This afternoon, I received a text message from Jeff, which said, simply, "Now you understand my agony". And if it wasn't evident enough from my "contributions" to tonight's "game" thread, I certainly do.
By the way, this is actually the real Win Expectancy chart for the game. I used the data from Fangraphs. I realize that Jeff does slightly different things when generating his, so I'm sure the "real" one he does will look slightly different, but this should at least give you all the general gist of how the game went. At least we had a period of the game where the Win Expectancy was over 50%, for the first time in several days. Small steps. Small steps.
Biggest Contribution: Ben Broussard, 42.6%
Biggest Suckfest: Jarrod Washburn, -27.0%
Most Important At Bat: Just about anything Ben Broussard did
Most Important Pitch: Just about any ball by K-Rod that got called a strike
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -56.1%
Total Contribution by Position Players: +6.1%
Total Contribution by Umpires: 0xDEADBEEF
Look, I'll tell you guys something. I stopped at home briefly around 9pm, just in time to see the Angels get back ahead of the game 6-5, and to see that Jamie Moyer had been traded. Went to dinner, came back home, getting pulled over by a cop on the way because my car registration expired, and I saw that the Mariners had briefly staged a comeback but still managed to lose, and then my housemate ACCIDENTALLY DELETED THE GAME FROM THE TIVO so I couldn't even watch it anyway.
And you know what? I'm perfectly happy with that.
I sat down and watched the last 8 innings of the Koshien tournament finals instead, which went 15 innings and ended in a tie. So it will be replayed tomorrow, meaning that pitching aces Yuuki Saitoh of Waseda Sojitsu (who's thrown something like 400 pitches in three days) and Masahiro Tanaka of Komadai Tomakomai (same, but four days) will probably have to go out there and pitch another nine innings or more, until their arms fall off. This was seriously one of the most gripping baseball games I've ever watched in my life, though, and totally brought me out of the bad mood the Mariners put me in. Both sides were simply amazing to watch, though I've already declared that I'm rooting for Komadai.
Anyway, I did mention before the Mariners game thread that Lackey's had a freakishly high ERA when facing the M's, and today was no different as he gave up 5 runs in 4.2 innings, with 12 hits, and that Broussard homer. Washburn, on the other hand, ceased being freakishly good when facing his old team, and was saddled with yet another loss.
Mark Lowe's mystique is gone; he seems to have become human again, or at least had his earlier confidence shaken. But when you're giving up home runs to scrappy midgets like Maicer Izturis -- who, in the grand tradition of midget Angel infielders (see Eckstein, David), averages about one home run per century -- that's a problem.
J.J. Putz has only pitched twice in the last ten days, mostly because your closer can't come out to protect a lead if your team can't get a lead to begin with. I'm sure he was pretty bored and wanted to do something besides sitting there in the bullpen pondering why there are interstate highways in Hawaii, or why people sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame when they're already there, or whatever the hell closers think about when trying to keep their "closer's mentality" aura going.
I'll admit that I didn't actually see Chris Snelling's last at-bat of the day, and am mostly going on game thread eyewitnesses for my impression of what transpired, but if you look at the Gameday chart it's pretty obvious some of those balls they call strikes are fudged in where they show up on the square. It's extraordinarily lame for the game to end that way, especially since we all know Snelling's pretty capable of beating the snot out of the ball when he's given a good pitch.
Neat things to see on the game play-by-play:
Bottom 8th: LA Angels
- I. Suzuki in center field
- C. Snelling in right field
Ben Broussard had one hell of a game tonight. Yeah, he's tapered off a little since joining the Mariners -- .222/.246/.519 in 18 games -- but that includes 5 home runs, and that .765 OPS is better than any of the regulars on the team not named Ichiro or Raul. He's good and he mashes righties and he puts up with being on the Mariners. What more can you ask from a guy?
Speaking of putting up with being on the Mariners, yes, sadly, the guy who I'm sure most of us thought would never get traded until the day he either died or retired, Jamie Moyer, has infact been traded to the Phillies. I've been up and down about this all evening -- my Moyer #50 t-shirt is actually sitting on top of my scorecard book, where I put it last night after doing laundry, for when I go to Safeco next week. I don't have the heart to move it.
For the large group of readers who don't know me from Marinerds, I've sort of got dual blogizenship between here and the Phlogosphere, because I grew up in Philadelphia going to Phillies games every Sunday for the first half of my life. That experience helped me immeasurably in learning how to appreciate terrible baseball teams like our recent Mariners, but it's given me really weird perspectives in a lot of Phillies-related events this year, such as finding myself in Philly over Memorial Day weekend watching Arthur Rhodes pitch to Jeff Cirillo, who lined a single over David Bell. But I digress.
I think it's pretty cool that Jamie's going to get to go play for the team he watched growing up. I think it's neat that his parents will be able to watch him play again. The Phillies and Mariners both get great "local boy" angles off of this trade, as the two A-ball pitchers we got are from Corvallis and Redmond. Jamie gets to delude himself into thinking he's in a pennant chase again, but, much as I adore the Phillies -- and I really do -- I just don't see them making it to the Wild Card with so many holes on the team, even with the recent tear they've been on after the Abreu trade. Whatever makes him happy, I guess.
But dammit, I'm going to miss seeing Jamie Moyer playing catch with people in the stands during BP, or sitting around signing stuff and chatting with kids and all. I'm going to miss the novelty of having the oldest and youngest players in the AL on our team. It's sort of like when someone cuts down an old oak tree in front of your house. You don't immediately think it's a gigantic change, and maybe you're even glad that it'll stop shedding leaves and junk onto your car. But a few days later you're hunting for your keys in the sun and sure wish there was a tree there to give you shade, or you suddenly notice that you can look out your window and really notice the ugly burgundy color the people across the street painted their house. And then you're like, Goddamnit, I wish the tree was still here instead of 3000 miles away serving up dingers to Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran, but it's too late, you're stuck with a stump and some seedlings that might grow into another nice big old tree someday.
On that note, Jake Woods takes the mound for the Mariners against Ervin Santana in a few hours. If you see someone run out onto the field to strangle Mike Hargrove, and he looks suspiciously like Jeff, well, don't say I didn't warn you.