Thursday, May 07, 2009
The current Mariner record of 15-13 is still better than any Bavasi-era team. It's one game better than the 2007 pace, two better than last year, three better than 2005 and 2006, and four better than 2004. The record is worse than all of the Gillick teams. It's one worse than 2000, two worse than 2003, four worse than 2002, and seven worse than 2001.
Mariner hitting was a collective 9-for-35. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners. They walked once and struck out three times. Mariners with multi-hit games included Ichiro, Jose Lopez, and Franklin Gutierrez, each with two hits. Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Branyan, and Lopez all hit a double each, accounting for all of the Mariners' extra-base hits.
Mariner pitching will be covered below since there was one starter and one reliever. The starting pitching was horrible.
The leadoff hitter went 2-for-5, striking out once. He also gunned down a runner at the plate, and that's always fun. Ichiro is sitting at .297 on the season. Maybe the bad part is that he left five runners aboard, but I don't want to detract from the gameball selection here too much. I might have put Jose Lopez as one of these three, but he had a pretty bad looking error at second which kind of smudges the two hits he had. I'm just ecstatic that even despite missing the first eight games of the season, Ichiro should have 200 hits without a problem. That's impressive stuff. This is his ninth season in the Majors, and I have to wonder aloud what it will take here to get him into Cooperstown. I don't know how much weight the voters would give the Japanese leagues, but Ichiro is definitely a cinch to have 2000 hits in a Major League uniform, and he has a decent chance at 2500 hits, and might have an outside shot at 3000 hits. If he gets 3000 hits, he's a lead-pipe cinch for a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. How much more does he need to get into the Hall of Fame?
2) Garrett Olson
His line was three runs (two earned) on nine hits over five innings, walking three and striking out two. He threw 58 strikes in 96 pitches and got five groundouts along with seven flyouts. It might not be the most stellar line, but it was in relief, and his line would have been a way better starting line than Carlos Silva. There's a pretty long list right now of people who I'd rather have start than Silva: Batista, Vargas, Olson, Morrow (ha!), Rowland-Smith. The way it's going with the offense, there's no way Silva's going to win because the amount of runs the offense can muster doesn't allow a sufficient margin of error that Silva needs. Rather than crush his ego even more, let's just have someone else take a few turns in the rotation before we turn back to Silva again. It's going to be really bad if Silva decides to eat his way through his struggles. I never had a before-and-after photo comparison, but while I'll trust people when they say he cut a bunch of weight, maybe the results so far are making me think he hasn't lost any at all. Dude's still throwing the same.
3) Franklin Gutierrez
He didn't get a hit in the final game of the Texas series, which snapped his hitting streak at eight games. However, he aws hit by a pitch, so I guess you could say it's a ten-game streak where he's either hit or been hit. Either way, he's amassed 16 hits in his last ten games. His batting average has gone from .191 to .301 over that span. He also has three more homers than Adrian Beltre does this season. Still, I wouldn't advise moving him anywhere in the lineup right now because he seems to comfortable where he is. I'm okay with moving a Jose Lopez up to the third spot, though, as was done in this game. Overall, it's too bad Gutierrez is doing well but his good story is being thwarted by how horrible Carlos Silva is and how nonexistent the offense has been finding itself lately. Probably the worst thing Gutierrez has done this year is overrun a couple of balls in centerfield on which he probably wouldn't have had too much of a chance to get the guy at the plate. Who expected this guy to be hitting .301 at any point of the season?
Please let this nightmare end. The game actually started with a nice pitch that got parachuted into the outfield for a base hit, and then it was pretty much over after that. The poetically beautiful moment of the night, of course, was the balk with a runner on third that put the Royals ahead 6-0. I wonder how much worse he has to be -- might the thought of eating his hefty hefty contract even enter the mind? They've at least got to get him out of the rotation. It's obviously not working. I'd much rather have Miguel Batista go out there and suck every five days just to change it up. Heck, Olson pitched the remaining five innings in this game, proving that he can at least last five innings and not implode. Silva gave up six runs on right hits in three innings, walking one. He threw 42 strikes on 70 pitches, getting seven groundouts and two flyouts. In addition to the balk, Silva also hit Jose Guillen with a pitch. Silva faced 17 hitters to get nine outs. Does anybody know what to do with this guy? Silva surely doesn't know what to do with himself.
Washburn today. A complete game would be nice. Ha.