Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sometimes Lighting A Fire Is A Good Thing

So we hear that Mike Hargrove lit a fire under his player's asses after the series opening loss in Baltimore. Good. About time.

We also hear that Jeremy Reed is frustrated because he is not hitting. Join the club Jeremy. Perhaps the performance by a certain Port Orchard native today will signal a change in the starting CF soon. I'm just saying.

I liked the way King Felix held on and made the pitches he needed to make today. Obviously not one of his best appearances - he will have better. Beltre absolutely smoked that ball today - hopefully this signals good things for him. Johjima-san really needs to concentrate when he is throwing. It was clear today that his rushed throws are wild.

Back To Reality

Just when the Mariners start making me think that they are coming around and ready to play good ball, they turn in a performance like the one in Baltimore last night that makes me think they are headed for another 90+ loss season. Jose Lopez continues to impress, and Beltre and Ichiro! both had a couple of hits - but overall that was a pretty weak performance.


Edit: King Felix today!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Series Win - Always A Good Thing

A series win is always a good thing in my book. Especially when it comes unexpectedly. The old adage about good pitching beating good hitting was certainly true in this series. Although there are many areas of concern, there are some very good reasons to remain optimistic:

  1. King Felix
  2. Jarrod Washburn!
  3. The Bullpen (less Guardado)
  4. Jose Lopez
I could go on, but you get the idea. This team is still capable of attaining respectability this season. If the big guns get on track, look out.

More words of wisdom from the inimitable Dr. Detecto.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Win Some - Lose Some

I was in a really good mood Tuesday morning. The Mariners were coming off an exciting, extra-inning win, the sun was out, all was right with the world. And Jose Lopez had really smoked a home run to the deepest part of the yard. The good feelings lasted all day - until about the 3rd inning Tuesday evening. All bets were off after that.

The White Sox are the defending World Champs. They have an awesome team. The Mariners do not. It's that simple.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Not So Rhetorical

John McGrath of the TNT asks the not-so rhetorical question "Does anyone have the wits to fix the hitless Mariners?

So Nageotte goes back down and perhaps Bobby Livingston is on his way to Seattle - at least that's what The Times says. Sweet.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Prognostication

You know, the most difficult thing about predicting the future is getting it right. I felt, prior to the season, that the Mariners would have their biggest problem with pitching. As things have turned out, the pitchers have been pretty much okay. The offense has turned out to be the biggest problem - and certainly one that not many were predicting prior to the 1st of April. Youneverknow.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Washburn's Good Game

For all the gloom and doom that was prevalent when the Marines signed Jarrod Washburn, the reality has turned out to be much less severe. In fact, Washburn had an excellent outing last night. Never mind the fact that his offense didn't get the job done - he pitched a good game. Taken together with Pineiro's recent good performance, I'm not quite as down on the pitching staff this morning.

This "aggressive" baserunning has really got to stop. Two mistakes last night that may have cost the team some runs. There's a difference between "aggressive" and "thoughtful" - I don't think there has been a lot of thought given to the running game so far. Let's hope the coaching staff corrects this issue soon.

Edit: Here's a bit of optimism from none other than Dr. Detecto!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Is His Arm Ready To Fall Off?

It's probably time to ask the question - is Eddie Guardado's left arm ready to fall off? There was a lot of discussion at the time of his decision to forgo surgery that his arm would be a ticking timebomb - just waiting to explode. Is the time here?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Now That's Baseball!

Speaking purely from the fan's perspective, that was one hell of a baseball game last night at Safeco Field. It had everything you could possibly want from a baseball game - and then a little bit more. It had heroes and villians, ups and downs, ins and outs, twists and turns - and ultimately, winners and losers.

Nice game Ichiro! - that's what we need from you every day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Koronka?

Once again the Mariners made a journeyman (and not even sure if Koronka qualifies as a journeyman) pitcher look good. Of course Felix grooving a couple of pitches for Phil Nevin and Brad Wilkerson didn't help the cause either. The good news was, unlike last year, the team didn't quit after going down 4-0 in the second. They continued to battle - which may bode well for the summer. Jake Woods sucks (at least he did last night).

Ichiro! - what happened to you? Hitting .177, you should be ashamed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Win Some - Lose Some

Talk about an emotional roller coaster at Fenway Park yesterday. Even though the Mariners ended up 1-3 for the series in Boston, it could easily have been 3-1. All the games were close - and winnable if the breaks had gone the other way.

Continuing the mostly optimistic tone of this entry, check out Dave's latest contribution over at USS Mariner.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spitting Seeds

So I've been meaning to mention Jim Thomsen's column in the Kitsap Sun called Spitting Seeds. Today's piece concerns the USS Mariner get-together with GM Bill Bavasi before the regular season started. It's a good read - check it out.

Another close game at Fenway Park today. Unfortunately, the M's came out on the losing end. I'm really deeply conflicted about Beltre right now - his hitting sucks but his glove is awesome.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A W By Any Other Name

Yet another ode to the unpredictable game known as baseball. A win at Fenway Park is always good - but considering how Joel Pineiro tried to let Boston have this one - then took it away from them made it especially nice. Putz and Guardado closed it out without too much unnecessary excitement. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Although Beltre went hitless again, it was interesting to note that he was actually smiling during his first at bat today. Perhaps 'tis better to laugh than cry.

So Close

The Mariners ended up playing the Red Sox very well last night - and ended up with a chance to win the game. Which is pretty much the opposite of what most folks were expecting. Once again the unpredictable nature of this game asserts itself.

So how long do you stick with Beltre and Everett if you are the manager?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Unpredictable Series Win

Once again the unpredictability of our National Pastime has delighted me with an unexpected series win in Cleveland. The offensive onslaught continues today in Boston.

Felix has demonstrated that he has some work to do - yet even when he's not brilliant he's able to keep the other team from running away - allowing his team a chance to come back and win.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Felix Day!

It's Felix Day. Long Live The King!

Return Of The Hitters

Nice offensive outburst by the Mariners last night in Cleveland. I don't know what Eric Wedge was thinking when he walked Ibanez to get to Sexson, but I'm thrilled that Richie clearly demonstrated why it was a bad idea. In general, my theory is never give a player who used to play for your organization a chance to beat you (think back to the M's and Tino). Anyway, nice to see almost all the hitters have a good night.

Jeff posed a couple of questions over at Lookout Landing - I will pose one additional question - How long do you stick with Carl Everett?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On The Road Again

The roadtrip starts with a loss. On a positive note, the offense continued to battle back - last year's squad would have folded much earlier. Of note, Roberto Petagine comes off the bench and delivers a double (2-2). How much longer will Mike Hargrove allow Petagine to rot on the bench?

Edit: From the P.I. - "To make room for Lawton, the Mariners designated catcher Guillermo Quiroz for assignment. They also optioned right-hander Jeff Harris to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled catcher Rene Rivera from Tacoma."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where Fore Art Thou Petagine?

I think that I will ask this question until Mike Hargrove provides a satisfactory answer - why has Roberto Petagine had only 2 PA's so far? And in those 2 PA's, he has a home run and a walk. As a manager trying to win ballgames, would you leave such a potent weapon sitting on your bench? Would you try to expand your thought horizons and find a way to get this potent weapon into the lineup? Can you believe how many rhetorical questions have been added to this post?

I certainly don't mean to suggest that Roberto Petagine is THE ANSWER to what ails the Mariners, but I do think that he could play a major role in getting the offense turned around.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Los(s)t Weekend

There are no two ways about it - it was tough being a Mariner fan over this last weekend. After a promising opening series win against the Angels, the A's came to town and had their way with the hometown nine (pretty much). Although there are lots of good things about this team, there are some pretty significant bad ones as well. And with a road trip to Cleveland and Boston coming up, I'm not feeling particularly good about the team at this juncture.

So what happened to Adrian Beltre - he of the 4 home runs during the WBC? Carl Everett has not resembled a "left hand sock". Pitching has been a real mixed bag (well I guess we were expecting that anyway). So I liked the team a lot better when they were 3-1 rather than now when they are 3-4. Let's see what happens on the road.

Edit: Here's an interesting piece from the P.I. today that discusses the hitting woes of a certain third baseman that may be of interest.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Unpredictable

I suppose one of the things that I love most about baseball is its unpredictability. Whenever I feel like I have a good handle on what is about to happen in a game, the result veers wildly and something completely different actually happens. Which is exactly what went on at Safeco Field last night.

King Felix was obviously not in complete command, although his line was not particularly bad. It was clear that he didn't have the type of control that has been so devastating until now. Julio Mateo had a disappointing appearance as well - perhaps his absence during ST accounts for that. Sherrill and Harris looked good - although it was too late by then because the hitters never did figure out Joe Blanton.

Just as it has happened many times over the last several years, the M's hitters made a journeyman pitcher look like a legitimate Cy Young candidate.

So what will happen tonight when Jamie Moyer faces off against Barry Zito? Ah, that's the beauty of this game - it's so unpredictable!

Friday, April 07, 2006

3-1 - Who Would Have Thought?

Another good game from the hometown nine last night. And against their arch-rivals, the Oakland A's no less. Although we are still pretty early in the season, I think the M's are going to end up playing much better ball than many of the naysayers were willing to allow prior to the start of the regular season.

I think the most significant change so far is the resurgence of the offense. The last two years have been very difficult to watch - primarily because the team was just not able to score many runs. This year, it appears that the bats are not going to disappoint.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Revenge Of The Jarrod

Much to my delight this afternoon, Jarrod Washburn pitched a good game and beat his former team. The M's win the first series of the year - I'm feeling more and more optimistic.

Joh-san And Richie

Although the bullpen made last night's game much more exciting than it really needed to be, the best part of the game for me was watching the home runs that came off the bats of Johjima-san and Richie Sexson. I think it's important for our right handed hitters to pull the ball for home runs at Safeco - just a reminder to the opposition that we have people capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark to left field.

If you are not already doing so on a regular basis, please check out Lookout Landing for Jeff's awesome Win Expectancy charts. Best in the M's blogosphere.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oh Those Bases On Balls!

As Mr. Niehaus pointed out on the radio broadcast from Safeco Field today, those bases on balls spoiled what would have been a game winning home run from Roberto Petagine. Nice to see Peta come off the bench and take one out - a harbinger of good things to come.

Not a bad game, although it would have been nice to open the campaign with a W. Johjima-san probably convinced anybody who wasn't sure about him today - he's for real. The late innings did have a bit of deja-vu feel to them - George and J.J. struggled.

Opening Day

Opening Day is here at last! I did follow the Sox/Indians game last night (even through the looooong rain delay), but nothing compares to Opening Day when your team is playing. Go M's!

Of note, my fantasy team on Baseball Challenge did okay last night (thanks Jim Thome!). My friend Barclay and I have been doing Baseball Challenge (and any other free fantasy baseball that we can find) for the last 5 or 6 years now. It's another rite of Spring.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

25 Man Roster Set - Play Ball!

With the selection of Jake Woods and Jeff Harris to round out the 25 man roster, the Mariners are ready to begin the 2006 campaign. With most pundits picking the team to finish last again in the AL West, I must say that I am a little more optimistic. Although I don't think this club has a chance to win the division, I think they will win enough games to finish second. Let's go M's!