I am gradually recovering from last night’s celebration. Tom is done with his 7th album, and has been working almost non-stop for the entire month of February to meet his label’s deadline, and we recently got our garage door fixed so that we can get the grill out, so yesterday seemed as good a day as any to have some friends over, put some meat over fire, and have a few rounds. I’m not much of a drinker these days, so I have the Mariners game on in my ears with a bit of a headache. Kyle Seager just launched one to put the Ms over the Padres 1-0, so that makes me feel a little better. Jason Vargas pitching 3 innings of perfect ball helps some, too. I hear he’s going to be our number 2 guy this year, and I’m glad about it; he’s worked hard to get that slot behind Felix.
Yesterday’s game was a little disappointing, with the Oakland A’s taking one from us pretty hard at 9-2. We had 5 hits to their 16. Chone Figgins went 0 for 3; so that move seems to be working really well for us (sad trombone). Carlos Peguero took the only home run of the game. Here is he is (again, courtesy of Jen Howson), taking his run around the bags:
Vargas came back in for the 4th inning, with his pitch count hovering in the 30s. It sounded from the crowd reaction (Rick Rizzs was talking to Jack Zduriencik about Jesus Montero at the time) like Vargas almost got smacked by a comebacker off the bat of Cameron Maybin, but I am guessing from the continued on-air chatter that it was a lot less serious than it might have looked to those in attendance. By the end of the 4th inning, Vargas had retired 12 batters and left the Padres absolutely hitless. I don’t mind admitting that makes me happier than it probably should.
Brandon League came into the 5th and kept things nice and scorless. Kyle Seager, meanwhile, kept hitting, going 3 for 3 with a base hit RBI. Jesus Montero took one away from pitcher Luke Gregerson (and his 27.00 ERA) and drove in another run after Mike Carp also nabbed a single. Game Day had some sort of stutter, giving me the impression as my attention was diverted momentarily while I was watering plants, that there had been a run scored when there hadn’t. Rick Rizzs claimed a 4-0 score, but I was convinced GameDay was right. That is what I get for trusting technology.
The rest of the game was mostly uneventful, until the 9th inning. It was at this point that I learned that somewhere in our organization is a pitcher named Jarrett Grube, so that’s something. Judging by today’s game, Jarrett Grube is not very good. Judging by his numbers, he’s maybe OK, but there are so many “A”s behind his name there on FanGraphs that I’m going to continue believing that this game was an indicator of Grube’s general state of being (although making it to Triple A isn’t so awful). Grube managed to tie the game with Nick Franklin’s help in the bottom of the 9th inning. Franklin at short lost a high fly in the sun off the bat of Padre Jaff (?!) Decker. An honest mistake, but I am glad this is only Spring Training.
We were saved by Johermyn Chavez, who drove in Mike Wilson with a double RBI to center field that bounced off the wall. Final score 5-4. “Saved” seems like a dramatic word to use, like a word one might use if the game meant something. But I’m a sucker for a win, regardless of the time of year. And now we are 2-1. Yay!
Lastly, a few more photos to share. I debated not putting them up here because I just hate ending on a sad note. But this is part of our recent past, and even though it’s sad, ignoring it would not do justice to the memory of Greg Halman. Before yesterday’s game, there was a tribute to Halman and recently-deceased scout Frank Mattox. Both men died far too young. I know we will have to do this again in April during the home opener, and I am almost hoping that it’s sunny out, which will give me a reason to wear sunglasses so nobody else can see me sniffling my way through a moment of silence. What strikes me most about these photos are not Jen’s purpose for taking them, but the fact that the people in the photos are all turned towards the screen.
It was too early to say goodbye to either of these men. I now request a full offseason of nobody in the organization dying between October of 2012 and Spring Training of 2013. Can we do that, please? Two years in a row of offseason tragedy is two too many.