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Biggest Contribution: Adam Jones, +14.7%
Biggest Suckfest: Joel Pineiro, -16.3%
Most Important At Bat: Broussard homer, +10.5%
Most Important Pitch: Teixeira double, -29.6%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -29.4%
Total Contribution by Position Players: -21.3%

(What is this?)

That thing I said yesterday about recaps getting back to normal tonight? Yeah, I lied. Something came up that kept me out of the house until about 20 minutes ago, so there's nothing I can do.

That said, from what I can tell by reading the game thread, looking at the box score, and watching select portions of the video replay, good gravy, I'm not sorry I had to miss it. I mean, Jones and Broussard going deep is pretty awesome (particularly the latter, since Choo won't stop hitting in Cleveland), but two solo homers aren't nearly enough to overcome a total Pineiro/Mateo/Hargrove three-way clusterfuck.

Said Hargrove on bringing Mateo into the game:

"I felt if Mateo came in and threw the ball the way he can, we had a good chance of getting the ground ball," Hargrove explained. "It just didn't work."

Coming into the game, Julio Mateo had recorded 38 groundballs on 154 balls in play, a 24.7% frequency. Among pitchers with 15+ innings on the season, that percentage ranked third-worst in baseball, ahead of just Keith Foulke (18.4%) and Chuck James (22.9%). 439 different pitchers have thrown at least 15 innings this year. Mateo gets fewer groundballs than 436 of them.

Let's pretend for a moment that Mark Lowe's elbow was still bothering him today, and that he was unavailable to pitch. Same goes for Putz, since he's thrown a ton lately. Still at Hargrove's disposal: Rafael Soriano (22 pitches yesterday, bad GB/FB, but excellent 27.5% strikeouts), Sean Green (59.4% groundballs, 10th best in baseball), Jake Woods (42.7% groundballs), and George Sherrill (36.1% groundballs). Instead of choosing any of these guys, Hargrove chose the one pitcher least likely to get him either a groundball or a strikeout, with predictable results:

First pitch, belt-high, right over the center of the plate. The quality of Julio Mateo's repertoire is surpassed only by his impeccable location.

Mike Hargrove didn't lose the game for the M's, but by leaving Pineiro in as long as he did and then going to Mateo in a high-leverage relief situation, he successfully put to rest any hopes for a Mariner comeback. I know I said the same kind of stuff about Bob Melvin, but I seriously can't wait until this guy's gone. More than anything else, replacing their manager might be the move that makes the biggest difference in the standings between 2006 and 2007. I'm not expecting the front office to find a Tony La Russa-shaped needle in the offseason haystack, but any generic skipper probably leads this team to at least two or three more wins, if not more. Hargrove's strategy is just that consistently bad.

Joel Pineiro blows.

Gil Meche and Kip Wells tomorrow at 5:35pm PDT. If the Mariners had a glimmer of hope this afternoon, by this point it's pretty much all but gone. That was just a horrible loss.