The losses that kill and haunt you

Every team has agonizing losses, games that should have been won, yet slipped away by a ball hitting a pebble, one slight bobble, or one light little blooper. The Mariners loss to Texas in Arlington Tuesday night was one such loss.

Felix Hernandez was brilliant; seven innings, four hits and a walk, one run and nine strikeouts. He led 2-1 with Fernando Rodney on the mound in the 9th for the save. He gets the first two batters out. Kevin Kouzmanoff, two for two lifetime against Rodney is up and he hits one to the left of second base that Brad Miller could have gotten to had the Mariners not been playing Kouzmanoff to pull. Miller moved far to his left but could only get the tip of his glove on the ball. An infield hit. Rodney then falls behind Keith Moreland 3-0, before getting two strikes. One more strike and Felix has the win, Rodney the save. But Rodney does not come close, the ball way outside, ball four. Runners at first and second, but an out wins the game. Donnie murphy pinch hits for Josh Wilson and hits hopper to short. Miller bobbles the ball, but tosses underhand to Cano. The ball is high, Cano Jumps to catch the ball and comes down on the base too late. Fielders choice, error on Miller for high toss, pulling Cano off bag. Bases loaded. Rodney then throws a 97 mile an hour fastball inside. It is so fast, so hard, so inside, it goes all the way to the backstop, tying run scores. Leonys Martin then bloops one to left, game over, Texas wins 3-2.

Ranger fans rejoice. I immediately turn to another channel. I don’t want to hear the postgame show. I won’t watch ESPN. I won’t watch local news.

The loss gave Seattle a 7-7 record and the win gave Texas an 8-7 mark and move ahead of Seattle, who have lost four of five and two of the losses by shutouts. Losing the game the way they did when they could have gained ground on Texas, but fall behind, makes me want to drown my sorrows in two quarts of French vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge swirls.

Consider there were two outs nobody on, one out from a win. An infield hit, a full count walk, another grounder to Miller who makes fluke error on bad toss to Cano, a wild pitch, a bloop single. In baseball you take nothing for granted, the roof can fall in any time, and for the Mariners the game imploded. You love to win those games, but losing one like that kills your spirit.

On Wednesday Erasmo Ramirez, with two consecutive bad starts, takes the mound for the wrap up of the four game series. The Mariners desperately need a win to take the sting away from this loss, for only a win heals that pain. A loss and you lose three of four instead of a split. And the losing continues.

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