The M’s and White Sox faced off in far-too-hot Chicago tonight (so very happy I’m not there, I’d be a puddle), and it was a Happy Felix Day to boot. Felix was his normal dominant self at the start of the game, and was helped out by a spectacular play at first base by Casey Kotchman to get an unassisted double play in the second inning. He got some quick run support in the third when Saunders fought off a John Danks fastball for a double the other way, then got picked up by a Jack Wilson single two batters later.
Felix then hit a rough patch in the third inning, giving up two runs and the lead. That was with no thanks to Rob Johnson, who again ole’d a runner past him by failing to block the plate on a close play for the White Sox’s first run. After that, both Felix and Danks turned on cruise control and sailed through much of the rest of the game, until Felix left a fastball belt-high for Paul Konerko to crush into the White Sox bullpen in left in the 6th to put the M’s down 3-1. The White Sox would later add another run that inning, but it’s hard to pin that one on him because of a couple of controversial calls (though one was erased by bone-headed baserunning by Carlos Quentin… see, it’s not just M’s that do it!).
The White Sox half of the sixth was odd on a whole. Quentin appeared to be doubled off at first after a great catch at the wall by Ichiro, but the first base ump called him safe. Quentin then promptly got himself thrown out at second at what was either a blown hit and run, or the most pathetic excuse of a stolen base attempt I have ever seen. A.J. Pierzynski then managed a double on a pitch that hit near the line, was called fair AFTER crossing and hitting behind the first-base ump, and then was picked up by the security guards down the line and tossed into the stands. Does security have to throw itself out after doing something like that? Do they taze themselves?
After that, things pretty much fell apart for the M’s. They threatened to do something offensive in the 8th, but Figgins hit into a double play to end it. I wish I could say that surprised me, but like Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing, I lost all my faith in his bat at some point in the last month. Felix was lifted after struggling to finish the 7th inning in favor of Brian Sweeney, who promptly got himself into a jam and gave up two runs. Sergio Santos then came in and shut down the Mariners in order in the ninth to (blissfully) end the game.
During the game, one of Megan’s no-so-secret baseball boyfriends did something pretty special. Matt Garza dealt a no-hitter for Tampa Bay against the Detroit Tigers, and it also had the distinction of being the first no-hitter in the history of the Rays (Devil or otherwise). That Garza managed this accomplishment in spite of dealing with a wandering strike zone from the ump only makes it all the more impressive. (Megan’s note: When we were nearly no-hit by John Lackey at the Red Sox game the other night, I was telling my friend Eric that I’d rather be no-hit by a pitcher I liked…like Matt Garza. It’s cosmic fate that this happened, and I claim responsibility.)
I was out of town over the weekend, spending time out in Sequim with my family, but managed to keep up to date with the news. The Dan Haren trade was curious to say the least. Various reports had the Diamondbacks trying to get quite a bit of value for him from other teams, but then they went and traded him to the Angels for junk. Joe Saunders is, at best, a fringe-average pitcher who’s been over-rated by his win-loss record and his presence on a long-term contender. Pat Corbin is a decent prospect, but do you know who he gets compared to most often as his upside? Joe Saunders. Woop-de-doo. Rafael Rodriguez is a middling reliever, and Tyler Skaggs, rumored to be the Player To Be Named Later, is a nice prospect, he’s not really that much to write home about. This trade is a HUGE loss for the Diamondbacks, and it hurts the M’s chances to contend in the near future as the Angels now have Haren through 2012, and a club option for 2013 as well. If there’s any upshot for M’s fans here, it’s that it makes Jack Z look all the better for managing to get what he did for Cliff Lee.
The big news for the Mariners over the weekend was the infamous Dugout Melee Friday night. I couldn’t watch the game that night, but I have seen the video and .gif that show it. I’ve been bouncing thoughts about it around the past couple of days, and will be trying to lay them out into some kind of order tomorrow over at ProBall Northwest, so check over there before the game to see if I got my brain in gear.
Now then, an early-evening game means that there’s still a couple hours of daylight left. Go enjoy your night, folks!