Game II Recap
First of all, I love extra inning baseball games. So, naturally, I liked this game quite a bit. Second of all, being a fan of the visiting team in the bottom of the inning of an extra inning game is very stressful. And third of all, we lost. Kanekoa Texiera isn’t Lowe, Aardsma, or League. This sort of thing will happen to him. Oh well.
The Mariners have been really fun to watch most of the time. Stealing bases, long at-bats and great defensive plays are fun; however, overall offensive inefficiency is not. Jack Wilson and Eric Byrnes looked really, really bad. Adam Moore and Bradley looked pretty confused at the plate as well, but I expect them to actually come around and start producing (unlike the two aforementioned hitters.)
Ian Snell was not great tonight. He was decent. However, he’s established some pretty low standards for himself, so tonight seemed like a pretty good night for him personally. He benefited from some nice defensive plays by Kotchman, Figgins, and one by Byrnes, but his command was decent and his fastball looked fairly sharp. Snell walked only 2 hitters, threw 100 pitches through 6 innings, and struck out 4. He induced 8 groundouts compared to 6 flyouts and threw 61% strikes. All in all, I’m happy with this start. Ian’s got a ways to go, but he’s certainly on the right track.
Dallas Braden, on the other hand, was beastly. His command was impeccable, his location superb, and his stuff was awesome. A list of additional adjectives to describe Braden’s performance: flawless, great, incredible, aided-by-a-not-great-Mariners-offense. He K’d 10 through 7 innings, walking only one and allowing 4 hits. The only blemish in his performance was a balk. Balks are stupid.
But really, the M’s offense looked pretty damn awful without the full-fledged aid of its running game. The only solid hit through the first seven innings was Franklin Gutierrez’s line drive double into the left-field corner.
In other news, Shawn Kelley throws strikes (4 swinging strikes tonight) and is an effective relief pitcher, despite walking the nine-hole hitter on the Oakland A’s tonight. Sean White is not. Are you listening, Don Wakamatsu?
Brad Ziegler is a ground-ball machine. The walk issued to Ichiro was a godsend, because Ziegler is nasty. On that note, Mark Lowe is good too. And Andrew Bailey. And Edwar Ramirez. The M’s and A’s respective bullpens are both pretty darn good this year.
Chone Figgins’ failed bunt attempt in the 8th was both awful and uncharacteristic. Figgins is generally a proficient bunter.
Kanekoa Texiera scared the crap out of a legion of Mariners fans tonight.
All in all, I enjoyed the game. And its a good thing I did, because there’s going to be many more games like this one in store for M’s fans in 2010.