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GameThread #162: Oakland A's at Seattle Mariners

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This is it!

Sean Manaea takes the hill for the Green and Gold against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
Sean Manaea takes the hill for the Green and Gold against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The last game of the season. The final 9 of 2016. The last day to see no-doubt-soon-to-be-traded players in green and gold. We come off a 10th inning win that had Joey Wendle saying "that's the most fun game I've ever been a part of," wrecking the Mariner's chance of post-season play (Jane Lee, 10/2/16).

But let's admit it. This year has been a hard one. Going into the game today, we have a winning percentage of 42% (IF you round up: 67-93). We've lost players that we are still steaming about: Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Rich Hill and—for some of us—Billy Burns. The excitement of getting a player like Chris Coghlan was short-lived—leaving us June 9th. We suffered way too long with Billy Butler who was finally released on 9-11. We've worried about 28 year-old Andrew Lambo who is battling testicular cancer and has been gone the basically entire second half. We finally learn how to spell Rzepczynski and can almost pronounce it correctly and he's traded to the Nats. We've fallen for the annual Wolff teasers of a new stadium, winding up our butterflies despite our minds telling us it's just the annual tease. Yep, it's been rough.

So on this final game of the season, let me help remind us all about WHY we love baseball and why we should enjoy this final game—win or lose:

  1. We are great umpires and know more than the boys in blue who are out there. Someday there may be new technology where they can hear what we yell at them through the TV screen.
  2. We can relax during this game because of our undying belief of "Wait ‘till next year!" Our next year is due, given the barren wasteland of late!
  3. Baseball has great "prizes" as my good friend Joey says. Today's giveaway is the team photo. Important given the number of newbies on the squad.
  4. There are comforts in the game: Stephen Vogt's walkup song remains the same, so there's a comfort in that.
  5. Khris Davis has hit 41 home runs and we could see #42 today, if he pinch hits!
  6. We don't have to see Billy Butler today.
  7. We don't have to see Billy Butler any more.
  8. We don't have to see Billy Butler.
  9. Rookie Sean Manaea has given up only one run in the last 14. Manaea has handled several Seattle batters well. Batting .200 or less against Manaea is Robinson Cano, Dae-Ho Lee, Leonys Martin, and Kyle Seager.
  10. Felix Hernandez has been inconsistent in September, giving up a lot of runs. This goes well with Yonder Alonso, Ryon Healy, Bruce Maxwell, Marcus Semien, Stephen Vogt and Joey Wendle who all have averages of .300 or better against King Felix.

So no matter what, enjoy the game today. The fall chill is upon us and it'll be a long winter until pitchers and catchers report. Enjoy the game. Yell at the TV. BE the ball. Because no matter what, we have baseball, and we love our boys. And there's always next year.

Today's Lineups

OAKLAND A'S SEATTLE MARINERS
Marcus Semien - SS Guillermo Heredia - CF
Joey Wendle - 2B Shawn O'Malley - SS
Stephen Vogt - DH Robinson Cano - DH
Ryon Healy - 3B Franklin Gutierrez - RF
Yonder Alonso - 1B Kyle Seager - 3B
Bruce Maxwell - C Dae-Ho Lee - 1B
Brett Eibner - CF Ben Gamel - LF
Matt Olson - RF Chris Iannetta - C
Jake Smolinski - LF Mike Freeman - 2B
Sean Manaea - LHP Felix Hernandez - RHP