Ah the opening game of the annual series against our 'Ancient Rival'. This one had an interesting ending. Some notes, in no particular ord.
- I have no idea how Cameron Maybin missed Kennedy's sinking line drive in the second inning. @leftcoastbias and I discussed it for a bit, and came to the conclusion he lost it in the lights. That really is the only explanation that makes sense. Maybin tracked that ball all the way past his glove, as it were.
Speaking from some personal experience, when a ball merges into the lights you have two choices. Try to get down so you can still see it, or stick your glove out and hope. Maybin tried both and the ball still eluded him. Tough break.
- The bottom of Seattle's lineup killed Latos. Hitters 1-5: 2-for-18, 2 singles, 2 walks. Hitters 6-9: 6-for-15, 2 2B, 3B, HR, Sac Fly. These 4 hitters drove in all 4 runs. And it's not like Seattle stacked Murderer's Row down there; coming into the game Miguel Olivo, Carlos Peguero, Brendan Ryan, and Eric Bedard came in with OPS+ of 59, 50, 54, and 0 respectively. Latos just could not consistently get them out.
- Olivo sure liked what he saw tonight, with a ground rule double and HR to left-center off Latos. On the double, it looked like Ludwick and Maybin slowed down when he saw each other coming. I don't know if Ludwick had a play, or if Maybin would have had a play had he kept running all out; I think Maybin had the better shot although he came a much longer way. Hard to say from way behind home plate.
- The Mariners got two ridiculous jumps off Latos, both by Kennedy. He had a 2 or three step head-start before the pitch left Mat's hand. On one play he stole second, on the other he scored easily in front of Peguero's triple. I don't remember base stealers getting that good a read on Latos last season.
- Latos worked noticeably more quickly in the sixth. He gave up 2 XBH in the frame, including Olivo's HR. I wonder why he sped things up.
Ludwick's single in the ninth broke
an the team's 0-for- 19 21 string with RISP. -
- I have no idea what Ludwick was thinking on Cantu's fly ball in the seventh. Why round second on that play? If it's a HR you've got all day to run the bases. If it's a double you've got time to get to third. If it's caught you need to get back. Ludwick made a bad baserunning play there.
- The scoreboard said Denorfia leads the Padres in SLG. He had 78 AB coming into the game. Seemed an odd stat to quote for Denorfia. Ludwick has 178 AB and 8 HR; he's the power leader on the club.
- 3 more double plays tonight, all of which killed potential rallies.
- Bedard struck out 9 tonight. It's the second time he's done that this season. He had not done it since 2007 before 8 May against the White Sox.
- Here's what happened on the Ludwick ball in the ninth. Peguero didn't catch it, and it was ultimately ruled a single. Bartlett, thinking it had been caught, started back to first. He and Ludwick bumped. In the umpires eyes, that meant Ludwick had passed Bartlett. So they called Ludwick out. Bartlett was allowed to go back to second because after Ludwick was ruled out, the force at second was off, and when Kennedy received Franklin 'Death to Flying Things' Gutierrez's throw he didn't tag Bartlett.
Rule 7.08(h) applies.
Initially they ruled that Ludwick was safe and Bartlett out on the force.
All in all a tough game. Seattle completely out-played them on this night. Tomorrow the Padres get to face phenom Michael Pineda I'm looking forward to seeing the kid pitch, although not so much to him shutting down the Padre offense.
One final thing on the Maybin comment from yesterday. A reliable source tells me the Brewers Media Relations person asked the official scorer to take another look at Maybin's single in the seventh inning Thursday. Seems there was a similar play in Wednesday's game on a ball hit by a Brewer that was ruled an error, and the media guy was wondering about the perceived inconsistency. FWIW.