See, because a mariner is basically a sailor. A mariner is a person who directs or assists in the navigation of a ship. A diamondback is a snake, and while a lot of people think there's a difference between land snakes and water snakes, the terrifying truth is that all snakes can swim. It's right here on this website, which begins with the words "all snakes can swim." These mariners were caught unprepared; a consequence of their ignorance.
Whatever, that introduction sucks. Really, I'm fuming. Today, sure, thelost to the 8-5. The Mariners fell to 6-2 in the Cactus League standings, which still has them in first, but by less than they were yesterday. But here's a dirty little secret that's somehow been swept under the rug: while the Mariners were supposedly the home team this afternoon, they played at Peoria Stadium. Peoria, Arizona. Arizona, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If I can be frank, this is an outrage. The Cactus League is supposed to be all about fair competition, but it turns out that all of the games - all of them, for every team - are practically held in the Diamondbacks' backyard. This puts every other team at a disadvantage. Okay, so the Mariners were at "home" today, but they weren't really. It's like when theplayed in Seattle last summer. The Marlins were the home team. But the Mariners were really the home team. In the Cactus League, the Diamondbacks are always the home team, and this makes things uneven. This tilts things in the Diamondbacks' favor, and so one is free to question the outcome of every Diamondbacks game.
Until a resolution is agreed to - and to my knowledge, nobody's even talking about this - I think a reasonable approach would be to treat Diamondbacks games like B-squad games. They're games, but they don't count in the standings. That way things are kept even, and even though it would mean the Diamondbacks could never win the Golden Saguaro, what right do they have to the Golden Saguaro, anyway? They're cheating! They've been cheating all this time!
I've never been a whistle-blower before. I guess I have to be the whistle-blower here. The Cactus League is rigged. It's skewed for the Diamondbacks. Send them bitches to Florida. All we want is an even playing field.
That went on longer than I expected it to. Let's see what we have in the way of game reporting and commentary. Jason Vargas started for the Mariners and allowed five runs in four innings, which on paper looks like a very Vasquezian effort. Ditto for the two home runs. But Vargas also had a walk and four strikeouts, and the strikeouts were Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Young, Jason Kubel, and Willie Bloomquist. Fine hitters, almost all of them. So there were some positives, and Vargas got up to 82 pitches so he's basically ready for the season now. Of additional note is that Vargas threw ten curveballs, with nine of them for strikes. Less than six percent of his pitches were curveballs a year ago, so either he's thinking about working that in more, or he's not.
After Vargas there was nothing interesting and then George Sherrill allowed a home run and then Hong-Chih Kuo allowed a home run. It's funny - I recall that Sherrill pretty much always has a terrible spring, so I don't care what he does in March. But I'm finding that I care what Kuo does in March, and maybe that's fair and maybe that's not. Kuo was dominant in 2010. In spring of that year, he barely pitched because his elbow hurt. Kuo was dominant in 2008. In spring of that year, he didn't pitch because his elbow hurt. I don't know what to make of Hong-Chih Kuo. He certainly hasn't impressed anybody yet, and he's kind of fighting for a job, but he has more time, and the Mariners are actually seeing him. I'm looking at his numbers in an Internet box score. We'll see?
Offensively - the Mariners have never faced Tim Lincecum in a regular season game (or a playoff game ahahahaha), but today they faced Trevor Bauer in a preseason game, and Bauer is kind of Lincecummy. They knocked him for four hits and two runs in three innings. This bodes well for when the Mariners eventually face Lincecum, potentially this coming June. Brendan Ryan tripled off him. Mike Carp doubled off him. Alex Liddi doubled off him. Munenori Kawasaki singled off him. Carlos Peguero struck out against him, but Carlos Peguero strikes out against everybody.
Except J.J. Putz! Who Peguero took deep in the fourth for his third home run of the Cactus League season. Peguero blasted the first pitch out to center and he hit it a long way, which you already knew since he hit a home run to center field. All the shit we've talked about Carlos Peguero and here he is, collecting hits in March like a regular Mike Wilson or Josh Thole. If Carlos Peguero actually figures it out I will eat this entire pile of laundry that I wish I had quarters to wash. Chances are I will not have washed it by the time we know whether or not Carlos Peguero has figured it out.
Other hitters did baseball things, but not enough of the good ones before doing the requisite amount of the bad ones. Tomorrow the Mariners split things up, with half of them facing half of the, and the other half of them facing the Diamondbacks again. Hopefully they just divide the roster in half instead of each individual player. Otherwise that first game could be gruesome.