You try and you try and you try to care about those last dozen games, but it's hard. Other than Felix's arm, Sexson's bat, and Betancourt's defense, there's not really all that much that's interesting to watch on the team, and there's so much more exciting baseball going on elsewhere - I mean, the entire AL is up for friggin' grabs - that it's hard to stay focused on the Mariners, especially when they're facing another group of go-nowheres. I guess you could say that, after 151 games of bad baseball, I've hit the wall. This kind of daily grind takes an incredible toll on your mind, and while I'll be the first to admit that I got myself into this mess, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to blog a competitive team. Maybe things will get better. Wait 'til 2006, right? I certainly hope so, because these last two years have been rough. You can only keep a baseball team as one of your high priorities for so long before you begin to wonder where the payoff is.
And, as I'm typing this, the Indians tie it up in the top of the ninth. I miss meaningful baseball more than anything, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either (A) stupid, (B) a liar, or (C) a stupid liar.
Biggest Contribution: Yorvit Torrealba, +28.3%
Biggest Suckfest: Jeremy Reed, -34.8%
Most Important Hit: Sexson single, +11.9%
Most Important Pitch: Zaun homer, -18.2%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -25.9%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -11.0%
Note: The killer for Reed was the dropped ball at the wall - they called it a double for Koskie, but Reed should've made the catch, and for that I had to penalize him. Torrealba then got credit for cutting off the throw to home and catching Koskie napping off second base. It was a complicated play, so I made the best of it that I could. Between that play, his two caught would-be base stealers, and the ball he dropped when Wells took off for second, Yorvit had a busy Win Probability Added day in the field.
So, because I just don't have the stamina for this anymore (at least, I haven't in the last few days), let's do a quick review:
- Jeff Harris is not good at the pitching
- Greg Dobbs can hit as many singles as he wants, but he's still not good at the hitting.
- Dave Hansen is not good at the anything.
- Projecting his salary ($17m) on a per-game basis, Adrian Beltre earned more than three million dollars between home runs. I'm fairly confident when I say that I could have done the same thing for less than half as much.
- As much as it feels like Jose Lopez has been on fire, he's hitting a robust .257/.313/.446 since being recalled from Tacoma. Which is fine, don't get me wrong, but all this time I kinda thought he was doing better than that. At least we finally have some additional support for the assertion that Lopez, right now, is a better Major League second baseman than Willie Ballgame. Not that we didn't know it all along, anyway.
- Gil Meche, before getting hurt, was throwing an average of 18.1 pitches per inning, one of the worst ratios in all of baseball. Today, he threw 19 in two, with 13 strikes and a jaw-dropping curveball. Yeah, it's only two innings, but it's also Gil Meche, so it has a little meaning. Let him try out the power reliever thing for these last two weeks and let's find out if he might actually be worth something before we balk at his arbitration ruling.
Felix goes tomorrow, so at least that's worth watching. But for now, the Indians have a man on in the top of the tenth. Just because the Mariners suck doesn't mean we can't watch exciting baseball.