Jeff said he was taking the night off from this one so I figure I'd throw up a brief recap of the game and he can overwrite my trash with his thoughts + WE chart later on.
Jeff's note: don't know what happened, don't care what happened, on to tomorrow.
Biggest Contribution: Roy Corcoran, +2.0%
Biggest Suckfest: Jarrod Washburn, -15.1%
Most Important AB: Norton double, +4.2%
Most Important Pitch: Aybar single, -16.1%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -13.1%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -36.9%
Total Contribution by Opposition: 0.0%
(What is this chart?)
One trend I have been noticing is an increasing nature to polarize stances on certain players and I have to disagree with some of it. Jarrod Washburn isn't horrible. He's not good, but he's not horrible either. I stated before the season that he seemed the most likely candidate to collapse. That doesn't mean he has already done so and in fact, through his first three starts in 2008, his peripheral numbers had picked up and bucked the sliding trend. Yes, he's boring and he's got pretty much no out pitch, but he's now tossed 24 innings and walked just two. If Washburn's 2-2 pitch to Aybar in the fourth gets called a strike (it was borderline), he puts in a very solid result tonight.
Brad Wilkerson is not good. Mike Morse, however, was much more not good than Wilkerson. The Mariners need to get something out of right field and it's not going to come from Mike Morse or Willie Bloomquist and Wladimir Balentien isn't going to get the call this early in the year so the Ms are best off seeing if they can get Wilkerson going. And at least Wilkerson is patient. He draws some walks and he's not going to sport a .179 BABIP all season. He's bound to get at least a little better. We also have no real substitute handy (thanks Bill).
Ichiro's contact rate this year (the percentage of times that he makes contact with the ball when he swings) stood at 93% entering play today. That's higher than it's ever been previous in his MLB career. His line drive rate is down, but they aren't turning into flyballs which is what we tend to see when he's slumping, but rather groundballs, which is fine for Ichiro. It's his typical April start. He's fine.
Also, these are just my stances, take them for what you will. It's plenty fine to disagree on how we all evaluate players, I just suggest we turn the animosity down. Real or not, GTE or not, it's been a seemingly hostile place to start the year.
On to the game itself. This will be brief because there's not actually much to say. Ervin Santana flat out dealt tonight. This was different than Saunders last night whom the Mariners put everything in play against but just couldn't get hits. Santana was sporting renewed velocity and was throwing darts with his fastball and backing it up with a good breaking pitch. He threw over 2/3rds of his pitches for strikes, not a recipe conducive to extolling patience from your hitters and yet the Ms still made him throw 109 pitches over just 27 plate appearences, working out to just under 4.04 pitches/PA. Yeah, they didn't draw a walk for the second consecutive game, but drawing walks requires that the pitches throw stuff outside the zone and Santana wasn't going that route tonight.
It sucks to lose, especially to the Angels, but it happens. At least it wasn't as bad as last night.