Game Fifty-Three Recap

Dave · June 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yay, 22-31.

Creeping back towards .500. Nice to take three in a row from a very good Twins team, even if they were missing Orlando Hudson (and Michael Cuddyer today). This game is essentially how the Mariners drew up their game plan for the season – get some guys on base, let the top of the order run like rabbits, and score enough runs to support Felix. It hasn’t worked often enough, but it did tonight, and has to be encouraging to the organization.

Speaking of Felix, that was pretty fun to watch, especially the eighth inning. Felix has always had problems with left-handed hitters, and the Twins have some very good ones, but he just blew them away. These are some of the premier offensive players in the game, and they had no chance against the King.

Offensively, there were some positive signs. Saunders ripped that double to right, and showed good plate coverage by singling to center on a pitch away. Lopez, obviously, has found his power stroke again, which the team desperately needed. And the M’s showed good awareness of Pavano’s problems holding runners on, taking advantage at every opportunity by stealing five bases off of him, three of them uncontested. This still isn’t a great offense, but it’s not as bad as the one we had to endure in April and May.

With the Rangers losing again, the M’s now find themselves six games out in the AL West. Brett Anderson went back on the DL for the A’s today as well, so the two teams at the top of the pile aren’t exactly rolling in good news. The M’s still have a chance at this thing. It’s not a great chance, but it’s a chance.


33 Responses to “Game Fifty-Three Recap”

  1. EthanN on June 3rd, 2010 9:42 pm

    Luke Scott time?

  2. MBK on June 3rd, 2010 9:44 pm

    Luke Scott time?

    In honor of Patrick Stewart’s knighting, “Make it so.”

  3. Westside guy on June 3rd, 2010 9:48 pm

    I really want to see what Wak does with Saunders now.

  4. RaoulDuke37 on June 3rd, 2010 9:48 pm

    Thank god the rest of the division is garbage. Every time I see our record, I have to tell myself that the “games back’ is really what matters.

  5. GOB Bluth on June 3rd, 2010 9:49 pm

    And on top of that, let’s do what I did in my video game, trade Jack Wilson and Eric Byrnes for Troy Tulowitzki. I wish real life was as simple as video games. That would be great. But yes, Luke Scott would be great right about now.

  6. Dave on June 3rd, 2010 9:51 pm

    Luke Scott time?

    He homered off CC Sabathia today. How many people on this roster could do that? One? Two?

  7. JTP224 on June 3rd, 2010 9:52 pm

    I had heard a stat earlier this year about Jose Jopez’s home run’s just barely getting over the fence last season. Earlier in the year, people seemed to think that it was the reason for his early season struggles. Are there still stats to support that he’s a bad hitter? I get the fact that he’s only really hit when games aren’t on the line, but at some point doesn’t he just equate to a streaky hitter who takes a while to get going?

  8. LeftField on June 3rd, 2010 9:54 pm

    Hell yes they have a chance. They played terrible baseball for the last month and they are 6 games out. They have a good chance.

  9. 33beaz on June 3rd, 2010 9:55 pm

    3 against the twinkies–SWEET! You gotta like the fact that we have four legitimate starting pitchers (by ERA, 4 in the top 15 AL) 3 out of the top 5 in the AL in WHIP

    We need a bat and our late bloomers to keep hitting (Figgins) and then I like our chances in the west.

    1David Price 2.29
    2Doug FisterSEA 2.45
    3Andy PettitteNYY 2.48
    4Phil HughesNYY 2.54
    5Clay BuchholzBOS 2.73
    6Jered WeaverLAA 2.74
    7Shaun MarcumTOR 2.77
    8Jeff NiemannTAM 2.79
    9Cliff LeeSEA 2.91
    10Jason VargasSEA 2.92
    11Jon LesterBOS 2.97
    12Matt GarzaTAM 3.08
    13Ricky RomeroTOR 3.14
    14Felix HernandezSEA 3.26

  10. msfanmike on June 3rd, 2010 9:55 pm

    Nice game! … and the formula the M’s were looking for when they signed Lee. The 4th and 5th starters gave the team a chance to win (and 1 did win)- and then Lee and Hernandez mopped up. This is the first time we have seen the formula work this season. It took one entire month of Lee in the rotation to see it, but we finally saw it. If not for the Saturday/Sunday debacle in Anaheim last weekend, the M’s would be on a roll. They need a replacement starter for “Snells” spot, a C that they will use who is not named Johnson, a 1B who can hit, a DH that can hit and they need Wally Pipp to stay on the IR or become the backup utility infielder. Lopez and Figgins also need to continue to “progress” to the mean. Basically, they still need a lot … and Luke Scott is not a lot – but if used as a replacement for Kotchman I can see the value.

  11. guybrad on June 3rd, 2010 10:07 pm

    The biggest injustice would be Josh Wilson losing his starting spot to Jack Wilson. Josh, besides hitting over .300, is playing solid defense.

  12. Axtell on June 3rd, 2010 10:11 pm

    I didn’t have high hopes for this series when it started. Minnesota was playing some of the best ball in the league, their offense is a juggernaut, and, well, we can’t score runs. Another 8+ inning performance from our starter tonight and lots of (good) aggression on the basepaths and the 4-1 result and winning 3/4 is the outcome.

    I have to wonder, though, at what point does Johnson no longer get to start? Between his inability to hit, and when he was at least walking early in the season to get on base, well he’s not doing that anymore. In 50 plate appearances in May, he drew just 3 walks and had 7 hits, drawing a .149/.196/.255 line. Throw in his league leading 7 passed balls, only throws out 1/4 of those tryign to steal, and I ask again, why does this guy still have a relatively full time job? Looking at the list of catchers with better numbers than him is mind-boggling. At what point does the ‘belief system’ go down the tube, we pick up a replacement level catcher and RJ gets DFA’d?

  13. Snake Hippo on June 3rd, 2010 10:18 pm

    He homered off CC Sabathia today. How many people on this roster could do that? One? Two?

    Josh Wilson did…

  14. marcoramius on June 3rd, 2010 10:26 pm

    Hopefully when Bard comes off of the DL there will be some discussion of RoJo’s future with the team. Maybe they can send him to Tacoma to work on catching the ball or something?

    It will be very tough for Wak to get past the whole “belief system” personal catcher for Felix, and now it seems possibly Cliff, now too…

  15. scott19 on June 3rd, 2010 10:28 pm

    In honor of Patrick Stewart’s knighting, “Make it so.”

    I…will…second…that!! 🙂

  16. DaveValleDrinkNight on June 3rd, 2010 10:30 pm

    Good little win streak. The next 7 games are crucial if were gonna get back in this. Beating the Angels and Rangers in consecutive series would be huge.

  17. pgreyy on June 3rd, 2010 10:31 pm

    What I really want to know is why both Cliff Lee and Felix WANT RoJo as their catcher. They request him…(and Wak let’s them, and it’d be hard to deny them what they want.)

    What is with the perversity of Mariners pitchers? Either it’s “we don’t want Kenji” or “we want Rob Johnson”–it makes little sense to the outsider.

  18. bellacaramella on June 3rd, 2010 10:43 pm

    What I really want to know is why both Cliff Lee and Felix WANT RoJo as their catcher. They request him…(and Wak let’s them, and it’d be hard to deny them what they want.)

    So Felix can pad his strikeout totals? Great to get four in one inning, but yeah. Defense.

  19. nickwest1976 on June 3rd, 2010 10:47 pm

    I feel like a BIG upgrade at 1B on offense would really change the dynamics of this offense. I think Luke Scott would be a substantial upgrade over Kotchman. Then if Wak would just stick with Saunders and mix in Langerhans and keep Milton at DH, I think this team could get back in this race.

    A lineup of:

    Ichiro – RF
    Figgins – 2B
    Guti – CF
    Milton – DH
    Scott – 1B
    Lopez – 2B

    As a top 6 that lineup should be able to produce runs and with the starting pitching and defense the M’s have, that lineup should be able to get this team potentially back in the race.

  20. TomTuttle on June 3rd, 2010 11:06 pm

    You almost wonder now:

    A) Does the “Regression To The Mean Fairy” really exist?

    B) Is the finality of the Griffey situation helping these guys relax a bit?

  21. PackBob on June 3rd, 2010 11:20 pm

    The Mariners have a very good chance to get back into this. They still have hitters that have yet to bring their numbers above abysmal levels. That should happen, and they’ve been able to score runs the last couple of weeks without it happening as yet.

    But more than that, it’s the pitching. With Felix back on track, Lee looking great, and Fister/Vargas continuing their solid starts, the Mariners are a team waiting for a hot streak.

    There are many ways of looking at the rest of the season and how the Ms would have to play to contend. If they could simply slip in a hot streak, an 8-2 or 9-1 stretch, the remainder of the season doesn’t look quite so formidable.

    Hey, teams do it. The Ms haven’t for a long time. Good pitching, better hitting, and maybe the feeling that they are due for some good luck instead of bad, and who knows what might happen?

  22. GarForever on June 3rd, 2010 11:35 pm

    Does the “Regression To The Mean Fairy” really exist?

    Indeed: I think it’s the title of an early Yes album (or maybe Genesis when Peter Gabriel was still with them…)

    I kid, Tom, I kid.

    The next seven games seem really crucial. The most infuriating thing about the M’s hot streak last year was that it coincided with a similar one for the Angels, and so we were basically treading water in the standings despite some great baseball. Now the team has a chance, if they keep playing well, to take a pound of flesh from the teams the M’s need to lose. It’s tough that four of the games are in Texas, but I’d say the M’s need to go 5-2 or better if they are going to make good on what chances they have created for themselves by taking 3 of 4 from Minnesota.

  23. SpokaneMsFan on June 4th, 2010 12:22 am

    Dave, don’t want to play devil’s advocate just for the sake of it but would honestly appreciate some insight. Your comment says Lopez has “obviously” found his power stroke, but when Sweeney showed a similar outburst earlier in the year you named him “small sample size hero.” Could you please explain to me the difference in Lopez having a hot 10 games with multiple home runs vs Sweeney? I’m really not a Sweeney homer or anything but it seems to me the Lopez stretch is very similar in terms of approach and outcome as Sweeney’s was and in search of a better understanding of baseball statistics would like to understand why your reaction differs so greatly. Thank you for the assistance.

  24. greentunic on June 4th, 2010 12:54 am

    I think Lowell would be a great pickup. He is not valuable to the BoSox at all right now cause they have too many corner infielders AND they still want A-Gone. Lowell is not happy and he is not cheap and he is not having a great year.

    BUT he is having a much better year than Kotchman… so even a .229 AVG .659 OPS guy is better than what we have and I have more faith in Lowell improving than Kotchman, who never really has played on a day-to-day basis.

  25. Axtell on June 4th, 2010 1:18 am


    Because Lopez has shown as recently as last year he could hit, consistently, for power. Sweeney hasn’t hit even double digits in power in 5 years, so that’s likely the reason for the difference.

  26. King.Dome on June 4th, 2010 1:35 am

    I guess Wak was right and I was wrong for tonight. I guess putting Lopez 4 worked. I still want MB 4 most days, like 9 out of 10.

    I say we keep Lee and make a run for this division!! Keep hope alive.

  27. terry on June 4th, 2010 5:50 am

    Don’t look now but the Ms are playing .615 ball over their last 13 games…

  28. djw on June 4th, 2010 6:30 am

    Your comment says Lopez has “obviously” found his power stroke, but when Sweeney showed a similar outburst earlier in the year you named him “small sample size hero.” Could you please explain to me the difference in Lopez having a hot 10 games with multiple home runs vs Sweeney?

    Lopez is a player with an established level of performance, healthy, and 27 years old. (And furthermore, part of that established performance level has always been extreme streakiness). Sweeney is almost 37, and has an extensive collection of nagging injuries that make that an old 37. He’s been a pretty much worthless player since 2006 (less than one WAR from 06-09 combined). It’s just a matter of applying elementary basic knowledge about how baseball players age and the arch of their careers to these two players.

  29. BYUKen on June 4th, 2010 6:36 am

    Realistically, the M’s have to get help to get back into the division race. But how close (games back) by the end of June or All-Star break do the M’s need to be to the division lead to be considered a serious contender? Three games or less?

  30. monty1077 on June 4th, 2010 7:21 am

    Maybe just maybe this is the start of something.
    Let the team be at least .500 and no more then 5 games out of 1st at the break and then we shall see.

    Does anyone know what the schedule looks like for the next few weeks?

  31. Jay R. on June 4th, 2010 8:29 am

    If this team had a catcher, they might not be half bad. Make RJ the assistant pitching coach (or the Moose’s understudy), let him call the game from the dugout, and field a catcher who can actually, you know, CATCH THE BALL. Hitting it would be nice too, but let’s start with the basics.

  32. SpokaneMsFan on June 4th, 2010 10:49 am

    Thanks Axtel and DJW, I guess I was looking at the sample in and of itself without applying enough historical data, I’ll get this down some day. I suppose I thought since Lopez struggled so much the first two months it could have been showing a decline but put too much weight in the start of the season.

  33. Gomez on June 4th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Your comment says Lopez has “obviously” found his power stroke, but when Sweeney showed a similar outburst earlier in the year you named him “small sample size hero.”

    Not piling on, but I wanted to clarify the difference in the two points, and it has little to do with track records or benefits of the doubt. Basically, Lopez has been devoid of his usual power all season plus has struggled to pull the ball like he usually does, but now that he’s began pulling the ball and is starting to hit for extra bases again likely led to the comment that he’s “found his power stroke.”

    Sweeney, meanwhile, didn’t really lose his power stroke. He’s been the same hitter all season that he’s always been, but when more of his BIP started falling and clearing the fence than usual, that led to the moniker “small sample size hero” since over his hot stretch he was hitting beyond his usual present-day means. Sweeney probably wasn’t going to sustain an unusual short-term display of power he rarely displayed even during his hitting hey-day.

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