Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This one will be straight from the boxscore due to Canucks/Kings Game 3 and the fact that I have to make a lengthy drive in the morning.
-- the big inning strikes again! I actually did see the Franklin Gutierrez single before I flipped back to the hockey, so I knew Gutierrez staked the Mariners out to a 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, I flipped back to see the start of the fourth inning with the Mariners leading 7-0. The sequence of the inning: flyout, double, two walks, single (scoring one), fielder's choice and error (scoring one), single (scoring two), double (scoring one), home run (scoring two), and strikeout (because it's Rob Johnson starting and ending the inning with outs).
-- the Mariners piled up eight runs on 12 hits with the assistance of two Baltimore errors and a nightmare start for Brad Bergesen. Bergesen gave up six hits, four of them going for extra bases (three doubles and the Casey Kotchman homer).
-- in all, six of the Mariners' 12 hits went for extra bases. Ichiro, Milton Bradley, and Kotchman all doubled once, and Jack Wilson doubled twice. Kotchman had the two-run homer that made it 7-0.
-- Ichiro went 2-for-4 with a double, putting him at 18-for-56 (.321) on the season and on pace for a 208-hit season, which would make for his tenth straight 200-hit season, which would be boss. Ichiro also has a .387 on-base mark and a .411 slugging percentage.
-- now for the Ichiro/Figgins stat. Chone Figgins went hitless again, going 0-for-4 with a walk. Both players scored a run. The Mariners are a perfect 6-0 when both Ichiro and Figgins score, but are 2-2 when both players register hits.
-- I'll talk about Doug Fister in the gameball entry. The bullpen pitched two largely inconsequential innings. Brandon League needed all of 10 pitches to get through the eighth with ease. Shawn Kelley allowed a Ty Wigginton leadoff homer in the ninth to account for the 8-2 final score, and allowed only a two-out Matt Wieters single before wrapping up the game.
-- the bullpen rest bulletin: League and Kelley threw in this game. Going into Tuesday's game, Kanekoa Texeira, Sean White, and Jesus Colome will have one day of rest, and Mark Lowe and David Aardsma will have two days of rest.
-- I'm hoping Gutierrez doesn't have a lingering injury. On a play where he came around to score, he looked to be grimacing as he finished off the final 45 feet or so down the third-base line. It would be severely bad to lose Gutierrez for any length of time.
1) Jack Wilson
Holy crap, how bad are the Orioles? They've got a sparkling 2-12 record, and they let Jack Wilson have a 3-for-4 night with two doubles. Incredible. Now I look at the boxscore and see Wilson's a .250 hitter, but it sure doesn't seem like it. I've seen enough of his defense to realize how good he is in the field, which is good considering there were some early hiccups. I keep saying an underrated part of the Mariners' approach is that Wilson hits right before Ichiro when the lineup turns over. If he gets on with Ichiro up, stuff should ensue.
2) Doug Fister
The Orioles are bad, sure, but Fister took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and he did so without having a fielding error behind him. Weirdly, this wasn't one of those no-hitters where the pitcher is perfect through four innings or anything like that. Fister's perfect game was gone with the second batter of the ballgame when Wigginton was hit by a pitch. Fister also walked Nolan Reimold with two out later in the first inning. Fister then set down the next 16 Oriole hitters he faced. If Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard get healthy in a few weeks, and if Bedard starts, we're looking at a Hernandez/Lee/Rowland-Smith/Fister/Bedard rotation. I like Jason Vargas, but I'm guessing he could stick around as lefty long relief or bolster the Tacoma rotation. Ian Snell can go be unimpressive somewhere else, though he's got a couple more starts to prove his worth before Lee comes back.
3) Casey Kotchman
From the seventh spot in the lineup, the Mariner first baseman went 2-for-4 with a home run, driving in three runs (all with two out). Does it seem like he's a .286 hitter? That's what he is here in the early going. Kotchman has a .367 on-base percentage and a .595 slugging mark, which of course adds up to a .962 OPS. It's weird to me...it doesn't seem to me like he's been ridiculously awesome at the plate or anything. I like how he drives through the ball, but it doesn't seem like he's tearing the cover off the ball.
I'm really hoping he fully bounces back the hip surgeries. Other than when he's catching or hitting, Johnson's doing a great job as a Mariner catcher.
Hernandez (not Felix). Vargas. Tonight.