Well, that was fun.
Six words I never thought I’d see together:
-L Ugueto hit for A Rhodes.
Now, I’m not listening to the game, so I’m not going to assume that Bob Melvin really did lose his mind, but can someone explain to me how he chose Luis Ugueto as his pinch hitter in this situation. Other apparently available options included:
Edgar Martinez (good choice)
Mark McLemore (not as good of a choice)
John Mabry (bad choice)
Guillen’s hurt and I understand not wanting to burn your backup catcher with a 3 run lead, so we’ll ignore Wilson as a potential pinch-hitter. But wasn’t I just reading an article about Arthur Rhodes sending a ball into the upper deck in Safeco Field? Does anyone really think Luis Ugueto is a better major league hitter than Arthur Rhodes? Is choosing Luis Ugueto over Edgar Martinez grounds for admittance to a sanitarium?
This worked last time I tried it, so: ” I’d love to see Meche bring the A game tonight. We’ve seen him decent and good this year, and I’m dying to see him bust out another really great game, rack up some Ks.” And boy, did it work… I know Maddux racked up 11Ks, but I didn’t notice — Meche was as good as I’ve ever seen him until he came to earth a little later in the game.
It’s time to face our natural rivals, the Padres. There’s a long history of animosity between these teams. Feel free to use these handy phrases while watching this series and its twin later in the week:
“There is no love lost between these two competitors.”
“When these two teams get together, you can throw out the record book.”
“Forget everything you know about these two teams, because this is a whole other ballgame.”
“People talk about New York and Boston, Cubs and Cardinals, but they’ve never seen these two squads go after each other.”
Many people forget that there’s also a historical basis for this rivalry. During the 1600s, Spanish missions were frequently intercepted on the high seas by English privateers, who would steal their supplies and press them into service in the English navy, a practice which led to many conflicts between the two countries including a bloody 20-year trade embargo of northern Spain by England and France intervening in support of the Basque civil war. The English navy’s habit of forcing people into service — this was called impressment — also sparked a second war with the US in 1812. Anyway, the Catholic Church was heavily funded by the Spanish crown, and antagonised by Queen Elisabeth’s split of the Anglican church. Pope Matthews the V attempted to deploy the Vatican navy to blockade London in 1662, but suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Admiral Stevens. The church issued several edicts exhorting all good Catholics to forsake marine service, which in the end only created more tension when Catholics were forced to charter ships from Anglican and other pagan crews, and the Padres were forced to endure long journeys filled with torment.
Making fun of interleague stupidity is hardly even fun anymore: look at what I’m reduced to.
This series should be a cake walk for the M’s, and I don’t mean the kind of hard cake walk with music and little tickets you have to keep track of. No, this is some kind of brand new super-easy cake walk where someone just hands you a cake and you walk away with it.
Fri, RHP Gil Meche v RHP Oliver Perez, 7:05
Sat, RHP Joel Pineiro v RHP Adam Eaton, 7:05
Sun, RHP Ryan Franklin v RHP Jake Peavy, 2:00 (ESPN game, I think)
None of the San Diego pitchers have had a lot of success this year, but I think Peavy’s talented and will come around eventually, and that could be a fun game to watch. Adam Eaton’s a local boy from Snohomish. And if the M’s win they’ll push the Padres further down, giving the Tigers (playing at Colorado) a chance to gain some ground in the race to not be the worst team in baseball.
Minor League Highlights for Thursday, June 19
Memphis 4, Tacoma 2. The Rainiers ran into Cardinals top prospect Dan Haren, who limited them to two solo home runs in eight innings of work. LF Adrian Myers and 3B Luis Figueroa each connected for the long balls, but Tacoma couldnâ€™t manage anything else. RHP Jeff Heaverlo got the start and gave up three runs in four innings. RHP Brian Sweeney made his first appearance out of the bullpen in some time, tossing three scoreless innings of relief. Rett Johnson makes his AAA debut for Tacoma tonight, so if you donâ€™t have any plans, head down to Cheney Stadium. Take a â€œWe love the U.S.S. Marinerâ€ sign and I promise Jason Michael Barker will personally come over and give you a hug. Or at least say hello.
San Antonio 2, Midland 1. RHP Clint Nageotte had one of his good starts, holding the RockHounds to one run in seven innings of work. He gave up just two hits, walked four, and struck out eight. LHP Randy Williams got the win in relief, though, as the Missions scored once in the 8th to tie and once in the 9th to take the lead for good. San Antonio racked up 12 hits, including two apiece for DH Chris Snelling, CF Jamie Bubela, LF Michael Curry, and 2B Jay Pecci.
Inland Empire had the day off. They begin a series at High Desert this evening. Expect a few inflated ERAâ€™s over the weekend.
Burlington 3, Wisconsin 2. RHP David Viane only allowed two baserunners in three innings of work, but one of them crossed the plate in the 10th inning as the winning run, and Viane was saddled with the loss. RHP Tom Fulmer got the start and pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs despite putting 13 men on base. 3B Matt Hagen went 1-2 with his team leading 12th home run and also stole a base and drew two walks as the main offensive contributor. RF T.J. Bohn went 3-4 and scored a run as well.
Vancouver 7, Everett 2. Yes, Everett made it a perfect four for four, with all of the Mariners affiliates playing last night scoring two runs. Weirdness. RHP Audi Alcantara took the loss with 5 rough innings of work. He didnâ€™t have his command working and allowed five runs on five hits, three walks, and a hit batter. The bullpen continued its strong work until RHP Kenly Chang gave up 2 runs in the ninth inning. Offensively, CF Chris Colton is repeating his strong start from last year, getting two more hits and just missing his second home run of the year. SS Oswaldo Navarro went 2-3 as well. On the downside, the Aquasox were caught stealing three times with just one successful attempt.
Also, one last friendly reminder, but Iâ€™ll be joining Pat Dillon on the AquaSox pregame show tonight at 6:30 p.m. You can find the game on 90.7 FM KSER, or try the streaming broadcast from the link on the Aquasox homepage.