Nice start for Meche. This is the kind of encouraging outing that people will cling to as his “potential” even when he’s getting bombed in future starts. He’s going to be wildly inconsistent, but Safeco will likely keep his overall numbers moderately respectable.
Random stats that may or may not mean anything:
Randy Winn is 4 for his last 26 with no extra base hits.
Carlos Guillen has played 13 games, and 11 times failed to draw a walk. He’s drawn 5 in the other two.
The last time Arthur Rhodes gave up a run was September 11th, 2002. That was 16 appearances ago.
The Mariners have played 16 games. Greg Colbrunn has played in three of them.
Ryan Drese threw 136 pitches for the Rangers tonight. Ouch.
In-game update: Gil Meche is cruising so far, with five strikeouts through four innings, and he’s been getting ahead of almost every hitter.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the M’s, but I just have to pass it along because it’s a freaking riot. Jose Canseco, on his website JoseCanseco.com, is auctioning off a chance to spend the afternoon with him at his home in Florida (full story from ESPN.com). Possible activities for you and Jose include power hitting instruction, martial arts instruction, a workout and a cookout by the pool. Strangely, there’s no mention of instruction on playing fly balls off your head, how to take steroids, how to start a nightclub brawl, or how to piss away a once-promising career. But for the right price, I’m sure anything is possible. Minimum bid is $2,500. Good luck and good bidding!
Minor League Highlights for Wednesday, April 16
Tacoma 5, Tucson 2. 3B Chad Tracy, a pretty good Diamondbacks prospect, had three hits for Tucson to raise his season average to a robust .443, but the Rainiers managed to shut the rest of the team down to pick up the win. RHP Ken Cloude worked the first five (5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 BB), followed by fellow RHPs Allan Simpson (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) and Aaron Looper (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). Simpson was credited with his first win of the year. Offensively, the Rainiers were led by recent signee SS Mickey Lopez, who had three hits in four at-bats including a double. Lopez scored once, drove in one and also stole his first base of the year.
El Paso 7, San Antonio 2. No slugfest this time, as three El Paso pitchers combined to limit the Missions to just eight baserunners in the game. Three of those were C Scott Maynard, who went three-for-three with two runs scored. LHP Bobby Madritsch, signed by the Mariners out of the independent Northern League this winter, was roughed up in his second start of the year (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K), while reliever RHP Josue Matos (2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) was equally ineffective.
Inland Empire 2, Lancaster 1. The 66ers scored just two runs for the second consecutive game, but it was enough for a victory thanks to strong pitching. Starter RHP Glenn Bott wasn’t around to pick up the win, but pitched well in his five innings (2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) and now has a 2.25 ERA on the season. LHP Troy Cate had been scheduled to start, but was not available because — you’ll never guess — his wife went into labor. Pineiro, Rhodes, Carrara, Moyer, Cate… pitchers in the M’s organization are nothing if not fertile! 1B Jason Van Meetren and C Luis Oliveros each had two hits for the Inland Empire, and RHP Mike Steele worked the final 1 1/3 (1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) to pick up his third save.
Beloit 5, Wisconsin 4. The Timber Rattlers lost yet another close game, in a contest which featured awful weather conditions. Temperature at game time was a crisp 45 degrees with a 35 MPH wind making things ever colder. Brrr. 1B Jon Nelson, who homered on Tuesday, went three-for-five with a double, raising his season line to .325/.349/.550 and C Rene Rivera had two hits in four trips. Thus far Rivera appears to be holding his own at age 19 against older competition. Starter RHP Juan Sandoval was roughed up in his 4 1/3 innings of work (6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), though the bullpen pitched well (3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) after his departure.
So, when do we start to worry about Bob Melvin’s ability to identify a good hitter from a lousy one? With Tim Hudson rolling and the Mariners in need of a rally in the eighth, he sends John Mabry up to pinch hit for Dan Wilson. Mabry’s the left-handed bat on the bench, so this is the by-the-book response. Unfortunately, its also stupid.
Greg Colbrunn, 2000-2002, vs right-handers: .317/.398/.531. Thats in 309 at-bats. It includes 36 extra base hits. The last three years, Colbrunn has hit right-handers almost exactly the same as Edgar Martinez (.309/.413/.534). Would you consider sending John Mabry to the plate to pinch-hit for Martinez just to get the left-right matchup? Of course not.
Over the same time period, Mabry has hit .257/.316/.457 vs right-handers.
Melvin wasn’t saving Colbrunn for a spot where he might need him to get a hit off a left-hander. Foulke, who is right-handed, was going to pitch the 9th if Hudson didn’t. There was no threat of a left-hander coming into the game. He certainly wasn’t saving Colbrunn as a pinch hitter for someone in the 9th, considering Ichiro, Winn, and Boone were due up with Martinez to follow.
For some reason, Bob Melvin looked at his bench and decided his best chance to start a rally was with John Mabry and not Greg Colbrunn. Frankly, that simply is a bad decision, and its one that has been made too many times this year.