April 7, 2006

AND THE KING HASN'T EVEN WARMED UP YET:

Mariners off to roaring start (Bob Finnigan, 4/07/06, Seattle Times)

It's a fine way to start the season.

The Mariners are getting superb starts, and we're not even talking about the pitching.

In a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night, Gil Meche pushed Seattle to 3-1, two games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2003 season.

Meche and his three predecessors in the Mariners' rotation have combined for a 3.56 earned-run average, while opponents' starters have an 8.55 ERA.

And Felix Hernandez won't start until tonight.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2006 7:27 AM
Comments

They're just setting us up for a collapse instead of the steady downward slide of the last two years. It'll start when they play and get swept by the Damnyankees.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 7, 2006 10:33 AM

Raoul! I know you're all the way out there in the sticks and can't feel the heat emanating from the ball park (we turned the furnace off last night) ... but that kind of pessimism is some kind of weird Capitol Hill vibe (Yes, I live in zombieville.) Amigo, I read Brothers Judd (and only Brothers Judd) for two reasons: 1. OPTIMISM and HUMOR in worldview and news analaysis; and 2. oj is a baseball man. Put those together, mix in a little Felix Hernandez and a dash of Ichiro, and my heart tells me los malditos Yanquis are in un monton de trouble, baby!

Posted by: Brother ! at April 7, 2006 11:21 AM

Preach it, brother.

The M's have a playoff-like intensity going because they've got a lot to prove in these early games. Everyone else who expects to win knows that they will at some point. The Mariners don't--if they're going to win, they need to start doing it. And so far, so very, very good.

Posted by: Timothy at April 7, 2006 11:46 AM

I started paying attention to baseball in Comiskey Park in the '70s. I know a team that's going to disappoint when I see one.

I'm just looking forward to an 80-82 season, which I will consider to be a great improvement, while all you optimists will be moping around, even more down than you've been over the results of the last two seasons.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 7, 2006 12:02 PM

Hey, what happened to the great PNW BrothersJudd Mariner Fest®?? I thought the organizers were trying for opening weekend. Did you decide to wait until the roof was open?

Probably wouldn't have been able to attend now anyway, as daughter and I are in the throes of college decision trips (including that small college adjacent to BrothersJudd Intergalactic HQ! Maybe I should stop in and see if Orrin has his McCain 2008 sign up yet :-) and the schedule is full and the wallet is light :-(

Posted by: TimF at April 7, 2006 12:41 PM

Raoul-- Nah, I'll be happy with anything over .500, but if our starting pitching keeps it up (a pretty big if, I'll admit), there's no reason we can't at least make September interesting.

Tim-- I just talked to John about it, and hopefully he'll put something up about it today. I hope you can make it!

Posted by: Timothy at April 7, 2006 1:04 PM

los malditos Yanquis are in un monton de trouble

All right, that's it. I change my position on immigration. Get these darned Mixkins outa here. Polluting our language wit all dis furrin mumbo jumbo. And against America's team no less.

As for the M's -- I watched some of the game last night, and saw Jeremy Reed actually get an extra base hit. Has hell frozen over?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 7, 2006 3:28 PM

Reed's got a 4-game hitting streak w/ 2 extra base hits, which is particularly impressive as he's only started 3 games. There's a reason he's not a Red Sock.

Posted by: Timothy at April 7, 2006 5:59 PM

Ah... Comisky in the 70's. You do know a collapse when you see one. I mean you just KNEW this line-up was headed to the World Series when they went 6-1/2 up on the Royals in mid August:

C - Jim Essian
1b- Jim Spencer
2b- Jorge Orta
3b- Eric Soderholm
ss- Alan Bannister
lf- Richie Zisk
cf- Chet Lemon
rf- Ralph Garr
dh- Oscar Gamble

Rotation: Francisco Barrios, Steve Stone, Chris Knapp, Ken Kravec, Wilbur Wood (at the bitter end)

Closer: Lerrin LaGrow

Announcers: Harry Caray, Jimmy Piersall (yes he was)

Bob Lemon somehow managed to win 90 games with this mess. Better managing job than he ever did with the evil empire.

Posted by: Jeff at April 7, 2006 6:30 PM

Exactly that team. I think you can blame me for the collapse, as I was there for the Saturday afternoon game when they beat KC for their largest lead of the season. All downhill from there. Next year Richie Zisk went to Texas and was replaced by Ron Blomberg, both of whom got ridiculously large (for then) and long contracts, if I remember all this correctly. I think the Rangers are still paying for Zisk's contract.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 7, 2006 9:17 PM

Athletics 5
Mariners 0

Shut out by my long suffering A’s
Hernadez 0-1

Posted by: BillMill at April 8, 2006 6:27 AM

Raoul:

I was there the night before (Sox beat the Royals 6-3 on a Chet Lemon homer in the 8th). My best friend was living with a family of Sox fans and I decided to slum it. Of course, in the sake of fairness, the Cubs collapsed even more that year (to .500) after leading the division in July. When you live in Chicago long enough, you can smell a collapse.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff at April 8, 2006 8:33 AM

Like the piece of graffiti I once saw in Jimmy's: "How can you tell it's June in Chicago? The baseball teams are in first place." I'm sure it wasn't original not original, and there are a host of variations.

And yep, the Mariners returned to the form I expect for this season: little run support for good pitching, and then the middle relievers find a way to dribble away the one or two runs necessary to win, with no hope of getting them back in the 9th.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 8, 2006 4:00 PM
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