San Diego: 24-17
||-41.7(29th)||-1.8||-10.6 (21st)||San Diego|
|FIELDING (?)||19.3 (3rd)||2.0||28.5 (1st)||San Diego|
||-1.6 (19th)||2.1||5.2 (13th)||San Diego|
||-2.8 (21st)||0.7||14.1 (3rd)||San Diego|
||-26.8 (23rd)||3.0||37.2 (6th)||SAN DIEGO|
Wooo, a win! It's easy to get discouraged by how far under .500 the Mariners are, but as the feeling after those rare wins can indicate, there's still some hope. Maybe not hope that the team will rally enough to make the playoffs, but hope that they can rally enough to play entertaining baseball. If the Mariners played the rest of the season at a .520 pace, would you be upset? They would end the year at 78-84 at that pace but would win 63 of their remaining 121 games. It wouldn't be what we hoped for a couple months ago, but I might be satisfied with it right now.
That's getting too far ahead of ourselves though. We, and the Mariners, just need to take it one game at a time. And make sure to win that one game. And then the next. And so on. Based on the last 24 hours, the Mariners are projected to finish 136-26 so I don't see much reason to feel down.
In the interest of platoon advantages, I expect to see Milton Bradley in left field for at least the first two games of this series and since Wakamatsu probably will not want to bench Griffey for the entire home series, I'm not optimistic about Bradley getting a DH start on Sunday either. Assuming that Griffey needs to start at least one game I hope he starts tonight so that Michael Saunders and/or Ryan Langerhans can find themselves some playing time this series.
Fri May 21, 19:10: Cliff Lee* vs. Wade LeBlanc*
Sat May 22, 19:10: Ian Snell vs. Clayton Richard*
Sun May 23, 13:10: Felix Hernandez vs. Mat Latos
There's not a single pitcher I would rather have available to face a middling lineup when we could really use another win to try and build some happy thoughts in the clubhouse. Cliff Lee should dice up the Padres. They're not a fearsome offense and their only imposing hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, suffers mightily against left handers.
Which might have made this a decent opportunity for Ryan Rowland-Smith instead of Ian Snell, but there's something clearly off with RR-S and he might be better served spending time trying to figure that out rather than spending time scouting Padre hitters in preparation for a start. Ian Snell returns to the rotation after a handful of decently productive innings in relief. Was there any difference, any improvement, for Snell as a reliever? Yes, a small one. He threw more strikes and as a result dramatically cut down on his walks. It's a stupidly small sample, but if Snell can carry that improved control over into the rotation, he stands a chance at being serviceable.
Wade LeBlanc is not a big strike thrower, nor a great ground ball guy. His change up is just good enough to be a weapon against right handers which is good because he's actually been atrocious against left-handers throughout his career. While LeBlanc has limited right-handed hitters to a .732 OPS for his career, southpaws have posted an .890 OPS against him. The 86-mph fastball might have something to do with that.
Richard can get it up with a little more oomph and though he shares LeBlanc's tendencies for avoiding the strike zone, he diverges with more ground balls and fewer missed bats. Hopefully the Mariners can work some walks against him and avoid hitting into too many double plays.
Mat Latos is the actual talent of the bunch. He's been on a roll his last three starts with a combined 20 strikeouts in 23 innings with just one walk issued. if that continues, the Mariners are going to need early season Felix to step up and keep them in the ballgame until the bullpens take over and then aww crap.
|Cliff Lee||Ian Snell||Felix Hernandez|
|Wade LeBlanc||Clayton Richard||Mat Latos|