Megan’s out and about tonight, so you’re stuck wi… er, I’m filling in for her. Enjoy!
So that was a fun way to spend three hours.
After their losing streak was brutally raised to five games last night, the Mariners showed up today looking pretty much a listless as they did for much of 2010. Also, Jack Wilson was held out of the lineup again after the debacle over him pulling himself out of Wednesday’s game. Whether or not he ever sees the field again as a Mariner is something that is very up in the air right now.
The offense fell in to an eerily familiar pattern: get runner in scoring position, scuffle to try and move him up and in, and then leave him stranded. Twice Chone Figgins got himself in to scoring position (once on a leadoff double, once on a one-out single that saw him advance to third on a wild pitch), and twice was left standing on a base wondering what to do. He wasn’t alone in this, as Luis Rodriguez and Adam Kennedy both were left stranded at different points in the game. The only RISP to touch home plate was Justin Smoak, and you have to wonder if he was being all cocky and thumbing his nose to the other three in the dugout while saying “neener-neener”.
Doug Fister was, for the second time this year, very un-like Doug Fister. For much of his six innings, his control was shaky and his pitches were elevated, which is the opposite of the normal well-commanded, down in the zone pitching. Fister is very hittable when he gets like that, and that was shown well tonight. His defense bailed him out a couple different times, or else the final score could have been much worse than 2-1.
The two runs came as a result of a horrible defensive play by the Mariners. In the fourth inning with one out and the bases loaded, Orlando Cabrera lofted a fly ball to Milton Bradley in left field. Bradley gathered it in and fired the ball towards third base to try and get Shin-Soo Choo out… but there was no one there covering the bag. The ball skittered in towards the Indians’ dugout, and Fister managed to kick it in the rest of the way, allowing Choo to score. Wedge claims that the play wasn’t Bradley’s fault, apparently Brendan Ryan was supposed to be at third, but either way it wasn’t the M’s finest moment.
Also of note was how awful the umpire’s strike zone was. With the exception of a few truly bizarre strike calls, Greg Gibson spent the evening putting a massive squeeze on the pitchers, which is apparently something he has a strong history of doing.
There were a few highlights. Figgins broke an 0-26 slump with a double and a single. The RBI came on a two-out single by Michael Saunders against lefty reliever Rafael Perez. There were a few nice defensive plays. But on a whole, everything was very mediocre, very tired, and all too familiar. Hopefully things get turned around, and soon.
Friendly reminder: If you’re interested in following the M’s minor leaguers, go check out my new blog, Mariners Farm Review.