Saturday, July 24, 2004

Go Sox!
``It was a misunderstanding there,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``That was a pitch he was just trying to pitch him in.''
``Boonie had gone into the mound to let the pitcher know about the possibility of Figgie stealing third,'' Scioscia said, referring to Chone Figgins. ``I think Vlad thought he was going in there telling him he had to pitch this guy in. That's the way Vlad took it.''
``Everybody on the field didn't know what was going on,'' Anaheim's Tim Salmon said. ``I think we all kind of asked, `What happened? He's talking to Boonie, not the pitcher. It was pretty bizarre.''
``I'm like, 'You pointing at me?''' Boone said. ``Why would somebody be pointing at me. Stupid. Something so naive. I mean it's ridiculous. Everyone on either team understood.''
``He was standing on top of the plate,'' Madritsch said. ``I barely missed the spot. I was surprised.''
I'm normally a pretty calm, laid-back fan. When I'm writing about baseball or discussing it with some friends, I can get pretty intense and anlytical, but when watching a game, my foremost desire is to be entertained. Yeah, I get excited by diving stops and walk-off homers, but that's the case with any fan - baseball has always been a source of positive energy. So it takes a lot for something to get under my skin. Hiram Bocachica getting caught napping off third base for the final out of a game was pretty bad, but Vladimir Guerrero's actions tonight made me particularly irate.

Let me set the scene for those of you who weren't able to watch the game. With the score 5-2, Bobby Madritsch entered the game in the seventh and allowed a leadoff double to Chone Figgins. This brought Bret Boone to the mound to have a meeting with Madritsch, apparently regarding Figgins' speed and the possibility of him taking off for third. But then, with an 0-1 count, Guerrero gets hit in the wrist by a Madritsch fastball and falls to the ground in pain. Concluding that this was all Boone's idea, Guerrero had some choice adult words to say to the second baseman, shouting, pointing, and eventually emptying the dugouts and bullpens. Nothing came of it, as both Boone and Guerrero were effectively restrained by players and umpires alike, but the mood was set. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth in an 8-2 game, Matt Hensley hit Justin Leone in the back with a fastball. Look out.

Every fans' initial reaction when one of their players gets hit is that the pitch was intentional. It's the same way with batters. Beanballs are, by nature, almost always well off the plate, to the point at which a pitcher would have to make a conscious effort to miss the strike zone by so much.

However, this was not the case tonight. Guerrero was crowding the plate, with his hands resting dangerously close to the zone. Madritsch threw a fastball that missed the plate by one or two inches, and Guerrero began his motion before checking his swing at the last second and getting drilled in the wrist. Ordinarily it should be a pretty good indication that a beanball wasn't intentional when you thought about swinging at it, but this thought evidently never crossed Guerrero's mind. The minute he was back on his feet he was shouting at Madritsch and pointing at Boone, drawing everyone out of their respective dugouts. Credit the umpires for holding Boone back when Guerrero first started pointing, but it was first base coach Alfredo Griffin who defused the crisis and calmed down both parties. Guerrero removed himself from the game following the conflict.

After the game, Bret Boone said that he took offense to the pointing, and that everyone but Guerrero knew what had happened. Even Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted that his right fielder didn't understand the situation, that Madritsch threw an inside pitch to put Olivo in good position to make a throw to third base had Figgins took off. In some ways, Anaheim knowing that Madritsch didn't have sinister intentions puts an end to the built-up hostility, because they don't feel violated. Still, though, when Leone got hit in the ninth, the ball was put back in Seattle's court, and they may choose to carry this over to the next game and retaliate in a way that gets everyone's blood boiling once more. Melvin's as calm a manager as you're going to find, but he realizes that this is a team with nothing to lose and lots to gain. Emptying the dugouts again tomorrow and having it out with the Angels could be the energy kick the Mariners have been lacking for so long, and it would certainly give the fans something to look out for, since we still have 13 games against each other over the final two months of the season. It may not be the wisest decision, but sometimes it is necessary to release your frustrations before they become overwhelming and incapacitating.

Of course, if tomorrow's game features a little extra-curricular activity, it may not have even been intentional; Ron Villone's already drilled ten batters this year, and you know that Anaheim won't like it too much if a fastball gets away from him and catches Eckstein in the cleat, no matter how inadvertent the pitch.  You'll want to pay attention to tomorrow's game, because there's a slight chance that you'll see Bucky involved in a bench-clearing brawl, and these kinds of things are normally restricted to Pay-Per-View.
The turning point in this one came in the bottom of the sixth. With Anaheim leading 5-1, Edgar drove in Bret Boone with a ground-rule double, and the Mariners wound up loading the bases with one out, trailing by three. Melvin pinch-hit Dave Hansen for Dan Wilson in an attempt to counter Scot Shields entering the game, but Hansen hit the ball sharply to Adam Kennedy, who began the 4-6-3 double play. Inning over, still 5-2 Angels. People were quick to criticize Melvin for putting Hansen into the game, and they have a point - Hansen was just 6-for-31 as a pinch-hitter on the year, and 34-for-180 since 2001 - but he was the best choice, given the situation. You can't let Wilson hit for himself, on account of Dan sucks. You can't bring in Olivo, because he's an out machine against righties. Same deal with Wee Willie (replace "righties" with "pitchers"). That leaves you with Bucky as the only other non-Hansen option on the bench. He's done a good job since being promoted, but he's been sitting on fastballs and hasn't shown the ability to do much with breaking pitches. Shields is a sinker-slider guy, and you'd really like to get the ball in play in this AB, with the struggling Leone on deck. So Melvin went with Hansen, who's hit very well this year without striking out very often. He hit the ball on the screws, too, just into the ground, and that was that. Don't you Bucky fans worry, though, because once Hansen's traded, Jacobsen will slide right into the PH role on days he's not starting.
Bobby Madritsch is showing us exactly what Matt Thornton displayed a few weeks ago - good stuff and plus velocity, but little idea where it's going. The problem isn't as serious for Bobby as it is with Matt - for the most part, Madritsch is able to hit the zone with his fastball - but neither of them flashed the ability to control their offspeed stuff very well, and you won't keep hitters honest if they can lay off the curves and changeups and sit on your fastball. Madritsch has a terrific attitude and has shown tremendous dedication in making it this far, though, which you can't ignore when discussing a player of his ability. He'll have the rest of the season to work with Price on spotting his other pitches, and as was the case tonight, Melvin won't hesitate to use him for more than an inning at a time. I've got higher hopes for Madristch than I do for Thornton, and I think you'll see him buckle down before too long and force Melvin to consider putting him in the rotation before all is said and done.
Jamie Moyer: still homer-prone. Who knew? It's bad enough that his ERA is beginning to climb again, but I've got some worse news for you:
ERA: 4.46
DERA: 5.94
Moyer has been helped tremendously by his defense, to the tune of a .243 BABIP (tied for third in the majors). 61% of the home runs he's allowed have been solo shots - more or less around the league average - but if not for the guys in the field, that percentage would be higher, and Moyer would have allowed more runs as a result. My trusty DIPS spreadsheet reveals that Moyer's defense has saved him 21 baserunners and an unbelievable 17 earned runs already this season, the difference between being a marginal innings eater and one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball. Now, we know that Moyer's proneness to home runs is a significant concern, but this points out just how important it is - with a league-average defense behind him, Jamie's ERA would be approaching six. This really makes you reconsider whether or not he's really worth bringing back for $7.5m in 2005. Bavasi needs to ask Moyer about waiving his 10/5 rights, and then explore the market to see if anyone's willing to take him on. There will be better pitchers available for less money this winter, and keeping players around for veteran leadership and sentimental reasons isn't a very good way to build a competitive ballclub.
Villone/Sele tomorrow, at 7:05. Keep your eyes open for the fireworks.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Unable to find a trade partner, the Mariners released John Olerud today.

Pat Borders also accepted an assignment to Tacoma.

We now have room for one player on the 40man roster - that spot will likely go to Jose Lopez within the next week or two.
No time for a post tonight.
With a 7-through-9 of Spiezio/Wilson/Bloomquist, it's probably better this way.
Moyer vs. Lackey tomorrow at 7:05, as the Mariners take on the juggernaut Angels, who are on pace for a spectacular 85 wins.
Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma trampled Portland, 9-3.
Clint Nageotte was much better tonight than he was in his last start as he went six innings surrendering six hits and three runs while striking out four. A.J. Zapp homered and Jeremy Reed and Greg Jacobs both picked up two RBI to lead the Rainier offense. Notables:

Clint Nageotte: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Jamal Strong: 3-4, 1 BB, 2 R.
Jeremy Reed: 1-4, 2 RBI.
Jose Lopez: 1-5, 1 double.
A.J. Zapp: 2-5, 1 homer.
Greg Dobbs: 1-5, 1 double.
Greg Jacobs: 3-3, 2 RBI.

Arkansas blanked San Antonio, 7-0. The Mission offense was absolutely no match for Arkansas' Willie Collazo. Rich Dorman wasn't special on the mound, but he wasn't spectacularly horrid either, with some run support he could have gotten a W. Notables:

Rich Dorman: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 2 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 0-4.
Shin-soo Choo: 1-4.
Michael Morse: 1-4.
T.J. Bohn: 0-4.
Luis Oliveros: 0-3.

Inland Empire handled Lake Elsinore, 8-5. Ryan Rowland-Smith was solid as he went seven innings giving up three runs on four hits while striking out twelve. The 66'er offense benefited from a six-run seventh. Notables:

Ryan Rowland-Smith: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 1 HR.
Juan Gonzalez: 2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI.
Jesus Guzman: 0-4.
Josh Ellison: 1-4.
Rene Rivera: 1-4.
Michael Garciaparra: 0-3.

Burlington beat Wisconsin, 5-1. Not a bad night for Nibaldo Acosta but the Rattler offense just didn't feel like producing anything to back him up. Nick Orlandos and Justin Ruchti doubles were the only highlights from the plate as Burlington pitchers combined to strikeout sixteen baffled Rattler hitters. Notables:

Nibaldo Acosta: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Nick Orlandos: 1-4, 1 double.
Adam Jones: 0-4, 3 K.
Bryan LaHair: 2-4.
Wladimir Balentien: 1-3.
Justin Ruchti: 1-3, 1 double.

Everett edged Eugene, 3-2.
Ruben Flores was excellent in his six innings of work as every Aquasox hitter collected a hit (but still had trouble getting men across the plate). Notables:

Ruben Flores: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.
Yung-Chi Chen: 3-5, 2 RBI.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-5.
Brandon Green: 2-4, 1 double.
Omar Falcon: 1-4.
Casey Craig: 1-4.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Courtesy of Shawn, in a Sports and B's comment:

Has anyone noticed Kevin Youkilis hitting .297/.401/.461 for the Red Sox?
David at USS Mariner has an excellent synopsis of what we can expect as we near the trade deadline.
Remember when you were a child and you touched something hot and you got burned? Did you touch it again? Someone might want to explain the concept to O'Dowd, who is not only repeatedly touching the stove, he is also pouring salt on the wound.
Excitement has returned to the ballclub, and it's bringing the enthusiastic fans out in droves. The team's hit ten home runs in seven games since the All Star break, and although blowing late leads is still a nasty habit (thanks), for the first time in a while you get the feeling like this is a team that can win the game with one swing of the bat. Earlier in the season, it used to take three hits to push a run across the plate; I couldn't begin to describe what effect a little extra power can have on a fan base growing bored of an offense devoid of extra-base threats. God bless you, Bucky, for proving to the front office that fan-friendliness isn't mutually exclusive with talent.  

On to the little black dots... 

  • Oakland must not have received the advance scouting report on Bucky Jacobsen. After feasting on low fastballs in the Cleveland series, Boston fed him a series of breaking balls and changeups which left him helpless. It looked like the right idea for Macha to leave Justin Duchscherer - a control righty who succeeds by changing speeds - in there to face Bucky in the tenth, but lo and behold, what does he do? He throws a first-pitch fastball belt-high over the plate. Duchscherer isn't going to blow many hitters away with his velocity, and Jacobsen predictably crushed the pitch 683 feet to straightaway center. Game over; the Bucky legend lives on. You can get away with mistake pitches like that against Wee Willie Bloomquist or Jolbert Cabrera, but you can't throw that wheelhouse pitch to a guy who's built like a brick shithouse with the bat speed to match. It will be interesting to see if Mark Redman gives him a steady diet of changeups off the plate tomorrow. For those of you who want the video highlight, go here and click on Plays Of The Game.
  • One of the reasons people cite for wanting to keep Jamie Moyer around is so that his wisdom rubs off on the young arms on the team. That's all well and good, but if anything, Travis Blackley needs to keep his distance from the crafty veteran. Simply put, you can't allow a homer every other inning and expect to have any kind of staying power in the Major Leagues. Blackley's strongest attribute - command - has been lacking, and finesse lefties who can't hit their spots invariably get slapped around like Chuck Finley. Hitters that used to be way out in front of his changeup and curveball in the minors are now staying back, sitting dead red on a 87-mph fastball. Now, location is a function of release point and release point is a function of mechanics, so - in theory - a little bullpen work with Price on the side should be able to get Blackley back to the consistent delivery he used to baffle hitters in the minors. However, despite his positive attitude, Blackley's confidence has to be shot - he's done nothing but dominate hitters throughout his entire career - so he'll need to show more poise than you'd expect from a 21 year old if he wants to finish the year strong. It sounds bad, but when you consider that he's starting for the Mariners at such a young age, things look a lot better.
  • Bobby Madritsch made his ML debut today, tossing a shutout inning and picking up the win. He'll probably be having nightmares about his first pitch, though, a letters-high fastball that Eric Chavez lined off his shoulder and into center field. He got hit hard twice in the inning - by Chavez, for the single, and by Crosby, who was doubled up by Justin Leone - but it was nevertheless the best debut by a Mariners pitcher so far in 2004. Because Madristch only threw nine pitches, he didn't need to show off his entire repertoire, settling for two pitches - a fastball that reached 92 and a 77-mph changeup that missed badly. With Sherrill starting to settle in, another good performance or two from Madritsch will hasten the departures of Ron Villone and Mike Myers, who serve no purpose on this team, and haven't since the second week of the year. Also, kudos to Madritsch for that bitchin' tattoo. Who would've thought the Mariners would be willing to look beyond body art in order to assess talent? Learn something new every day.
  • It wouldn't be a game without a Justin Leone defensive gaffe, right? This one came in the 10th, with a man on and nobody out. Jermaine Dye hit a grounder, and Leone decided to take a few steps backwards, rather than charge the ball. He got the ball into his glove, but then delivered a rushed throw off his back foot to second that pulled Boone off the bag. The guy's in some kind of funk right now (who wouldn't be, after seeing that Zito curveball in your first at bat), but he was all smiles after the game, so hopefully he breaks out of it soon. One of the advantages of having older rookies on the team is that they're more mature than the younger variety, but the nerves and apprehension are the same for everyone, so it will be interesting to see if Leone gets more comfortable at the plate and in the field as he gets more experience with the big league club.

That Edgar bear is creepy looking.

Ryan Franklin against Mark Redman tomorrow at 7:05.

Minor League Wrap-Up:

Portland took out Tacoma, 5-2.
Gustavo Martinez never really found a rhythm in his five innings of work as he allowed four runs on six hits. The Rainier offense didn't have much inspiration either as Jose Lopez led the way with two hits, one of which was a double. Notables:

Gustavo Martinez: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
Jeremy Reed: 0-4.
Jose Lopez: 2-4, 1 double.
Greg Dobbs, 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. (Current line: .299/.303/.421. That's right, folks. One walk in 107 AB. Ridiculous)
Ryan Christianson: 0-3.
A.J. Zapp: 0-3.

Frisco blew out San Antonio, 15-6. Felix Hernandez was rocked (along with just about every other San Antonio pitcher tonight) as he lasted only two-plus innings giving up six hits, six runs while striking out only one. Frisco's Jason Botts was especially hard on the pitching as he went 3-6 with a double, two homers and seven RBI. Every Mission collected a basehit tonight, so no reason to knock to offense. Shin-soo Choo homered in the losing effort. Notables:

Felix Hernandez: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 1-3, 1 BB.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Michael Morse: 2-5, 2 RBI.
T.J. Bohn: 2-4.
Luis Oliveros: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

Lake Elsinore edged Inland Empire, 8-7 (10).
SportsNetwork has Carlos Arroyo starting the game, but that could be a typo as he doesn't have a line and he went 0-5 in the game. Greg Wear, the guy who I believe was supposed to start sucked. Thanks Greg. Still, the 66'er offense hung in there as Jon Nelson homered to lead the charge. And hey, Garciaparra contributed something. Notables:

Greg Wear: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Juan Gonzalez: 0-4.
Jesus Guzman: 0-5.
Jon Nelson: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
Mystery Pitcher Carlos Arroyo: 0-5.
Rene Rivera: 1-4.
Josh Ellison: 1-3, 1 double.
Michael Garciaparra: 2-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI. (He's up to .184/.250/.272! Keep it up, Wilton!)

Wisconsin blew it late to Burlington, 8-7. With Wisconsin up 7-4 going into the 9th, here is how it all unfolded:

Burlington-A Top 9th
- Hrynio, M to p for Castillo, R.
- Springer, K singled.
- Gaffney, M singled; Springer, K advanced to second.
- Barry, J singled, RBI; Gaffney, M advanced to third; Springer, K scored.
- Stitt, B to p for Hrynio, M.
- Groves, B walked; Barry, J advanced to second.
- Sevilla, W flied out to rf, SF, RBI; Barry, J advanced to third; Gaffney, M scored.
- Lubanski, C singled, RBI; Groves, B advanced to third; Barry, J scored.
- Powell, B singled, RBI; Lubanski, C advanced to second; Groves, B scored.
- Powell, B advanced to second on a wild pitch; Lubanski, C advanced to third on a wild pitch.
- Kaaihue, K intentionally walked.
- Gonzalez, L grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; Kaaihue, K out on the play.

I'm sure Josh Mackintosh was real nice to Hrynio in the locker room after the game. Notables:

Josh Mackintosh: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K.
Nick Orlandos: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
Adam Jones: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Bryan LaHair: 2-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI.
Chris Collins: 0-4.
Wladimir Balentien: 2-3, 1 BB.

Eugene bombed Everett, 16-3.
Mark Lowe looked a lot like Derek Lowe this evening as he only lasted three innings. His relief was even worse. Mike Wilson and Elvis Cruz led to Aquasox offense with two hits apiece and Brandon Green had two RBI. Notables:

Mark Lowe: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.
Everett bullpen: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 6 BB, 8 K, 3 HR.
Yung-Chi Chen: 1-4.
Brandon Green: 1-4, 2 RBI.
Mike Wilson: 2-4, 1 double.
Elvis Cruz: 2-3, 1 RBI.
Brian Schweiger: 0-3.

Rich Aurilia went 3-4 with two doubles and a sac fly in his Padres debut today.

Jeff Cirillo added a pinch-hit double.

Buy your lottery tickets.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quote of the year:

"And now with the  count full, Bucky Jacobsen can take off over at first base."
Before we get anymore "Buntin' Bob" remarks, it looked like Olivo was trying to reach base with that one, rather than sacrificing.
Bobby Madritsch has been promoted, and Hiram Bocachica has been DFA'd. Madritsch will be available tonight.
Take it for what it's worth, but Rotoworld and Minnesota radio are reporting that we turned down an offer of Michael Restovich for Dan Wilson.

The Times says " pry away Wilson...the Twins will have to give considerably more than their rumored offer of Mike Restovich, a little-used outfielder with good career minor-league numbers."

You be the judge
Portland hammered Tacoma, 10-0. Gil Meche was tagged for six hits and six runs in five innings in what was another wretched start to an already dismal season. Speaking of dismal, how about that Rainier offense that had only six baserunners all night. Notables:

Gil Meche: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Jeremy Reed: 0-4.
A.J. Zapp: 0-3, 3 K.
Jose Lopez: 1-3.
Greg Dobbs: 0-3.
Greg Jacobs: 1-3.

Frisco blanked San Antonio, 5-0. Phil Devey was somewhat effective in his five innings of work, but it didn't matter as the Mission offense was worse than Tacoma's. And, really, that's saying a lot. Notables:

Phil Devey: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 1-4.
Shin-soo Choo: 1-4.
Michael Morse: 0-4.
T.J. Bohn: 0-3.
Luis Oliveros: 0-3.

Inland Empire beat Lake Elsinore, 11-5.
Not a supremely superb showing for Bobby Livingston who only went five innings but did however pick up with win. The 66'er offense was excellent tonight as five players had mulit-hit nights and everyone but Rene Rivera collected at least one hit. Notables:

Bobby Livingston: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Juan Gonzalez: 3-5, 1 RBI.
Jesus Guzman: 1-2, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI.
Carlos Arroyo: 3-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
Josh Ellison: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Rene Rivera: 0-4, 1 BB.
Michael Garciaparra: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI.

Burlington piled it on late to beat Wisconsin, 8-2.
Thomas Oldham struck out nine in what was a favorable seven innings work. The Rattler batters couldn't support him however, joining Tacoma and San Antonio tonight in the "offensive futility" catagory. Notables:

Thomas Oldham: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.
Josh Womack: 0-4.
Nick Orlandos: 2-4.
Adam Jones: 0-3.
Bryan LaHair: 1-2, 2 BB, 1 RBI.
Chris Colton: 0-4.
Justin Ruchti: 1-4.

Everett slammed Eugene, 10-4.
Not an impressive start for Kendall Bergdall who went five and gave up four runs on seven hits. The Aquasox offense was on fire, though, with four players (Chen, Cabrera, Heid and Cruz) managing two hits a piece. Notables:

Kendall Bergdall: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
Casy Craig: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI.
Yung-Chi Chen: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 2-5, 1 HR.
Trevor Heid: 2-4, 1 BB.
Elvis Cruz: 2-4.
Omar Falcon: 0-4, 3 K.
An early afternoon start time didn't suit me too well, as I missed the majority of the game while I was at work. Nevertheless, I returned home in time to see the M's make things interesting again near the end of the game. I'll say this: even though we're still losing games thanks to a flawed brand of baseball, the product on the field is considerably more entertaining than what we threw out there in the first half of the year, which makes me do things like rush home to check the box score for the first time in months.
Is there a tougher combo in baseball than David Ortiz/Manny Ramirez? Baseball Prospectus doesn't seem to think so; although Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez have been terrific, Boston's duo has been even better, with a combined .336 EqA that would rank second in the AL. As such, it's not surprising that Pineiro had a rough outing. Of course, you really can't afford to put guys like Doug Mirabelli and Dave McCarty on base when you already have to deal with Ortiz/Ramirez/Garciaparra/Damon/Garciaparra (ye gods, does it ever stop?), and the Sox predictably made Joel pay for his mistakes. If anything, the only way to keep the Boston offense relatively quiet is by throwing strikes and hoping for the best; Joel's control was erratic all day, and handing free bases to the lesser guys in that lineup isn't a time-tested recipe for success.
The good news is that Sherrill came in and did a good job, allowing just a walk to Manny and a double to Mirabelli in 2.1 innings of work. The walk was the first of his young ML career - against five strikeouts - and the multi-inning appearance gives Melvin another alternative to the Shigetoshi Hasegawa Experience. Sherrill mixes speeds well, flashing a low-90s fastball to go with a breaking ball that barely touches the 70s with a strong wind, and there hasn't been any indication that he isn't prepared to pitch in the Majors. He'd better be, because a good second half will be the difference between Sherrill becoming the team's first lefty in 2005 and watching the front office hand a multi-year deal to Chris Hammond.
Miguel Olivo is starting to hit, fresh off a 3-for-4 day in which he doubled twice and drew a walk. He's now 6-for-17 as a Mariner with two doubles, a triple, and a homer. Does anyone remember the last time Dan Wilson had a stretch like this? Yeah, me neither. Olivo provides a legitimate power threat from the lower part of the order, and is already arguably  the best hitter on the team. With Michael Morse, Jeremy Reed, and Olivo all hitting right now, the Garcia trade looks even better than it did when it first went down. Bucky isn't the only reason to be optimistic, folks.
Ichiro's four stolen bases are a career-best. His previous high was three, achieved three times: 5/10/02, 6/15/03, and 6/29/03.
An anagram of "Travis Blackley" is "veritably lacks". Hmmm...
As it turns out, Wee Willie Bloomquist is finally starting to deliver on that whole "I really am a pretty fast baserunner. Seriously" thing. He's 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts this year, flashing the speed that helped him steal 98 bases in three and a half minor league seasons. He's apparently trying to shed the image of Charles Gipson, the speedy, supposedly-versatile-yet-essentially-worthless role player of yore who would enter the game to pinch-run for Edgar in the eighth inning, never to steal and advancing to second on an opposite-field single. Already a better hitter than Hiram Bocachica (albeit by the slimmest of margins), Wee Willie seems to be adding another weapon to his arsenal, that of becoming a legitimate threat on the basepaths. When you've got a battle between two slap-hitting utility men who can play most positions without embarrassing themselves, even a miniscule gain by one of the guys can be enough to push him over the top. While I'm sick and tired of seeing Bloomquist on the roster, he can do everything that Bocachica does - along with a little extra, just for kicks. If you've got a moldy old loaf of white bread in the fridge that you're tired of looking at, do you throw it out and replace it with an older, slightly-more-moldy loaf of whole-wheat? No, you get rid of the bad loaf and go buy a fresh new one.* There's no sense in demanding change if the requested alternative is worse than the original.
*-Of course, were this Bill Bavasi's refrigerator, neither moldy loaf would be tossed, and each would be used for sandwiches that Bill takes to the office every weekday.
Travis Blackley goes up against his Best-Case Scenario tomorrow at 7:05. This is in stark contrast to the time he faced off against his Worst-Case Scenario.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Minor League Wrap-Up:

Portland came back to beat Tacoma, 8-5.
A walk-off Tagg Bozied grandslam (obviously learned from Bret Boone) sealed Tacoma's fate tonight as Cha Sueng Baek wasn't strong anyway giving up four hits, three runs and three walks in 3.1 IP. Mickey Lopez had a pair of RBI and Jamal Strong homered to lead the Rainiers. Notables:

Jamal Strong: 3-5, 1 HR, 4 R, 1 RBI.
Mickey Lopez: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
Jeremy Reed: 1-3, 1 3B, 2 BB, 1 RBI.
A.J. Zapp: 1-5, 1 double.
Ryan Christianson: 1-5.
Greg Dobbs: 0-4, 2 K.

Frisco edged San Antonio, 3-2. Juan Done was wild yet barely hittable in his 6.2 innings of work giving up three hits and a few runs while walking five. The Mission offense was lame all evening with only three players collecting hits; Shin-soo Choo (2), Michael Morse and Eriberto Menchaca (2). Notables:

Juan Done: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K.
Dustin Delucchi: 0-4.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-4.
Michael Morse: 1-3, 1 double.
T.J Bohn: 0-3.
Luis Oliveros: 0-3.
Eriberto Menchaca: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

No Inland Empire action this evening.

Wisconsin smashed South Bend, 10-4.
Great start for Michael Moorhead who went eight brilliant innings scattering seven hits while striking out six. The Rattler offense went off as six players had multi-hit games and three had THREE-hit games. Notables:

Michael Moorhead: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.
Josh Womack: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Nick Orlandos: 1-4.
Adam Jones: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Bryan LaHair: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
Chris Collins: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
Michael Cox: 3-5.

Everett took out Eugene, 7-4. Aaron Jensen was effective as Yung-Chi Chen and friends took care of business. Notables:

Aaron Jensen: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.
Yung-Chi Chen: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Brandon Green: 0-4.
Omar Falcon: 1-3, 1 double.
Casey Craig: 1-1, 3 BB.
That was the easiest win of Mike Myers' career.
It wasn't supposed to end up like this. The Mariners were flailing at pitch after pitch. Ron Villone kept missing high and away, seemingly always on the brink of disaster. JJ Putz couldn't handle his specific late-inning role. And hey, it's the freakin' Red Sox, who come at you with a juggernaut offense and the lowest ERA in the American League. We shouldn't have won this game.
...but then, hey, it's the freakin' Red Sox, who would be nothing if not perpetually unfortunate. Back-to-back homers and a grand slam later, the scoreboard shows a Mariners victory, and you just have to shrug it off as one of those "well, whatever" games. You'd rather have seen Bucky be the one to win the game, instead of ol' Bat Flip, but walk-off bombs don't come around too often in the Pacific Northwest, so it's still pretty cool, in the same way that drawing pocket twos in Hold 'Em is pretty cool.
I realize that, given the name of the site, I have a certain obligation to discuss Justin Leone at reasonable length whenever possible. This is more difficult when he's coming off a lousy game, but you have to take the bad with the good when you're talking about all-or-nothing players of Justin's ilk. Now, there are two ways to view his offensive performance today: either (1) he ran into some good pitchers throwing good pitches, or (2) he struggles against offspeed stuff. In reality, it's probably more of a blend - Arroyo was pitching his ass off, and you don't see very many changeups like Keith Foulke's in the minor leagues - but what's important to note is that, even in the bad times, there are still encouraging signs. At no point did Leone jump out way in front of a slider or changeup; he stayed back, but just swung through the ball. What this tells me, the amateur scout, is that he's recognizing the pitch speed and timing his swing properly, but he just doesn't have a very good idea of where the ball's going to wind up when it crosses the plate. I'd wager that, in order to improve, Leone needs experience more than anything, some playing time against ML-caliber breaking stuff until he learns how to hit the offspeed pitches. We won't know if he's becoming a more "complete" hitter until the end of the season, but what we already know is that there's a spot on every team in baseball for a guy who feasts on fastballs and mistake pitches.
...that is, unless they can't play defense very well. Leone's not having any problems getting to the ball; he's always had plus range, and he's already made a handful of good plays on tough grounders. Rather, he's having difficulty making accurate throws to first base. When you don't set  your feet very well, you double-clutch a few times, and you drop your elbow, there's no telling where the ball is going to go after it leaves  your hand, and Leone's been having issues with all three of these things in the early going. The good news is that Justin's always been a good defensive infielder, and it's entirely likely that he's just nervous, playing in front of 30-40 thousand people every night, but this wasn't expected when he came up from Tacoma, and it has to be fixed quickly if Leone wants to have a future within the organization.
Early indications are that Leone knows *how* to be a good ballplayer, he's just having problems executing. Which isn't to say that everything's going to be remedied in the blink of an eye - Melvin and Molitor will have a lot of work to do - but when a guy already knows how to stay back on breaking balls and how to get to grounders in the infield, then there's a much smoother transition from "inconsistent" to "pretty good".
With all that said, it's time for the first (and only?) edition of The Night In Quotes. All of the following are paraphrased quotations from the Mariners' broadcast team over the course of the game.
"Hey Val, you spent a while in Boston, didn't you? Tell us what that was like."
"Well, Lou Gorman brought me in back in '94, but then they hired Duquette and he traded me to Milwaukee. Wisconsin's a nice place."
"Mr. (C.B.) Bucknor is getting the ire of Bob Melvin."
"I tell you, Jolbert Cabrera brings a lot of value to this team. Not only is he one of the best hitters on the club, but he's always hustling, always giving 100%. Look right there, he's laying a bunt down on the third base side (*bunt rolls foul*). He's saying 'Okay, either this is going to be a perfect bunt, or it will go foul, so you can't get me out.' If that bunt stays fair then he's probably going to beat the throw to first, because he's always running hard."
"This guy, Jolbert, he's always got a great approach to the plate."
"Now Bret Boone's a guy who I really like, because he's always hustling. Look right there, he hits the grounder off Arroyo's leg, but he's going full speed to second, challenging the defense to make a play. Kapler makes a bad throw, Nomar can't make the catch, and Boonie's standing on second with a heads-up double. That was all hustle, there."
"Here's Boone's last at bat, where he hit a sharp grounder off the pitcher's leg, and he hustled all the way to second base. I tell you, this guy's always giving his best effort on every play."
"The tricky thing about Keith Foulke is that he hides the ball really well, so the batter can't see what's coming."
"And you see a bad swing there, because Foulke hides the ball well when he's throwing. The batter can't pick it up until the ball's almost at the plate, which makes it difficult to get good wood on the ball."
"Foulke strikes him out. It's really hard to hit off this guy, because when he's in his motion, he hides the ball really well so you can't see what he's going to throw."
"...after Ron Villone started this game and was positively outstanding."
"There's a ground ball to Leone, who scoops it up and - oh, there it goes again, the ball sails past Spiezio..."
"So we heard from the dugout mike Price telling Sherrill just to get Ortiz out, then JJ can come in and do his job against the right-handed hitters in the lineup."
1:35 start time tomorrow, as Pineiro is matched up against the godawful Derek Lowe.
How did Justin Leone make it through 27 years without learning how to throw the ball across the infield?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Rich Aurilia has been traded to San Diego for a PTBNL.

Update: the deal is for either a PTBNL or cash considerations. Aurilia will likely take Ramon Vazquez's role, as the historic Seattle - San Diego pipeline continues to flow.

Minor League Wrap-Up:

Fresno trampled Tacoma, 4-2. Matt Thornton was solid in his eight innings of work as luck really wasn't on his side (two Tacoma errors, both at inopportune times). The Tacoma offense again was sleeping on the job as they managed just five hits (no XBH) and a pair of runs. Jose Lopez had two singles and Jeremy Reed was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes in the 8th. Notables:

Matt Thornton: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Jamal Strong: 0-3.
Jeremy Reed: 1-4, 1 RBI, ejected.
Jose Lopez: 2-4.
A.J. Zapp: 0-4.
Ryan Christianson: 1-3, 1 BB.
Greg Dobbs: 0-4.
Brian Moon: 0-4.

San Antonio beat Frisco, 6-4. Chris Buglovsky was adaquate albeit wild in his 6.2 innings of work. The Mission offense beat up on Chan Ho Park who continues to suck in AA. John Lindsey led the way with a double, triple and an RBI. Notables:

Chris Buglovsky: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 1-3, 1 double.
Shin-soo Choo: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
John Lindsey: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI.
Michael Morse: 2-4, 1 RBI.
T.J. Bohn: 2-4.
Luis Oliveros: 0-4.

Inland Empire split a doubleheader with Lancaster, 2-6 and 5-4. Juan Sandoval went in Game 1 and was hit hard as the 66'er offense was pretty bad (save a few walks) unless your name was Matt Hagan. Notables:

Juan Sandoval: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Juan Gonzalez: 0-2, 1 BB.
Jesus Guzman: 0-2, 2 BB.
Rene Rivera: 0-3.
Carlos Arroyo: 0-3.
Matt Hagan: 2-3, 2 doubles.
Michael Garciaparra: 0-2.

Game 2 featured T.A. Fulmer who went the whole seven innings getting the win despite giving up ten hits and four runs. Jesus Guzman reached base four times and Carlos Arroyo homered to lead the 66'ers. Notables:

T.A. Fulmer: 7.0 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Juan Gonzalez: 1-3, 1 RBI.
Jesus Guzman: 2-2, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 RBI.
Carlos Arroyo: 1-4, 1 homer.
Josh Ellison: 0-3, 2 K.
Brian Lentz: 1-3.

South Bend's late charge was enough to beat Wisconsin, 6-5. Major bullpen meltdown blew another great outing for Ryan Feierabend who went six innings scattering six hits and a run while striking out four. Nick Orlandos and Michael Cox both had multi-hit evenings and Wladimir Balentien added two RBI. Notables:

Ryan Feierabend: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Josh Womack: 0-5.
Nick Orlandos: 2-5, 1 double.
Bryan LaHair: 1-4.
Chris Collins: 0-4.
Wladimir Balentien: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
Michael Cox: 2-4, 2 RBI.

Everett held off Eugene, 7-5.
Shawn Nottingham had quite a night as he struck out twelve Eugene batters. The Aquasox offense did their job with a five-run sixth as Brandon Green and Yung-Chi Chen led the way. Notables:

Shawn Nottingham: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, 1 HR.
Yung-Chi Chen: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 0-3.
Brandon Green: 2-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI.
Trevor Heid: 0-2, 2 BB.
Omar Falcon: 0-3, 3 K.
Casey Craig: 1-4.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I felt it. The fans felt it. Eddie Guardado felt it. There's an exciting new energy surrounding the Mariners, and - while it's far too late to do anything in 2004 - you get the sense that a strong second half could carry over into next year, when Bucky hits 35 homers and leads this once-proud organization back into the postseason. Or something like that, anyway. What we know for sure is that this new style of play is a blessing, because as much as many of us have prepared for it, a summer without interesting Mariners baseball is a dreadful stretch of months.
I suppose it's only appropriate that, as one hero fades into the mist, another one emerges. Freddy Garcia's prompt success at the ML level made everyone feel better about losing Randy Johnson. When Griffey left, Mike Cameron came to town and wowed us all with his defense and surprising production at the plate. And A-Rod, of course, was replaced by Ichiro, who picked up two hits in his Seattle debut and rapidly became an international superstar. Fast-forward to 2004, when a declining Edgar Martinez gives way to Bucky Jacobsen, an enormous bald man of the people with a devoted fan club founded six years ago. By nature, Seattle fans require having someone to root for in order to salvage the toughest of times. For a few weeks, we've all been lacking such a figure, and the crowds have responded by voicing little enthusiasm at the games. Suddenly, though, Bucky came up, and the fan base was rejuvenated. All he's done since then is win us over with his performance, clubbing two home runs and reaching base in ten of 13 plate appearances. Yes, my friends, this is finally something worth getting excited about. No longer must we listen to the organizational hype regarding the lone surviving Dueling Banjo. Nothing could be sweeter.
Powered by acetaminophen and 500mg amoxicillin, it's on to the bullet points:
  • "I looked at him to let him know he wasn't going to intimidate me," Jacobsen said. "I don't know how he missed me with that pitch. You'd think that if someone wanted to hit someone, it would be easy to hit me."

He's talented, he's down to earth, and he's got remarkable self-control. There's really nothing more I can say about Bucky that hasn't already been discussed by the rest of the blogosphere. Not too many guys are able to come up from the minors and respond to a brushback pitch by remaining cool and collected and hitting a pitch out of the park in the same at bat. Perhaps this is the advantage of having older, more experienced rookies on the team. It's not often that you develop a repuation in your third ML game, but Jacobsen appears to have done just that. Seriously, could you have scripted a better story for the organization? The high-five between Edgar and Bucky after  the latter's home run last night seems like the perfect image to represent the changing of the guard that's taking place before our eyes.

  • Yes, I'm convinced that we'll keep Bucky around next season. He's been hyped for a while, now, and he's clearly become a fan favorite, so why would the front office give up on him? As long as he performs at a reasonable level for the remainder of the season, he'll be back, potentially as the starting DH in 2005. While I'm not yet sure how I'd feel about this, it would free up more money to go after someone like Carlos Beltran, and - given that pure hitters aren't difficult to find - I think I'd prefer to go with this plan, and replace Bucky with a cheap bat if he doesn't produce early in the year.
  • Hey, Justin: flashy barehanded plays are nice and all, but you won't have much of a future at third if you can't throw the ball to first base. This is a guy whose value as a starter is dependent on his ability to play a pretty good third base, and so far all he's shown defensively is a quick glove and terrible footwork. It's easy to see why the organization isn't much for giving him time at shortstop. Nevertheless, these are the kinds of things that improve with experience, so we'll see where he is come late September. Meanwhile, what's encouraging is that Leone (and Jacobsen, for that matter) has been able to lay off the pitches way out of the zone. It will be critical for Justin to find a happy medium between being aggressive at the plate and recognizing which pitches are hittable.
  • Were he still in the game, would Randy Winn have made that catch? It's more likely that he would have stood on the track until the last second, at which point he'd make a half-assed effort to leave the ground with his glove arm partially outstretched. Maybe he'd just run headlong into the wall. Whatever the case, it was nice to see a little defense in center for the first time in a while, as Bocachica's grab rivals Edmonds' play that made the ESPYs earlier tonight. The 2004 Seattle Mariners Official Highlight Reel won't be very long, but you can rest assured that this catch will make the video.
  • Shigetoshi Hasegawa ERA by month:

April: 7.20

May: 5.14

June: 3.60

July: 7.50

To think, he'll be getting paid a paltry $2.98m next year, and - if he appears in 58 games - just $3.1m in 2006.

Ron Villone vs. Bronson Arroyo, a 7:05 start. The Red Sox bring the best OBP and OPS in the Majors to Safeco. Bring your hardhats.

Pleasant Surprise of the Day:
Mariners broadcast team discusses the problems inherent in judging a defense by its fielding percentage.
Carl Everett was traded from Montreal to the White Sox today for Jon Rauch and Gary Majewski.

Ryan Christianson (.280/.329/.371) has been promoted to Tacoma.
Does anybody out there know what crickets eat? Because - whatever it is - I would like to make it henceforth unavailable to them in my bedroom.
Still not feeling up to long posts, but I should be all right by tomorrow. In the meantime, a nice little list of bullet points should do the trick.
  • Bucky Jacobsen is a big dude. Already a fan favorite, his home run tonight only solidified his status as a local hero. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to have 36,000 fans chanting "BUCK-Y" in just your second Major League game. What's more is that his performance thus far has justified the hype; he's shown immense power and a pretty good idea of the strike zone. He's got a long swing that will undoubtedly be exposed by inside fastballs, but Bucky's going to destroy mistake pitches for many, many years. He also looks like a Viking.
  • It's rare that you see a guy look real bad in one AB, then come back and look great in the next. Justin Leone was no match for Bob Wickman's sinker in the eighth, but one inning later he battled back from an 0-2 count against David Riske to work a walk. Here's a guy who's got a pretty good eye and enough power to hit the facade of the second deck in left field. Sounds like a great guy to play at third base for the second half, if only he would work on his...
  • Footwork. Jody Gerut hit a routine grounder to Leone in the eighth, but after taking a few steps he uncorked a wild throw that sparked a rally. I understand that there's pressure on you to make the perfect throw with Bucky freakin' Jacobsen playing 1B, but Leone's got to cut down on the stupid mistakes in the field. He's made some solid plays, particularly in foul territory, but he's also botched simple grounders and throws. Of course, that eighth-inning Indians rally wouldn't have come to fruition if not for...
  • Jolbert Cabrera lollygagging an infield hit. Belliard hit a grounder to short, but Cabrera - who is praised daily for his "hustle, grit, and energy" - took a few too many crowhops and wound up making a late throw to first. But Sherrill still could have escaped the inning without allowing a run, if not for...
  • Willie Bloomquist: Professional Utility Guy. Sure, it's nice to be versatile, but anyone can play a bunch of positions as long as you don't hold them to that annoying standard of doing *well*. Bloomquist is an outfielder only by reputation, as his route on the Broussard double was beyond ridiculous. Please, Melvin, no more.
  • Edgar Martinez is guessing right now.
  • Dave Hansen must be praying for a trade every night before he goes to bed. There's nothing for him to do here anymore.
  • Had Scott Spiezio ever pinch-run before taking over for Bucky in the ninth tonight?
  • Franklin. Yikes.

Moyer against Elarton tomorrow, a 1:05 start. Elarton's 0-8 with an opposing line of .282 /.367 /.538, so this could be a good day for the new guys as long as they're given a chance.

Minor League Wrap-Up:

Fresno snuck by Tacoma, 2-1.
It may not show up in the final score, but the Fresno hit Clint Nageotte well this evening as he gave up twelve hits in 7.1 IP. Luckily for his ERA, the Grizzlies had inexplicable trouble getting runners across the plate as they stranded twelve. The Rainier offense was boggled by Brad Hennessey collecting just four basehits on Jamal Strong's first night back. Notables:

Clint Nageotte: 7.1 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Jamal Strong: 1-4.
Jeremy Reed: 0-4.
A.J. Zapp: 0-4.
Jose Lopez: 0-3.
Greg Dobbs: 1-3, 1 R.
Greg Jacobs: 1-3, 1 RBI.

Round Rock beat San Antonio, 7-4. Remember Fresno's problem of leaving way to many out on the paths? Well, San Antonio caugh the LOB fever too and stranded seventeen. Rich Dorman wasn't too bad in his start going 5.2 IP giving up two runs on four hits while striking out nine. The Missions offense managed sixteen hits, it's a shame most were at the wrong time. Notables:

Rich Dorman: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 2-5, 1 RBI.
Shin-soo Choo: 3-6, 1 RBI.
Michael Morse: 2-4, 2 doubles.
T.J. Bohn: 1-4.
Luis Oliveros: 3-5, 1 homer.

Inland Empire at Lancaster was postponed due to the bad air quality caused by the forest fires nearby.

Wisconsin slipped up South Bend, 4-2.
Nibaldo Acosta went eight innings - surrendering just two runs - in picking up his sixth victory in 15 decisions. Ruben Castillo notched his first save with a perfect ninth, while Wladimir Balentien chipped in with his 14th homer of the year. The Rattlers had 15 baserunners in all. Notables:
Nibaldo Acosta: 8 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Wladimir Balentien: 1-3, 1 homer
Bryan LaHair: 1-4, 1 double
Josh Womack: 2-4, 1 BB
Michael Nesbit: 2-3, 1 double, 1 BB


Everett beat Yakima, 8-6. Mumba Rivera threw 3.2 shutout innings, in relief of starter Ruben Flores, for his second win, while Aaron Trolia nailed down his third save of the year. Casey Craig's two hits from the ninth spot in the lineup led the offense, which drew eight walks against five Yakima hurlers. Notables:

Mumba Rivera: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Casey Craig: 2-4, 1 triple

Brandon Green: 1-4, 1 triple, 1 BB

Marshall Hubbard: 1-2, 2 BB

I think I speak for everyone when I say: "Screw you Ron Belliard!"

Still, that was the most fun I've had watching an M's game this season.