Mariner Recap – 4/6/2010

The idea that the season really starts with Game 2 is common with baseball fans and writers.  Opening day has all the ceremony and a couple of aces throwing (theoretically for some teams), but the next day brings a little more routine and Ian Snell vs. Dallas Braden.  Braden was excellent.  The first couple of innings, he didn’t seem like much, but the Mariners weren’t hitting him either.  By the third or so, he had them in-between on every pitch.  Not sure he can do that every game, but he was impressive, just one well-hit Franklin Gutierrez double away from a shut out.

I’m not quite sure what Ian Snell was.  I guess you take 6 innings, 1 run, 3 hits and 2 walks however you can get them, but he just makes me nervous.  Actually, it’s not so much that he makes me nervous, it’s that I feel no confidence when he’s on the mound.  It looked a little bit like smoke and mirrors today.  Maybe he’ll get better.  I’m not writing him off, and I’ll take that outing anytime.  The problem is that if he throws like that against a better offense, the results will not be anywhere near as good.  Can he improve?  I’m not holding my breath.  His stuff looked decent at times and very hittable at others.  I guess I’ll just be happy that he didn’t get crushed and not make any judgments until we see a few more outings.

Unfortunately, the offense was everything we feared it might be tonight.  They certainly ran into an unexpected buzz-saw in Braden, but without Ichi and Figgy on base as much, with Kotchman struggling against lefties, Bradley just struggling and nothing from the bottom of the order, well that’s pretty much everyone.  Guti had the lone good day, and it still took a balk and wild pitch to score him.  It won’t always be this bad, but we’re going to see a lot of these types of games.  Some will go the M’s way, some won’t.  No reason to panic, but anytime they want to trade for a big bat, go right ahead.

Hero: Ian Snell. It wasn’t very pretty, but you have to give credit to Snell, who pitched 6 innings, and only gave up 4 hits and 1 earned run.

Goat: The Offense. 5 hits in 10 innings won’t cut it. Guti had 2 of those hits so maybe he should be exempt.

Some bullets:

  • I told Andrew a couple of times Monday how natural I thought Jose Lopez looked at third, but tonight brought a few hiccups.  Still, he didn’t make any mistakes due to a lack of tools that I could see.  That spinning throw is something he’ll get better at.  No reason to worry, I’d say.
  • We definitely saw the value of Kotchman’s defense today.  He gave no signs of being able to hit lefties at all, but he dug out a couple of tough throws, and that short-hop play he made was excellent.  Still, amazing how much worse he looked against a lefty, rolling everything over for weak grounders.  Then his first at-bat against a righty, he smoked a line drive straight to Ellis.  Time to see if Sweeney can still play first on occasion?
  • Bradley looks extremely uncomfortable at the plate, like he’s guessing on everything.  He seemed to take better cuts later in at-bats, especially in the ninth.  I’m betting once he gets a couple of hits he’ll lock in pretty good, but I’ll be anxious until that happens.  The longer he goes without success, the better the chance of something bad happening.
  • Welcome to the big leagues, Kanekoa Texeira!  Looked nervous, but that slider/sinker/whatever is nasty.  He looked a lot better than Sean White, not that that’s saying much.  Getting out of a bases loaded one out situation is no small feat, especially in your debut, even if he put himself in the situation.  Too bad he couldn’t do it again.
  • Shawn Kelley and Mark Lowe, on the other hand.  I like those guys.  Kelley is a much better pitcher than Ian Snell right now.  Just not sure that would hold true if he moved to the rotation.

Game 3: Justin Duchsherer vs. Ryan Rowland-Smith, 7:05

-Matthew

6 Comments

Filed under M's Game Recaps, Mariners

6 responses to “Mariner Recap – 4/6/2010

  1. Joe Loughery

    Bradley is clearly pressing. He is taking huge cuts, almost like he just wants to smash one 500ft. I agree the longer this goes the greater the probability he blows up, like busting his bat on home plate!! That said, I think once he gets back home here to the Safeco crowd, he’ll calm down (hopefully) and start taking pitches and calm down a bit.

  2. dpscansen

    Our bottom of the order has to produce something other than 0-16. That was ridiculous. And what happened to plate patience like we showed in game 1? Adam Moore saw 8 pitches in 4 AB’s. Compare that to Ryan Sweeney’s 5 AB’s, where he saw 28 pitches. Finally, Eric Byres is a spaz. That’s one hyper dude, and while I like the energy, the infield pop ups are going to drive me nuts.

  3. I’m not worried about Bradley at all. He was really patient the first night, drawing two walks. Last night was just terrible offensively but they may have not been given the opportunity to be patient. Dallas Braden started 0-2 on many guys and at that point how can you be patient? When any pitcher is starting hitters off with strikes consistently the offensive team may have to scrap their patient approach and try to hit one of the first few pitches because hitting the first pitch is a lot easier than hitting an 0-2 or 1-2 pitch. To me, this is what happened last night. I’m not making an excuse for the Mariners offense being sucky but I think Braden changed the Mariners approach more than the Mariners forgot to be patient.

    Eric Byrnes is a spaz and he’s going to kill himself by running into the wall or diving before he gets a hit this year. If he’s playing well he’s entertaining. If he’s not playing well he’s annoying.

  4. Joe Loughery

    Of course Bradley jacks a homer tonight. Love that guy!!!

  5. Joe Loughery

    Haha right when I praise him totally botches the fly ball at the end. Total failure!!!!

  6. Not Milton’s fault! Yes, it was catchable but it was a tougher play than it looks. Also, he hit a 2 run homer, made a diving play and then a running catch that saved the Mariners a run. Without him there wouldn’t have been a 9th inning. Ryan Roland-Smith was bad. Ichiro had an error. That’s just baseball and thankfully there’s 159 games left. I love you Milton, I thought you looked very good today.

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