Saturday, April 17, 2004
Mark Donnelly back at the Garage is a far better anthem singer than either of the two people that Calgary trotted out to the ice to sing their anthem.
Also related to this hockey thing is a 3D representation of the Stanley Cup. I'm still trying to grasp the controls on it.
By the way, I've been trying to get this out all day, but in the GIS lab the other day, one of the profs steered the students toward a site for something called the World RPS Society. What is this, you ask? Well, I'll just say that the Society isn't something in favor of creating a Runs-Per-Slugging statistic. Behold the site and enjoy the Flash movie that plays upon entry.
As the headline gives away, Denny Stark (former Mariner #1 in this post) has been sent to Colorado Springs after sucking horribly.
Clint Hurdle is going with Jeff Fassero (former Mariner #2) to take Stark's place in the 5-slot in the starting rotation.
You might be asking yourself, "who's going to take Denny Stark's roster spot on the big club?"
I've been waiting to use his name for a long time -- the Rockies have purchased the contract of Tim Harikkala from AAA Colorado Springs. The Mariners' 34th round pick in the 1992 draft came up with the big club for stints in 1995 and 1996, throwing a grand total of 7 2/3 innings. He spent quite a long time in Tacoma and my memory tells me that he always seemed to end seasons with records like 10-17. Later in 1998, he would pitch in seven games for the Red Sox.
I'm going to salute Jeff Shaw at San Shin.
6:58: In keeping with their family-friendly policy, we see a video package with various Mariners telling us not to curse, not to reach for balls in play, and to eat our vegetables. "And if you drink and drive," Dan Wilson lectures me, "we'll send you to Detroit."
Always tip your waitresses.
It's 10 games into the 2004 season and it's already a foregone conclusion that Raul Ibanez is a bust. But it isn't a shock to me or David. However, he's a world class human being, so everything's fine and dandy.
Sure it is.
Then I posted my case for Jose Cruz Jr. in mid-January about a month after he'd signed with Tampa Bay. My impetus for pleading such a case was just one of many ill-minded quotes spewed forth during the offseason by Bob Finnigan of the Times.
Anyway, in a somewhat noteworthy comparison, though one that screams "small sample size," let's compare Raul Ibanez and Jose Cruz Jr. so far this year.
Raul Ibanez: 8-for-33 (.242), 2 2B, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, .316 OBP, .364 SLG; 3yrs $13.25M
Jose Cruz Jr.: 13-for-33 (.394), 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 SB, .474 OBP, .697 SLG; 2yrs $6M
Cruz has also reached base in 29 straight games dating back to last year. Not accurately shown with any stats is the defensive supremacy of Cruz over Ibanez. Yes, I believe Cruz would have done just fine in LF or CF since Randy Winn's arm is crap.
I know it's early and everything but I know which team spent their money wisely -- regardless of how either of these players do -- when it came to these players signing, and the team name translates to Evilday Aysray in Pig Latin.
As for Raul Ibanez, apparently he's supposed to hit really well at the Safe, or that's what I've heard from all of his apologists for the entire offseason and into this season, though the talk has tailed off a bit lately, and rightfully so. Decent pitchers can make him look absolutely stupid and he loves to swing over the top of breaking balls.
Anyway, between the start of the NBA Playoffs, the Mariner game tonight, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs today (Canucks at 7pm), the sports slate is fairly full today (I'm not watching NBA Playoffs yet though, it just doesn't entice me).
Enjoy your Saturday full of sports as I do my stack of dirty dishes and attempt to clean up the apartment.
1) Minnesota d. 8) Denver in 6 games
The Timberwolves finally make it out of the first round. But Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets will give them a scare.
2) Los Angeles d. 7) Houston in 5 games
This is the swan song for Steve Francis in Houston. And let's be honest, the NBA will not allow the Lakers to lose in the first round.
3) San Antonio d. 6) Memphis in 5 games
The Grizzlies are a nice story, but Tim Duncan will be too much for them.
5) Dallas d. 4) Sacramento in 7 games
Kings fans, tar and feather Chris Webber. He's the reason why the Kings have fallen off late in the season.
1) Indiana d. 8) Boston in 5 games
The Pacers aren't coached by Isiah Thomas anymore. Carry on.
2) New Jersey d. 7) New York in 4 games
3) Detroit d. 6) Milwaukee in 4 games
4) Miami d. 5) New Orleans in 6 games
At least one Van Gundy will make it to the second round, and his name isn't Jeff. It's Stan.
Second round picks will be posted when the time comes...
Needless to say, my enthusiasm for the NBA is at an all-time low this season. It's so bad that I didn't realize Moochie Norris was a Knick until the other day. Sad.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Here's the recap, with the regular drill as I hear Bob Melvin being boring and letting the same drivel roll from his mouth after the game on FSNNW...
top 1 -- Young 0-2...curve look K; Blalock 1-0 HR RF SHOT (TEXAS 1-0); Soriano first-pitch HBP; Fullmer fly CF; Perry 2-2 FC 6-4
bot 1 -- Ichiro fly CF; Olerud 4-pitch BB; Edgar 1st pitch fly RF; Boone 1-0 1B LF; Ibanez 1st-pitch fly LF
>> Meche gets tagged for the home run on the second pitch to Hank Blalock and it would prove to hold up at the end. Meche beaned Soriano but got out of it without further damage to anything other than his pitch count. John Olerud drew a four-pitch walk and was in scoring position with two out when Raul Ibanez came up, but nothing happened.
top 2 -- Dellucci 2-2...full under Olerud glove 1B RF; Mench 1-2 breaker swing K; Nix 1st-pitch HR CF (TEXAS 3-0); Laird 1-2...2-2...1B CF; Young liner sliding Ichiro catch RF; Blalock 1st-pitch RCF gap 2B (TEXAS 4-0); Soriano 3-1 end bat drop CF (42 pitches, TEXAS 5-0, JARVIS WARMING); Fullmer 1st-pitch U3
bot 2 -- Aurilia 1-3; Winn 1B CF; Wilson (Winn gunned at 2B 2-5) 2B LF line; Cabrera 2-1 HBP; Ichiro fly C
>> Dave Dellucci rolled a ball just under the glove of John Olerud and into RF, another unlucky bounce for the Mariners. Just like I thought it would, the Mariners would get burned by the unlucky bounce as two hitters later Laynce Nix hit a booming shot toward the hitters' backdrop over the wall in CF. Unlike the first inning, Meche didn't exhibit a good sense of damage control, as Gerald Laird singled after the homer, followed by an Ichiro sliding catch and a gapper of the bat of Hank Blalock. Alfonso Soriano poked one off the end of the bat into CF to put the Rangers up 5-0 and cap the scoring for the game. Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly were on TV at this point saying that the Rangers were tagging Meche's fastball and that Meche was now afraid to throw it. Kevin Jarvis was warming up in the bullpen, which I will always equate to Bob Melvin throwing in the towel, no matter how Jarvis ends up pitching. Randy Winn got aboard on a single but was quickly erased trying to steal second. Of course, Dan Wilson would hit a double, yet another thing not going the Mariners' way, as Winn may have scored on the ball down the LF line.
top 3 -- Perry 5-3 great Cabrera barehand off-balance; Dellucci fly LF; Mench fly RF
bot 3 -- Olerud 3-0...3-1 BB; Edgar 0-2...look K; Boone 1st-pitch 1B RF; Ibanez fly RF; Aurilia 2-0...track fly LF -- Runner in scoring position with one out is stranded.
>> Meche had an easy inning in the 3rd, thanks in part to Jolbert Cabrera's nice barehanded off-balance throw to nail Herbert Perry. John Olerud drew a leadoff walk and was pushed to second by Boone. With two on and one out, Raul Ibanez flew out to RF and Rich Aurilia got ahead 2-0 then took a ball to the track in LF. Threat over. And who can forget that we live in some sort of weird parallel universe where we get to see Edgar Martinez get caught looking at the hands of Chan Ho Park?
top 4 -- Nix 4-pitch walk; Laird fly SS (JARVIS WARMING); Young 2-2 FC 6-4 (no DP); Blalock 3-0 greenlight...full swing K
bot 4 -- Winn 0-2...2-2 swing K; Wilson 0-2...2-2...1B CF bouncer; Cabrera 1st-pitch fly LF running catch; Ichiro U3
>> Meche pitched out of a mini-threat when he walked Nix on four pitches and fell behind Hank Blalock 3-0. Meche got out of it, though. Dan Wilson got on, but nothing else was doing. Ron Fairly noted that teams were starting to bust high fastballs on Ichiro, then said someday Ichiro would turn on one of those high fastballs and knock one off the Hit It Here Cafe. I think that will never happen, because Ichiro will have to golf it and get a lot on it to do that. I just don't think his swing is mechanically tailored to ever do that.
top 5 -- Soriano lineout 3B; Fullmer 1-2...full...lazy fly 3B; Perry 2-0 2B RF; Dellucci (JARVIS WARMING) 2-2 lazy fly sliding catch RF
bot 5 -- Olerud 1st-pitch fly CF; Edgar 1B RF; Boone 2-2 bloop 1B CF (3-for-3); Ibanez 3-0...full swing K; Aurilia 0-2...fly LF
>> Herb Perry hit the ball that was almost a home run, but Ichiro kept the ball in the
yard with his glove, though he didn't actually catch it on the fly. The replay showed that a fan went for the ball and may have come close to it, though I'm not sure it was that close because of that little walkway for the ushers in between the wall and the first row of seats. Still though, a fan reaching over to take a home run off the bat of the other team? That's like a reverse Jeffrey Maier deal going on there. Be smart, fans. If you're going to reach over at all, reach over when your team is up. Learn from Jeffrey Maier. Edgar and Boone were aboard with one out. Raul Ibanez came up, was ahead 3-0 in the count, and STRUCK OUT. Rich Aurilia was in the hole quickly and flew out to end the threat.
top 6 -- JARVIS IN; Mench 1st-pitch 5-3; Nix 2B LCF between Winn/Ichiro; Laird 1B LF between SS/3B; Young 4-6-3 DP
bot 6 -- Winn 0-2...fly RF; Wilson liner LF 1B; Cabrera 0-2...2-2 5-4-3 DP
>> Kevin Jarvis came in and I thought Melvin was throwing in the towel. I don't care how well Jarvis does for at least the first few months here, I'm not going to ever feel secure as a Mariner fan with this guy in there. Laynce Nix gapped one and Gerald Laird hit a ball to the left side to hold Nix at 3rd. Then Jarvis was lucky enough to get the double play from the guys up the middle. Dave Niehaus talked about how some people thought the Mariner black tops were the lucky uniform combination. Dave, that was only for a couple weeks toward the end of last year. It was a nice false-hope superstition. In that same week last year, Bob Melvin probably moved from SweetTarts to Sour Patch Kids to Mike & Ikes to Ferrero Rocher (yeah, surprised me too) to Twix to Butterfinger, etc., and wrote up his lineup cards with every crayon (another superstition) in his 96-crayon Crayola box (scented). Niehaus nearly jumped out of his shoes saying SWING when the ball came off Randy Winn's bat, but it ended up being a flyout. Wilson got another hit, but eas erased around the horn on a Cabrera DP ball.
top 7 -- Blalock 0-2...full fly LF; Soriano 1st-pitch fister CF 1B; Fullmer 0-2...full track fly RF; Perry first-pitch fly CF
bot 7 -- Ichiro 6-3; Olerud 3-1...full BB; Edgar 0-2 checkswing K; Boone 3-1...(swung over top of breaker) full swing over slider low/away K
>> Jarvis had a fairly easy inning with only the Soriano poke being the blemish. Olerud drew another walk and was again stranded as Edgar checkswung but didn't hold up (disputed) on the 0-2 pitch and then Boone swung over the top of yet another slider low and away, this time on a full count.
top 8 -- (PUTZ WARMING) Dellucci 0-2...full 4-3; Mench fly CF; Nix 2-0...3-1 BB; Laird 2-0 2B LF corner; Young 0-2 1-3
bot 8 -- ALMANZAR IN; Ibanez 2-0...2-1 (fool swing)...2-2 checkswing K; Aurilia 0-2 swing K (4 SEA K in a row); Winn 0-2...1-2 swing K
>> Niehaus and Fairly were bored by this inning, as the conversation wound around to the Rangers' training facility in Surprise, AZ. Niehaus wondered who the person was that names all the new towns in the desert. He mentioned the town of Carefree, AZ, where he had his picture taken at the streetcorner of Ho and Hum. Fairly asked Niehaus if he'd ever been at a restaurant called The Satisfied Frog. Niehaus said no, but that he had been on Easy Street, also in Carefree. Jarvis nearly lost his good streak with two outs, as he allowed a Nix walk and a Laird double before getting Michael Young to hit a ball back to him. Niehaus even got bored enough to mention that Kevin Jarvis got a BS in biology and a chemistry minor at Wake Forest. Carlos Almanzar came in to mop up and made Ibanez look like crap (not the first time for him tonight) after the count was 2-0. Ibanez' swing on the 2-1 pitch was absolutely horrendous and he was mercifully struck out on a checkswing which he probably held up on, but who cared at that point? A question I asked myself as Ibanez was arguing the call: I surely never thought that a "world-class human being" would ever argue with an umpire, did you? I bet Howard Lincoln was shaking in his boots seeing that on television...if he was watching at all. Anyway, Aurilia and Winn then struck out to make it five straight strikeouts for Mariner hitters.
top 9 -- PUTZ IN; Blalock 1-2 foul-tip K; Soriano fly CF; Fullmer 1-3 -- Putz quick, good.
bot 9 -- Wilson 3-0...BB; Cabrera 2-0 (Niehaus references ERASMO RAMIREZ WARMING's "eephus" pitch once more)...2-2 6-4-3 DP; Ichiro 3-0...3-1 U3 GAME -- Almanzar solid
>> JJ Putz came in for a soft landing though he had to slice through the 2-3-4 hitters in the Ranger lineup. He had no trouble though. The 8-9-1 hitters were up for the Mariners. Wilson drew a leadoff walk and was doubled off on another Cabrera DP. Ichiro bounced out to cap off a great game for him.
Dave Valle pointed out after the game that the Mariners have been outscored by a margin of 17-1 in the second inning this year. Take from that what you will.
Gil Meche got his fastball mashed early and probably was a little less sure of it afterward. The second inning along with Brad Fullmer's 11-pitch at-bat in the 5th helped ramp Meche's pitch count upward as he was yanked after 5 innings and 89 pitches. I would have trotted Meche out there for the 6th after only 89 pitches and the fact that he'd mostly settled down since the 2nd, but this is Gil Meche (he of the past injuries) and he'd had a workload last year that was unprecedented for him, so this early in the year, it's probably be good to lay off on him a bit.
Bottom line here is that the Mariners did get a suitable amount of runners with which to score runs. They just didn't do it. The Mariners got hits in each of the first six innings and got runners aboard in each of the first seven innings off Chan Ho Park. Yes, the Mariners got their bee-hinds handed to them by CHAN HO PARK. Not that any of it surprises me by now.
Gameball: John Olerud. 0-for-1, three walks. Close second to Bret Boone or Dan Wilson.
Goat: Raul Ibanez. 0-for-4, 2 K, 6 runners stranded. THERE'S YOUR BIG FREE-AGENT SIGNING OF THE OFFSEASON, FANS!!! THREE YEARS, $13.25 MILLION, RIGHT THERE!!! IT'S PAYING OFF, CAN'T YOU SEE??!!?!! Sure, people say the team goes where Ichiro goes, but a simple 0-for-5 (0-for his last 10) and three runners left on doesn't hold a candle to stranding six runners on base.
Tomorrow: Colby Lewis. Jamie Moyer.
Did anyone else enjoy the guy with the combover in the Diamond Club seats that always showed up when the camera was on the left-handed batters? I know I did, as I laughed incessantly.
A .200 winning percentage extrapolated across an entire season would land the Mariners with a mark of either 32-130 (.198) or 33-129 (.204).
Goodnight, y'all. GO CANUCKS!!
Anyways, the Mariners are now 2-8. Chan Ho Park shuts down the Mariners, 5-0, in the Safe tonight. I don't know what to say about this.
Well, there is one great line that Rangers play by play man Josh Lewin said before the ballgame tonight (I had the game on Fox Sports Southwest):
"The Mariners average age is 32.5, but it looks like they got younger tonight," referring to the first of a billion Little League days and nights this season at Safeco Field.
Undisputedly Lewin's best moment of his career, by far.
Folks, don't understimate Texas this season. They're a better ballclub and if the Mariners aren't careful, look out. I've seen the Rangers play on a few occasions already and they're fun to watch. I can't say the same thing about the Mariners right now.
To top this all off, here's a fitting picture of the game tonight...
For the first time, Seattle linked pitching, defense and, after Lackey essentially shut them down for the first five innings, classic small-ball offense.
The Munchkins rose for five runs to equal their high output for the year so far, cramming an error by shortstop Chone Figgins on Ichiro's leadoff ground ball down Anaheim's throat with five singles and another error.
The Munchkins? Speaking of Munchkins, I'm sure Gary Coleman can at least try to get a hit in four at-bats. Emmanuel Lewis as well. But I digress.
I feel like Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) in Celebrity Jeopardy when he's just getting torn to pieces by Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond).
Alex Trebek: Fair enough. Mr. Connery?
Sean Connery: We meet again.
Alex Trebek: Let's see your answer.. [ screen reads "Buck" ] Oh, I'm sorry.. that must be you wager. A Buck. And you answer is.. [ screen reads "Futter" ] Futter. Buck Futter, I don't get it.
Sean Connery: Ohhhh.. I think you do, Trebek. I think you do, indeed!
Alex Trebek: Well, thanks for joining us..
Sean Connery: [ yelling ] Buck Futter!!
Alex Trebek: Fine, whatever. That's it for "Celebrity Jeopardy".. [ shaking head ] I don't know..
As you can see, I'm just on a Celebrity Jeopardy fix right now. I got a lot of work to get finished in the next three weeks and the juvenile humor of "Celebrity Jeopardy" gets me through everything right now. And that's not unjust.
As for the Stanley Cup Playoffs...
Miikka Kiprusoff is good. Scary good. He had been Evgeni Nabokov's backup in San Jose for the past couple of seasons. The biggest move of the season has to be head coach/GM Darryl Sutter acquiring Kiprusoff back on Nov. 16 for a 2005 second round draft pick. Sutter was the Sharks head coach from 1997 to 2002, so he knew what Kiprusoff could bring to the table.
The Canucks are in trouble. If they lose this series, it will be a long offseason up in Vancouver. I seriously want to know what Todd Bertuzzi is thinking right now...
Selfish bastard, that's what Bertuzzi is. Game 6 Saturday night in the Saddledome. 7 p.m. ESPN2 telecast. Either the Canucks ride or die.
The Canucks are down 3-2 and have to pull one out in a raucous Saddledome in Calgary on Saturday in order to stay alive. Calgary's got all the momentum in its favor right now, coming off the Game 4 whooping and tonight's get-and-hold-the-lead game. Of course, one could say now that Calgary is expected to win, and they've got two chances to put Vancouver away, and they probably don't want to lose at home and have to go back to Vancouver for Game 7. Of course, after Game 4, the Canucks had still only lost 1 of 11 games in Calgary (though that one loss was quite ill-timed).
Canuck fans had hoped that when Miikka Kiprusoff was rocked in Game 1 that it would get into his head. Not so. Far from so. Since Game 1, Kiprusoff has given up four goals total in four games. His shutout streak ran tonight into the second period and ended at 114:50.
Before the game tonight, word came around that Alex Auld (yes, the third-string goalie) would be in net instead of Johan Hedberg, which raises the question: what the hell did the Canucks go and get Johan Hedberg for? Isn't this exactly the situation where you'd want him in the net? It's not like it was his fault the Canucks got their asses handed to them in Game 4; that was the entire team doing horribly bad, and you could really only pin the one goal on him. Apparently Marc Crawford played this like it was the Canucks' own Game 7 and probably figured that the bigger and taller Alex Auld would stand up a little better when Calgary started to crash the net. But if there was any time to pull Auld out, wouldn't it have been the fallback in Game 6 in case Hedberg sucked tonight? This whole thing is pretty weird. To his credit, Alex Auld was solid tonight.
But the bottom line was that Calgary knew exactly what to do tonight, and they got the lead and did everything they could to kill time with the puck and make themselves the Canucks' enemy as well as the clock. Getting outshot 12-2 in the third period? No problem, say the Flames, as they fended off the pressure from Vancouver and rode as far as Kiprusoff would take them. Calgary also helped Vancouver dry up on their first five power plays, reverting them back to futile regular season form. The Canucks had five power plays in the first period, and all would have been geat opportunities to score an early goal and get some momentum, but alas...
After having an okay first period in which there were only eight shots a side (Auld stopped Chris Clark on a shorthanded breakaway), Craig Conroy scored 3:50 into the second period to suck the wind out of the Garage. The Canucks built up their pressure slowly but surely as the second period drew on, and finally scored on their sixth power play when a Sami Salo slapshot deflected off the shoulder of Henrik Sedin and past Kiprusoff.
The third period came and Brad Ference put a shot on the net that went off Jarome Iginla and in with 14:23 left in the game. The Flames got only two shots in the entire period and one of them went in, which John and Tom said eerily brought back memories of last year's Minnesota series, in which similar things happened. The Canucks kept pressure in the Flames zone for most of the period after the Calgary goal, and had quite a few chances, but Kiprusoff was a rock in the net. I personally thought Marc Crawford waited about 30-45 seconds too long to finally pull Alex Auld for the extra skater, but it's a moot point now. Ed Jovanovski had a great shot right before the buzzer, but Kiprusoff did his thing.
In the Canucks' playoff run last year, they came back from a 3-1 deficit in the first round and eliminated the Saint Louis Blues. In the second round, they jumped out to a 3-1 lead on the Minnesota Wild and coughed it up, giving the world what it always wanted: an Anaheim/Minnesota Western Conference Final. The Canucks right now are down 3-2 going into a hostile environment in hopes of staving off elimination. I'm hoping a team similar to the one that showed up in the Blues series last year is present for the rest of this series rather than the one that played those final three games against Minnesota last year. Hell, I'd settle for the team that showed up in games 1 and 3 of the series that's going on right now.
I'd really appreciate it if these Canucks would take their game to the Flames, because it's been the other way around for too long, and it's costing them goals right now, and more importantly, wins. Much as Calgary is a fundamentally sound hard-working team, it reminds me of another team in sports: the Utah Jazz. The Jazz didn't quite make the playoffs this year, but Jerry Sloan did one of his greatest coaching jobs of his career with that team.
I've got too much homework still left on the slate tonight and tomorrow, so I'm not going to edit the notes and make them all nice and stuff. Dan, Tom, and John with their words...
Dan: great playoff game...had chances, but fell short
Tom: difference in game is two players -- Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla, who led up front for the CGY team, makes the team go...fluky goal, but the winner. CGY only 2 shots in 3rd, but Kip stops 12 shots.
Dan: some were worried about Iginla having big game, Kip stealing a game, and CGY falling into a comfort zone
John: they look like a machine...key cog is Kip...probably in VAN's head a little bit...goaltending key tonight, but had to do more with Kip than Auld...looked very smart...once got puck down the ice, killed a lot of time in the corners
Dan: five games, one even strength
Tom: CGY 7-1 even strength...people raised brows when they said they wanted 5-on-5, but they were right
Dan: VAN got a lot of power plays
John: had every opportunity to get on the board early...4 straight games without 1st period goal
Dan: Kip every period...Sanderson robbed in 1st...2nd Kip pulled one off line on Henrik...3rd lucky on Naslund, but big saves down stretch
Tom: Jovo got alot on that shot from near 15 feet at the buzzer...Kip's good, not a fluke...thought Game 1 might get into his head, but now he looks almost unbeatable
Dan: we all heard about him, but never really saw him many times
John: McLennan, Turek...seeing him firsthand now and why Sutter made the trade of the year
Dan: gamble by Craw to put in Auld, but he was the second best goalie on the ice
Tom: yeah...just didn't happen tonight
Dan: Auld's series now
John: has to be...wonder how the Canucks voted on that rule change...last year would have been automatically disallowed...
Dan: it's the right rule though
Tom: yeah it is...has nothing to do with the play whatsoever
Dan: when Simon was knocked out of the series, it's amazing CGY has won 2 in row without him
Tom: tip your hat off to how hard they work...fundamentally very sound, always know what to do with the puck...VAN trailing badly in battles against the walls
Dan: facing elimination
Tom: CGY favored now in series...THEY're expected to win...we'll see how they handle it
Dan: two chances to win a series now
John: they've proved they can win anyone...they don't want to come back to VAN though
Dan: up until two nights ago, VAN had ruled in CGY
John: they've lost 1 of 11 in that bldg...they're down to one shot
Dan: mental makeup wonder...losing a game like this is a disappointment, treated this like Game 7
Tom: agree. Some guys really did elevate their game. Not the total A package...this team came back from 3-1 against STL last year, know how to play with backs against wall. Have to pull one out in Cowtown. Most thought series would go distance if VAN didn't pull out 3-2 lead.
Vancouver at Calgary Saturday on ESPN2 and CBC. Would it kill ESPN2 to show a game in Vancouver? It's too bad that if Calgary takes care of business, I won't know the final answer to that question. If this series goes seven and ESPN2 doesn't find some way to air it with their family of networks, then it will be only the stupidest thing ever.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Raul Ibanez decided to make himself useful tonight, going 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs. The M's scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th, but don't expect these types of innings too often. A blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
The Mariners couldn't afford to lose another game to the Angels at this point. They're now 1-5 against the Angels in 2004. It's progress, sort of.
Texas comes to the Safe this weekend. They're 5-5, avoiding a sweep against Oakland earlier in the day with a 7-2 victory. Don't take the Rangers lightly, folks. They have a very potent offense and if the M's aren't careful, look out. Thank god Rafael Palmeiro isn't a Ranger anymore. Raffy has killed Mariner pitching over the years. Don't worry though, he'll be back later in the season with the Orioles.
Gil Meche vs Chan Ho Park 7:05 start tomorrow night. I'll be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Southwest. Score one for visuals.
It's great to hear Chris Cuthbert's voice again, it really is.
And John Buccigross just announced that Game 6 will be televised Saturday night at 7:00 Pacific on ESPN2. Good stuff.
Unfortunately, it's 1-0 Calgary with 15:07 left in the 2nd period. David will have much more on Game 5 later on tonight.
Here comes the recap...
top 1 -- Ichiro 0-2 (looking)...2-2 swing at ground...4-3; Olerud 1-2 swing K; Edgar single CF; Boone soft lineout 2B
bot 1 -- Eckstein 0-2...fly CF; Erstad 2-0...2-2...full fly RF; Vlad 1-2 (close pitch)...2-2 fly 3B
>> Nothing much offensively for the Mariners in the first. Freddy has a good first inning. Ron Fairly tells us that Vlad Guerrero is a great bad ball hitter, then feels he has to explain what a bad ball hitter is. His explanation yields nothing more than what the phrase gives away to begin with.
top 2 -- Ibanez 2-0...3-1...full BB; Aurilia (bunt foul?? up and in pitch)...fly RF; Winn 1-0 (Ibanez gunned badly 2-4 at 2B)...3-1...full BB; Hansen 0-2...4-6 FC
bot 2 -- Garret first-pitch single LF; Guillen 1-2 swing K; Salmon first-pitch 2B LF; Kennedy U3 (ANDERSON SCORES); Halter 2-2...2B CF (hanging curve, SALMON SCORES); J Molina F2
>> Ibanez drew the leadoff walk, then Aurilia tried to bunt an up-and-in pitch, but ended up flying out to right. Ibanez broke for second on the 1-0 pitch to Winn and the play wasn't even close. Ron Fairly then squawked that there might be a chance the Angels had stolen signs. Come on, Ron. Bottom line in the inning is that Ortiz walked two hitters and nobody scored, let alone got to scoring position. The Angels drew first blood in the 2nd, when they started keying on the first-pitch fastball from Freddy. In another moment to lament the centerfield dropoff, Shane Halter's double to CF would have been caught on the fly by Mike Cameron; there's no doubt in my mind about that.
top 3 -- Davis fly CF; Ichiro 1-2...swing K; Olerud 2-2...full look K
bot 3 -- Eckstein first-pitch 2B LF; Erstad 1-6-5 FC (Erstad to 2nd during rundown SOMEHOW); Vlad 3-1 fly CF (Erstad to third, nice arm); Garret (nice curve on 1-1) 1-2...2-2...swing K putout 2-3
>> For the offense, Ichiro was impatient, and Olerud was a little too patient. Ortiz probably had his easiest inning. Eckstein roped the first pitch for a double then was caught in a rundown on the Erstad play. Erstad got to second on the same play. The Mariners would get away with that mistake as Freddy handled Garret and Vlad.
top 4 -- Edgar 2-0...single LF (Guillen bobble, Edgar slow); Boone HR CF (TIE GAME); Ibanez lineout 2B; Aurilia 1-2...2-2 2B off RCF wall; Winn 2-0...3-1...full BB; Hansen 6-4-3 DP
bot 4 -- Guillen 0-2...(close on 1-2)...2-2 very low off end bat 1B CF; Salmon HR LCF (4-2 Angels); Kennedy 0-2...1-2...2-2 sliding catch Ibanez LF; Halter 6-3; J Molina first-pitch 1B LF; Eckstein first-pitch infield fly SS
>> Edgar got a good count and singled, then Boone hit the bomb to tie it. With two on and one out (nice double by Aurilia) Dave Hansen bounces into the 6-4-3, which brings up the slogan, "TWO ON, ONE OUT, SO WHAT?!!" Guillen laid the ball on a really low pitch and got aboard, then Salmon launched an immaculate arc over the wall in LCF. Freddy let another baserunner on, but weathered the rest of the storm. Jose Molina also nailed a first pitch for his single.
top 5 -- Davis fly CF; Ichiro 1B CF; Olerud 0-2...2-2...2B LCF gap (ICHIRO SCORES, 4-3 Angels); Edgar lineout 3B; Boone high fly RF
bot 5 -- Erstad 0-2 swing K; Vlad infield hit to 3B; Garret first-pitch 1B RF; Guillen FC (Garret out at 2nd, 5-4); Salmon 1B LF (VLAD SCORES, 5-3 Angels); Kennedy 2-0 fly 2B
>> Davis hit a ball to CF and Niehaus whipped out the "belted" call prematurely. Ichiro got aboard with Olerud up, which bears the question, will Ichiro ever run again? Dave and Ron were talking pretty extensive about it, but I was only half paying attention when Ron ended something by saying Ichiro would steal 75% of the time in a certain situation, but I didn't hear what the certain situation was. Anyway, Ichiro didn't have to break on a steal because Olerud drove him in. Erstad whiffed on a changeup, which Niehaus noted Freddy wasn't throwing a lot to that point. Vlad got on with an infield hit to Hansen, then Garret singled. Guillen grounded into what should have been a double play, but Boone looped a throw way wide of the 1B bag that pulled Olerud off. The inning should have been over. Salmon then hit a single to get the Angels the lead. So, in the 4th and 5th, the first runners got aboard on a reaching-low single and an infield single and both scored. Freddy ended the inning at 80 pitches.
top 6 -- Ibanez U3; Aurilia 0-2 (SHIELDS WARMING)...(VILLONE WARMING) (0-2 pitch mighty close)...2-2 swing K; Winn 2-0 2B LF (aboard all three times); Hansen 0-2 (Ortiz at 101)...1-2 hard-hit 1B under Erstad RF (Angels 5-4); (SHIELDS IN) Davis FC 5-4
bot 6 -- Halter (VILLONE WARMING) 1-2 swing K; J Molina 0-2...end of bat 1B CF over Boone; Eckstein (J MOLINA STEALS 2nd, Davis throw into runner and into CF, no advance)...fly LF; Erstad ground 3-1
>> Hansen got a 2-out run-scoring single to bring the Mariners to within one before Ortiz was yanked. With the Angel bullpen taking over, it didn't look good for the Mariners. Garcia gives up another dinker "damn it" hit, this one to Jose Molina. Unlike the Guillen single, this doesn't lead to scoring, as Freddy strands the runner in scoring position.
top 7 -- Ichiro 2-2...look K; Olerud 0-2...1-2...2-2...full BB; Edgar fly CF; Boone 6-3
bot 7 -- Vlad first-pitch 2B LF smoked; Garret first-pitch 1B CF drop in between Winn/Aurilia; HASEGAWA IN; Guillen 4-pitch walk; Salmon first-pitch infield fly SS; Kennedy 2-0 fly LF (Vlad out 7-2)
>> This inning scared many a Mariner fan after Ichiro fouled the ball off his foot and hobbled around for a minute or two. He was healthy enough to stay in and was caught looking. Olerud fought back from 0-2 to draw a walk in a hard-fought at-bat. Then Edgar flew out and Boone bounced out to short. Freddy's game ended after Vlad smoked the first pitch for a double, then Garret dropped one inbetween Winn and Aurilia, a play on which Winn broke backward with his first step. That ball's got to be caught. That play seemed like it unfolded in slow motion. Freddy had a game. If anything, it leaned toward substandard. He gave up five runs, but didn't walk anyone. He gave up thirteen hits, but a couple of those were dinkers. Some help from the defense on plays that are usually made would have helped. Hasegawa came in and promptly threw four straight balls. He got Salmon to fly out, erasing any possibility of his bomb off Shig from the stretch run last year (though he'd already had a mammoth blast earlier in the game). Hasegawa then fell behind 2-0 on Adam Kennedy, but got him to fly out to left. Vlad tagged up and tried to score, but was nailed by Raul Ibanez on the throw and Ben Davis on the tag. I didn't see multiple angles the first time, but I saw these angles hours afterward and I thought Vlad was safe. Oh well. But everyone should stop, take a deep breath, and listen to what I'm about to tell you -- DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH RAUL IBANEZ'S ARM. He got lucky, and Vlad's not the fastest runner. That play unfolded almost as slowly as the Garret Anderson single from earlier in the inning. Hasegawa threw six balls and two strikes in the inning but got three outs and no one scored. He cleaned up Freddy's mess.
top 8 -- RODRIGUEZ, DA VANON IN (Vlad in dugout icing knee); Ibanez 2-2 slider swing K; Aurilia 1B RF; Winn 2-0 (2-1 pitch mighty close)...3-1 U3 DP
bot 8 -- Halter 1B RF; J Molina bunt 1-4; Eckstein (PERCIVAL WARMING) lineout SS; Erstad 2-0...3-1 hard-hit fly RF
>> Ibanez whiffed on a breaking ball (I'm used to it). Aurilia singled and was doubled off on the Winn line shot to Erstad. F Rodriguez does the job. The Angels played for the insurance run after Halter got aboard and Jose Molina bunted. Hasegawa got Eckstein to line out and Erstad to fly out to RF after giving him juicy hitters' counts.
top 9 -- PERCIVAL IN; Hansen bloop 1B CF (BLOOMQUIST PINCH-RUN); WILSON PH bunt foul TWICE...(Bloomquist steals) full 1B RF (BLOOMQUIST SCORES, TIE GAME...no Vlad in right); Ichiro off wall 2B RCF; Olerud 0-2...fly SS; Edgar (GUARDADO WARMING) F5; Boone 0-2 fly RF
bot 9 -- HASEGAWA STILL IN (MATEO WARMING); Vlad 2-0...BB (FIGGINS PINCH-RUN); MYERS IN; Garret 2-0...full swing K (FIGGINS STEALS SECOND); MATEO IN; Guillen (Mateo multiple stepoffs toward 2B)...0-2 (FIGGINS STEALS THIRD)...1-2...2-2 (nice block Wilson)...full HBP (Guillen ticked); DaVanon...pitchout on 0-1...2-2...SF RF (FIGGINS SCORES)
>> The 8th and 9th hitters somehow set the table for the Mariners against closer Troy Percival. Dave Hansen drops a single into CF. Dan Wilson, "best bunter on the team," blows the bunt twice (does someone remember the game down the stretch last year where he blew the bunt?) but then singles. Apparently he still can't bunt. Pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist stole second when Wilson was up and scored on the single to tie the game. Ichiro doubled off the gap in RCF, putting runners in scoring position with nobody out. I thought while I was typing this -- what if they could have pinch-ran for Wilson once he got on? Could a pinch-runner have scored on the Ichiro double? Of course, this would have meant some sort of defensive chasm behind the plate, as the only thing I can think of is pinch-running with McCracken, having him play left, then putting Ibanez behind the plate (he came up through the system as a catcher, but this is the same stupid reasoning that makes Scott Spiezio an option at third base). Anyway, with two on in scoring position and nobody out, the Mariners sent Olerud (fly to short), Edgar (foul fly to Halter), and Boone (fly to right) to the dish and all three failed to move the runners in any way. Olerud and Boone got into crappy counts while Edgar swung early in the count. As for the pitching, I sort of objected with Shig coming in again because I thought if he pitched any longer, he might be burned for the rest of the series, let alone tomorrow. There might be a chance he goes tomorrow though, who knows. Of course, my reasoning sort of assumed Shig would get through more of the inning than he did. He walked Vlad and was gone. Mike Myers came in and promptly fell behind 2-0 to Garret (Niehaus said Myers was floating pitches in at 71 mph) before getting him to strike out. Myers fulfills the LOOGY role tonight. Of course, pinch-runner Chone Figgins stole second on the strikeout pitch, beating the Wilson throw. Julio Mateo then came in. After stepping off multiple times toward second to keep tabs on Chone Figgins, the runner broke toward third on the 0-2 pitch to Jose Guillen and nabbed the bag. Almost immediately after Figgins got onto third, Fairly (and Niehaus too after Guillen got aboard) noted that Winn was much too deep to throw out Figgins, should it come to that. Guillen worked the count full before getting beaned, but his run was meaningless. Jeff DaVanon came up in Tim Salmon's slot in the batting order. From the Guillen at-bat before, I was putting myself in Mike Scioscia's shoes and once Guillen was aboard, I would have totally put on the squeeze. All DaVanon would have had to do was bunt the ball so it didn't go right to a fielder. The fielders would have to go straight to the plate unless they tried to go all the way to second and roll a double play (so then the runner crossing the plate wouldn't count). Okay, so the bunting here is harder than it sounds. A hilarious thing about the DaVanon at-bat was that the Mariners finally pitched out AFTER Figgins was no longer a threat to steal second or third. Anyway, DaVanon hit a ball that was deep enough to Ichiro, and Chone Figgins scored. Ballgame. One run on no hits in the 9th for the Angels.
If I could give the opposing team a gameball here, it'd be Mike Scioscia. I'd bow down to him if he would have put the squeeze on and drove in the winning run with it, but I'm still commending the former Dodger catcher for managing to use one player -- Chone Figgins -- to turn the game in the Angels' favor. You think Mike Scioscia didn't know something about Dan Wilson's arm? Masterfully done, Sir Scioscia.
Gameball: Rich Aurilia. Double, single, didn't play too brutally in the field. Edgar went 2-for-5, but he was involved in the 9th-inning futility.
I won't pick an exclusive goat, but I'd have to call a tie right now between Randy Winn and Bret Boone. Boone for looping the double play throw and Winn for having issues again in CF.
Franklin and Lackey tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
I. Suzuki RF
J. Olerud 1B
E. Martinez DH
B. Boone 2B
R. Ibanez LF
R. Aurilia SS
R. Winn CF
D. Hansen 3B
B. Davis C
Randy Winn back in the seven hole, partly due to hitting worse than Olerud against Ramon Ortiz, or so says Ronald Fairly. Willie Bloomquist is absent, Ben Davis is in (I guess he can harness Freddy?), and Boone and Edgar swap.
We'll see how this turns out...
Monday, Sept. 13 Green Bay at Carolina
Monday, Sept. 20 Minnesota at Philadelphia
Monday, Sept. 27 Dallas at Washington
Monday, Oct. 25 Denver at Cincinnati
Monday, Nov. 8 Minnesota at Indianapolis
Monday, Nov. 15 Philadelphia at Dallas
Monday, Nov. 22 New England at Kansas City
Monday, Dec. 6 Dallas at Seattle
A few of the Sunday Night Football games for 2004
Sunday, Sept. 19 Miami at Cincinnati
Sunday, Sept. 26 Tampa Bay at Oakland
Sunday, Nov. 14 Buffalo at New England
Sunday, Dec. 12 Philadelphia at Washington
Sunday, Dec. 19 Baltimore at Indianapolis
The One Game That Everybody Will Be Talking About
Oct. 31 Baltimore at Philadelphia
Thanksgiving Games (Thursday, Nov. 25)
Indianapolis at Detroit
Chicago at Dallas
As far as the prime time schedules go, Washington and Miami are on more times than the Seahawks. For the record, the Redskins and Dolphins both missed the playoffs in 2003.
Oh well, this isn't shocking news. After all, they can't give Seattle more than ONE prime time game...
2004 Seattle Seahawks Schedule
Sept. 12 at New Orleans 10:00 a.m.
Sept. 19 at Tampa Bay 1:05 p.m.
Sept. 26 San Francisco 1:15 p.m.
Oct. 3 BYE
Oct. 10 St. Louis 1:15 p.m.
Oct. 17 at New England 10:00 a.m.
Oct. 24 at Arizona 1:15 p.m.
Oct. 31 Carolina 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 7 at San Francisco 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 14 at St. Louis 10:00 a.m.
Nov. 21 Miami 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 28 Buffalo 1:15 p.m.
Dec. 6 Dallas 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 12 at Minnesota 10:00 a.m.
Dec. 19 at New York Jets 10:00 a.m.
Dec. 26 Arizona 1:15 p.m.
Jan. 2 Atlanta 1:05 p.m.
Two straight road games to start off 2004 at New Orleans and Tampa Bay. This is because the Mariners are in town Sept. 12 vs Boston and Sept. 19 vs Oakland. The whole "we can't have two games at both stadiums at the same time" deal.
Home opener vs San Francisco. This should be a W.
The bye is way too early once again. It's crazy how the Seahawks always seem to get an early bye.
St. Louis comes to Seahawks Stadium Oct. 10. I wish they could have put the Rams later in the schedule. At New England Oct. 17. THANK GOD THIS ISN'T LATER IN THE SCHEDULE. Hopefully the Arizona heat won't be too bad Oct. 24. The Cardinals will be improved with Dennis Green at the helm. And on Halloween, Carolina is in Seattle.
November opens up with 2 NFC West games on the road, at San Francisco and at St. Louis. The Seahawks come back home Nov. 21 against Miami and welcome Drew Bledsoe back to Washington Nov. 28 when Buffalo comes to Seahawks Stadium. If I'm not mistaken, this could be Bledsoe's first NFL game in Seattle. Interesting.
DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH, DOO DOO DOO DOO, DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH!!!
December 6 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The Dallas Cowboys. Seahawks Stadium. 6 PM. I WISH I COULD BE THERE.
And this is the part of the schedule where the NFL does its annual screwjob against the Seahawks...
At Minnesota Dec. 12 (coming off the short week when the Seahawks play the Cowboys on Monday)
At New York Jets Dec. 19
God I hope the Seahawks show up in those games...
But fear not, the Seahawks close out the 2004 regular season schedule with Arizona Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. Michael Vick will make his first appearance in Seattle Jan. 2. This could be a huge game for both teams. Yes, I'm calling it already.
Looking at the 2004 schedule, I see a 11-5 season. That's if and only if the Seahawks can stay healthy. 10-6 is a real possibility, but I'll say 11-5. The Seahawks should win the NFC West in 2004. They have the talent to win now. Last year was only the beginning.
However, I do have a few problems with the schedule:
---ONLY ONE NATIONALLY TELEVISED GAME??? NOT EVEN AN ESPN SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME?
Oct. 31 San Francisco at Chicago is a Sunday Night Football game????
I thought the Carolina-Seattle game that day would be a much better pick, but that's just me.
---Opening up the season on the road the first two weeks.
The Seahawks better be ready.
---Two road games in December in consecutive weeks is simply not acceptable, not for a team that went to the playoffs last year. Especially since the Seahawks have to fly to Minnesota one week, then the next week fly all the way to the East Coast in DECEMBER to play the Jets.
It's April 14, and I'm fired up for football. BRING IT!
It should be interesting to see how Raible handles doing PBP during the regular season. Davis was solid and I'm still pissed off that he wasn't brought back for the 2004 season. But the Seahawks thought otherwise.
In other Seahawks news, the 2004 NFL schedule will be released at 4 p.m. Central on the NFL Network. Unfortunately, I don't have the NFL Network, but it will be posted on the net soon after the news is announced. We'll have the Seahawks 2004 schedule posted here at Sports and Bremertonians later once we get the info.
However, there is one game already confirmed...
Sunday, December 19 Seahawks at Jets in the Meadowlands.
The Seahawks are due for a win in the Meadowlands.
And there's also a rumor that the Seahawks will have a Monday Night Football game in Seahawks Stadium this season, against the Dallas Cowboys. Good stuff if that's true.
Either way, I'll get that game. I get all of the Cowboys games on TV here.
On that note, frick Keyshawn. He is a Cowboy now, in case you haven't noticed!
WHAT THE HELL IS VLADIMIR GUERRERO DOING IN ANAHEIM???
If I'm still bitter, that's because I am. He should be patrolling right field for the Mariners, not the Angels. Vlad is going to kill Mariners pitching all season long, I can just feel it.
But he's an Angel. Playing for an owner that cares about winning, not profits.
I'm a Mariners fan, but I couldn't help but just be in awe of Vlad's 2 homers off of Joel Pineiro this season. I'm still in amazement over last Wednesday's majestic shot in Safeco Field which landed in the bullpen market. Unreal.
About that owner...
Arte Moreno just wants to win. And dammit, he even shows the fans that he's human. He's investing in his ballclub. It may work, it may not work. But he's doing his damndest to make sure that his Angels franchise will be one of the best in all of baseball. I admire the guy for that.
I'm in agreeance with Jon Wells at the Grand Salami. The M's should send Rafael Soriano down to Tacoma. Give him an opportunity to get some work in without hurting the big club. But it's almost a lock that the M's will send Julio Mateo down to Tacoma when Scott Spiezio is activated from the DL. Don't ask me why I think this. It may be because this front office isn't too bright, I don't know.
Dan Wilson has no business starting everyday behind the plate. Let's face it, he's done. He can't throw out runners to save his life. He can't hit, which has always been the case. AND HE CAN'T RUN! He may be a nice guy, but I don't give a damn. Unfortunately, Ben Davis doesn't really have any business starting everyday either...
Well, they could always bring up Pat Borders. Might as well, because I think this is just going to be a long season. I'm not pushing the panic button yet, but I'm close. This is the AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST, where you cannot afford to fall too far back behind Anaheim and Oakland. It's clear that those two teams are much better than Seattle.
Since I'm in Arkansas, I can't watch KING-5, but man, Paul Silvi is clutch once again. Unlike Dave Hansen, supposedly the greatest pinch hitter in our lifetime. At least that's what a few M's fans think anyways...
Willie Bloomquist is horrible. Do I need to go on?
Alright, time to get ready for class. The M's are 1-6. Yikes.
But at least the sun is shining here. And damn, it will be around 70 degrees today here. I can't complain about that.
Well, I won't complain until the massive blast of humidity hits...
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Mimi Jung: The Mariners just plain stink!
Paul Silvi (referring to video): Here's new Angels owner Arte Moreno, and the fans love him. Message to Howard Lincoln -- if you buy some players and lower beer prices, the fans will love you, too.
The Flames just plain wanted it more, and the results don't lie tonight, as this series is now a best-of-3, with Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday and Game 6 in Calgary on Saturday.
The game looked well within reach after the first period, in which Vancouver merely played okay, but no goals were scored. When you're the road team in a very hostile setting in the playoffs and you come out of the first period at 0-0, you'll take that.
It took only 58 seconds into the second period for any good feeling to still remain. The Flames came into the Vancouver end shorthanded and Brent Sopel failed horribly to cover Stephane Yelle, who put the puck in to bring the crowd to its feet.
With 3:54 left in the same period, Calgary got a power play goal from Chris Clark, who roofed the puck when Johan Hedberg played for the pass instead of the shot (crowd INSANE at this point). Only 27 seconds later, the Flames crashed the net (even strength this time) and Shean Donovan jammed one in (amid Vancouver goalie interference complaints), a goal resulting from just plain hard work by the Flames., an element largely missing from the Canucks tonight.
The only true chances where the Canucks had anything going for them tonight happened late in the third when the game was virtually over and Marc Crawford started pulling Johan Hedberg and sending out the extra attacker on multiple occasions. Other than that, most of the Canuck shots either weren't getting through traffic, missed the net, or were stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff (20 of those). Of course, this also means they didn't get enough shots, because the Flames were clamping down tight on any chances for Vancouver. Where the Canucks were great on special teams in the first three games of the series, tonight they blew. They gave up the shorthanded goal and needless to say were oh-fer on the power play. They also got burned once on the penalty kill for good measure.
And yes, this was Calgary's first win at home against the Canucks in 11 tries overall.
Here's what the radio guys thought about it...
Dan: I guess the law of averages said VAN would lose in CGY one of these days
John: teams don't generally get dominated in their own rink that badly...averages said CGY might win a special teams battle in the series sometimes too, but that started with hard work and hard ethic
Dan: that second period they killed the Canucks
Tom: from the first goal on, there was no stopping them. I'm not sure if VAN ever had momentum at all in the hockey game. 0-0 after one is not bad for team on the road, but that was it. Other than maybe faceoff circle, that was it. Tonight was the best performance of series by either team in the series
Dan: maybe they were too reliant on the newfound power play?
John: maybe. They definitely weren't prepared to pay price the like CGY was 5-on-5. They must ask themselves if they want to work as hard as CGY does, because they'll lose the series if they don't
Dan: 5-on-5 play...Vancouver has ONE even strength goal (minus a goalie-pul situation) all series
Tom: CGY thinks they're a better hockey team 5-on-5. They think they can work harder and better than the Canucks, and they showed they could tonight. Did they just see that Chris Simon was out tonight and thought it'd be a walk in the park? That wasn't the case.
Dan: Who was the best Canuck tonight?
Tom: (long silence) I have to think about that...hard to come up with one
John: I'll give Jovanovski marks for trying. He didn't finish with a minus, which is a feat.
Dan: How about momentum? It's a seven-game series
Tom: This win is so big for CGY. Now they have to feel good about their game and their goalie. If they steal one in VAN, they could end it in CGY. This is a momentum shift bigtime for CGY. If you look at the two teams, there really wasn't a lot separating them during the season. A lot of people don't want to give CGY respect, not a lot of gamebreakers, but they are great working as team.
Dan: Will the Canucks flirt with a goaltending change?
John: I'm not sure. Crawford wouldn't tell me if I asked him either. I didn't like the Clark goal (broke it open). I think Hedberg will come back
Dan: If Hedberg didn't win the next game, I think Auld would come in
Tom: It's a difficult decision for them. It was important for Hedberg to play well. I think Hedberg is on a short leash. He had to put together string of good games. The people in charge wouldn't hesitate to play Auld
John: Hedberg had 28 saves. The Clark goal was huge Clark goal, and was one he didn't play very well.
Dan: CGY owned the neutral zone tonight. If they take this into Game 5, a lot of people are going to be worried.
Tom: This is going to be a most difficult series, and I wouldn't be surprised if it went seven games. One has to wonder if VAN can even win the series now. They better all start getting on the same page, because not enough of them left it all on the ice tonight
Dan: One has to wonder how much of a toll the physical contact is taking
John: Bryan Allen didn't play much, but this was his first game back. Everyone seemed okay. Both teams wearing down, but VAN more so
I wish this could have been an easy series, but it's getting absolutely draining now. Help me, I'm scared.
Game 5 Thursday at Vancouver on your local CBC carrier.
By the way, both the Flames and Mariners had 4-0 leads tonight.
Shane Halter has 16 career stolen bases over 7 seasons and 644 games. Just thought I'd add that.
There are two lists that I came across today -- baseball lists.
CBS SportsLine Power Rankings. Let's rattle off the top 5: Anaheim, Florida, Boston, Yanks, Astros.
The Mariners? 29th!!!! (And there was much joy and dancing in the streets!)
The other list: The MLB Misery Index. The Mariners here are merely 14th on this list.
Lame joke coming: the Mariners are such horrible losers they can't even win on the loser list!!! Hahaha!!! Man, that was lame; I really gotta stop this.
For my advanced GIS class, we have a project proposal due on Friday. The proposal has to top out at 5-10 pages.
Much like my computer cartography project from last quarter, I wanted to tie this next project in somehow with sports.
So, the Google search (I'm not done with it yet) was for ["Safeco Field" GIS]. It's turned up some things so far, but they're all the same thing.
Then I stumbled onto this. I know there's been some buzz in the blogosphere about MLBtv lately, and I just figured I'd add to the MLBtv melee. The link points to a little GIS-related thing done by Dan Werr at Baseball Primer, who tried mapping out the blackout areas for MLBtv in 2003 using GIS. It's somewhat of a visual treat, though I can't really explain some of the spots in the data and I didn't read all the way through the comments to see if anybody asked about it. There's a few comments marveling over the fact that eastern Montana apparently is in the Mariner blackout zone. Ironically, no portion of Montana is in the Colorado Rockies blackout zone, because I'm pretty sure there's a Billings AM station that carries broadcasts of the Rockies. Also from Werr is this, which has considerably less to do with GIS. He basically asks himself questions but attaches the questions to a fictional kid named Billy.
So that doesn't help me with my project much, and it more likely sucked away time from what I really should be looking for.
Something else I found was this. I thought all along that some truck crashed downtown to cause that power outage, but now I'm supposed to believe it was "accumulated dirt and grime"? That's a lot more embarrassing, if you ask me.
Okay, after checking with some higher-ups here in the department, I'm probably not going to be able to twist Safeco Field or a fictional field into this project (CAD vs. GIS, class is GIS, stadium would probably be CAD). Damn. Looks like I'm defaulting toward some actually relevant stuff on the Skagit River. Damn.
And from the LaRue article...
"This was a good team a week ago, it's a good team now. You've just been through a period where nothing went right." -- Bill Bavasi
If you didn't do it already while reading that quote, I'll do it for you -- BULLSH!+, Buzzie Spawn. If you can count the number of positive things that happened with your team (over a six-game stretch) on one hand, you might have a bad team (Foxworthy logic, but it works here).
"Players aren't showing now what they've shown in the past. I believe it's there ... They believe it's there. So do you judge on one week or what they've done throughout their careers?" -- Bavasi
Around August of last year, I remember hearing a heated argument on KJR between David Locke and Mike Gastineau during their crosstalk segment (one of many). This one was based on how either of them thought John Olerud would finish the season, and he had been struggling up to that point. Locke didn't paint a rosy picture for Olerud, saying he'd either keep struggling, or get marginally better, something like that. Mike Gastineau thought Olerud would get a lot better toward the end of the season. Why? In Gastineau's words: "he's a career .300 hitter." Gastineau thought the Law of Averages would play into Olerud's favor. We all know how that turned out. Anyway, that's the first thing I thought of when I saw this "argument" that Bavasi put forth.
"We're 1-5, but do we feel like a last-place club? No, and I don't believe this is indicative of our team," he said. "We're built on pitching and defense, and in one week we've given up two three-run innings, two four-run innings, two five-run innings.
"You do that, you're not going to win." -- Price
Whoa, Brian, Mister Contradiction Machine. You should know better than to say that the club is built around defense if you've watched the last week of baseball, and I have the feeling that the places where the defense was subtracted in the offseason are not going to experience too much of a better fate than what we've seen in the last week.
Amd now, your Willie Bloomquist Slam of the Day (TM) (Times provides material) --
How un-Willie-like was wrapped up in one fact: he was among the league leaders in the most unlikely category for him — strikeouts.
Although he had gotten on base in the first four games and had hits in three of them, he had fanned seven times, tied for third in the American League.
"I couldn't believe I was striking out as much as I was," he said. "My swing feels great. I couldn't figure out how or why I was missing pitches I shouldn't be missing."
I've asked statistical experts about this, and they've all concluded that strikeouts in Willie's case are directly proportional to getting pitches blown past him and stupidly waving at balls out of the strike zone. And when I say statistical experts, it'd probably be more accurate to say "myself." I am by no means a statistical expert.
(Rimshot!!) Thanks, folks, I'll be here all year except for the latter half of June and early July (damn geology field course).
Monday, April 12, 2004
Phil Mickelson, Masters Champion
I was thinking about this earlier. I had watched the Phil Mickelson interview on ESPN and I noticed that he somewhat resembled Gordon Bombay in the second Mighty Ducks movie (D2). If you remember, Bombay decided to copy Pat Riley's style in the first Iceland game. And they lost. Boy, did they ever get their asses kicked. But you all know how it turned out in the end.
I was expecting Mickelson to quack. "Quack quack quack, Mr. Ducksworth!"
BTW, you should be watching the Flyers-Devils Game 3 right now. The Devils just took the lead 3-2. Playoff hockey, YOU HAVE TO LOVE IT.
No sarcasm there folks, YOU REALLY HAVE TO LOVE IT.
It's 49 degrees right now. This isn't a joke folks, it really is cold here in Arkansas on April 12.
This is spring weather that I'm accustomed to up in the Northwest, but I certainly never expected it to come down south. The only thing that's missing from the scene here is me being at Safeco Field freezing my ass off watching Dan Wilson ground out to the pitcher with runners in scoring position.
---William Hung is a video star. I kid you not. I was watching Fuse's "Oven Fresh" about an hour ago and the "She Bangs" video was on. You know, maybe I should try to go on "American Idol" and just belt out a few high notes and maybe I can become a hack star. Hell, being a hack is much better than actually being in the final group of "American Idol".
Justin Guarini, please pick up the courtesy phone. Or just turn on Fuse, where you can see America's favorite hack on a daily basis.
---I'm not a golf fan, but I have to say, the green jacket for the Masters champion is pretty cool. Shame on "Cold Pizza" for slamming the green jacket, that it is "tacky". Give me a break. It's a tradition unlike any other, dammit.
Couldn't they just give Thea Andrews her own exercise show? Put it on at 6 a.m. and I guarandamntee you I'll wake up for that.
---The Mariners are 1-5. Hooray for progress, sort of.
---Note to self: I'm going to attend a Stanley Cup Playoff game in Canada one of these years. It's that simple. I'm an American, but dammit, I was getting chills hearing the Canadian national anthem in Calgary last night. Of course, I would have liked to have seen the Vancouver version of "O Canada", but we all know how that has turned out.
For all that is holy, please keep the Canadian teams intact. The Toronto-Ottawa and Vancouver-Calgary series are turning out to be two very good series. Let's not forget about Montreal either.
Hockey is Canada's game, not America's game. Don't let those ESPN hockey promos fool you.
---In related news, the ESPN/ESPN 2/ABC hockey coverage is a joke.
You mean to tell me that the family of networks couldn't have hired broadcasters from non-playoff teams? Dwayne Roloson doing color on the Canucks-Flames game was a joke. The no-name guy with him was a bigger joke. I mean, come on, there is a guy named Bob Miller who's in Los Angeles currently sitting on his ass doing nothing. He's one of the best broadcasters not only in hockey, but in all of sports. BTW, for you casual folks, he was the play by play man for the games in the second Mighty Ducks movie. Or how about Mike Lange, who is the Penguins' play by play man? The possibilities are endless.
---Yes, we love hockey here at Sports and Bremertonians. It's great. IT'S GRRREAT! (cue the Sum 41 "Still Waiting" video)
---If Comedy Central was smart (and for the most part, they are), they would go ahead and release the "Chappelle's Show" second season DVD this summer. It's obvious that the first season DVD has exceeded expectations and more, so capitalize on the momentum.
Yes, I'm a selfish SOB at times. I want the second season DVD ASAP!
---I'm not Rick James, bitch.
---And no, Wayne Brady isn't going to choke a bitch either. Well, not tonight anyways.
---BREAKING NEWS INTO SPORTS AND BREMERTONIANS
Rebecca Romijn is single again.
John Stamos, pick up the phone. It's Dave Coulier on the other line.
But Uncle Jesse, at least you have still have 10-10-987 by your side.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
The Canucks used a Matt Cooke goal early in the 3rd period to extend their overall winning streak at the Saddledome in Calgary to 10 games and send the crowd of 19289 home disappointed (except for the Canuck fans that snuck into there). It was a tough and grinding game, though, one that resulted in many players going to the bench at least temporarily for injury. Brad May's face met the goalpost at one point, leaving his face quite bloodied. Jarome Iginla landed a ton of blows to the body of Mattias Ohlund in their fight with 11 seconds left in the game. But most importantly for the Canucks, Dan Cloutier tweaked his knee late in the first period after trying to reach a rebound of an Oleg Saprykin shot. He was helped off the ice, hobbled with what is being officially called a "lower body injury." He's got a strained knee, we all know it. This just keeps the Flames (or other opposition) from keying on one part of Cloutier's body to target.
Johan Hedberg stepped into the net for the Canucks right after Cloutier left, and he came in cold. Luckily, there was under a minute left in the period, and the Canuck skaters were able to keep the puck away from a cold Hedberg. Hedberg was then allowed to use the entire first intermission to get himself mentally focused and get his game face on.
Unfortunately, the second shot that Hedberg faced went in. To Hedberg's defense, he really had no chance at the shot, as the defense was shoddy on the play and the Flames executed a perfect tic-tac-toe play. Only 64 seconds into the second period, Chris Simon scored and Calgary had the 1-0 lead.
Eighteen seconds after the Simon goal, Matt Lombardi was whistled for hooking. The Flames had the lead for all of 66 seconds as Markus Naslund had some help from some Canuck bodies raising some ruckus in front of the net (giving Kiprusoff a lot of stuff to look at) and potted the puck to tie the game. Matt Cooke would then find the back of the net in the third period, getting the game-winner 1:29 into the third.
The last game that Johan Hedberg played in for the Canucks was when he blew a 4-2 lead to Columbus and the Canucks lost 5-4. He's had a rocky road this year and his play was termed "terrible" at one point by coach Marc Crawford. Being forced into play late in the first period and stopping 19 of 20 shots (i.e., every shot he had a chance on) no doubt is encouraging to Crawford, but just in case, Manitoba Moose goalie and occasional callup Alex Auld (the Moose season is over) was dressed and in full gear just in case of a meltdown. Hedberg got big help from the Vancouver penalty kill, which held the Flames to 0-for-7 on the power play in the game, and 0-for-5 while Hedberg was in net.
The Canucks take a 2-1 series lead heading into another game in Calgary, also televised on ESPN2, Tuesday night.
Here comes the postgame notes...Jeff Patterson, Tom Larscheid, and John Shorthouse
Jeff: Vancouver has to be feeling pretty good about themselves. They were good on the road all year. Except for the injuries, this was an almost perfect road game
John: They just find a way to get it done on the road. There was a lot of physical play. Calgary is still more physically dominating, but that's their game plan, and they try to outwork/outhit and wear down Vancouver; the Canucks are just bouncing off and getting it done
Tom: Vancouver won because: their special teams were outstanding, Calgary was 0-for-7 on the power play; they were dominating in the faceoff circle and prevented Calgary from getting the tie; Matt Cooke had a sensational game (winning goal), was the most physical forward and played his type of game; Cloutier went down and Hedberg came in and did a fabulous job. He had no chance on the defensive giveaway goal (Simon)
Jeff: 3 weeks ago was Hedberg's last appearance in the Columbus meltdown before Cloutier made his run. He just wants a chance to play, and he might get it here. Here he proves he can get it done
John: He does have playoff experience (took Pittsburgh to a conference final in the East). It was an important game for him to play the way he did. Cloutier was in net all the time toward the end of the season. This should restore confidence to Hedberg and the rest of the coaching staff
Jeff: It didn't look good for Cloutier. He was in serious distress, you could tell. We probably won't see him soon
Tom: even if it's not a torn ligament, it's at least strained/sprained. It'll probably be at least 10 days to 2 weeks. They'll have to ride Hedberg and Auld. They wouldn't hesitate to use Auld. Hedberg will have to continue to play brilliantly like he did tonight. Once he gets Crawford's confidence, he has a chance to get on a good run
Jeff: What will happen to the survivor of this series in the next round? Lots of bodies were battered, or being taken out
Tom: we knew it was going to be physical, that's how Calgary plays, that's how they got successful. They do not a lot of skill players, but everyone plays their roles to perfection, and they get great goaltending
Jeff: ScoreTV reports Cloutier was on crutches. Three stars?
John: picked by local radio: 1 Naslund (3gm pt streak), 2 Iginla, 3 Jovanovski. We preferred Hedberg or Cooke in there
Tom: other highlights. Iginla had 22.5 mins of ice time, (lots of time) had 7 shots and 1 assist. Jovanovski had 4 shots, 22.5 minutes of ice time, and was even. Naslund was leading NHL in shots and had 4 tonight (13 shots in 3 games); has 5 power play points in the playoffs
Jeff: Naslund had goals in 3 of his final 4 games. There were 2 goals from the top line tonight. What's disturbing: Sanderson and Henrik Sedin had no shots
John: They have to find a way to get that line going
Vancouver leads the series 2-1.
Game 4 is Tuesday night, televised on ESPN2, or on the CBC for you lucky people in western Washington or close to the border, or those who have NHL Center Ice.
Here comes the recap, inning by inning, you know the drill.
top 1 -- Ichiro 1-3; Winn 2-2...full looking K (on corner); Boone 6-3
bot 1 -- Kotsay 2-0...drag bunt between Cabrera/Moyer; Kielty 0-2...looking K (same as Winn); Chavez first pitch double RF; Dye 2-0...5-4-3 DP
>> Mulder looked solid in the first and got through it quick. Moyer fell behind on a couple hitters, and needed a double play to get out of it. It was the first hinting of the turbulence Moyer would face for most of the afternoon.
top 2 -- Edgar 5-3; Aurilia 4-3; Ibanez 0-2...(corner pitch on 0-2?)...single LF line (Kielty cuts off, holds to single); Cabrera (Spiezio may be ready by next road trip...maybe before leaving) 0-2 looking K
bot 2 -- Karros 0-2...(close pitch on 0-2)...single LF under diving Aurilia; Durazo 3-1...BB; Crosby base hit CF (KARROS SCORES, no throw from Winn, hmm); Miller (Niehaus noting Moyer misses AGAIN with first pitch) 3-1...full BB; Scutaro 3-0...sac fly CF (DURAZO SCORES, runner to third?); Kotsay single RF (CROSBY SCORES, runner to third); Kielty F5 (hustle Bloomquist); Chavez (first pitch ball, 30 pitch of inning) 4-pitch BB; Dye (JARVIS WARMING) 2-2 6-3 (Aurilia bobbles, stays with it)
>> Mulder's only hiccup of the inning was letting Ibanez battle back from 0-2 to put a ball down the line. Cabrera had a pathetic at-bat, striking out on three pitches, the last of which he watched. Moyer had a brutal inning. He walked three, gave up three hits, and let three runs cross the plate as the A's sent all nine hitters to the plate. It got so bad that Kevin Jarvis was warming up in the bullpen. I had Moyer down for 38 pitches in the inning, referenced to the first pitch to Chavez being the 30th, according to Niehaus.
top 3 -- Wilson (only second to get first pitch ball from Mulder) 2-0...4-3 (Scutaro up middle, Wilson slow as hell); Bloomquist 1-3 (Mulder tall); Ichiro 0-2...1-3 AGAIN
bot 3 -- Karros (ball)...1-2 swing K; Durazo 0-2...HBP arm (sidearmed?); Crosby (1-1 pitch corner uncalled) 2-2...full fly LF; Miller (Durazo delayed steals, throw REALLY close) 2-0...2-2 (pitch damn close)...full (70 pitches) swing K
>> Mulder cruises again, this time getting two grounders back at him. Wilson was out on a ball that Marco Scutaro fielded from near-behind second base. Ron Fairly then called the ability to beat out grounders "an asset." No $h!+, Ron. Ichiro grounded out to the first for the second at-bat in a row. Moyer got out of the third unscathed, but with a pitch count at 71. He had an okay inning other than when he beaned Durazo and fell behind on Miller. Great moment of the inning: DURAZO STOLE SECOND?!!?!! COME ON!!!
top 4 -- Winn 1-2 fly CF; Boone 6-3 (pulls Karros, who tags); Edgar 2-0...double RF (494th career); Aurilia 0-2 looking K
bot 4 -- Scutaro 1-2...headfirst slide single under Bloomquist (beats Aurilia throw); Kotsay GIDP 3-6-3 (Scutaro ran down, chased toward second by Cabrera though, not first); Kielty 0-2...1-3
>> Mulder had no trouble in the 4th except for falling behind to Edgar and allowing Edgar's 494th career double (so said Dave and Ron). This was Moyer's easiest inning, even with the leadoff single, but he was helped by the double play.
top 5 -- Ibanez 4-3 (8 groundouts Mulder); Cabrera 1-2 looking K; Wilson (1-0 ripped foul LF)...6-3 (Crosby bobbles, still gets Wilson)
bot 5 -- Chavez HR CF (OAK 4-0); Dye 0-2 looking K (good way to bounce back at least); Karros 2-2 6-3 (Cabrera nearly comes off bag); Durazo first pitch single RF under Cabrera; Crosby 1-2...swing K
>> Mulder ended up with 13 groundball outs the day after Tim Hudson had 18. Mulder sliced through the patsies in the Mariner lineup easily, and caught Cabrera looking again. Moyer was solid in the inning after the Chavez bomb. He finished his outing with 101 pitches in five innings, which is positively Bad Freddyesque. He's had two sketchy starts in a row. Moyer's delivery seemed like it was slightly different, like he was more upright or something before he was throwing the ball.
top 6 -- Bloomquist 0-2 looking K (WOLF PRIDE!!); Ichiro 4-pitch BB (1st Mulder walk); Winn hard base hit LF; Boone 2-0...hard hit double off Chavez glove into LF foul territory (ICHIRO SCORES, Winn to 3rd); Edgar base hit CF (WINN SCORES, Boone to 3rd); Aurilia 2-0 weak fly Karros; Ibanez (BRADFORD WARMING) 6-3
bot 6 -- JARVIS IN??!!?!! (Mateo, anyone?) Miller 3-0...full BB; (VILLONE WARMING) Scutaro (pulls bunt back) 1-2...5-4-3 DP; Kotsay (backstop 0-1 pitch) 4-3
>> Mulder finally ran into some trouble in the 6th, as the top of the Mariner lineup finally did what it was supposed to do, with the Ichiro walk followed by three hits, including the Edgar hit, on which he drove in his 1200th run. Mulder walked Ichiro on four pitches, fell behind Boone and paid for it, and fell behind Aurilia, who popped out. In what I think was Melvin's worst decision of the day, Jarvis was brought in with the Mariners down two runs in the 6th to keep the game close. Somehow the word "Jarvis" and the phrase "keep the game close" don't go together unless a secondary phrase, "failed to," is involved. But this decision didn't backfire on Melvin, though Jarvis really tried to with the leadoff walk, and threw a ball that hit the backstop on the final hitter. The double play helped immensely to bail out Jarvis. I'm iffy on Jarvis, as most of us are, and to keep the game close in long relief in that situation, I would have gone to Julio Mateo, who had not pitched since Thursday and had more than enough time to rest since and could rest more with the off day afterward.
top 7 -- Cabrera 1-3; Wilson 6-3 (again); Bloomquist 4-pitch BB; Ichiro (MECIR WARMING) 2-0...2-2 base hit RF (Bloomquist sent, Scutaro deked, safely to 3rd); Winn hard hit sliding diving catch running in by Kotsay CF (Jeremy's Magnolia Moment).
bot 7 -- VILLONE IN; Kielty 2-2...full swing K; Chavez (Niehaus watching Masters, Phil wins) 1-2 lineout Aurilia; Dye (HASEGAWA WARMING) 3-0...base hit LF (Dye 6gm hit streak); Karros ("Villone working on some chewing gum" --Niehaus) 1-0 low off Wilson's glove (WP, runner to 2nd)...3-0 IBB (nearly thrown away); Durazo lined Cabrera
>> Cabrera and Bloomquist were dead weight as Bloomquist got on base and Ichiro did his job. Mark Kotsay ended the "rally" with his running-inward diving catch off Winn, which Jeremy called his Magnolia Moment. Mulder pitched a solid outing today, not quite as good as Hudson's the day before, but solid nonetheless. Villone got the first two out, which salvaged the fact that he got into a pretty decent jam, getting two runners aboard while throwing a wild pitch inbetween.
top 8 -- MECIR IN; Boone (RHODES WARMING) 2-0...2-2...full swing K (bad pitch up/in); Edgar fly Dye RF; Aurilia single CF; Ibanez 4-3
bot 8 -- HASEGAWA IN (does this make sense?); Crosby 0-2 looking K; Miller 0-2...base hit CF through the box; Scutaro 2-0...lineout DP 5-3
>> Mecir had two outs before allowing the Aurilia single. Ibanez came up and grounded to second, after which Niehaus said "he was way out in front of the change." Yep, that's your 3 year, $13.25M free agent right there; he gets baited by the change. Hasegawa had a solid inning, getting ahead on the first two hitters and getting the only batter he fell behind (Scutaro) to line into a double play.
top 9 -- RHODES IN; Cabrera (shows bunt on 1st pitch)...0-2 swing K way outside; Wilson infield hit; (MCCRACKEN RUNS) Bloomquist base hit RF (McCracken to 3rd); Ichiro ("Rhodes earringless" --Niehaus) 3-1 (GUARDADO WARMING) base hit RF (MCCRACKEN SCORES, Bloomquist to 3rd); Winn ("Would Melvin send the runner from first base?" --Fairly) Winn swings out of shoes on 1-0 pitch...base hit LF (BLOOMQUIST SCORES, Ichiro to 2nd, poor Mulder); Boone 2-2 bouncer 1-3 (runners to 2nd and 3rd); Edgar IBB; Aurilia (HAMMOND WARMING) 1-2 (barely outside on 1-2)...full...fly Kotsay CF
bot 9 -- DAVIS (pinch-ran for Wilson)/OLERUD IN (Hansen left on bench); Kotsay 2-0...base hit CF; Kielty pathetic pop bunt foul...(MYERS WARMING) bunt foul again...0-2...swing K; Chavez (nice Davis block on 2-0) 3-0 Aurilia backpedaling one-handed catch; Dye F2
>> I thought nothing would happen here, as the Mariners had their impotent third of the lineup coming in Cabrera/Wilson/Bloomquist. Cabrera struck out again. Wilson got the infield hit on a play in which I really think the Scutaro threw beat him, but Karros bobbled it. That proved to be somewhat pivotal. Bloomquist, Ichiro, Winn got consecutive hits to tie the game. Rhodes blew his first save of the year; is this something the A's fans should get used to? Niehaus had said earlier that he thought Guardado was going to come out to work the 9th. The fact that Guardado didn't come out for the 9th was (I think) Melvin's best decision of the day. He left Hasegawa in (off day the next day). Chavez flew out on 3-0, but I think this inning had the gamebreaker for the Mariners. Kotsay led off with the single and Bobby Kielty couldn't get the bunt down. Imagine the A's situation with a runner on second and Chavez and Dye to come to the plate? This was the first concrete indication that the A's were giving the Mariners this game.
top 10 -- HAMMOND IN; Ibanez loopy fly LF just fair double; Olerud (shows bunt) sac bunt E1 (off heel of Hammond's glove, into foul territory, runners 1st/3rd); Davis (GUARDADO WARMING) sac fly LF (IBANEZ SCORES, Olerud to 2nd on throw); Bloomquist base hit CF (OLERUD SCORES, Bloomquist to 2nd on throw); (HARVILLE WARMING) Ichiro (Bloomquist steals 3rd) grounder to 2nd, BLOOMQUIST SCORES EVADING TAG (FC); Winn FC 5-4 (Ichiro forced); Boone HR LF (2-run); HARVILLE IN; Edgar 2-0 fly Kotsay CF
bot 10 -- GUARDADO IN (second day in a row, NOT A SAVE SITUATION); Karros weird leaping catch at track CF Winn; Durazo fly RF track; Crosby 1-2...full BB; Miller 2-0...Winn fly CF
>> The Mariners got a bounce on the extremely lucky Ibanez dying quail of a double that just got inside the LF foul line. Olerud laid the bunt down (Olerud and a ground ball in the infield is a sure out on any cleanly fielded ball), and Hammond muffed it. That was the final nail in the coffin for the A's in this game. If the Mariners didn't win it after that, hoo boy. Three things that were nice to see in the inning: Ben Davis driving in the go-ahead run and finally having something good happen for a change, some motion on the basepaths (Bloomquist stealing third, yes, I'm giving him some props here, perish the thought), and an instance of power off the bat of Bret Boone. I said Melvin made a good decision not bringing in Guardado for the 9th, and here is where it reaped its dividends, as Guardado got a much more soft landing this time with a five-run lead. It was two days in a row for Everyday Eddie. I'm guessing this was a typical Guardado outing: two balls to the track, a walk, falling behind another hitter, and then a ball almost to the track to end it.
Gameball: Shigetoshi Hasegawa. 2 innings, 2 hits, 2 K, no walks. Shut down the A's in the 8th and 9th, and was the least turbulent pitcher out of the bullpen today.
I'm not going to normally choose a goat, but...
Goat: Bobby Kielty. The winning run was on first, he had a chance to move it to second for Chavez and/or Dye to drive it in, and he failed miserably.
The closest thing to a Fireworthy Offense for Bob Melvin in the game was bringing in Kevin Jarvis in the 6th to keep the Mariners within two runs when a well-rested Julio Mateo was presumably available. If Jarvis ends up being truly Jarvislike, we might be looking at a big fat six-pack of L for the Mariners.
But for me, Melvin gets a little respite from me for holding off on Guardado until the 10th and leaving in Shig for the 9th. There was an off-day the next day, Shig nailed down the 9th, and the closer-to-be was still available if the Mariners got the lead in the 10th. Luckily, the Mariners got a really big lead in the 10th and Eddie got his promised soft landing.
And yeah, if you were listening to the KOMO postgame show after the game and heard a David from Ellensburg that was stammering all over himself and sounding like a total dumbass...yeah, that was me.
I could bring up the fact that Kevin Jarvis was used when the M's were down by just 2 runs, or I could also bitch about Jamie Moyer's performance today. But I'm not going to do that today. I'm just happy the Mariners won a damn game.
Day off Monday. Tuesday, it's Joel Pineiro vs Kelvim Escobar, ESPN nationally televised game.
Phil Mickelson won the Masters today. Good for him.
Canucks-Flames Game 3 at the Saddledome, ESPN 2 in about an hour. Finally, a Canucks playoff game on American TV. What a concept.
Drink up, be merry, it's a celebration. That will last until Tuesday. Not throughout the years.
I. Suzuki rf
R. Winn cf
B. Boone 2b
E. Martinez dh
R. Aurilia ss
R. Ibanez lf
J. Cabrera 1b
D. Wilson c
W. Bloomquist 3b
Well, at least Melvin moved Ibanez down the order. But there's still the 8-9 crap we've all come to know and hate.
Jamie Moyer vs Mark Mulder, 1:05 Pacific start. Let's hope this isn't the 6th egg of the season.
Rick James Soundboard
Lil Jon Soundboard
And last, but not least, a link with a few video clips from "Chappelle's Show" (there are some clips here that are not on the official Comedy Central website)
"Chappelle's Show" video links
(Calvin's got this on lockdown!!!)
Happy Easter! Samuel Jackson, it will get you drunk!