Anthony Vasquez started today, so everyone and their mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and siblings expected the same thing: Vasquez was going to give up runs. There aren’t very many questions left to ponder about Vasquez. We don’t have to wonder about his velocity – it’s going to stay in the mid 80′s. We don’t have to wonder about his control – he has to live and die on the black. The question left in everyone’s minds, however, is how he was going to give up those runs. Was he going to give up 12 consecutive singles, shattering Boston’s record held since 1953? Was he going to the first pitcher to give up back-to-back-to-back-back-back homeruns?
Vasquez didn’t surprise us today. Today, he gave up seven hits. He has only given up less than seven hits one time in his six big league starts, and on that day he gave up five. He gave up three home runs, and one of those was an inside-the-parker. One of the more positive things we can take from his start is that he kept his ERA under 9.00. John Lackey still hasn’t lost his mind because he keeps Vasquez’s baseball-reference page as his homepage on his computer. Jason Vargas still holds onto hope of a starting position because he realizes he is not Anthony Vasquez.
One of the things we’ve been focusing on is the youth. The youth movement. Jack Zduriencik has set into place his plan for this ballclub. He has gathered all of his pieces, and he has pushed forward the dominoes. Dustin Ackley made it to the big leagues this year, and he is performing to his hype. Kyle Seager made it to the big leagues, and he is starting to make his way out of Ackley’s shadow. Anthony Vasquez is a Jack Zduriencik guy. He was drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 season. He is a part of the youth movement.
This particular person of the youth movement makes it hard to watch Mariners baseball.
Short recap tonight, because plans, but let’s go over quickly some of the things that happened tonight.
Craig Gentry hit an inside-the-park homerun off of Vasquez. Most inside-the-parkers come off of misplayed balls, and that’s exactly what happened. Trayvon Robinson and Mike Carp both dove for the ball and missed. I was too slow, and Jeff Sullivan beat me to the gif. It’s sort of gif gold.
The Mariners scored all three of their runs in the sixth inning. Ichiro Suzuki was the only player able to drive in any baserunner, as the other two runs were scored on sacrifice flies by Dustin Ackley and Miguel Olivo. Mike Carp grounded to second to end the inning. See what happens to Carp’s confidence when he isn’t batting cleanup!
As of 9:32 P.M, tonight has been dubbed Clinch Friday. Oh how much fun the rest of baseball seems to be having.
- Matt Harrison has the Mariners number. Through 27.1 innings, he has only given up six earned runs, which is a 1.99 ERA through those starts. In that same span, he has struck out 20. I never understand that saying, “having someone’s number”. Apparently it’s etymology stems from having someone’s numerical place of address, so that they knew exactly where to go to find them. I guess it makes sense, but that makes Harrison creepy.
- I laughed aloud when Wily Mo Pena pinch ran for Justin Smoak in the top of the ninth. This is now officially a trend. Among players on the Mariners bench at the same moment that would’ve been a suitable replacement: Michael Saunders. I know he hasn’t been swinging the bat well, but he still has condor-esque legs, right? Right?!
- Neftali Feliz‘s delivery seems effortless, and yet he still pumps in 97-98 mph fastballs down the heart of the plate. Against Neftali Feliz, Mike Carp fouled off a 99 mph fastball that almost took out Smoak’s knees. There are three stories we can take away from this instance: Mike Carp made contact off of Neftali Feliz, Neftali Feliz could throw 120 mph if he actually tried and Justin Smoak almost became a real world Elijah Price.
Michael Pineda had his last start of 2011 the other day. King Felix makes his tomorrow.
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