Justin Verlander gave the Mariners a show today. He neared triple digits on the radar gun, and at one point in the bottom of the third inning, after his second near-perfect 98 MPH backdoor fastball on the inside corner, he got Jim Leyland, and nearly himself kicked out of the game. I’d have been pissed. I remember when I played little league and I was pitching and the umpire was clearly scared of the ball, he turned his head every time a pitch got to the plate, and it made getting a called strike harder than Sean Kramer and myself getting a marriage license in North Carolina.
But I didn’t get kicked out, and neither did Verlander. I didn’t need my first and third baseman to move their near-500-lbs of combined mass to act as a fat wall between me and the umpire either, though.
Verlander is really good. He’s too good. It’s really unfair. I really feel like this is what opposing fans must feel like when Felix dissects their team. I mean Verlander gave up three runs in six innings and it felt like he was totally dominant anyways. He wasn’t sharp, but he wasn’t exactly getting beat around the yard, and the shrunken strike zone didn’t help. He missed 16 bats in six innings. He is a very good pitcher.
Prince Fielder demolished a homerun in seventh inning.
Some folks had answers.
Kevin Millwood was pretty terrible tonight. I don’t think he’ll be in a Mariner uniform after June, but he may be pitching for an even earlier exit. He just doesn’t have a real place on this roster, and as low as I am on Erasmo Ramirez, I’d rather see what he can do in the rotation than a couple more turns from a guy I know won’t be here for long.
Ichiro has walked in four straight games.
And there was this dickhead.
Jose Valverde tried to give the game up at the end. And home plate umpire Brian Knight continued to be terrible, terrible in the Mariners favor. Eric Wedge attempted to have Dustin Ackley bunt with no outs and men on first and second in the ninth inning. He attempted to bunt in order to bring Brendan Ryan to the plate. I mean, he had to hits today, but he’s fucking Brendan Ryan. I love his glove, and he’s in the two hole, whatever. We’re confusing correlation and results when we start proclaiming Ryan a No. 2 hitter, but whatever. I don’t want him cut, or sent down, or benched, or anything. He’s a vital cog on defense. But it’s the ninth fucking inning and you take the bat out of Ackley’s hands to put it in Ryan’s? C’mon Eric Wedge.
So obviously the only thing that can happen is that Brendan Ryan can hit a tailor-made double play ball. Of course. Prince Fielder muffed the throw to first, but shit man. Eric Wedge.
And Jesus Montero hit a foul ball almost into the stands until Don Kelly ruined that dream. The Mariners lost 6-4.
They have a chance to win the series and go over .500 for the home stand tomorrow.