Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Game Was Late and So Is This Post

Did I say I'd return with the Win Expectancy today? Obviously, I had not factored in the rain delay, because once Melky hit that bomb, I was in no shape to be plugging numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.

Main story: Mariners got screwed, but not as badly as they'll purport. There is no disputing that Jorge was out, which would have completely changed the course of Damon's subsequent at bat. The Yankees crew (and just about every M's fan) was quick to point out that Damon's fly to center would have meant the end of the game, with the Mariners leading 4-3. However, I'm certain that Damon wouldn't have been swinging deliberately for a fly ball had there been two outs. With the tying run on third and one out, however, you know Damon was just looking to get under a pitch, which he did marvelously.

And then there's the whole business of the rain, which I don't think anyone can really complain about. I understand the Mariners complaint; it was freakin' pouring, and under normal circumstances the tarp would have been rolled out long before. However, it was the bottom of the freakin' ninth, so you know the umps are going to stretch it to the limits. I shouldn't have to even point this out, but if the Mariners were rallying in the bottom of the ninth at Safeco and the skies opened up, you wouldn't hear anyone complaining that the game wasn't called.

Heh, I made it a whole three paragraphs before mentioning Alex Rodriguez. Yeah, he effed up a little, and that strikeout wasn't very pleasant on the heels of a two-hour rain delay. In his defense, the strikeout was a pretty shitty call, but I don't think M's fans are going to care much about that sentiment. It was nice, though, to hear the Yankees fans erupt when A-Rod was announced as a pinch hitter. Too bad they ruined it by reverting to the boos once he made out.

You know what pissed me off most about the whole Alex thing? When he was facing Putz in the ninth, the man looked like he had that killer instinct. The YES crew were doing close-ups between pitches – probably because A-Rod is usually pursing his lips, breathing heavily, and in general acting uncomfortable in these situations. But this time, he looked focused. He looked like he was ready to cream anything in the zone, and take a walk if he didn't get what he liked. And then, 3-1, Mike Reilly comes racing towards the mound, arms flailing, as if he knows A-Rod is going deep on this pitch.

Living in New Jersey, I didn't think the rain would last long; it was only drizzling around my parts, as the heavy stuff had passed. After checking back on every commercial during Reno 911 and the Daily Show, I figured it was a lost cause. But, on a whim, my brother flipped back and voila! We've got A-Rod facing Julio Mateo. We all know the outcome...

The second best part of extra innings: Kyle Farnsworth throwing GAS. I know the YES radar gun isn't to be trusted for accuracy, but using it as a comparison tool, yeah, Farny throws the ball kidna hard. Proctor can hit 96 on that gun, while Mo usually hovers around 94-95. Farnsworth usually dallies with 98-99, but last night the gun was showing 100-101. I'm eager to find out if he's doing something differently, or if the network is just inflating the gun numbers.

The worst part of extra innings: I missed Melky's home run. Of course, I blame this on my time-oblivious brother, who got caught up in American Wedding of all movies and didn't get back to the game in time. All we saw was everyone rushing into the dugout as we eagerly awaited a replay. I had been sour on Melky all night, mainly because he was making crappy contact and grounding out weakly. Obviously, that homer made up for his four previous shitty at bats.

And now for that fatass Aruban. Doom seemed impending in the first inning, as he let Richie Sexson park one into the left field seats. This wouldn't have been a problem if this was 2004, but for Sexson v.2005 and beyond, it's inexcusable. I'd like to say he settled in afterwards, allowing just one run and pitching through the seventh. But he still looked a little erratic, not throwing enough strikes even as he began keeping the ball in the park. He's earned another start, and surprisingly I'm not too pissed about that. Innings, people; we just need a starter to eat up some innings.

And finally, we get to Mr. Kris Wilson, a man I touted as the possible answer to the fifth starter conundrum. We all remember when he refuted my argument against the D-Rays, effectively removing himself from the rotation. However, he has now pitched three beautiful innings out of the bullpen. He looked spot on last night, painting the corners with his slider. Another effective bullpen component? I think he deserves at least a few more appearances, maybe in some higher leverage situations.

I hijacked some speakers from my mom's computer so I can listen to the game at work today (thank you, MLB Radio). This, I think, will be a deceptive pitcher's duel; both teams are going to be assed out from last night, so let's see if Randy can come up with some fireballs and keep the Mariners in check.