Game 160: Athletics at Mariners

JMB · September 30, 2005 at 6:41 pm · Filed Under Game Threads 

RHP Kirk Saarloos vs. LHP Jamie Moyer, 7:05pm, FSN & KOMO.

Well, it’s almost over. Tonight begins the final series of the year, as the M’s and A’s play out the string with three meaningless games. Why watch? Other than King Felix going on Sunday, Ichiro! needs just two more hits to reach 200 for the fifth consecutive season. It’s not exactly 262, but it’s a remarkable accomplishment just the same. And of course, there’s tonight’s feel good story: Dan Wilson will start at catcher, catch the first inning, and then leave the field to what I’m sure will be a very long ovation.

Moyer, in his final start of the season, tries to run his Safeco Field record to 10-0 against a team which has beat him up in 2005 — 26 hits and 15 earned runs allowed in 15 2/3 IP over three starts. Saarloos, one of my favorite pitchers thanks to his generally good control and extreme groundballing ways (2.33:1 GB:FB this year, 2.27:1 career), dominated the M’s in his one start against them this year: 9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 7 K in a 127-pitch effort back on June 23rd.

RF Ichiro!
SS Betancourt
LF Ibanez
1B Sexson
3B Beltre
“DH” Dobbs
2B Lopez
CF Bubela
C Wilson


166 Responses to “Game 160: Athletics at Mariners”

  1. DMZ on October 1st, 2005 4:19 am

    w/r/t Rivera over Rodriguez for MVP:

    No. A relief pitcher in 80 innings can’t make the kind of difference Alex does. Alex this year is worth, by any reasonable measure, six games a season over Rivera.

    Cross-apply previous arguments about “closers” and “replacement level” here.

  2. mZak on October 1st, 2005 5:45 am

    Not surprised to hear that Madritsch needs surgery. Remember when they held off on Meche so long, then put him under the knife anyway? Since when does a pitcher sustain the kind of season ending injury to his arm that Mads did and NOT require surgery? Another mystery surrounding the M’s medical team…..

  3. JMB on October 1st, 2005 8:20 am

    If you say that the MVP award shouldn’t go to a pitcher, let alone a relief pitcher, my counterexample is Mr. Dennis Eckersley, 1992 Cy Young and MVP.

    I don’t see how that’s a counter example. Sure, Eckersley won one. That doesn’t mean I have to believe he should have. Eck was probably a good pick that year, in that there wasn’t a great hitter to choose instead. McGwire had a big year, but didn’t even play 140 games.

    This year that isn’t a problem: Ortiz, Rodriguez, Hafner, and so on.

    If you say that Ortiz shouldn’t win the MVP as a DH, I wonder why he won the ALCS MVP award last year without picking up a glove. I’d also point to Paul Molitor, who won the World Series MVP in 1993 as a DH.

    Ortiz being DH doesn’t make him ineligible; it does make him inherently less valuable than Rodriguez, who hits just as well — if not better — and plays outstanding defense. Oh, and steals bases too.

    If you look at the top 10 AL hitters by OPS, there are only two who play key defensive positions: Rodriguez (#1, 3B) and Michael Young (#10, SS).


  4. Benno on October 1st, 2005 8:44 am

    And I was hoping that we could make it to the end of the year without any more injuries. But Mads is going under the knife. I guess we won’t be seeing him in a M’s uniform for another year. Ughh…..

  5. Rusty on October 1st, 2005 9:38 am

    Random rant against Lincoln and the rest of the owners…

    Heard Lincoln the other day on the radio and I just can’t shake the image that he still doesn’t get it. I think they’re still riding out the success of 1995 and maybe 2001. They’re still stuck in the past. Howie refers to 2 goals: putting a good product on the field (ugh, hate the use of the word product in the entertainment field), and good customer service. He claims they have solved the latter but I emailed customer support a week ago, got an auto-reply saying they would have a personal response to me soon, and I’m still waiting. So he says they’re working on that good product thingie.

    But I think every time we have a significant retirement (Edgar, Danny, etc.) and every time Ichiro gets a bunch of singles at the end of the season to pass some milestone, the owners get a warm fuzzy feeling and pat themselves on the back for another good year. It’s the whole family entertainment thing that they’re stuck on. I liked a couple of the posts above that refered to family experiences at the ballpark last night. But families want the Mariners to win just as much as any single fan.

    The Mariner owners are far from the worst owners around. But every time I hear a commercial or hear Rizz or hear Lincoln refer to us as the best fans in baseball and then have nothing signficant to say after making the comment, I cringe. It’s a snow job anyway. Who’s to say Mariner fans are the best in baseball? What objective criteria is being used? They say it to affect the emotions of the fans to get more ticket, food and merchandise purchases.

    As for the 2 goals, let customer service go in the crapper. Don’t bother maintaining Safeco. Forget the whole family experience. Put a World Series team on the field and I won’t care if there’s some graffiti on the bathroom stalls that wasn’t immediately painted over. There really should only be 1 goal for the owners. And the fact that they believe there should be 2 goals means they’re confused. It allows them to focus on the 2nd if they’re not doing so well meeting the 1st.

    They have a unique opportunity right now with Felix. In another year or two, he could have a multi-year run as the Best Pitcher in Baseball. Only one team gets the best pitcher in baseball. It’s a competitive advantage. Something that Lincoln should understand coming from the business world. If you build a great team around the best pitcher in baseball, some good things might happen.

    But until Howie drops the whole customer service lingo, and the best fans in baseball cliche, I’m going to assume that he doesn’t fully get it.

  6. msb on October 1st, 2005 10:14 am

    #155 — Rusty said:”Heard Lincoln the other day on the radio and I just can’t shake the image that he still doesn’t get it. I think they’re still riding out the success of 1995 and maybe 2001. They’re still stuck in the past. Howie refers to 2 goals: putting a good product on the field (ugh, hate the use of the word product in the entertainment field), and good customer service. He claims they have solved the latter….”

    hey! you can read what Howard ACTUALLY said (he didn’t mention just two goals, btw) by going to the entire Lincoln/KOMO transcript in “Game 159, Rangers at Mariners”. I typed in the damn thing, so I want as many people as possible to suffer with me 🙂

  7. msb on October 1st, 2005 10:25 am

    oh, and FWIW, shoulders are complicated. Very complicated, intricate structures. Shoulders are hard to fix. Which is why shoulder surgery is seldom done without hesitation, as you have no guarantees that after it is done the shoulder will be back to ‘normal’.

  8. Jeff Sullivan on October 1st, 2005 10:58 am

    According to Win Expectancy Added, David Ortiz has been far and away the most valuable player in the American League. And Mariano Rivera has been worth more than five wins himself, giving A-Rod a run for his money.

  9. Daaaaan on October 1st, 2005 11:16 am

    #158 presumably that is factoring in pay; MVP should be evaluated on value, not on price/performance.

  10. Jeff Sullivan on October 1st, 2005 12:29 pm

    It has nothing to do with pay.

  11. jim on October 1st, 2005 12:46 pm

    So, given that it’s nauseous to consider Willie Kitsap as the “unsung hero”, and given that “unsung hero” is kind of a bizarre award anyway… who should be the M’s unsung hero for the year? Wiki and Rivera each had unsung hero weeks but that’s not sufficient. No one who’s been around for the entire year has done much above expectations (though plenty have come up short). Sexson, who’s already “player of the year” and was certainly not unsung. So who? I guess my vote goes to Morse, who had very low expectations and exceeded them upon his arrival. Without looking at numbers, I’d guess he outperformed Willie at the plate, and he was a young AA-level shortstop last year, while Willie was a major-league utility player. So Willie comes along and does what he did last year, only more often, and gets a prize?

  12. mZak on October 1st, 2005 12:50 pm

    Hero? Did something heroic happen this year?

  13. mZak on October 1st, 2005 12:52 pm

    How about giving that award to the fans for stomaching this BS for another year.

  14. Replacement Level Poster on October 1st, 2005 7:19 pm

    Who is more valuable with the glove than either Morse or Bloomquist is on offense and defense combined?

  15. Replacement Level Poster on October 1st, 2005 7:20 pm

    Bah, that should have been “How about Betancourt” then the rest of the comment.

  16. LB on October 2nd, 2005 12:38 am

    #151: Thanks to the MLB EI package, I have watched a ton of Yankee games this year. I know WARP and Win Shares and VORP all have their value in evaluating performance, but Rivera’s contribution to NYY this year is one of those cases where you have to close the spreadsheets and start watching some ballgames.

    Alex’ contributions, if he went on the 60-day DL, could be picked up from other guys in the lineup, which has no shortage of pop.

    No Rivera, no pennant race for NYY this year, not even close. Sure, Gordon could pitch the end of the game, but then the Yankees would simply blow the lead in the 7th or 8th innings. Torre didn’t have a rotation full of 7IP starters this year. Watching the machinations Torre would go through to keep the ball away from F-Rod, Quantrill, Franklin, Embree, et. al., and watching them spit the bit if they somehow found themselves on the mound to hold a blowout-sized lead, I think I know which player Torre would call his MVP, even if he could never say it in public.