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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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April 4, 2008 7:15 PM

Mariners at Baltimore Orioles: 4/4 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

orioles1.jpg

7:15 p.m.: Raul Ibanez led off with a single in the ninth and Richie Sexson followed with a two-rum homer off Greg Aquino, but it wasn't enough for an M's team that had only four hits all night up to that point. Seattle winds up taking a 7-4 loss and falls to 2-2 on the season. The 420-foot homer by Sexson might be what he needed to get going. It was the first time this season the Baltimore bullpen has given up any runs. Mike Morse wound up doubling into the right field corner as well, enabling George Sherrill to come in and notch the save (see, I told you) by getting popouts on Jose Vidro and Kenji Johjima. Let's get the whole Morse/Wilkerson argument going. As I said, it was all too little, too late. I'm off to the clubhouse and will return later...


orioles1 013.jpg

A view from our blog perch up in the pressbox. This is one of the better ones in the game as far as views go. But you really have to be on the lookout for balls fouled straight back. Ken Rosenthal, now of Fox Sports, once had his computer destroyed by a Cal Ripken Jr. foul ball back when Rosenthal was writing for the Baltimore Sun. That day, Rosenthal had suggested that an ailing Ripken might want to consider the welfare of the team and sit out, which would have ended his record-setting streak of consecutive games played. Obviously, the computer smashing got widespread play across the country.

6:40 p.m.: It's really going to take some work for George Sherrill to notch a save tonight, since his team leads the Mariners 7-2 heading into the eighth. Cha Seung Baek surrendered his second homer of the game -- and third in three innings by Seattle pitching -- to Melvin Mora, a two-run blast. Ryan Rowland-Smith took over and yielded a single and a double. Roy Corcoran eventually came in with runners at second and third and one out and did a great job of escaping -- on a pop-out to shallow right and a strikeout. Trouble is, the strikeout was on a wild pitch and allowed hitter Ramon Hernandez to take first base and the runner from third to score. Really bad inning for the M's. Might have done them in.


6:14 p.m.: Brad Wilkerson did his job that seventh inning, drawing a leadoff walk. But Jose Vidro struck out with a hit-and-run play on and Wilkerson was easily thrown out at second to complete the double play. Submarine-armed Chad Bradford came in from there and got Kenji Johjima to ground out, keeping it 3-2 for the O's as we go to the seventh-inning stretch. Mariners have to get things going with Yuniesky Betancourt and Ichiro leading things off next inning. Otherwise, I think George Sherrill could be nailing down his first save against his former club in the ninth. Just a hunch.

5:58 p.m.: This game is starting to get away from the M's, now trailing 4-2 heading to the seventh after Ramon Hernandez took Cha Seung Baek deep to left with one out in the sixth. Baek struck out Adam Jones and got Luis Hernandez on a 3-1 groundout to end the inning. But the Mariners need to generate some offense. They've got the bottom part of the order coming up, so it isn't the best place to start. I'll tell you what has to start. Brad Wilkerson has to start hitting. He's due to lead off this inning.


5:53 p.m.: Seattle got a two-out walk from Richie Sexson in the sixth. But the Orioles went to reliever Dennis Sarfate, making his O's debut, and he got Adrian Beltre to swing wildly at a ball well off the plate to end the inning. The M's have to start making more of their at-bats with runners on base. Aside from Beltre's homer, they haven't done a good job of it tonight. Still 3-2 Baltimore heading to the bottom of the sixth, with Cha Seung Baek now on the mound.

5:40 p.m.: John McLaren may have left Jarrod Washburn in there one batter too long in that fifth inning. Washburn got the first two batters, including lefty Nick Markakis. But righty first baseman Kevin Millar was allowed to face him and popped a ball just over the left field fence near the foul pole to make it a 3-2 game, O's in the lead, heading to the sixth. Washburn got lefty Aubrey Huff on a soft grounder to end the inning, but the damage was done. Washburn yielded some late long balls last year once his pitch count got up towards 90. He's done tonight, having thrown 103. I know the bullpen is shorthanded, but Cha Seung Baek also hasn't pitched all year. McLaren tried to gamble that Washburn could get the righty hitter out. It didn't pay off.

5:35 p.m.: Mariners went 1-2-3 in the fifth after the O's tied it 2-2 in the fourth. Jarrod Washburn pumped his fist after striking out Brian Roberts to end the fourth. Trouble is, the Orioles had already tied the game 2-2 and that was Washburn's 90th pitch. Cha Seung Baek is up throwing in the bullpen. A lefty hitter, Nick Markakis, is due up second this inning and I think manager John McLaren will try to let his starter ride through at least that part of the order. Lefty hitter Aubrey Huff bats fourth this inning. Washburn's biggest success has been against lefties tonight. The righties bit him hard in the fourth, with a one-out single to right by Ramon Hernandez and a double to left by Adam Jones.

Raul Ibanez didn't make much of a throw from left field on a lineout by Luis Hernandez that scored his namesake from third. Adrian Beltre cut the ball off. A borderline decision by him, since he wheeled and fired to the plate. But as I said, the Ibanez throw didn't have much mustard on it.

5:17 p.m.: Now that is what the Mariners have been missing offesnively so far this season. A little extra-base pop, which has given them a 2-1 lead. Richie Sexson got a two-run fourth-inning rally started with a double just inside the third base bag and down the left field line. Adrian Beltre stepped up next and deposited an 0-1 offering from Steve Trachsel into the left field bleachers. A fair number of M's fans here judging by the crowd reaction. We'll see whether that slugging outburst proves contagious. Jarrod Washburn needs to keep his pitch count down in the fourth if he hopes to make it through at least five innings tonight. He's got a lead, but the first three batters are right handed.

5:08 p.m.: Seattle went 1-2-3 in the third inning, but so did the Orioles. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out, Ichiro flied out to center and Jose Lopez flied out to left. But Jarrod Washburn needed only 12 pitches to get through a perfect inning of his own. He fanned Nick Markakis for the second time tonight, got Kevin Millar to foul out to right field and Aubrey Huff to fly out fairly deep to center. Washburn now at 73 pitches. He's picked on the lefty hitters tonight. Huff is getting roundly booed when he comes to bat. He criticized the city of Baltimore during the off-season, implying it's a dull place, and the fans aren't too happy.

4:55 p.m.: Some interesting defense at first base helped the Baltimore Orioles open the scoring in the second inning. The O's now lead 1-0 after Jay Payton led off the first with what was ruled a single. First baseman Richie Sexson dove to his right for the hard grounder. Sexson actually dove over the ball, which roled underneath him as he extended his glove and body a little too far. The play was ruled a hit, as we said, but that was a playable ball from what I could see. Ramon Hernandez then singled to center to put runners and first and second. Adam Jones got a nice hand from the crowd as he came up. The best Jones could manage was a grounder to the right side, which did advance the runners after Jarrod Washburn had jumped out 0-2 on him. So, a decent at-bat for Jones. Luis Hernandez then flied out to center, but it was deep enough to bring the speedy Payton home from third.

Washburn is already in pitch-count trouble, having thrown 61 through two innings. The crowd is getting on him with chants of "Wasshhh-burrrn!'' We saw this a lot from him last season. Sometimes, he bounced back in innings three-through-five and made it into the sixth. It's going to be tough to do that tonight.


4:34 p.m.: A one-out walk by Brad Wilkerson, on a 3-1 pitch, goes for naught as Jose Vidro pops out to second and Kenji Johjima flies out on a nice drive to center. The offense has had runners in both innings, but the other guys not on base have done very little with their bats. We'll see if that changes. The good news is, we're moving right along, even with Steve Trachsel on the mound. Maybe the M's can get this one in before any more rain comes. That plan only works if they can score at least a run, though.

4:28 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn missed a few spots in the bottom of the first, but escaped a two-on, two-out jam by striking out Aubrey Huff with the count full. Washburn fanned both lefty hitters, Huff and Nick Markakis, that he faced in the inning. Also got the switch-hitting Brian Roberts on a soft grounder to second. But he made things interesting by (barely) hitting Melvin Mora with a pitch, then yielding a two-out single to right by Kevin Millar. So, we're scoreless after one.

4:16 p.m.: So, what do Orioles pitcher Steve Trachsel and former Mariners manager Mike Hargrove have in common? Yes, it's their nicknames. No, not Grover. The "Human Rain Delay'' nickname. Though it only took Trachsel nine minutes to get through the top of the first, even with a one-out single blooped to left by Jose Lopez, who stole second with one out and took third on a throwing error. But Richie Sexson (alas) struck out swinging after again working the count full. Been doing that a lot this season so far. The teamperature at gametime was 61degrees, much warmer than we saw in Seattle in the season-opening series with the Rangers.

orioles1 007.jpg

Ever wondered what it's like to stand at home plate at Camden Yards with a tarp on the field in the rain? Now you know.

MARINERS (2-1)

51 Ichiro (L) CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez (L) LF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson (L) RF
3 Jose Vidro (S) DH
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

56 Jarrod Washburn LHP


Orioles (1-1)

1 Brian Roberts (S) 2B
6 Melvin Mora 3B
21 Nick Markakis (L) RF
15 Kevin Millar 1B
17 Aubrey Huff (L) DH
16 Jay Payton LF
55 Ramon Hernandez C
10 Adam Jones CF
2 Luis Hernandez (S) SS

41 Steve Trachsel RHP

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Posted by Fg

4:15 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Jose 'El rastrillo' Lopez
if he keeps hitting

rastillo means rake

Posted by Fg

4:19 PM, Apr 04, 2008

richi "el hornacho' sexon

Posted by Batter Up!!!

4:19 PM, Apr 04, 2008

The beat goes on!
Swings at one out of the zone!
Leaves Lopey on 3rd.
Ritchie, Ritchie, Ritchie!

Posted by Scott

4:19 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Richie up to his old tricks....

Just how long is that leash?

Posted by Kyle in Kentucky

4:19 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Fg, what can go in the blank for Sexson? Richie '______' Sexson. I really don't like getting on players...especially this early in the season. But sometimes you just have to wonder if he is ever going to hit a baseball again...

Posted by Fg

4:22 PM, Apr 04, 2008

@ Kyle

I like El Hornacho for Richie

Hornacho means Hole

fg

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

4:24 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Woo Hoo
Richie comes through
on the Big Choo Choo
I'm so glad we have Richie with his wonderful personality, vetereness, and accountability batting clean up for us. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thanks Mac.

Posted by ABCajones

4:25 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Richie just keeps getting himself out. If I were I pitcher and had him with 2 strikes, no way I am throwing him anything in the strike zone. No need to.

Posted by Mr. X

4:28 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Adam, the CNNSI website is pretty easy to navigate. My son found the information by himself in 3 minutes while I was "drying the dishes" in the other room. You'd better hurry if you want to see that .415 number though, it's likely to change after the game. It may even go up. Let's all hope so, for the team's sake.

Posted by Mr. X

4:31 PM, Apr 04, 2008

And for the record, I hope Adam Jones goes 4-4, robs Jose Lopez of a home run, goes errorless on defense, and hits for the cycle in every game this series. As long as we sweep.

Posted by Lance

4:35 PM, Apr 04, 2008

We just saw why Sexson has no business hitting cleanup? He is going to kill us there.

Mac needs to put someone else into the #3 hole. Raul is our best power hitter and should be batting 4th. Yuni, Vidro, Adrian, I don't care. Sexson should be hitting #6, Wilkerson #8. Otherwise there's going to be a lot more wasted opportunities to score than there always is.

And, how about Ichiro? Pops up on the first pitch. The man has absolutely no concept of working a pitcher. Lopez is already better at it than he is.

But rest easy all you Ichiro lovers. He'll get his 200 singles.

Posted by Mr. X

4:37 PM, Apr 04, 2008

lol Lance

Nothing like a powerful infield single to bring home the baserunners, huh?

Posted by Anna11

4:46 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Richie is a liability. He strikes out way too often. How much of a chance does he get?

I'm finding it a little strange hearing Adam Jones' name in the Orioles lineup, and that George Sherrill is their closer.

Posted by fish93

4:57 PM, Apr 04, 2008

38 pitch inning for wash. Not waht we needed there

Posted by Nat

4:59 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Watching Washburn is painful.

Posted by Kyle in Kentucky

4:59 PM, Apr 04, 2008

So...I was hoping a good spring would mean a new and improved Washburn. Well, 60+ pitches in two innings is new I guess. Yuck.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

5:02 PM, Apr 04, 2008

So who is up in the Mariner bullpen....Aahhh, no one. Does Mac understand that Washburn has thrown over 60 pitches?
Does this team want to hurt another pitcher??

Posted by Ben

5:03 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Is it just me, or is Jose Lopez doing a great job working the count, moving runners along, running on the bases and hitting in general?

I know it's only game 4, but he seems to really have worked at it.

Posted by ...

5:03 PM, Apr 04, 2008

SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW game

Posted by Adam

5:04 PM, Apr 04, 2008

X - Yes, I found it, thanks. No help to you, but I guess that's your idea of scholarship. Make everyone else check your work... I was looking at a different set of splits. I really found it interesting that, even though his slugging is higher w/men on base, he drives in runs w/men on at a lower rate than Ibanez, Sexson, Wilkerson, Beltre, and Johjima. So much for driving them in, rather than just joining them on base, eh?

Posted by Adam

5:06 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Ben - Yeah, Lopez has done a much better job so far at taking pitches. If this keeps up, we could see a correlation in his production.

It is encouraging.

Posted by Jay

5:07 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Why isn't Morse in the starting lineup? I thought he was supposed to start today.

Posted by Babu

5:08 PM, Apr 04, 2008

The disheartening thing isn't so much poor performance by Sexson and Washburn -- which could be written off by the "it's only April," "it's cold," or "it's an aberration" excuses -- except that the poor performances are in exactly the same pattern as they were last year. Sexson is striking out flailing at poor pitches, especially with runners on base. Washburn is throwing way too many pitches in the early innings. When we're having what Yogi Berra called "deja vu all over again," I think the leash should be very short indeed.

Posted by Ben

5:09 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I actually think Richie Sexson is doing a good job working counts too - seems McLaren got a lot of the mariner hitters to do that.

Now if Sexson could just hit the ball, we'd be in business... hell - if he could draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt i might be happy with that...

Oh well - game 4 - hopefully he turns it on soon.

Posted by Babu

5:11 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Jay -- Morse was supposed to start because Loewen (lefty) was supposed to pitch. But last night's rainout slid the righty Trachsel to tonight's game. With any luck, we'll see Morse against Loewen on Saturday. Given our lack of solid offense, I'd love to see Morse getting more ABs.

Posted by Mariner in DC

5:12 PM, Apr 04, 2008

ALRIGHT RICHIE!!

That had me up and clappin'. Hopefully that will raise his confidence a bit.

Posted by Mariner in DC

5:13 PM, Apr 04, 2008

CRUSHED IT!!!! YAY ADRIAN!!!

Posted by Faceplant

5:14 PM, Apr 04, 2008

"Why isn't Morse in the starting lineup? I thought he was supposed to start today."

I don't know why he didn't start, but I know why I'm glad he didn't.

Wilkerson hits lefties better than righties, and is lightyears better defensively than Morse. If Morse started you would have been running out two of the worst defensive corner outfielders in baseball with an extreme flyball pitcher on the mound. That is not a good idea.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

5:15 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Gee, Good things happen when Richie get's a hit. Nice blast Adrian!

Posted by Nat

5:16 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I'm not too fussy at this point - I would be ecstatic if Richie could hit doubles for the rest of the year! Yay Beltre, thank you for restoring some greatly needed momentum to this game! It was really drag-g-g-ing...

Posted by Adam

5:18 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Not to be Johnny Raincloud here, but Sexson didn't exactly crush that ball. Nonetheless, we'll take it.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

5:22 PM, Apr 04, 2008

wow, what an inning. first, sexson shocks us all and hits a double, then beltre knocks it out. great.

is also great to see washburn begin to settle down. if he can pitch a few 1-2-3 innings, he may just be able to log 6 after a really shaky start.

i'll hang in there with sexson for a while, but i don't think anyone has much patience for wilkerson.

Posted by sean

5:26 PM, Apr 04, 2008

to be honest I'm a little annoyed with the fact Morse not getting at bats. He was the hottest hitter on the team the entire spring. He set a franchise record for batting average for the spring, and he doesn't have an at bat yet. Who cares if there is more money invested in Wilkerson, or that the pitcher is a righty, you don't take a hot bat like that out of the lineup. This is even more frustrating with Wilkerson struggling with the bat.

Posted by Mr. X

5:26 PM, Apr 04, 2008

LOL

Adam, you made one huge, glaring, amateurish error when doing your RBI with men on base calculations, and failed to take at least one other thing into account. Think about it for awhile.

Posted by Mr. X

5:30 PM, Apr 04, 2008

And I'm not trying to be mean or contrarian or anything. It's kind of cute how you're so into the fantasy stats, but you can't just let your calculator do your thinking for you. You need to know the game that you're trying to apply the numbers to.

Posted by Adam

5:31 PM, Apr 04, 2008

X - be a man and tell me what you think the problem is.

Posted by Cedarcrest

5:33 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Well get used to that. Routine single and Ibanez is so slow and has no arm strength whatsoever so a person like Jones with descent speed stretches it into a double. I know there was a runner advancing to third but the word is out, people are going to run and run and run on Ibanez all year. Nice throw to home on the next play by the way. Please put him at first!

Posted by Mr. X

5:36 PM, Apr 04, 2008

If you're going to use a "stat" to show how good a hitter is at getting men on base home, why would you count the RBI created by home runs? Seems like those should be subtracted out, right?

That one was for free, I'll let you work on the other one for awhile.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

5:37 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Ichiro take a walk? Not a Chance!

Posted by Mr. X

5:38 PM, Apr 04, 2008

And I don't mean all the RBI produced by home runs, just the one RBI per home run. Sorry, I should have been more specific.

Posted by Da Judge

5:45 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Adam & X:

Have u 2 considered exchanging emails and taking it off line. You have been going at it for days. Do u really think anyone cares besides u 2?

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

5:51 PM, Apr 04, 2008

RICHIE DREW A WALK! RICHIE DREW A WALK!
MY OH MY!

Posted by Mr. X

5:52 PM, Apr 04, 2008

No. Nor would I take someone who learned to spell using Prince song titles seriously.

When someone posts false information as fact on here, it's important to make sure it's corrected.

Posted by jeffinseatown

5:56 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Da Judge:

Let them play out their argument...besides, who are you to speak for the rest of the readers??? At least it gives us something to read while listen to/watching the M's post goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Posted by jeffinseatown

5:58 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Anyone know how many LOB them M's have left so far tonight?

Damn that Ramon Hernandez!

Posted by JJ

6:00 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Wow....Washburn pitching just good enough to lose. What's new???

Posted by jeffinseatown

6:06 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Wash is just another player in Mariners history that was obtained just on the downside of their careers. I remember Wash's big downside when he came over to Seattle was his history of back problems...which luckily haven't been a huge issue, but you wonder how much longer he could have sustained his "good" stuff if he hadn't had such injury issues earlier in his career. I must say that your 4 & 5 starters are only supposed to keep you close in a game and he has done that...sans the Baek HR.

Posted by Mr. X

6:11 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Ok, I'm feeling generous, so I'll tell you what the other obvious problem is in your calculations.

There is no way of telling how many baserunners each of those players had in the "men on base" at-bats. Beltre could have had 900 men on base in those 641 at-bats, and Wilkerson could have had 350 men on base in his 349 at-bats.

Johjima could go to the plate with 1 runner on 3 times and bring all of them home, and it'll look the same as Sexson failing twice, but hitting a bases clearing double with the bases loaded. It's both 3 at-bats with 3 RBI. Johjima would be better at bringing runners home, but Sexson would have that one shot with more runners on. These are things that you aren't accounting for.

Posted by NB

6:14 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I care. Also, that was a professional strikeout by Vidro.

Posted by NB

6:17 PM, Apr 04, 2008

This is why when the argument starts to revolve around RBI and "clutchness" with men on base nobody wins. Use the numbers that work, .Eqa, OPS, XBH%, etc., watch the games and marry the numbers with what your eye sees and you'll be fine. Also, not being an arrogant jerk will help.

Posted by Mr. X

6:18 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Plus you're comparing mostly "middle of the order" batters to Lopez. Lopez has had more at-bats in the 2 hole than in any other spot in the order, so it's safe to say that many of his "men on base" at-bats were occasions where it was only Ichiro on base. That makes his RBI total with men on more impressive, not less.

Posted by helpFelix

6:31 PM, Apr 04, 2008

CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME FLIPPIN OFFENSE ON THIS TEAM TO GO ALONG WITH OUR GREAT ROTATION??!!!!

WHEN OUR OFFENSE CAN'T OUTSCORED THE AAA TEAM OF MLB WE HAVE OBVIOUS PROBLEMS!!!

Washburn did as expected, and I even think it qualifies for a quality start.

Can we please trade Baek now...and bring up Dickey??!!

Posted by Corey

6:35 PM, Apr 04, 2008

When do we get real worried about this offense..? Somebody give me a fancy stat to ease my mind...

Posted by phukell

6:40 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Mariners offense sucks! THEY NEED HELP. btw, just trade Jarrod Washburn.

Posted by NB

6:49 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Corey,

You should worry when we traded our best position talent and our three and four hitters continued down their decline phase and our DH was still Jose Vidro.

Not a fancy stat but your post was so clever I wanted to help.

Posted by Nat

6:52 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I don't buy into the theory we're playing three of the weaker teams in the AL this first two weeks, not counting LAAAAAA, of course. Not with the kind of overall offense the M's put out there! Ugh!!!
Maybe a couple games like this and even Mac will feel the urge to find some offense from somewhere - AAA(?)and get it going! Otherwise this is goiing to be a very long season.

Posted by Marinercoug

6:55 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Question for Mr. X

What do you mean you can't know how many runners people have left on base? yahoo.com's stats alone allow you to go to situational hitting and actually look and see how a player does with certain guys on base.

Posted by Adam

6:59 PM, Apr 04, 2008

X - LOL. Fair point, although it is by no means fatal to my point. We certainly want a 5 hitter who can drive the ball with men on. It certainly is a worthwhile quality to have in a 5 hitter if he can drive himself in with men on base. I mean, you used slugging %, after all.

But let's subtract the number of HRs from the total # of RBIs.

Ibanez - 3.66 PAs for every RBI w/men on
Johjima - 4.64
Beltre - 4.67
Lopez - 4.74
Sexson - 4.84
Wilkerson - 4.9

So Lopez moves up the list because he doesn't hit as many HRs as the other guys. Again, you can still make the argument that other hitters are better at driving in runs w/men on base.

Concerning your comment regarding the problem accounting for men on base - it's a valid point. I was just using the parameter that YOU selected. You'll have to blame yourself for that one. (See your 7:41 AM and 6:08 PM posts on the "Versatility..." thread)

Finally, regarding your "he was hitting second, thus only Ichiro was on base" argument: First, you have presented no evidence to back that up. Second, that's the reason why I used RBI per PA, rather than total RBI. Third, in 2007, Lopez had 379 PAs from the 8 and 9 spots, and only 135 from the 2 spot. In 2006, he had 336 PAs in the 2 spot, and 319 from the other spots, namely 3 (197), 6 (8), 7 (38), 8 (55), and 9 (21). So he isn't real victim of hitting second, or as much as you'd like to believe.

Posted by helpFelix

7:01 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Interesting how Mac puts Morse in RF to play defense in the bottom of the 8th?!!! And by replacing Willy with Lopez to bat last inning tells me that Mac has given up on this game!

Morse has the HOT bat and hasn't even taken 1 AB yet, well "maybe" he'll get a chance in the top of the 9th?!

I'm wondering if Morse has been sidelined for so long this week that if he remembers how to hit...or if his bat will now cool off.

I really don't think I can handle watching the Sexson/Wilkerson SO duo all year long. AND I thought I couldn't handle Ibanez in LF for one more year?! Wow Ibanez playing LF isn't even an issue for me at the present!

Posted by Corey

7:03 PM, Apr 04, 2008

NB... I was worried then and every step of the way up until this point... I was mostly making fun of the stats geeks... These guys are free swinging hacks

Posted by helpFelix

7:04 PM, Apr 04, 2008

GOD speak of the DEVIL...it's about flippin time Sexson!!!~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:04 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Anyone else irked by McLaren waiving the white flag in the
8th inning only down by 5 runs????? Bloomquist pinch hitting for Lopez in the 8th? This is what I predicted, Mclaren will ruin any chance the M's have of winning the division with his game strategy. It's a 3 run game now!!!! What a waste of a rally that could have started in the 8th.

Posted by Da Judge

7:07 PM, Apr 04, 2008

X I find it interesting that you would know my English Professor.

Iíll have to follow up on that.

To the rest of you who where following all of that my apologies for the interruption.

Posted by Adam

7:07 PM, Apr 04, 2008

NB - I agree about the problems with RBI and clutchness, by the way. I'd much rather have the better hitter, period, hitting in important spots in the lineup. Sometimes you have to compromise on stats, however, since many here don't buy those stats you cited.

Posted by helpFelix

7:07 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I "almost" forgot why we were NOT playing Morse all this time!!!

THAT kind of OFFENSE on this M's team is just NOT acceptable?!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:08 PM, Apr 04, 2008

That Sexson home run buys him another month of striking out.

Posted by Kyle in Kentucky

7:08 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Boy, I'm sure glad Morse isn't starting against righties...he looked way over-matched on that double. And isn't it amazing how Sexson seems to hit the most pointless homeruns?? It feels like he's hit a dozen HRs in the 8th or 9th innings when we're either by 5+ or down by 5+. Just one of those weird things I guess.

Posted by helpFelix

7:13 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Ironically Kyle...I almost posted the SAME exact thing about Sexson's HRs...NEVER in the clutch, and usually meaningless when they don't count!

Posted by sean

7:13 PM, Apr 04, 2008

about time Morse gets a chance, and what does he do, hits a doube. Way to go Mclaren, wait til were down by 5 runs in the 8th to put him in. He should have been the starting the season as the right fielder after his spring.

Posted by helpFelix

7:15 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Thank God we are SOOOO far of the Angels that games like this are really meaningly?!

Posted by Kyle in Kentucky

7:17 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Kenji...we're down three runs...your run doesn't mean a thing. Don't swing on 2-0!!!!

Posted by Jay

7:17 PM, Apr 04, 2008

The man might be horrible defensively, but I would rather have Morse play as regular to inject some life into this lifeless offense.

Posted by helpFelix

7:18 PM, Apr 04, 2008

I Say Morse just earned himself a STARTING RF role until he "proves" to us that he can't hit anymore.

I'm not fond of having Ibanez and Morse in the corner OF positions for defense purposes, BUT if it means NOT putting up with 2 Sexson's in our lineup by removing Wilkerson...then I'm for it!!!

Posted by helpFelix

7:25 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Boy if Sexson was really down about the 2007 fan booing, wait until Wilkerson plays in another home game with Morse on the bench!!!

I have a feeling that the Sexson/Wilkerson fan Duo booing is gonna start on the next home stand!!!

With Morse in RF we definitely won't have to worry about Wilkerson's 2008 $3M additional AB incentives kicking in!

Now we just have to figure a way to get Ibanez out of the OF, and replace Vidro's bat @ DH....OR...

Have Ibanez platoon with Sexson against RHBs, and bring up Clement to DH in replacement of Vidro...and trade for a Power LFer...OR just bring up Wlad for LF.

The only problem with the above is that would mean we would have to send the incredible Willy or Cairo packing...god forbid.

Posted by Adam

7:38 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Re: Morse - he's a horrible OF, and we can't look past that. With him in RF and Ibanez in LF, the corner OF defense becomes the worst in baseball. I'm sure there will be plenty who scoff at that idea, but in Safeco it is a real concern.

And besides, Morse just isn't an impact bat that would justify his defense. I know his spring performance was appealing, but he's just not a great hitter.

He's shown little power in the bigs, and his minor-league numbers are not really indicative of a impact bat. He got better last year, but as a 25 year-old in his second season at Tacoma.

I think it is far to early to start taking ABs away from Wilkerson, who is the better bat and glove.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:40 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Geoff,

I like this typo "Richie Sexson followed with a two-rum homer off Greg Aquino". Glad to see I'm not the only one here not perfect.

How about Dickey? What is up?

Posted by Gordie

7:40 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Of course Morse is going to sit. The M's are an organization that will not tolerate show-offs who produce at the plate!

Posted by Jay

7:44 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Adam, I'll agree with you on the glove, but Wilkerson's time has long since passed with regards to his bat. Morse might not be player everyone is hoping he can be but this anemic offense needs help in the worst way possible. Wilkerson is not definitely NOT helping matters in any manner.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:53 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Yea, the guy can't be a hitter since he only hit for the record in ST. When he finally does get an AB in a real game he hits for a double 1st time out of the gate. Obviously a fluke. A little time on the field might prove whether he has D or not.

Posted by Rod

8:05 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Morse is a former short stop who's just too tall and lanky to play that position. He's not an outfielder either. He should be at FIRST BASE! At least he should on this team anyway. He'd be a much better defensive player at 1st than Sexson is. So what if he doesn't hit as many homers as Sexson. He'll hit 80 points better and strike out less than half as much. Ya want Wilkerson gone? Bring up Balentien.

Posted by BandwagonJumper

8:43 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Maybe we need Morse as our every day right fielder to get some runs scored for our starting pitching and when it is close in the later innings and we need some defense we put Wilkerson in.

Posted by oregongal

8:49 PM, Apr 04, 2008

In case anybody wondered where he is now--I got in the car after the game and turned on the Portland Beavers (AAA) game on the radio. The second sentence I heard was, "Julio Mateo warming up in the pen." Fortunately, for the Fresno team.

Then I hit one of those spots where I could only hear one word out of eight and suddenly I was getting a clear feed of the Oakland game, so I don't know how he did. Just another rainy night with AM radio.

Posted by Win Now

8:54 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Sexson such and Wilkerson is just sorry. We not even going to come close to Guillen's numbers. What's up w/Raul and Ichiro? These guys are supposed to be our professional bats. They need to bring it on everyday, consistency and reliability are what they're supposed to bring. If it wasn't for Lopez and Beltre, the Ms would be 0-4. Come on BB, we need a prof. bat, no one from AAA. Make a trade. This team is put together to win now. We must not wait until the trade deadline. The Angels will pull way ahead of us, even wo their aces. ACT NOW!

Posted by Win Now

8:58 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Oops. You guys know what I meant...sucks and we're. I'm watching the Angels game as I type this...

Posted by CMH

9:30 PM, Apr 04, 2008

LAA losing to Texas 6 to 0 top 8th. Broussard hit a grand slam

Posted by NB

9:48 PM, Apr 04, 2008

Wilkerson had two walks tonight. What's the issue?

Posted by Faceplant

10:48 AM, Apr 05, 2008

"...but you wonder how much longer he could have sustained his "good" stuff if he hadn't had such injury issues earlier in his career."

I think the better assesment is that he was NEVER as good as his numbers suggested he was when the Mariners signed him.

Posted by Dustin

9:34 PM, Apr 05, 2008

Sloppy play. McClaren was pissed in the press conference and Bedard is injured. Wow.

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