No matter the sport, I just always love beating Toronto. Something needs to keep those damn Leaf fans upset after their season ends in early April.
Biggest Contribution: Sean Green, +15.9%
Biggest Suckfest: Kenji Johjima, -8.3%
Most Important At Bat: Beltre funk blast, +18.5%
Most Important Pitch: Wells double play, +15.1%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +47.6%
Total Contribution by Position Players: -1.1%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +3.5%
I don't have much time at all, but fortunately tomorrow's game starts around ten in the morning, so no one's going to be checking for a recap between now and then anyway. Here are just a few quick points before we all get on with the rest of our Friday nights in good cheer:
- The Mariners are now at a season-high 15 games over .500. Incredibly, on May 22nd they stood at 19-21 after a loss to the Indians. The Cubs may be rolling right now, but for the past two months this has been the hottest team in baseball, and at this writing they're only a little Neshek/Nathan away from being a single game behind the Angels. Perhaps the best part is that, with Jones on the way (and he will be up before too long), we're guaranteed to improve the amount of talent on the field between now and the end of the season. They may not keep up their 94-win pace, but a Jones promotion will go a long way towards denying any substantial regression predicted by the team's current run differential. As another way of looking at it, the Mariners are a contender who stand to make quite possibly the biggest deadline addition in the league. It sucks that we've had to wait so long, but when the moment finally comes, then the Angels and Indians better look the fuck out, because at least one and possibly two glaring holes will be filled by quality production.
- Sean Green had another awesome appearance, throwing 17 pitches to four batters and recording four outs: one on strikes, two on the ground, and one in the air. The first out, a strikeout of Aaron Hill on a frisbee slider, was big, as it killed a potential Toronto rally in the sixth. I thought Green would've been fine to start the eighth what with four consecutive righties coming to the plate, yet McLaren went with Reitsma in a move that I really didn't like at the time. As MFIA reminded me in the game thread, though, it might've actually shown a keen understanding on McLaren's part of leverage and bullpen use, where it was better to use Green in a big situation in the sixth than try to save him for later. That much I agree with. However, before I applaud McLaren's thought process I'd like some confirmation that Green was unavailable for a third inning of work, because I'd rather have a slightly fatigued Green than a warm Chris Reitsma. Chris Reitsma and his unwavering hittability scare the crap out of me.
- On a team with a reasonable offense, Miguel Batista is a suitable #3. As tempting as it is to be blinded by early-season impressions and misconceptions, we really only have problems with two rotation spots, not three. Admittedly I'm a sucker for fastballs with crazy movement, but Batista has two of them that're complete opposites - a high-80s cutter that breaks down and over the plate, and a low-90s heater that dives in on righties. They're hard to locate but an effective way of keeping opposing hitters off balance; aside from worrying about timing, they also have to guess which way the fastball's going to break. The man gets a lot of broken bats.
- Angels lose!
- JJ Putz allowed a single, didn't get a strikeout, and let Matt Stairs take him close to the track in left-center for the final out. I'm thinking we might as well mark this down as a blown save, since I don't think he's going to get any of the normal variety.
- There is nobody in baseball who looks like a bigger asshole than John Gibbons. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but if you're walking through Barnes & Noble and you pick up a book with a collage of whiskey, two guns, a dead puppy, and a swastika on the front, chances are you wouldn't be in a rush to hang out with the author. Gibbons got ejected out of nowhere by Tim Timmons today for arguing balls and strikes, but it's hard to blame the umpire for any wrongdoings, since even when he's cutting out handmade paper valentines it looks like Gibbons wants to steal your shoes and hunt you for sport.
Way early tomorrow, with Weaver and Josh Towers at 10:07am. If you don't know much about Towers, he's a soft-throwing righty who absolutely pounds the strike zone. Remember Paul Byrd?