Lightning round style...
- Mike Cameron got a much deserved ovation before his at bat in the first inning. He then proceeded to pick up what was probably the first extra-base hit in Safeco of his career. I still love the guy, he's still a terrific baseball player, and there was no more appropriate conclusion to last night's game than JJ Putz striking him out swinging.
- Jose Lopez is on pace to hit 23 homers and draw 15 walks. Last year, the only player to hit 20+ homers while walking fewer than 20 times was Jorge Cantu (28, 19). Not only is Lopez totally awesome, but he also looks like a pretty rare breed. By the way, he turns 23 in November.
- While we're talking about walks, Yuniesky Betancourt is on pace to draw four. All season. As an everyday player. I have no idea what the all-time record is, but I'm guessing that Betancourt's well on his way to beating it.
- Given his over-aggressive constitution as a coach, it's probably good that Mike Hargrove didn't become a driving instructor.
- Last night I worked on developing something called "Excitement Index," which is a measure of how exciting it is to watch individual teams. Taken into consideration are one-run games, extra-inning games, home runs hit, triples hit, stolen base attempts, pitcher K/9, double plays, and home runs against. It's not perfect, and I still have a bunch of tweaking to do, but my initial results put the Mariners at #13 in the league. Which means that, as much as we've complained about how boring it is to watch this team every day, there might be 17 groups of other teams' fans who're worse off. #1: Mets. #30: Twins. Thank goodness for Francisco Liriano.
- It's not much to go on, but Jeremy Reed's hit .281 so far in May, with a bunch of power. With Willie Ballgame temporarily sidelined with a hand injury, the time is now for Reed to establish himself as the absolute everyday starter. It'd be nice to see that BB/K get back closer to where it was in the minors, but baby steps...
- Josh Bard went 2-3 with a double and a home run yesterday, and I don't think he knew what he was doing on either swing. Textbook examples of the pitchers (Putz, Soriano) supplying all the power.
- JJ Putz's incredible 14.0 K/9 so far is still a full strikeout behind Billy Wagner's 1999 record (at least, I think that's the record). I'm not complaining.
Clay Hensley and Gil Meche tonight at 7:05pm. With Anaheim stumbling, now would be a great time to put some distance between ourselves and last place, don't you think?