RESCINDED ANGRY UPDATE: Adrian Beltre asked his way out of the lineup tonight, so McLaren is forgiven for the mess at third. He is not, however, forgiven for the mess at second.
ANGRY UPDATE: the Minnesota Twins have the highest groundball percentage of any offense in baseball, at 50%. Felix Hernandez has the second-highest groundball percentage of any starter in the American League, at 62%. John McLaren is starting Jose Vidro at second base and Willie Ballgame at third.
Casilla 2B Ichiro CF Bartlett SS Vidro 2B Mauer C Guillen RF Hunter CF Ibanez DH Morneau 1B Sexson 1B Cuddyer RF Johjima C White LF Jones LF Tyner DH Betancourt SS Punto 3B Ballgame 3B ---------- ----------
Santana (12-9, 2.98) King Felix (8-6, 3.97)
Headline under "Mariners Update" on the official website:
McLaren Likes Team
Well that's a relief.
Assuming that Raul Ibanez gets a start tonight against the best left-handed pitcher in baseball, one of the justifications you're going to hear is that he's 11-28 in his career against Santana with a .919 OPS. However, he's also 3-21 with a .317 OPS against Jason Johnson. Would McLaren use that as a justification to bench Raul against the junkballing nobody? Color me skeptical. Because of the countless variables involved in and limited sample sizes of pitcher/batter matchups, the numbers are basically worthless, and just like we shouldn't believe that Josh Towers and Dan Wright have Ichiro's number (combined 8-43), we also shouldn't believe that Raul Ibanez has somehow figured out Johan Santana. It's far more likely that this is just a statistical fluke, and starting him tonight would be a mistake.
Starting Ben Broussard would also be a mistake. But then I don't think that's something we'd ever have to worry about, huh?
Let the epic matchup begin.
LET'S GO MARINERS!!