As I write this the game is still in the bottom of the sixth, but forgive my lack of faith for saying that this game is already over. The Royals hold a commanding 5-0 lead with starter Bruce Chen pitching a gem against the woeful Mariners offense. That, and the fact that this game is going to get rained out and deemed official in a matter of minutes.
When it rains it pours. Literally.
When will the bleeding stop for the Mariners? We don’t know, but this team just can’t catch a break, and whatever momentum the Mariners had from the Blue Jays series has died. And that probably happened in the top of the 8th yesterday when Chris Ray blew any chance the Mariners had of a Blue Jays sweep.
With this impending loss the Mariners will drop to 4-9, losing 9 of their last 11 games.
The Mariners have just started in Kansas City, with three more games left in which our best hope may very well be the rain and the potential cancellation of these games. The fact of the matter is that most teams the Mariners play this year won’t be very beatable for them, and the Royals are definitely in that category. In fact, the Royals just might be a playoff contender. They possess some of the most exciting young talent in the league including stud left fielder Alex Gordon and super slugger Billy Butler. Add that to the best farm system in major league baseball and this bunch isn’t your mom’s punching bag of the 2000’s Kansas City Royals.
This is the team that Mariner fans across the Northwest need to pray for our franchise to become. The Royals have some of the best scouting in Major League Baseball which has helped them foster one of the greatest farm systems in Major League baseball, and helped them net a talented return in the Zach Grienke trade.
And what’s best about the team that has now beaten the Mariners 5-1, as the rain out is official in the middle of the 8th, their payroll is less than $45 Million. They’re paying closer Joakim Soria $4 Million, savvy veteran starter Bruce Chen $2 Million, and solid stop gap RF Jeff Francour $2.5 Million.
I have to stop here before I digress and bemoan the terrible contracts and wasted money that Jack Z had to inherit from Bill Bavasi that put us in this hole. So here’s to Dustin Ackley coming up in mid-June and maybe giving the Mariners something to be optimistic about.
Now, here’s what I’ve noticed tonight:
Doug Fister is troubling right now. His stuff is flat and he left a lot of balls up over the plate. He was trying to paint corners and apparently the umpire didn’t want his zone painted. Fister couldn’t adjust.
Despite the box score Justin Smoak was seeing and hitting the ball very well. He just needs a little luck now. He got ahold of a pitch in the second inning that should’ve been a double, but Melky Cabrera made an amazing play on the ball. Smoak is very effective from the right side of the plate and after the last few games we should look forward to Smoak getting better as the weather does.
Adam flipping Kennedy DHed today, and hit clean up. I must be missing something. Wedgie decided to go with a left handed hitter against a left handed pitcher at DH just because his .333 average with 21 at bats? Yet, Ryan Langerhans, Seattle’s hottest power hitter, was benched. Michael Bradley played Left, Saunders was in center. Ideally, Saunders should be getting at bats every day, especially if it’s at Milton Bradley’s expense. With Hochevar, a righty, going tomorrow, I hope to see Saunders playing center, Langerhans playing left and Cust back in the line up at DH. Kennedy went 1 for 3 today, by the way.
Erik Bedard gets the nod tomorrow, and he hasn’t been impressive at all. But here’s to hoping he can actually pitch five effective innings.
Buckle up Mariner fans, this is just the start of the long haul.