Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Training and Ted Leitner

Had a chance to hear the last three innings today (Padres win 9-3) on the drive home.  The Padres got one run in the top of the seventh, but other than that the game was mostly uneventful.  That's not going to stop me from putting up some comments, though.
  • With Luis Durango on second base and two out, Seattle pitcher Fields bounced a pitch to Chad Huffman.  Durango promptly took off for third and made it safely.  The way Leitner described it, that pitch didn't get very far from the catcher.  It almost sounded like Seattle catcher made a play on the ball rather quickly.  Durango is ridiculously fast, but how fast?  I would have liked to see the video of that play.  
  • Tony Gwynn Jr made a great diving catch in the bottom of the frame, to which Jerry Coleman said, "That's the best catch of the year so far".  Of course this year, at that point, was 16 innings old.  I'm going to miss Jerry.
  • Aaron Poreda:  2 IP, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts.  The walk was a 4-pitch one, and after he missed way high to start the next hitter his catcher went out and calmed him down.  He then proceeded to strike out the final hitter in the seventh.  Nice.
  • Ted Leitner described the Mariners as the best pitching team in the AL last year based on ERA.  This is true, they were the only team in the AL with an ERA under 4.00 (3.87 to be exact).  Their FIP was 4.39, however, good enough for 9th.  The Mariners had the highest differential between FIP and ERA, meaning their pitchers benefited from superior defense behind them.
  • Ol' Ted then went on to say the Mariners wouldn't be good this season unless they improved their defense, because they had the third most errors and fourth lowest fielding percentage in the AL.  Ted, Ted, Ted.  I love listening to Ted, I think he calls a great game, but he needs to join the 21st century when providing color analysis.  Seattle had so many errors on defense because they got to so many more balls than anyone else.  Seattle, based on UZR, had the best defense in the MAJORS in 2009, and it wasn't particularly close.  This is why they won 10 more games than their runs scored said they should have won.

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