This afternoon I was all set to write a post about hitting with runners in scoring position. I was going to say that, while hitting with runners in scoring position does take some skill, it’s mostly luck. A good hitter will hit no matter if there are runners on or not. I was going to break it down scientifically and with stats. All this to prove that the Mariners were going to break out at some point with a barrage of runs. I would have looked like a genius. Instead, I decided to play Mario Kart…Oh well.
So, in case you missed it the Mariners dominated tonight, winning 11-3. The bats came alive and the hits came in bunches. There was the 3 run 4th, the 2 run 5th, and the 6 run 6th and all of a sudden the Mariners had 11 runs. Think back a few days to the dismal home opener and 11 runs counts as a minor miracle. What’s more impressive is the Mariners did it without home runs; they had 11 singles, one triple, and took advantage of a terrible Detroit defense. (Seriously, if you don’t appreciate the Mariners defense watch the Tigers corner outfielders. Ordonez takes the worst routes to fly balls possible and Johnny Damon’s arm is worse than mine. One time tonight he tried to throw a foul ball into the stands except he didn’t make it there. It was hilarious.) Jeremy Bonderman, Detroit’s starter, wasn’t very good and gave up line drive after line drive. His defense threw in three errors that all led to unearned runs.
Felix was good as usual tonight. He had a little trouble spotting his secondary pitches but his fastball was more than enough to get by tonight. I couldn’t tell from my seat high up on the third baseline if he was getting squeezed by the umpire but it sure seemed like it. He had one bad inning in which he gave up his two earned runs. If it weren’t for that inning he would have had a shut out easy because the Tigers didn’t touch him after that.
The atmosphere tonight was great. It was close to a sell out and the crowd made a good deal of noise. Johnny Damon was heckled to no end, which is just fine by me. People are catching on to how great Felix is. He got the loudest cheer during introductions and then was given a loud standing ovation after leaving the game. The one bad thing about the Mariners blowing Detroit out was that the crowd lost a little bit of interest after the 9 run lead came. But that’s just fine. This city is ready to erupt with Mariner fever, the team just has to be in the pennant race for that to happen. I might add that I don’t usually like the wave but I saw the most successful Mariner game wave tonight. I was really impressed. There was a ton of energy in the stadium.
So for now, enjoy this victory. Enjoy this 3 game winning streak. Unfortunately, Justin Verlander pitches for the Tigers tomorrow but who knows, we could make it 4 in a row. Baseball is a funny sport and it’s been a funny start to this season but it seems like things are getting on the right track. So, maybe someday I’ll get to that post about hitting with runners in scoring position but as for now I’m just going to enjoy what the Mariners did tonight.
My goat/hero and a few other notes after the jump.
Hero: This is hard. Every starter reached base tonight. Felix was good. I think I’ll go with Franklin Gutierrez though. He just continues his hot hitting. Tonight he went 3 of 5 with 3 RBI’s. His triple is what got the scoring started. He’s finding gaps and hitting line drives. He’s impressive.
Goat: This is even harder. Really, no one had a bad game. I’ll say Mark Lowe just because he wasn’t very sharp in the 9th inning but it’s hard for pitchers to get excited about pitching in a 9 run game. Why was he in anyway? Why not Colome and save Lowe for a close game? I guess he can pitch back-to-back days. Again, Lowe shouldn’t have to be the goat but I don’t know who else to pick.
- Rob Johnson had an interesting night. Let me start by saying, he sucks at catching the ball. I don’t really understand it and no one else probably notices it as much as me but it really bothers me. He had his common mistakes not catching the ball tonight but he was also productive. His bunt down the third baseline was beautiful. He also drew a bases loaded walk; that might have been the most impressive at bat I’ve ever seen Hips have. He got down in the count early but fouled tough pitches off and then drew a walk. I’m not really into catchers ERA but I guess he does something right because pitchers love to pitch to him even with his lack of ability to catch the ball.
- Eric Byrnes is weird.
- Casey Kotchman started the sixth with a single. Rob Johnson laid down his perfect bunt and both guys were safe. Jack Wilson laid down another bunt and the ball was thrown over the first baseman’s head. A run has scored and there are no outs in an inning that has had two bunts. That’s annoying baseball if you aren’t a Mariners fan. If you are a Mariners fan it is awesome.
- A fan in front of me held up a sign tonight that said “Got Milt?” I, like any other person, enjoys a good sign and this one is my favorite of the year so far. It’s simple, clever and just plain awesome.
- Cliff Lee could be back in two weeks from today. Awesome. (I sound like Nick Holt with all these awesomes).
- I’m 2 for 2 in seeing the grounds keepers dance at games this year…. I don’t really know how I feel about that but I don’t really want the streak to continue.
- People really don’t like Johnny Damon. He is annoying and he did play for the two most hated teams in baseball, Boston and New York. It makes sense but I’d never really thought about disliking him before. I dislike him now.
- The A’s and Angels won. Texas lost. Take it as you will but I’m happy when we gain a game on Texas.
Keep the streak going Mariners, this is fun! Thanks for reading!