Game 155, Mariners at Twins
Taijuan Walker vs. Hector Santiago, 11:05am
Baseball lost one of its brightest stars today. Jose Fernandez was 24 years old. If anyone would encourage baseball to keep playing and find joy in every aspect of the game – from playoff chases to random moments of brilliance from Mike Freeman to Nelson Cruz – it’d be Jose. I know this, but I can’t do it just yet.
Fernandez was a test. Was his ever-present smile a bug or a feature? When he laughed while dominating a line-up or hitting a home run about his own joy, or was it mean-spirited and against several unwritten rules? Was his personality a much-needed boost to the game, or an unwelcome, invasive import from a different (and tacitly or not-so-tacitly irreconcilable) baseball culture? Unlike so many things in the game, there really was a right and a wrong answer to this.
Fernandez was about to become a father, and should’ve given Clayton Kershaw a run for NL Cy Young for years. I’m sad I didn’t see him enough. I’m sad baseball can’t build off a guy like that. I’m sad for players around the league, many of whom are clearly taking this pretty hard. I’m sad for Marlins fans, who’ve lost the face of their franchise. Most of all, I’m sad for his family, who’ve been through so much, and now have to go through the unimaginable.
The M’s are 2.5 games out of the wildcard. Dylan Bundy faces off with Braden Shipley in Baltimore, Edinson Volquez starts opposite Detroit’s Matt Boyd (a Seattle native), Michael Pineda and Marco Estrada start for the Yanks and Jays, respectively, and someone named Daniel Wright leads the Angels against Joe Musgrove and the Astros.
1: Heredia, LF
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Lee, 1B
7: Martin, CF
9: O’Malley, SS