Game 18 Notes: Mariners 4, White Sox 5

I’m going to make this short and sweet. That was just a killer loss. I can’t believe that just happened. Losing on a walk off home run is bad enough. For it to be the second game in a row is worse. For it to happen with a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth is too much for me to handle at once. David Aardsma is an extreme fly ball pitcher. U.S. Cellular Field is maybe the easiest park in baseball to hit a home run in. The results shouldn’t be too surprising, but it still felt like a kick to the groin. Especially after how lucky we got in the top of the ninth (the fan who grabbed Kotchman’s single down the right field line is worshipping Alex Rios right now). Doug Fister pitched better than I expected yet again. Our offense was terrible for most of the game but pulled it together to give us the lead in the ninth. And we lost. I have a feeling this could happen quite often this season. We’re 9-9 now, and frankly, we’re a team built to win 80-85 games, so 9-9 isn’t unexpected. But we could easily be 11-7. And 11-7 sounds so much better than 9-9. Other game notes:

*One of my favorite things about Doug Fister is the pace at which he works a ball game. I don’t know how many pitchers work from pitch to pitch faster than Fister, but I couldn’t imagine it being more than a handful.

*Fister made a very good hitter in Carlos Quentin look foolish with a swinging strikeout in the bottom of the second. When I see things like this, I think maybe Fister’s success this season is just a little bit more than luck.

*Jose Lopez is awesome at third. It’s official. He started an excellent 5-4-3 double play on an Alexei Ramirez (very fast) ground ball in the bottom of the third, and made an excellent bare hand on a bunt by Gordon Beckham in the bottom of the sixth to throw him out. I’m fine with waiting for his bat to come around as long as he keeps playing third base like some sort of neo-Adrian Beltre.

*It’s cool that Guti finally hit a home run. He’s done everything else this year for us.

*Fister dominated Beckham at the plate tonight. I don’t know if that says more about Fister or Beckham.

*Ichiro almost tripped after making a catch on Quentin’s flyout in the bottom of the fifth. This means nothing. I just wanted to point out that on occasion Ichiro can look silly too.

*I love Eric Byrnes. I really do. No one else can make weird, crazy, kind-of-cool-but-not-totally-cool plays at the rate that Byrnes does. His hangs-on-the-wall-and-knocks-ball-back-in-play-to-allow-only-two-runs-to-score-instead-of-three play in the bottom of the fifth wasn’t even surprising to me. At this point, I just expect Byrnes to be involved in strange plays.

*Rob Johnson finally did something good on defense, throwing out Alex Rios at second in the bottom of the seventh. Even though Rios went on to beat us with a walk off home run. It’s the small things that get you through the day.

*Griffey is so terrible, that when he walked in the top of the ninth to actually get on base, I did a little jig (not really, but I definitely did a mental jig).

*For those of you who didn’t see the weird Casey Kotchman RBI single down the line that turned into a 2-run single down the right field line because a moronic fan grabbed the ball while it was still in play, well, that’s exactly what happened. It was weird. And it made me happy.

*Paul Konerko and Alex Rios hit home runs off of David Aardsma. That’s really not that surprising. It was just terrible to watch. I hate games like today. I hope tomorrow is better.

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