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June 14, 2007 at 12:11 PM

Weaver watch

Brandon Morrow is going to start giving fans heart attacks in these games. His control seems to come and go at times and was certainly lacking when he walked the first two hitters of the eighth. He also fell behind 3-1 in the count to Koyie Hill, giving him the perfect opportunity to lay down a very good bunt that moved both runners into scoring position with one out. Morrow then gave up a two-run double to slap-hitting Cesar Izturis to fall behind 5-4. Mariners need a rally now. This victory was in their grasp, but it’s now slipping away.
Perhaps Morrow is not right after his workload of late. Sure looked off.
My, my, what a turn of events here. The Mariners just scored four runs off Jason Marquis to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Seattle had just one hit in the inning, a bases-clearing, three-run double by Raul Ibanez. The rally was paved by an error from third baseman Mark DeRosa on what should have been an inning-ending, double-play grounder by Jose Lopez. Instead of being out of the inning with the Cubs ahead 3-0, the ball scooted past DeRosa to allow Jeff Weaver to score from second. An ensuing walk loaded the bases and Ibanez cleared them.
Interesting sidenote to the double, a ridiculous sidenote actually. Jose Guillen sprinted home to score standing up, but then put out his hands to avoid a collision with home plate umpire Tim McClelland, who seemed to be staring out at the Wrigley Field clock lost in a daydream. McClelland then said something to Guillen as he headed to the dugout. Guillen looked back incredulously and the two went at it, jawing momentarily. I don’t know if anything else happened, but if that’s it, then McClelland seriously needs to check his ego at the door. Or get himself out of the way.
There was no need for that. I’ll tell you what, I’m getting just a little annoyed by some of the overaggresive umpires I’ve seen the past week. Between Angel Hernandez’s he-man routine, the Marty Foster yapping at Jarrod Washburn two nights ago and now this (which is really in a class by itself) these umpires have to reign themselves in. I realize that players can be a pain in the butt. Trust me, I deal with them daily. But truthfully, nobody is paying money to watch umpires. Unless there’s a close play, I don’t want to even know they’re around. If they feel the need for attention, let them get another job. Start a blog or something.
To Anna, here’s the mummified hand I was talking about. Not a Pope, just a Saint. But a hand’s a hand. You were right about the church.
Jeff Weaver has allowed hits in every inning thus far, but he’s now through five with the score still at 3-0 for the Cubs. At only 79 pitches, the “quality start” we talked about is well within reach. The hits Weaver keeps giving up tend not to be all that hard, save fror the double in the fourth by Koyie Hill that screamed past a diving Richie Sexson and on down the line. But no more warning track blasts. No home runs. So far, this is an improved outing. Let’s see if he can get through the sixth. He should be able to, with the bottom four in the Cubs order due up.
The Mariners simply aren’t doing anything offensively today. Weaver just got hit on the hand by a pitch with one out in the sixth inning. Only the second baserunner all day for the M’s. Guess the offense is slowing down just as the starters begin to pick it up a tad. This stuff does happen.
Feel free to continue the Julio Mateo discussion down below. I just thought I’d start a new post because so many of you are throwing in your two cents worth on Weaver’s obviously shaky first-inning start here. He seems to have settled down somewhat since then. The three singles he allowed in the second and third innings were not of the hard-hit variety like the rockets he was giving up in the first inning. Weaver did get lucky on that Felix Pie shot to the right field warning track to end the second. Pie looked like he barely got any wood on the ball, yet it carried a very long way.
That double-play grounder by Mike Fontenot to end the third might have saved Weaver’s outing. It was already the 20th pitch thrown in the inning by Weaver, now at 57 for the day, and another hard-hit ball might have resulted in more runs and another dozen pitches thrown in the frame. Instead, Weaver is still on-pace for a six-inning game (a “quality start” even) if he can get through one of these next few innings relatively quickly. But for now, the hard hit balls have vanished, which tells me that the Cubs are either a swing-happy team (they are) not being very selective, or that Weaver has found a groove. I think it’s a little of both. We’ll see, because this is only the fourth inning we’re heading into. Weaver still has plenty to prove.
Seattle’s hitters have had a day off so far. Only a Jamie Burke double to show for off Jason Marquis. Burke now has two more hits than Rene Rivera had all of last season.
Glad to see “Anna” writing in from Budapest. I visited that city back in 1995. If you get the chance, Anna, go see that mummified hand (I think it belonged to a Pope) that’s a thousand years old at one of the churches. Looks a little like Adrian Beltre’s hand these days.



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