Miguel Batista is a guy I've liked for a while. Not because he's some kind of stud or rotation savior, but because to me he's always kind of flown under the radar as a fine and durable #4. Contract aside, I was pretty happy when the Mariners picked him up.
However, this was a case where the numbers didn't tell the whole story. See, Miguel Batista has been exactly what we thought he'd be, only with one additional quirk - when a batter reaches base, he slows his tempo down by a factor of 1000%. Evidently controlling the running game is of utmost importance to Miguel, even though (A) it doesn't really work, since he's allowed the most steals of any pitcher on the staff, and (B) it's not particularly important, as indicated by some of the names atop the SB list.
It's just one of those things he does, one of those things he's probably done all his life. It wouldn't really be all that annoying if he didn't have to do it all the time, and regardless of the baserunner. 47% of the time that Miguel Batista's on the mound, there's a man on base. Even Jeff Weaver has a lower percentage. 47% of the time Horacio Ramirez could start and finish one of his games in between one Batista pitch and the next. And compounding matters is that Batista doesn't seem to care whether the guy on base is a running threat or not. Today he was slowing things down due to the persistent baserunning pressure applied by such noted gazelles as Daric Barton, Jack Cust, and Kurt Suzuki.
I understand that a habit's a habit, and I get that you kind of have to catch your breath every now and again when you're constantly pitching your way out of jams ("never a dull moment" doesn't only go for Hollywood blockbusters), but man oh man, you talk about your irritating idiosyncrasies. At least when I'm yelling at Jarrod Washburn through my computer screen he still goes about his job. Miguel, meanwhile, seems to want to listen to every individual word I say and consider their underlying intent before turning his focus to the task at hand. This is the kind of thing that's only going to make people turn on him faster should he ever fly out of control.
Miguel, as much as we appreciate your competent professionalism, we'd have a lot more patience with you if you'd show a little less. I'd like to be able to keep making fun of Steve Trachsel without feeling like a hypocrite. Besides, at 36 years old, it's not like you're getting any younger, so quit wasting all your days on the mound. Work quicker and you'll have more opportunity to go home and do whatever it is you actually get enjoyment out of doing. Before you die. Because it's only a matter of time.
By the way, hey, shutout win! Funny what can happen when Jose Lopez pulls a ball and the opponent goes 0-9 with men in scoring position. In case you've ever wondered what it's like to be a Padres fan, I hear it's a lot like today, only you're never quite sure if you'll show up like the Mariners or show up like the A's. Sound exciting? Yeah, I know. The National League is pathetic.
Biggest Contribution: Miguel Batista, +39.5%
Biggest Suckfest: Jose Guillen, -11.5%
Most Important AB: Lopez homer, +20.5%
Most Important Pitch: Suzuki groundout, +7.7%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +51.3%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -8.9%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +7.6%