Yesterday's Mariners-A's game was just pathetic. What kind of idiot team takes a 7-3 lead into the 9th and loses 8-7? <stonecutters>We do. We do.</stonecutters> And for once Ryan Franklin would be totally justified in strangling the bullpen.
On the other hand, the awful game spurred one of the best USSM game threads ever, at least for my fragile ego.
I would be angry at Eddie, but then I read this awesome story forwarded from Athletics Nation.
The Tacoma Rainiers, aka the Seattle Rainiers of Tacoma With A Bunch of Dudes From San Antonio Not To Mention Some Mariners Throwaways lose the first PCL Division Game 7-3 to Sacramento.
Now, that said, let me go into my rage against the Phillies, who managed to get swept by the Astros while the Mariners were managing to not sweep the A's. I'm pretty sure this means they're out of the Wild Card race, though stranger things have happened.
Anyway, crazy split of the day:
Which hitter would you rather have on your team?
Hitter A: .328/.395/.629, 186 AB, 15 HR, 41 RBI (58 K, 31%)
Hitter B: .133/.170/.133, 45 AB, 0 HR, 1 RBI (22 K, 48%)
Good news: The Phillies have Hitter A on their team.
Bad news: The Phillies have Hitter B on their team.
Ugly news: Hitter A and Hitter B are the same guy.
Hitter A is Ryan Howard against righties. Hitter B is Ryan Howard against lefties.
NL pitchers are hitting .147/.163/.187 as a whole.
Ryan Howard is like Pedro Cerrano from the movie Major League. You put him in front of right-handed pitching and he absolutely mashes. You put him in front of left-handed pitching and he buckles, swings, misses, and runs back to his locker to pour more rum into a bowl in front of a Bobby "Jobu" Abreu figurine.
I have no real right to diss him, since he has without a doubt been one of the only Phillies really pounding the ball in the last week (to the tune of a 1.210 OPS with 4 HR and 6 RBI), but he has this habit of striking out at really inopportune moments, generally when facing lefties, such as Monday night with the bases loaded. If he can't work this out soon, he'll be looking at a career as a permanent bench man, a power lefty pinch hitter. Is that so bad? Not necessarily, but it means the Phillies still need a reasonable replacement for Jim Thome if he doesn't make it back next year.
Chase Utley is wonderful and I adore him, but he's hitting .069/.156/.103 in the last week. He's been more of a liability in the batting order than just about anyone else. Hopefully today's day off will be good for him.
David Bell, oddly enough, could be said to be personally responsible for the outcomes of over half of the last week's games. No, seriously:
Sep 1: He knocked in the two runs in the first inning of the eventual 2-1 win
Sep 2: He hit that whopping grand slam in the 3rd against John Halama, and the Phillies eventually won 7-1
Sep 3: He was responsible for the two unearned runs in the 8th (even though they charged the error to Howard, it was a bad throw after a superb stop by Bell which should have been a third out) which really lost the game, but he was also responsible for hitting that home run in the 9th that tied the game at 4-4, though the Phillies eventually lost 5-4.
Sep 5: He made that error on the very first play of the game which threw off Brett Myers enough to let 4 runs score in the first four batters, essentially losing the game.
Sep 7: After the Phillies recovered to lead 6-5, with Billy Wagner up, Bell made another two-out error, which eventually led to Craig Biggio's 3-run game-winning home run.
Much like it is distinctly not a good year to be a Boone, it is also not a good year to be a Bell. (I mean, take one look at Buddy Bell's Royals...)
Hey, according to baseball-reference, all of the Bells were actually named David Bell - Gus was really "David Russell Bell Jr", Buddy was really "David Gus Bell". Weeeeeeird. I never knew that.
Anyway, David Bell made Billy Wagner extremely sad, and we can't have that. In a normal universe, Billy Wagner doesn't lose games, and he just got pinned with two losses in a row. As the Bard might have said - and I don't mean Josh Bard - "Losing, most foul, as in the best it is - but this most foul, strange, and unnatural."