Game Time: 8:10 PM CDT (02:10 GMT)
Weather: Northwest Depressing, Cold Drizzle, They Have A Roof
TV: FSN. Radio: It's A Sound Salvation.
It's a late-nite game, lunacy abounds, here's a longish bit (600-odd words, it won't bite.) Scroll down to the charts for tonight's semi-relevant stats and lineups.
What's the strangest thing you've ever seen during a baseball game? If you can beat "exploding killer volcano," you win a lollipop.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, about 90 miles from Mount Saint Helens, which we could see from our baseball field. That field sloped uphill like in Minute Maid Park, giving us a view. The earliest surreal moment of my life occured when a kid playing outfield yelled, "guys, I think the mountain's maybe blowing up."
It wasn't – it was venting steam. And since it was in the process of preparing to blow up, it vented huge plumes of steam pretty often. The best place to see this was from our baseball field. It got so the neighborhood Needs Attention, Horribly Neglected Kid would run around shouting "Mount Saint Helens is erupting!" and everyone, children, adults, everybody, headed straight for for the baseball field, only to discover neighborhood NAHNK was usually lying.
He wasn't lying on May 18th; the mountain blew the hell up. Megatons of ash exploded, miles and miles into the sky. We watched it mesmerized for hours. My dad was at work, and kind of a dim super-patriot John Bircher type, so he wasted a while calling nobody-indoors-at-home to tell us "the Russkies nuked Seattle!"
Seatlle is lovely and has a lovely ballpark. All ballparks are labeled lovely when they're new, just as all wedding couples are called radiant and/or handsome, but only a few really stand out. Safeco Field is one. Because the Northwest is gorgeous. It's a spooky kind of gorgeous, though.
I was once on a merchant ship sailing into Seattle; my roommate had never been west of the Mississippi. I was excited for him to see Puget Sound and our Northwest scenery. I caught up with him at lunch and he was sickly pale. "I'm staying inside the ship," he said. "This really makes me uncomfortable."
It is creepy. Nature is Bigger Than You and Doesn't Care. The Olympic range, visible from Safeco, played grim Siberia in "Hunt For Red October." Mount Hood, not too far from my baseball field, stood in for Fu**ing Evil Hotel in "The Shining" (note: I do think Mount Hood is actually haunted.)
So I won't knock anyone who prefers the San Francisco ballpark or the Pittsburgh one to Safeco. Pretty rivers and shiny happy bays are pleasant things; mountains that look like they house spleen-eating trolls making sacrifices to Cthulhu may be less soothing.
Landscapes oozing "all human aspirations signify nothing" are my childhood legacy, yet I can't drive in them anymore. After a few years in Minnesota I vacationed in the Northwest, and when on scenic roads in my rental car I could only think "jesus H. shit, there's no barrier, you can plummet right off into death!"
Pitching tonight at spooky Safeco Field, where God mocks your soul, will be Trevor May, who was born in Longview, WA. He wouldn't have seen the mountain blow up, he wasn't born, but his parents probably have a jar of Saint Helens ash lying around somewhere. And he might have seen other stuff blow up; a nuclear plant across the river, or houses full of meth labs. Meth labs were a big thing in struggling areas such as Longview, back then, and houses blew up a lot.
Sorry for the long intro, folks, but once I learned May grew up in my neck of the woods, it gave me odd flashbacks for a while. Handsome, athletic guys like him in towns like Longview used to beat my ass pretty regularly. He'd probably do so now, just on general principles. It's a local thing.
Seattle is pitching young Jim Paxton, who was excellent in "Big Love." Here's his stats:
|'13-'14 (17 starts) ||2.66||1.13||7.3||.257||3.27||137|| |
"Pitching is a Weird Science"
|2015 (3 starts)||8.40||1.53||7.2||.333||4.68||46|| |
"Game over, man! Game over!"
Lineups (since Paxton, like many actors, is a lefty):
|"In Utero" Split Zygotes||Staff On Ocean Vessels|
|Brian Dozier, 2B||Austin "Powers/Action" Jackson, CF|
|"Tora! Tora! Tora!", RF||Seth Smith, RF|
|Jake Mauer, DH||Robinson Cano, 2B|
|Trevor Plouufe, 3B||Nelson Cruz, DH|
|Kennys Vargas, 1B||Kyle Seager, 3B|
|Eduardo Nunez, LF||Lance Morrison, 1B|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||Dustin Ackley, LF|
|Eduardo Escobar, SS||Mike Zunino, C|
|"Come Back" Shane Robinson, CF||Brad Miller, SS|