Game Nine Recap
Yay, 3-6. So this is what it feels like to win on a non-Felix day.
Milton needed that. The team needed that. Everyone needed that. Welcome to Seattle, Mr. Bradley. Do that more often and you can make a nice little home for yourself here.
Brett Anderson is tremendous. If I had to start a franchise with any pitcher in baseball, Brett Anderson would be in the discussion for the guy I would take. I’d probably end up with Felix or Lincecum or Greinke, but I’d seriously consider Anderson. He’s that good. For all the problems the offense has had, facing him twice in the last five days hasn’t helped.
Doug Fister showed what can happen when you throw strikes in a pitchers park, especially when facing a bad offense. He challenged the A’s, commanded his change-up, and generally pitched pretty well. He won’t be able to do that regularly, but it was a nice performance anyway.
Nice to see Figgins hitting the ball hard three times off of left-handed pitchers, who have traditionally given him problems, but that caught stealing in the 7th inning was bad. Yes, Kurt Suzuki made a remarkable play to catch the ball and get back in position to throw him out, but there’s no reason for Figgins to take off until he’s sure the ball got away from Suzuki. There’s no chance that Suzuki’s going to be able to track the ball down and throw him out once it gets by him and goes to the backstop, so getting a good jump doesn’t matter. On that play, you’re either going to be out by a couple of steps if he caught it or safe without a throw if he didn’t. Already in scoring position, wisdom is the better part of valor, and that was not a wise play by Figgins.
I’ve given Mike Sweeney a lot of crap the first week, so let me just say this – he had two really good, important at-bats tonight. In his first nine trips to the plate this year, he saw a total of 23 pitches, and hacked his way into a lot of easy outs. In his last two at-bats tonight, he saw 12 pitches, drawing a couple of walks, and giving the team chances to score runs. The second walk came against Brad Ziegler, a side-arming right-hander who just destroys right-handed hitters. It’s obvious that I don’t think Sweeney brings enough to the table to be worth the roster spot on this team, but when you hear announcers talk about professional at-bats, those two trips to the plate were what they mean. I tip my hat to Sweeney to him for those last two walks.