It has been a nice day outside today. Nice enough to get some yard work done and clean the house a little, nice enough to really look forward to a game of baseball at Safeco Field. It’s the kind of day I wish we would have had at least once during the month of March, when any of the Spring Training games were broadcast, so that what I was seeing out my window matched a little of what I saw on TV. It’s the kind of day where someone says “Hey, there’s a game on!” and you think “Man, I hope it’s a Felix/Jamie Moyer matchup.” Wish granted!
I’ve been poking around the internet here during the first few innings, and I haven’t had Game Day up to see it for myself, but everyone (Twitter people, Lookout Landing is “everyone” enough for me) is saying that Felix’s velocity is down. I could propose that perhaps Felix is tipping his hat to Moyer, maybe sort of saying ‘Hey, old man – I can slow it down too‘, but that would indicate that I might be thinking in terms of a Jamie Moyer age joke, and I didn’t want to be a person who makes a Jamie Moyer age joke. But I think I kind of did just there. Dammit. Apparently, Felix’s velocity has been down in general since this Spring Training/Japan/Spring Training mess started, Nobody (Twitter people, Lookout Landing) is saying anything about worrying about Felix’s velocity being down. I even went to USS Mariner to see if maybe they were talking about it over there. I don’t see anything. Until I’m told to worry or see evidence that I should worry, I’m simply not going to worry. Great, the guys on the broadcast are talking about it now. They don’t seem concerned, just talking about it as a matter of the action of the game. Still not worrying. It’s weird, but Felix ended his day with 57 pitches (37 for strikes), four complete innings, and a smile on his face, so that is A-OK with me.
Moyer’s day was done in the bottom of the 6th, and he was spelled by a pitcher named Edgmer Escalona. I have never heard of Edgmer Escalona, but I’m positive I will remember his name because he hit Jesus Montero with an 83 MPH changeup to the back of the helmet. I didn’t see the actual impact, but I saw the result; a very visibly upset Montero. He was surrounded by coaching staff and not saying a word, but the expression on his face told me that Escalona was lucky the coaching staff were spending some time trying to cool our boy down. One might think that given yesterday’s shenanigans, the Rockies might be a little more sensitive about where their pitches were going, especially against a team that has nothing to do with Cleveland. I have to wonder if some of this might come back to the Rockies in the May series at Coors Field. Or later, since as we all know, baseball memories are long.
Hisashi Iwakuma’s three innings of long relief could have gone better, but they also could have gone much worse (that is my way of being supportive without having to really look at anything). If this had been a game that counted for anything, he would have been terribly lucky that Jamie Moyer was just not that effective against the Mariners today. I’m not knocking Moyer. I’m sure that no matter how much “the regular season is just an extension of Spring Training” (in quotes because it’s a standard reply) there is maybe a little bit of holding back because you’re not trying to drive the car, you’re just revving the engine to make sure it works so you can drive it off the lot on Opening Day. Or maybe Moyer truly was giving it his all and it just wasn’t his lucky day against a Mariners batting order that included Chone Figgins (still batting under .200, lest there be any doubt). I guess I can’t really be too down on the bats today – 14 hits is a really excellent number for the Mariners. I think I’m just getting worse at being enthusiastic over Spring Training, especially since we’re back there now, after playing two regular-season games for No Good Reason in Japan.
I’m at a loss for the remainder of the week. It doesn’t look like the other two Rockies games will be broadcast on the radio, and I have to get back into my work tomorrow so no watching any of this on TV. I find that I am already weary of the Mariners schedule, and I sincerely hope that stops by this coming Friday. I don’t know what it is, but I was really excited (baseball!), then didn’t care so much (Spring Training baseball!), then really excited (Japan), then didn’t care so much (lack of airing exhibition games), then really excited (Mariners! A’s! Japan!), and now not so excited again (more Spring Training!) I would prefer a nice even level of self-generated excitement for summer, baseball, and all of the stuff that comes with that. Just let Friday get here already so we can get into this for once and for all.
Also? Chone Figgins + Left Field = *glazed stare off into the distance*