Game notes—7/30/20

A few random thoughts/observations from tonight's 8-5 Mariner win over the Angels...

  • What kind of bizarro world is this? Marco Gonzales leaves with a slim lead and instead of seeing the bullpen blow it and cost him a win, the offense adds runs to make it harder for the ’pen to screw him! And he needed those extra runs, too, thanks to Dan Altavilla. Altavilla showed last night that he can zip in that fastball, but you have to have another pitch too. The slider isn't that good. We all felt Ohtani's home run coming after the first foul ball.
  • Loved seeing J.P. Crawford and Tim Lopes steal, loved seeing Hudson execute a sac bunt. Getting away from home-runs-or-bust is way, WAY overdue for this team.
  • Hated seeing Mallex Smith get picked off. I'm in your corner, Mal, I want you to be an on-base and speedy force, but you're not making it easy. (The walks were good, though.)
  • Marmolejos isn't impressing me, home run or no home run. He's got a big loopy swing that's full of holes.
  • Ad creep is seriously annoying. We've had the manufacturer logo on caps for a while now; this year we've got the new manufacturer's logo far, far more prominently displayed on jerseys and pants; and at Angel Stadium we now have an ad on the field. Not on the fences, not lining the dugouts, but on the field of play. Did T-Mobile not have enough signs littering Angel Stadium already, they need one on the pitcher's mound as well?! There's a T-Mobile tarp over some of the outfield seats, there are T-Mobile signs lining the dugouts, they're seemingly everywhere, but oh no, none were visible from the center-field camera shot. Better put one on the mound. ENOUGH already. (At least we weren't saddled with ads beyond Nike on the uniforms, as had been proposed during the layoff.)
  • Shed Long giveth after Shed Long taketh away; nice homer, but the error in the 5th was a bigger deal. Evan White is going to save a bunch of errors this year with his range at first base, but it'd be nice if the rest of the infield didn't give him that many opportunities.
  • Marco was just dealing tonight. He hung a curveball after Long's error, but until then he had given up just one hit—a dribbler that found no-man's-land between the mound and Shed Long's second base position—and was unfairly charged with a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was being called a strike all night long and had plenty of the plate:
  • Later in the season, I'd have objected to relieving Marco in mid-inning as he was, but given the short preseason ramp-up and his 90+ pitch count, I was OK with it, especially when Carl Edwards was the guy coming in from the bullpen. Stringbean looked good out there.
  • J.P. at leadoff might work out well. Still a little concerned about his history against left-hand pitching, but so far so good. Especially if he keeps up the aggressive baserunning.
  • Evan White and Kyle Lewis are putting up numbers that are basically mirror images of what I expected. White has the reputation of being the strong OBP guy that hits line to line, but instead he's racked up 11 Ks and a sub-.300 on-base mark. Lewis is striking out too, but he's getting his hits, many with two strikes, many to the opposite field.

One week in and the M's are 3-4? Not too shabby. There's a lot to like here. Bring on the A's.


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