I had every intention of writing this up earlier, closer to when the game actually finished, but then we got the update that Franklin Gutierrez was being sent to Seattle, and then we got the update that Franklin Gutierrez has a partially torn pec, and that kind of took the wind out of my sails. I was hoping for big things from Franklin Gutierrez, but thanks to the ol' monkey paw that is fandom, the big thing I got was a big injury. I'm still writing up the intrasquad, obviously, but my heart isn't in it. I can't bring myself to give the Mariners' fourth and final intrasquad game the attention and dedication it deserves.
The good news to come out of this stretch of intrasquad games is that the Mariners managed to finish at .500. While finishing with as many wins as losses isn't any great shakes, remember that the Mariners lost 95 games a year ago, and 101 games the year before that. So .500 looks to me like a sign of improvement, a sign of progress. Eric Wedge has talked about how he wants 2012 to be the year that the young players get comfortable after gaining experience in 2011, and it seems like they're well on their way.
Today's contest saw Mariners 2 pull the rug out from under Mariners 1. Mariners 1 established a one-run lead in the top of the fifth, but they couldn't hold it, and Mariners 2 surged ahead with a decisive two-run sixth. As far as I can tell, this time there weren't any inning-calling shenanigans, and so Mariners 2 rightfully earned their 5-3 win. Oddly, they still played the home half of the final inning even though the game had already been decided, but these things are called by minor league umps, and you get what you pay for. I'm assuming that minor league umps work for peanuts and shade.
Nobody hit a home run today, so, neat going, pitchers. Chone Figgins and Kyle Seager each hit three-quarters of a home run, and those are home runs if you round up. Carlos Triunfel, Justin Smoak, Brendan Ryan, and Jesus Sucre each hit half of a home run, and those are also home runs if you round up. And Vinnie Catricala hit two singles, which is a home run if you round up. If you round up, today the Mariners hit lots of home runs.
Where yesterday there weren't many strikeouts, today there were 16 strikeouts, with Mariners 1 amassing ten of them. Carlos Peguero struck out three times, and Trayvon Robinson struck out three times. Strikeouts are something that both Peguero and Robinson need to work on, so maybe they're just getting the strikeouts out of their systems now, before the games mean anything. Because they have a limited number of strikeouts in their bats, see. That's how this works.
Mauricio Robles struck out all three hitters he faced, which is great for him, whoever those hitters were. Jeff Marquez was the only pitcher for Mariners 2 who didn't generate a whiff. Dustin Ackley committed a throwing error so clearly all those critics of his defense knew what they were talking about, he's pretty much a nightmare. Catricala was the only player with multiple hits, and he also drew a walk, and given what he's done in recent days it can only be downhill from here for Vinnie Catricala.
Listed attendance was 107. I'm unclear on whether that number includes the players and coaches. Plus there are those players from minor league camp who came over to watch. There have been Major League baseball games that drew fewer fans than this. I know it. That's embarrassing, no matter the circumstances. Or maybe the Mariners are just that compelling. Being there in person to watch the Mariners play the Mariners would be like being there in person to watch Edward Norton beat the crap out of himself in Fight Club.
No more intrasquad, as Cactus League action begins this Friday. Follow along as the Mariners fight to win 2012's golden saguaro.