By the way, we’ll be doing Geoff Baker Live! at 6:30 p.m. Pacific time today. So, you can all write in and vent about your “favorite” players. No interfering with work schedules, no more excuses about rainy days. Or that we didn’t give you proper notice. Or your kids being in school. Or how it’s too cold outside. Tune in, or we’ll tune you out. Nah, just kidding.
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Jarrod Washburn just gave up his first earned run of the contest and trails 2-0 after five innings. Willie Bloomquist, who some of you have heard of, led off with a single to center and was bunted over to second. Mike Aviles then delivered a single up the middle that scored the speedy Bloomquist with ease. Where’s Novice? Party at his place? Anyhow, this offense needs to…you know it…get going.
12:22 p.m.: Ichiro looks like he did indeed bring his best game to the park today, but the Mariners still trail 1-0 as we enter the fifth inning. An error in the fourth by shortstop Ronny Cedeno allowed the Royals to score an unearned marker in the third and that’s it. On the offensive side, the Mariners have had five baserunners the first four innings, but done little with them.
Ichiro led the game off with an infield hit, made it to third with one out, but was stranded there when Russell Branyan whiffed and Adrian Beltre lined out softly. Ichiro then launched a one-out double to right center in the third, but Franklin Gutierrez struck out and Jose Lopez popped out.
Ichiro ended the last inning with a nice, running catch in right. As I said, he’s here today. But we’re waiting on some others.
11:13 a.m.: Let’s see whether this revamped offense can get Jarrod Washburn some run support. And whether the folks getting paid the most money on the team — hello Adrian Beltre, Ichiro — start doing their jobs at the plate. It’s May 7, folks. Time to get your seasons started. The big numbers you start putting up in June won’t matter if the team is in last place by then. We’ve all watched that film before. Seen enough meaningless stat padding by too many guys the past few years when it meant nothing. Now is when the season means something, still, and the big bats on this team have to get it going. Anymore swings at balls out of the strike zone and it will be a very long afternoon.
Of Washburn’s 122 starts dating back to 2005, his team has scored two runs or fewer in 60 of them. That’s just bizarre. It’s almost statistically impossible, given that we’re talking about two franchises and a horde of different lineups playing alongside him. As a random thing, the odds would be astronomical of this happening again and again. It’s not like he’s swinging a bat and influencing the outcome. Just the worst case of luck baseball has seen in an awfully long time.
Washburn won’t need much run support today if historical trends are any indication. His 2.30 ERA at Kauffman Stadium is the second highest all-time of any pitcher. Only one with a better ERA is Roger Clemens. When’s the last time you saw those two pitchers mentioned in the same breath? Other than: “Roger Clemens picked up career win No. 315 today as the Yankees hammered Jarrod Washburn and the Mariners.”