With football season in full effect, it’s hard to focus on baseball. I mean, it’s not that hard for me – because I love baseball. But it’s hard for the media. All attention is on the money-making-machine we call the National Football League. I mean, what is there not to like? Football is turning into the American pastime. The World Series party is dwarfed by the popularity of the Super Bowl Party. No one talks about the World Series commercials, do they?
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of football, too. The play is intense. The image of seeing grown men slamming into each other at full speed is enough to satiate the populous of America. It’s an outlet for people to fill a physiological void, living vicariously through their violence. There is no violence is baseball, and if there is, it’s random.
And then there are games like tonight. Tonight, the Mariners brought to the field what they had been lacking most of the season: offense. The crowd was clamoring for Miguel Olivo to hit for the cycle. If he did, he would join the ranks of Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez, John Olerud and Adrian Beltre. That’s pretty good company. Tonight, the fans got onboard. They cheered when they weren’t prompted. They were into the game. Baseball has it’s ups and downs, and tonight, for the Mariners, it was definitely on the up.
Baseball may seem random to some people. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. You never know what you’re going to see.
Blake Beavan had a rough first inning. So the boxscore would say. Upon further examination, it seems that his pitches weren’t all that bad, it’s just the Royals hit the ball really well. The first pitch of the game was low and out of the zone, but Alex Gordon still was able to smash on it for a homerun:
Melky Cabrera then tripled off a curveball that hung too high in the strikezone. So, that was a bad pitch. Next up, Rook of the Year candidate, Eric Hosmer. Hosmer is good, and he is really making a case for RotY. Look at the location of this Eric Hosmer single:
After his rocky first, Beavan settled down. Out of his 93 pitches, 68 were thrown for strikes, a 73.1% strike rate. Of the 49 swings the Royals took against him, 9 of them missed, giving us a 18.3% swinging strike rate. Although he didn’t miss many bats tonight, he had a good idea of where homeplate umpire Marvin Hudson’s strikezone was, and he made it work. Many of those hits he gave up early I think we can chalk up to bad luck.
Ichiro is looking like Ichiro. He hit his second homerun is as many days, with two stolen bases. He went 4-for-5 tonight, and now is 33 hits away from 200. He has only had four or more hits in three games this year. If he starts the “power-hitter” thing, I guess I wouldn’t complain.
Perception is a funny thing. Ackley went 0-for-4, but each of the balls he put in play were screaming line drives. He really put a charge into those swings, but he doesn’t really have any statistic to show for it. Justin Smoak, on the other hand, went 3-for-4, but they were weakly hit singles that fell in between the defense. Looking just at the boxscore, one would perceive that Smoak had a better night than Ackley. Perception is a funny thing.
Casper Wells is back after getting drilled in the elbow. He went 1-for-4, and made a leaping catch in the eighth. It’s good to see him get that hit out of the way. It looks like he still has that quirky, quick swing. Now, go forth and hit homeruns!
Probably one of the bigger story-lines of the game was Miguel Olivo’s attempt at the cycle. He was a single shy. In the post-game, he said that the dugout was cheering him on, letting him know he was only a single away. He said eh, okay I do mi best and then preceded not to do his best. The thing about, though – the stadium. The crowd knew it. I don’t remember the last time something like that happened. I wasn’t at the game, but maybe there was a prompt on the screen? Either way, it’s nice to hear the crowd paying attention and actively invested in what’s happening on the field.
- Heading into a commercial break, the camera crew showed an area tucked away at Safeco Field where you can get your picture taken by a staged outfield wall, making it look like you are robbing a homerun. Close by, there is a mural on the wall. On that wall is the scene of the Mariners rushing the field after Edgar’s double. In that shot, a skinny Mike Blowers. I think that is the last time Blowers did any sort of running.
- After Alex Liddi got his first hit of his major league career, they cutaway to his parents. Although, his father was missing from action. Apparently he was at the top of the steps. You know, how the ushers stop you at the middle of an at-bat. Ridiculous. Safeco is not a movie theatre. But, they don’t serve cold ones at most movie theatres, so, I guess it was worth it, Mr. Liddi!
- Tim Collins didn’t pitch today. Hopefully he does tomorrow. Still pipe dreams.
The Mariners now have a better record than the Mariners. Eat that, Kansas City!
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