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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 13, 2008 1:02 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Angels, 4-13

Posted by Larry Stone

Well, it's about 20 degrees colder than yesterday -- far more typical for Seattle in April. The Mariners have a lot going against them tonight -- a rusty Baek making his first start, no Beltre, and Joe Saunders, with a 0.56 ERA through his first two starts, going for the Angels. If they can pull this one out, they might earn a few believers.

To address Pokenour, absolutely no way is this being done to showcase Baek. Believe me, they want Bedard pitching this game. This is what they got him for -- games like this, against their main rivals.. There's no conspiracy theory. Bedard is hurting, and they're being cautious, which is the smart way to go. Baek pitched all spring, and has made 23 major league starts. Teams know what he's about.

Im wondering what the crowd here at Safeco Field is thinking. They came expecting to see Bedard, and Baek is walking to the mound. As far as I can tell, no announcement has been made.

No Torii Hunter in the Angels lineup today. He has a sore toe. Gary Matthews is back in center after a miserable day yesterday. He hit into three double plays and made an error.

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Posted by oregongal

1:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Yay, Baek in the first! 7 pitches!

Posted by PRchef

1:16 PM, Apr 13, 2008

A sweep with Baek on the mound would be so nice!

Posted by Brett W.

1:20 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Well Geoff, as someone who just got to the park and saw Baek on the hill, I am extremely disappointed.

Posted by Babu

1:21 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Continuing to correct the record a bit from the last thread, Adam Jones is currently batting .235 for Baltimore. Right now, the terrific hitting outfielder the Os got in their trade deals is Luke Scott, batting .375; he came over from the Astros in the Tejada trade.

All these stats are readily available on the Internet; it remains a curiosity to me that some posters put inaccurate information out there to try to prove their point. What's that old line? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts!

Posted by Jack

1:24 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Why would you post that here, then? This is a game thread.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

1:24 PM, Apr 13, 2008

they're pissed, thats what they're thinking. mgmt should be going through the aisles handing out coupons for free garlic fries.

Posted by Babu

1:29 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Speaking of stats, I know it is early in the season, but isn't it nice to see so many Mariners in the top ten in the AL in various categories?

Yuni in AVG
Raul in HR
Jose Lopez in RBI
and Richie in walks!

Keep it going today, fellas!

Posted by oregongal

1:30 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Woo hoo! Two innings! (No, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm happy. It's hard to tell the difference even in person, though.)

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

1:32 PM, Apr 13, 2008


get a life man. here's what the post on the last thread said:

"if its any consolation, while sherill owned us in baltimore and overall continues to be a huge stud, adam jones is not exactly on the all star track, hitting only .235 with 0 HR's."

hows that inaccurate? looks like we're using the same "readily available" internet...

Posted by Jack

1:36 PM, Apr 13, 2008

nice bats from the middle of the lineup.

Posted by Lance

1:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

If Mac wanted to be a little creative with the lineup with Beltre out, he might have hit Yuni 7th and Morse 9th.

With runners on first and second and no one out wouldn't we have all rather seen Yuni hitting in that situation?

And, I thought our new manager was going to be the champion of small ball? So, why wasn't Morse trying to sacrifice in that situation?

Tough break for Jamie on the check swing. A great opportunity lost.

Posted by Pokenour

1:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

With first base open, can Gary Matthews find another way to hit into a double play?

Posted by i heart Morse

1:51 PM, Apr 13, 2008

4 letters and 4 pitches: WALK him...

Posted by Pokenour

1:52 PM, Apr 13, 2008

And who says Morse doesn't have a feel for the outfield?

How about making him the regular in right?

Posted by i heart Morse

1:52 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I love Niehous. He is an icon and a huge part of my love for the Mariners. But I often find myself anxiously awaiting the 4th inning, when a more cogent commentator comes in.

Posted by Babu

1:53 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hello Tallahassee (hope I'm spelling that right) -- I wasn't referring to your post but the posts that say AJ is "afire" in Baltimore and the like (those posts don't give the actual figures).

Nice to see Sherrill doing so well, isn't it?

Posted by Jack

1:58 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Adam Jones Would Have Caught That

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

2:00 PM, Apr 13, 2008

my apologies...didn't mean to jump on you then. its too bad we couldn't have sent vidro instead of sherill...

Posted by Squatch

2:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

ABOUT TIME ICHIRO!!! 79 to go lol

Posted by Pokenour

2:06 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hope McLaren is counting.

Posted by Lance

2:11 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Babu, if you're referring to my typo, I already corrected myself by saying "not afire", not "now afire". If you're referring to me too bad you didn't read my correcting comment, as well.

I'm surprised to see that some of those Baek fastballs are coming in at 93 mph if the gun is correct. That's almost as good as the mid-ninties stuff he threw before the arm troubles he had early in his minor league career.

Posted by scottM

2:12 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Baek has kept us in this thing so far. It's Morse, Burke and Ibanez not delivering at the plate with RISP. Can't win it with Zero runs scored.

Posted by daddydriz

2:12 PM, Apr 13, 2008

When will they learn not to pitch to Guerrero? How predictable was it that he would hurt them? Unbelievable.

Posted by Adam

2:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Surprised to see so little concern re: Bedard's hip. This isn't good. So far the major concern re: the trade is coming to fruition - Bedard isn't a true ace because he's not durable.

Not good.

Posted by Pokenour

2:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Personally I always thought we could enter the season with Baek in the SP rotation, so as to not give up so much talent for a ace whose durability is and has been suspect.

Posted by Babu

2:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Sorry, Lance, it should have dawned on me that your was a typo. I didn't see your correction, perhaps because I am wincing through the Angels' at-bats right now. My apologies to you.

Posted by Mr. X

2:32 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Not on fire would be an understatement, especially since Adam "Golden Sombrero" Jones' manager is holding him out against the superior pitchers in the league. Spoon-feeding him with one hand, wiping his chin with the other.

Posted by i heart Morse

2:32 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Adam -

Bedard's scratch may be somewhat mitigated by the two previous wins without him. If this is a long-term injury...very depressing. But I have no problem with shelving him for a start or two for the sake of being cautious. April wins are nice, but not worth risking the rest of the season for.

Plus, it was a risky, all-in trade to begin with. Pitchers, especially ones with Bedard's track record, are fragile. We all need to come to the realization that we may not get an abundance of ace-caliber years from him.

Posted by i heart Morse

2:38 PM, Apr 13, 2008

i heart Gary Matthews Jr.

too little...too late Mac/Baek (whoever made that foolish decision to pitch to Vlad)

Posted by AKMarinersFan

2:42 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Jones and Sherrill were the only pieces of the trade for our new "oft injured" pitcher

Posted by AKMarinersFan

2:43 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I meant "were not"

Posted by Pokenour

2:43 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Morse in right, there it is.

Posted by thatgirl

2:51 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Kudos to Baek on doing a good job with short notice. Nice throw by Yuni to get them out of that inning and help out EOF.

Posted by i heart Morse

2:54 PM, Apr 13, 2008 where did those rumors originate from about AJ's hip condition? Any chance somebody's source was misunderstood and he was really talking about Bedard? What's the name of that game...telephone?

Posted by Neil

2:54 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I must confess I find our hitters incredibly frustrating today. Saunders is spraying the ball all over the place - a ball for every strike - and hardly anyone is working the count. With more patience his pitch count would be in the high 80s by now and we would have five or six walks. Look at this inning. We were ahead in count in every AB and every time we gave them easy, quick outs.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

2:56 PM, Apr 13, 2008

This is how the Mariners hit against good pitching. Weaver and Garland are pretty bad.

Posted by Pokenour

2:56 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Yes IHM, I have wondered about that strange reference to Adam Jones having a hip injury when in fact Bedard has had such an injury which now seems to be troubling him again.

Posted by Pokenour

3:01 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Morse in right, maybe its time for the experiment to end, you cannot continue to give up good defense - now look at the ball hit to Raul, a good fielder gets it. Defense is an important part of the game and this outfield lineup (left and right) today, is exactly what I fear when I posted earlier in the pre-game blog. Basically these three leading runs are the product of ineffectual outfield play, Ichiro can't cover it all.

Posted by i heart Morse

3:01 PM, Apr 13, 2008

that's just mean...maybe they're trying to "make a statement"

Posted by Batter Up!!!

3:02 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Walla Walla O'Flat.

Why did we pull Baek for this guy?

Posted by Rod

3:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Today, Morse has shown a little bit of why some people like him, and some people don't. It's hard to criticize his bat, since he's hardly been used since spring training. If he was playing regularly, then we'd have a better idea of what he could do. As a Right Fielder, well, he's just not very good. He makes a great attempt by diving and almost coming up with that line drive early in the game, showing that he's a pretty good athlete with average to slightly above average speed. But then he totally mis-plays Kendricks fly ball, showing that he's just not very good at judging the ball coming off the bat from an outfielders perspective. Any outfielder will tell you that getting a good jump on the ball is much more important than raw speed, and Morse has had plenty of time at Tacoma to develop the skills necessary to read the ball off the bat. Point is, he hasn't, and if he hasn't by now, what's the value in keeping him in the outfield?

Mike had a great Spring, no doubt about it. But he just seems to be the type of player that will always have a hard time finding a position to play. Maybe if he develops more power as he matures, first base would be a good fit, but I don't really see his value on this team as an outfielder. Balentien or Reed would be a much better fit.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

3:04 PM, Apr 13, 2008

what the flaherty is going on out there!?!?

Posted by TimsHead

3:05 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Isn't it great to know that EOF has a statistically great slider? I guess in some alternate universe where they play games on computers instead of real life, he's an All-Star.

Too bad here in the real world, the statistic that counts is the Angles have 6 hits in 8 at-bats against him. And why is Mac leaving him in there? Does he think this is batting practice?

Get well soon, EB and JJ. Really soon.

Posted by i heart Morse

3:07 PM, Apr 13, 2008

AK -

That's great but I have doubts that Tillman, et all would have ever found a place on this roster anyways. RA Dickey is still impressing in Tacoma and still no call up...even with our bullpen in duress. Imagine if Dickey were 23...he could throw a perfect game and he still wouldn't have the "makeup".

Posted by thatgirl

3:07 PM, Apr 13, 2008

AKM-Fan I agree with you. M's seem to fall flat against better pitching.

Watching the A's machine at work and gaining momentum just makes me drool. Hit, run, run, run, hit, etc.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

3:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Norton in for Morse.

Posted by i heart Morse

3:16 PM, Apr 13, 2008

can Norton play RF? if not, can't imagine why he'd waste the AB by not putting in BW.

Posted by dr

3:17 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Baek did a serviceable job today and should get some props given how long it's been since he last pitched.

On the ohter hand, EOF appears to have completely lost his confidence. He is the relief version of Weaver and Rameriz from last year. He needs "head help" from someone like JJ.

I feared our offense would fold today after scoring 8 runs the previous 2 games. I'm still not convinced this year's offense is really any better than last year's.

Finally, for those folks who still must argue the EB-for-AJ, et al. trade, get over it. It's a done deal. Over. Fini. Ad nauseum "I told you so" are tiresome and petty.

Posted by Pokenour

3:18 PM, Apr 13, 2008

As evidenced in the last inning, EOF has not pitched well this year, but three of the runs given up since he relieved Baek are really due to ineffectual outfield play - both in right and left. Also a good outfielder in right would have saved two runs that scored when Morse could not make a play. You cannot minimize the importance of defense, Raul is a beloved player but he needs to be the DH, spare 1B, while Morse is another 1B / 3B player, now add Turbo and Norton to that equation and you can see why McLaren's bench composition is highly questionable.

Turn to the bullpen, EOF is a disaster this year, Baek showed he can be an asset but with him he is only a spot starter and not a bullpen reliever. So the pen is down to five relievers and one of which EOF is showing he doesn't deserve his position in the majors this year.

Briefly the commentators showed how well Reed, Balentien and Dickey are doing in Tacoma. Maybe McLaren is watching - maybe not, but he has serious problems in the makeup of his 25 man roster.

Posted by thatgirl

3:20 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Rally cap time...

Posted by i heart Morse

3:21 PM, Apr 13, 2008

if nothing else, maybe we can wear out their bullpen even further

Posted by Dawn2

3:28 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Poor play by Morse and pitiful pitching from Eric O'Flaherty (continuation from poor second half performance of last year) resulted in 5 runs which is difference in today's game. O'Flaherty's insertion
in games will continue to lessen Mariner's chances of winning or pulling the game out?

Posted by Joof

3:30 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Man, this defense today is depressing. We'd acctually be in this game if Morse was somewhat competent in the outfield or if Beltre was playing third.

Posted by neil

3:32 PM, Apr 13, 2008

O Flaherty seems to be a real run machine - for the other team!

Posted by Pokenour

3:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

When does McLaren wise up to EOF? But of course, he chose to use Green last night thereby reducing his options today.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

3:34 PM, Apr 13, 2008

O'Flaherty = the new Bobby Ayala

Dump OF, bring up Dickey NOW!!!

Posted by Squatch

3:36 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Does Johnny Mac even care about trying for a comeback? Wow! I can't seem to grasp the fact that O'Flaherty is still in the game. He's done! I guess if Mac don't care then I won't either...

Posted by thatgirl

3:36 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Tallahassee-MF; I totally concur. Dickey is a must at this point.

Posted by Pokenour

3:36 PM, Apr 13, 2008

When did they say Rhodes is eligible and ready? Have him packed and ready. And don't forget Dickey on that train.

Posted by Bruce

3:38 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Do we want to destroy whatever that's left of EOF's confidence by leaving him in there? He should go down to rebuild his confidence and get Dickey up here.

Posted by couger

3:39 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hey geoff, i bet you are feeling pretty stupid right now picking the mariners to win the division. They are just pure garbage. FIRE BAVASI AND MAC. NOW!

Posted by TimsHead

3:40 PM, Apr 13, 2008

WTF? Can someone pull EOF and send him straight to AAA? Anybody have Cesar Jimenez's # on speed dial?

I feel bad for Baek. Pretty gutty performance on short notice, and he'll end up taking the loss because no one else can get an out.

The way Saunders has been pitching, chasing him in the sixth and putting up two runs is the hardest he's been hit this season. So the M's offense hasn't been totally inept, especially when you consider the dropoff from AB to Turbo. Timely hitting sure would be nice if it happens some time.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

3:40 PM, Apr 13, 2008

if mac wasn't totally incompetent, i would feel comfortable saying this is OF's last game in a Mariners uniform for at least 3 months. it certainly should be.

Posted by thatgirl

3:42 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Yeah, Squatch I'm there right now too. Ya know, what irks me is that Mac doesn't seem to have the knack to put the team in a position to go for the jugular and get a sweep. 2 out of 3 is good, but why not GO for a sweep?

Posted by downinthegroove

3:52 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Bedards durability is no surprise. It was a catch 22...

The offense is still terrible and only going to get worse against better pitching.

This is a bad team with good starting pitching.

Why not debate or mention the biggest steal in the Bedard/Jones deal......Sherrill is a huge minus for this team.

Jones may have been the future but G.S. is now. This is a horrible bullpen even with Putz doing all the work.

Posted by wally

3:56 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Bedard's injury, Mac's lack of understanding of how to use bench players, poor construction of the team...Is anyone else worried that Bedard's hip and the team's poor make up could spell doom for our beloved M's? I know that right now might not be the best time to bring this up, losing ugly and all, but this team has some issues. I don't know if we survive Bedard being hurt for very long. I don't know if we survive if Beltre's hammy isn't better very soon. I know we don't survive if Cairo stays on the roster and we don't get a real ballplayer to back up the OF. I was to optimistic this morning, but it's like someone popped my balloon.

Posted by Pokenour

3:58 PM, Apr 13, 2008

EOF's miserable outing, Turbo with a soft line drive to short.

Yes there are problems with this club, both in the pen and with the stick, but today is has been largely with the glove and the hole in right field. Has anyone seen Jeremy Reed and Wlad Balentien lately?

Posted by markus

4:01 PM, Apr 13, 2008

downin thegrove-

No one is debating Sherrill, because we all knew this would happen. I hated seeing Sherrill included in that trade. I thought we got fleeced when the trade went down, but know I'm certain that Bavasi got taken big time. It's kind of embarrassing that my favorite team can be taken for a song. This team has a great nucleus, but instead of building that nucleus the right way, Bavasi traded away a major component in the bullpen and our future, and left us with Cairo and Willie and no real backup outfielder.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Corcoran. Now there's a guy who can actually get the job done. As soon as we put OF in, this game was over. The kid is just not ready yet for the big leagues, sorry.

This really takes the fun out of this series win, doesn't it?

Posted by markus

4:04 PM, Apr 13, 2008

oh, and I forgot the ugliest lefthanded swing ever in Wilkerson. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Pat Gillick a little. He made a few poor moves, but he also made some good signings. Bavasi? not so much

Posted by downinthegroove

4:08 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I don't think we all knew this was going to happen. Geoff and all have been touting the strength of our bullpen and overemphasizing a young developing player while not giving enough credit to a critical contributor.

So no. Not all thought this would be a problem.

These are the same people that thought a few years ago we had a influx of the best pitching in baseball.....

And by the way...Morse is terrible. Even at DH he would provide no power which is what this team truly lacks.

Posted by i heart Morse

4:13 PM, Apr 13, 2008

hey "couger" (is the misspelling intentional?) -

I assume that means you picked Oakland? Because the Angels sure haven't looked any better than the M's. The beat our 6th (should be our 7th) starter and ran into the AA version of EOF. Friday and Saturday they looked like, as you say, "garbage."

Posted by markus

4:14 PM, Apr 13, 2008

if people weren't worried about losing Sherrill then they were being naive. He was huge for us last year and it wasn't hard to see that losing him would affect the bullpen adversely.

And I guess I misspoke when I said everyone, because obviously the FO didn't see this. There are young arms in the system, but Sherrill has something special for a left that isn't easily replaced.

When this trade went down I was more upset about Sherrill leaving then I was Jones.

i think Morse would be an adequate backup IF, but he's not, nor ever will be, an adequate OF. I would rather see Cairo go and someone come up (Wlad, Reed) to fight for the job in RF. And by fight I mean really give them a chance, don't just let Wilk keep if because he's McLaren's age.

Posted by i heart Morse

4:17 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Lincecum: 6IP, 2ER, 11K's

Morrow is definitely talented but a late inning reliever starting the season in Tallahasee is not what you imagine from that high of a draft pick.

Posted by i heart Morse

4:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

EOF's era=20.25

Sometimes ERA is, in fact, a legitimate indicator of performance :)

Posted by Pokenour

4:21 PM, Apr 13, 2008

They just posted Baek's numbers, something like 4 er in 41/3 innings, but to my mind that is 4 error based runs on Morse. Aside from the starting pitching, the structuring of the team, as I have said from opening day, is terrible. The bench is not workable, too many DH / 1B players, and after Charlton's dfa no backup outfielder. There is also the crazy idea of coming out of Peoria with only six relievers - Baek is really a starter with little ability to warm up as needed for relief work - so that there are in effect only five relief pitchers available and given EOF's performance make that four. Is travesty brought on by a desire to keep out of option minor leaguers - Morse and Baek - or are there other problems like signing and keeping a translator / mentor - Cairo - for the young middle infielders? And what about the wisdom of keeping Turbo, an aging singles hitting DH who has no position to play.

It would seem that Bavasi and McLaren need to go to school. Maybe that is what the Angels are doing to them today.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:32 PM, Apr 13, 2008

"Morrow is definitely talented but a late inning reliever starting the season in Tallahasee is not what you imagine from that high of a draft pick."

I appreciate the "shout out", but i assume you meant tennessee...

when is this game going to be over...

Posted by slescotts

4:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Send EOF to Tacoma, Tuscon, bring up DICKEY!!

Posted by oregongal

4:49 PM, Apr 13, 2008

What was with Speier trying to hit Ichiro? Was he just ticked off because Ichiro didn't put up his bat on the first pitch?

Kudos to Baek for doing his job. There were some sprinklings of good times the rest of the game, but then there was that pesky defense of ours and the offense that wasn't quite up to it. My channel flips to the Masters kept taking a little longer to return to the M's. Be interesting to see what happens in Anaheim.

But first things first. We start a new series we need to win.

Posted by oregongal

4:55 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Actually, we've got KC for 2, then Oakland for 2. So maybe we get 3 of those 4.

Posted by jeff in SoCal

5:07 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I am discouraged about Bedard's durability. It is not a sign of a staff ace. Silva, on the other hand, has pitched like the ace that Bedard was supposed to be. Since he has a $48 mil contract, perhaps he should be #1 and Bedard #3. Dickey should be brought up ASAP to either start or relieve. EOF should not pitch when a game is on the line.

Posted by Adam

5:07 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Sometimes ERA is, in fact, a legitimate indicator of performance :)

No, it never is.

Posted by Pokenour

5:16 PM, Apr 13, 2008

ERA is never legitimate when McLaren is trying to build the confidence of an underperforming pitcher - e.g. EOF

Posted by John

5:27 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I agree with you ... EOF is pitching fine.
Also, the moon is made of cheese.

Posted by Anthony

5:39 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hmmm, Bannister goes 9 innings with just 3 hits and no runs. I

'm telling you the Royals are no joke and we get to see first hand in the next two days. Hopefully Washburn can keep us in the game going against Greinke tomorrow and we pull out a win because then the sweep would be very much in our grasp.

Lance-- to answer a question of yours from a previous blog post, no I did not accidentally put Kansas City in my top 7 instead of New York. The Yankees are one of the worst hitting teams in the league so far this season and I expected that coming in. Look, here's a team with a bunch of overpaid players (Giambi, Matsui, Damon, Abreu, Posada, Mussina, Pettitte, etc.) that are WAY past their prime. Even Jeter is on the decline! I don't see why everyone, year after year, is all over the Yankees.

All they have is A-Rod, Cano (who is a stud) Wang and Joba. Down the line I can see Hughes and perhaps Ian Kennedy being something but right now no. The Yankees will be lucky to finish third in the East this year. My projection for the East:
1. Toronto
2. Tampa Bay
3. Boston
4. New York
5. Baltimore

Posted by joe

5:42 PM, Apr 13, 2008

by not removing Oh'Flaherty, Joh McClaren sent a message, a negative message. "I give up."
When O'Flaherty entered the game the score was LA 2 Sea 0. It was clear that Eric didn't have what it takes to get the Angels out. Yes, he had some bad luck, but McClaren could have went to the pen and try to keep the game relatively close.
McClaren, however stuck with O'Flaherty. By the time he was gone the Angels had scored 10 runs.
As a fan watching the game, I could not believe that. McClaren flat out quit, gave up. Very disheartening.
I wonder what the Mariners players were thinking as The Angels racked up hit after hit, run after run on O'Flaherty. " Well we might have had a chance, but skipper doesn't seem to agree"
Does McClaren have a mancrush on O'Flaherty? I am baffled. This was a game that, with positive managing we could have had a chance to win. John McClaren, and his refusal to go to the bullpen, single handedly stole that option away from his team.
Well, at least it's still early in the year right...

Posted by oregongal

5:46 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Anthony, I'm with you on the Yankees. I've been surprised with how many people picked them to win the division. I think it's because so many people wrote them off last year and had to eat their words.

There's also the whole thing of a new generation of Steinbrenners working with a new manager. I'm looking forward to them finishing out of the money this season.

BTW, did you see they dug up the Ortiz jersey that was buried in the new stadium? That was pretty funny. They're talking about legal action against the guy who put it there. I'm wondering what the charge would be. Activation of curse by sneaky rival?

Posted by Faceplant

6:02 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I agree with you ... EOF is pitching fine.
Also, the moon is made of cheese."

Nobody said that, but it certainly won't stop you from tryin to put words in Adams mouth.

Eric O'Flaherty is sucking. But...

1) He's posting a xFIP of 5.96. So yes, he's been bad, but not nearly as bad as you would make him out to be. He's been victimized by some shoddy defense, and some horrible luck. A 30%+ HR to fly ball ratio? That's completely unsustainable. That's just some horrible luck, and that's going to come back down to earth.

2) We are talking about around ten innings. C.C. Sabathia is posting an ERA of over 11.00 in 14 IP. The point? Everyone is going to go through a stretch where they look like the worst pitcher in baseball.

It's funny how a guy can post a xFIP of under 4.00 in 56 IP last year, and all it takes is ten innings of garbage for people to call for his head on a platter.

Oh, and by the way, it would probably be wise to stop pretending people said things that they didn't.

Posted by DH Schmginsky

6:22 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Faceplant, you and Adam can take EOF and his ERA and his xFIP all the way in your fantasy leagues. As for the real world, we'll take someone who can pitch.

Posted by kingk

7:08 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Bill James can identify poor pitching obviously others here misuse his methods

Posted by Adam

7:49 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Faceplant, you and Adam can take EOF and his ERA and his xFIP all the way in your fantasy leagues. As for the real world, we'll take someone who can pitch.

Besides the fact that you are COMPLETELY missing the point, may I say that this is a sweet ad hominem attack.

Truly well done!

Posted by DH Schmginsky

8:25 PM, Apr 13, 2008

And what point is that Adam? That the numbers NEVER lie? That no one here knows better than YOU which numbers matter and which ones don't?

You only need one tool to comprehend EOF's performance this season: A pair of eyes!

Have fun crunching EOF's numbers down in the minors.

Posted by Adam

9:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

DH Schmginsky - Tell you what:

Go find one post where I said EOF wasn't struggling this year. Just one. If you do, I'll concede the point and run on my merry way.

This whole bru-ha-ha stems from EOF's performance on THURSDAY. Not today, not for the season, but THURSDAY. Get it? People were freaking out after the game, upset that he had given up three runs. I pointed out that EOF had actually pitched pretty well, and was merely a victim of bad luck (namely a loose Carlos Pena jersey and a seeing-eye single by Upton). And I was correct.

I never said EOF wasn't struggling this year, and I never said he's pitching well. Don't try to jump into the debate at the end and pretend to know what you are talking about. Therein lies the point.

As for Faceplant's comments about EOF's actual performance this season, he's right. While he isn't throwing the ball well, his actual performance hasn't been as bad as his results. There is a difference, and smart teams understand that. if you don't think every MLB team performs this kind of analysis, you are WAY out in right field.

And here's where you could stand to learn a few things about statistical analysis: the numbers tell you things your biased pair of eyes can't, or don't, comprehend. Too many people are slaves to results-based analysis. Wins and ERA are all that supposedly matter.

What statistical analysis can correctly show you is that results-based analysis is flawed. For example, here are two lines for pitchers:

Pitcher A: 7 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 ER
Pitcher B: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 3 ER

Who would you say pitched better? They both only gave up three earned runs, so would you say they were equals? Your pair of eyes would, right?

Or would you care to dig a bit deeper and look at the numbers a bit more? If so, you'd probably find that Pitcher B was better. He missed more bats, probably gave up fewer well-hit balls, and had better control.

It cracks me up when the traditionalists call guys who like to look at the stats arrogant. Ironic, really, that the traditionalists think their own "pair of eyes" is all they need to evaluate a player, whereas the stat guys are putting their bias aside and looking at independent, hard data to make their judgments.

So tell me, who are the know-it-alls?

Posted by DH Schmginsky

9:49 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Here's the thing Adam, a lot of the time I agree you. I watched the game Thursday and I read the blog. I couldn't believe it when I read your posts cause I was thinking jeez did he watch the same game I watched? EOF was missing all over the place. That's what I saw. But I didn't say anything, but then after today's game and the whole bru-hah-hah on the blog, I decided to make a point. Thing is, I'm not a traditionalist or a strictly numbers guy. I think there is room for both, but sometimes you guys get soooo fixated on the numbers it's frustrating to moderates like myself. To answer your question; If I was at the game, I could see with my own eyes who pitched better between pitcher's A and B. I could see the strikeouts, the hits, etc. You don't have to read it in a box score. But you act like all you need is a computer. No GM in baseball sets his roster ONLY according to stats. That's why they have scouts.

Posted by Adam

9:57 PM, Apr 13, 2008

What do you mean he was missing all over the place??

He had one pitch that was substantially of the plate, the "HBP" on Pena. And we'd been busting Pena under the hands all game, so it wasn't a complete mistake.

Otherwise he jammed Upton, got a nibber on Hinske, and had to issue an IBB to Gomes.

I'm not going to pretend that, just by watching a game, I fully understand and value a player. I'm not a scout. Although I played the game from age 5 through age 19, and have followed it ever since, I'm no expert when it comes to evaluating a player. That's where statistical analysis comes in. I like it because it isn't nearly as biased as someone with "a pair of eyes."

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