From Stem To Stern: Royals @ Mariners


Programming note: Likely no game recaps each night. Adam is out gallivanting around and being that I don’t catch much of the game being that it conflicts with my current work schedule, I really wouldn’t do it service.

I do plan on putting up a live chat Wednesday night and a series recap Thursday. Oh and a special message went out to our facebook followers…

I’m not very good at recapping a series. Partly because I don’t watch much of the games if I see them at all and partly because the highlights I take time to watch I’m looking for specific things with the players. That’s just me. The series and the games out comes don’t matter. Say what you will, they don’t. What matters is the small things, the things that happen that affects those out comes.

For instance, last week, when Charlie Furbush threw a 7 inning-shutout against the Halos, I wasn’t that impressed. Sure, he only walked the batter in the 8th inning when he was already out of gas. But, he didn’t miss to many hitters and he survived based upon the context that no fly balls got to the bleachers. There is value in that, but it’s limited. I was also disappointed with how often he threw the change-up.

Forget that the Mariners blew the lead in the 8th. This stuff happens, its part of baseball and we’re nowhere near the .500 mark.  What was more important was how Tom Wilhemsen pitched in the 8th. See where I’m getting at? These are the things that matter to me when I look at a series at this stage.

For instance, Justin Smoak continues to show signs of life. Yet, his PIC, Mike Carp, continues to struggle.  I like the Carp/Smoak duo in the middle-of-the-line-up. I think it’s a good thing and I think that if both guys got going at the same time they could do some serious damage.  That said, the team needs to find a suitable DH to stick between them or a better option in LF. I’m starting to become cautiously disappointed with Casper Wells.

Ichiro, is like… I don’t know Zombie Ichiro? The guy is back from the dead and playing great. I’m really excited to see how well he’s doing and I really hope that he keeps it up. That said, there is no way he can keep it up. The guy has been going bonkers and he has seemingly slowed down with the last two games of the series he is 1-8 with 3 K’s.

I like all other Mariner fans hope he can get to 200. Is it impossible? No. Is it in the passenger seat sitting next to impossible? Yes. But, that’s what is so much fun about sample sizes and even more so in 5 or 7 games series in the playoffs. Anything can happen. A guy that goes years without hitting and opposite field home run can hit one to take you to the World Series.

I guess what I’m saying is anything can happen in the next three weeks. Let’s just enjoy it.

I really liked what Anthony Vasquez did the other night. Everyone calls him boring, whatever. I liked it. He may not be needed much in 2012 but it’s nice to know that he can have his times of use.

I don’t hate Beavan, I just have never cared for his type of pitcher. He gets a few swings-and-misses, he’ll get a few ground ball outs but he’s dependent upon the ball staying in the park. Thank goodness he got traded out of Texas.

Beavan is a suitable #5 that is going to at least give you innings and I can accept that and appreciate it at the same time. But while there is that I’m of the mind I would much rather have someone that will tilt the odds in your favor. Anthony Vasquez isn’t a great pitcher but there are times, when he is getting an excess of ground balls, that I would much rather a pitcher who throws in the mid-80s and keeps the ball on the ground than a low 90s right-handed hurler that gives ups a lot of fly balls and misses a few bats.

Everyone has their own roster construction theory. This is mine.

Lastly, Michael Pineda pitched very well. Forget the home run. The guy missed 20 bats. 20! Forget about the home run and forget about the double. This kid can pitch and he’s working on getting a THRID pitch. Working with mainly the fastball/slider combo all season what Pineda can do is impressive and when he can get his change-up working he’s going to get better.

As long as the Mariners continue to trot Felix and Pineda out every 5 days, this team is always going to be a tough team to beat. Regardless of whether the position players decided they are going to hit or not that day.

Odds and ends

– I along with everyone else will be glad for the day when they don’t have to continue trotting out Adam Kennedy, just because he’s on the roster.

–  A guy we haven’t talked much about is Steven Delabar. Keep your eyes on this one. He may just turn into a Brian Sweeney/Tom Wilhelmsen love child project.

–  Speaking of bullpen guys I have loved seeing Shawn Kelley and Chance Ruffin do so well. Both are important pieces of the 2012 bullpen.

–  September 10th, the only hits the Mariners had have been home runs. One each from Mike Carp and Justin Smoak. This is the second time in the last week that the only hit(s) in the game for the Mariners were home runs. I have no idea how often that has happened in the past for the team but I would wager a guess , that it’s not been often in the last five years.