Good news

Dave · August 28, 2007 at 6:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Last nights game sucked. Lets just get that out of the way ahead of time.

That said, I wouldn’t worry about the offense. That was the third time this year John Lackey has shut us down, and in the previous two games following the beatdown, the M’s combined for 31 hits against Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver. As we talked about last week, the M’s hyper-aggressive offense leads to high variability, and on any given night, against any pitcher, they can get either put up a goose egg or a 10 spot and it shouldn’t surprise us.

Also, much is being made this morning of Jose Lopez missing the tag on Gary Matthews at second base last night. Without making any excuses for Lopez (yes, a more aggressive tag would have helped), can we give Gary Matthews Jr some credit for making one of the best slides of the year? The pop-up slide isn’t exactly a routine fundamental that everyone can pull off, and that one was beautiful. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a runner be able to pull off a pop-up slide that effectively to avoid the tag. Lopez could have made the whole thing moot by not waiting for Matthews to slide into his glove, but let’s be honest – 99.5% of the time, the runner does slide right into the glove, and no one says a word to Lopez about his tag.

This actually is becoming something of a bigger issue. The club has, over the years, been quite happy to let the media and fans know how unhappy they have been with Lopez’s work ethic, his conditioning, and his lack of concentration. It has essentially become part of the narrative. A couple of recent high profile mistakes in the field are now feeding into the already established belief (and one that has foundations in truth) that Lopez can hurt you at times with his faux pas. However, the problem arises when people begin to incorrectly value the actual cost of these mistakes.

For all the frustration you may have for Lopez missing the tag last night, he was still a plus with his glove on the night. His double play in the first inning was a thing of beauty, one of the toughest DPs you’ll ever see a second baseman have to turn. Thanks to improved footwork and somewhat above average range, Lopez is actually a defensive asset. This gets lost in all the “oh my god I can’t believe he didn’t get the tag down” hoopla. Yes, he made a mistake, but taking the stance that those are the kinds of plays that a team “can’t tolerate in a playoff run” is just missing the forest from the trees. If you take Jose Lopez out of the line-up, you’re actually degrading the defense. And this isn’t a defense that can afford to get any worse.


126 Responses to “Good news”

  1. msb on August 28th, 2007 2:42 pm

    #99– the Ms talked to Delgado, both side were interested, but Delgado wasn’t willing to sign until the end of the off-season; the Ms had holes to more quickly, so they agreed to part ways.

  2. scraps on August 28th, 2007 2:44 pm

    The Mariners didn’t pass on Delgado; they made Delgado an offer, but Delgado made it known that he was going to take his time weighing offers, and the Mariners decided they needed to make a decision sooner.

  3. _David_ on August 28th, 2007 2:52 pm

    Dave- two questions: Is there a chance Jones doesn’t have a starting spot with the Mariners next year? That Raul just keeps trotting out to LF?


    Any new information on the organization’s plans for Morrow, about whether they still see him as a future starter?


  4. Tropics iRE on August 28th, 2007 2:52 pm

    Trade Sexson (haha yeah right,) Lopez, and Vidro for Johan Santana!!! (or another comparable Elite pitcher)

    then… we trade Willie Boom Boom, and Jeremy Reed for a 2nd baseman that wants to grow as a player.


  5. jephdood on August 28th, 2007 3:01 pm

    You can’t trade crap for gold.

    The only thing you can get for crap is different crap.

  6. Tropics iRE on August 28th, 2007 3:02 pm

    yeah… i know… just rosterbating a little… sorry.

  7. jephdood on August 28th, 2007 3:04 pm

    Okay. Well.. Wash your hands.. 🙂

  8. revbill on August 28th, 2007 3:07 pm

    The Delgado talk reminded me that there was some murmuring about having Delgado play first and moving Sexson to left field. I don’t know how close that really was to happening, but the idea gives me The Shivers.

  9. planB on August 28th, 2007 3:17 pm

    Even if he wanted to let the runner slide into his tag, shouldn’t he have kept the glove on the base instead of raising it to tag the runner’s chest? If he keeps the glove between the base and any part of the runner’s body, he’s out no matter how he dances, right?

    (I realize it doesn’t matter either way, and I know Lopez is a plus defender, but I’m curious about what part of the play was specifically the mistake. More aggressive would help, but I suspect not simply guarding the bag was the main error. Yeah?)

  10. Nintendo Marios on August 28th, 2007 3:19 pm
  11. Nintendo Marios on August 28th, 2007 3:23 pm

    Sorry, fat fingered.

    Ms v. Ervin Santana.

  12. Evan on August 28th, 2007 3:23 pm

    Can you imagine Richie diving for a ball that first season? With his shoulder injury? Making him play the outfield could have ended his career.

  13. Carson on August 28th, 2007 3:24 pm

    I think the best left handed sock available this winter is Dunn (either as a FA or trade if the Reds pick up his option to trade him). Obviously, I doubt the Mariners will be looking for a LF, and the Reds have internal options, so I a trade for AJ or Wlad would be an option.

    So, I wouldn’t expect the left handed sock the stadium was built to showcase to get any better.

  14. Carson on August 28th, 2007 3:25 pm

    I missed adding the word “doubt” in there. You can probably figure out where.

  15. _David_ on August 28th, 2007 3:34 pm

    Putting Adam Dunn in LF in Seattle would greatly disrupt the universe, and cause the Mariners to not contend.

  16. Carson on August 28th, 2007 3:42 pm

    I guess I should have tossed “I’m absolutely not for this idea” in there. I was just merely saying he has the most left handed sock out of anyone available, and gave reasons why he wouldn’t be an option, even if the Mariners wanted to be dumb enough to trade for him (and, they probably are).

  17. kenshabby on August 28th, 2007 3:49 pm

    Dunn should either be converted to a 1B, or move to the AL where he can play out his days as a DH. He’s a big, stumbling ogre that never belonged in the outfield. Heck, why don’t we sign Dunn, and see if we can have three DHs in the line-up?

  18. Crushgroovin on August 28th, 2007 4:05 pm

    This is going to be a very exciting last month of the season.

    The Mariners combine an average defense behind sub par pitch to contact starting pitchers with run support from overly aggressive extremely streaky offense closed out by a nails bullpen.

    At any moment they could produce a 7 game winning or 7 game losing streak. Which could result in them running away with the AL west or plummeting below the Yankees in the Wild Card race. The M’s are a fun to watch edge of your seat team. I love it!

    All that said.

    What really ticks me off is that the “gritty” veterans like Ibanez, WFB and others act like they are the ones who got the team into this position. When in reality the bullpen carried the team for the first three or so months. I keep hearing talk about all the “gritty” come from behind victories the offense has produced this year. When in fact those come from behind victories were only possible because for the most part the opposing team only had 6 innings in which to score runs. So the M’s offense had limited success against decent starting pitchers and then teed on off the many weak bullpens in the league. Then the Freakin FO goes out and adds garbage to the teams greatest asset because they can’t come to terms with the fact that the young arms are getting the job done.

  19. Evan on August 28th, 2007 4:09 pm

    Plummeting below the Yankees? If things go especially wrong we could plumment below Toronto.

    I’m not saying they will – I just think you’re underestimating the variance.

  20. Jeff Nye on August 28th, 2007 4:11 pm

    Oh, man, I want them to play Sexson one game in left field, for sheer comedy value.

    Maybe in spring training next year, though, not in a playoff race!

  21. HamNasty on August 28th, 2007 5:09 pm

    117- I count 5 with Dunn. Ibanez, Sexson, Vidro should not be in the field at their positions and Broussard should barely be out there. Adding Dunn without clearing the roster first would be a disaster.

  22. Sidi on August 28th, 2007 6:03 pm

    117- I count 5 with Dunn. Ibanez, Sexson, Vidro should not be in the field at their positions and Broussard should barely be out there. Adding Dunn without clearing the roster first would be a disaster.

    Well, they could always set them out in Queen Ann with a “free to good home” sign. I’m sure you could manage to adopt out a couple of them.

  23. Sidi on August 28th, 2007 6:04 pm

    Queen Anne, even. Bah.

  24. msb on August 28th, 2007 7:47 pm

    What really ticks me off is that the “gritty” veterans like Ibanez, WFB and others act like they are the ones who got the team into this position.


  25. SFMsFan on August 28th, 2007 8:43 pm

    I know how this is going to go. M’s get a 5 run first, then won’t be able to do much else. The M’s won’t stop the Angels the rest of the way. Final will be something like Angels 13, M’s 6. I want to be wrong, I’ll be here to the end and I’ll admit I guessed wrong if I am, but I’m usually good at this. If I’m right, giving up a dozen unanswered runs at home to the team you’re trying to catch will kill us, and here come the Yankees. Hold ’em M’s.

  26. SFMsFan on August 28th, 2007 10:42 pm

    We will look back at this game as the back-breaker loss for the year. Angels shut us down while they kept getting key hits at the plate, as a quality team will do. Had Guerrero not been thrown out at the plate to end the eighth, the score would have been much worse. M’s lose tomorrow and head back out on that grueling road trip while the Angels enjoy an easy home schedule, and we can add 2007 to the many disappointing Mariner seasons that should have gone better (1985, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2003). All part of being long-suffering fans.

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