Short recap today because: it’s sunny, it’s Sunday, and there was too much bad Seattle sports going on to stay cooped up inside writing about sports.
The biggest story for me was Anthony Vasquez. There has been a lot of flak thrown towards his delivery. It’s a low-intensity, location driven delivery. He doesn’t seem to throw all of his weight towards the plate. He’s been criticized as being a low-velocity, painting the black kind of pitcher. Today, the story was a little different. Out of the 45 swings the Royals took against Vasquez, six of them missing, giving us a 13.3% swinging strike rate. Although it was not as good as his last start against the Angels, which was a 19.5% swinging strike rate, these swinging strikes looked intentional. In the at-bat, the swing-and-misses he induced were deliberate on his part, because he hit his target exactly. His line, at first glance, of 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB isn’t impressive, but for those who paid close attention, Vasquez looked good. He may not be a part of the Mariner’s future, but he’s making improvements, and thus is improving his case.
Keeping with the pitching, Steve Delabar made his major league debut, and in my opinion, it could’ve have gone any better. In his first at-bat, he pounded the strikezone with 96 mph fastballs, and then got Alcides Escobar to get under a 86 mph splitter. Jeff Sullivan pointed out that we shouldn’t always take gameday’s PITCHfx as doctrine. The system can make mistakes. Gameday called Delabar’s splitter a curveball, and if you watched the game, they specifically called attention his splitter-grip. Anyhow, he induced four swinging strikes, and for the most part, he looked great. After Escobar, he got Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera to strike out. Small sample size, but if he can keep this up, I like this substitute teacher. That’s the first time I can say that!
Dustin Ackley‘s only hit of the game was a beautiful bunt, which I just think is awesome. The long ball is great, but being able to read that the third basemen is playing back, sneak a peak in, and execute a bunt for a hit is sweet. He’s been stinging the ball hard but he has been handed some bad luck, and some great defense on the part of Jeff Francoeur. Frenchy. What a dumb nickname.
The last point I want to bring up before the jump is Kyle Seager‘s pinch-hit at-bat. To set it up, he replaced Alex Liddi, who had gone 0-for-2 until that point. What Seager did wasn’t unspectacular, but he battled, and that’s what caught my attention. Of the five pitches thrown to him, most of them were on the outer section of the plate. It looked like he was trying to go the other way with each of his swings. He knew what Greg Holland was throwing him, and he knew what to do with it. There may be hope for this kid after all.
- Josh Bard. Gauging how well a backup catcher is doing is tough to do, but for a fill-in role, he’s doing great. I guess he’s technically on a six-game hitting streak. Those dates: August 23rd and 28th, September 3rd, 5th and today. In those games, he is 5-for-18, batting .277 with four RBI and one homerun. Since August 23rd, Brendan Ryan has gone 10-for-65, batting .153 with four RBI and one homerun. Perception and sample size. And Josh Bard. Oh, Josh Bard, you.
- When Josh Bard! singled in the eight, he was replaced by Michael Saunders, who scored later in the inning on an Ichiro double. At this point, Wedge decided to get both Brandon League and Steve Delabar up in the bullpen.
Steve: Hey, if the Mariners score or get ahead, you’re probably going in, huh?
Brandon: And if the Mariners don’t score, you’re going in.
Brandon: It’s okay, just throw the splitter. Olivo isn’t behind the dish tonight.
- Goodbye, Tim Collins. I’ll see you soon, I hope.
Enjoy the day, remember those who have fallen to protect our country, and forget about Seattle Sports for a little bit. One of these days they’re going to give us something worth remembering. One of these days.
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