Sunday, June 06, 2004


One of the saddest things I've seen baseballwise the last couple years has been the precipitous decline of Billy Koch. He threw flames for the Blue Jays, then went to Oakland for a year to perpetuate Billy Beane's magic touch with the revolving door of closers. Some would say he was a little shaky, though he was 11-4 as a closer that year (not as many of those are blown-save-then-team-comes-back situations as you might think; this netted me tons of points for my fantasy team that year). But then Koch was traded to the White Sox for Keith Foulke, who I thought at the time wasn't as good a closer as Koch. But as was the sickening trend, Foulke whooped for Oakland. As wasn't the case for Jason Isringhausen, Koch sucked brutally once he got to Chicago. I don't know what happened to this guy, but if he still has the 100-mph fastball, there's no way Bret Boone gets solid wood on that ball in the 9th.

But let's get to the game here.

This didn't look like one of Jamie Moyer's sharpest outings by any means, as he featured a lot of deep counts in his five innings and 101 pitches. He threw five or more pitches to 12 of the 25 batters he faced. Since I was driving back to Ellensburg during the game, I'll take a guess and say he was really nibbling on the corners against these Chicago bats.

Moyer had a couple of jams, and either got out of them or exhibited damage control when runs were scored...

2nd inning
Paul Konerko was on third with one out and didn't score.

4th inning
With two runs already across, Moyer had a situation with two runners in scoring position and one out with the 2-3-4 hitters coming to the plate. He whiffed Willie Harris, walked Frank Thomas (picked the right guy to walk), and whiffed Carlos Lee, he of the hitting streak.

Ron Villone then came in and pitched 2 2/3 not-so-bad innings, though Shigetoshi Hasegawa needed only one pitch to push Villone's leadoff bean across the plate to give the White Sox an insurance run in the half-inning following Randy Winn's mammoth shot off the Hit it Here Cafe (a la the stretch run last year when he seemed to be the only Mariner that didn't do worse than in the first).

The 9th came, and Billy Koch came in. He had Hiram Bocachica, Ichiro, and Randy Winn to face. He struck out Bocachica, handling the number 9 hitter as he should. Ichiro then singled. Ichiro took some advantage of Koch's high leg kick and, get this, STOLE second. He ran!! Oh my!! Randy Winn then hit a double (I think this was the ball that got by Lee and rolled to the wall in leftfield) and Ichiro scored. John Olerud then walked (HE WAS BATTING THIRD!!!!), with Randy Winn nabbing third on the full count pitch. Billy Koch then tried to sneak a high 1-0 fastball past Bret Boone. As I said earlier, that might have worked two years ago. Tie game. The Mariners pulled a double steal on an 0-2 count with Edgar at the plate. With the two runners now in scoring position with one out, Chicago decided to put Edgar on, even with two strikes on him. This brought Jolbert Cabrera to the plate, who didn't even get a pitch to hit on 3-1. He got a ball.

I wanted to reach through the television screen and strangle Jon Miller (though I like him) after he said that the Mariners were "revisiting" their shenanigans of three years ago. This team was 20-34 coming into the game, at the one-third mark of the season. That's a breakneck pace of 60-102.

I think it's time for the Mariners to go for the glory again. This time, let's make it the glory of a 46-116 record. That's right, 116 losses. Come on, team, enough of this false hope. If you're gonna suck, suck bad.

This brings me to an old Late Report soundbyte off of an old Almost Live! episode. John Keister was reporting that the Mariners had just drafted Cha Seung Baek. The punchline was that in a later round, the Mariners drafted a pitcher by the name of I Suk Baad (picture of Bobby Ayala shown).

Who's ready to see the Astros light up Joel Pineiro on Tuesday night? Roger Clemens is going that night; there's no way in hell the Mariners are winning that game. They've probably already lost the mental game for Tuesday.

Gameball: Randy Winn. I can't much argue with 4-for-5 with a homer, double, and two singles. Bret Boone following his day yesterday with a 2-for-4 outing wasn't bad either.

Goat: Dan Wilson. 0-for-4, striking out once and stranding four. Say, friends, Dan ain't the man anymore. One of these days when I get back from field camp (July 24th or so), I might do an investigation on whether the Mariners need a crappy-hitting Dan Wilson to be good. Obviously, early in this season, Wilson raked, and the team sucked. Now it appears that Wilson is sucking, but let's see how the team does.

Duckworth. Nageotte. Tomorrow.

[Comment-aided edit Mon ~11:50a -- Ichiro singled, and therefore did not walk, in the 9th. That's why I'm not getting paid a red cent to do this, folks.]

/ Click for main page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Sports and B's 

home page