It cannot be easy being a Seattle Mariners fan right now. Consider this screed from Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, written for yesterday’s newspaper:
The Red Sox are coming to town tonight, always an event. They’ll be easy to pick out at Safeco Field: They’re the good team.
That’s the kind of statement jinxes are made of, yet last night, the Red Sox managed to pour it on late against Felix Hernandez — thanks in large part to the cruddy managing of John McLaren, who left Hernandez in despite having obviously lost all pretense of command late in the game.The M’s rallied, improbably, against Jonathan Papelbon, and the run or two McLaren might have saved by bringing in the bullpen a couple batters earlier in the eighth loomed large indeed.
It’s really a great time for the Sox to be facing the Mariners — worst record in baseball, worst on-base percentage and ERA in the American League, giving up nearly 10 hits per game on average — considering the Sox have their own peculiar brand of troubles. They seemingly cannot lose at home, but they seemingly cannot win on the road, even though their fans try their best to make each road game feel like Fenway Park.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is a similarly conflicted pitcher: First in wins and winning percentage, third in ERA and hits-per-nine, fifth in Ks-per-nine, but first in walks allowed, third in wild pitches and a les-than-stellar 23rd in WHIP. Perhaps the free-swinging, low-OBP Mariners are just what Daisuke needs.
Hey, it worked for the Yankees, who nudged closer to respectability, thanks to Seattle. Time for that Mariner charm to go to work for the Red Sox. Comment away!