Dave · May 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

That’s a tough loss. Just like with Vargas last night, Washburn should get a medal for surviving Texas’ offense and ballpark. The offense was able to get a few longballs off of McCarthy, whose up-in-the-zone pitching style makes him the kind of righty we can actually score runs against, but the flaws of the offense got exposed late in the game.

You can’t have Lopez bunt Ichiro to second in the 8th inning with Junior coming up against a lefty. You just can’t do it. The odds of Lopez whacking a Guardado pitch are a lot better than Junior getting a base hit against a lefty or Beltre getting a base hit against a side-arming righty. I know Wak likes small ball, and Derek showed he’s been mostly doing an effective job of utilizing the bunt this year, but that was bad. It’s okay to play for one run in a tie game in the 8th inning, but bunting there doesn’t make sense. Not with Lopez at the plate against a lefty, Junior coming up, and a righty specialist warming up to go after Beltre.

Morrow… what can you say? His command sucks and he’s heavily dependent on the fastball. That doesn’t work against good hitting lefties, and the Rangers have a lot of good hitting lefties.

16-18, 3 1/2 out of first place. If they can’t beat Texas with Felix on the hill and an LHP starting for the Rangers… well, let’s just say they need to win tomorrow.


28 Responses to “Backbreaker”

  1. Carson on May 13th, 2009 9:38 pm

    Yeah, it’s getting to be about that time. They can’t lose much more ground, especially with that Angels series coming up (not to mention them getting healthy soon).

    Any chance Cedeno starts again tomorrow? These one day hand slaps aren’t going to do anything for Yuni.

  2. B.W.Marx on May 13th, 2009 9:44 pm

    even though the location of Morrow’s last pitch was actually pretty decent, it just looked like Blalock knew exactly what was coming.

  3. rjfrik on May 13th, 2009 9:46 pm

    I hate to say it but this season is over. I really really hope the losing continues so we can be sellers in about a month. I want to get some good young MLB’ers or high level prospects for Bedard, Washburn, Beltre and Batista. I hope the losing makes the M’s bring up Clement, Carp and Saunders. We aren’t going to win this year, everyone knew that going in. Now lets get the young kids some reps and bring in some new talent. Man I miss Adam Jones and Chris Tillman.

  4. Sports on a Schtick on May 13th, 2009 10:00 pm

    Wak’s tenure hasn’t been terrible (and I mean, we endured Hargrove and McLaren) but his lineups and in-game management leave something to be desired.

  5. Turbo on May 13th, 2009 10:13 pm

    Just back from watching this tragedy in person down here in Texas. This team has evolved into an exquisite Pain Delivery System. Talk about your soul-crushing losses; this team seems to find the very worst ways to lose walk-off games against Texas, and the knife-in-heart L’s have had a way of lingering for weeks in season’s past. For the bright spots tonight — Kenji’s bomb, Washburn’s decent night — there were just epic failures, none more than Griffey Jr. The Kid’s now the Adult with No Bat Speed and Horrible Body Language. Oh for five, key strikeouts and a miserable DP as he never got a ball out of the infield. This is your DH hitting in your three hole. Your allegedly very best hitter based on where he’s batting and his job description. If the uniform said ANYTHING other than Griffey Jr., this player is a DFA candidate at worst and a deep bench player at best, but let’s remember his lack of D and wonder really why we’re under some fanciful illusion that he’s a net positive to morale inside the clubhouse. For the fans? Maybe he’s a draw. But he’s bringing very little to the game. Set aside the horror of Morrow’s command, the success of the guy we could have drafted instead of Brandon, the OPS-enriched raking of Jones in Baltimore and the lingering feeling that Bavasi was secretly still on Angel payroll during his time in Seattle (it would explain a great many things), the team needs to set it all aside and try to perform. The names are different. The results are the same. The answers aren’t coming. Dreaming of a $60 million payroll for 2010 post-purge isn’t enough of an anchor to see us through the rest of this year. At some point you drain the life out of the fans, you discourage them with a thousand tiny cuts, a passed ball and easy stolen base given up by the $24 million catcher who can’t catch, a routine play by the second baseman who was once a plus defender, and the only hope I have is that the organization can step back and consider dealing honestly with fans about the future by making tough decisions about the present. Trade the pieces that have value. Drop the hitters who don’t. Stop pretending this mishmash of role players and has-beens is going to come together magically; if we’re going to rebuild, let’s rip the band-aid and lose a bunch and try to be professional about it. Very little professionalism from No. 24 tonight, and all I can think about is how consistent and effective this team has become at hurting its best fans.

  6. Sports on a Schtick on May 13th, 2009 10:20 pm

    This is one of the most tender and tragic soliloquies in the history of Mariners fandom. And it’s from “Turbo.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  7. Jeff Nye on May 13th, 2009 10:45 pm

    I don’t know whether to toss it for the utter inability to find the enter key, or somehow preserve it for posterity.

  8. 300ZXNA on May 13th, 2009 10:48 pm

    ok, I was never really on board with the Griffey signing, but considering that we are having having a high number one pick devalue before our eyes to make room for Griff on the roster . . . is infuriating. Clement should have been given the opportunity to fail as DH before going the grabasstic sentimental journey route . . . I can’t help but think that Clement would be a much bigger help to this team if he were on the ML roster as the starting DH.

    Given our dearth of LH hitting, let alone LH hitting for power, why on earth are we letting him rot?

  9. Breadbaker on May 13th, 2009 11:11 pm

    I don’t know whether to toss it for the utter inability to find the enter key, or somehow preserve it for posterity.

    Pain Delivery System indeed. Especially late at night.

    As has been pointed out, Wak’s lineup options are not good in many places. Griffey is not a number three hitter anymore, even against a righty, but who is? Beltre is proving the “I’m only great in my walk year” conventional wisdom wrong. The only player who has improved this year is Balentien (and kudos to Wak for giving him more playing time).

  10. CCW on May 13th, 2009 11:13 pm

    Dave recently said “Griffey is fine”. I’d like to know what he meant. To me, Griffey looks cooked.

  11. tmac9311 on May 13th, 2009 11:48 pm

    I agree Jr. can not keep hitting in the three hole. We have no #3 hitter, but we at least have better options than Griffey.
    Ride Branyan out at #3 while he is hot. I’d even put Griffey down at 6 if he can’t get it going. Lopez at 5 and Guti at 2. Once Branyan slows down i’m not sure what you do.

    I love Jr, but if this keeps up maybe we make up an injury for him, test Carp (who has an OPS of 1.something appairently) or Clement for 15+ days. If either guy shows promise we may have to consider DFA Grif; but I’d expect us to ride it out with him regardless, he’s bringing in more than we give him credit for, or at least I think he is. Walking from the bremerton ferry to Safeco you see Junior’s face everywhere, and one tenth of the people in the stadium have a number 24 jersey on.

    These past two weeks have really sucked though. We need Felix to win tomorrow, and I’m assuming he’s pitching instead of Jak, because it’s the Sox next. We need to take one from Texas, because there’s no guarantee we can beat the Red Sox once.

  12. DaveValleDrinkNight on May 13th, 2009 11:57 pm

    I was going to try and say something positive about the M’s.

    I really was!

    But after half a dozen extra inning games that only make their varied flaws that much more pronounced, I’m done.

    Who stays:


    Who goes:


    The rest don’t even matter enough to be mentioned.

    I don’t care how much everyone on this site will hate me for saying it.

    Ichiro is the final piece to a contender not a building block for the future.

    I’m a life-long M’s fan and I just can’t take this shit anymore.

  13. DMZ on May 14th, 2009 12:17 am

    You know what I can’t take any more? Rosterbation.

  14. naviomelo on May 14th, 2009 12:31 am

    Just got back from the game. Some observations in no particular order:

    – Washburn pitched a pretty good game, for him. Going into the game, I kept thinking about what Dave’s barometer for success was last night with Vargas, and I figured that the bar wouldn’t need to be set that much higher for Washburn in a run scoring environment like that. Anyway, he got into trouble several times, but was able to make enough pitches to keep the M’s from facing a disaster. I wasn’t keen on leaving him in there to face Kinsler in the 6th, but he ended up getting him out. This was my first time seeing the 2009 Washburn, and it was definitely more impressive than the Safeco versions I’ve seen in years past.

    – Outfield defense is a good thing to have. Balentien made a great catch up against the wall early in the game on a ball that I was sure was gone. Gutierrez made several outstanding plays in center on line drives and fly balls. I’m glad that when he struck out looking in the 7th, someone (Wak?) was able to keep him out of too much trouble with the umpire and kept him in the game.

    – Sean White did a great job in relief. He looks like Sean Green out there.

    – Rangers fans are pretty nice people. I wore my M’s jersey and cap and wasn’t heckled once. A couple of them asked me why Yuni wasn’t playing today, and not knowing the real reason why, I gave them the basic rundown of our cumulative frustrations with him this year. They seemed surprised that he hasn’t been good in the field this year.

    – Good to see Beltre going the other way and hitting it out of the park.

    – The ending was a disappointment, of course, but that Texas lineup is just so good. We should have scored in the 10th, and as Dave mentioned, in the 8th as well. Griffey looked terrible today. I hope we get groundballing Good Felix tomorrow and can salvage at least one game and some hope for this year.

  15. jephdood on May 14th, 2009 12:31 am

    I know this is completely irrational and out of frustration, but my angst just needs to flow out of my fingertips right now.

    I want a new team. I want all new players. I want our entire timid little mouse roster to clear out their lockers. I want to start anew. You’ve all become tiresome. A clean sweep. A new beginning. A fresh outlook. A new attitude. A new day. A new way. Change the team name, change the uniforms and colors, and change the Safeco Field locks. You guys don’t work here anymore. Take your locker name plates if you’d like. They don’t match the new decor. Thank you for your time.

    Whewwwwwwwwwwww… OK. I’m better now.

    Well, after I have a beer.

  16. Tom C on May 14th, 2009 12:44 am

    Backbreaker indeed.

    I would like to be optimistic about Felix’s start tomorrow, but then I remember that it was Felix getting lit up for 6 runs when the offense scored 5, that started the losing streak. He was hit hard in his last start also. It’s just 2 bad starts, but I hope it’s not anything of a trend.

  17. joser on May 14th, 2009 12:48 am

    Ride Branyan out at #3 while he is hot.

    Branyan is hot? Yeah, he had two hits tonight, but he was, what, 4 for 23 over the past week?

  18. Diehard on May 14th, 2009 12:50 am

    Branyan was hot during the end of their last road trip and the short home stand but has cooled back off quite a bit. The problem is the M’s lack a true #3 and #4 hitter. I like Branyan in the #5 hole and he is doing a good job so far.

  19. DMZ on May 14th, 2009 1:03 am

    Hot and cold are poor measures of a player’s ability to contribute.

  20. Dave on May 14th, 2009 6:09 am

    Jr has an 80.1% contact rate, perfectly in line with the rest of his career. He has a 19.7% line drive rate, perfectly in line with the rest of his career. He has an 11.5% HR/FB rate, perfectly in line with the rest of his career. His ISO is .153, perfectly in line with the rest of his career.

    If you guys are seriously going to play the “he’s done” card after every night where he doesn’t get a hit, you’re throwing logic out the window. There’s absolutely nothing to indicate that Junior has lost his ability to be a productive major league hitter against RHPs. He’s posting a .325 wOBA despite a .234 batting average on balls in play.

    He’s been producing at a league average rate despite the ball not finding holes. In reality, the skillset he’s showing is good for a .340 to .360 wOBA. He’s not a DFA candidate – he’s our second or third best hitter against RHP.

    Stop it with the ridiculous Griffey hatred. He’s fine.

  21. Jeff Nye on May 14th, 2009 6:12 am

    [wrong thread!]

  22. dchappelle on May 14th, 2009 7:02 am

    Jeff Nye, I think you put that in the wrong thread…

    Always worse when your team starts out good and goes bad, than the other way around. Painful to watch.

    Griffey has worked out far far better than I expected. I didn’t think we had a prayer at keeping out of the field or not whining about it in the media.

  23. Jeff Nye on May 14th, 2009 7:10 am

    Jeff Nye, I think you put that in the wrong thread…

    So I did, thanks for the heads up.

  24. party4marty on May 14th, 2009 8:41 am

    Any interest in Morrow re-re-converting to a starter?

  25. Paul B on May 14th, 2009 8:57 am

    Not here, but they maybe should have sent him on a rehab assignment.

  26. TranquilPsychosis on May 14th, 2009 9:18 am

    Any interest in Morrow re-re-converting to a starter?

    Do you really want to watch him walk batters for 5 or 6 innings as opposed to just 1 inning?

  27. fermorules on May 14th, 2009 9:56 am

    [deleted, Lincecum reference]

  28. bakomariner on May 14th, 2009 10:41 am

    Morrow should NOT be closing…if he struggles with control (which he ALWAYS does) as a starter, he has more time to adjust and contribute…

    If he does the same as the closer, it’s over…blown save and loss…

    Another Bavasi blunder we have to deal with…

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