I said last night that posting would return to normal today, but, Jesus, what the heck am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to make people interested in this? This game was the season. I don't mean it like all of our hopes rested on the final outcome and that the loss doomed our chances of competing; those were shot weeks ago. I mean it like this game was the first two months of our season condensed and wrapped up in a neat little package with a gray tattered bow and a tag that reads "TO: HUGE IDIOT" and a scratch-n-sniff sticker that smells like old cheese for some reason. As nutshells go, this one was pretty complete.
OFFENSE: for seven innings they let the decent but wildly overachieving Joe Saunders do whatever the hell he wanted. He entered with one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball, but six of the 30 Mariners that faced him went down on strikes, while only one drew a walk. All of three balls were hit hard - Lopez's home run and Betancourt's two doubles down the line. The rest were either weak grounders, routine fly balls, or bloopers that dropped in front of the outfield. Only one run was legitimately produced, as the other three were the direct result of a pair of fifth-inning errors. They didn't look particularly interested in making Arredondo or Rodriguez work for their outs later on. This was the very same offense to which we've become accustomed. Our lineup today, by the way, featured zero hitters with an OPS over .780 and four hitters with an OPS under .700. Miguel Cairo pinch-hit in the ninth.
PITCHING: Advertised as the bonafide ace this team was missing a year ago, Erik Bedard walked out to the mound and didn't do anything at all. While he wasn't as bad as the line in the box score would indicate, he still couldn't even make it out of the fourth against a weak lineup. His command was off and once again he couldn't miss bats with the regularity we were expecting upon the time of the trade. In other words, Bedard was somewhat okay but still a massive disappointment, and the strong relief effort we got from RA Dickey came just a little too late to make a difference.
DEFENSE: Adrian Beltre bobbled a grounder on the first play of the game, allowing Reggie Willits to reach first base. Willits would later score on a double. In the second, with the bases loaded and two down, Maicer Izturis rolled a grounder directly underneath the glove of Jose Lopez, plating another pair. In the fourth, with men on second and third and one down, Wladimir Balentien dove for and missed an Izturis blooper despite playing him shallow, letting another Angel cross the plate.
Bad, undisciplined hitting. Disappointing pitching from a big investment, juxtaposed with a solid performance from someone making close to the minimum. Bad defense that cost us runs. We didn't just watch this game - we're living it. Every day.
Only 103 left to go.
Biggest Contribution: RA Dickey, +23.4%
Biggest Suckfest: Erik Bedard, -23.3%
Most Important AB: Quinlan error, +12.2%
Most Important Pitch: Izturis single, -15.4%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +0.1%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -79.1%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +29.0%
(What is this chart?)