First Star – Marlon Byrd (.276 WPA)
Second Star – Felix Hernandez (.262 WPA)
Third Star – John Grabow (.251 WPA) (Watch out when you leave the house, there may be flying pigs attacking)
Can I start out by saying that Felix Hernandez is one of the most under appreciated and probably under known star SP in this game today. Here are my notes from the win:
- Xavier Nady had a throw in the second from LF that held Franklin Gutierrez to a single. It surprised me a little because I figured it would be an easy double and my guess is so did the Mariners after reading the scouting report on Nady’s arm. That’s a good sign that he’s feeling more confident in his throwing ability and that the arm is feeling good. That, to me, only increases his trade value. (Sad that that’s how I look at it these days)
- I was surprised to see Mike Fontenot playing SS, despite the fact that Ryan Theriot was in the lineup. Starlin Castro needs a day off every now and then, but it was curious to see Theriot not back at SS for the one game with Fontenot playing his more natural 2B spot. Mini Mike did a good job there though and it worked out just fine. The only reason I could think of for the move was that Lou just figured it would be better to keep Theriot in a spot he’d been playing regularly.
- While somewhere in the middle of the game on the Mariners telecast, the broadcasters were talking about the wonderful performance of Cliff Lee the day before. Part of their conversation turned to a stat that made my jaw drop. In Wednesday’s game, Lee had our hitters in 19, count em, 19 counts of 0-2. That’s disgustingly unacceptable. It’s a lack of patience and is a reason why this team doesn’t win. You have to try to work the count in your favor a little. You can’t tell me all of those pitches were good pitches to hit. If that was the case, then we need to be scolded for our hitting ability instead. When you’ve got a pitcher like Lee or Hernandez on the mound, your goal as a team should be to do whatever it takes to get their butt out of the game as soon as possible. Whatever it takes to make that happen is what needs to be done. One of the most effective ways, aside from hitting tar out of the ball, is to see a lot of pitches and run that pitch count up early. Falling behind 0-2 is not doing that.
- Andrew Cashner blew the hold for Ted Lilly’s well pitched game and I found myself asking the question “do you think that relief pitchers, or even hitters in the lineup, apologize to the starting pitcher when they do something to prevent them from a well deserved win?” I ask that it all seriousness. It’s common practice in other walks of life to apologize to someone when you mess up something of theirs, so it would seem to hold true with the SP / MR relationship as well, don’t ya think?
- Mike Sweeney hit a foul ball straight back at the camera that looked so realistic that I actually jumped out of the way so as to not get hit. I immediately felt like a complete tool for moving away from the ball as if it was going to come out of the TV. I can only imagine how crazy that would have looked in high def (don’t have it) or even 3D. Scared the piss out of me.
- I was a little confused by the move to bring in Carlos Marmol to face Ichiro in the 9th. Marshall is a lefty and hadn’t been pitching terrible. Seemed like a curious move at the time, but it worked.
We get a win, despite the fact that both Bobby Howry and John Grabow pitched in the game in key situations and avoid the sweep. I hate everything about cheering for a team to lose, so I’m still hoping for a dramatic turn around. Aramis comes back today for the White Sox game and it’s my guess that Chad Tracy will be designated for assignment, though there is a possibility we could see Starlin go back to AAA and Baker and Tracy be kept on the roster. We’ll just have to wait and see.