April 18, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

What a great game to be at. Pineiro didn’t look as strong as I heard he did when I got back (it’s always weird to hear the game distilled afterwards: what moments will become key to analysts and talking heads in retrospect, and how do those match up with what seemed important during the game?). He was deep in the count on a lot of batters, walked four. He did strikeout five and avoid the home run, though, which is good. The defense managed to trun about 2/3rds of the balls in play into outs, too, which was a welcome change.

Bloomquist’s continued hitting’s nice to see, even if I’m skeptical that it’ll be around that long. One of the more interesting things is that just as games are distilled into arbitrary key moments, so teams are distilled into key players and seasons into games. As the Mariners try and bring themselves back into contention after a start that at least partially has to be bad luck, contributions from guys like Bloomquist and Spiezio earn them reputations as catalysts* and sparkplugs.

Also, holy mackeral is Winn’s arm bad. When a runner headed towards third can get there, stop, and run back to second safely when your center fielder gets to a shallow fly, your center fielder doesn’t have much of an arm. Also, today was another of those fine kids’ innings (see this article) and today’s center fielder was Charlotte Zhao (I believe) who in running out deep into center field displayed more range than I think I’ve seen out of Randy this year. That’s not true, I know. I’m just bitter Cameron’s gone.

What’s weirder though is that on a beautiful Sunday afternoon game, the Mariners announced attendence was 35,182 people. Large chunks of the stands were empty. I was surprised, but last year they drew 35,000 for a sunday game (4-13) against the Rangers, and they’ll draw more fans later — this isn’t a sign that fan support has suddenly eroded during the slow start.

* catalysts when used in sports analogies is almost always completely wrong. To be way too simple, a catalyst is something that by its presence allows something else to happen but itself remains unchanged. It’s commonly used as ‘someone who makes something happen’ but a catalyst takes no active role. If the team won more with bench coach Rene Lachemann was present while the coach did nothing those games, that’d be a catalyst. **

** I know I’m way too picky about word choices