Just a handful of brief notes from another M's/A's game that no one'll remember by the weekend.
- A decent but by no means exceptional start for Ian Snell. Though the A's loaded their lineup with left-handed hitters, not a one of them came in with an OPS north of .770, and at some point you'd like to think that a lineup is sufficiently bad that platoon splits shouldn't matter that much. Nevertheless, Snell struggled to throw consistent strikes and punch people out, and while I'm not going to say I'm disappointed or anything, I'd just like to caution those of you who may be inclined to believe that he's already turning the corner. In 2007, he struck out 20% of the batters he's faced. He's below 12% as a Mariner. I'm excited to have him, but there is still lots and lots of work to be done.
- It wasn't long ago that we were talking about Jack Hannahan as a guy who might be putting it together at the plate. As a guy who finally learned to apply all of his skills in order to generate some positive results. Since then he's hit .195 with two doubles. Never read too much into a small sample size. Never. Though you might think you've spotted something, nothing - nothing - is certain until you have enough data.
- When Michael Saunders first came up, my impression was that he was a rangey kid who still had a lot of learning to do in the outfield. Sure enough, we've seen him get some bad jumps and make some absentminded mistakes, but he's still been able to cover so much ground that he comes out an overall positive. That diving catch to rob Mark Ellis was terrific. As expected, range trumps everything else, and there's no doubt in my mind that Saunders is a defensive asset.
- The strangest thing I've read all day long is Baseball-Reference's claim that, at some point in his Major League career, Jose Lopez hit an opposite-field home run.
- Seriously though, I don't know why pitchers ever give Lopez anything hard on the inner half. He waits for high inside fastballs. I'm convinced that's all he does. How many times have we seen him get out in front of an inside offspeed pitch and kill it foul into the third base-side bleachers? He has the most indistinguishable 18 home runs I've ever seen.
- Fans everywhere tend to get excited by beanball wars and emptying dugouts, but there is no better response to a questionable HBP than a home run. As soon as Griffey's dinger cleared the fence, there was no point in plunking a guy later on. The M's had already issued their retort.
- Sean White hasn't walked a guy so far in August. Since 8/2, he's thrown 187 pitches over 15 innings, whiffing six while throwing 63% strikes. It's not much to go on, but at least he's finally distanced himself from that ~1 K/BB he was hanging around all through the first half.
- Every person is unique in his or her own special way. Alexander Ovechkin is unique because he can do in skates what most people can't do in shoes. Luciano Pavarotti was unique because he could hit and sustain notes few even thought possible. Scott Hairston is unique because every night he goes to bed wishing he could play for the .