I had a friend message me via FaceBook today, asking if I was watching the draft. First of all, there’s an actual game on, and second of all, I’ve just never gotten all that excited by the draft. I tried in 2009, to pay attention to what the spoils might be for 2008. I tried to get caught up in the excitement and the reasons I should get caught up in the excitement, but at the end of the day, the draft does little for me. I don’t have time or brain space enough to follow the guys we might be interested in, and then when something like this happens, it seems all for naught anyway. I would say that I don’t care, but that’s not technically true – I am simply aware of my limitations, so I don’t bother with the draft. I’m already having enough trouble keeping up with this major league team, without tossing a bunch of prospects into the fray. So good luck Mr Hultzen, perhaps we’ll see you soon in Everett.
John Danks spent the first four innings of the game tonight with this odd little smirk on his face. I had hope that we could start helping to wipe it off of his face, but when Michael Pineda threw a fastball down the middle of the plate in the bottom of the 4th inning and Paul Konerko took it for a ride into the waiting glove of a female fan over left field, I immediately had my doubts. I’m still not sold here. Even after listening to Matt Pitman’s impassioned speech on the post-game show yesterday on ESPN, I just can’t let myself relax and float down the river. If we get hit early in the game, I just assume it’s all going downhill and sort of settle into the idea of losing the game. This isn’t really a reflection of the way that the Mariners have been playing, as much as it’s a reflection of my pessimistic way of life. John Danks is a good pitcher. And the reliability of Mariners hitting continues to make me nervous.
Even though they threatened a few times, the Mariners’ 7 hits were no match for Danks, Jesse Crain, and Sergio Santos on the hill. The Ms managed to get one unearned run, but the game was still lost to the White Sox, 3-1. I’m not terribly upset about this, but coming off of actually being at yesterday’s 9-6 win over Tampa Bay, it’s a bit of a downer. Pineda was still excellent, Seattle’s defense was still as good as it’s ever been, but the sticks were just not getting the job done.
Speaking of yesterday’s game, it was a great one, and by now it’s old news, but I did want to take a second or two to go nuts over Brendan Ryan’s squeeze bunt in the third inning. I cannot talk enough about the lack of the element of surprise with bunting. So many batters show bunt first, which not only gives his intentions away to the pitcher, but completely ruins the move for the crowd. Showing bunt is akin to the catcher not bothering to hide his pitch calls, or the pitcher just walking up to the batter and telling him what’s going to be thrown. Why would you do that? Ryan’s bunt yesterday was perfect – it came out of nowhere, and it did what it was supposed to do, advance Ichiro on to score. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it always amazes me when people who are paid to play this game play it lazily – and showing bunt is, in my opinion, a lazy move.
I have nothing else today, but here’s a picture I took of JP Howell giving Justin Smoak a walk yesterday. Ball four:
It looks like the AL West was full of losers today, with the A’s losing their game to the Orioles, and as I post this the Rangers are losing to the Tigers to the Tigers, and the Angels are losing to the Rays, although that game is still in the early innings. So we’re not any further down or up the ladder than we were when the sun came up this morning, not really. Tomorrow Phil Humber gets to face Felix Hernandez in another “early” game. Maybe Humber will give our offense a little nudge.
Oh, and in case you weren’t watching the post-game show on TV just now, some of the media folks were able to visit the place in Chicago that is making the Dave Niehaus statue. Hopefully Shannon Drayer will have more about it on her blog – she was talking to Matt Pitman on the radio yesterday afternoon about visiting, and getting some photos or possibly video if she could. The statue is maybe a little surprising – Dave, sitting at a desk with a microphone and his scorebook in front of him – but it looks like it will be great when it’s finally finished (it appears to be just in the molding phase, at the moment), and they really got the likeness down. I think I saw Greg Johns in attendance as well, so maybe we’ll get some information from him, too.