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Mariners Lose To Rockies, Waste Golden Opportunity

talking with the stick
talking with the stick

Tuesday afternoon, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Seattle Mariners lost to the Colorado Rockies 9-8. I don't know on which of the Salt River Fields this game took place, but I would wager that the answer is all nine of them. I think that there are nine Salt River Fields, and that the games change fields between each inning. All of the players and coaches move, and then all of the fans move too and sit themselves in identical locations. I don't know why this is done, but, when in Rome, where by Rome in this instance I mean Arizona.

The Mariners out-hit the Rockies 16 to nine, and were only out-walked four to two. Ordinarily, when you see that kind of split, you'd assume that the Mariners would've won. But the Mariners were done in by a staggering five errors, allowing the Rockies to score three unearned runs. You don't like to see that kind of sloppy defensive play this close to the regular season, and as a matter of fact the Mariners are technically already within the regular season. But there are considerations to consider, as you do. It was a very very bright, sunny day, for one thing. Two of the errors were committed by Alex Liddi and one of the errors was committed by somebody named Jarrett Burgess, for another. And then there's the matter of the talking stick. People don't realize that the talking stick gives the Rockies a home-field advantage by being wicked distracting.

Wilhelmsen: /throws pitch
Helton: /hits pitch
Stick: HEY
Liddi: /fumbles ball
Liddi: /recovers
Liddi: /throws ball away

And that's how Alex Liddi gets charged with two errors on the same play. Not because Alex Liddi isn't a good defender. Because Alex Liddi isn't a good defender when he's being insulted by a talking stick.

I referred to a golden opportunity being wasted in the post's headline. Monday, the A's lost to the Giants. Even though the A's are home in the Bay Area, their games still count in the Cactus League standings. And the A's, at this writing, still lead the Cactus League standings. Had the Mariners defeated the Rockies on Tuesday, they could've tied the A's, if not in winning percentage. Instead, they're a full game back, pending the A's game Tuesday night. Pretty soon, that Golden Saguaro's getting engraved. The Mariners' odds of having it engraved in their name just took a monumental hit.

Let's see. I'd like to go to the gym, so let's find out how sloppily I can write this post and still manage to meet my own standards. I'm guessing: very sloppily. Erasmo Ramirez took the mound in a spot-start and wasn't bad. He also wasn't good and lasted three innings. To the surprise of probably somebody but not very many people, he didn't issue a walk. He struck out Jonathan Herrera, looking. It's very difficult to strike out Jonathan Herrera swinging. Especially for one of us! I probably could never do it unless I just kept trying over and over until Herrera got tired or asleep. There's nothing meaningful to read into with Ramirez's performance - he was just getting work, and with Shawn Kelley's demotion, you can look for him to fill a fairly prominent role out of the bullpen.

After Ramirez came other pitchers who will or could make the team. Tom Wilhelmsen allowed three runs, but wasn't helped by Liddi's defense. He also wasn't helped by himself. George Sherrill allowed zero runs which is kind of remarkable for him at this time of year. Brandon League allowed four runs while Jarrett Burgess I guess tried to learn the game of baseball for the first time behind him in center field. Charlie Furbush allowed zero runs. Furbush did allow a run when he picked off Tyler Colvin and Chris Nelson scored from third on the play, but that run was charged to League instead of to Furbush or the defense, so Furbush needn't worry about the Rockies pulling a video-game move.

With two and two-thirds scoreless innings, Furbush helped his case for making the team. He's had a good spring. But Lucas Luetge has had a Rule 5 spring, by which I mean Lucas Luetge can't go to the minors and Charlie Furbush can. So I think Charlie Furbush is still destined for the minors unless the Mariners give Luetge back, or work out a deal so he can be stashed violation-free.

Maybe the Mariners could try sending Lucas Luetge to the minors anyway. Just do it and hope that nobody notices. Who would notice? Are people really watching that closely? I would be surprised if people were watching that closely. People have shit to do. Their own shit that they think is more important.

Offensively, the Mariners obviously did some damage, pretty much entirely against Juan Nicasio and Tyler Chatwood in the first six innings. One run scored in the second, five runs scored in the fifth, and two runs scored in the sixth. Carlos Peguero hit the only home run - his fifth - to right-center off Chatwood. Chatwood is right-handed and not that good, but then Carlos Peguero is also not so good that we can just take success against a guy like Chatwood for granted, so good for him. Peguero also had three singles and only one strikeout, because he ran out of at-bats.

So Peguero led the way with four hits, and then four players came through with half as many hits. Those players were Kyle Seager, Munenori Kawasaki, Michael Saunders, and Casper Wells. Encouraging games for all of them. Seager blasted a long double off the center-field batter's eye. Kawasaki ripped a triple to the right-center gap, which is notable since he's basically been a singles machine. Saunders blasted a long double off the center-field batter's eye shortly after Seager. Wells blasted a double off the wall in left-center. Wells has not had a great spring and his job really was in jeopardy, so it's good to see him coming on, even if it doesn't mean anything because it's still spring training and none of it means anything.

Mercy, this is more words than I intended to write. Since we're talking about a spring-training game, at the end of spring training, after the Mariners have already played regular-season games. I'm still unclear on the whole Jarrett Burgess thing. Same with the Ketel Marte thing. Ketel Marte played shortstop after Munenori Kawasaki came out. Who in the blue fuck is Ketel Marte? I've at least heard of Bryan Brito, who took over for Dustin Ackley. You don't replace Dustin Ackley with just anyone. In closing, there's one day left in spring training and John Jaso has one hit. Read into that however much you want. I'm just kidding, don't.

It's all over tomorrow. Tomorrow, the Mariners play the Rockies, and then the Cactus League is finished. Then it's time for the offseason, during which Jack Zduriencik and the Mariners can re-tool. What's that? A hundred what-ty? No, you can't be serious, that's insane.