Thoughts From Last Night’s Game
Good to see the M’s taking care of business against an inferior club. The Orioles aren’t a good team when healthy, and when you take Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada away, well, they just stink. Picking up a game on Cleveland in the wild card chase, and half a game on the Angels, is exactly what the M’s needed to do last night. Their playoff odds, depending on which of the mathmatical models you want to buy into, are sitting somewhere between 35-45% right now. Nothing wrong with that. So, how about the game itself.
Horacio Ramirez threw the Jarrod Washburn Special, putting the ball over the plate against a lousy team in Safeco Field and watching them get themselves out. He did exactly what he should have done – realized he was facing a line-up of talentless hacks and gave them the opportunity to put the bat on the ball, knowing they aren’t good enough to do anything with it. Against this kind of team, it’s the right gameplan. But, as I’m sure regular readers know by now, this is also not any kind of recipe for continued success. If he pitches the same way in Toronto next Sunday, he’s going to get torched. I’m encouraged that we won a game where we started one of the worst pitchers in baseball – I’m not at all encouraged that this was any kind of indicator of Horacio Ramirez’s future performance level.
Jose Lopez bunting in the first inning – yuck. I know Ichiro loved it, and Lopez’s selflessness motivated the MVP to steal 3rd on the very next pitch, but that’s still a lousy tactical decision.
8th inning, 2 run lead, we get Sean Green and George Sherrill. Awesome. Those guys are the two best non-Putz relievers in the pen, and for a team that is dead set on defining predetermined roles for their relievers, those two should be the ones being used in that spot.
J.J. Putz is on pace to finish the season throwing 79 2/3 innings and allowing 7 runs. The whole year. Seven runs. Jeff Weaver has given up 7 runs in a single game three times this year.
And, on a final note, Happy Felix Day.