There will be Friday nights that I'm around to write as much as I want. There will be other Friday nights that I decide I'd like to have a life and I go light on the content. This particular Friday night is one of the latter sort, so it's nice to see thecooperate by barely giving me anything to say. Gonna be a little quicker with this than usual.
- Four runs and nine baserunners in 5.1 innings? It's easy to look at Jason Vargas' line and think, man, just more of the same. But you'd be wrong. Vargas was cruising through the first five frames, and though he ran into trouble in the sixth, a lot of it wasn't his fault. Walking Josh Hamilton? Bad. Vladimir Guerrero's double, though, came on a great first-pitch changeup down and away, Nelson Cruz's single came on another changeup off the plate, and Chris Davis' single stayed in the infield. Vargas was better than four runs allowed, his command was good, and his changeup was dancing. Encouraging start. I liked what I saw.
- FSN pre-game poll: Who was the Rangers' biggest offseason acquisition? Vladimir Guerrero: 86%. Rich Harden: 14%. Guerrero is 6'3/235 while Harden is generously listed at 6'1/195, so good on the viewers for nailing it.
- Casey Kotchman bounced into his second crippling double play in two days. Both of them have been our most damaging at bats of each game. However, he also drew a walk, and he took a thigh-high delivery from Chris Ray in the eighth wayyyyyy back into the right-center upper deck. He put a home run hitter's swing on that ball, a swing I didn't think he possessed. Kotchman's going to hit his grounders. He's going to kill his share of rallies. That swing, though - that swing is one of the reasons he's a former top prospect. Watch for more of that swing. More of that swing, and we'll really have something, here.
- Referring to Milton Bradley, Dave Niehaus said he had "perhaps the best season of his career with Texas." Bradley posted a .423 wOBA with Texas over 126 games. His next-best season was much much worse. I don't mean to single out Dave here, but it's a common thing among journalists and broadcasters to express uncertainty over something falsifiable and to express confidence in something intangible. Did Bradley have his best year in Texas? Sure, probably. Is Bradley bad for the clubhouse? Hell yeah!
- Reasons to miss Jack Hannahan and Ryan Langerhans: Jack Wilson coming to bat with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh. I'm not saying the Mariners should've stuck with a six-man bullpen after everything they went through in Oakland; rather, I'm saying it sure does suck that injuries changed our plans right out of the gate. Would've been nice to have a lefty on the bench, or a righty that can hit.
Franklin Gutierrez's diving catch to rob Julio Borbon of a base hit in the bottom of the third was absolutely spectacular, and it will be equally spectacular when Julio Borbon returns the favor to Franklin Gutierrez. Center field defense is so sexy. The worst defensive center fielder in the West is Torii Hunter.
- They're using a new camera angle in Texas this year. Where before they went with the standard off-center view from the outfield, now they've put their camera in dead center on a blimp.
- Yes, I'm disappointed that we're 1-4, too. It sucks. This isn't how any of us wanted to start, and we've only scored 15 runs in five games. However, it's far too early for me to fall in line with all the people who're already flipping out. Give it a couple weeks. Give the Mariners a chance to right the ship. Boston's 1-3. LAnaheim's 1-3 and currently losing. You can go nuts if you want, but me, I'm not ready. We'll have plenty of time to complain if things stay bad. For now, though, settle down.