The thing about a 162 game season is that you can’t get too high or too low. Things started out bleak at 2-6 and everyone was freaking out. Then, the 4 game winning streak occurred and everyone was getting excited. Both of these reactions were justifiable and somewhat expected but maybe a little bit over done. The Mariners were not going to win the rest of their games and, while a sweep of the Tigers would have been nice, series wins are what this team needs to shoot for. They have achieved that the last two series and things look promising since we’re playing Baltimore next. All of that to say that today’s loss is not a big deal. It’s pretty close to what we should have expected really.
Ian Snell was decent today. Not bad, not good, but decent. He allowed quite a few hitters to reach base but escaped trouble most of the time. He made some really good pitches and showed the upside that people rave about. Unfortunately, he showed his downside to: too many walks, too many hard hit balls, and an inability to get lefties out. We can’t really make any conclusions on Snell because he was sick today and just returned from a death in the family. Although he struggled at times, Snell was one batter away from not giving up any runs today. That batter was Miguel Cabrera and there’s no shame in giving up a home run to him, he can really hit and proved it on that ball he launched into the upper deck. The next two weeks are big for Snell if he wants to stay in the rotation but today gave us both sides of Snell and that means we can’t decide anything today.
As for the hitting…. Well, the Mariners proved that they still have trouble with young right-handers that are talented. They hit some balls hard but couldn’t get anyone in. Casey Kotchman hits righties pretty hard and definitely did that today. There were some opportunities to score, the 8th inning was somewhat painful, but the same can be said for the Tigers offense. In truth, the Mariners probably should have lost by more today.
Our infield is really coming together. Jose Lopez looks better and better at third. He’s not Adrian Beltre but I think that he will have an above average UZR once the years done. Chone Figgins is really quick at second. The two double plays he turned on short hops today were very impressive. Kotchman had another diving play today and is showing why a defensive first baseman is a good thing to have.
The best part about this loss is that we didn’t lose any ground in the AL West. The schedule becomes pretty easy over the next few weeks while our rivals go up against some of the best teams in baseball. This was a good series win against a fairly good team.
A few more thoughts after the jump.
- Eric Byrnes had an interesting day. He got knocked down by the wall in the first inning and allowed a triple. He lunged backwards and caught a ball that momentarily lost in the sun. He hit a double. He ran a the catcher over. He dove for a ball and almost made a spectacular play but then lost the ball while he rolled over (that was still a good play even though he dropped it, if that ball gets by him it’s a triple). He drew a 4 pitch walk. All of these things I’d expect Eric Byrnes to do except drawing a 4 pitch walk. Take that as you will.
- The home plate umpire sucked. I won’t go into detail but there were plenty of instances where he had no consistency with his strike zone. I’m not blaming the game on him but this could have had a different outcome if he had called a few more balls that were out of the strike zone balls. Seems logical but he didn’t. Robots please!
- Detroit’s lineup is really pretty good. Matthew did a post a couple of days ago about teams having hitters that scare you every time they come to the plate, the Tigers had one in that post and his name is Miguel Cabrera. I’m not going to argue that but I do think that the Tigers have a couple of guys who are in the second-tier. Magglio Ordonez still manages to scare me. Johnny Damon hits righties really hard. Carlos Guillen can still hit. They also have a few other nice players. They aren’t the Yankees but they have a pretty good lineup.
- Adam Moore is really struggling. Matthew and I agreed that he looks scared while hitting. I don’t know why that is but he does and at the moment he is a lot worse than Rob Johnson hitting wise. I think he’ll get better but he’s not giving much reason for hope right now.
- Jesus Colome throws really hard. He was getting squeezed today but if he found his control he’d be pretty good. That can or could have been said about every single person in the Mariners bullpen.
Hero: Casey Kotchman
Goat: Adam Moore
Thanks for reading!