Wednesday, June 09, 2010
This team is unwatchable. Anyone who's still watching these games is probably delusional in some way. Sure, one can say that the "true fans" are still watching these games, thinking that in time the baseball gods will reward them with a championship or something. However, if there are die-hard fans out there that aren't watching these games every night nowadays, how could I not blame them? It'd be one thing if this team was playing an entertaining brand of baseball and you could convince yourself they had a chance to win every night. Instead, you know pretty early on in a game if it's going to be worth watching or not. If they're down three runs early, they're probably not winning. If the other team ever scores four runs, they're probably not winning. There's no drama unless you consider the Mariners finding different ways to lose every night to be drama by itself. Maybe it's one of those things -- the chase is better than the catch, or getting there is half the fun. If you know the team's going to lose anyway, you might as well enjoy the journey. Maybe making cheap and friendly wagers on how the Mariners will lose every night would make it more fun? I don't know.
-- the starting pitching will be discussed in the goat entry. I don't end up talking much about the starting pitching in the game itself. It's more of a big-picture thing. Can you blame me for not wanting to wade through the wreckage of a 48-pitch, eight-run (seven earned) outing for Ian Snell?
-- the first man out of the bullpen will be discussed in the gameball entries. Sean White threw the eighth inning without incident. He threw a 1-2-3 inning, getting three outs through the air, though supposedly he was supposed to be a groundball guy, I thought. That's what I heard, anyway. Oh well. Dude's not that good.
-- the bullpen rest bulletin: French and White threw in this game. Going into Thursday's game, Garrett Olson and Chad Cordero will have a day of rest, while Shawn Kelley, Brandon League, and David Aardsma will have three days of rest.
-- for the second straight night, the suckitude of the starting pitching precluded anything the offense could conjure. Once again, I can't use the argument of "the Mariners won't win much games when they only score two runs" because they're not going to win anyway if the starting pitcher gives up eight runs and doesn't get out of the second inning.
-- it looked okay early, though. In the first, Milton Bradley walked with one out and stole second. He went to third on a Franklin Gutierrez flyout and scored when Jose Lopez doubled on the first pitch he saw. Josh Wilson then doubled to plate Lopez and make it 2-0. Wilson went to third on a wild pitch, but Matt Tuiasosopo flew out to right to end the inning. The Mariners were up 2-0 at that point. It was all downhill from there. After all, Ian Snell hadn't taken the mound yet.
-- were there blown chances? Yeah, but by then the Mariners were down six runs or more. In the fourth, Tuiasosopo drew a one-out walk in an inning otherwise filled with outs. In the fifth, Ichiro hit a cheap double that got past the first baseman and into foul ground, but he was still on second base when the inning was done. In the seventh, Michael Saunders drew an isolated one-out walk. In the eighth, Bradley led off with a single and Gutierrez then flew out. On the play, Bradley had rounded second but had to get back to first base. He got to first base safely, but hadn't touched second base on the way back to first. The Rangers caught that and threw back to second base on an appeal and got their wish. In the ninth, Wilson singled to lead off, then Tuiasosopo walked. With two outs, a wild pitch moevd the runners into scoring position and Chone Figgins walked to load the bases. Finally, Ryan Langerhans, who was in because it was pointless to have Ichiro in the game that late with it so far out of reach. Langerhans whiffed to mercifully end the game.
-- Ichiro went 1-for-4 with a double in the game. He's now 83-for-239 (.346) on the season, putting him on pace to finish the season with 228 hits.
-- now, the Ichiro/Figgins stat. Ichiro had the only hit out of the two players, and neither scored a run. The Mariners remain 10-3 when both players score and 10-18 when both players collect hits.
1) Josh Wilson
The Mariner shortstop hit an RBI double that gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Of course, that's when the game was still close. He ended up hitting a single later on in the game. Wilson's good hitting over the last month has finally gotten him a couple spots higher in the lineup, and in this game Wilson was in the fifth slot in the lineup. I don't think it's any stretch to think that the Jack Wilson rehabilitation assignment can kinda take as long as it wants to take. There's no rush to see Jack up with the big league any time soon. Josh is now a .296 hitter on the season with a .347 on-base percentage and a .409 slugging percentage. Josh Wilson just seems to be the little middle infielder that never seems to go away over the last couple seasons. The difference this year, of course, is that he seems to have an idea at the plate.
2) Luke French
The man who should take this rotation spot five days from now stepped in and sucked up some innings for the team, and didn't look horrible while doing it. Try to replay this game in your mind, except with French having his line plugged into the boxscore as the starting pitcher. What probably would end up happening is that I'd be complaining about how crappy the offense is, and whether there's an end in sight. French gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out three. Snell and Ryan Rowland-Smith have had tons of trouble trying to just get through five innings in starts for the Mariners, and it wasn't so bad when just one of those guys was in the rotation, but right now two of those guys are in the rotation, and it's crippling. If French can just consistently get through five innings, that's what the rotation needs right now until they can get Erik Bedard to do it.
3) Milton Bradley
The Mariners' resident enigma went 1-for-3 with a walk in the game. The worst thing he did was forget to step on second base on the way back to first base on a flyout. In any event, he got aboard twice, so that's fine and dandy for the on-base percentage. Bradley's still bad, hitting .208 with an on-base percentage of .281 and a slugging mark of .313. Now that Ken Griffey Jr. doesn't have the locker right next to Bradley's, will Bradley eventually have an outburst? I think another Bradley eruption, while unfortunate, might be the most entertaining thing that could possibly happen to the team right now. Yes, we've fallen pretty far. Actually, the only other thing right now that could be entertaining would be if Ichiro took a run at a 56-game hitting streak. You know what they say, though, is that if he got to 55 games, the opposing team would walk him every time.
He can't be on this roster any longer. He just can't. He's shown no progress whatsoever. He's this year's Carlos Silva, except the real-life version of this year's Carlos Silva is like 8-0 or something for the Cubs. So I guess I'm saying Snell is this year's version of last year's version of Silva. As much as I'd like for all of Jack Zduriencik's moves to come up golden and everything, he's gotta cut bait with Snell. Sure, Ronny Cedeno and Jeff clement were not that big of a package to give up anyway (though I liked Clement), but the Mariners have gotten next to nothing out of that trade. Jack Wilson is hurt and wouldn't hit well anyway if healthy. Snell sucks. In eight starts this season, Snell has failed to record an out past the sixth inning. In only two starts has he recorded an out in the sixth inning. The only role he might be able to fill on this roster is the garbage-time guy you throw when the starting pitcher gets lit. His average per-start line: 4 1/3 innings, 3.4 runs (3 earned), 5.5 hits, 2.6 walks, 2.1 strikeouts, 85 pitches (52 strikes). As a starter, he averages 19.4 pitches per inning, by far the worst of any Mariner starting pitcher.
Rowland-Smith. Hunter. Tomorrow.