Game 24, Mariners at Athletics

April 30, 2005 · Filed Under Game Threads · 187 Comments 

Moyer v Blanton, 1:05. FSN for TV.

Park adjusted: M’s offense is 23rd, Oakland is 28.

Moyer could become the all-time M’s win leader.
Boone could get his 1,000th RBI.

All of Moyer’s starts so far have been day games. There’s nothing interesting there, though:
Day 2.81, 80 IP, 22 BB, 48K
Night 3.53, 135 IP, 11 HR, 44 BB, 81K

Day: 6.15, 74.2 IP, 22 HR, 25 BB, 47K
Night, 4.67, 127 IP, 22 HR, 38BB, 78K

Game 23, Mariners at Athletics

April 29, 2005 · Filed Under Game Threads · 62 Comments 

Sele v Haren. Two .500 teams face off in a match of division rivals. Beltre, as the game notes tell me, is the only Mariner to have faced Haren before.

Which Mariner will get a day off first: Beltre, Boone, Ibanez, Ichiro or Winn?

I’m betting it’s Winn.

In other news, a rare DMZ @ BP appearance, second since the split, on how other sports have handled drug testing and what that means for baseball’s program and its reputation. Subscriber only.


April 29, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 23 Comments 

You know the three true outcomes. Well, here are the three noble truths of the baseball season in late April: it’s early, it’s early, it’s early.

Sportsline’s Scott Miller profiles Jamie Moyer today, and don’t they say that old people are supposed to be wise? He preaches just that gospel.

Moyer comes off much as you’d expect: cerebral, straightforward, humble. He’s quick to point out that we can’t draw firm conclusions about where the season is headed yet, especially as regards his own performance. Bonus points are awarded for pithy points like this:

“I’ve only pitched in five games this season,” Moyer says. “You haven’t given me a chance to give up 44 home runs in five games.”


We also have a clubhouse leader for the Tom Friedman Award in Nonsensical Metaphor. Quoth Miller:

Granted, if you look at the season like an M&M, we haven’t even broken the candy coating yet.

Really, who doesn’t look at the season like an M&M? What, is Miller taking an Amstrong Williams style payoff from the Mars company?

Week #4 in Review

April 29, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 33 Comments 

It’s a dreary, wet day. Fridays seem to be sleepy days here in central Kentucky. I’m sitting here in the coffee shop of the tiny college town drowning myself in some Seattle Blue Nile brew or something, attempting to get some work done. And if we’re lucky, we can squeeze this into a regular routine.

Vital Signs
As of today the Mariners are 11-11, tied for 2nd place in the AL West and two games back of the Angels. They’ve scored 99 runs, which is better than Oakland in the division, but unfortunately, only better than the A’s, Indians and Royals in the context of the whole league. On the happy side, they’ve allowed 93 runs, giving them a run differential of +6, and that accurately reflects they’re .500 record. Oakland and Los Angeles (that’s so weird to type) have each allowed 92 runs, and the only team in the league significantly better than that is Minnesota at 87. So, the run prevention has been top-notch thus far.

Over the past seven days, the Mariners split the week’s games, going 3-3, and scored a run for every one they gave up (25) against a Cleveland club that has suddenly developed an allergy to first base and a Rangers squad that still bleeds runs. That the Mariners scored as many runs as their opponents this week is pretty significant when you consider that the pitchers got clobbered for 10 homers (of a total 47 hits allowed, yikes!) while the lineup provided just 3. They did out-walk the opposition 25-18, and that helps.

Raul Ibanez had a hot night at the ballpark Tuesday, reaching base 4 times, and for the week went 8-for-19 (.421/.560/.526). Toss in 6 bases on balls and that’s 14 times on base in 6 games. When you reach more times than you make an out, that’s a very good thing. Now if only the three fellas behind him in the batting order could get it together. The 7-8-9 hitters combined to go 11-for-60. And Raul Ibanez crossed home plate only twice.

Randy Johnson. Roger Clemens. Jamie Moyer. One of these pitchers is not like the others. Yet it was Moyer who tossed 95 pitches over 8 innings Sunday, allowing just a home run to Bret Boone’s baby brother. He threw 62% of his pitches for strikes, allowing just 6 hits without a walk and struck out 5. Moyer’s K/BB for the season is currently 3.29. The only time in his career he’s maintained a ratio over 3 for a whole season was 1998.

Not-so-much Heroes
This just has not been Bret Boone’s week: 4-for-23 (.174/.200/.217). He created 8 more outs than Ibanez, reached base 11 fewer times. And scored just as many runs. Go figure.

Ryan Franklin didn’t have such a hot week either. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Read more

Game 22, Mariners at Rangers

April 28, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 226 Comments 

Gil Meche (throwing with no pain! really!) takes on shortstop Michael Young, who is making a rare pitching — what? Oh. Never mind. Chris Young pitches for Texas.

5:05, broadcast TV on KSTW.

So I asked a question some time ago that no one answered — who was the last Mariner position player on the 25-man to pitch in a competitive game (ie, no exhibitions) — and only got a couple of guesses. Right now, I think it might be Choo in 2000 — Choo was a stellar pitcher before the Mariners signed and converted him.

Anyone with a more recent example, speak up..

Today’s M’s news, PI bit on the bench

April 28, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 41 Comments 

Check it out. Or, you know, don’t. I was happy to turn this in last night and then this morning see they brought Hansen in.

In other M’s news, bad news on Pokey: the team recommended surgery, which would put him on the 60-day DL (opening a roster spot) and could end his season.

From the PI, on last night’s non-argument from Hargrove:

Manager Mike Hargrove said he thought it might be a bad call, but he didn’t have a great angle on it, so he didn’t go out to protest.

Ahhh, it’s like a return to the calm days of Melvin. Mr. Hargrove: it’s okay to go out there and say “boy, it sure didn’t look like that from where I was” and make your point, even if you don’t have the benefit of six camera angles.

The PI also gets this gold quote from Hargrove on the 12-man staff:

“We’ve got a 12-man staff and we’re going to go with that for the foreseeable future,” he said. “It’s working OK for us. We’ve been able to keep everybody fairly active.”

Um… you have? Because it sure doesn’t seem like it.

But what do I know? As long as he finds a way to work pitchers into the game the day they’re in the papers whinging about not having work, everything should work out.

A 12-man pitching staff might be useful in some circumstances, like you’ve got a rotation of Meche clones. But even then… this team needs some random bats and a quality backup outfielder, not a Jeff Nelson who pitches once a week.

Dave Hansen

April 28, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 91 Comments 

The M’s have signed Dave Hansen to a minor league contract. He’s going to join the Rainiers today, but the feeling is that he’ll be replacing Shin-Soo Choo on the major league roster sooner rather than later.

Hansen’s not the answer to our prayers, but this is a nice little pickup.

Game 21, Mariners at Rangers

April 27, 2005 · Filed Under Game Threads · 118 Comments 

Ryan “Good luck, hard luck” Franklin v Kenny Rogers.
5:05, TV: FSN

The .500 Mariners face the just-slightly-below-.500 Rangers. It’ll be interesting to see what lineup Hargrove runs out against the lefty. Do we get to see Bloomquist again?

And how many times tonight will we hear “It’s okay to give up home runs, as long as they’re solo shots” (include variants)? Or “you’ve got to keep the ball down in this ballpark.”

Reese still out, other stuff

April 27, 2005 · Filed Under Mariners · 70 Comments 

Seattle PI and others report that Pokey Reese’s arm is still sore. He’s headed back to Seattle for further examination. In the same notebook, the PI also talks to Nelson about his lack of work —

“I could use more work, but I think it’s tough for them right now,” Nelson said. “For me to be really helping the team in short relief, I need to pitch more, but I think the same can be said for Shiggy (Shigetoshi Hasegawa) and J.J. (Putz).

“It’s tough for them right now with 12 pitchers and the starting pitchers getting deeper into games. But it’s tough, too, to have to come into a critical situation when you haven’t pitched in four or five games.”

This, folks, is why the 12-man pitching staff is pointless. You don’t think the M’s could use some random AAA all-hit bat on the bench instead of having three, four right-handed relievers biting each other for table scrap innings?

But then, if Choo is up and they’re not going to even try to use him, what’s the point in caring either way?

Incidentally, touching on an issue that came up in discussing Strong’s suspension, the Times had this in Finnigan’s article:

The eight other Seattle players, including catcher Ryan Christianson, were suspended for 15 days because that is the policy regarding minor-leaguers. Strong’s penalty was less severe because he is on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.

And in the PI piece:

The major league program calls for a 10-day suspension for a first offense. For purposes of the testing, Strong is considered a major leaguer even though he’s playing for Tacoma because he’s on the 40-man roster.

It was cool to see both papers offer a reasonably succinct explanation of why Strong’s supsension was 10-day. The PI also gets mixed up on the game/day length of the suspension on the first mention, but they’re not the only people — I have trouble remembering that the ML one is 10 days but the minor league one is 15 games.

Game 20, Mariners at Rangers

April 26, 2005 · Filed Under Game Threads · 232 Comments 

In just over one hour, an epic battle of pitchers with 6.39 ERAs will commence. Joel Pineiro takes on Ryan Drese as the Mariners tackle division rival Texas. TV: FSN. Radio: KOMO.

The Sportsline preview makes me giggle:

While the Seattle Mariners are back to scoring runs, Ryan Drese continues to give them up.

So true, so true. Let’s hope, anyway.

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