Game Forty-Five Recap

Dave · May 25, 2010 at 9:36 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yay, 17-28.

Milton Bradley makes this line-up better. Having him hit clean-up, where he can actually drive in Ichiro and Gutierrez, is the best possible chance this team has of scoring runs on a nightly basis. Let’s hope his two big hits off of Verlander convince Wak of that, and Bradley sticks around in the #4 spot for the rest of the season. It’s where he belongs.

Doug Fister wasn’t great tonight, but he again showed the power of throwing strikes. Even with breaks not going his way, his willingness to pound the strike zone limited the damage that the Tigers could do. He’ll never be an ace with his limited ability to strike batters out, but there’s room in a rotation for a guy who just never walks anyone. For a back-end starter, the Mariners could do a lot worse.

How good is Franklin Gutierrez? Another opposite field home run, a huge eighth inning walk off Verlander to get Bradley to the plate, and the hard hit single in the first where he got on base in front of Milton before the home run… he was part of all three rallies the M’s had, and his development as a hitter just continues. Our star defensive center fielder can now hit a little bit too.

People love to talk about things that don’t show up in a box score – Chone Figgins slide on the throw home in the eighth inning is one of those things. Ordonez’s throw was pretty good, and if Figgins takes the normal “slide before you get to the plate and try to touch it with your foot” approach, I’m not sure he gets in there. Instead, he smartly runs directly to the plate, then hooks behind the catcher and catches the plate with his hand. By the time Avila went to swipe where Figgins foot would have been, he’d already passed him and been called safe. Just a tremendous piece of baserunning by Figgins there, scoring on a play where probably 90 percent of runners would have been thrown out.

Nice to see the M’s pick up a win against Justin Verlander. Even if the Tigers didn’t have Miguel Cabrera, this was still a game they could have easily lost, but that they need to win to keep their season alive. Here’s to hoping they can get another one tomorrow afternoon.


30 Responses to “Game Forty-Five Recap”

  1. Westside guy on May 25th, 2010 9:44 pm

    Let’s hope Wak sticks with this group – whether it be out of superstition or whatever! Bradley at DH, Saunders in left! If he really, truly feels like Sweeney has to get in the lineup – put him at first. I’m not advocating that; I just think that might be the lesser of two evils when compared to DH Sweeney pushing Bradley into left pushing Saunders to the bench.

  2. Dutch on May 25th, 2010 9:47 pm

    I joined the community last night. Guess Wak caught wind and decided to get his line-up straight. For a while there I thought he was playing for draft picks. Go M’s!

  3. henryv on May 25th, 2010 9:50 pm

    Great game.

    Milton was the MVP, I’d think, and Figgins had a great slide there. Even after he stumbled coming around 3rd.

    A game like this reminds us how painfully close this team is to being good.

    I actually like this line up because it puts Saunders in front of Ichiro, increasing the likelihood that there are runners on base when Ichiro! comes up.

    Not only that, but bringing in Kelley instead of Colome or League is fantastic. It’s about time Wak realizes his value.

    I’ve been one of the biggest haters of Wak this year, but this game was fantastically managed in my opinion. Good line up and good choices from the bullpen.

  4. Slippery Elmer on May 25th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Yay, 17-28.

    I’m thinking that’s the most ironic “yay” I’ve read in some time. Nonetheless, I’ll take a clutch, one-run win anyday.

    More of the same, gentlemen.

  5. henryv on May 25th, 2010 10:01 pm

    A couple thoughts while I’m sitting…

    – Chone Figgins hangs around the base too long during double plays and close plays when he’s in the field. I’m worried about him getting his knees or ankles taken out. Apparently he’s unaware of the unwritten rule of baseball that second base is a 3 foot wide circle around the base on force plays.

    – Rob Johnson just needs to watch Josh Bard play catcher. HE MOVES HIS DAMNED FEET. Also, Rob Johnson tries to catch the ball like a first baseman, rather than a catcher. He turns his glove sideways, which I think is causing a lot of his drops. He catches the ball like you would grab a book off a shelf. Watch him. It’s weird.

    – Josh Wilson is letting the ball play him a little bit.

  6. Nate on May 25th, 2010 10:10 pm

    I’ll take a clutch, one-run win anyday.

    …even a clutch two-run win, I presume.

  7. dingla on May 25th, 2010 10:21 pm

    That is an interesting point about Figgins slide at home, Dave.
    I bet his foot would have got in there. Without his speed i dont think he would have been able to go further to swipe it with his hand.

  8. nickwest1976 on May 25th, 2010 10:57 pm

    I agree Dave, the 1-4 tonight of Ichiro-Figgins-Guti-Bradley is a solid 1-4 if not very good. Figgins is going to hit and Guti is becoming a total stud hitter. If Milton can just DH, stay healthy and keep his mind right, then the M’s have a good 1-4.

    What this team needs is a 1B that can hit and hit 5th. I am still wanting Luke Scott as he could play 1B a lot, play some LF and even DH when Milton needs a break. His lefty power bat and good OBP would profile well in Safeco and he could be an excellent #5 hitter on this team. I can’t imagine it would cost the moon to get him with Baltimore out of it already. Scott is under team control for two more years after this I think so he’s actually a guy that could be part of the core moving forward.

    I know Kotchman is good with the glove but his bat is hurting the team. Bard is hitting and I love seeing Saunders in there in LF. If we can just get a legit hitting 1B, this lineup (plus Saunders/Bard) would actually start looking pretty darn solid. Given the defense/pitching, I think we could win with that lineup.

    Ichiro – RF
    Figgins – 2B
    Guti – CF
    Bradley – DH
    Scott – 1B
    Lopez – 2B
    Saunders – LF
    Bard – C
    Wilson – SS

  9. nickwest1976 on May 25th, 2010 11:08 pm

    Sorry, meant Lopez at 3B.

  10. MsofEnchantment on May 25th, 2010 11:18 pm

    Nick, I too think tonight’s lineup was a huge step in the right direction…the entire game for that matter was well managed from a tactical and player utilization standpoint.

    Scott would add some value in the middle of the lineup, but he doesn’t fix this roster. Your flexibility on the bench would still be putrid with 6-4-3, Junior, and Kotchman taking up useful spots. Additionally, I’m not sure there aren’t players already in the organization that couldn’t do what Scott can given what you’d have to give up to get him. I don’t think our record warrants losing something to get another LH DH-type. I’d rather see someone from the FA scrap heap, or wait to get something of value for Cliff in July. On the other hand, how nice would it be to get any consistent contribution from SS?

  11. greentunic on May 25th, 2010 11:26 pm

    I like it because it eliminates the “automatic outs” we have been having. We still have lots of outs at first, third, and short (more or less) but tonight we have fewer at DH and catcher. Second (Figgi) will take care of itself. Now we just need to look at 1st, 3rd, and SS.

  12. Route 21 on May 25th, 2010 11:40 pm

    Re: Figgins’ baserunning,

    We were at the game and had a perfect bird’s eye view from section 320 of Figgins’s slide into second, on the double that put him into scoring position.

    He made a similarly slick move, sliding to the right field side of the bag, just ahead of the throw coming in from left field to the 3rd base side of the bag. Beat it by just about the amount of time it took the second baseman to swipe across the bag.

    I thought, “wow, great slide” – and then he beat that one at the plate.

    OTOH, the ground ball to Jo. Wilson in the 2nd… if Jack Wilson is healthy, he fields that ball, turns two, and it stays 2-0 vs going to 2-2. Arrgh.

  13. King.Dome on May 25th, 2010 11:46 pm

    Is it asking too much for the espn guy to pronounce Ichiro’s name correctly? Really? Really? He said it with such conviction too, that makes it worse. He’s a HOFer and we can’t pronounce his name right, ok, great. It was a regular broadcaster too, not that that should matter. Ok, I needed to just get that little anger out, thanks.

    Good job offense and Fister. I wish it didn’t take us so long to figure out the best lineup. That’s in the past though, so here’s to that lineup continuing.

  14. scott19 on May 25th, 2010 11:48 pm

    I was quite pleased with Wak’s handling of the lineup tonight, too. Though we know he hasn’t had a ton of offense to work with this year, it’s encouraging to see him finally maximize this roster to his advantage — and to get results from doing so.

    Definitely a step forward.

  15. Breadbaker on May 26th, 2010 1:40 am

    The other thing to remember about Fister is pure value for money. I assume he makes the major league minimum. Fangraphs has him worth $5.6 million already this year. Cubs fans are gushing over Carlos Silva’s performance; Fangraphs has him worth exactly half that, while making about 20 times as much.

  16. smb on May 26th, 2010 7:30 am

    League minimum is $400k plus COL adjustments for 2010, and Fister’s at $450k, so yeah, he’s right about at the minimum. You are also right that Carlos Silva is an overpaid and fat toad a la Hideki Irabu, who coincidentally just got a DUI in SoCal. Ha!

  17. erikec on May 26th, 2010 9:15 am

    The win against Verlander gives me hope for 2011. Add a 1st baseman, 3rd baseman and catcher to this team through a Lee trade and free agency in the off-season and they will be fine.

  18. Charlie Brown on May 26th, 2010 9:20 am

    Yeah, there’s got to be a way to do something about Kotch and Lopey…they are pretty much ALWAYS automatic outs…if we can start getting some offense, I still think trading for Fielder would massively jump start our offense…btw, the Brewers need pitching, and boy do we have it! GO FISTER!!!!

  19. SonOfZavaras on May 26th, 2010 9:24 am

    Add a 1st baseman, 3rd baseman and catcher to this team through a Lee trade and free agency in the off-season and they will be fine.

    We have a third baseman. We moved him there from second, where he was a travesty on the eyes. But in a career loaded with dichotomous halves of seasons, he’s having his worst offensive output to begin a season ever. By far.

    When he hits like he always has, he’ll be making us look a lot better.

    And I think Adam Moore will be fine in the long run at catcher. Not an All-Star, but fine. But dude has only proved he needs a bit more seasoning at the AAA-league level so far.

    However, it’s true that we really don’t have a premium first-base prospect waiting in the wings. Not one that’s close to the majors, certainly. If Zduriencik trades Lee, I’m hoping that Boston’s the eventual partner, and Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish are Mariner property. Or Jeremy Hermida, but I’m doubtful of that one. Epstein likes him too much.

  20. ima-zeliever on May 26th, 2010 9:27 am

    Wak needs to realize that if he is going to put a line up like that out there and use his bull pen the way he did… then there is a good chance the M’s will win more games.

  21. charliebrown on May 26th, 2010 9:34 am

    Yeah, there’s got to be a way to do something about Kotch and Lopey…they are pretty much ALWAYS automatic outs…if we can start getting some offense, I still think trading for Fielder would massively jump start our offense…btw, the Brewers need pitching, and boy do we have it! GO FISTER!!!!

    Good grief….now there’s two of us? Should we ask Lucy what to change our name to?

  22. Charlie Brown on May 26th, 2010 10:31 am

    Oops!!!!! My bad… I will change my name! Sorry, I forgot you were on here!

  23. Chris_From_Bothell on May 26th, 2010 10:51 am

    there’s got to be a way to do something about Kotch and Lopey…they are pretty much ALWAYS automatic outs

    1. Hit Lopez lower. Keep him in for his defense.
    2. Put Sweeney in at first base 3 or 4 times a week, however much his back can take, until or unless his bat cools off and he starts living up to his 6-4-3 nickname. Langerhans can switch with him. Kotch needs bench time.

  24. ima-zeliever on May 26th, 2010 10:53 am

    I have been thinking about changing my username too…

  25. charliebrown on May 26th, 2010 10:55 am

    No need to change your name. Just thought it was funny.

  26. ima-zeliever on May 26th, 2010 11:04 am

    I like Prince at 1B. We do have pitching. What would it take to get him?

    Fister and ?

  27. Westside guy on May 26th, 2010 11:08 am

    Hit Lopez lower. Keep him in for his defense.

    Now THERE’S a sentence I never thought I’d see…

  28. Robin Hood on May 26th, 2010 11:10 am

    Well, we got French in AAA…he’s on fire.
    In my opinion, I think Kotchman will always be a backup 1B…

  29. Westside guy on May 26th, 2010 11:13 am

    How far away from free agency is Fielder? I know he’s just coming into his mid-to-late 20s, but he looks (to my inexpert eye, anyway) like the sort of guy that might follow the Sexson track as soon as he hits his early 30s.

  30. Chris_From_Bothell on May 26th, 2010 11:30 am

    Fielder is a free agent after 2011. It’d probably take Fister and either Kelley or a healthy Lowe. Pity we couldn’t sell high on Aardsma.

    Yes, I know, Fister’s excellent, young, cheap and under control. But a year and a half of a bat, when Fielder would be playing for a free agency contract… when there’s no sign of offense anywhere… and no need or expectation to do some dumb 4-year Sexson-style thing with him…

    Unless there’s an upgrade at shortstop to be had for the same pieces, I’d love to see Fielder here.

    The team isn’t “one bat away”, but the timing might be right to make it one less piece to shop for this offseason, freeing up money or trade pieces to enable the Ms to really invest in a SS or C.

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