Isotopes at Rainiers game report, 5/14
I was so excited about today’s Meche v Weaver matchup I drove to Tacoma (which took me over an hour: 405 crawled all through the S-curves and then I-5 crawled from miles ahead of the Highway 16 exit and then, on H-16, crawled at half speed)(on a Sunday, before noon!).
My reward was one of the worst-played games I’ve ever seen in my life of watching baseball, at any level. It took 3:42 to play out this 3-0 shutout of the Rainiers. If I’d written the game story, it would have led “The Rainiers and Isotopes played an interminable, painful game this Mother’s day, perhaps in the hopes that in some small way it would remind of us of what our own moms went through for us.”
I have many notes, which I’ll relate in somewhat random order:
– I saw Michael Garciaparra’s debut (this year) for the Rainiers, playing second. Scrawny dude.
– Hunter Brown’s intro music is the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” which is inappropriate in a number of ways
– Appier looked quite hittable and shaky. The crowd booed him in the first inning
– Concessions at Cheney Stadium are horrible. Ugh. I understand there’s a polish sausage that’s good, but I didn’t luck into that. I had the pizza. Bleah.
– Adam Jones is taking huge cuts at pitches, but he’s not taking cuts at bad pitches. When he gets bat on ball, the ball just takes off. When he shortened his swing and tried to make contact, he didn’t look so good. Also, he’s what, 20?
– Jones’ defense is potentially standout: he’s got a great first move, he’s fast, and he gets in a position to come forward when he’s catching it to be in better throwing position. His routes aren’t always the best, but again, he just converted.
– Jones has an amazing arm for a centerfielder. He’s not hitting his man consistently, but he did just convert in the AFL this last year. Seriously, it’s a cannon. If you promoted him today (which you shouldn’t) he’d have one of the strongest outfield arms (you hope accuracy comes). In this game, he almost nailed a runner going 2nd to 3rd on a deep fly ball.
– Despite the PA announcement, I don’t think the Fun Patrol makes any effort to target the specific fans who are screaming for T-shirts the loudest
– Appier sucks at backing up plays. Imagine a 1998 Frank Thomas trying to back up third.
– Appier sucks at defense: he made a stop on a ground ball up the middle, turned to second and threw it into center field, turning a potential double play into 1st and 3rd. Throwing the ball away was a running theme: Hunter did it later, backhanding a grounder at first and then hurling it almost into the stands.
– Appier sucks
– Doyle got big applause from the crowd
– Doyle gets up way before his turn and starts to stretch, get his helmet on, and likes to stand near the on-deck circle when he’s in the hole (I hear this has led umpires to shoo him back to the dugout). Really, he’ll get ready to bat four batters ahead of his turn when there are two outs and the chances he’ll bat are next to nothing. I’m surprised he doesn’t try to impersonate other batters to get more at-bats
– By contrast, other guys might only stand up off the bench when it was they were in the hole
– When Doyle makes contact, the ball still leaps off the bat. He’s something
– The scab umps suck
– Asdrubal Cabrera’s going to present the Mariners with a difficult question sooner than I think people realize. He’s good defensively and he can hit (though, admittedly, whether his current offensive game can move up a level is open to question). What do the M’s do with a guy like that next year?
– I saw Cabrera swipe second and when, sliding in, he saw the ball go past the fielder, he got up and just tore into third. Nice play.
– Rainier batter is up, bases loaded, full count, they announce that if he hits a grand slam, some dude gets a car. The batter grounds out on the next pitch.
– Foppert looked bad
– A kid did a sweep-the-bases thing and after he was done, he brushed off the umpire’s feet, and the ump gave him a ball. Implied message: do as you’re told and debase yourself to authority, and you’ll be rewarded.
– With guys on 1-2, 1 out, the team down by 3 and TJ Bohn up, Brundage called for a double-steal early in the count and then, when the count was full, did it again. Bohn swung and struck out and the runner was picked off at third. Doyle was left standing in the on-deck circle.
– What a ridiculous call that was. I’m sorry, but down by three with a strikeout threat at the plate and a good hitter on-deck? What the heck was Brundage thinking was going to happen there?
– Doyle’s intro song is Pearl Jam’s “Alive”
People in Tacoma on Doyle:
– he’s a cutie
– he’s a Mariner who’s only down here for an injury rehab
– he’s a great player who can’t stay healthy