Saturday, July 17, 2004

Tonight's Mariner lineup includes first base.

Should be interesting as Melvin's posted one of his best lineups in quite awhile.

Update: Well, that worked out well. Way to go Bucky!
The Minor League Wrap-Ups will return when either A) I get off pain medication, or B) Devin is able to log in to Blogger.
Medication is preventing me from writing a normal post tonight, so I'll limit what I have to say to just a few sentences:
That was quite possibly the most fun loss we've had all year.
Bucky played in his first ML game, destroyed a ball that went a foot or two foul, and reached base three times. George Sherrill flashed some good stuff and control (although he had worse results). And, of course, Justin Leone went 2-4 with a double and another second-deck homer to the same place as he hit one the night before. We could realistically be looking at having Olivo, Leone, Jacobsen, Lopez, and even Reed in the lineup before too long. It may not always work out as well as it did tonight, but that's an offense that I'll actually look forward to seeing.
No, I'm not worried about Blackley. He's had a long layoff, and he was clearly pitching against a red-hot offense. He'll be fine, and anyone who gives up on him after a handful of starts is jumping the gun.
Justin Leone's SLG - .789 - would be third on the team in OPS.
Franklin against Sabathia tomorrow, at 7:05. Pay attention to CC, as he was the one leading the charge onto the field in the ninth inning after Mateo beaned Merloni. We could have some extracurricular activity tomorrow night.

Friday, July 16, 2004

First things first: the official website needs to hire some fact checkers. Earlier today,
CJ Bowles said that John Lindsey is 24, when he's really 27. Now Jim Street has Justin Leone as a 28 year old, rather than 27. Sure, in the grand scheme of things this stuff isn't very important, but as long as the author thinks these details are worth publishing, shouldn't they be correct?
This was a particularly satisfying day - I wasn't expecting Bucky and Sherrill to join the team, Leone to homer, and Pineiro to pitch a gem all at the same time. I haven't felt this much excitement all summer long, and one got the same feeling from the crowd tonight - the 33,000 or so fans in attendance sounded like an enthusiastic bunch, which wasn't expected given that the team was on the heels of a nine-game losing streak. Maybe Bucky has much more drawing power than we thought. Maybe it was just the thrill of having a home game for the first time in two weeks. Or maybe it was a fluke. Regardless of the circumstances, there was a fairly boisterous crowd at the game, and they were rewarded with a terrific game.

(Sorry for the upcoming lack of bullet points, but I'm having some trouble with Blogger's new system...)
At this point, there is no doubt in my mind that Justin Leone's biggest problem is an overconservative approach at the plate. In his first two at bats, he watched a handful of pitches over the middle of the plate go by, cornering him into a two-strike count (he struck out each time). In his third AB, Leone offered at a first-pitch fastball and drilled it 437 feet into the left field upper deck. There's no telling what kind of damage he could do at the Major League level if he ever learns to recognize a good pitch to hit. Fortunately,
Molitor has made the same observation:  

"He has to learn the fine line between patience and aggressiveness and the first couple of at-bats (strikeouts) he had some good pitches and couldn't pull the trigger...But in his third at-bat, he was aggressive. He has been working to hit the ball up the middle and reacting in and tonight that's exactly what happened."

If there's anyone on the roster on whom Molitor could have a significant impact, it's Leone. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on his at bats over the rest of the year, looking for a more aggressive approach.
Miguel Olivo had some pretty bad AB's, himself. In each of his first two opportunities, he flailed at 55-foot breaking balls with 0-2 and 2-2 counts (respectively), striking out both times. My first impression was that this is a guy who isn't real good at protecting the plate; a cursory glance at his career splits reveals that Olivo is a .176 hitter when he's got two strikes, suggesting that he bails out more often than trying to work the at bat into something productive. He's also hit .333 when going after the first pitch (small sample size alert), so Miguel might be one of those guys for whom working the count just doesn't work. Given where he is right now, he and Molitor need to get together and work on pitch recognition, because Olivo isn't likely to see very many breaking balls in the zone over the rest of the year. If he can learn to take those pitches in the dirt and sit on fastballs, he'll be the best offensive catcher we've ever had.
Is it fair to bring back the Official Raul Ibanez Watch? That .800+ OPS has been sticking out like a sore thumb on this roster, but it may not last much longer.
Unrelated to the game, but something that I just came across:
Edgar's thinking about going somewhere else for the stretch run.
"I feel I've always been a Mariner and I'll always be a Mariner," he said. "I have to ask myself if I want to experiment by going to another team...At this point I don't have an answer."
I like the idea of Edgar driving in the winning run for some team in the World Series, but I've never thought of him in anyone else's uniform until just recently. And I don't like it. It would be a real shame to see him go somewhere else, and that's just about all I think needs to be said.
Time for a quick Joel Pineiro peripheral comparison:

Stat 2003 2004
ERA 3.78 4.47
H 21.6% 24.2%
BB 8.2% 7.0%
K 17.0% 18.2%
HR 2.1% 3.3%

Rather than calculating the numbers in an "x/9" form, I elected to show the frequency with which each event occurs as a function of total batters faced.
The good news? Fewer unintentional walks and more strikeouts. The bad news? More hits and more homers. Which has been the bigger reason behind Joel's ERA rise: a 25-point bump in BABIP (nice going, defense), or a 57% increase in home runs allowed?
Pineiro is allowing 1.83 runs per homer this year, up from 1.47 in 2003. This is likely due to A) coincidence, and B) pitching more often with men on base, thanks (mostly) to the defense. Pineiro's ERA is thus partially inflated due more to misfortune more than anything else. Keep this in mind.
Joel's allowed 18 home runs in 129 innings this year - 1.26 homers/9, up from last year's 0.81. Now for some simple calcuations:
2004: (1.26 HR/9) * (1.83 runs/HR) = 2.31 runs/9 via home runs
2003: (0.81 HR/9) * (1.47 runs/HR) = 1.19 runs/9 via home runs
Pineiro is allowing 1.12 more runs via the longball in 2004 than he did in 2003, a significant amount. Were he allowing home runs at last year's rate - with as many runs per homer as in 2003, as well - his ERA would be 3.42. Were he allowing home runs at this year's rate, with last year's average runs per homer, his ERA would be 3.98. Were he allowing home runs at last year's rate, with this year's average runs per homer, his ERA would be 3.70.
Conclusion: Joel's been hurt more by the home runs he's allowed than by the defense behind him. Even with the amount of times he's pitching with men on base this year, his ERA would be lower than it was in 2003 if he were allowing longballs at last year's rate. Which isn't to say that the defense hasn't had a significant impact; with a better group of glovemen, Joel's ERA would be hovering around 4.00.
    Blackley goes against Cliff "I'm White?" Lee tomorrow at 7:05 PT. A surgical procedure may keep me from posting for a few days (we'll have to see how I'm feeling), but I'm sure that Trent and Devin will be able to pick up the slack if need be.

    Thursday, July 15, 2004

    Minor League Wrap-Up:

    The International League beat the Pacific Coast League in the AAA All-Star game, 4-3. With George Sherill and Bucky Jacobsen being called up to Seattle today, both were absent from today's game. However, Scott Atchison wasn't absent and he's probably regretting showing up. For most of his appearance he was dominate, sitting down five batters in a row. All Atchison had to do was retire Andy Phillips and the game would have ended in a Bud Selig-like tie. Unfortunately for Atchison, he hung one and Phillips made him pay for it driving it to deep left-center. IL wins 4-3, shut off the lights.

    Atchison and Tacoma will get back to work tomorrow against Fresno.

    San Antonio pelted Round Rock, 7-4. Fifteen hits behind a relatively solid Juan Done start (if you ignore the fact that he gave up THREE bombs) and the Missions came out victorious. Five San Antonio batters had multi-hit games as Shin-soo Choo and Hunter Brown collected three a piece. Notables:

    Juan Done: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 3 HR.
    Dustin Delucchi: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB.
    Hunter Brown: 3-4, 1 RBI.
    Shin-soo Choo: 3-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI.
    Ryan Christianson: 2-4, 1 double.
    Michael Morse: 2-4, 2 RBI.
    T.J. Bohn: 2-4, 2 RBI.

    Lake Elsinore got by Inland Empire, 5-3. Bobby Livingston wasn't as sharp as we have seen him this season as he went six innings giving up five runs on seven hits while only striking out one batter. The 66'er offense was again pretty bland with Gary Harris stealing the show with his game leadoff homer. Interesting lineup for Inland Empire this evening. Notables:

    Bobby Livingston: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.
    Gary Harris: 1-4, 1 homer.
    Juan Gonzalez: 0-3.
    Jesus Guzman: 1-3.
    Jon Nelson: 2-4, 1 RBI.
    Josh Ellison: 1-4.
    Brian Lentz: 1-4, 1 double.
    Michael Garciaparra: 0-3. (Currently hitting .138/.202/.184 with five errors in 26 games. That's production!)

    Cedar Rapids beat Wisconsin, 5-1. Michael Moorhead was a bit battered for his six innings of work giving up four runs on eight hits. The Rattler offense couldn't come to the rescue as they decided to suck instead. Notables:

    Michael Moorhead: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
    Josh Womack: 0-2, 2 BB.
    Nick Orlandos: 1-4.
    Adam Jones: 0-4.
    Bryan LaHair: 0-4.
    Eric Blakeley: 3-4, 2 doubles.
    Wladimir Balentien: 0-3.
    Justin Ruchti: 0-3.

    Everett held on to beat Yakima, 6-5. Like every other M's minor league pitcher this evening, Aaron Jensen really wasn't too sharp. Not to worry, the Aquasox employ Asdrubal Cabrera who's timely and powerful hitting bailed Jensen and reliever Cibney Bello out. Notables:

    Aaron Jensen: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.
    Oswaldo Navarro: 0-3.
    Asdrubal Cabrera: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R.
    Miguel Olivo: 0-4, 2 K.
    Mike Wilson: 2-4, 1 double.
    Casey Craig: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
    Regarding the Olerud DFA, Jeff mentioned that this would give him a chance to latch on with someone like Boston and have a shot at the postseason this year.

    I find this to be pretty hypocritical from Olerud's side. He wouldn't approve a trade to San Francisco yet would have no qualm about signing across the country? The reason I say this is because it's an almost certainty that Bavasi would have been able to work something out with Epstein to get Olerud in Boston, the only reason this didn't happen is because Olerud threatened to hex it.
    To make room for Bucky, John Olerud has been DFA'd.

    The Mariners apparently couldn't find a trade partner, so they elected to grant Olerud his walking papers. Olerud owns the second-best OBP on the team, but he hasn't been driving in runs and wouldn't be a member of the next competitive Mariners team, anyway. Thus, he's been given the opportunity to get picked up by a contender (Boston?) for the stretch run while Jacobsen and Leone look to get plenty of playing time in the second half.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    The International League won the AAA All-Star game this evening in Pawtucket, 4-3 (10) thanks to an Andy Phillips homer off of Tacoma's own Scott Atchison. Tough break.

    Full AAA AS game box and cap coming this evening with the MLWU.
    Quote Bucky:

    "I've made it a point the past few years - since I've kind of grown up a little bit - to not compare myself to other guys," Jacobsen said. "I don't compare myself to Leone or Bocachica or Santiago. There are not very many people that have the gifts that I've been blessed with; and all those people that I just mentioned, they have gifts that I wasn't blessed with. I've just got to kind of wait my turn."

    Welcome to the show, Bucky.

    This is turning out to be a good summer after all.
    Welcome to Seattle, George Sherill.

    Mystery man Gil Meche wasn't called up, furthering the idea that something else is going on. Hey, he could have just gone to the rumored wedding, but it still boggles me why he left in the middle of a game, suited up. We'll find out soon enough.

    Also, can anyone say "Ron Villone" and "starter" in the same sentence?

    Edit: Bucky has been called up as well, via U.S.S. Mariner.
    Man, I hate the idea of "unearned runs". Tonight's first inning (if you watched) presented the perfect example of why ERA isn't as useful as the more simple RA (Runs Average). With two outs and the AL up 3-0, Jeff Kent made an error on a groundball that allowed Jason Giambi to reach base. Following a Jeter single, Alfonso Soriano homered to double the deficit. While it's true that, had Kent made the play, Soriano wouldn't have homered and thus the three runs wouldn't have crossed the plate, why should the pitcher get off scot-free if he goes on to make things worse? What if a pitcher suddenly comes unraveled after a two-out error and allowed six or seven more runs in the inning? Shouldn't he be held responsible for the majority of the damage?

    The All Star Game remains a tedious, insignificant exhibition ("But this time it counts!" they say. "Tell that to Ken Harvey," says I). Amazingly, today's game was completed in a brisk 2:59, leaving plenty of time to salvage the evening by performing more rewarding tasks like knitting or collecting stationery. Worse comes to worse, you can spend the time amending the current Tim McCarver Drinking Game, which goes as follows:

    • Watch game until McCarver says something eminently disagreeable

    • Drink until you can no longer understand the words coming out of his mouth

    • Continue drinking until all auditory function is lost and McCarver is rendered as a muted, talking head on the screen

    The original version included a condition under which you must keep drinking until McCarver's arguments sound rational and well thought-out, but this was scrapped after seven players died of overinebriation.

    Can we get some real games, please?
    Minor League Wrap-Up:

    No PCL action, Tacoma resumes play on Thursday at Fresno.

    San Antonio won a game started last night against Midland, 5-3 (11) Apparently, the lights at the stadium in Midland were not functioning correctly and instead of waiting around, officials decided to delay the game until this morning. Rich Dorman was alright as he went 5+ innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out ten. Ryan Christianson had three hits and four other Missions also had multi-hit evenings. Notables:

    Rich Dorman: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 10 K.
    Dustin Delucchi: 1-6.
    Shin-soo Choo: 1-3, 2 BB.
    Michael Morse: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
    Ryan Christianson: 3-5, 1 double.
    T.J. Bohn: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI.

    Midland blanked San Antonio in today's scheduled game, 7-0. Not a good day for Chris Buglovsky who was roughed up by the Midland offense pretty bad. The Mission bats generated only six hits but managed to draw eight free passes - still 14 baserunners = 0 runs. Notables:

    Chris Buglovsky: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
    Dustin Delucchi: 1-5.
    Hunter Brown: 3-3, 1 BB.
    Shin-soo Choo: 0-3, 2 BB.
    Michael Morse: 0-5.
    Ryan Christianson: 1-4.
    T.J. Bohn: 0-3, 1 BB.
    Luis Oliveros: 1-4.

    Lake Elsinore beat up on Inland Empire, 9-3. T.A. Fulmer was lousy in what has been a pretty crummy season for him thus far. The 66'er offense wasn't a whole lot better as they collected only one extra-base hit on the night and the 6-9 hitters were beyond horrible (0-15, 5 K). A bit of good news, Michael Garciaparra was beaned. Notables:

    T.A. Fulmer: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.
    Juan Gonzalez: 1-4.
    Jesus Guzman: 1-3, 1 BB.
    Rene Rivera: 0-3.
    Carlos Arroyo: 3-4, 1 RBI.
    Michael Garciaparra: 0-3. (Now taking wagers on when he will be out of the organization)

    No Midwest League action, Wisconsin will host Cedar Rapids tomorrow night.

    Yakima beat Everett, 5-1. Shawn Nottingham wasn't too shabby in his six innings of work, and not that it matters, but Mumba (Rivera) was pegged in his apperance. Pretty weak Aquasox offensive attack with only seven baserunners all evening. Miguel Olivo started his rehab stint. Notables:

    Shawn Nottingham: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.
    Oswaldo Navarro: 0-4.
    Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-3.
    Miguel Olivo: 0-2.
    Elvis Cruz: 0-3.
    Casey Craig: 1-3, 1 R.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Miguel Olivo is expected to take Matt Thornton's spot on the 25 man roster after the break. The M's still have not listed who will be filling out the rotation once play resumes on Thursday, causing more conspiracy theories on his abrupt departure from Tacoma a few days ago and current unknown whereabouts. Because there have been so many stories about what is going on, I thought it was only fair to allow our readers to have the opportunity to create their own Meche conspiracy theory in what I like to call Meche Libs.

    Prior to Saturday's game, Gil received ________________ to ________________ so that he could ________________. Meche cleaned out his locker because ________________ and will arrive in beautiful ________________ on Thursday, which is why he took his things out of his locker.

    There, now you to can create your very own Meche conspiracy theory.

    It is expected that Olivo will take Thornton spot on the 25 man roster when he is activated on Thursday, increasing the speculation on who will take over as the fifth starter. Odds are that Meche is attending the wedding back east, and will return to the big club on Thursday, taking the place of Pat Borders, who is almost assured to be DFA'd soon after Olivo is activated. However, there have also been some speculation that the M's may have several trades in the works that could be finalized as early as Wednesday. Even some of the normally tight lipped front office staff has indicated that a "significant" move will be made after the break, (but who knows what their idea of a significant move is).

    Bret Boone's wife should have given birth to the couples twins today or early tomorrow morning, as they decided to induce labor over the ASB. Congratulations on the new additions Boonie.

    And by the way, Lance Berkman can hit. Period.

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    Minor League Wrap-Up:

    No PCL action.

    The San Antonio-Midland game has been suspended in the top of the 9th with the teams tied at 3-3. Why? I don't know yet. Edit: The game has now disappeared from Minor League Baseball's July 12 schedule. I don't know what's going on.

    Inland Empire edged Lake Elsinore, 2-1. Another nice start for Juan Sandoval who went seven and gave up only one run on four hits. Erick Monzon and Jesus Guzman led the 66'er offense with two hits apiece. Notables:

    Juan Sandoval: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
    Juan Gonzalez: 0-4.
    Jesus Guzman: 2-3, 1 double.
    Rene Rivera: 1-4.
    Josh Ellison: 0-3, 2 K.
    Erick Monzon: 2-3, 1 double.

    No Midwest League action.

    No Northwest League action.
    Bucky Jacobsen won tonight's AAA Homerun Derby beating Justin Morneau 8-3 in the final after blasting 11 homers in the first round. For his achievements Jacobsen received a trophy, a watch and some plane tickets to anywhere in the U.S. Cool, I guess. MLWU to follow shortly.
    Oh, and yeah, Felix Hernandez looked awesome today. Shin-soo Choo, not so much, but Felix? Lights out.

    ...that makes three consecutive sweeps. Sound bad? Well, we aren't out of the woods yet, with Cleveland, Boston, Oakland, and Anaheim due up for the first 18 games of the second half. Combined, those four teams are playing .532 ball (184-162), which would be the toughest schedule in the Majors over a full season. But does winning really matter, at this point?

    Today's game didn't feature much out of the ordinary. Randy Winn went 3-4 with a double, a homer, and a steal, as he continues to play like a man possessed. Ichiro added another two singles from the leadoff spot. The rest of the lineup sucked. Perhaps most importantly, Moyer finished the first half with a performance reflective of his entire first half: a decent game, despite allowing a bunch of home runs. Is his gopher-proneness a fluke, or the result of some sort of related performance flaw? Let's examine a chart that compares his best years with Seattle to his current 2004 campaign:

    Season ’01-‘03 2004
    ERA 3.34 4.26
    HR/9 0.98 2.01
    K/9 5.42 5.71
    BB/9 2.05 2.49
    K/BB 2.65 2.29
    H/9 8.02 8.44
    GB/FB 0.86 0.91

    Aside from the doubled home run rate, nothing really stands out. It doesn't look like a problem of leaving the ball up; hitters aren't hitting flyballs any more often than they have in Moyer's good years. It doesn't look like a problem with fooling the hitters, since Moyer's strikeouts are up. It doesn't look like a problem with hittability, since - given our defense in 2004 - Moyer isn't really allowing many more hits than you'd expect. One could suggest that he's having trouble hitting his spots, as evidenced by his higher walk rate, but then how do you account for the K/9 increase? Perhaps Moyer is "effectively wild" this year, but this is a tenuous hypothesis at best.

    What's more is that Moyer is on pace to allow the fewest doubles/triples of his career, despite a significant dropoff in outfield defense this year. Let's take a quick look at a few related metrics:

    Extra-base hits per IP:
    '01-'03: 0.28
    2004: 0.33

    Percent of hits going for extra bases:
    '01-'03: 31%
    2004: 35%

    There might be something here. Moyer's walk rate points to a little worse command than usual, while hitters are turning some of their doubles into home runs. Correlation is not causation, but this is the best I can come up with. A difference of a quarter-inch in pitch location can turn a pop-up into a 420-foot blast to dead center, so it's possible that Moyer's trouble with command have allowed a few more pitches to cross over the middle of the plate, resulting in long homers. It's been suggested that umpires aren't giving Jamie pitches off the plate as much this year, which - while particularly subjective - could explain the problem. By being forced to pitch to the zone, Moyer's middling repertoire is being exposed.

    Now then, rather than slapping together a long Midseason In Review post, I'll list each position and state, with a brief explanation, whether they've been better, worse, or just as good as we expected at the start of the year. Beginning with:

    Catcher. Worse. Batting .227/.272/.299 as a collective. We knew Wilson wouldn't hit, but Davis was supposed to pick up some of the slack. Instead, Pat Borders has somehow received 54 opportunities to show that he's still a miserable player. Hopefully Olivo can turn this around in the second half.
    First Base. Worse. It wasn't supposed to come to this. Olerud shouldn't have lost his bat speed that quickly. It's gotten to the point at which Jolbert Cabrera seems like a decent alternative, despite the fact that Olerud still has the third-best OBP among regulars on the team.
    Second Base. Worse. This offense badly needed Bret Boone to contribute if it had any reasonable hopes of scoring runs on a consistent basis. Instead, he's fallen apart in his mid-30s just as many of his predecessors have, and now we need to unload him before his $9m 2005 option vests with his 450th plate appearance.
    Shortstop. Worse. Oh God.
    Third Base. Worse, although it depends who you ask. There were two camps before the year started; those who thought Spiezio was doomed to go the way of Jeff Cirillo, and those who thought he was due for a solid (even breakout) year. I don't think anyone was looking for a .300 OBP, though.
    Left Field. Better. A lot of this has to do with Winn playing some LF during his hot streak when Bocachica covered center, but Raul Ibanez's early-season power came as a shock to many, myself included. Whether or not this continues is another story, but left field has been one of the few success stories for this team.
    Center Field. Worse. Randy Winn has done the bulk of his damage playing elsewhere, as he's put up a paltry .720 OPS while playing in center. Bocachica and the short-but-sweet Quinton McCracken experience didn't help very much. And none of them can play the position, to boot.
    Right Field. About the same. Ichiro hasn't been hitting for as much power as we've seen in the past, but he's compensating by getting on base more often, and he's still running well while playing terrific defense.
    Designated Hitter. Worse. Edgar's bat slowed overnight, to the point at which he's become quite strikeout-prone. This is perhaps the most depressing story of the year.
    Bench. Better. Hansen has been the best hitter on the team when he's gotten the chance to play, and Cabrera - while making a bunch of outs - has been exponentially more valuable than Wee Willie Bloomquist, who has been used sparingly since filling in for Spiezio early in the year.
    Starting Rotation. Worse. Ryan Franklin is doing what everyone expected him to do, but Moyer's become homer-prone, Pineiro's still trying to find a groove, Meche/Thornton/Nageotte/Blackley have had many more ups than downs, and we traded away our best pitcher. This isn't going to be a pretty situation in the second half, either.
    Bullpen. Worse. Only two guys have sub-4 ERA's - Guardado and Villone - and disastrous performances by Hasegawa and Jarvis have worsened what was already a bad situation when Soriano got hurt. While Myers and Villone aren't particularly solid pitchers, they've been two of our best relievers, and they'll be on the move pretty soon. Look out.

    Really, this whole mess is only part Bill Bavasi's fault, but that'll be saved for a longer post at some other time. Fun Fact: Freddy Garcia has a 4.79 ERA with Chicago in three starts. Thanks, Ken!

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Shingo Takatsu bears an eerie resemblance to Sam Rockwell.
    Everyone thinking that Jacobsen or Sherill might see Borders' spot on the 25-man could be wrong.

    J over at Mariner Minors and the Tacoma News Tribune are both reporting that Gil Meche was seen shaking Dan Rohn's hand during last night's game and then departing Cheney Stadium during the game.

    Meche could very well be back in Seattle soon.
    Minor League Wrap-Up:

    Fresno shut out Tacoma, 8-0. Clint Nageotte continued his suck-streak by not being real sharp tonight as he was smacked around for seven hits and four runs in six innings while striking out eight. Greg Dobbs had two hits this evening in addition to something completely foreign to him on the AAA level; a walk. Yes, Greg Dobbs finally took a base on balls bringing his walk ratio to a cool 82.0. Way to go, Greg, we look forward to at-bat number 164. Notables:

    Clint Nageotte: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.
    A.J. Zapp: 0-4.
    Bucky Jacobsen: 0-4.
    Greg Dobbs: 2-3, 1 BB.
    Greg Jacobs: 1-2.
    Francisco Gerez (who?): 0-4.

    By the way, all six hits were singles. Yikes.

    San Antonio outgunned Midland, 7-4. Phil Devey wasn't nearly as impressive as his last couple starts as he only went five and got pelted for four runs on seven hits. John Lindsey was the offensive hero this evening smashing four hits, two doubles, a homer and a couple RBI. Josh Ellison and Ryan Christianson also had multi-hit games. Notables:

    Phil Devey: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
    Dustin Delucchi: 0-4.
    John Lindsey: 4-5, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R.
    Ryan Christianson: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
    Michael Morse: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
    T.J. Bohn: 1-4, 1 double.
    Josh Ellison: 2-4, 1 RBI.

    Lancaster beat Inland Empire, 4-1. Tanner Watson, while not real impressive, wasn't as bad as he's been as he went six innings giving up eight hits and four runs. The 66'er offense took the night off and hung out with the Tacoma offense as they managed only four hits, all singles. Whoopee. Notables:

    Tanner Watson: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.
    Juan Gonzalez: 0-3.
    Jesus Guzman: 0-4.
    Rene Rivera: 0-2, 2 BB.
    Michael Garciaparra: 1-4, 1 RBI.

    Wisconsin destroyed Cedar Rapids, 16-2. Nobody will notice that Nibaldo Acosta threw a gem, but he did. The real story was the nine run second inning in which there was a grand slam, a three-run shot, two Kernel errors and several more hits. Looked like a lot of fun. If anyone gets the game ball it's Michael Cox who hit the grand slam and nailed another run scoring single. Notables:

    Nibaldo Acosta: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
    Nick Orlandos: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R.
    Adam Jones: 1-6.
    Bryan LaHair: 1-3, 2 BB, 3 R.
    Chris Collins: 2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
    Michael Cox: 2-5, 1 GS, 5 RBI.
    Wladimir Balentien: 2-4, 1 RBI.
    Justin Ruchti: 2-5, 2 doubles.

    Everett blew it open late to beat Tri City, 9-5. Like Wisconsin, a majority of the damage came in one particular inning. For the Aquasox, it was the seventh where a handful of runs came thanks to a couple errors, a balk and some timely hitting. Good night for Mark Lowe who I believe was on a pitch count as he only went four innings. Notables:

    Mark Lowe: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
    Yung-Chi Chen: 2-5.
    Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-4, 1 2B, 4 RBI.
    Brandon Green: 1-4, 1 triple.
    Robert Johnson: 0-4.
    Casey Craig: 2-4, 1 RBI.