I have neither the time nor the desire to post a long recap about this game, so just a few things and then we'll be done with it.
Biggest Contribution: Randy Winn, +11.2%
Biggest Suckfest: Aaron Sele, -36.8%
Most Important Hit: Winn homer, +11.2%
Most Important Pitch: Boone walk, -11.3%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -36.8%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -14.8%
A bunch of guys with 0.000 ratings - the sign of garbage time substitutions. Of course, in this case, "garbage time" refers to everything after Victor Martinez's home run in the fourth, since that blast lowered the Mariners' odds of winning to what might as well be thought of as 0%.
What to do with Aaron Sele? It's become painfully clear that he's no longer a talented Major League pitcher, and he's fresh off his worst start of the season. It would make sense to drop him off the roster to make room for Felix Hernandez, but...what about Gil Meche's shoulder problems? What about the possibility of Jamie Moyer or Joel Pineiro getting traded? There are five slots that have to be filled, and only so many available bodies. So, while Sele needs to go away, we may yet have a bit of a wait. Which is too bad, because as nice a guy as he's said to be, he's also been one of the worst starting pitchers in all of baseball. It's time to chalk up his very presence on the roster all year as a bad idea and move on.
There was something of a beanball war in the later innings of the game, but I don't really want to talk about it much, since I never know what to say. Whenever something like that happens, you get swept up in the emotion of the moment, fiercely supporting your side while intensifying your hatred of the opposition. Hasegawa was obviously frustrated when he beaned Sizemore - was it really necessary for Millwood to come back and hit a rookie near the end of a blowout? Did Riske really have to come at Ichiro in the bottom of the ninth, when he knew his team wouldn't have to bat again in the game? You can see my bias already shining through here, which is why I'd like to do what I can to avoid the topic altogether. Hostile emotions can make you say some stupid things.
With that said, when and why did it become such a "manly" tradition to retaliate for a beanball? Especially in a game like this, when the Mariners were already feeling bad enough because of a nine-run defecit. When a team's getting blown out of the water like that, they're going to be a little edgy, so beaning a guy out of revenge is only going to make them angrier and cause more trouble than its worth. You have to wonder if retaliation is strictly an American thing, too, since Betancourt seemed so confused by the whole event. He was clearly rather incensed, but I think that's because he took it personally - I don't think he understands yet that retaliatory beanballs are just kind of accepted here, and aren't meant to send a message specifically to the target. It was actually a little funny to see half the Mariner roster all huddled around Betancourt as he slowly walked to first, trying to explain the situation as best they could. Sure, the benches emptied, but not for the usual reason. Other than Arthur Rhodes, I don't think there was anyone on either team particularly interested in beating up another player.
Hitting Ichiro, though? Definitely uncool, and the kind of thing that the Mariners won't soon forget. Ryan Franklin is a manly man and CC Sabathia is something of a hothead, so we could see some more fireworks tomorrow afternoon (1:05pm, MLB.tv blackout). The question is, is it worth it?