Friday, April 11, 2008

4/11 "April Baseball, October Intensity"

I had to use this headline for the Mariners 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California. Yes, it is April Baseball, seeing as it's April 11, and it is in fact, baseball that they are playing out there. Not hockey, not soccer, not football either for you, sportally challenged people, but B-A-S-E-B-A-L-L. The October Intensity part I don't quite get. For one, Safeco Field didn't have 50-something thousand people screaming. For two, not many players, or people for that matter have woken up yet and realized, "hey, it's baseball season". Not many players come out of Spring Training and are full of energy. Especially when they go from 80-90 degree weather in Arizona, to 40-50 degree weather in Seattle. I'm sorry, but I just don't get the headline. Anyways, now that I've wasted about a minute of your time, and like five minutes of mine, time to the recap. I'm going to do things a little but differently this time and see how it goes.

The Good
The Mariners won, which is always good, is it not? They beat a division rival, and got what could prove to be an important win come September, because it was such an intense game tonight. Raul Ibanez hit a pair of solo jacks off of the good Weaver, who wasn't so good tonight. Ibanez finished the night 3-4 with 3 RBI and a walk. Yuniesky Betancourt hit his first triple of the season. He should have a few by the end of the summer. He has the wheels, but hasn't really used them lately. He finished the day 1-4 with an RBI.

Mark Lowe figured out that he was playing baseball and not the Nintendo version. He pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up only a hit to pick up his first save of the season. Sean Green picked up his second 'hold' of the season. To me, that's a useless stat that some bored old man (who may have been under the influence of something, uhhh peer pressure I mean) thought up to make the title of 'Set-Up Man' seem more attractive. Although it is an important job, why do the need to get holds. I guess it makes sense, but it's just another one of the useless stats that have very little meaning or impact on the game of baseball. It makes Sean Green's 3.38 ERA a week in look better next to two 'holds'.
The Bad
Felix Hernendez' stats. They weren't too bad, but giving up four runs on nine hits in 6.2 IP isn't great. Definitely not quite the typical day in the office for a King.

The defence was, well, not good. Two errors is not a step in the right direction. That adds up to a total of 12 errors so far in 11 games this season. Richie Sexson made a fielding error, and Sean Green made a throwing error. I guess neither of which were game changing moments, but they are moments that don't need to happen. We all know that Sexson isn't very good defensively, or at all, and Green probably isn't the best fielder, but I thought that that was what the off-season and Spring Training were for. Getting better at what you sucked at. I can't think of any other way to put it. Well, I guess there is, but... Errors are just little things that add up. One here, another there. Most people don't think much about it, but they do add up. Now we are looking at a runner at second or third. Or a run scored, that could CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME.

Ichiro had an unIchiro-like game going 1-5 with a double and a run scored. He struck out twice and saw his season average fall to .277. Yes, Ichiro may or may not be human, so he may or may not make mistakes. It's just that he usually has something that makes you think 'man, that guy is good' at each game. He scored a run. He hit a double. I want to here he stole a couple bases. He hit a triple. He gunned out a guy at the plate. He made a fantastic catch in the outfield. The fact is, Ichiro is one of the best to ever put on a jock and adjust it repeatedly over the course of a game. I'll let this game go, but I expect a 5-5 performance tomorrow. I hope you know that I'm kidding about that demand. Although it would be nice.

The Ugly
The attendance. Wow. Only 28,915 showed up to watch the Mariners play a division rival, and two of the best young pitchers in the game (PI thinks so, and so do I). On a Friday night that was a not too chilly around 50-60 degrees. It was clear, so the roof would be open. Beautiful night for baseball. I can't believe that they didn't crack atleast 30,000 tonight. I want to say that it's embarrasing...Here I go. Back to the headline thing. You know what? I'll let you figure out that I'm right, because Safeco was only filled to half capacity, or so. Once again, I have proved someone wrong.

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