Tuesday, July 27, 2010
What I should really do is just say that Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched, so the Mariners lost. That'd be the shortest way possible in which I could write this game post and completely encompass everything that happened in the game. Really, it's all you need to know. Everything was stacked against the Mariners before this game even started. First off, they don't score runs. The White Sox score runs. Secondly, Gavin Floyd matched zeroes with Felix Hernandez not long ago. For this game, Gavin Floyd wouldn't want to match any of the numbers Ryan Rowland-Smith would put on the board. I'd have to say that every time I think this team has hit rock bottom, they manage to get even lower. Amazing. I think the best way to help remedy the situation would be to listen to the song "Low" by Cracker. That's despite me having hated that song as a early teenager. There's endless jokes to come out of those words -- low and cracker. Even the bad jokes would be better jokes than this team is right now. To add insult to injury, or maybe injury to insult, is the fact that Jose Lopez left the game in the third inning with a balky hamstring.
-- the starting pitching will be discussed at the end of the post. The relief pitching will be discussed in the gameballs
-- the bullpen rest bulletin: Brian Sweeney threw in this game. Going into Wednesday's game, Chris Seddon, Brandon League, and David Aardsma will have two days of rest. Jamey Wright and Garrett Olson will have three days of rest.
-- the offense is making it pretty easy to write about them. The Mariners had seven hits, which is one better than they had the previous night, so that's progress. However, they didn't score a run this time, and that's worse than the one run they had the previous night. Can you guess how many extra-base hits the Mariners had? How about zero. The Mariners had one double in each of the last two games. Three games ago, the Mariners had four hits, hitting for the cycle. In this game, Ichiro led off the first with an infield single. One out later, Russell Branyan singled him over to third. Jose Lopez hit a double-play ball to end the inning and the only real Mariner threat. By the time the Mariners sent hitters to the plate in the second inning, the game was out of reach. In the third, Josh Bard led off with a single, and two outs later, Chone Figgins singled Ichiro to second (he'd gotten aboard on a fielder's choice), but that inning went nowhere. Jack Wilson led off the fourth with a single before Justin Smoak hit into a double play. Michael Saunders singled with two out in the seventh. Bard led off the eighth with a single, and Figgins singled two outs later. That's the entire Mariner offense for the night.
-- Ichiro went back into the slump, going 0-for-4. This leaves him at 127-for-414 (.307) on the season. He is on pace to finish the season with 204 hits. Maybe there's a chance even he doesn't give a crap any more about this team and therefore has no drive of going for a tenth straight 200-hit season. The guy's gotta pick it up.
-- now, the Ichiro/Figgins stat. Ichiro went hitless while Figgins went 2-for-4. The Mariners remain 12-6 when both players score and 17-29 when both collect hits.
1) Brian Sweeney
Predictably, the bar isn't very high for gameballs for a game like this. Sweeney came into the game to start the sixth, with all the scoring having already occurred. So, it's to his credit that the score stayed 11-0 and that the White Sox failed to get to 20 runs on the night. Sweeney also threw an inning the previous night, so he'll probably be resting for the next two or three days. The only baserunner he gave up was a one-out single by Alexei Ramirez in the sixth. He retired all the other hitters he faced. Yeah, I'll admit I typed up the Ryan Rowland-Smith paragraph first and had a lot more material to work with. There's no way I can spit out that much tonight on Brian Sweeney. He just isn't awesome or awful enough.
2) Chone Figgins
Amazingly, the Mariners had two hitters that recorded multiple hits in the game. Figgins was one of them. As mentioned before, the Mariners had zero extra-base hits, so Figgins had two singles. He hit a two-out single in the third with the Mariners already down 7-0. He also singled with two out in the eighth and the score 11-0. Figgins is now hitting a scorching .233 on the season. Wonderful, really. Do I really think I can spit out a paragraph like Rowland-Smith's paragraph at the end of this post? I'd be kidding myself. Sure, Figgins hasn't been in the good graces of Don Wakamatsu during the season, but at least Figgins and the Mariners only have to deal with the tension for another three years.
3) Josh Bard
The Mariners' backup catcher who should really be the everyday catcher because Rob Johnson can't catch or hit managed to get two hits. Again, they were both singles. Bard led off the third and eighth innings with singles. Needless to say, he scored neither time. He got to second base in the eighth inning on a Figgins single, but in the third he was fielder's choiced from getting to second. Once again, there's no way I'm going to get as much material out of Bard as I would out of, say, Ryan Rowland-Smith.
The Mariners have a record of 3-16 when the Aussie is the starting pitcher. Since at one point he and Ian Snell were rotating in the same rotation spot...the Mariners were 1-7 in Snell's starts. Combine the two, and it's a grand total of 4-23 when either of those two started. Just awful. This is Mike Maroth/Anthony Young bad. Only on this team would Ryan Rowland-Smith be keeping a rotation spot, though probably not for much longer. On a good team, he surely wouldn't have stayed in the rotation this long. In a way, this reminded me of an outing Jamie Moyer had in Chicago in 2000 where Lou Piniella left him out there to rot. This pretty much happened with the Aussie tonight, as he had the number 11 show in his boxscore three times. That's right -- 11 runs (all earned) on 11 hits. The average per-start line for the Aussie this season: 5 innings, 4.5 runs (4 earned), 6.6 hits, 2.11 walks, 2 strikeouts, 85 pitches (53 strikes), 5.8 groundouts, 7.2 flyouts. He averages 16.8 pitches per inning.
Vargas. Buehrle. Tomorrow.