And now we get to see everyone set record times jumping off the Rich Harden bandwagon. His first 4 starts after the callup were against KC, Anaheim, Cleveland, and Detroit. In his last two starts against real offenses (Toronto and Boston), he’s allowed 14 runs in 6 2/3 innings while walking 9. Rich Harden is a pretty good pitching prospect. Rich Harden is not Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, or Mark Mulder.
If I never see John Mabry pinch hit again, it will be too soon. Matt Freaking Stairs.
By the way, John Olerud has a great chance to set career lows in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage this year. It isn’t Safeco, either. At age 35, we may just have to admit that he isn’t the same player he was last year. If Greg Colbrunn comes back healthy, he should start frequently at first base, because this team needs some offense from somewhere. They’re already punting the entire left side of the field.
Josh Towers and Mark Hendrickson? Man. Matt Stairs. Matt Stairs. Matt Stairs.
Bad news, everybody. Pedro Martinez was set to face the A’s tonight, but instead he’s been scratched with a sore throat and stomach problems. Casey Fossum will get the start instead. And you know what this means — Pedro will probably face the M’s this weekend in Boston, when they were supposed to miss him this time around. D’oh.
Off the topic of the Mariners for a moment…
I just voted in a poll over at ESPN.com, “Who is most deserving of the NL MVP award?” The choices, of course, were Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols. I voted for Barry because he’s the freaking man and easily the greatest hitter of my lifetime, plus he’s having another incredible season.
And the votes are in. As of ~10:15am, it’s Pujols 68.1%, Bonds 31.8% (I know that doesn’t add up to 100%; you should write ESPN a nasty letter). Are you people freaking insane?! Don’t get me wrong, Albert Pujols is a very good baseball player. He’s hitting .370 this year, he draws walks, hits for power, the whole package, yadda yadda yadda.
That said, we can start talking about him as an MVP candidate as soon as he starts getting on base better than 50% of the time he steps to the plate. You know, like Bonds does. And did last season. And the season before that.
Wheel of September Call-ups!
Guess who’ll be joining to the major league team. No one from San Antonio’s coming (team’s headed to the playoffs), and they’re going to have to be on the 40m, so! It’s a cavalcade of reinforcements that will.. uh… shoot.
Pat Borders (surprise! didn’t see that coming, did you)
J.R. Phillips, possibly (LH power bat off bench, why not have him hang around?) (here’s how you do it — push someone, say, Snelling and his torn meniscusalirty, on the 60-day, boom, spot on the 40m, hello Phillips) (and when I say left-handed power bat, I mean ‘can sometimes jack a pitch really hard but isn’t, uh, a complete hitter, if you know what I’m saying and I think you do)(not that that doesn’t have value, because it does — hell, we’re running John Freaking Mabry out there to pinch-hit).
Everybody in Tacoma who’s on the 40-man. Seriously. Why not? Maybe the team will play four, five extra-innings games and need these guys. Aaron Taylor, welcome back. Sweeney, how are you? J.J. Putz, nice to see you and your 2.43 ERA in the PCL.
That’s it. The team’s desire to see the Missions win the playoffs means that they’re not going be able to bring the best talent in the organization up to see what they can do. And really, how often would they get playing time? So no trial at 3b for Leone (plus, he’s not even on the 40m, so they’d have to clear another spot there).
We’ll see what our divisional rivals do: the A’s may feel the same way about their guys in Sacramento as the M’s feel about San Antonio. Of note: former Rainiers farmhand OF/IF-L Jason Grabowski is hitting .309/.373/.484 in AAA. Some of the other BP guys seem to have taken a shine to him, but I don’t think that much of him, so don’t go kicking anyone in the pants because he’s not in the organization anymore. While I’m looking at the River Cats roster: what the heck is going on with Erik Hiljus? He’s giving up a hit an inning (enh, whatever), he’s leading the team with walks (48, or ~2 per 9 IP, not that bad), a team-leading 120K (uh, 7 per 9 IP, pretty decent)… and 23 jacks, more than the next two guys put together. Erik Hiljus is another of these guys like Piatt I’d be stockpiling in AAA if I had a job. AAA is generally used to stockpile emergency-emergency guys, who might earn a call if your shortstop goes down with a torn hamstring after the second baseman cuts his palm up trying to twist-off a pop-top bottle of beer. I’d be throwing these weird prospects with strange minor league career paths in there and see if anything cool comes out of it. You’re paying everyone anyway, why not plug your coins into a slot machine that might pay off something?