Friday, April 22, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. Athletics - Wherefore art thou, Jason Kendall?

I went to Safeco on Thursday night for the Mariners-A's game, which I had been looking forward to a lot, but due to some confusion over trying to get someone to go with me (Drew thought he could go, then it turned out he couldn't), and the cold weather, and the Mariners losing, it was actually relatively unfun. I did have the joy of getting into the park at 5:30pm, which means I saw the tail end of Mariners batting practice and all of A's batting practice. Jamie Moyer was playing catch with a guy in the outfield seats when I first got there... that was weird. The A's were very gracious with the fans asking them for autographs; Eric Byrnes, Mark Kotsay, Kiko Calero, Barry Zito, Justin Duchscherer, and some others all came by and happily signed stuff for people and got their pictures taken with fans and all. I actually was like, a few feet away from all of those guys, but I felt weird asking them to sign stuff, and I had nothing relevant to sign. I had brought an old Jason Kendall baseball card, and I was wearing my Pirates Kendall shirt, but alas, he never came out, so I didn't get him to sign anything.

The park was seriously empty. Our section was seriously empty. I ended up moving to the front row of it after a while because there was this seriously loud obnoxious drunken group behind me. The game was seriously empty as well. Franklin didn't pitch terribly, but he gave up an early home run which made the score 3-0, and the Mariners simply never scored any runs of their own. Harden got 8 strikeouts in 7 innings; the M's were just overswinging a lot, it looked. Jason Kendall made a pretty awesome play against Bret Boone in the 2nd, where Boone hit a ball towards second, and Ellis dove and stopped it in the dirt, but he overthrew first base, so Boone started running to second, kinda awkwardly. Kendall had gone up to back up the play at first, so he got the ball and threw to second base miiiiiles ahead of Boone. I'll chalk that up to "Jason Kendall rules" and not "Bret Boone sucks", for now.

Charlie Thomas came up to bat, having been 0-for-18 this year so far, but with a .217 OBP. The guy next to me was like "look at that guy's on-base percentage. I know Billy Beane tells those guys to learn to take a walk, but don’t you think he should tell them to learn to hit the ball, too?"

Speaking of Moneyball, it was neat to see Nick Swisher playing.

At one point they were playing the Phil Collins song "Susudio" or whatever, right before Marco Scutaro came up to bat, and I started humming, "Scu-scu-scutaro" to the music instead. Hee.

Duchscherer has too many redundant letters in his name.

Got to see Shin-Soo Choo in his first major league at-bat. He has the unfortunate quality where, when he is put in as a pinch-hitter, the note says "a-Choo batted for Olivo", which means that the scorer is sneezing.

Sadly, I noticed that the Angels-Indians game had Kevin Millwood pitching against Jarrod Washburn, which makes the Indians games this weekend a little less attractive to attend, but we'll see.

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