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June 27, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Seattle Mariners at Milwaukee Brewers: June 27, 2010 game thread

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Yawn! Was just going through some of the blog posts written this past winter and spring about the topic of the Mariners offense. On one blog — no, not the one you’re thinking — I dug up this gem.
In conclusion, those who question Jack Zduriencik’s failure to acquire a “big bat” have either forgotten Milton Bradley or need to understand the value of defense.
Milton Bradley? Heck, I’d forgotten all about him. Seriously, though, please, somebody, explain to me the “value” of offense. I know about defense. But offense, please.
Because based on the M’s offense I’m seeing in this game today, still 3-0 for the Brewers as we head to the eighth inning, not to mention all season long, the value I’d attach to it is…WORTHLESS. But I’m sure that’s not what the original poster meant to say.
Look, there were a lot of people spouting off last winter about how dumb everyone was to suggest this team might need actual, you know, power, to supplement a pretty unique experiment of relying mainly on OBP and no mid-order presence. We all have our opinions, some right and some wrong. And we can spend weeks stuffing crow into the mouths of people who couldn’t open them fast enough last winter, but what would be the point?
I’m just glad to see the Mariners admitting out loud that they did not have it right from the get-go and are now planning to do something about figuring out the problem.
Like we’ve said too many times, no one has this game all figured out.
But yeah, it’s not 1982, these aren’t the St. Louis Cardinals (who had big bats, BTW) and if you’re planning to contend, it’s not a bad idea to have one or two guys who can hit home runs or doubles on a consistent basis.
The M’s weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel last winter. They were trying to save money and trim their budget. That left them unable to pay for the power that was available. And that is the story of last winter. They wanted big bats but could not afford them. It wasn’t some revolutionary plan to turn decades of offensive philosophy on its ear. It was the same old story. You get what you pay for. The Mariners did not want to pay for power and they got a team that won’t be making the post-season. Pretty straightforward.


1:01 p.m.: David Pauley made his Mariners debut in the sixth inning, giving up a ground rule double to left and two hard hit lineouts to Ichiro in right. Wasn’t pretty, but he put up a zero on the scoreboard.
Problem is, his teammates have been doing that at the plate for seven innings. Seattle has three hits as we enter the stretch in a 3-0 game that makes the Russell Branyan trade look like sheer genius. It wasn’t. But you see today, for the umpteenth time, why this offense needs help. You’ve got a guy with an ERA of nearly 6.00 attacking the M’s without fear.
12:37 p.m.: Jason Vargas got hit hard and often in the fifth inning, giving up a pair of runs to fall behind 3-0. It could have been worse had Milton Bradley not made a nice play cutting off a hit by Rickie Weeks and throwing him out at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.
A leadoff walk by Alcides Escobar was followed by the Weeks single down the left field line, which sent the runner to third. Corey Hart then lined a double over Bradley’s head and off the left field wall to bring Escobar home. Prince Fielder followed with a line drive single to right that scored Hart from second when the throw was cut off.
Vargas is now finished for the day, as Ryan Langerhans just led off the sixth pinch-hitting for him.
11:44 a.m.: Two innings are done here and the M’s trail by a 1-0 score. Milwaukee’s first batter of the game, Rickie Weeks, hit the second pitch from Jason Vargas over the wall in center for a solo homer.
That’s where things still stand. Vargas got through the second after a leadoff single by Casey McGeheee.
Milton Bradley had a blooper drop in to center, just off the glove of a diving Carlos Gomez, for a first-inning double. That’s the only hit by the M’s thus far.
By the way, I forgot to mention this earlier, in light of all that was going on, but Franklin Gutierrez is out today after fouling a ball off his foot during yesterday’s game. He’s listed as day-to-day.
11:03 p.m.: Jason Vargas tries to keep his season-long roll going this afternoon, as the Mariners seek yet another series win. It’s been raining all morning long, but they just began opening the roof here as we await the opening pitch.
We’re still not sure whether Russell Branyan made it on time to be added to the lineup card as an extra player. Didn’t see him on the field for the anthem. Because of the Summerfest music festival here, the only flight the team could get Branyan was from Cincinnati (where the Indians were playing) to Atlanta and then here. That’s a big detour.
The lineups:
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
3B Jose Lopez
1B Josh Wilson
C Eliezer Alfonzo
SS Jack Wilson
CF Michael Saunders
LHP Jason Vargas
BREWERS
2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
1B Prince Fielder
LF Ryan Braun
3B Casey McGehee
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
SS Alcides Escobar
LHP Chris Narveson

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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