... and that's part of the joy of sports, that it's as unscripted as life is - that sports IS life. At the very moment we thought the M's would never give us another dopamine hit, BAM!, they roar back to life and put all the pressure back on the A's.
Sure, it's only one game. But the M's back-channel characterized themselves as "excited" about the series, "excited" for the chance to put the pressure back on the A's, and slap me silly if that's not exactly what they done.
It's as if the M's shook the cobwebs out of their heads with a violent sideways shake, blinked their eyes several times, and woke up. From the very first pitch we were suddenly watching that old version of the Mariners, the one that surged to a big lead in the Wild Card. The A's never had a chance.
THE FIRST INNING
Leave us revel in that blastoff first inning once more:
1 MITCH HANIGER - Montas 97.0 called strike 0-1. Montas 98.0 swinging strike 0-2. Montas 98.3 fastball -- ripped clinically on a long line drive two-hop to the right fielder.
2 DENARD SPAN - K.
3 ROBBIE CANO - Montas 96.0 called strike 0-1. Montas 97.3 MPH fastball for a strike .... slicing liner into the RF corner for men on 2B and 3B. Note once again the M's letting the ball travel and then squaring the ball up the other way.
4 NELSON CRUZ - Blasted a (literal) 112 MPH single up the middle ... except somehow Montas picked it off, picked Haniger off, and it was men on 1B and 2B with two out. I sat back in my chair, disgusted. No runs this inning.
5 KYLE SEAGER - On 3-1, fouled off a tough 97-MPH paintball. Giving himself the chance to BB next pitch, loading 'em up, two out, for
6 RYAN HEALY - Took two crazy wild pitches for 2-0 as the pressure transferred to the A's. Montas threw one down the middle for a strike, 2-1. And then -- AB of the game -- Montas threw a 97.9 MPH down-and-in fastball, Healy turned on it, barrelled it up, and screamed a long line drive into LF for the 2-0 lead. Visually and in the box score, the playoff Mariners were back.
7 BEN GAMEL - fouled off a 98.3 MPH fastball, took a close 97.7 MPH fastball, and then took a 97.6 fastball for the bases-loaded walk. 3-0. The velocities of the fastballs of the AB in order: 97.5, 98.1, 97.1, 98.6, 98.3, 97.7, 97.6. Suddenly, as if in a dream, the long lineup was back.
8 MIKE ZUNINO - capitalized on a throwing error by Chapman that allowed two more in. 5-0.
9 DEE GORDON - slapped a second straight ball at Chapman who grabbed the ball, reached for the right grip in his mitt, and... no way. Gordon beat the throw, 6-0.
You have to go back to June 6 (pre-winning streak) to find the M's losing such a dreary game, they with 2 or less and their opponents with 6 or more. LOL.