Friday, August 31, 2007

Why now?

The bullpen pulled a horrible trick on us in Cleveland last night. The completely broke down. I am a huge fan of George, he always comes in and shuts them down. Last night, Morrow, Sherrill and Gandalf disappointed.

This is the time for us to really explode onto the playoff scene. While the Yankees and Angels are heating up as we enter the final month, the M's are cooling down. I am not sure where the key failure is. I am leaning towards starting pitching. If the starters are not going deep enough, our bull pen will suffer. Perhaps this is a what a year that has a lack of starting pitching does to a team in September.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Disappointment and frustration

We will not make the playoffs. We needed to win this home series against the Angels to prove to ourselves that we are capable of beating a team of their caliber. I hate to say it, but we failed. I am greatly disappointed to come to the realization that the M's will miss the playoffs. This series was the first time in a long time, my stomach was in knots. I knew the pressures that we had to face. I don't think I have said so many 4 letters words when watching this team fall apart tonight and be shut down by a confident Angle ball club.

I missed all the good action tonight, turning on my TV to see 1 out in the bottom of the 1st and a 5-0 lead. I said at that point "That is not enough of a cushion." Sadly, the Angels proved me correct. The M's, historically, have never given me a reason to have confidence in a 5-0 1st inning lead. When this series is over, we will be 5 games out of first and tied with the Yanks for the WC.

I am not sure if the rest of you that saw this game had this same feeling. When Mike pulled Santana out in the 1st, I knew the momentum changed right there. It was eerie.

I would not be so concerned if it was not for the fact that the teams we face on this upcoming road trip are all over .500.

I hate to sound like the Brooklyn Dodgers, but...wait until next year...No fat ladies yet, but we are getting close. I do hope the M's can pull a rabbit out of their hats on this road trip and prove me wrong.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

5 in a row

Of course, now that I have pointed this out, tomorrow's final game against the Twinkies will be one for the loss column. The Angels appear to be owning the Yankees as well. It is going to be an interesting September.

One thing I wish that everyone could experience..the crowd at the Safe when JJ enters the game. You have 42K+ on their feat cheering (some singing) to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck". I love it! The energy around this city right now is playoff-esk. The town is really starting to show a lot of support for the team.

We need to keep this road winning moving forward. Over the next 3 weeks, we have 3 games at home. They are against the Angels which is making for a great series this year. We conclude with the Twins tomorrow, then onto Texas for 4 games. Texas has owned us this year in Arlington. Here is how the rest of the 3 weeks plays out:

Aug 27-29 Home vs. Angels
Aug 30th @Cleveland
Aug 31st-Sept 2nd @Toronto
Sept 3-5th @NYY
off on Thursday the 6th
Sept 7-9th @Detroit (rock city)

That is a schedule packed with some key teams. The next 3 weeks could determine if this Mariner team will see any action come October.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

8

That is how many runs we scored against the twinkies. Half of that tally came in game one. So, the last 2 games of the set, we were outscored 17-4. Very frustrating, especially coming off the killer the road trip from last week where we had a record of 5-1. To our benefit both Orange County and the evil empire lost. So, once again, instead of gaining ground, we did not lose ground.

A few things went wrong in yesterdays game, but giving a grand slam in the top of 9 really took the wind out of The Safe. Bring on the hapless White Sox. With today being one of our last days off, lets hope we can regain some energy. After this weekends series, we begin the road trip from hell. Especially since we are still making up games from the "snow out" in April.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Careful what you wish for

I wished for the Yankee and Angels to lose...they did. However, the other piece to that equation is when they lose, the M's need to win...they did not.

The proper thing to say here is: "Well, we did not lose any ground." However, we really need to be gaining ground. H-Ram pitching is not necessary a good thing. I saw that he carries a OBA of something around .330, that is just disgusting and now up to .341. Last night did not lower this as the Twinkies tallied 9 hits against him. To his credit, he was undefeated at the Safe up to this point. Garza did live up to expectations for the Twins, this kid has some great potential. (yes, he is on my fantasy team)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

...and anyone that plays the Yankees.

We need help from everyone else in the AL. Beat the New York Yankees! The M's are on a role, even though our new ex-Oriole relief did not do a very good job for us last night. However, the Yanks and the Angels keep on winning.

The Angles are 27th in the league, and 13th in the AL for home runs. Yet, they compete for the best record in the AL. This goes to show that you can still win with the small ball. To beat the Angels, you need to shut down the "running game". I have a lot of respect for Scioscia when you see how well the Angels do with little power production. The M's rank 10th in the AL when it comes to HR, so we too are manufacturing runs which is something I love to see. However, we do have 30 more than the Angels and still trail them. The Cincinnati Reds are 2nd in the majors with 154 HR, only 6 behind the Brewers, and yet have one of the worst records in baseball. The Yanks you ask? Third overall and first in the AL.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

*

Should there be or not, that is the question. I have been debating if I actually want to weigh in on this topic so I guess I decided to.

First of all, I actually want to give Bonds some props for hitting 756. Do not take that as "I love it" because I don't but the feat to which he accomplished is amazing. With that said, I hate it. This feat should, in all honestly, be celebrated but cannot due to the large cloud overhead. Bonds will always be a target for an era in baseball where he was not the only one. We all have to admit that others did exactly what Bonds is accused of doing. None of them are as high a profile as Bonds, plus his shitty attitude does not make this situation any better.

Athletes make money based upon what their bodies can do. Bonds has on many occasions said that he was just doing what his trainer told him...bullshit. Why would you just blindly agree to do something that if it goes serious wrong the livelihood that you have setup for your wife and mistress could be harmed? Not just your livelihood, but your life span as well.

I know that in this society you should be "innocent until proven guilty." Bonds is doing nothing to help show how innocent he really is. Does anyone know if his mistress was in attendance?

****UPDATE****
I am linking to another blog about this issue. No matter who you are, the fact that Bond's stats have gone up since he turned 35 does need some attention.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BOTW: Highlands Hollow, Boise ID

BOTW is back! I had a sampler of 4 beers at a local brewhouse in Boise called Highlands Hollow.

1. Fiegwild: Very hoppy on the nose, brewed in an English style that exudes hoppieness. Dare I say, cascading hoppieness? The light malt helps ease away the pungent hoppy bite up front. The hop taste lingers in the aftertaste in a calming way.

Rating: Drinkable (I am starting to get more and more into the Bitters)

2. Hippie Shake: Defined as an IPA however a lot of malt, more malt than hoppy for sure. The brewmaster even acknowledged this when I pointed it out (blowing on fist, rubbing on shirt). He did mention it has like 8% alcohol. The brewmaster also pointed out that this beer is not distributed into downtown Boise.

Rating: Very drinkable, but watch out

3. Lone Pine: A nice mild roast malty taste. Not much, if any, bittering hops but a plethora of finishing hops.

Rating: Drinkable

4. Spoon Tongue: Almost fruity in the taste, on par with a Belgium-white style. Very light in color, the lightest the brewery offers. Not too much hop, but a perfect drinkable "warm-day" beer.

Rating: Very drinkable

Do NOT let the outside of this place scare you off. It appears to be one of those "surf and turf for $9.95" joints. Once inside, it is a beer coaster mecca with a variety of coasters and nostalgic cans/bottles plastered throughout the rafters and walls. I felt the establishment itself offered a ton of character and charm. The bar only has 8 stools, and maybe 15 tables, so a great "get to talk to locals" bar for Boise. Really enjoyed my brief pre-airport stop here. It is located at the base of "Bogus Basin".

Monday, August 06, 2007

TSA, Southwest, and 6-4

Apparently, today, TSA is now asking that ALL electronics (Blackberry's, iPods, DVD players, etc) be removed from your bag prior to screening. I calmly asked the TSA agent when this went into affect, and he told me today. I don't watch a lot of mainstream news, but was there a brief story on this? This has been the way that TSA has historically got these type of announcements out. It is not a huge deal, however, they are delaying flyer's that much more. I guess I will do the clear bag thing for my electronics as well, instead of having to dig through my carry on to find them.

How early is too early to stand in the "A", "B" and "C" lines for Southwest? My flight is at 6:45 and at 5:20 I had 2 people already in line. One is in the A line and one is in the B line. I am sensing an "ATM proper distance" skit coming up. Once you are in line, what is the proper stance? I have a gent in the B line now, attempting to sleep with his bag as a pillow.

The M's went 6-4 on their homestand against the A's, Angels and B-S0x, with two of those loses at the hands of the Red Sox. Not a horrible record, but we need all the wins we can get. The Yankees don't need a pitching staff lately with the way the ball is flying out of Yankee stadium. Do they even have pitching in NYC? Now, the M's and Yanks are tied in the wild card race, a half game back from Detroit. Also, the Twins are usually a hot second half team, they are sitting at 4 games back in the WC race.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bullpen

With our starters leaving us little to be desired, our bullpen has really stepped up and shut teams down. Our starters are the 13th best or second worst ERA in the AL. However, the M's are still competing for the AL West lead and the wildcard. The Red Sox series always seems to be an exciting one to watch.

We made it to game 1 of the series and spent the game in left field. Between the view in the bar area and the closeness to the pen, we had a great time. It was rather enjoyable to ride Manny the entire game and also see Adam Jones up close.

Game 2 did not go as well as I would have liked, Bill may disagree with me on this one. With the Angels and Detroit losing and the Yanks winning, last nights win would have really helped us in the playoff race. I know that we are still early into August, but this is going to be a good race to the wire. Today is the rubber match between these two teams.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wild finish

J.J. could not close out the Angels last night. He gave up a 2 run dinger to Gary Matthews Jr in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. This was my first ever extra inning game that I witnesses and what a game it was. The pen did an outstanding job of picking up where J.J. left off. The M's did have a chance in the 10th with the Angels bringing in 5 infielders, they decided to put a squeeze on, not something I would have done. Of course it completely backfired and we had to wait 2 more innings for Betancourt to save the day. Putz has had 33 save ops this year, closing the the door on 31 one of them.

Bring on the Sox! We need a lot of success to come out of the Sox series. We are 3 games back of the Angels in the west and .5 games back of the Indians for the wild card.