Game 95, Mariners at Indians
LHP Moyer v RHP Scott Elarton. 4:05 pt, KSTW, etc.
What, if anything, happened yesterday to Joel Pineiro?
A study in contrasting theories
Pick one or more of the following:
1. Nothing’s wrong, he’s back as good as ever (“I was out there feeling like I did in 2000 and 2003 […] There was the one big inning, but I was pitching more like myself. That felt outstanding.” — Pineiro
2. It was one mistake pitch (“I made one mistake, really. It was to Hillenbrand. I tried to get it up and in and it was just down and in.” — Pineiro)
3. Didn’t throw first-pitch strikes (“Strike one takes care of that.” — Hargrove)
4. He lost but made progress towards a larger goal (“Today, I saw him get upset, which is good to see. And I saw that he kept his composure. Hopefully this will be a good confidence boost.” — Hargrove)
5. Didn’t come through in two-out clutch situations (“Two-out runs are the toughest ones. I don’t know if there’s an art to closing out innings. If there is an art, it’s probably in keeping concentration for the entire inning.” — Hargrove)
Me: Pineiro is no longer an effective major league pitcher, and has not been for some time.
Every game the Mariners lose, there seems to be a 50-50 chance that they’ll float a batch of bizarre explanations for what went wrong. I think we’ve heard everything but “my iPod keeps freezing so I can’t get psyched up before the game”. Feel free to play along at home and try and predict what’ll come up the next day. It’s surprisingly fun.
Unlike seeing Pineiro get shelled.
So anyway, back to this game… I wrote a hugely enthusiastic chapter about the Indians organization a couple years ago (a little too enthusiastic, in retrospect, but I still agree with my main point). Since the crash, they’ve slowly and patiently built the team back up, testing and discarding players as they went, working towards better and better teams. I disagree with some of their moves, but it’s hard to say that they haven’t been moving steadily in the right direction.
The interesting thing to watch for the Mariners is the fan base in Cleveland. Jacbos Field has drawn fewer and fewer fans as the Indians have been torn down, but they did draw 25,000 for a weeknight game against KC yesterday. I have to believe this is something the Mariners ownership looks at (and Dave’s discussed at length): is it possible to better apply their money to making that dip as soft as possible? How soon can two .400 seasons be forgiven? If they compete next year, will the season ticket buyers come back for 2007?