseason.

    I doubt they will need the extra encouragement until the final weekend of the season, but there’s no time like the present to start some planning.

  2. mrakbaseball on September 27th, 2015 12:33 pm

    Are Dipoto and Eppler really the finalists for GM? Is that supposed to be exciting?

  3. thehemogoblin on September 27th, 2015 2:26 pm

    ugh, ew, David Freese

  4. Westside guy on September 27th, 2015 3:56 pm

    Sorry to have missed this one, but grocery shopping seemed to be a better use of my time…

    But for the Rangers, Astros, and Angels this is getting pretty exciting.

  5. seattleslew on September 28th, 2015 11:14 am

    According to ESPN, “DiPoto” resigned as a member of the Anaheim Angels. A janitor and “stats guru” with the Tacoma Mariners overheard that they really wanted to bring Bavasi back, and decided to pursue Dan Jennings to be manager/GM until someone at the local Starbucks suggested they’d have better luck finding their next GM at Home Depot. This reminded them that the former Anaheim GM was available.

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