Game 7, Mariners-A’s

Mike Snow · April 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Wrapping up the road trip, going for the sweep of the division rival. Bedard v. Cahill.

Three more days until Ichiro’s back.

DMZ adds: another rookie starter for Oakland, which is another great reason to tune in. Cahill’s a rightie and a second-round pick (by the A’s!)

M’s lineup:
LF-L Chavez
CF-R Gutierrez
RF-L Griffey (come back Ichiro!)
3B-R Beltre
1B-L Branyan
DH-R Sweeney
2B-R Lopez
C-R Johnson
SS-R Cedeno

RF-L Sweeney
SS-R Cabrera
1B-L Giambi
LF-R Holliday
3B-L Chavez
C-R Suzuki
2B-R Ellis
CF-R Davis


213 Responses to “Game 7, Mariners-A’s”

  1. 3cardmonty on April 12th, 2009 8:16 pm

    What’s wrong with Mark Lowe? He did great, and we haven’t seen him since.

    I was thinking the same thing. I guess he pitched yesterday in the game that wasn’t televised. But he looked fantastic in Minnesota, and I would’ve much rather seen him than Aardsma. Aardsma’s got no command and he was lucky to get out of that inning.

    if it works, doesn’t it make it EXACTLY the best call?

    Not so much. Here’s an analogy that might help if you’re familiar with blackjack: The dealer’s showing a ten, you hit your twelve and bust. That doesn’t mean you made the wrong play and you should stop hitting on twelve.

    Or (back to baseball analogies), say your manager intentionally walks Yadier Molina to pitch to Albert Pujols. Even if Pujols strikes out, that doesn’t make the decision to walk Molina any smarter. The manager had no way of knowing that Pujols would strike out, he just got away with a bad move. You have to play the percentages.

    Maybe bringing in Aardsma was the right move; I didn’t like it but perhaps one could make a probability-based argument that Aardsma gave us the best chance to win. That’s different from saying that it worked, therefore it was smart.

  2. themedia on April 12th, 2009 9:01 pm

    themedia – Wlad hurt his elbow yesterday, and it was obvious he was hurting today. Every time they showed him in the clubhouse he was fiddling with his elbow.

    Yeah I forgot about that. And I did mean “ends don’t justify the means.” Good points both. Although, I still think arguing that bad decisions, because they work out, are not bad decisions is problematic. I guess the difference is that this may have been Wak’s only decision; dropping Griffey out in RF was the only choice he had outside of using Cedeno and shifting around the lineup.

  3. Axtell on April 12th, 2009 9:16 pm

    Why are people insisting that Wak is going to go with Aardsma every time? Or that he’s given up on Morrow? Why are people ignoring the possibility that Wak has a lot of unknown quantities in this equation known as the 2009 Mariners and he needs to figure them out?

  4. Coolalvin206 on April 12th, 2009 9:28 pm

    It’s always good to get the brooms out!

    As much as Sweeney has been average so far, he seems like a great clubhouse guy. I hope this doesn’t change when Ichiro comes back.

  5. Colm on April 12th, 2009 9:43 pm

    Axtell – you’re paranoid.

  6. joser on April 12th, 2009 10:01 pm

    Why are people insisting that Wak is going to go with Aardsma every time? Or that he’s given up on Morrow?

    I don’t see anyone insisting that. There was a sequence of decisions: to send Bedard back out in the 9th, to pull him after the first hit, to not go to Morrow, the “designated” closer, to pick Aardsma out of the other bullpen choices, and to stick with him after he walked Holliday. Various people have questioned some of those (taking Bedard out, sending in Aardsma rather than say Lowe) though all were defensible. But I don’t see anyone concluding that this means anything significant as far as Aardsma is concerned. I do think (as I wrote earlier) that Wakamatsu is trying to sort out who is a good option in high-leverage situations — which often aren’t the last two outs of the 9th.

    We have complained in the past about other managers being too stuck on “roles” and getting dependent on just a couple of bullpen arms (even when it didn’t make much sense, like Hargrove trying to bring in Mateo to get a groundball out, or the whole “veteran” thing that gifted us with John Parrish and Rick White). So far there’s no evidence of that in Wakamatsu — quite the opposite, actually (as his “120, 130 different lineups” comment suggests). That he is willing to experiment is encouraging; that he has the confidence to do so in tight game situations is remarkable; that the team has found a way to win each time is fantastic.

  7. Catherwood on April 12th, 2009 10:37 pm

    Okay, so here’s my worry: Bedard shows he can go beyond 5.1 innings, great command, dominating performance — how long before we trade him away?

    Can anyone conceive of a scenario whereby he signs with the M’s for several more years? Sure, the free agent market has gone softer than Stay-Puft marshmallows, but I just can’t see him staying after this year — and if that’s true, the team has to try to get something out of him before he leaves free and clear, right?

    I hate to cast a pall, but I was watching him pitch and thinking, who’s he auditioning for? Maybe we could keep him well into June?

  8. Breadbaker on April 12th, 2009 10:40 pm

    I agree entirely, Joser. For one thing, all relievers (and their agents) know that the guy with the biggest paycheck in the bullpen has the most “SV” on his baseball card. So weaning people off the idea that a particular person gets to pitch the ninth is a tough management proposition, and exactly the sort of thing that someone like Wak has to deal with in ways we who observe only what goes on on the field can only guess at.

    In his first week as a manager, he has used three guys in high leverage situations in the ninth inning (and he’s had only one game where the ninth was pretty meaningless and that in our direction on Opening Day). He’s not only learned things, he’s taught things, sent messages. Right now, I’m just observing with interest and (this is not results-based analysis, it’s simple fandom) happy with the wins.

  9. Jeff Nye on April 12th, 2009 10:43 pm

    I think it’s likely that Bedard will be traded, but it’s not impossible he’d want to resign here on a short deal to try to pump up his free agent value in a park and in front of a defense that will only make his numbers look better.

    I hope so, because watching a healthy Bedard is a lot of fun.

  10. joser on April 13th, 2009 9:01 am

    Actually, if Bedard keeps pitching like he showed on Sunday, there’s not much opportunity for the park or the outfielders to improve him. And even in a down market, an electric left-handed starter can always find a big payday. There’s no upside for him to stick around on a short deal unless he gets hurt again and misses some games, or has to get surgery and then rehab starts to prove the problem is fixed. In other words, while the team might have a shot at Hurt Bedard on a short contract, I don’t see any reason for Good and Healthy Bedard to take a short deal. Of course he might be interested in a market-rate, multi-year contract — which the M’s may decide they can’t afford. But they’d have to offer him that before the end of the season, because by October I’d expect he’d want to test free agency (in which case the M’s would offer arbitration to at least get the draft pick).

  11. Axtell on April 13th, 2009 11:09 am

    So they’ve decided not to go with Morrow in back to back games. Is this really surprising given Morrow’s limited spring?

    I guess some people here, despite their insistence they don’t want roles established for the bullpen, they think it should apply to everyone but Morrow.

    Look, Morrow has shown he can be a very good pitcher. But he’s had injury problems and a very limited spring training…I don’t think that keeping Morrow out of back to back games is a sign of anything.

  12. Colm on April 13th, 2009 1:11 pm

    Axtell, you are setting up straw men. I don’t think anyone is arguing with you seriously about Morrow’s use.

  13. hark on April 13th, 2009 6:01 pm

    So they’ve decided not to go with Morrow in back to back games. Is this really surprising given Morrow’s limited spring?

    They had Morrow up every night in Minnesota–every single one, as in 4 nights in a row. He didn’t pitch on day 1 because (I presume) we were no longer facing a save situation. He pitched on day 2, and we all know how that went. They had him up on Wednesday, and he didn’t pitch–why, I don’t know–and again on Thursday, a game he saved. He threw again on Saturday, again recording a save.

    The argument for Jakubauskas pitching on Friday was that Morrow was unavailable after throwing four days in a row. So he pitched one day, and he’s unavailable? I’m an English major, so my math is a little shaky, but last I checked that one day is 25% of the workload he had borne on a day’s rest. Plus, today (Monday) is a day off. Ergo, he would have thrown back-to-back days (as compared to four consecutive days) with a day off before Opening Day. And you have no guarantee of a particular need for a “closer” on a day-to-day basis. If we’re down by 10 tomorrow or up by 12, then we will not be in a save situation. Morrow might go days without throwing if he has claimed the “closer” role.

    Hell, the whole reason he’s not starting is because he said “I’m going to the bullpen because I feel comfortable there; I’m gonna close.” If you’re not going to say “You may be more comfortable there, but you’re more valuable to us as a starter”, then qui tacit consentit, man. Morrow’s our closer.

    Look, I get the lack of “roles” in the pen. But “reliever” and “starter” are roles in and of themselves for someone like Morrow, who can function in both capacities. If he can arbitrarily define his role as a reliever, then he defines his role as a closer.

    I’m not saying Jak was a terrible call; he did the job just fine. I’m asking why Morrow didn’t get the call, and before that I’m asking why Bedard didn’t stay in. And the “back-to-back” days argument doesn’t hold water since he was obviously considered 4 days in a row in Minnesota.

    You’re saying “Morrow isn’t the godcloser”. I agree. You’re saying “this isn’t necessarily a sign of Wak’s longterm model for bullpen management”. I agree. But if it isn’t either of those, what is it, and why is it done that way? You’re missing the question entirely.

    DISCLAIMER: this post written by an adamant Morrow fan who acknowledges underlying emotional bias in the desire to see the man throw.

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