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Assorted Other Notes

  • The home opener crowd was pretty good. It wasn't spectacular - it was very Seattle and did little to provide much atmosphere during the middle bits of the game - but it was numerous, it participated in a couple spontaneous "Let's Go Mariners!" chants that were totally unprompted, and it flipped its shit on the Scot Shields error. Maybe they weren't just there for Griffey after all. Speaking of whom, hey, Griffey.

    Three of the four loudest moments at the game were Griffey-related, but if that's what the city needs in order to get excited about a fairly good baseball team, then who am I to criticize? The more people that come out and get heard, the better. Except for when you have to make weewee. Waiting in line was new.

  • Two starts into the season, Carlos Silva has thrown a total of 24 offspeed pitches. 87.9% of his pitches have been fastballs, and while that sounds ridiculous, he hasn't suffered because of it. It's fun to look at his Zone% on Fangraphs, though - from 65.2% in 2005 all the way to 41.8% so far in 2009, dropping each year. Who knew that a nine-walk season wasn't sustainable? Anyway, despite his predictability, he looked decent from the bleachers on Tuesday, even seeming completely in control at times and responding to our ironic two-strike claps with what had to have been humiliating strikeouts. The punch-out of Kendrick with the bases loaded in the fifth was clearly the biggest, as Silva buried a changeup that looked like it caught Kendrick by surprise. The way Silva responded...he needed that pitch in the worst way. God only knows what would've happened had Kendrick laid off.

  • David Aardsma's splitter is only noteworthy when he throws it, which he doesn't, because he relies almost exclusively on his fastball, which I'm convinced is eventually going to be the cause of our collective death. His heater is a step below Morrow's in velocity and a step below Morrow's in command, which is a concept that works way better in video games against teenage opponents than in actual games against big league opponents. I'm on your side, David, and I want to love you, but before I walk the plank called Desire I need you to prove that you don't take delight in our agony.

  • For those of you who've already grown nervous of our bullpen (and for good reason) Mark Lowe was verging on 2006 territory last night, touching 98 while offering a couple sharp sliders. More important and impressive, however, was the work of Shawn Kelley, detailed by Dave at USSM. Kelley had command of both his fastball and his slider, as only three of his pitches missed the strike zone. And his appeal isn't just that he can throw strikes - it's that he can throw quality strikes, getting up into the mid-90s and then breaking it off with a slider that has a whole lot of break. I get the feeling that we're going to be talking up Kelley as a sleeper so often that people are going to ask us to start talking about somebody else. He might just be the reliever who keeps us all sane.

  • The Mariners value Shawn Kelley so much that they misspelled his name during pregame home opener introductions. They also announced the Angels' starting catcher as Mike Napoii. It's funny that Napoli got two i's when it's evident that the person in charge of writing his name down has zero.

  • According to HitTrackerOnline, the home run Endy Chavez hit last night came off the bat faster than either of Griffey's home runs this season. It follows naturally, then, that Endy Chavez rather clearly has more power than Ken Griffey Jr. I wonder why nobody's made a bigger deal of this.

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  • Fun with chronology:

    Put it up! Put it up! Put it up!

    It's a new season! Yeah! Here's to a brighter tomorrow!





    Guess which is the right order!

  • It's hard to watch the video of Ichiro going deep, Sims going crazy, and Griffey laughing while he smacks the back of Ichiro's helmet and not come away thinking it's going to be a way better season.