The worst part about this series is that I have to spend the next day thinking about the sweep, about Pedro’s return against Meche. I have a fan’s hope, though: that Meche will manage to turn in the kind of start he’s pulled out of his butt against some of the other marquee pitchers this year, a stunning 8-IP, 2H, 12K start.
I thought that the A’s were too far back, that without Mulder there was no way they’d make up the gap. And now I know dread.
No, really, I have good news. Felix Hernandez in his Midwest League debut: 7 innings, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Not bad for a 17-year-old. At this point, you just King Felix’s arm stays healthy, because he’s just special.
Watching the game tonight, I saw an awful lot of groundballs to second. So, I checked the game log. The Mariners grounded out to second base in every single inning. Todd Walker made 10 putouts. This game was a giant middle finger to those that believe that pitchers have no impact on balls in play. You can’t watch Derek Lowe induce 15 groundouts (against 3 fly outs) and come to the conclusion that he has no part in that. Especially when Ryan Franklin is throwing batting practice in the other half-innings.
I’m not usually a fan of moves for motivational purposes, but I would wholly support some “shaking up” roster decisions. Release Mabry and McLemore, who add nothing, even if you don’t have anyone to take their place at the moment. Send a message. Make some changes. This current 25-man-roster isn’t good enough.
As long as we’re fishing for even more good news, Pedro Martinez has been cleared to start against the M’s tomorrow. Ouch.
The shine is officially off of Ryan Franklin. Everything he throws says “hit me”, and good hitters destroy him. Well on our way to 5 straight losses and a 1 game lead. The M’s need to shake things up. This team, as it is constructed, isn’t going anywhere.
Larry Stone, Official Seattle Print Writer of the U.S.S. Mariner, has the last (booo) in the Art of Baseball series today in the Seattle Times:
Chase for the pennant
Ten great moments in pennant races
We won’t see another race like ’93 Giants-Braves
If the Times were smart, and they’re not, they’d let Stone write whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, and give him all the space he needed to do so. He’s far and away the best baseball paper writer in Seattle. And that 93 race… man. I’ve mentioned this in some stuff I’ve written, but I have never been so involved in a pennant race I couldn’t attend myself. I would crack open my paper in the morning and read the recaps before I let a breath out. That was an amazing stretch run, and because of realignment and the wild card, we will never get to see two teams that good duke it out for one playoff berth.
Just what we needed; bad news. Greg Colbrunn is done for the year.
So now, the Mariners need two more bats, one left-handed and one right-handed. I’ve been beating the Matt Stairs drum for over a month now, so we’ll leave that alone. Suggestion number two: Tony Clark.
It isn’t often that I stump for an acquisition of a first baseman with a .319 on base percentage, but Clark would fill some holes. He’s a switch hitter, better against lefties than righties, which makes him a perfect platoon mate for Olerud. He’s not awful against RHP either, meaning you can spot him if Olerud’s prolonged “slump” continues regardless of who is on the mound. He might be hitting just .242, but he’s slugging .517, and half of his hits are extra base knocks. He’s a power bat off the bench, able to launch a ball if need be and creating matchup problems for the other teams manager.
He’s also making peanuts this year and is a free agent at years end, so the M’s won’t be tying themselves into any commitments. Considering he’s not even a regular for the Mets (who are getting a look at Jason Phillips), he could likely be had for a PTBNL or a low-level prospect with no future.
Matt Stairs and Tony Clark. Let’s get it done.