Thursday, August 14, 2008
You Mean They Can Lose, Too? Mariners 10, Angels 7 (12 Innings)What started as an apparently winnable pitchers' duel turned into a slopfest late, as neither side could hold onto a lead and stupid plays littered the game, especially for the Angels. Consider:
- Howie Kendrick fielded a ground ball induced by Jose Arredondo off Ichiro in the seventh with one out and men on the corners. Instead of throwing to second, he got confused and only made a single out, allowing Brian LaHair to score from third. You can't assume the double play, but he utterly blew an opportunity to get one, and that allowed the M's to tie the game at 3-3, and erase starter Ervin Santana's chance for a win.
- Justin Speier, called up on to hold a fargin' tie against the second worst offense in the league gave up a three-run jack to Wladimir Balentien, thus losing the game. Now, Wlad had some nice power numbers in the minors with multiple seasons of .500+ SLG and 20+ home runs, but f'r chrissakes he's only hitting .216 in the Show. You just don't give him cookies. I have to believe at this point Mike is seriously thinking about DLing Izturis (who may have re-injured his hand making a play and had to come out late), going with Sean Rodriguez as the backup shortstop, and calling up Jason Bulger from Salt Lake. Bulger maybe has had the yips in the past, but how can he be worse than Speier this year?
- Finally, the coup de grâce, the king mother of fails in this game, BB-1B-L9-WP-2B-1B-Rod. That is, he turned a routine two-run lead into a one-run deficit, much to my vocal chords' annoyance. He even managed to get himself ejected after Mike pulled him, one of the few times I've seen Frankie get the hook with outs to go. I later saw that home plate umpire Gerry Davis had an inconsistent zone; nevertheless, I've seen worse in my day, and Frankie had no business complaining about it from that which I did see.
Update, Morning After Reconsideration Edition: It's worth mentioning that while the M's have a terrible offense, they also are now minus a lot of the parts that made them so dreadful: gone are Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro, while Jeff Clement is getting playing time over the collapsing Kenji Johjima, and Wladimir Balentien is getting a real shot at a starting outfield job now that Adam Jones is playing in a Orioles uniform. In other words, the bad decision-making process of the Bill Bavasi era is gone, and the team is headed down the path towards respectability.
The Dodgers Win The Series Against Philly? Huh? Dodgers 7, Phillies 6I should have listened to the end of this one, because it would have been a lot more rewarding. The Phils amassed an early four-run deficit in the first against Brad Penny, who clearly had nothing, and extended it with two more in the second. Joe Blanton wasn't much better, giving up four earned runs in five innings, and then the parade of relievers on both sides, with the Dodgers getting a strangely good performance from Jason Johnson, a bad one from Joe Beimel (who failed to make an out against anybody), and then some not-so-unusual good work from Chan-Ho Park, and Jonathan Broxton. Russell Martin was perfect at the plate, Jeff Kent nearly so, and the whole affair came to an end on Nomar's walkoff solo blast. Crazy, I tells you, crazy.