Bloomquist pinch-hitting for Mabry? Playing the percentages, okay, maybe, but that’s not the big thing. Bloomquist hasn’t demonstrated that he can hit since, uh, Lancaster way back in 19-ought-1, while on the bench is Professional Hitter Greg Colbrunn, who mashes everything. Why?
And what’s with this constant bunting? At the bottom of the order, maybe, but why… argh. Notes not related to the game itself, which sucked:
I wasn’t against the dancing groundskeepers when I saw it the first time. Novelty is the charm, and as I’ve seen them over and over, become better at predicting if they’re coming out, I’ve come to wish they’d stop. When people hope and expect it, and they’re working in the push-ups into every routine because the fans love it, it’s gone too far. But the Mariners, with their family-friendly fan-service atmosphere, are then in a bind: do they push the idea, doing better choreography, until every casual fan has seen it a couple of times, and then end it? Does anyone think that in five years, the groundskeepers will still be dancing? And if not, wouldn’t their time now be better spent — and I say this only as an observation — figure out a way to fix the really nasty patches of turf on the field (in front of the mound, just on the grass from the on-deck circles, outer rim of the batters’s box, Ichiro’s right field patch)?
Tonight was “Boeing Honors Kids Weekend (by moving their parents’ jobs out of town or just laying them off)”. The best part of this is when the Honorary Mariners run out on the field and each take a position, and then the real Mariners come out, sign a ball for the kid, and talk for a second (and there’s always one, two who forget they have to run back in). But as cool as this is, think about this: one kid gets to go out and hang around with Ichiro, who is one cool cat, and then across the outfield there’s a little boy asking John Mabry who he is. My question would be this: did Colbrunn sign a ball and tell a kid how important it was to check the level of the Gatorade cooler at the top of every inning?
The Mariners Bench, a Summary
Bloomquist, RH – a .260/.320/.375 guy, he’s a Gipson-esque glove with a better bat (though not Gipson’s lauded bunting prowess*)
Mabry, LH .270/.324/.400, bad defense everywhere — 1b/RF/LF usually, his 3b play is particularly ugly
Colbrunn, RH, .300/.360/.500, is an average-below-average 1b.
McLemore, “switch” but more LH, .269/.370/.380, LF passable and increasingly ugly at 3b/SS/2b
Anyone who can explain why Colbrunn’s rotting on the bench every night can drop me a line.
* speaking of which, given Melvin’s bunt obsession, how come the Mariners didn’t retain Gipson as a pinch-bunter instead of signing Colbrunn as a pinch-bench-sitter
Minor League Highlights for Saturday, April 26
Tacoma 4, Tucson 2. The Rainiers pounded out 11 hits and held Tucson to just two runs, and have now taken the first two games of the series. RHP Brian Falkenborg went the first five innings (5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and the bullpen did the rest, allowing just one hit and one walk over the final four innings. RHP Aaron “save machine” Taylor picked up his sixth save (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K). 2B Chad Meyers, 3B Luis Figueroa and the ageless C Pat Borders each had two hits for Tacoma.
San Antonio 10, Tulsa 3. 1B AJ Zapp drove in four runs on three hits in three at-bats, including a double and homer. He also scored twice and drew a walk, raising his season line to a robust .305/.420/.683. RHP Rett Johnson pitched well (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) but wasn’t around to pick up the win, as the Missions scored six of their ten runs in the bottom of the 7th after Johnson had left the game. RHP Criag House (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) was the beneficiary of that offensive outburst and picked up his first win of the season.
Inland Empire 4, San Jose 3. LHP Troy Cate pitched six strong innings (7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) to earn his first win of the year, lowering his ERA to 4.71 and giving him 24 strikeouts in just 21 innings. Offensively, RF Shin-soo Choo continued to shine in the leadoff spot, with three hits in four at-bats including a double, a triple and two runs scored. 2B Ismael Castro, the MVP of the Northwest League last season at Everett, also had two hits. RHP Mike Steele (1 IP,0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) worked a scoreless ninth to match Taylor with six saves.
Wisconsin 7, South Bend 6. For the third consecutive day M’s farm clubs went 4-0, this time thanks to late rally by the Timber Rattlers who scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th. CF Gary Harris, 2B Tim Merritt and RF TJ Bohn, the 1-2-3 hitters in the batting order, combined for 8 hits in 12 at-bats, four runs scored and three runs batted in. In the bottom of the 7th Bohn drove in two with a single to tie the game at 6, then scored the winning run on C Rene Rivera’s single. LHP Cesar Jimenez (1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) picked up the win in relief.