I don't know much about Guillermo Moscoso. At all. I know plenty about, say, Nolan Reimold. I know too much about Wily Mo Pena. I can close my eyes and picture Tyson Ross throwing, and Scott Hairston hitting, and Kyle Blanks fielding. But Moscoso is a mystery. All I know about Guillermo Moscoso is that he was starting for the A's against the today.
And what a start he had. I'm sure Moscoso has had great moments in his life. Memorable moments he'll cherish forever. The day he signed. The day he debuted. The day he had a kid, if he has a kid, or the day he got married, if he's married. But this afternoon, the 27-year-old may have reached the high point of his career to date when he blanked the M's for seven innings.
Going to Baseball-Reference - Moscoso earned his first win in his first start on May 24th against the, so that was probably a pretty special day. He threw six shutout innings, with three walks and three strikeouts. His next time out, he beat the , although he wasn't very good. On June 24th, he blanked the for seven innings in a game the A's lost 1-0. But today, he shut out the Mariners for seven innings in a win, and he did so with a walk and five whiffs. Additionally, he did so at home. It was the most impressive statistical performance of Moscoso's life, in the right environment, and this isn't a game he'll soon forget. After a game like this, Moscoso can sit comfortably and confident that he has the ability to succeed at the highest level.
Of course, we know better. At least, we think we do. Oh, so Guillermo Moscoso shut down the Mariners? Big whoop. The M's have been shut out five other times this season. They've been held to one run 16 times. They've been held to two runs 15 times. They've scored more than five runs 15 times. They have a team OPS in the .620s, which you'll recognize as being in the same neighborhood as Jose Molina's career OPS. This year's Mariners have about the same OPS as a career backup catcher known for his pitch-calling. To us, it isn't so much that other pitchers are good as it is that the Mariners are bad, so nobody's jumping to give Moscoso a ton of credit for his effort.
But: who knows? There's the old line about how a bad lineup makes a mediocre opposing pitcher look like Cy Young. A lot of the time, it will be bad hitting. Bad hitters hit badly. But you have to figure that, every so often, it'll be good pitching. That, every so often, a bad lineup will get shut down by a pitcher who would've shut down a good lineup. It's almost impossible to identify these games as they happen, but it would be ridiculous to suggest that they don't. And maybe that was Moscoso today. Maybe Moscoso pitched as well as his numbers, and the Mariners simply didn't stand a chance. You can rule this possibility out in general cases, but you can't rule it out in specific ones.
So, hey, maybe the Mariners just ran into a temporary buzzsaw. It's unlikely, but it's amazing the way the brain can rationalize individual disappointments. And tomorrow's a new day, with a new hitter. We'll all happily admit that Kyle Seager won't fix everything, but we'll all secretly hope that he might, just so we can think about a brighter future rather than dwell on a frustrating past. Anything to stay positive. Our minds just want to stay positive.
No bullet holes. I barely got to watch any of this game, nothing happened, and Seager's the story now, anyway. All you need to know is that Jason Vargas was good, it was the Mariners' fifth-shortest game of the season, and this is the Mariners.com selection of Top Plays:
Three. Three videos. An awkward sliding catch, 44 seconds of Jason Vargas throwing changeups and cutters, and Josh Bard throwing out a baserunner. Those were today's Mariner highlights. We should probably all just move on.