Hello, Rationalization, my old friend. It’s been a while since we last spoke, but you know how sometimes periods of success and jubilation can get you distracted. Yes, I realize we were just chatting after the last game against the Twins, but there was a half-inning long reprieve where we were up 2-0 over the Mariners today. That’s practically an eternity in 2018 happiness terms.
At least, that’s what I would have said if I had spoken to Rationalization today. I acknowledged him, in all of his ever-glass-half-full glory, with a little raise of the eyebrows, but by the end of the third inning of the game today, he had completely vanished. There were positives and perspectives to banter about, little joys and extravagant flourishes to bounce around! Alas, his absence was filled with a somber acceptance that Andrew Heaney could not be saved on this disappointing night and that the Wild Card is... well, let’s just not go there.
It was Nelson Cruz, perennial pain in the butt, who would kidnap my futile hope. He would turn on two pitches from Heaney today to single-handedly score 3 runs for the Mariners and also give the bad guys a lead they would never relinquish. Andrew Heaney did himself no favors in that third inning, completely melting down and giving up hard hit after hard hit, but Cruz was responsible for getting inside his head.
Michael Nelson Trout did his best to counter the damage by the villains, by taking two balls (one from Wade LeBlanc and one from Ryan Cook) and carefully and deliberately sending them after the Voyager 1. What’s more, the second home run would be on a high pitch for which Trout is known for not doing exactly what he did. Pujols would also laser a first inning LeBlanc pitch into the left field stands, but that was all the offense wrote as far as run support for Heaney.
Small snippets of the omnipresent bronze linings that continue to further drag down your night as you wonder what might have been:
- Jose Miguel Fernandez continues to hit and be a beacon of light for 30-year old rookies everywhere.
- The bullpen has looked very good as of late, conveniently right as the starting pitching has seemed to fall apart again. Maybe it’s just a bad game or two and we will recover, but I’m beginning to suspect that the changing of every month means an entirely different team.
- Mike Trout’s two home runs tied him back up with JD Martinez, put him ahead of Betts in runs, and also reminded us who the very best that ever was is.
- We did not lose by one run.
- Tomorrow is a new day featuring another exciting rookie in Jaime Barria.