Thursday, June 30, 2005

Games 75 and 76 - Not Even The Dog Days Yet

They always say that the Baseball season is more like a marathon than a sprint. It's a long season, designed to test the mettle of a club. It certainly tests the mettle of fans, and bloggers in particular. It is becoming increasingly difficult to write anything about this team that doesn't start with "Wow, they really sucked last night.". In fact, it's becoming increasingly difficult to write anything about the Mariners right now.

In the search for good news, that HR that Beltre delivered last night was nice. I'm hoping that he has finally made whatever adjustments he needed to make - and that we are about to see what made him so special last year.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Games 73 and 74 - No Joy

Two more games added to the loss column.

Jeremy Reed rocks.

Props to Batflip the Terrible. Good game today. Good hitting and an awesome feed on the DP.

On to Oakland. Could be the start of a long week.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Game 72 - Slugfest In Socal

The offense returned with a vengeance last night in San Diego. I had my doubts prior to the game. The Mariners have made lots of guys like Darrell May look like legitimate Cy Young candidates. Not only did they jump on May, but every other pitcher that Bruce Bochy ran out there. An excellent performance (yes, even Batflip the Terrible did good).

Gil Meche was lucky that the offense decided to show up last night. He was shaky, even with a big lead. This start points out his inconsistency. It's an issue that needs to be resolved if Gil is going to be a part of the team's long term plans. Julio Mateo, on the other hand, showed exactly why he figures to be a part of the team's long term plans.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Game 71 - So Much To Say

But almost none of it is about the game. I actually didn't see or hear the game - too busy at work to follow it. After reading the post game reports, I'm glad that I didn't. My only comment concerning the game - Batflip the Terrible was 0 for 3.

Does it irritate you when fans talking on cellphones wave and mug for the camera whenever they get in the shot? Especially the ones around home plate that are shown every time a batter steps in? This sort of thing has been around for a long time - remember Rollen Stewart, The Rainbow Man? I just wish these folks could see themselves. Yikes.

On to San Diego. The Mariners have actually been quite good in Interleague play this season - let's hope that trend continutes this weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 70 - At Last

So the Mariners finally win an extra inning game. Nice performance overall, although the offense still missed several good scoring chances.

Looks like WFB has found his groove as a late-inning pinch runner.

Villone's reflexes are amazing. Still not sure how he got his glove up in time to avoid decapitation.

Fitting that Sexson delivered the game winner.

Batflip the Terrible was 1-4. I'll be convinced when his BA is .290.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Game 69 - GIDP

So good job by Grover for inserting WFB last night to run for Beltre. Too bad it ended in the Double Play. I hope Sexson gets this out of his system soon.

The offense struggled again last night. With the exception of the bottom of the 2nd, the offense did not execute - again.

Pocket Lint presents us with this little gem this morning. Ugh.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Game 68 - The One That Got Away

Too bad the bullpen let last night's game get away. Another good effort by Aaron Sele - another good effort by the defense - too bad. In particular, the duo of Morse and Lopez threw a lot of leather at the A's. And Jeremy Reed made several outstanding plays in CF. These guys are definitely the future of the ball club.

I was dismayed to read Pocket Lint's piece on the Batflip the Terrible reclamation project that is currently underway. He reports that Hargrove is determined to see Batflip return to the lineup. I'm okay with that as long as he is producing. But if he is hurting the team (which he has all season) then he needs to seek opportunities elsewhere - Lopez is perfectly capable of playing 2B for the club.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Game 67 - First Sweep!

In a weekend that brought the first Mariner win over Pedro Martinez, we are also treated to the first sweep of the season!

Could this offensive resurgence have anything to do with the benching of Batflip the Terrible?

Speaking of old, broken down players, did you notice Mike Piazza this weekend? He can't run - can't throw - and can't even get around on the junk that Shiggy was tossing up there this afternoon.

Game 66 - Finally!

The Mariners finally managed a win against Pedro Martinez. It was certainly one of the more enjoyable games I've seen all season. Perhaps the ejections in the bottom of the 1st had something to do with it. Or perhaps the substitute second baseman. In any event, it was very nice to see the convergence of good hitting and good pitching - especially when Ryan Franklin was the beneficiary.

Did you believe the play that David Wright made? Man, I wish the Mariners could have found a way to get this guy - he is awesome!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Game 65 - The Power Of Ichiro!

After Ichiro! delivered the 3 run HR, Jamie Moyer coasted to a nice win. Even Jeff Nelson looked okay as he came in to mop up. Mike Morse continues to impress.

So it appears that Batflip the Terrible is headed to the bench for a while. Nice to see Jose Lopez again - let's hope he goes on a tear and forces the club to do something permanent with regard to Batflip.

Nice to see Cammy again.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Felix Hurt

In what cannot be anything but bad news, Pocket Lint is reporting that Felix Hernandez is hurt. Here's the link. Let's hope this is nothing serious - but hey, it's the Mariners. Cripes!

Game 64 - Chances

Baseball is a game of inches. It's also true that baseball is a game of chances. Or perhaps opportunities. The Mariners certainly had quite a few chances to win the final game with the Phillies last night - greatest among them being the bottom of the ninth. But it's another series win.

Mike Morse looks like the real deal. Pocket Lint figures that Morse may make Reese a redundancy in the notebook section in today's Times. He may very well be correct.

Batflip the Terrible is really starting to get on my nerves. He is downright painful to watch anymore. His struggles at the plate are bad enough, but his alarming lack of range is something that the club can not afford to ignore anymore.

Edit: I suspect that will be the last time that Jeremy Reed makes a lackadaisical throw back to the infield. Lofton, even though getting on in years, is still one of the most dangerous base runners in MLB.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Game 63 - Wow!

Another W for the hometown nine - and another series win. Would it be too much to ask for the sweep?

So props to Mike Morse for his first ML dinger. And props to Aaron Sele, the pride of Poulsbo, WA for another excellent outing.

Now if only Pat Borders could manage to throw out a few runners....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Game 62 - 1,000 Reasons

Okay, the consistently inconsistent Seattle Mariners actually spun a pretty good game at Safeco Field yesterday evening. And congratulations to Ichiro! for reaching the 1,000 hit plateau.

Let's have a quick look at the particulars for Batflip the Terrible last night - GIDP, stranded 5, caught stealing.

Nice job by Gil Meche. It was certainly not a stellar performance, but a W is a W. And nice to see Eddie close the deal with flair. An enjoyable game.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Game 61 - How Much Worse Can It Get?

Try as I might, I just can't find anything good to say about yesterday's game - or the series in D.C. for that matter. The Mariners did not look good.

So perhaps the question becomes quite simple now - can the club contend this year or not? The actions that the F.O. needs to take will depend heavily on the answer to this simple question. Either way - change is coming.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Game 60 - Can The Bullpen Throw A Strike?

So what's up with the bullpen? Aside from Eddie, they are not looking so hot as a group lately. Another perfectly winnable game that slipped away.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Game 59 - Coyote Ugly

Not a bad game until the 8th inning - but oh, that 8th inning. The Hasegawa Effect, which had not been seen for quite some time, returned with a vengeance this evening. Then Matt Thornton was unable to throw a strike, and the ballgame was over. Go get 'em tomorrow.

Edit: Not to lay this all on the pitchers - Ichiro! misplayed a ball that perhaps could have helped end that 8th inning several runs earlier.

Game 58 - Relentless March

Well, okay, that may be overstating the case a bit. But another series win has me thinking that perhaps there is hope left for the hometown nine. Sele certainly did turn in another excellent performance. And the hitters finally managed a barrage of 2 out hits - just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Game 57 - Should Have...

Although it went down as an L, the Mariners had plenty of chances to win in Miami yesterday. Let's hope that they make a better showing today.

It's been a while since I ran one of these Rob Neyer ripoffs - but have a look:

Player A .324    .434    .634    1.068
Player B .328 .373 .639 1.012
Player C .239 .357 .505 .862
Player D .242 .277 .359 .635
Player E .320 .412 .586 .998

Players A and B look pretty good, do they not? Of course that's A-Rod and Miguel Tejada. The next two you may recognize as the number 3 and 4 hitters for your Seattle Mariners. I threw player E in after his performance last night - that's right - it's Carlos Delgado. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Game 56 - Snatched From The Jaws Of Defeat

Thankfully Jeff Nelson didn't give away this game (although it appeared that he was *really* trying). Eddie was a bit shaky, but managed to close it out without too much trouble. This was the game that the Mariners needed in order to avoid the sweep.

Jeremy Reed continues to impress.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Lookout Landing Plug

If you aren't reading Lookout Landing daily, you should be. Jeff and Devin write really excellent material covering both the Major and Minor League clubs. Today, Jeff has an awesome piece concerning, among other things, yesterday's game and the precipitous performance decline of a certain second baseman. And Jeff has also created the ultimate nickname for this certain second baseman - Batflip the Terrible - which I shall henceforth use whenever discussing this certain second baseman.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Games 54 and 55 - How About Them Apples?

By all rights, the Devil Rays should probably have swept the series in Seattle this weekend. As it turned out, they only won 1 game and the Mariners had another series win when all the dust had settled. Game 54 turned on 2 plays in the top of the 9th. The so-called double play, followed by Eddie's remarkable catch of that line drive. Game 55 contained more come-from-behind magic from the hometown nine. Richie Sexson redeemed himself by delivering the game winner. But as long as the club continues to win series, I will be relatively happy (just not sure how long they can maintain the smoke and mirrors required to do this).

Miguel Olivo had a HR for the Rainiers down in Portland today. Perhaps he will get his offense back - we certainly do need his arm back here in Seattle. I just don't see Pat Borders as a long term solution - the D-Rays really didn't show him any respect and ran at will when he was behind the plate.

On to Florida and D.C.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Game 53 - A Visit To The Safe

My wife and I were in attendance last night at Safeco Field while the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won their fourth road game of the season. It was indeed (to paraphrase Mr. Niehaus) a wonderful night out for baseball. It was neither too warm nor too cold - a perfect Seattle evening. As always, I enjoyed being in the confines of Safeco Field - the most beautiful ballpark in baseball (I think I've been listening to *way* too much Rick Rizzs). We had hot dogs and garlic fries - yeah!

As for the game, it was a typical example of the mediocrity that is Mariner Baseball this year. The offense didn't show up - the starting pitching was okay until *The Mistake* - and the defense was adequate.

The D-Rays certainly exploited the not-so-hot throwing arm of the Ancient Mariner last night and ran at will. I felt sorry for Pat - but it also reinforces the point that he doesn't have any business being an everyday catcher at the ML level anymore. The D-Rays only misadventure on the basepaths happened when they tried to run on Ichiro! - bad move. It was amazing to see how fast that ball got to third base. Speaking of Ichiro!:

Ichiro! at the plate

And props to Mike Morse on his first ML hit!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Games 50, 51, and 52 - A New Hope

Another series win. The last three games have covered the spectrum of baseball goodness (or lack thereof) that is the 2005 Seattle Mariners.

Sexson's home run in Game 50 was impressive. When he hits one, it stays hit.

I'm really getting fed up with Bret Boone. He looks old, tired, and broken down. And that throw on the relay last night - puhleeze!!!

Sorry to see Miguel Olivo get demoted, but the club can't afford to carry people that can't hit (cough*Greg Dobbs*cough).

So the Mike Morse experiment begins - not looking too bad so far. He's got an arm - but can he hit?