Mariners Insider

Game #129: Will it be Fister to the rescue?

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Aug. 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm with 11 Comments »
August 28, 2010 3:24 pm

Doug Fister tries to snap a stretch in which the Seattle Mariners have lost five of six games, and behind him Daren Brown has put together what passes for the regular lineup.

Ryan Langehans and Josh Bard are filling in at left field and catcher, but other than that, this group is the best the Mariners can throw at Minnesota’s Nick Blackburn.

Ichiro will lead it off of course, and has a 10-game hitting streak in progress – the36th hitting streak of 10 games or more in his career. As for the Twins, they just win games no matter who is on their roster, and they do it so fundamentally well it doesn’t seem all that surprising.

Fister vs. Blackburn. We’re off.

  • Twins baseball broke out in the third inning, when Danny Valencia singled and J.J. Hardy sprayed a ball the other way, just inside the first base line for a double. Denard Span singled off the glove of a diving Franklin Gutierrez, Valencia scoring. Joe Mauer grounded into a one-out double play. Nice pitching to hold ‘em to one.  In the third: Minnesota 1 , Seattle 0.
  • Twins are going down right and left. Orlando Hudson departed after the first inning, having sprained an ankle running the bases.  In the fourth, Jim Thome was replaced at DH because of lower back stiffness.
  • He’s down a run, but Fister has thrown five strong innings against a first-place team. Problem is, his offense has had a hit against Blackburn since the first, when the Mariners left runners at first and third base. Fister has seen this before – all the Seattle starting pitchers have – but he’s kept the Twins close.
  • Through seven innings, Mariners have two hits, both back in the first inning. Fister went seven innings, allowed one run, and Sean White will open the eighth for Seattle. In the eighth: Minnesota 1, Seattle 0.
  • To the ninth: Brandon League in for Seattle.
  • Mariners pitchers – Fister, White and League – have done their job. If the offense its going to win this game, there are three outs in the ninth in which to catch or pass Minnesota. Trailing after eight innings, Seattle is 2-61. Yikes!
  • Make that 2-62. Blackburn, who came in having lost seven of his last eight decisions – carrying a 6.49 earned run average – allowed two hits and shut Seattle out, with last-out help from new closer Brian Fuentes.  It’s a final: Minnesota 1, Seattle 0.
Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. SharkHawk says:

    Morrow is now double digits in wins. Nice work Uncle Fester. Your genius moves have made this team a real buttkicking machine. Now can you stick a lightbulb in your mouth and make it light up? That would be wicked awesome.

  2. Fister deserves better. Oh well, i ASSUME Fister is under contract for next year?

    I’m assuming barring trade &/or injury we’re looking at a potentially decent 2011 rotation of

    Felix
    Vargas
    Fister
    Pineda
    French

  3. SharkHawk says:

    Moo, you assume too much. Uncle Fester is the kind of guy that can’t make enough trades in hopes of getting a good deal. My guess is that Vargas gets traded now that he’s finally settling into a legit big league pitcher. He’ll figure somebody will give him something better that can eat innings in the middle of the game and move him. Or maybe he’ll pick up a guy that platoons at 1B or in LF and can’t draw walks, hit for power, or get on base, but has a good glove and seems to hit well off of lefties.

    I just see no way that this team will ever be consistent under this dude. He likes to tinker. His Ruskellian nature makes him mess with things in hopes of striking gold, but really he just creates a situation with no stability and a team full of crappy role players and no real talent at the plate (or on the mound really… as I believe we’ve regressed in that department, especially with the firing of a very fine pitching coach).

  4. Shark, I agree with you on most of that, especially the stoopid move of firing Adair.

    I heard part of an interview with Jack on KIRO the other day, he seemed to be making a case that his main focus is on the farm system, which he claims is drastically improved. We’ll see, I’m definitely off the Jack Z bandwagon though I hope I’m wrong.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    Guys….let me try to talk you down for a moment. While not all has been perfect under Z (handling of Wak before and after the firing, for instance), please just look at the current major league roster and farm system and compare it to the one he inherited just after Bavasi was fired.

    There was no hope at the time. We had aging, overpaid veterans on their last legs as professionals that had no hope of even being traded away. A farm system completely devoid of talent. Z has, incredibly, turned chicken shit into chicken salad. It’s still not a satisfying meal, but it can be a nice appetizer with the promise of more to come.

  6. Pray4Peace says:

    Well, that’s great. Then we can all go to the games at Cheney stadium and watch the good team play.

  7. SharkHawk says:

    I have to disagree a bit here Wabubba. Sure he has helped in some ways, but the team still sucks. What looked to be a team on the rise last year was nothing more than a bump. I don’t see how he is building anything when he keeps trading away good young talent for guys that are mediocre majors.

    Look at the number of minor league stars he has acquired since he has been here and please list them. I’d love to see who has gotten. I remember trades for League, Langerhans, Kotchman, Lee, Bradley, and others. Those aren’t acquiring minor league talent to build a farm system. Those are acquiring major league washouts that are overpaid and don’t do anything (with the exception being the Lee trade….. and then the trade OF Lee just acquired more guys that essentially replaced who we traded for him… it is pretty much a wash at this point).

    I guess I am missing the boat on him stocking our farm system with these incredible future superstars. He has drafted a couple of players with our high picks and gotten them signed. I guess that’s pretty good, but even they don’t seem to be having a massive impact yet. Ackley could be good I guess. But at the same time he throws huge money at Figgins who plays the same position. Not really much sense there if you think about it.

    I guess I just don’t see the man’s plan. Is he rebuilding over 3-4 years or is he trying to win now? That is what Ruskell could never seem to decide either and we ended up floundering. Is Wakamatsu the kind of guy you want to rebuild a team? He was last year. Now all of a sudden he’s not? What does THAT say about Jacko’s judgment? He is a man who can’t just settle down, decide on a roster and roll with it. He has to keep tinkering with it to the point of destruction like he did this year. Those last couple of moves were asinine. Trading Morrow for who he did stinks of the trade Bavasi made in getting rid of Soriano, and the Bradley acquisition just wreaked of desperation. I understand wanting to get Buffalo off the books, but replacing him with another guy who is even more of a headcase doesn’t seem like a team that is looking to rebuild longterm. That is a team that thinks they can win NOW, and by him essentially claiming this was all done to build the farm system is complete bullcrap and I don’t know how stupid he assumes we all are for even saying that. It reminds me so much of Ruskell’s statement last year that he was on a 2 year plan or some such nonsense of a guy who is playing a serious game of CYA and hoping the media and fans are stupid enough to buy it. I’m not. I hope others see through this fraud too. He is a captain without a wheel steering a rudderless ship.

  8. I have mixed feelings on the Morrow trade. He was handled so poorly by the M’s that he probably required a different team. On the other hand, Brandon League does not appear to be equal value.

  9. wabubba67 says:

    Langerhans for Morse (a trade of nothings…at least Langerhans is somewhat valuable defensively)
    League for Morrow is questionable at best.  There are those that believe Morrow’s issues with diabetes will preclude him from being a long-term reliable starting pitcher (I’m not one of those).  League could be the closer next year.  Still a questionable trade.
    Kotchman was a low-bugget FA.  (was Z limited by his owners?)
    Lee was a known rent-a-player…..essentially we traded three mid-level prospects (all struggling, one is awaiting to be charged on felony cocaine possession), for what we received from Texas (a coveted left-handed 1B, a power relief arm, a starting pitcher with control, and a 2B who has surprised so far at AA).  Not a bad deal.

    Bradley for Silva (a trade of big problems and big contracts). Hasn’t worked for Seattle so far as Silva has done somewhat well in Chicago. Please keep in mind it is extremely unlikely Silva would have done as well in Seattle. We were in need of a power bat without spending any additional money (ownership edict). It was a nice try that didn’t work out for us….so far.

    We likely have one half of the future infield for the next 5-10 years in Tacoma (Smoak and Ackley), a SS/3B (Triuenfel) at AA, several power arms at AAA (Pineda, Cortes, Lueke, Robles), and OF that are athletic and have power (Halman, Wilson, Winfree). There is supposedly much more at AA that I have not seen in person and can’t remember their names here.

    Be patient. The cupboards were bare when Z arrived. At least now there is hope for the future…knowing full well that not all of these players will pan out (they never do).

  10. (was Z limited by his owners?)

    Everything I’ve heard is that payroll was cut for 2010 to 90 mil.

  11. SharkHawk says:

    Good post wabubba. I am seeing what you’re saying, but those trades you mentioned aren’t a ringing endorsement to Z’s ability to stock the minors like he is claiming. Which of the guys you mentioned did he acquire? Here is your quote:

    “We likely have one half of the future infield for the next 5-10 years in Tacoma (Smoak and Ackley), a SS/3B (Triuenfel) at AA, several power arms at AAA (Pineda, Cortes, Lueke, Robles), and OF that are athletic and have power (Halman, Wilson, Winfree). There is supposedly much more at AA that I have not seen in person and can’t remember their names here.”

    He drafted Ackley. No-brainer of course as he was the best hitting prospect in college baseball, but he’s not major league ready yet of course and I am not so sure the guy has a position. He dominated with an aluminum bat, but has a ruined arm. He’s too small to play 1B, but that’s where he played in college due to his arm. 2nd base is a good fit, but then the whole Figgins thing still doesn’t make much sense I guess. Smoak was acquired in the Lee trade. Triunfel predates Uncle Fester. Pineda was signed as a free agent in the Bavasi era (2006). Not sure where all the others come from. But it seems that our top 2 prospects aren’t the doing of Z. All he did was NOT trade them yet, and I guess that’s good in a way, but Triunfel would have gotten us a whole lot in return before his busted leg, and now he seems to have regressed, or at least not improved as much as was hoped by now. He’ll be lucky to even see AAA next year I think.

    Anyway, I see what you’re saying but I have a hard time buying Z’s latest claim that what he was REALLY doing all along was focusing on the minor league system, because I don’t see a concerted effort to do so. Even drafting a guy like Ackley totally goes counter to that claim. He was supposedly the most major league ready guy in the draft from a hitter’s stand point, but not necessarily the best prospect overall since as mentioned above he didn’t really have a specific position. He’s just known as a good hitter. Now he’s almost 23 and he’s not exactly dominating AAA. He was a guy that was supposed to come in this year or next year and be another hitter that was surrounded by good hitters and be an immediate contributor. I don’t think anybody expected him to be our MIckey Mantle or anything, but now we’re realistically relying on guys like that to lift us up from mediocrity. I think that’s asking a little much. I still don’t see a real legitimate future all-star power hitter in our minor league system. That seems to be a tremendous glaring need and has been since the days of Griffey when we could never find a LF. Some things never change I guess, and I don’t see Jack out scouting the nation stocking our minor league system with bats that will lead this team to anything. Smoak could be a decent enough corner infielder with power. Ackley could have decent pop in his bat for a 2B. But who else is there? Triunfel isn’t hitting for power. Guys like Clement flamed out. Rob Johnson isn’t a major league hitter really. I am just having a tough time seeing where he’s built us into this future powerhouse. I hope I’m wrong. I honestly do.

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