I don’t think this is anything new to most people, but the official scorer at Safeco is an absolute joke. When a ball hits the fielder in the arm, glove or hand and he’s not making some diving try, score it an error like it darned well should be. Ichiro has not one but two singles tonight that should have been ruled errors — one in the second inning and one in the fourth. The one in the fourth was particularly bad, as Alfonso Soriano moved to his right and tried to backhand the ball, only to have it hit him on the wrist instead of in the glove. That’s an error, Mr. Official Scorer.
By the way, the San Antonio Missions just won their 17th in a row. This is ridiculous.
MLB.com is running a poll on who should receive the most playing time at 3b. The results so far: Cirillo 54%, McLemore 21%, Bloomquist 22%, Mabry 3%. I assume that all 450 ppl who voted for Mabry thought (like I did) that they would see their vote alone when the results were displayed.
I was going to do a quick piece on apx ticket availability for future homestands, but Ticketmaster (no link, I hate them) is so screwey I’ve given up. I hate their anti-automation device where you have to type a generated word EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO SEARCH. Hey, I’d like to go to this game. Are you sure you’re not a robot? No, I’m not. Okay, here’s some possible tickets. Mmm, what about a different section? Are you sure you’re not a robot? No, I have not suddenly become a ticket-trolling automated robot in the last minute. Okay, here’s some possible tickets. Why does it have to be my problem that Ticketmaster can’t figure out if scalpers are trolling? Why can’t I look at a game and tweak my criteria — not even buy a ton of tickets, but just tweak a setting — without having to pass a Turing test? Why not limit HTTP requests to, say, 1/m or something after validation, if you’re afraid people are going to game the system by searching over and over or something? Why can’t Ticketmaster offer an interactive map that, say, greys out areas as they’re sold off, so I could see that it’s not worth searching for field seats, say, because the good ones are all sold, and instead, should look up a deck, or something?
It’s not as if they don’t have the money to develop these things.
And their ticket search functionality is ass. I was looking for best seats for a particular game and said “best available”. Ticketmaster said “hey, you want these two semi-good Avaya Terrace Club seats.” I said “no, not so much, what’s available in the field level–” and there were plentiful tickets off first base by a section, 6 rows back, for much less money.
To sum up: don’t use Ticketmaster. Call the Mariners ticket office directly, or hit up a team store.
I’m baffled by Davis, for the very reason you mention — he either hits for power or takes walks, but apparently can’t do both at once. His 2002 season was a great example of this. First half: .230/.306/.278, with 15 walks in 126 at-bats. Second half: .294/.324/.559, with just 3 walks in 102 at-bats. And as you mention, he’s basically repeating his 2002 second half so far in 2003 (.280/.308/.580). Despite my disdain for hitters who don’t walk, I have to say I like Power Ben better than Patient Ben, given that the latter seems to include a nice batting average as well. If he’s going to hit like this the rest of the season I’ll have no complaints.
Oh, and I’ve just updated the Big Board (link to your left). Very minor stuff, no pun intended. The biggest news of the day is that Kazuhiro Sasaki is on a rehab stint with the Inland Empire 66ers, scheduled to start tonight with a 20-25 pitch limit. There’s an article about this in today’s San Bernardino Sun, from which I quote, “Sasaki, who has been slowed by a bad back, will throw between 20 and 25 pitches in what is likely to be his only outing with the team. Sixers manager Steve Roadcap said if all goes well tonight, Sasaki likely will go to Triple-A Tacoma for another start before rejoining the parent club.” If any of you reading this happen to make it to the game tonight, we’d love to hear how Sasaki looks on the mound.
So, what do we think of Ben Davis? His career to date shows that he can draw walks or hit for power, but apparently not both at the same time. He’s doing the Alfonso Soriano at the moment, with a lousy 2/11 BB/K but a .588 slugging percentage. 9 of his 14 hits are of the extra base variety, which is really hard to fluke. He’s also been Gil Meche’s personal catcher, whose emergence has been the story of the first month. Since this city is so fond of giving Dan Wilson credit for his work with the pitchers, they’d ought to at least recognize that Davis has been the one behind the dish while Meche has emerged as a legitimate major league starter.
Minor League Highlights for Monday, May 5
Tacoma 8, Iowa 1 (DH Game #1). The Rainiers scored two runs in the top of the first in the first game and didn’t look back, never trailing at any point in yesterday’s double dip. LHP Craig Anderson had yet another strong start (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), going the distance in the abbreviated game and lowering his ERA to 3.15 on the season. 1B Andy Barkett led a nine hit attack with two homers, two runs scored and four RBIs, while 2B Chad Meyers had two hits and also scored twice.
Tacoma 12, Iowa 0 (DH Game #2). The drubbing continued in the nightcap, as the Rainiers pounded out 14 hits in a blowout victory to sweep the pair or games. RF Kenny Kelly, perhaps inspired by Barkett’s performance in the first game, went deep twice and drove in five runs to pace the offense. Five other players — 2B Mickey Lopez, LF Jacques Landry, C Pat Borders, 1B Craig Kuzmic and DH Chad Meyers — each had two hits, and all nine starters scored at least one run. RHP Scott Atchison (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) picked up the win to move to 3-1 on the year. As an interesting side note, the Rainiers scored six runs in the 7th inning of each game.
San Antonio 8, Tulsa 1. Another day, another win for the Missions, who thumped yet another helpless pitching staff to win their 16th straight contest. They’ve outscored their opponents by a 122-49 margin during the streak, winning each game by an average of 4.6 runs, and now stand 22-9 on the year with a five game lead in the West Division of the Texas League. RF Chris Snelling, who apparently hasn’t missed a beat, went 3-5 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and two driven in. He’s now hitting a cool .500/.526/.889 in four games since coming off the disabled list. CF Mike Curry and DH Jaime Bubela each added two hits for the Missions in support of RHP Chris Wright (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K), who won his 4th game of the year against just one loss.
Inland Empire did not play, as the Cal League played a limited schedule yesterday. The 66ers are home against High Desert today but have not announced their starting pitcher, due to RHP Juan Done being placed on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. Done has been unable to get loose lately and is now headed for an MRI. Lefty reliever Russ Morgan was activated from the DL to take his spot on the roster. This may mean a chance for LHP Ryan Ketchner to enter the rotation.
Lansing 10, Wisconsin 6. Wisconsin scored six runs for the second straight game, but this time didn’t get the pitching to make it stand up for a win. RHP T.A. Fulmer was hit hard (9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and took the loss after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning. Offensively, 2B Tim Merritt and CF Gary Harris each had three hits, and 3B Matt Hagen drove in three with his 3rd homer of the year. The Timber Rattlers will try it again today with LHP Tanner Watson on the hill.