That seemed like such a clever recap title when I came up with it last night in anticipation of today’s game. It’s funny because there are so many ex-Mariners on the Indians, see. (Five, if you wanted to know.) But after tonight’s slugfest by Cleveland, perhaps I should have written “Little League Team vs. Indians,” because not even Felix was enough to save this game.
The Mariners wasted little time flirting with a lead. There was no reason to doubt them heading into the 1st—Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders charged ahead with consecutive singles, scoring a single run easily on Ichiro’s RBI groundout. With Felix up in the bottom of the frame, and keeping in mind his last 12-strikeout start against Cleveland, it looked like an easy 1-2-3 start to the game.
What happened next I can’t credit as much to the Indians’ offense as to the complete unraveling of King Felix and Jesus Montero. You can find the detailed play-by-play on Gameday, but here’s the gist: Felix kicked off the inning with two singles, handed out two walks, hit Asdrubal Cabrera, and fouled a pitch off Carlos Santana’s kneecap. Not helping matters was Montero, who allowed a passed ball, a stolen base, and joined Figgins in back-to-back throwing errors for the Indians’ third and fourth runs of the inning.
From there, things mostly went downhill. Felix finished with 3.2 IP, 10 hits, and 8 earned runs, his briefest and worst outing since a 7-3 loss to Texas last September. The team left five runners on base and went 0-for-6 with RISP. Hisashi Iwakuma made his fourth relief appearance, striking out 4 batters, but walking 3 and sending a home run to Travis Hafner.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, rejoice in the fact that Ackley appears to be heating up. He went 3-for-4 tonight with a pair of base hits and a 2-RBI home run off RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. As for me, I’m going to spend the rest of my night doing something infinitely more fun than watching that game: banging my head against a wall.
Next game: @ Indians | May 17 | 9:05am