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Around the Horn

Dodger Blues

I didn't go to any of the three Dodger games at Safeco Field this past weekend. I had other things going on and no affinity or special dislike of the Dodgers, plus I knew the ticket pricing would be exorbitant, so I skipped the series. This turned out to be a good choice.

The three games, consisting of two blowout losses and a comparatively dull easy win that turned into a nailbiter than turned into an extra-inning victory by way of one of the weirdest and least exciting methods possible (the "walk-off balk"), showed us not a competitive team in the hunt for the postseason, but a pitching staff of ineptitude and a lineup with too many exploitable weaknesses.

Seattle pitchers were tagged for ten homers in the series. Ten! LA has a lineup full of power hitters, but ten in three games? You might think that was unheard of but, it's the third time they've had ten longballs in a series this year; they also hit ten in three games against the Pirates in July, ten in four games versus the Brewers a few weeks ago, and they clubbed 11 homers in a three-game set against the Mets in June. Twice they've hit seven homers in one game. They hit a lot of home runs. Your pitchers need to be on their game when facing the Dodgers, and the best the Mariners had to offer turned out to be the unlikely pair of Nick Vincent and Zach Duke, the only ones to escape the series without putting at least one Dodger on base, and James Pazos and Adam Warren were the only others who didn't give up any runs. The Dodgers, on the other hand, who have seen their bullpen get battered of late, had seven relievers shut down the Mariners and two of three starters hold them to a single run.

Yeah, the Dodgers looked pretty good this weekend, but the Mariners didn't just lose, they looked bad. Pitchers serving up a smörgåsbord of meatballs to be crushed. Batters striking out at an alarming pace. Guillermo Heredia getting seven at-bats. Everything frustrating about this year was showcased in this series while none of the good stuff was. Not even Edwin Díaz got to shine—he blew a save—and Alex Colomé, who had been riding a 19-game scoreless streak, had two bombs hit off him. Mitch Haniger made an error. Dee Gordon was 0-for-10. Andy Romine pitched. Twice.

And to top everything off, the sellout ballapark crowds were made up of maybe 50% Dodger fans.

The sweep of the Astros in Houston revived the spirit of Mariner fans everywhere. Our M's were contenders again! All is not lost! Then they dropped two of three to Jed Lowrie and the hated A's and now two of three to the Dodgers at home. Our collective spirit is once again on life-support. But hey, next up are those same Astros, and they're hurting. If the M's can take another series from them this week, then maybe we can feel good about the season again.



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