Maybe I’m the only one that thought that this game was kind of boring for eight and a half innings. Doug Fister Doug-Fistered his way to seven innings with no runs allowed. He’s not an exciting pitcher. He was very effective today, but he’s not exciting. Blake Beavan is boring too, so is Hisashi Iwakuma.
It shouldn’t have been that boring. Iwakuma struck out 5 hitters in three innings, and the Mariners struck out nine tonight. Nobody hit any home runs. I’m not one of those guys that only likes the long ball, but there were 20 groundball outs.
Ichiro’s first inning double was a ball that was kind of in the gap. It didn’t make it through the gap, but it was kind of in the gap and Ichiro is fast. John Jaso’s double was better. Jesus Montero’s double was even better than that.
But we’ll Tarantino this shit.
It started off bad early. Beavan pitched alright early, giving up his only run on a really tough Texas Leaguer that Brendan Ryan couldn’t field. Then Miguel Cabrera beat the shit out of Beavan’s elbow and lower back with a line drive in the third inning that ricocheted to Kyle Seager and ended up being a 1-5-4-3 double play. Beavan would leave the game. Iwakuma would enter the game. Iwakuma would be effective, also. Moreso even, but somehow his five strikeouts were nondescript. He missed only five bats. He got three groundball outs, five strikeouts, and gave up only one fly ball out, and somehow I was bored by him. He’ll probably pitch for Beavan next go-around. I’ll be a better analyst then.
As the bottom of the ninth approached things looked bad. The Mariners had been lackluster on offense and Octavio Dotel was on the hill. Dotel is a good pitcher. Or he was a good pitcher. I don’t know what kind of pitcher he is any more. He still throws hard, hard enough to hit the backstop on a one-hop. Dotel had bad command and walked Brendan Ryan after almost hitting him. He walked Ichiro next. He threw two wild pitches after that. Then he gave up a fucking rope to Jesus Montero (it’s weird to say Jesus and fucking in the same sentence) off the center field wall. Jesus Montero’s double was fantastic. This guy is going to be very good.
The game was tied at that point Dave Cameron brought up a good point on twitter.
Jaso’s ability to elevate the ball may play some role in this, where a sac fly or grounder to the right side (even with the infield in) are easier to come by in this circumstance. However, Eric Wedge is far from a probability-based technician as a manager. Most aren’t. Wedge is about as old school as they come.
I had a similar, albeit more vulgar moment when Wedge put Charlie Furbush in against Austin Jackson.
Then I took a look at Austin Jackson’s splits.
And the Mariners were victorious. 3-2. Tomorrow’s game will be more fun for the first eight-and-a-half, but not because Beavan’s father Kevin Millwood is pitching, but because Beavan’s cousin Doug Fister won’t be pitching. Today was a great reunion. Fister pitched well, we don’t hate Fister, and the Mariners won, we love the Mariners.
But a Justin Verlander start is as can’t-miss-worthy as a Felix start. And Verlander starts tomorrow.