From before the beginning of the Mariners game today I was an enormous ball of mucus. I don’t know what is in the air, assuredly some kind of pollen, but I was totally miserable. I’m lucky to have a girlfriend at a time like this for a lot of reasons. She took care of me, and fed me, and drove everywhere we needed to go today, and if the cocktail of allergy medication I took today decides to boil over, she’ll be there to call 911! Yay!
But I feel a lot better now, and after a road trip that ended with the Mariners losing six straight, and then another loss at home, my battle with spring allergies today was an acceptable metaphor for the Mariners season so far. There’s been sucky times, not as bad as some past years though. It’s better right now. Hopefully this is the worst of it. Because there has been way worse. Way worse.
There were moments today in which Hector Noesi looked unhittable. He hit the corners with his fastball and hit 95 MPH. I think he may have been squeezed again on occasion also. There were times when his lack of command showed. I expected that outings like this are going to become the norm for Noesi. You see, he didn’t pitch markedly better than his past two outings, but the results were better. He struck out five but missed only seven bats.
Kyle Seager hit the hardest single that we’ve seen since Jesus Montero nearly wall-puncturing single earlier in the season. Seager hit a line drive that one-hopped the right field wall. He drove in a run on the deal, but the box score doesn’t begin to describe how he is raking right now. Coming into today, for the month of May Seager was batting .368/.400/.895 with 3 homeruns and a double. It seems silly at this point to think that Seager wasn’t even close to a guarantee to make the 25 man roster when spring started. At this rate Seager could be looking at an All Star appearance.
Jesus Montero hit a double in the first inning, but it was the variety of double that he won’t often hit in his career. He hit a groundball down the third base line that hit a wall that Josh Willingham played terribly, and Jesus Montero legged his double out. Jesus Montero runs like he’s trying to keep his socks try while running through a puddle. He won’t be legging out many doubles. He’ll be pulverizing doubles.
John Jaso threw Jamey Carroll out at second base while Carroll was trying to steal in the first inning. Jamie Carroll is no Kenny Lofton, but he’s probably got something that resembles league-average speed. Jaso didn’t unleash a perfect throw either. He one-hopped a strong throw to Dustin Ackley and beat Carroll to the bag. He’s not an amazing defensive catcher, but he’s good enough to get his bat into the lineup, and probably better than Jesus Montero in the long run. And the thing that he has going in comparison to Jesus Montero is that while he’s a good hitter for a catcher, the team doesn’t expect him to be a world class hitter. In comparison to Jesus Montero, Jaso is expendable. The Mariners will need to figure out a new plan with Jesus Montero very soon. I predict the first time he misses a game with a knee sprain or a shin bruise he’ll have played his last game at catcher.
The Mariners won. They won a series they are supposed to win. They didn’t sweep the Twins, but let’s not get too cute with our expectations. The Mariners won a series. They play the Tigers tomorrow, and they’ll get Doug Fister game one. I think Doug Fister is due for a big regression this year.