- I can't always be around to write. I know, it sucks. This week in particular is a bad one, what with traveling, and computer problems, and family in town. But it's a funny thing - I watched the end of last night's game from a restaurant, and I watched last Saturday's game beside an actively reformatting laptop, and the sensation is different when there's no keyboard or pad of paper at your fingertips. The sensation is...fanlike. Granted, those were two of the better Mariner wins I can remember, but sometimes it's nice to watch a baseball game freed from the shackles of expressing yourself with words. Sometimes a man just wants to clap and jump and make a scene at Deschutes. Baseball can actually be a fun and interesting game sometimes. Who knew?
- For me, that home run literally couldn't have been any better. It came at the perfect time, in the perfect place, by the perfect player. I'm sure 75% of fans would've rather it been Griffey, and 24% of fans would've rather it been Ichiro, and Jack Wilson would've rather it been Jack Wilson, but there's a small assortment of us ecstatic to see Milton Bradley be a hero just as a torrent of negativity was developing in the background. It's already been said in so many places, but few players have needed a big hit in the way that Bradley did, and boy did he ever deliver. That ought to win some people over, at least for a little while.
It was a good bit of hitting, too. Yeah, the count was 2-0, and yeah, Ziegler's a sidearming righty with an 84mph fastball, but we don't see Mariner hitters turn on inside fastballs like that very often. That pitch was tucked neatly into the corner, and Bradley whipped around on it, just as Jay Buhner predicted. Just awesome. I wouldn't have it any other way. The more good news that Bradley makes, the less bad stuff we have to hear about him.
There are a lot of fans of other teams out there who're just waiting until we turn on Bradley the same way they did. Sorry guys. It might be a while.
- In case you didn't notice, the Funk Blast is back. Introducing the Funk Blast is one of the two good things Bill Bavasi ever did, so if this is a permanent thing, I'm supportive. And it doubles as a big ol' middle finger to the people who're convinced the Zduriencik administration wants to wipe away any traces of the previous regime. The Funk Blast is more weird than it is anything else, and the music that accompanies the trot is less energetic than most, but the Funk Blast is unique, and the more things there are that make your stadium unique, the better. I don't remember the first home run I saw at Safeco. I do remember the first Funk Blast. It was amazing, and strange.
- That was Doug Fister throwing like Doug Fister threw in AAA. He didn't throw a ton of first-pitch strikes, and he didn't get ahead of a ton of hitters, but do you know how many three-ball counts he got into? One. One three-ball count, against 14 two-strike counts. Fister just stayed around the zone and took full advantage of his surroundings, and when you do that, you turn in the kind of start the thought they'd get from Carlos Silva.
The interesting thing? Fister has command of four pitches, but against a lineup with five lefties, 78 of his 100 pitches were fastballs. His changeup is probably his best pitch, yet he only threw six. I don't know if he wasn't feeling good about his offspeed stuff, or if he just didn't care, but no matter the reason, last night goes to show that when you have command of your primary pitch, you don't really need a whole lot else.
Don't expect starts like that from Fister very often. But talk about timing. How badly did the rotation need something like that from the back?