Today will be another game where I attempt to decipher the happenings based on a game that rests on my DVR, but one that I don’t have time to watch before father time catches up with the sandman. My girlfriend and I met up with some of her co-workers, and what started as a stop at a frozen yogurt shop became multiple beers at my (and their) favorite local watering hole. The night definitely improved when frozen yogurt left the equation, and beer replacing it was easily a marginal win if not a two-win gain. That my bar had Oakshire IPA on tap today turned tonight from a replacement level night to at least All Star caliber. They haven’t had that shit on tap for months.
So Jason Vargas had a very un-Jason-Vargas-like night, from what I can tell. I am going to drop the “from what I can tell” qualifier from here on out because I made it quite clear that I didn’t watch tonight’s game. Vargas struck out only one batter, and walked two, while inducing 14 ground ball outs compared to nine fly outs in only 106 pitches. Those 106 pitches also included 10 hits. I’ll watch the game in the morning and check the Pitch F/X, but I’ll bet that there were equal elements of both smoke and mirrors that contributed to Vargas’ success tonight.
To some extent Ryan Vogelsong’s story is the absolute same as Colby Lewis’s. He was drafted by the Giants, traded to the Pirates, cut by the Pirates, pitched in Japan, then all the sudden in his early 30s he returned to the states to become a very effective pitcher. It’s hard to argue that Vogelsong hasn’t become every bit the pitcher he could have been, having posted 2.4 WAR last year riding great results and ugly peripherals to success in San Francisco, success that helped him finish 11th in Cy Young voting in the National League last year. And it’s that way that has made Vogelsong’s story much like that of Jason Vargas, also. Both of these guys pitch in cavernous home ballparks and are fly ball pitchers, and both have experienced success since finding a ballpark that basically masks all of their flaws and accentuates all of their strengths.
I have said this before, but I almost don’t like it when Miguel Olivo gets hits, because it means that Olivo is more likely to stick around. I don’t like Olivo behind the plate, or at the plate, and I don’t want him on the team I root for, especially when I think this team has younger guys I think need a shot at catcher before they’re moved to other positions.
Buster Posey hit a homerun off Vargas also. That’s a lot less bad than if say, a guy like Ryan Theriot hit a homerun off Vargas. Mike Zunino has received comparisons to Buster Posey, so in some quasi-nonsensical way this is almost good news. Of course, it’s not really good news, and what Posey does from here on out has little to no bearing on what Zunino will become in the future. But hey, Buster Posey can hit, and he can also play catcher. I can’t say that about anyone on the Mariners roster right now who doesn’t have an alliterated hashtag floating around Twitter in his honor.
The Mariners have lost a bunch of games straight, and tomorrow they face the struggling Tim Lincecum. I can’t wait to hear how many times Brandon Morrow’s name gets mentioned tomorrow. Even better, I can’t wait to hear how everyone who hated and vilified Morrow for being enough of an asshole to be taken ahead of Lincecum bag on the trade that also sent him out of town. The pick was unfortunate, the trade was a product of bad process, but move the fuck on already. One half of those moves were made by past regimes, and Morrow was a good starter in theory only.
I hope Mikey does this shit tomorrow, for your sake.