The Mariners made up for a week’s worth of offensive misery in the first five innings tonight, piling on seven runs before the Houston Astros finally countered with one in this 7-1 rout.
Felix Hernandez got his 100th win and his teammates promptly got some payback in the postgame beer shower that typically follows any milestone accomplishment. Usually, it’s Hernandez leading the pack and dragging some helpless rookie into the showers after a first win, first hit, first home run or something like that.
But not tonight. Hernandez’s catcher, Jesus Montero, has been a shower target before. Not tonight.
“I was the one who threw all the ketchup on him,’’ Montero said.
There was ketchup, baby powder, beer and — one assumes — some soap and shampoo around to clean it all up afterwards.
Hernandez eventually did clean up and dry himself off.
“Man, that was unbelievable,’’ Hernandez said. “There’s going to be payback…payback. That was bad.’’
Yeah, but the result was good. I know some of you will get on me for writing about a post-game shower but let’s keep this all in context. The Mariners didn’t just fix their entire season by beating the Astros — or “Lastros” if you will — just like every other team in baseball has.
But given the context of the season so far, the past week and where everybody was at, this was a huge stress reliever. So, yeah, the team felt like partying a little to celebrate the long overdue 100th by Hernandez and a much-needed win against anybody.
“I know we’ve been struggling a little bit, but it’s early,’’ Hernandez said. “We’re going to get hot. We’re going to get hot and we’re going to score a lot of runs. I believe in my teammates and they try hard and they’re going to score.
“It makes you feel good as a pitcher and as a teammate, it makes you feel great.’’
So, we’ll just have to see. If you read my Twitter feed, you’ll know Franklin Gutierrez is probaby going to go on the disabled list after leaving the game with a tight hamstring in tonight’s fourth inning.
“It’s a potential DL,’’ manager Eric Wedge said after the game. “It’s a potential DL. We want to talk to him here in a little bit and see how he feels tomorrow. But the poor guy just can’t catch a break.’’
I asked Wedge whether it’s the severity of the injury that will prompt the DL move or merely the fact the team is tiring of all these one-game fits and starts. Wedge said it’s due to the severity of the injury.
Gutierrez didn’t want to comment post-game but he didn’t look like he was limping too seriously or wrapped in too many bandages or ice packs. It’s entirely possible the Mariners were planning to make a DL move in any event — Michael Saunders will be back within a week or so and they need a roster spot — and this latest hamstring thing just gave them the excuse they needed. But anyhow, I’m not a doctor. And it looks like he’s going on the DL, so let’s just wait for the word.
As to who would come up, I’m thinking either Carlos Peguero or Eric Thames for now until Saunders is ready.
But hey, it was a good night for many of these pressing bats like Montero, who hit his first home run.
“I just feel happy because I helped Felix to win,’’ he said. “I feel good because he finally got the 100 wins. And thank God I hit that homer. I gave him a little more confidence.
“I was a little worried,’’ he added. “It was like ‘Two weeks, no home runs, what’s going on?’ But we got the win. That’s what’s important.’’
Indeed, the Mariners need more contributions from Montero, Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak like they had tonight if they want those wins to continue.