Stephanie and I went to the game tonight. Well, late this afternoon. The 4:05 start was a weird time. We ended up sitting in front of a couple from Germany who are on a two-week holiday in the United States. They’re big sports fans and wanted to see a baseball game. The day and the funky time fit into their schedule so there they were, wondering if all American baseball games started so early. We assured them that most games did not.
The nice chat we had with the folks from Germany was one of the bright spots of the rain-shortened game. Things started out great. It had been raining on and off all day, which reminded me of the wet spring. we had, where it seemed as though it rained at least once every 36 hours for six weeks. The first inning was beautiful. Jason Donald walked then BAM!, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run home run. The 2,000 or so people in the stadium went nuts. Then Carlos Santana came up and smacked one into the left field stands. BAM! 3-0, Indians, and it suddenly the rain didn’t look so bad. Then Hafner came up and flied out on a ball that was so deep most of us thought we might see three home runs in a row. Alas, the great fast start didn’t last. We managed to get the bases loaded with two outs and stranded them all. After a great first inning it was all downhill. Really, this game was like a microcosm of the entire season. Wet, rainy, big start, followed by stranding a bunch of guys on base, followed by a spectacular tanking.
The game only went seven innings. Starter David Huff only went 2.2 of those innings, giving up seven hits and nine runs (five of them earned). Ouch. The Mariners scored nine runs in the third inning. Nine. It’s not a record, but it’s a heck of a lot of runs in one stinking inning. The rain came down sporadically then decided to really start pouring in the bottom of the seventh inning. And that’s where it all ended. We sat and chatted with the couple from Germany, drank our beers, and watched the rain come down for about 30 or 40 minutes. Then the umpires went to each dugout and the Mariners players headed toward the locker rooms. Right after that, the P.A. announcer stated that the game had been called. Final score, Mariners 12, Indians 6.
That was the game and, in some ways, the season, in a nutshell. Rain. Big splashy start followed by an even bigger drop and disappointed fans. Look, I know the Indians aren’t going to win every game. And I don’t even feel that we are somehow “owed” a championship because we haven’t won the World Series (or, indeed, any sports championship) in a gazillion and one years. Having had a competitive team for a good portion of the season was a delightful surprise. At this point, I’ll settle for finishing over .500 without any more ugly losses like this.