This was an epic collapse by the Mariners tonight. No other way to put it.
It was stunning enough seeing Felix Hernandez taken down on seven consecutive hits and watching a seven-run lead vanish.
But then, after Kyle Seager had given the Mariners yet another lead in the eighth, the bullpen gives up two runs and loses the game 10-9. Carter Capps takes the loss, while Yoervis Medina walked in the decisive run on four pitches.
The Mariners finish the road trip 3-4. They lost four of the last five games. They are now 10 games under .500.
I really don’t have to say more.
“He just had a bad day and they started squaring him up,’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Hernandez. “He is human and he had a bad day.’’
The Mariners, as a result, had an even worse one. The seven-run blown lead tied for the second-most botched in team history, behind a 14-2 advantage given up to the Cleveland Indians in 2001.
But unlike that game — a bit of a joke for a 116-win team — this one, with the staff ace on the mound and in a contest the Mariners really had to win, was no laughing matter.
“I just blew the lead and it’s all my fault,’’ Hernandez said. “Nobody else, it’s just me.’’
Hernandez would not blame the long layoffs between innings for throwing him off, saying he kept the same approach despite the unfamilliar feeling of having such a huge early advantage. He did admit he was opening up too much and rushing with his mechanics.
Brendan Ryan struggled to keep it tied in the eighth, diving to snag a hard grounder by Howie Kendrick and throwing home for a force out.
But then Medina walked Callaspo and that was it.
“I’ll try to forget it as quickly as possible,’’ shortstop Ryan said. “It won’t be the happiest plane flight.’’
Ryan said the worst part of the loss is that all of the positives the Mariners displayed hitting-wise were overshadowed by what happened to Hernandez and the bullpen. He said the Mariners have to keep hitting like that tomorrow and try to quickly erase the damage done.
“We’re not built to put up 15,’’ Ryan said. “But we are built to hold on to the tight leads and win games when we’re ahead.’’
Especially with Hernandez on the mound. But he just couldn’t get it done.