Thursday, April 28, 2005

Game 22 - Of Long Balls And Curveballs

Excellent performance by Gil Meche this evening. By pitching ahead in the count and throwing the curveball for a strike, he kept the Ranger hitters off balance. This is the Meche that I really like - just hope that he finds a way to be more consistent.

Ichiro! continues to amaze. Another dinger in Arlington. I'm sure he wishes that the club played a lot more games there. Sexson certainly covered that pitch from Almanzar - nice to see.

Is it just me, or does Eddie Guardado appear to be MUCH more comfortable in the last few games in which he has appeared? He's throwing nice and easy - and seems to be hitting his spots a lot more than he was 2 weeks ago. Nice. On to Oakland.

LOOGY - Part 2

Here's the second part of a great read found over at Hardball Times concerning the LOOGY. Of note, our favorite LOOGY, Mike Myers, is referred to as "The King". Sweet.

Games 20 and 21 - From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

I enjoyed Tuesday's game quite a bit. Can't say the same for yesterday. Poor old Ryan "I never get any run support" Franklin got hammered. The Mariner offense once again failed to show up - making Kenny Rogers look like a legitimate Cy Young candidate. *sigh*

Dave Hansen is back. Guess this means Choo is heading for Tacoma. Gil Meche tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Power Outage

A quick read of ESPN AL Team Batting stats this morning reveals the following:

  • Hits - M's 11th
  • Doubles - M's 4th
  • Triples - M's 11th
  • HR - M's 14th (dead last)
  • RBI - M's 9th
  • .OPS - M's 12th

I didn't bother doing the comparison with last year, but it's pretty clear that the offense this year leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Game 19 - Looks Can Be Deceiving

Okay, it's a W - and as we all know, W's are good. But 9 runs on 5 hits - does anybody else see something wrong with this picture?

Games 17 and 18 - Deja Vu All Over Again

Okay, so Sabathia threw a pretty good game against the M's Friday evening. But Cliff Lee? Come on. Not sure why the offense is so lethargic, but I hope they snap out of it soon.

I've read in several places now that Jeremy Reed is fixing to go on a tear. After last night's game, I think it's going to be soon (at least I hope it's going to be soon).

From one fan's perspective, last year's M's were SO bad that any subpar play from this year's club will not be tolerated for very long. Not getting the bunt down - grounding into the DP - stranding runners in scoring position - these things are not sitting well with me personally - and I'm sure that there are plenty of other fans that feel the same way. My message to the team - go get 'em!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Game 16 - Rich Harden

The M's have certainly faced some tough pitching so far, and last night was no exception. Rich Harden was awesome - I'm sure a lot of fans in Oakland are saying "Tim who?" when they see Harden pitch. And poor Ryan "I don't get any run support" Franklin pitched a pretty good game. His only big mistake was that pitch to Kotsay.

It's really starting to get painful watching Miguel Olivo flailing away at the plate. I'm pretty sure that nobody will ever throw him another fastball - at least until he shows that he can hit a breaking ball. Don't get me wrong - I really like Olivo as a player - but I'm afraid he's going to turn out to be one of those guys who is a defensive whiz, but can't hit ML pitching to save his life.

How about that Wilson Valdez? I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Game 15 - No Margin For Error

Great game at Safeco Field last night. It had everything that makes baseball such an awesome game - pitching, hitting, ups, downs, offense, defense. And though it was much more exciting than it needed to be in the end, the club came away with the W.

Can somebody remind me why Jeff Nelson is on this ballclub?

Nice to see very timely pinch hits from Reed and Dobbs last night. And Pineiro appears to be healthy for now - and that's a good thing.


Edit: Also must give props to Ron Villone for restoring order last night when the game was definitely on the line.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

LOOGY

Here's a cool piece from the Hardball Times that discusses that fascinating creature known as a LOOGY.

Games 13 and 14 - .500 Ball

Split in Socal. Good things:

  • Moyer appears to be on track again.
  • Sexson is feeling better.
  • Ichiro!
Not so good things:

  • Aaron Sele.
  • Miguel Olivo.
  • Bret Boone.
Hopefully the three aforementioned players will get their acts together soon. I'll be in front of the tube this evening at 6:30pm sharp for the pregame show on FSN.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Game 12 - Thanks Ozzie!

Hey, it's a W. Good things:

  • Ichiro! displays the power stroke!
  • Meche did not allow a BIG inning.
  • Ozzie may very well have run his team out of a rally in the bottom of the 9th.
Not so good things:

  • Eddie did not look very sharp at all today (see the last good thing).
  • Olivo on the basepaths.
  • Olivo's misfire when displaying the cannon.
Edit: My concern with Olivo is that his enthusiasm will cause trouble - manifested either in baserunning mistakes or throwing errors. I also see that Ozzie is saying that Willie Harris was "on his own" yesterday. Whatever.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Games 10 and 11 - Good Pitching Beats Good Hitting

So along come a couple of guys named Garland and Buehrle - and down go the M's. Garland carries a Perfecto into the 7th - then Buehrle comes back the next day and throws a 3 hitter. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and say "go get 'em tomorrow".

It was nice to see Matt Thornton come into the game on Friday and look good. Hopefully he will build on this outing and continue to improve.

Here's wishing a speedy recovery to Richie Sexson. The M's have definitely missed his bat in the last 2 games.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Games 7, 8, and 9 - Royal Flush

Nothing like a sweep to cure what ails ya!

It's still pretty early, but I'm beginning to think that the 2005 M's will be defined by pitching. There is no question that these guys (unlike the anemic 2004 lineup) can score some runs. What remains to be seen is whether the pitching staff can continue to hold the opposition's batters down. So far so good.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Games 5 and 6 - Reminds me of...

Games 5 and 6 remind me of the discussions that my friend Barclay and I used to have concerning the Texas Rangers. Only now, it's starting to look more like the Mariners are taking over what we used to give the Rangers a hard time about - namely we knew they would score some runs - but would it be enough to overcome their awful pitching?

Sounds like Bobby Madritsch is going to be out for a while. This really doesn't bode well - but perhaps we will get a chance to see Campillo up with the big club soon. Somebody is going to have to step up.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Game 4 - No Quit

Not sure if Rick Rizzs mentioned this last night, but the M's don't have any quit in them!

Up and down game last night - certainly exciting in spots. The 2 errors (Sexson and Valdez) hurt - but in the end made no difference. It was nice to see the club swinging the bats effectively - and scoring runs in innings other than the 1st. Hey, it's a W.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Game 3 - Bobby Hurt

1 run on 10 hits - what's wrong with this picture?

Although the game was not televised, the local news had some footage of Bobby being examined by Rick Griffin on the mound before he was taken out of the game. Bobby looked scared. Let's hope it's nothing more than a strain.

edit: Meant to type Tom Newberg - not sure why Griffin popped out.

Game 2 - Back To Earth

Game 2 certainly exposed some of the flaws of this year's squad. If you are Bill Bavasi this morning, one of the questions on your mind must surely be how long do you stick with Matt Thornton? I know the sample size is small - but how many innings of not being able to throw a strike are enough?

I sure do like Grover. When he thinks the pitcher is done - he goes out and gets them. Bomel used to make me crazy with his inability to yank a pitcher in time.

The hitters are going to have to learn how to hit later in the game. Seriously - all of their damage so far has been confined to the bottom of the 1st. I know - small sample size - but I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Twins Perspective

Make sure you check out Batgirl's take on yesterday's game.

Lopez Out

The news of the hamate bone injury to Jose Lopez goes a long way (in my mind anyway) to explain the M's pursuit of Nunez and Valdez. It makes perfect sense now knowing that Pokey wasn't going to be ready for Opening Day - and neither was Jose Lopez. Here's wishing Jose a speedy recovery.

Opening Day

That was an Opening Day that any M's fan would be happy with. It was more than I expected - especially after the debacle that was last year. Good starting pitching - very good defense - excellent relief pitching - and offense!! Sexson sent a message to the league yesterday - "pitch me carefully or I will beat you!". A decidely good effort. It's a long season - but yesterday was a good start. And weren't the Presidents cool?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Almost Time To Begin...

Opening Day is rapidly approaching. I find it hard to believe that 10 years have already passed since the Refuse To Lose season of 1995. All the unlikely events of that season, and all the unlikely contributors - Doug Strange, Rich Amaral, Vince Coleman, Alex Diaz - well, you get the idea.

Now we are faced with the 2005 season - and for every answer that we have so far, many more questions remain. Although the FO has generally done well in putting together the team, one must wonder about some of the moves in the last several days. Perhaps the overall plan will become clear shortly - but right now Bavasi and Co. have muddied the waters to the point where some of my enthusiasm has been dampened. I'm sure that will change by Monday - but in the meantime I am wondering just exactly what the FO is up to.

A few observations from the game last night in Las Vegas. Defensively, the infield looks solid (with the possible exception of Pokey's throwing arm). Time will tell on that one. The outfielders were having some problems picking up the ball (park effects). Sexson is going to strike out a lot this year. Reed continues to show that he is ready to be on the big club. Bobby has the proper attitude for a starter - "knock me off this hill if you can!". Jeff Nelson appears to be healthy - the slider was really moving last night.

So it's Radke and Moyer on Monday. Let's get it started.