So, Felix throws 6 walks in 6.2; Sean White gives up 2 hits and 2 of Felix’s 3 runs before recording the last out in the 7th; and Brandon League and Jack Wilson make the 8th VERY interesting in giving up a 7th walk and botching a double play (E-6). With our three On Paper strengths going into the season looking like the Bad News Bears out there in Oakland, OF COURSE it’s the offense that picks the team up in scoring two in the 9th to win it 5-3!
Nevertheless, a whale of a ballgame. Certainly the Mariners can’t afford to lose games like this; where Felix gets the quality start in spite of the Umpire’s non-existant low strike zone, where the hitters manage to chase the other team’s Ace after 5 inconsistent innings.
Since I’m obviously not going to be reviewing many individual games this year, I’ll quickly run down my Snap Judgments:
–> Boy Howdy does Casey Kotchman look good! I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually seen him bat before in my life; he’s bigger than I would’ve imagined, going solely by his numbers and reputation as a Defensive First Baseman. With a build like that, there’s no reason why he can’t be a productive hitter in the heart of our lineup. Obviously he’s not going to get 4 RBI in every game, but this is certainly a good sign. His projected WAR is off the charts right now.
–> I’m not really a guy who likes wearing sports jerseys, but I’ve kinda always wanted a baseball jersey for some reason. But, I don’t want to be one of the thousands who wear either a Griffey or an Ichiro jersey. Well, I think I’ve found my guy: Chone Figgins is my BOY! Hot damn! That guy is an absolute terror for opposing pitchers and defenses! There aren’t enough exclamation points in existence! to express! my admiration! for this man! No hits, but 2 walks, 2 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, and 2 forced throwing errors by Kurt Suzuki, the A’s catcher. Little #9 may very well end up as the team co-MVP with whoever manages to hit him home the most.
–> Rob Johnson hit a homer … we built this hitting!
–> Milton Bradley is going to be fine. I know he got 0 hits and 2 strike outs, but I still think he’s going to be okay for us in the heart of the order a la Adrian Beltre. Even if he continues on a cold hitting streak to start the season, there will be a stretch where he sizzles. And I’ll be right there with an annoying “I Told You So.”
–> Felix is going to be a monster this year. That Umpire tried his damnedest to make every pitch at the knees a ball, and he STILL induced a ton of ground balls and double plays. Once the A’s finally realized they didn’t have to swing at anything below their junk, Felix got pulled and White got rocked. But, just wait until we run into some umpires with their heads NOT up their asses. 1 Healthy Felix = 1 2010 Cy Young.