The Good Ship Mariner hit choppy waters rounding Cape Disappointment, their streak of not losing a series since the Houston fiasco April24-26, ending in Cleveland. Seattle lost two heartbreakers Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s loss with Felix on the mound.
What? Felix losing a game. It happens. Justin Verlander gave up eight or nine runs the other night, so Cy Young pitchers can and do have an off night. Felix struck out eight in five innings, pretty powerful, but he threw 107 pitches, gave up eight hits and six runs, five earned. That would be what he normally gives up in a few games. It was a matter of location and he was locating in the hitters zone and they were hitting.
I mentioned in a recent blog the Mariners were taking one step forward and two steps back as they would flirt getting to within two game of .500 then fall back. This time after beating New York 3-2 Thursday they were within one game of .500 at 20-21. Now they are 20-24 after running their ship aground near Lake Erie.
It is as if the Mariners might have stage fright or fear of success. Their comfort zone is playing below .500 and when they get close to achieving success, for them being .500, or, God forbid, playing above .500, they lose a few games. I think if the Mariners got on another hot streak, an extended one against the Angels Tuesday and Wednesday in Disneyland against the Angels, then against Texas at home, playing a home and home against San Diego, then on to Minnesota, the Mariners could be above .500. If that happens Mariner fans will get dizzy with the rarified height this team has gone.
That streak could start Monday in a wrap up game with Cleveland. Emperor Iwakuma takes the mound. Can Cleveland beat the King and the Emperor two days in a row? So far this year, after beating Felix, the Indians have a 7-1 record against former Cy Young winners. The Indians are playing great baseball, so anything can happen. The Emperor must stop the Indians, the Mariners must start a new streak. They must prove to themselves they have no stage fright, prove they have no fear of success, prove they belong in rarified heights.
The Mariners need to re-excite the fans, keep the energy flowing in the right direction, get the Good Ship Mariner past Cape Disappointment.