Ichiro! certainly made a statement today.
Also nice to see Mike Morse pull a ball for a home run.
The clock is ticking...
The Mariners have been stinking it up so bad that I can smell them in Silverdale.
Some interesting (and downright baffling) moves in the last couple of days. First of all, best wishes to Pat Borders. He's always been a favorite player of mine, but it's clearly time for him to hang it up. I hope the M's can hire him as a coach - he's got a lot to offer in that regard. The Lopez for Betancourt swap is still puzzling. But maybe not - Lopez gets everyday playing time at AAA to improve his approach at the plate. Betancourt gets time in the show to prove that he is the real deal. Morse has shown that he belongs in the show - so perhaps Betancourt becomes the starter at second. Don't know.
Will Aaron Sele be the next DFA?
I hope Jeremy Reed does not make running into the wall a habit. Super effort - but it's also important to protect the body a bit. Wow.
Trading Deadline approaches. Will it pass with a whimper, or a bang?
As the team reaches the century mark this season, it seems fitting to say a few words about Richie Sexson. My general trepidation at his signing has been replaced by a very happy feeling every time he launches one - especially like the one that went into the upper tank in left last night. The guy is awesome - and healthy - which are the 2 big concerns that I had (along with almost everybody else in the blogosphere). He's certainly proved that he is healthy - and he can really hit the ball a ton.
Props to Jamie Moyer for throwing an excellent game last night.
What was Craig Monroe thinking? Was he thinking at all? You can't miss a ball like that at the Big League level.
For those of you who don't get to see games on Fox Sports NW, they were running a contest last night to see how many balls were used in the game (76, I think). It was overplayed by the commentators (what a surprise) - and I think Grover got a little irritated when asked for his guess on the pregame. He said something about really not caring - way to go Mike!
Nice game on Monday. Sexson and Beltre. Man.
Nice game yesterday, until the bullpen gave it up. That pitchout when the squeeze was on was awesome.
I'm once again having a very difficult time saying anything positive about the Mariners. So I won't. They stink.
Edit: In Pocket Lint's article today in the Times, he mentions "Rafael Belliard" as delivering the sacrifice fly that tied the game yesterday. Perhaps someone should remind Bob that Ronnie Belliard is the player on the Cleveland squad. Sheesh - does anybody proofread his work?
Lots of things to like in tonight's game in Cleveland. Sexson finishes the double play by keeping the tag on Belliard as he comes off the base. Snelling draws the walk - and Ichiro! pounds the game winner. Putz hitting 98mph and putting some hitters away. Guardado not too sharp - yet good enough to finish. Not a bad effort.
Quite a game in Toronto yesterday. It had plenty of ups and downs - and for the most part was enjoyable to watch. What was not so enjoyable was seeing Aaron Sele have one of his "not so good" outings. It was also not good to see The Hasegawa Effect once again. If only Matt Thornton could throw strikes. And Scott Spiezio - could a batter look any more lost than him? Snelling really scalded that ball that went for a double. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully Hansen will stay on the DL indefinitely - it's a good feeling having Snelling up with the big club.
A split with the Orioles. Nothing wrong with that. Luckily for us fans, the craptastic Mariners didn't show up on Saturday and Sunday. Instead, the Good Mariners showed up and outplayed the Baltimores in all respects. Good starting pitching, timely hitting, defense - it was all there. Two nice games.
So the sample size is still quite small, but for me anyway, Mike Morse is the guy that I want to see at the plate in the "close and late" situation.
Sorry to see that Chris Snelling is headed back to Tacoma. He didn't really get much of a chance to show Grover anything - but I suspect he will be back.
Congrats to Raffy for achieving his 3,000th hit.
Another game that the Mariners should have won but for lack of timely hitting and effective starting pitching.
Ichiro! needs to create havoc on the basepaths a lot more often. His tear in the home half of the 7th was a perfect example of how he can take control of a game. As Hendu pointed out on the telecast, it was reminiscent of Rickey Henderson in his heyday.
Apparently Bobby Madritsch got some good news from the latest MRI. Hope to see him back before the end of the season.
Another W in the loss column. Lack of timely hitting and an ineffective starting pitcher sealed the M's fate in this one.
I'm with Jeff over at Lookout Landing, what the hell was Hargrove thinking when he sent Sandfrog up to pinch hit when he had Snelling sitting on the bench? It boggles the mind.
Hey, I'm happy for Raffy too - I mean, guys don't reach the 2,999 hit plateau every day. But to boo your own pitcher for walking the guy - that's a bit over the top (IMHO). Let's enjoy his historic accomplishment - but let's also remember why our team is out there on the field in the first place.
It's hard for me to believe that I've been doing this blog for a year already. Seems like a couple of weeks ago - but tempus fugit. It's nice to mark these anniversaries with a sense of renewed hope. And I suppose that's one of the things that keeps me watching baseball - the new beginnings each Spring - the ups and downs of the long season - the ultimate satisfaction or disappointment when the season comes to a close - and the promise of better things to come again in the Spring.
I'm looking forward to another year of blogging the Mariners. Let the second half begin!
A sweep. In Anaheim. Unreal.
Looking back at the first half, I think it's fair to say that the Mariners have been a major disappointment. The club looked awesome down in Peoria in February. I was hopeful that they would come out and play good ball. Instead, they mostly stunk it up for the majority of the first 2 months.
I've talked about the team's inconsistency - this is their defining trait. It's impossible to predict which team will show up on any given day. I hope that the trade of Batflip the Terrible is the beginning of a change for this club. If they continue to play as well as they did in Anaheim over last weekend, then the second half could be a lot more interesting than the first.
I'm looking forward to seeing Chris Snelling play a lot more. I must admit that WFB has been a solid player coming off the bench - perhaps he should stick around for a while. I'm afraid that Miguel Olivo is done - he'll never hit a breaking ball with authority. Why is everybody on Randy Winn's case? I don't think the team should re-sign him, but he is making some valuable contributions with glove and bat. Beltre appears to have found his groove. The pitching staff has been quite good lately - hopefully we will see Bobby and Rafael return soon.
Glad the first half is over. Let's get on with the second half.
Edit: .462 .517 .692 1.210 - Know who owns this batting line? Over the last 7 days, encompassing 26 AB's - it's none other than WFB. How about them apples?
2 more in the W column. A series win (and potential sweep) at the expense of the division leader. Excellent starting pitching. Timely hitting. Great defense. Relievers who come into the game and get batters out. I'm impressed.
Of course, the maddening aspect to this recent good run by the Mariners is that once again, they are consistently inconsistent. After looking like a bunch of scrubs in Kansas City, they show up in Anaheim playing lights out baseball.
I'll have the broom out this afternoon, just in case.
Hey, it's not often that the Mariners actually overwhelm an opponent - I'm enjoying every minute of this!!
Bartolo Colon reminds me of Chico Marx.
Adrian Beltre has finally found his groove. I think the second half is going to be fun with him in the lineup.
Too many walks. Too many runners left in scoring position. You can't win ballgames with a performance like that - and the Mariners certainly did not.
Nice to see Snelling actually get into the game this evening.
Why does Grover insist on sending Sandfrog up to the plate in the 9th?
On to Anaheim.
I'll leave you to ponder that deep question.
As for the game yesterday, I'm happy to say that I was able to enjoy a Mariner win while barbecuing and celebrating Independence Day. Any win is a good win at this stage. I was going to ask a rhetorical question about Franklin's pitching abilities, but why bother? Let's go get 'em today!
While at the Clearwater Casino Sunday evening, there was quite a bit of discussion about the departure of one Bret Boone. I overheard quite a few people say something to the effect of "Boone got a raw deal." So if you were the employer, and you had an employee who had been mailing it in for the past 2 years, what would you do?
A nice W today.
Props to Willie Bloomquist today - both in CF and on the basepaths.
Best wishes to Bret Boone in his future endeavors. He provided this fan with lots of excitement during the 2001 season. But it's clearly time for him to go. The club responded to his departure with a crisply played baseball game today.
And welcome back Chris Snelling. We've missed you.
The Mariners returned to Seattle after a lousy roadtrip and continued the lousiness through the first two games of the homestand. No chance of a winning homestand - as this stop is a brief one. It does appear that we may be in for another long week as they hit the road and continue stinking it up.
I do want to make one positive comment regarding Adrian Beltre. Although it's based on a fairly small sample size, it would appear that Beltre is finally beginning to find his groove at the plate. Good news in an otherwise bleak situation.
Not much can be said about yesterday's game in Oakland. The Mariners did not make a very good effort - and as a result, they found themselves swept. The club is not much fun to watch right now - and even more difficult to write about. If change is indeed in the air, then I welcome it with open arms.