I said I’d take the recap on this one, and then ended up not being able to watch most of it, so this recap will be short. As much as any game is in a 162 game season, this is the type of game that the Mariners need to win if they want to challenge for the playoffs. Facing an incredibly struggling team with an inexperienced and mediocre pitcher, a good team has to take advantage. Will they always? No, and if they hadn’t it wouldn’t have been the end of the season or anything. But with the chance to go above .500, a loss would have been more frustrating than a win is satisfying.
Not to say that this win isn’t satisfying. The offense, while not scoring a lot tonight, did enough and has a lot of guys locked in pretty well. I remember being told by a coach when I pitched that the most important inning you’ll throw is right after your offense has scored some runs. It’s the pitcher’s job to maintain the momentum to some degree. Tonight in the first, the Orioles couldn’t hold a one run lead, and the Mariners could. Vargas, from what I could tell, did everything you could want from him. The Orioles are a terrible team right now, but they have enough guys who could hurt you if you don’t execute your pitches. I’m anxious to see what Snell will do in his next start. He’s not showing more than Fister or Vargas right now, better stuff or not. Fister and Vargas will get hit more than they have when they face better teams, but they’ll minimize some damage through lack of walks. Right now, I’m not confident Snell can limit walks or hits. I’d love for him more than anyone to prove me wrong, though.
The offense is doing about what we hoped it would, with Ichiro and Figgins on base and a few guys hot behind them. I’m still not convinced that Kotchman will keep this up or ever hit lefties, but he looks excellent right now. Bradley swings harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s a little more contact away from a monster year. Hopefully he’s alright after leaving the game tonight. I haven’t heard yet what the injury was. Franklin is looking like a legitimate MVP candidate. Once Figgy starts getting a few more hits to go with his walks, they could really have something. The little hot streak from Wilson is nice too.
Hero, goat, and a few quick notes (after the jump):
Goat: I’m not really sure since I didn’t see a lot of the game, but I’ll give it to Jose Lopez. I saw a couple of defensive miscues and he got LL’s Biggest Suckfest.
- Big news of the day was Cliff Lee’s suspension being dropped. He then threw a simulated game and will make a rehab start in Tacoma on Sunday. He’s slated to make his first start on May 2nd.
- Texas has lost 5 in a row and is 5-8. It’s early, but a fast start could have given them a lot of confidence. They’re the only team that has potential to be legitimately scary, although Anaheim and Oakland aren’t pushovers by any means.
- I was in favor of Sweeney being on the roster coming out of spring training because he was mashing the ball and there weren’t many better options. At this point, he’s not playing and creating a legitimate roster issue. I’ll have a longer post on some possible roster moves in the next few days, but they could really use a right-handed masher who can play first, left, and DH.
Felix day tomorrow!