I wasn't planning on writing anything tonight, but that game wound up being sufficiently awesome to warrant a few words. Beating theis like a fresh, warm mozzarella stick. There's just nothing like it. Except a fresh, warm mozzarella stick.
- I didn't tune in until a little later, but it would appear that David Pauley managed another perfectly acceptable outing. It's worth noting that, over three starts against Boston, New York, and Chicago, he's only allowed seven runs walked three guys while striking out ten. I bring this up not because it's particularly meaningful, but because, wow, could that have gone a lot worse. This is just further evidence of how thin the line really is between earning a good living and struggling to make ends meet. David Pauley isn't very good. Neither is Nate Robertson. Nate Robertson has already made more than twenty-five million dollars. It's really, really hard to get over that hump, but once you're over it, it isn't so hard to stick around. We'll see if Pauley seizes this opportunity. He's off to a nice start. Red Sox hitters missed on nine of 16 swings they took against his offspeed stuff.
- Over three games against Boston, the M's have hit .159/.244/.290. Over said three games, the M's have outscored Boston 12-11.
- A big night for Michael Saunders, who homered and drilled a line-drive single off one of the top lefty starters in the world. Saunders is up to a batting line of .238/.315/.444 with very good defense in left, and it's worth noting that, over his last 14 games, he's got nine walks and 12 strikeouts. I know that sentence has a lot of numbers in it, so a more readable version would be this: Michael Saunders is arriving before our very eyes. He is progressing the way Mariner position player prospects just don't progress.
Just look at his performance against Lester tonight. Now, up front, I don't want to say that this was all Saunders. I don't want to give him all of the credit, since this might've been a coincidence. But the sequence is intriguing:
First AB: takes two pitches over the outer black, takes another fastball away off the plate, then whiffs at a low-away curveball
Second AB: takes a fastball away off the plate, takes a fastball over the outer black, takes a high fastball, takes a fastball over the outer black, crushes a low curveball middle-in
Third AB: takes a fastball over the outer black, takes a fastball away off the plate, fouls off an inside fastball, takes a low fastball, takes a fastball away off the plate, crushes a low fastball middle-in
Lester got Saunders to go fishing on a 1-2 curve early on, but he couldn't get Saunders to swing at those outside pitches otherwise, and of the three times he came in, one was fouled and two were hit hard. This strikes me as a positive development. As has been covered, Saunders has trouble hitting outside pitches with much authority. Tonight, rather than going for weak contact, he laid off what he couldn't hit and swung at what he could. Sure, we'd all love for Saunders to be able to hit everything, but having him be aware of his limitations is a fine second prize.
Eight home runs over 169 trips to the plate is a 28-homer/600 PA pace.
- In the eighth inning, Jack Wilson successfully bunted this pitch for a squeeze:
As he peeled off around first base and headed back to the dugout, he was wearing this big, bright smile. I've figured out the thing that makes so many of these players seem likable again: winning. Go figure.
- Chris Seddon, Jamey Wright, and Garrett Olson threw 30 strikes out of 44 pitches in spinning 3.1 innings of high-leverage, no-hit relief. The last time something this unlikely happened in an evening...was Thursday. Well that didn't get very far.
- Speaking of Seddon, we have a fresh new candidate for Prettiest Mariner:
I haven't yet polled the lady of the household, but I feel like the only negative here might be that Seddon is too attractive, so attractive that women figure he must be hiding something. That hair. It's a long, flowing, chestnut waterfall. It's almost cruel to have him share a dugout with Rick Griffin and that Jack Zduriencik impersonator that hangs out in the back. The only things softer than Chris Seddon's luscious hair are Chris Seddon's pitches.
It is worth noting that, while this is a very flattering angle, Seddon - like Olson - looks kind of ridiculous in a baseball uniform, and I think I have it narrowed down to his ultra-short sleeves. Chris Seddon needs to wear long sleeves. If he, you know, wants to look more attractive. Which he very clearly would probably like.
- Somewhere among the thousands upon thousands of exasperating loudmouths was a young Red Sox fan, maybe six or eight or eleven years old, getting to watch his favorite team in person for the first time in his life. And to think, that kid almost saw a perfect game thrown by Boston's most awesome pitcher! Such luck! Only instead of a perfect game, there was an error and a home run and more runs and a four-run loss. I hope that kid cries, and goes home, and wets the bed, and watches his parents get a divorce, and never gets a girlfriend. Haha Sox fan