This won’t be a long post. At least, I don’t plan on writing for very long. We don’t usually do game recaps here at the Good Guys blog, usually we just focus on bigger ideas and lately we’ve been focusing on prospects. Tonight though is cause for a little something to be said.
If you haven’t heard, six Mariners pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter. Kevin Millwood started and was awesome but then he came out with a groin injury at the start of the 7th inning. It’s a shame he couldn’t keep going because, from what I saw (I did miss the first few innings), he had a real chance to do it all himself. But, fate had him coming out and, for some reason, that just seems fitting.
These Mariners are different then most teams we’ve seen before. In the last couple of years they’ve started with a mix of veterans and young players and went from there but this year they started with mostly young players. The young players have shown promise, but they’ve taken their lumps as well. They’ve taken more lumps than anything else. Over the course of the last road trip the team became exciting though. They struck for 21 runs. They kept games close, even when they lost. They came back and won. The Mariners were actually improving and getting better.
I remember around the third or fourth year of the Tyrone Willingham era in UW football. We’d go to the stadium every week and after giving him the benefit of the doubt for the first few years, it was easy to see that the coach wasn’t getting his team to improve each week. In fact, they were getting worse every week. This is exactly how the last few Mariner last few seasons have been. This is the first time we’ve seen real improvement. Sure, we’ve seen winning streaks but not definite improvement.
The Mariners will continue to take their lumps. They’re still young and will suffer a few more losing streaks throughout the season. Justin Smoak will go through a cold spell (in fact, he’s going through a mini one right now). Michael Saunders won’t continue to look like Josh Hamilton. Kevin Millwood won’t throw 6 innings of no-hit ball. But, I’m betting that the good times will start to outweigh the bad.
For a second tonight, I thought about the M’s making a run at the playoffs this year. It’s most likely not going to happen and that’s okay because I’m truly starting to believe in the future of this club. I have for a while now, but it seems that all of Seattle is starting to buy in. Tonight the Mariners, Tacoma (AAA), and Jackson (AA) gave up a total of 4 hits combined. It’s not just happening on the major league level right now, there’s encouraging signs everywhere. Are you starting to believe? This team is growing up in front of our eyes and tonight was another major step in the right direction. Go M’s!