Seattle drops a 4-1 contest to Kansas City. Line of the night:
Yeah, it's a wonder the Royals were able to recover from that colossal one-run onslaught.
Winners of the day had to be Fernando Vina, Jake Woods, and some guy named Scott Youngbauer, who I've never heard of and whose Baseball Cube page gives me as pretty good idea as to why that is. Vina picked up his first hit of the spring - and it's only, what, March 22nd? - a double to drive in the Mariners' only run of the afternoon. He was also caught stealing after drawing a walk, which is obviously only something that happens to guys giving 110%. He was later removed from the game and replaced by Michael Garciaparra in a subtle effort to make Vina look even better. Jose Lopez, meanwhile, didn't play, as Hargrove didn't want to give him a chance to hit against the worst team in baseball (am I kidding? Am I being serious? I don't even know anymore).
Youngbauer singled, which is nice, but this is one of those times where I'm just going to go ahead and say that he doesn't have the name of a successful starting middle infielder, and leave it at that. I'm putting my foot down. I don't so much as know what he even looks like, but he sounds like the whitest guy of all time, one of those guys who's always eager to lead the team sliding drills, and who responds to everything with a cheerful, hearty "yes, coach!" I guarantee you he goes by 'Scotty'. We don't need any more of those. Time to move along to another organization that doesn't already have a Willie Ballgame on its hands. Not that any such organizations actually exist. Trying to make a living as the 31st-best scrappy white utiliy player in the league must be difficult.
Jake Woods tossed a pair of scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 10.29. Which is awful, but when you consider what the other bullpen candidates (particularly the lefties) have done in the early going, it's something you can't help but notice. And that's not really all bad or anything, since it's not like he's Matt Thornton, but the lesson here isn't that Jake Woods is valuable and needs to be kept around - it's that there are guys like Jake Woods everywhere, and that you should never find yourself having to settle for a reliever who's below replacement level. By the way, Jake Woods? He's no George Sherrill. But then, few pitchers are.
Gil Meche allowed seven baserunners and three runs in 3.1 innings while fanning but a single batter. Then, after Meche was lifted, Cha Baek retired all five hitters he faced. Take that, probabilistic expectations.
Two games tomorrow - Clint Nageotte against the Cubs, and Felix against the D-Backs. Posting will probably be light over the next few days, as I'll be bouncing between cities faster than Bruce Chen (that joke would've worked better a few years ago), but fortunately this isn't a one-man show.
(That's your cue.)