Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Frustrating Night with the Seattle Mariners

Unfortunately, I witnessed Seattle getting swept by Texas in a doubleheader at the Ballpark. This was not good. A few points:

1. Raul Ibanez is a horrific left fielder. After watching the defensive stylings of Adam Dunn last year in Cincinnati, I thought I had probably seen the worst left fielder I would ever see. Not so sure now. Travis Metcalf (yes, the legendary Travis Metcalf) managed to hit a broken bat triple thanks to Ibanez's "defense." A speedy LF might have caught the ball. Ibanez thought he could. Of course, he was wrong. The ball bounced off the wall and well away from him. Metcalf scored on a Michael Young double two batters later. The play probably didn't cost the Mariners a run. But it certainly could have.

2. Willie Bloomquist sucks. Seattle gets the first two runners on top of the 5th in game 2. Seattle calls for a Bloomquist sacrifice. Of course, not only can he not get the bunt down but he misses the ball entirely, leaving Yuniesky Betancourt out to dry between 2nd and 3rd. Bloomquist then singles, which would have loaded the bases. After an Ichiro strikeout, Jose Vidro singles, scoring Jamie Burke from 2nd. That should have been a 2 run single. Bloomquist costs Seattle a run.

3. Terrible bullpen management. I hate the idea that any lefty out of the pen should only pitch to lefties. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, with the game tied at 3, Mariners manager John McLaren brings on George Sherrill, who has been utterly dominant this year. He quickly retires the batter. Then in the 8th, with a righty leading off, McLaren brings in the terrible Chris Reitsma. For some reason, Mariners management has believed all season that Reitsma should be the top set up guy. Luckily, he was hurt for awhile and the bullpen thrived. Not now. Reitsma quickly gives up a run and the game.

Why do managers believe in this super-specialization dogma? Why not use the man who is clearly your best set-up man for more than 1 batter? It just makes no sense.

It was a very frustrating evening.