I didn't get to see much of the game this afternoon, and I'm pressed for time at the moment, so I don't have a big recap ready. Rolling through the condensed game (seriously, MLB All Access. Buy it.) left me with a few impressions, though:
- Where fly balls were dying in the outfield last night, they were really carrying today. Which isn't to diminish what Richie Sexson did, because anyone who hits a ball that far while fighting Ebola automatically earns my respect, but that Ibanez homer was a conventional liner that just kept on going, and there were a handful of other fly balls that also stayed up there a little too long.
- Balls that carry + Jamie Moyer = you had to know those homers were coming. Fortunately, he did a good job of limiting the damage and keeping hitters off balance. His two strikeouts to get out of the jam in the sixth inning were the perfect pitches for that situation.
- Given how free-swinging most of the guys in the Angels' lineup are, it was certainly strange to see them strike out looking so often. What was it, four or five times today? It's like they were channeling the spirit of Scott Spiezio in a clutch situation.
- If I had told you before the season that Ron Villone wouldn't make an appearance longer than 0.2 innings until his seventh outing of the year, would you have believed me?
- Bret Boone is a candyass in the field.
- By my count, Wilson Valdez has attempted half as many bunts as the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
- The Mariners pounded Kevin Gregg out of the gate - well, no, they didn't so much pound him as they did wait patiently for him to put them on first base - but then took the final seven innings off. This is the polar opposite of what we'd seen from them for the prior two weeks, when nobody would swing the bat well until the latter stages of the game. Eventually they're going to have a game where they put everything together for nine innings and beat the snot out of someone, but for now, it's pretty discouraging. We can go on and on about whether or not "momentum", as we know it as sports fans, actually exists, but what we can say with certainty is that the Mariners haven't really seen any kind of momentum carryover from inning to inning. They come and go in spurts.
- Eddie hasn't pitched a 1-2-3 inning since Opening Day. I always assumed that you should get some sense of security or reassurance when the closer enters the game, but I guess I was just being naive.
- Jeremy Reed has seven walks and just three strikeouts in 56 plate appearances. He's getting ready to take off. Watch.
- At the rate Olivo is going right now, Dan Wilson may not be the backup catcher much longer.
...all this probably means that Zito's going to spin a complete game shutout, but you won't know unless you watch tomorrow night at 10:05pm EDT. In the meantime, stick around, because Devin should have a little something to say about King Felix's home debut, for which he was in attendance tonight.