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I don't think anybody saw that one coming.

Biggest Contribution: Spasming Corpse, +46.5%
Biggest Suckfest: King Awesome, -19.1%
Most Important At Bat: Ibanez home run #2, +35.6%
Most Important Pitch: Hernandez single, -16.7%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +9.6%
Total Contribution by Position Players: +34.8%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +5.6%

(What is this chart?)

Since I was up so flipping late last night writing the trip summary, I'm using today as a transition period to get back into the swing of things. So, please, if you're looking for extended content, let this be another edition of You Write The Recap! It's been a little while since we had one of those, and my eyes just aren't going to stay open for as long as I'd need them to in order to hammer out one of my own.

Things that need to be mentioned before I go to bed:

  • Between his awful stuff, his lousy command, and his torturously deliberate pace, Steve Trachsel might be the least watchable pitcher I've ever seen in my life. BP was right about him way back in the day - if you're trying to introduce a friend of yours to the game of baseball, this is a guy you absolutely have to avoid. I haven't the foggiest idea what takes him so long; it's not like he has a power arsenal that wears him out, and he's not taking 30 seconds to plan the next pitch, since he always just goes ahead and throws the same slop as usual. Not only is Steve Trachsel a bad pitcher, but he's an offensively boring one too, and I can't tell you how thankful I am that I'll probably never have to see him again as long as I live. Please just go away and never come back. If you're not good for your team and you're not good for the sport, you're not good for anyone.
  • 15% of Raul's total bases on the year have come in 2% of his games. I don't know what's been behind his two monster displays of crazy power, but unlike last time, I'm not going to let this one fool me - the first homer barely got out, and the second came on one of the worst breaking balls I've ever seen. Which isn't to say I'm not thankful for the contribution, considering it's been a while since the last time he punished bad pitches, but it's going to take a lot more than one night of fury to convince me that he's on the way back. Sadly, I can't help but think that the people in charge of the Mariners don't share my sentiments. Adam Jones, meet the bench. Bench, Adam Jones.
  • With the score 3-2 Orioles in the top of the seventh, Raul Ibanez was set to bat with two down and a man on second. Baltimore went to the bullpen for lefty specialist Jamie Walker, who'd retired Ibanez 13 of the 15 times he'd faced him over the years. Walker's a good LOOGY, and Raul is a crappy bat against lefties. This situation was just made for Adam Jones. Instead, though, McLaren ignored both his bench and some glaring platoon splits and sent Raul to the plate for a critical showdown.

    This was an unforgivably stupid decision at the time, and it remains an unforgivably stupid decision now. I don't care that Raul took Walker deep. He's still a .250 hitter against lefties with zero power, and one at bat doesn't change that fact. McLaren put his team in jeopardy when he let Ibanez walk to the plate, and he got lucky that his neglect didn't end up in a wasted chance. The Mariners can't afford to have this situation repeat itself over the next eight weeks, because this was the most unlikely of all possible results. While he might get a good swing in on occasion, Raul Ibanez cannot hit lefties. This is a well-known, exploitable flaw. John McLaren, you have a possible solution to the problem. Use it. You didn't see it tonight, but generally speaking, the alternative blows.

  • There were 34 hits tonight, 27 of them singles. Ever wonder what it'd look like if a below-average pitcher took on a lineup of nine Ichiros? Yeah, that happened twice.
  • Eric O'Flaherty might be the worst pitcher in our bullpen. Eric O'Flaherty has a .305 opponents' OBP.

That's all I can take - I need to go to sleep. Even thought I think most counting stat records are stupid, congratulations to Barry Bonds; you're the greatest baseball player I've ever seen with my own two eyes. They say you cheated, but lots of people cheat, and even if you did break the rules, you're still the best cheater on the planet. You earned your record, and I hope you enjoy it for however many years it'll be before A-Rod sets a new one. I'm glad you did it at home.

Now that that's out of the way, it's back to focusing on the pennant races. Felix goes tomorrow, and we can't afford to drop winnable games, not with Boston falling apart in LA (the Yankees are only five back in the East). At this point every series is more important than the last, and the time is now to make a move. Let's hope the surge got started today.