April 19, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

If you’d told me Ibanez would hit two home runs off lefties in the first dozen games of the season, I’d have thought you were crazy. And yet I watched them both.

I thought of something yesterday I forgot to post. Like the Sports & Bremertonians guys, I’m not a big Jarvis fan, and I think that Melvin should have the bullpen phone and then a towel — an actual, real towel — and when he throws the towel on the field, that’s when Jarvis comes in. Any other reliever, he has to use the phone. Let’s not make this a subtle thing, no: let’s have Bed Bath & Beyond sponsor the towel and go all the way with this.

I agree with Dave about Garcia and his pitch selection. One of the great characteristics of baseball smarts has always been the ability to look at what a player can do and see how you make the most of that. Garcia’s not the model of a traditional power pitcher, and he never has been. That causes a lot of confusion, and a lot of people want to bang that peg into whatever hole they have handy.

Nice to see the team take a couple of walks, too.

April 19, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Mariners-A’s for the first time in 2004 on a Monday night at Safeco Field, still one of the best parks to see a game on the planet. And it looks like there are about 14 people there. What, was it free colonoscopy night to the first 15,000 fans? Rabid dogs take over the city? Maybe a fight-til-the-death barista competition? It’s just weird to see that many empty seats at Safeco. From someone who is unable to attend, don’t take baseball at Safeco for granted. It’s still great entertainment, even if the M’s aren’t the team we would have built.

High horse aside, can we put to rest the “Freddy is a power pitcher” theory? Fairly and Niehaus are rambling about his great stuff at the moment, included a short interview with Melvin, and are discussing how he needs to setup his offspeed stuff with his fastball and be a true power pitcher. Freddy’s never been a power pitcher, and he’s never going to be one. His best outpitch is his changeup and he’s always thrown a lot of curveballs. Yea, his fastball hits 94 occasionally, but that is still his third best pitch. Live with it. He’s a finesse pitcher in a big body. If he was 5’10 and 180 pounds, even with the same repertoire, people wouldn’t peep about his pitch selection. Yet, since he’s a big guy and throws 94, he’s supposed to challenge with fastballs all the time. His changeup is a legitimate outpitch; don’t complain when he throws it alot.

And hey, now Ron Fairly is suggesting that the M’s should be “cautious” against the A’s early in explaining why its okay to throw lots of balls to the A’s. Balls = bad, strikes = good. This game isn’t nearly as complicated as the experts try to make it seem.

This just in, there are lots of great seats available for the next three games. It’s the Mariners and A’s, folks. Go buy them.

April 19, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

We’ve won two games in a row.

We hit three homers in one game.

Jamie Moyer had a phenomenal start.

Scott Spiezio’s back problems look like a thing of the past.

I’m really trying to convince myself that the team is showing signs of righting the ship, that these two wins are a sign of things to come, and the first ten games were still a meaningless slump. But you know, what, I can’t do it. Here are the facts of the first series win of the year:

The Mariners faced Chan Ho Park, Colby Lewis, and Ryan Drese in the three game set. Their 2003 ERA’s were 7.58, 7.30, and 6.85 respectively. If you were to make a list of the worst starting pitchers in the American League, all three of these guys would be contenders for the top spot. It is unlikely that the M’s will have another series all year long where they face such poor talent consistently. And they scored eight runs in those three games.

The last three games were certainly better than the first ten. But, in reality, we gave up just as many runs as we scored despite facing far inferior talent and running our two best starting pitchers at a line-up missing its best hitter. Yea, we won a series, but in reality, for a team that has playoff aspirations, they blew the best chance for a sweep they are going to see all year.