Baseball is a game of streaks. Winning streaks, losing streaks, hitting streaks, scoreless streaks, you name it, they have a record of it. That is why Erik Bedard would not pitch last night, July 6. The reason being is that I am on a streak that can not be broken.
The last three times I have purchased advanced tickets to attend a Mariner game, the starting pitcher has been Ryan Rowland-Smith, the third being the one he pitched instead of Bedard. So I was not surprised when Bedard felt stiffness during his rehab and was held back. It was too early in the streak.
Rowland-Smith was destined to lose Tuesday night. He had won only one game all year-I was there for the 1-0 victory over Cincinnati- and he was facing the Royals Zach Greinke, a pitcher the Mariners, like many teams, can’t figure out.
Going into Tuesday’s game the collective batting average of the nine hitters against Greinke was .128. They managed two hits in twenty-two at bats and one of those hits could have been an out if second baseman Mike Aviles throw been on target. But as his throw sailed over Billy Butler’s head at first base, Michael Saunders went to second, getting a hit, advancing to second on the error. So that .128 batting average dropped even more last night. The Mariners have now scored only one earned run against Zach in the last thirty-nine innings.
Not only that but Rowland-Smith is the hard luck pitcher-every team has one-who does not get run support. Early in the year he was dreadful, giving up home runs like a batting practice pitcher. But he has been doing much better of late as his earned run average has dropped from plus 8 to 5.74 after last night. Combine early season woes with run support of 2.96 and you have a 1-8 record.
So you see the cards were stacked against Rowland-Smith. But he does pitch well in the three games I attended: 17 innings-14 hits-4 runs. True he walked 10, striking out 5, but his era was 2.11.
So I am on a streak of seeing the same pitcher and Ryan is on a streak of bad luck. He reflects the Mariner season. He just can’t win.