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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wednesday Morning Sports Report

posted by on April 4 at 9:52 AM

Last night when I was able to tune in to the Mariners game Seattle had a 4-2 lead in the 7th. Then Mateo took over and promptly coughed up that lead. My immediate thought: Here we go. Just like last year.

Then something beautiful happened. Betancourt pounded a shot over the wall, scoring two, a triple by Ichiro scored another run, and Beltrť sacrificed Ichiro home. Suddenly the Mís were up 8-4. Thanks to Brandon Morrow, all of 22 years old, they didnít look back.

Now the Mariners are 2-0 for the first time since 1996, and though its stupid early in the season, taking the opening series, from the Aís of all teams, is huge. Tonight Miguel Batista hopes to deliver the sweep.

Other News: The Lady Vols are national champions again; Huskies center Spencer Hawes will announce whether heís jumping to the NBA by the end of this week; the Seahawks signed defensive tackle Craig Terrill to a one year deal; and the Seattle Storm are looking to draft a guard or wing player in todayís WNBA draft.

RSS icon Comments

1

And the M's have equaled the number of wins against the A's from last year.

Posted by elswinger | April 4, 2007 10:20 AM
2


a triple is a thing of beauty,,, esp. when followed with a sac fly!

I ducked into a bar to watch the final half inning and the hope of Brandon Morrow.

Posted by come again | April 4, 2007 10:23 AM
3

The best stat from these first two games is that Oakland has stranded 23 runners, while the M's have stranded just 10.

Last year the Mariners consistently left a ton of guys on base, while the opposing teams got their hits in bunches.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2007 10:48 AM
4

wow. weird that the WNBA has a draft so quickly after the college bball season is over. are the UT women who just won last night eligible for the draft today?

Posted by konstantconsumer | April 4, 2007 10:54 AM
5

And the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals are 0-2.

It's still early everyone!

Posted by Mike in MO | April 4, 2007 11:03 AM
6

Leaving lots of men on base is a GOOD sign, not a bad one. Teams that score a lot of runs leave a lot on base, too; teams that score few have few LOB too. We were very near the bottom last year in both (suppressed by the park, but still). The leader in runs, the Yankees, was also the leader in LOB.

How many more "wins" will Mateo vulture off his starters this year before Hargrove gets the picture? Ten?

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2007 11:10 AM
7

Fnarf, you assume that Hargrove will get the picture at all. You have much more faith than I. But his goatee sure is bitchin'.

Also 2-0: the Pirates and the Royals. Great company, to be sure.

Posted by The_Poe_Of_Chili_Town | April 4, 2007 11:19 AM
8

The M's are 2-0 for the first time since 96? They missed the playoffs that year, didn't they?

I'm surprised that they didn't start 01 at 2-0, given that they were eventually something like 43-6 by late May.

Posted by Matt from Denver | April 4, 2007 12:08 PM
9

It's never to early to begin the "pace" talk!

At this pace, the M's will finish 162-0. (Then, of course, lose to NY in 6 games in the ALCS.)

Posted by him | April 4, 2007 12:20 PM
10

Fnarf, you are wrong... again.

LOB are obviously missed opportunities, and if you calculate the percentage of TIMES those opportunities were missed, you'll find that in 2006 the six best teams in the AL fared better than the Mariners.

Ichiro's & the DHs' RISP averages killed the Mariners last year.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2007 12:23 PM
11

I don't know why I bother arguing with someone who can't grasp the obvious, but here goes:

Batting with runners in scoring position is pretty much random. The reason teams hit better than us with RISP is because they hit better than us AT ALL TIMES. It's a ridiculous stat to worry about. And anyone who thinks Ichiro "killed the Mariners" at anything last year or at any other time is nuts.

Good-hitting teams put men on base, good teams score them, good teams leave a lot behind as well. LOB tracks R almost perfectly, always has.

The reason we sucked at scoring runs last year, besides the usual park factor, is that we didn't HAVE any opportunities; we didn't get on base worth a damn. And we didn't hit for any power either. Our OBP and SLG were both towards the bottom. That's what makes runs happen: getting on base and driving them in.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2007 12:46 PM
12

Allow me to quote: "Last year the Mariners consistently left a ton of guys on base."

This is the opposite of the truth. The M's finished 11th out of 14 in the AL in LOB.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2007 12:54 PM
13

Ichiro was awful with RISP in 2006. If he'd hit the same with RISP as he did with the bases empty (.228 vs. .338), he would've had 14 more hits and driven in 15 or 20 more runs.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2007 1:10 PM
14

Pardon me, 12th, not 11th. We were TERRIBLE at leaving men on base, just as we were terrible at putting them there and at bringing them home.

Hitting with RISP is random, not a skill.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2007 1:12 PM
15

The M's are 2-0 and the return of the Morning Sports Report-- Yippy!

Posted by David | April 4, 2007 1:16 PM
16

konstantconsumer @ #4, the WNBA draft is usually held right after the NCAA tourney. UT only has one senior, and she was drafted in the 2nd round by the LA Sparks. http://www.wnba.com/draft2007/draft_board.html

Posted by Jez | April 4, 2007 1:37 PM
17

It can be argued that hitting with men on is easier. Defense will play a batter straight up when the bases are empty, but the defense has to hold runners on and the pitcher will throw from the streatch with runners on...

Posted by Mike in MO | April 4, 2007 1:47 PM
18

@17. Correct. And Ichiro's career RISP average is .343 -- 12 points above his batting average.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2007 2:23 PM
19

And Valencia held Chelsea 1-1 at Stamford Bridge. Lovely.

Posted by Abby | April 4, 2007 2:34 PM
20

Now Spurs just have to beat Sevilla in Spain and then frigging Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the space of three days.

RISP is randomness. There's no such thing as a clutch hitter.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2007 2:39 PM
21

You can argue that hitting with runners on is easier, but it's not as simple as it appears -- especially with a singular talent like Ichiro. Ichiro gets a lot of infield singles. If there's already a runner on base, instead of an impossible throw to get Ichiro burning to first, it's an easy toss to get the runner at second or third (or even home). With empty basepaths that would have been a single, but the out turns it into an fielder's choice and depresses Ichiro's BAwRISP. (In fact, since about 20% of his hits are infield singles, that can entirely account for the difference).

Posted by Joe | April 4, 2007 3:01 PM
22

Except, Joe, Ichiro's CAREER average with RISP is .343 -- above his career batting average. He does get a lot of infield hits, but he also has the uncanny ability to "hit it where they ain't," which he can take full advantage of when runners are being held on base by the opposing infield.

There is a difference between "clutch hitting" and "situational hitting", Fnarf.

Posted by DOUG. | April 4, 2007 3:15 PM
23

Ok, Bradley, you're also off to a good start in '07. We all expect another 159 Sports Reports to follow.

RISP, be what you will. I like three things so far this season (and the second half of Spring Training):

- M's coming back and scoring late in games (a continuation from last year, albeit that they lost their fair share of those type of games).

- RBI's on two-out at bats.

- Different players being able to help get wins a la Betancourt's HR last night. If the M's players realize that no one in particular is going to carry the team, that should keep 'em in the optimal mind-set to contribute.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | April 4, 2007 3:48 PM

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