Twins Come Into Town and Ruin Mariners Homecoming

Sometimes baseball is unfair. A lot of times baseball is unfair. Baseball is so unfair sometimes it is frustrating. The Mariners have been playing really bad lately, but the worst team in baseball came into town and the Mariners lost again.

But the most unfair thing is that Tom Wilhelmsen came in to pitch in the 7th inning with one out after Jason Vargas had allowed a double. Vargas had pitched pretty well. Wilhelmsen came in and walked two batters to load the bases. He then got Jamey Carroll to ground back to him, and rather than making a throw home, easily his shortest throw, he attempted to start a double play at second base on a throw that forced him to step up the front side of the mound. Vargas’ runner scored, giving him his only earned run of the game. The next play was a grounder to first base that forced Justin Smoak off the bag where his best play was to second base, but because that would have been the third out, the run that scored wasn’t earned.

Charlie Furbush would allow one of Wilhelmsen’s runs to score on the next play, but it didn’t matter. Because Wilhelmsen himself had made an error that would have been the second out, and ultimately lead to the inning ending with no runs scored. Two runs were Wilhelmsen’s fault, and he didn’t get credited for any of them. Wilhelmsen made a decisive, bone-headed decision and isn’t going to suffer from it statistically. Last night was a veritable tutorial on why ERA is a flawed measure of performance.

Chone Figgins got demoted and the entire population of Mariners nation got one step closer to seeing the head of their largest enemy carried through town on a stake on his way out.

I don’t think that Dustin Ackley is the long-term answer at leadoff, and I don’t think that having him spend time there this year is going to be beneficial in the long term. The Mariners should either put a guy like Michael Saunders there, who sees more pitches than Ichiro (4.15 for his career vs. Ichiro’s 3.60) and has more power than Chone Figgins, or just put Ichiro there as a placeholder.

Three young guys: Jesus Montero, Mike Carp, and Kyle Seager hit doubles yesterday, and the Mariners had eight hits total. The team saw only 99 pitches the whole game though. The Mariners had eight total baserunners, which means no walks. By contrast, the Mariners gave up 10 total baserunners and threw 171 pitches. 72 extra pitches. Jeez.

It should be better today. Today is Felix day.