Game 26, Rangers at M’s

Dave · May 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Happy Felix Day!

Millwood vs Hernandez, 7:10 pm.

Ichiro, RF
Not Gutierrez, LF
Sweeney, DH
Branyan, 1B
Beltre, 3B
Lopez, 2B
Johjima, C
Gutierrez, CF
Betancourt, SS

Junior has an “inflamed colon”, so he’s out for the game. Sweeney steps in at DH, and Beltre and Branyan flip-flop spots in order to keep a little more L-R-L balance in the middle of the order. I’d bet they’ll switch back once Junior is healthy enough to play again.

Other than that, pretty standard line-up. Remember when Wak was trying to keep everyone guessing with his line-up of the day? He’s basically settled on a generic order at this point. Oh well.

These games feel more important than your normal May match-up against the team that is, probably the worst in the division. Whether this team is “for real” or not, the further they can distance themselves from the rest of the division as early as possible, the better, because there’s a bar that this team needs to be above come July in order to avoid trading away Bedard-Beltre-Washburn. Wins in April and May actually matter more to this team than wins in August and September, because there’s a bonus or penalty that will be enforced on the roster come the summer depending on the team’s win-loss record.

Given that, and with Felix and Bedard pitching the next two days, the M’s have a chance to get a 4+ game cushion over everyone else in the division. That might not sound like a lot, but given the mediocrity of the other three teams in the AL West, a 4 or 5 game lead in May means that you’re almost certainly within a game or two of first place come July 31st. Worst case scenario, you have a melt down and lose 6-8 games in the standings in two months. If you have a 5 game lead over the other three teams, that melt down still probably leaves you in second place and a single series away from retaking the lead.

17-10 going into Wednesday’s games against Kansas City will feel a lot different than 15-12. I know, it’s just May, but these are pretty big games for the M’s. Let’s hope we get Good Felix and Good Bedard and spend Wednesday trying to figure out which prospects we might be willing to part with this summer in order to upgrade the roster.


180 Responses to “Game 26, Rangers at M’s”

  1. griffin on May 4th, 2009 9:41 pm


  2. jvalentine on May 4th, 2009 9:41 pm

    hahaha first walk of the season represents the winning run!!!

  3. UpOrDownMsFan on May 4th, 2009 9:41 pm

    YUNI TAKES A WALK! *bow Yuni, bow*

  4. ScottBrowne on May 4th, 2009 9:41 pm

    What the hell?

  5. ppl on May 4th, 2009 9:42 pm

    BETTENCOURT WALKS!!!!!! Well he got walked anyways.

  6. Lauren, token chick on May 4th, 2009 9:42 pm


  7. ScarTheBall on May 4th, 2009 9:43 pm

    HE WALKED!!!!!

  8. Diehard on May 4th, 2009 9:43 pm

    WTF is the world coming to an end? Yuni walking??

    DAMMMMMMMMMIT ICHIRO!!! Why swing at the first pitch.
    That ump sucks too!!

  9. UpOrDownMsFan on May 4th, 2009 9:44 pm

    Why didn’t Johjima just score on a sacrifice to center… Oh yeah, because (nevermind)…

  10. Lauren, token chick on May 4th, 2009 9:46 pm

    Alright, that sucked, but I am still filled with pride in Yuni. If only a lesson could have been learned! Oh the humanity!

  11. Colm on May 4th, 2009 9:47 pm

    Christ on a f*cking bike! Yuni took ball four.

    Curse you Ichiro(!)

  12. wrob4343 on May 4th, 2009 9:47 pm

    What a way to end the game. Hell freezes over (Yuni walk) and then Ichiro does his best Yuni impression all after the 1B Ump blows a call, two ways. Don’t forget The King looking mediocre and another almost improbable comeback skirted. Great day at the Safe… 🙁

  13. griffin on May 4th, 2009 9:48 pm

    first pitch swinging…. what the fuck.
    did not expect ichiro to pull that, seems like alot of the other players love to, but damn, didnt expect ichiro to pull that.

  14. JerBear on May 4th, 2009 9:48 pm

    That bullshit call at 1st just cost them the game…

    I hate it when that happens.

  15. justjake on May 4th, 2009 9:53 pm

    Yeah too bad Ichiro doesn’t have more patience at the plate. Swung at ball 4 Saturday in the 9th and then proceeded to ground out and then 1st pitch swinging tonight. Oh yeah I brought that up but….”He’s Ichiro”.

  16. ppl on May 4th, 2009 9:54 pm

    Yuni walks before Benji Molina does. I don’t know if it was because Francisco has control issues, or that he thought Yuni would swing at that stuff.

  17. JMHawkins on May 4th, 2009 9:57 pm

    So, we’ve lost every game this year where Yuni has taken a walk. Just goes to show, the Walk is overrated.

  18. wrob4343 on May 4th, 2009 9:58 pm

    That bullshit call at 1st just cost them the game…

    I hate it when that happens.

    It didn’t cost them the game, but it definitely didn’t help. The game was lost with a first pitch swing and Felix having a mediocre day… but yeah that call sucked!

  19. alexD on May 4th, 2009 10:00 pm

    ugh. another 1 run game…this is aging me too fast. If you told me that we would score 5 runs and lose this game, I would have laughed. Felix..what happened?

  20. hark on May 4th, 2009 10:06 pm


    Ichiro can get away with it. We know he’s not patient. But his BABIP is well above average, as is his BB/K ratio. His slugging has been slightly above league average his entire career despite not being a “power hitter”, and his wOBA is above league average every single year of his career.

    He tried “being patient” when, I believe, Molitor was the hitting coach. After ending May hitting around .250, Molitor told him to do his own thing. Ichiro! finished the season over .300. Again.

    His plate discipline is allegedly bad, but he has an O-swing% under 25% for his career (although it has jumped significantly the last three seasons…hmm…) and an overall swing% of 47%. OF those pitches he swings at outside the zone, he connects with 73% of them.

    In short, Ichiro! is not your average hitter. He just doesn’t work the same way. If his BABIP was around .300 and we saw these stats and new his potential was WAY higher, we’d probably call him on it. But the fact is his potential is maximized with this approach.

  21. Lauren, token chick on May 4th, 2009 10:15 pm

    justjake: Try not to be more of an asshole than you can help. One person gave a throwaway answer to your question yesterday, but several other people took it seriously and answered seriously. So there’s no need to peddle your martyr line here.

  22. dsmiley on May 4th, 2009 10:19 pm

    I was hoping that the quality of the umpiring would improve with a new crew for this series. This is BS.

    Granted, that totally crap call didn’t cost us the game. The Seattle Super Swingers throughout most of the game cost us the game. But still…it’s hard to recover from a call that terrible.

  23. ppl on May 4th, 2009 10:21 pm

    Got to give credit, where credit is due, I was impressed by the Shortstop defense the last four games, by Cabrera for Oakland and Andrus for Texas. It does matter.

  24. profmac on May 4th, 2009 10:34 pm

    So, at what point does Z go out and get a bigger bat. This offense needs to improve. Soo many one run games… I’m tired of going into the later innings hoping the M’s can stage another great come back. And, who are the big bats that we could possibly get?

  25. SonOfZavaras on May 4th, 2009 10:58 pm

    This is probably where that discussion of which prospects are worth parting with could come into play….

    Big bats we could get? Without a humongous albatross contract tied to them and an enormous prospect price tag?

    I’d bet on “not many”.

    Too many teams are in it right now to talk some real jive turkey, with bona-fide long-range players for the gettin’.

    Is anybody else having grey hairs multiply like rats in summer over all these one-run games??

  26. Diehard on May 4th, 2009 11:01 pm

    Guess Felix was battling the flu, so that didn’t help him at all. Although he struck out 9, he just made some mistakes and the Rangers made him pay. Hopefully Bedard has a strong start tomorrow and they can get out of town with a winning home stand.

  27. Diehard on May 4th, 2009 11:02 pm

    I doubt any big bats are going to be available for a while.

  28. Diehard on May 4th, 2009 11:03 pm

    Beltre hitting would help a lot of the “big bat” problem. When he finally gets back on track, that should help.

  29. ppl on May 4th, 2009 11:18 pm

    This is a year where there will be more buyers than sellers most likely, but if the N.L. west stays as it is, the whole division besides the Dodgers could be sellers. Baltimore has assumed their role as A.L. East backmarkers, but they seldom deal during the season, if they do, Aubrey Huff could be available, gotta assume they are too greedy (Bedard type deal) for Roberts, otherwise he would have already been dealt. Cleveland will probably being wiling to deal. And I think like last year Atlanta will take a realistic approach and look to upgrade for the future, so I would say Kelly Johnson may well be available. Houston might put Tejada on the block. And Washington should already be trading anyone who doesn’t fit into the long-range future so they can develop the best possible young team around that #1 draft pick franchise player falling into their hands. Pittsburgh probably wanted too much for Jack Wilson in the past, now his value has declined and he might be a good bargain pick-up for somebody.

  30. pgreyy on May 5th, 2009 2:22 am

    I’m a glass is half full kind of M’s fan, I guess…because I was at this game and it was a decent night at the ballpark.

    We had Felix, sick with flu, getting tagged…but also gritting it out and getting strike-outs…

    We looked hapless, but we broke up a perfect game in a big way to come back and tie the game–however temporarily.

    We get solid relief from White & Stark, keeping us in the game.

    We scrap and scrape and stay in the game with a chance to win in the 9th inning…and we don’t just get mowed down 1-2-3 in that 9th inning–we build a credible threat.

    Sure, it didn’t pan out the way we wanted…and an Ichiro pop-up is just as frustrating as a Griffey whiff used to be…but for a team that my highest hopes for would have been for a .500 season, we’re going to lose some games…and we’ll definitely lose 6-5 to Texas. But, to always be in these games and always think there’s a chance we can come back to win it…it makes all the difference…it makes it all worth it.

    Hell yeah, I’m coming back for Bedard and a Tuesday matinee… This is baseball worth paying to see!

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