On Friday night, the
week of games individual game in which Cliff Lee got Felix Hernandez's entire season of run support, so as far as I'm concerned the Mariners went undefeated. And with the win tonight, the M's improved to 21-10 against the Padres since 2006. It's been a fairly one-sided and predictable rivalry.
Because it's late on a Friday night I'm not going to write as much as I usually do, but spotlight on Carlos Peguero. It was Peguero, of course, who hit the walk-off fly ball yesterday afternoon that had Torii Hunter seeing a big bright circle in his field of vision for the next hour and a half. And as if that weren't enough for the week, Peguero involved himself in arguably tonight's three most memorable plays:
(1) With two out and a runner on first in the top of the second, Peguero faced Mat Latos in a 1-1 count when he got a hanging breaking ball and pounded it into the right-center gap. The ball rolled all the way to the fence in Petco's 800-foot power alley, scoring Adam Kennedy from first and allowing Peguero to slide into third with a triple. We know that Peguero is going to be helpless against good offspeed pitches, but to see him sit back and take advantage of a bad one - it's an indication that he might not be the worst hitter in the Major Leagues. You don't necessarily have to be able to hit good pitches to survive, because pitchers make a lot of mistakes.
That triple gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead, which I was pretty confident would be enough.
(2) In the bottom of the seventh, with none out and a runner on first, Peguero ran back to the left field wall, leaped, and snagged a Jorge Cantu would-be home run a foot or two above the fence. He then had the presence of mind to quickly get the ball back to the infield to double up Ryan Ludwick at first. What could've been a two-run homer to cut the Mariners' lead in half was instead a 370-foot hope-dashing double play. Peguero may not run the best routes, and he may not read the ball super well off the bat, but he needed every last inch of that 6'5 frame to bring that fly ball back, and few outfielders could've done the same.
(3) In the bottom of the ninth, with one out and two runners on, Peguero raced in to try to catch a flare off Ludwick's bat. He caught the ball for an instant at his shoelaces, and then the ball fell out of his glove, and the runner from second came around to score. However, Jason Bartlett - who had been on first - tried to return to first thinking that Peguero had made the catch, and then Ludwick physically pushed him in the other direction, only to see him get forced out by a throw.
There was clear contact between Ludwick and Bartlett, which seems like it's probably against the rules. The umpires huddled to talk about it, and after an extended delay, they called Ludwick out and put Bartlett on second. I don't know the proper call in this situation but something tells me giving a guy an extra base isn't it.
There's been a lot of talk about Peguero lately, with people questioning why he's up in the bigs when it seems pretty apparent that he isn't ready. I understand these concerns, and agree that he's still a fair bit away from being an actual contributor. But at the end of the day, sports are entertainment, and had it not been for Carlos Peguero, the game tonight - and the game yesterday - may not have been nearly as entertaining. I don't know what that's worth, but it isn't worth nothing.
And Erik Bedard struck out nine over eight shutout innings.