After two and a half hours of baseball, Tim Lincecum was able to help pitch a relatively complete team that last year won the World Series past Nate Robertson and an Ichiro-less team that last year lost 101 games. And while the final score was 6-1 San Francisco, the Giants only finished with one more baserunner than the M's did, so all in all I'd have to say this was a pretty pathetic effort on the Giants' part. They should probably be ashamed of themselves.
The Spring Training novelty's starting to wear off and it's really hard to write these things without any video, so here are a handful of bullet points from a dull Sunday of action:
- Robertson had a strong initial outing but scuffled today, allowing four runs in three innings despite a 1-2-3 first. He was also apparently saved by a leaping catch by Justin Smoak in the second that turned a potential two-run double into a double play. It's difficult for us to say how hard he was getting hit since Gameday gives little indication and team defenses aren't very strong at this point in the year. However, Robertson did issue two walks against one strikeout, and any time you walk more guys than you whiff, you probably weren't very good. This is a paragraph about Nate Robertson, which I didn't think I'd ever have to write a couple months ago.
- I wonder what Spring Training is like for guys like Sean Kazmar who work out with the big league team despite having zero chance of making it. Does Sean Kazmar know that he has zero chance of making the Mariners? I guess it's all about doing whatever you can to grab anyone's attention. Kazmar was robbed of a base hit by a diving shortstop a few days ago, which probably frustrated him more than it would a roster lock, but a day or two later he made a great play in the field, and then today he sprinted behind second to catch a pop-up and then quickly threw to first to double up the baserunner. So hey, great job, Sean Kazmar.
- The Mariners did manage to put 12 guys on base against Lincecum and a good chunk of the Giants' regular bullpen. They only scraped together 12 or more baserunners 67 times last year in 162 games. On August 28th they collected four baserunners against Nick Blackburn.
- The Mariners' leaders in games played so far this spring are Kazmar and Greg Halman.
Dustin Ackley apparently did some more good work at the plate this afternoon, showing his usual patience and line drive stroke, but he also bobbled a grounder and threw the ball away after hurrying. That isn't the first ball he's misplayed in the early going, and while the occasional error is less worrisome than a lack of range or instincts would be, make no mistake - the Mariners are going to have an easy time sending Ackley to Tacoma, and justifying it.
- In the fourth inning, Jack Cust struck out and reached base in the same at bat, which is a very Jack Cust thing to do.
Things are going to get a little more interesting tomorrow afternoon, as Felix and Michael Pineda go back-to-back against the A's at 12:05. I think I'm ready for the games to start mattering now. We have how many more weeks of this?