Game Thoughts: Athletics at Mariners 8/3/11


The Mariners worked this afternoon. Which, to us regular folk, is sort of like “So what? I work every weekday afternoon.” But for a professional baseball team, these sorts of games generally means crazy stuff happens in a diversion from the norm.

The lineup today was all about reminders. It reminded us that Jack Wilson, Greg Halman and Josh Bard are still on the team. It reminded us that Wilson is only permitted to play positions other than his natural one. It reminded is that Mike Carp is a first baseman. It reminded us that Doug Fister is indeed gone and it reminded us that his replacement can start games.

The first play Jack Wilson would see as a third baseman in the major leagues ended with him fully extended, snaring a ball that had desires to see the left field grass, popping up and firing a strong throw to get the batter-runner out. A few innings later, he’d take a throw-out attempt from Franklin Gutierrez after Scott Sizemore tagged up at third. Sizemore would be safe only until he over-slid the bag. Jack Wilson isn’t new to fielding, but he didn’t lose concentration in his new gig and it paid off.

Charlie Furbush took a perfect game into the fifth inning. I’m bummed that Connor Jackson broke it up. Not because of the normal reasons, which I was also bummed about, but I get curious about how obscure things would be managed. Had he made it into the sixth or seventh with the perfecto in tact, now well beyond his planned pitch count, how would Eric Wedge have handled it?

Josh Lueke throws hard. It was nice to see his velocity up especially after it was down during his early season struggles. He still doesn’t have great control, though, and missed up in the zone too much. He didn’t pay the price, but there are still some kinks to work out in his game.

Supplementing your viewing experience with Gameday routinely turns out to be a poor decision. I’m not among the robot-umpire-favoring crowd. You’ll never get baseball to remove the humans, so just give up that stance. However, status quo is unacceptable. I refuse to believe that baseball can’t find 60 people to do this job at an acceptable level with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year as the compensation.

Casper Wells has star ability off the field. If his game on the field comes around, he could realize that star power. He’s giving it all he can in all areas since coming over in the Fister trade. He collected another couple hits, a walk, a steal and drove in another run. He’s showing excellent range and a plus arm in the field as well.

I only know as much about Eric Wedge as he’ll let on with interviews, but he doesn’t come across as the type of dude that second guesses himself. Though, I’m still left to wonder if he ever thinks about Carlos Peguero these days when Mike Carp is hitting.

There’s pretty much nothing I can say about Dustin Ackley without you all thinking I have more than a simple man crush on an athlete, so I’ll instead use this time to gaze out the window at the sunshine.

Thank you, Jeff Gray. Every save for Brandon League adds to his trade sexiness. Blowout wins do us little good at this juncture.