Thursday, June 10, 2004

Just some random stream of consciousness thoughts on the past week in Mariner baseball....

Let's start with Clint Nageotte's start on Monday night. It's quite obvious that while Nageotte has some good "stuff" he has no idea where the ball is going to go on any single pitch. The words used most often for his start were "effective wildness". Clint alternated between throwing great breaking balls, a god knows where this is heading fastball and several "my eyes are as big as Puss n' Boots" hanging pitches.

He works extremely slowly and every pitch is an effort. In 6 innings he threw 107 pitches. The good news is that 59% of them went for strikes. The bad news is that it took him 107 pitches to get through 6 innings. Contrast that to Freddy and Joel needing 117 pitches to get through 8 innings the past few games. He's got a heck of a breaking ball but don't let anyone try and convince you that he's the next Kerry Wood. My question to the readers. Has anyone ever been a successful MLB pitcher by being "effectively wild". The closest I player I can come up with is Mitch "wild thing" Williams. Mitch, despite giving up a lot of walks still managed to put up decent ERA's by giving up less than a hit per inning and combining it with great strikeout numbers. Feel free to hit the comments button and contribute your suggestions for "effectively wild" pitchers. All the great ones who started out wild, didn't become great until they gained control.

After Nageotte the M's decided their 5 run outburst would do for the rest of the week. The futility of the M's offense reached its zenith for the year on Tuesday night in the 8th inning. Given a gift triple to John Olerud to lead off the inning the M's managed to strand him there. Boone failed to get the ball into the outfield and then Spezio and Hansen K'ed to gift wrap the game for Houston. It's quite a contrast to the 2001 team where they always seemed to manage to get runners in from 3rd.

The offensive futility continued last night as Freddy pitched well enough to win playing for any other team.

Watching Boccachica in center has confirmed just how bad a fielder Winn is. I'd rather see Jamal Strong getting a tryout than Hiriam but there apparently is some secret handshake agreement among all MLB GM's that you can't truly "give up" on a season until after the all star break no matter how crappy your team is. Hence, you'll see no mass AAA player shift until mid July.

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