23-34, Assorted Quick Thoughts

From one perspective, it's really annoying to see the M's rack up eight hits and four runs through 2.2 innings, and then two hits and zero runs the rest of the way. From the other perspective, offense is offense, and it doesn't really matter when you get it, as long as you get it. Granted, four runs and ten hits in Texas against Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison won't make anyone wet himself with delight, but it's more than enough when you're throwing Cliff Lee.

Congratulations, Mariners. You passed. You won one of the easy ones and kept yourself alive. Now you also have to win the harder ones.

I apologize that other responsibilities are keeping me from being able to post my normal amount of coverage. Things should return to normal before too long.

  • Cliff Lee threw 107 pitches. 84 of them (79%) were strikes. He faced 35 batters, and got into one - one- three-ball count. Now, in fairness, he was facing a Ranger lineup with Craig Gentry, Andres Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Matt Treanor, and David Murphy. Those guys don't really hit a whole lot, so the situation was set up in Lee's favor from the beginning. But those are still Major League players, and Lee still had to deal with that lineup core in that ballpark, so let's not take too much away from him. He was spectacular. He was his typical, spectacular, strike-throwing self, and you just don't get burned very often when you never fall behind anyone. Cliff Lee and Ian Snell are so dissimilar it's hard to reconcile that we at one time found both of them appealing.

  • He is literally always smiling. When I've brought this up, I wasn't telling a joke.

  •  So Chone Figgins is unhappy with being dropped to #9. Of course he is. Anyone would be. #9 is where you keep the punchless guys you're trying to hide, and baseball players don't like change. Remember that the Mariners already moved Figgins from his familiar third base to second. Also remember that the Mariners are underachieving. 2010 hasn't gone how Figgins envisioned it, and it's been difficult for him. But the important thing to understand is that, no matter how disappointed Figgins might be, he's not going to let it show on the field. He'll keep doing what he does, and I should think that, if Figgins keeps on improving, he'll be out of the #9 slot before long. Don't make too much of this. Figgins has a right to express his opinion on the move, but it's not like he undermined his manager, and he's not going to break apart the clubhouse. It's Chone Figgins. Everything's fine.

  • Apparently Mike Brumley and Lee Tinsley has permanently swapped places, with Tinsley moving over to coach third, and Brumley moving over to coach first. This is good, in that Brumley got 95% of our baserunners all year thrown out. This is also uncertain, in that we have no idea if Tinsley will do any better. The M's didn't get gunned down by any outfielders today, but they did make two outs on the bases. Gut response: when's the last time this kind of switch happened? Has this ever happened?

  • Yay, Michael Saunders - ripped a high fastball from Feldman down the line for an Arlington home run. Of course, while that isn't a home run in a lot of places, it is a well-hit fly ball in a lot of places, so that counts. That Saunders struck out another two times shows that he's still got work to do, and I wouldn't exactly describe myself as confident when he steps to the plate, but at least now he's mixing in some power with his strikeouts, instead of just last year's mixture of strikeouts and strikeouts.

  • The Rangers' entire ninth inning rally: groundball single, groundball single, groundball single, groundball error. As I watched that, I started to feel a little nervous. I probably should not have.

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