Tuesday, July 20, 2010
At least the Mariner pitchers didn't give up a bunch of runs in this game. However, they hit even less. Make it a goose egg for the Mariners one night after scoring only one run. The Mariners were Dankified, and the only thing keeping it from being a complete game for Danks was the fact that he'd crossed the century mark in his pitch count.
-- all the pitching will be covered in the gameballs
-- Chris Seddon came out of the bullpen in this game. Going into Wednesday's game, Jamey Wright and Garrett Olson will have a day of rest, Brandon League and David Aardsma will have two days of rest, and Brian Sweeney will have three days of rest.
-- as for offense, what offense? The Mariners managed all of two hits off John Danks, who went 7 2/3 innings on 107 pitches. One hit was an infield single by Casey Kotchman in the second inning with the game still tied. The other hit was a two-out rolling ball past the mound and up the middle off Ichiro's bat in the eighth inning of a 3-0 game. Danks did issue four walks in the game, however, and he hit a batter as well. Jack Wilson drew a one-out walk on four pitches in the third, and Ichiro was hit on the armguard two pitches later, so the Mariners did manage to get a runner to second base in the game after all. A double play ended that inning two pitches later. Franklin Gutierrez drew a two-out walk in the sixth. Afer walking with two out in the fourth, Milton Bradley drew a four-pitch leadoff walk in the seventh before he was doubled off when he ran full bore toward second base on a weak pop to short. The only way I can kinda rationalize this would be if he thought it was a high chopper instead. If he didn't, he needs therapy again.
-- Ichiro went 1-for-3 in the game, pushing him to 123-for-386 (.317) on the season. He is on pace to finish the season with 212 hits.
-- now, the Ichiro/Figgins stat. Ichiro had the only hit between the two, and neither scored. The Mariners remain 12-6 when both players score and 17-28 when both collect hits.
1) Doug Fister
He's had five starts since returning from the disabled list, and this start was either the best start or the second-best start out of the five. Three of the starts were bad to pretty bad. On July 7th, he gave up a run on six hits in six innings, a start which may have been better than this one. However, he averaged 15 pitches per inning this time around as opposed to 16.2 in his other good post-DL start. He got seven groundouts to four flyouts. Two of the seven hits he gave up went for doubles. He didn't give up any home runs. I find this at least a bit encouraging for Fister and therefore the Mariners going forward. If the team can send a decent picher out there three out of every five days (Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Fister), the Mariners will have a much more palatable end to the season for themselves and their fans. I think I'd be happy with the Mariners just going .500 the rest of the way so I at least got to watch them win half the time. If they followed through with that, their record would be 70-92. You know it's a bad season when 70 wins looks good when you're 94 games into the season.
2) Chris Seddon
The bar's not very high for gameballs on this night, but one of the two newest Mariners didn't do too badly at all. The way the bullpen's been this season, I'd have to say for Seddon to give up one run in three innings is a monumental accomplishment. I guess the main assessment I can make about him so far is that he's lefthanded and I don't hate his delivery. I hate when I find a pitcher's delivery so unwatchable that I end up hating the pitcher. As for examples, I never liked Akinori Otsuka's delivery, I hate Ryan Dempster's delivery, I hate Ted Lilly's delivery, and I hate Francisco Rodriguez's (the one that's a Met now, not the one currently with the Angels) attempt at a delivery. Seddon's only touch-up on the night was a homer off the bat of Chicago resident beanpole Alexei Ramirez into the bullpen. Now that Seddon's done giving up runs, it looks like he'll have a 0.00 ERA for the rest of the season. Yes, Seddon will be one billion kinds of awesome for the rest of the season.
3) Casey Kotchman
As the designated hitter on the night (Justin Smoak played first and Milton Bradley played left), Kotchman hit the infield single that broke up John Danks' perfect game. Okay, that was in the second inning, so no one really got the rush of a perfect game possibly happening at that point. The one-hitter, however, lasted into the eighth inning. Anyway, I'm thinking with the addition of Smoak that Kotchman isn't going to get too many chances to expand on his defensive errorless streak. Sure, everyone loves his defense, but the dude can't hit. If the Mariners threw a 27-out perfect game in 100 straight games, I bet the game goes to extra innings at least 10 percent of the time due to the Mariners' inability to hit and score runs. I have nothing statistically to justify the 10 percent figure, I'm just stating what it kinda feels like. Despite the good stretch he had after pleading for more playing time, Kotchman is still a .213 hitter. My, what a team this is.
I suppose I could have gone straight to Milton Bradley for this, given the botched baserunning that led to the double play that basically ended the game. This time, it's Figgins. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts one night after he was 1-for-2 with three walks. The Mariners went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position in the game, and Figgins had that lone at-bat. He was up in the third inning with one out and Jack Wilson on second base and Ichiro on first. He grounded into a double play to end the inning. Needless to say, that was highly inopportune, but after three innings, I'm not sure even the most pessimistic Mariner fan thought the Figgins at-bat would be the only real scoring chance for the rest of the night. After Danks left the game, all JJ Putz and Bobby Jenks had to do was throw BBs, then sit back and watch. Jenks also sat and watched Omar Vizquel and Alexei Ramirez make one great play apiece in the ninth inning. That doesn't contrast well with the errors Figgins has made recently, but baseball is baseball.
Floyd. Hernandez. On a Wednesday night.