Blog Entry

3 to watch: The It takes (more than) 2 edition

Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:55 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 6:20 pm
So maybe the Mariners did just fine.

Maybe Justin Smoak and the prospects they got from the Rangers are better than the three players they gave the Phillies for Cliff Lee.

But let's remember, that was never the idea. The idea was that by teaming Lee with Felix Hernandez, the M's would have an unbeatable 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation.

That idea didn't work.

For five weeks now, the M's started Lee and Hernandez in back-to-back games. For five weeks now, Lee and Hernandez were nearly unbeatable, with a combined 10-2 record and 1.98 ERA -- with five complete games.

And for those five weeks, the Mariners have still been well below .500.

They won most of the games that Lee and Hernandez started (11 of 16). They lost almost every game with anyone else on the mound (18 of 23).

And they went from 7 1/2 games out of first place in the American League West to 16 games out of first place.

It didn't work, which is exactly why Lee is on the way out of town. He could still win the AL West, but it would be for the Rangers, not the Mariners.

As for the Yankees, the team that thought it was winning the Lee trade sweepstakes (and remains the favorite in this winter's Lee free-agent sweepstakes), all they get is the pleasure of not facing the Lee-Hernandez duo this weekend at Safeco Field. They could face Lee in August in Texas, and maybe in September in Texas, too.

Oh, and they could face Lee in October.

On to this final pre-All-Star edition of 3 to watch:

1. If the All-Star Game is about rewarding players who have performed the best in the first half of the season, then Stephen Strasburg doesn't belong. If it's about putting on the best show for the fans, it's hard to see how Strasburg doesn't belong. Think of it this way: When I tell you that Strasburg will be the starting pitcher in Giants at Nationals, Friday night (7:05 EDT) at Nationals Park , does that make you want to tune in and watch? Thought so.

2. Instead of facing the first-place Yankees Friday night in Seattle, Lee will get last-place Baltimore, probably in Orioles at Rangers, Saturday night (8:05 EDT) at Rangers Ballpark . Lucky Orioles. They've never beaten Lee in five tries, and already lost to him once this year. Of course, Lee has beaten the Yankees five of the last six times he has faced them, including twice in the World Series and once last month in New York. Meanwhile, the Yankees get Seattle's David Pauley, who lost both his starts against them when he pitched for the Red Sox.

3. So the way we understand this, the American League isn't going to replace CC Sabathia on the American League All-Star team until he actually starts Sunday's game in Seattle. Then, according to what AL manager Joe Girardi told reporters this week, he'll pick Jered Weaver to replace Sabathia on the roster. Which is nice, except that Weaver will then himself need to be replaced on the roster, because he's scheduled to start in Angels at A's, Sunday (4:05 EDT) at the Coliseum . Oh, and Trevor Cahill, the A's representative on the All-Star team, will need to be replaced, too, because he's pitching Sunday, too. Maybe Girardi can pick Zack Greinke (no, he's pitching Sunday!) or Carl Pavano (no, he's pitching Sunday!). Or maybe he'll find someone who actually will be eligible to pitch for him on Tuesday.


Since: May 23, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 4:08 pm

3 to watch: The It takes (more than) 2 edition

It would be pretty difficult to win the American League West, or any division for that matter, with only two pitchers and a respectable closer.  The thumper in the lineup that opposing teams have to pitch around?  The M's don't have one.  So Ichiro remains a beast, well on his way to 4,000 professional hits, and nobody in the 2-3-4 spots to drive him in.  At least the M's see the handwriting on the wall, and will trade one great player for two or three with high potential.

As for the replacement for Sabathia/Weaver/Grienke/Pavano along with Cahill, I predict Joe Girardi will add two more Yankees to the team.  A 10-win Justin Verlander isn't a bad choice...but I'm going with Javier Vazquez as the first pick and A.J. Burnett as the second.  Hey Joe, A-Roid is batting .270, isn't the revered player he once was and hasn't been since he left Seattle to take Tom Hick's money (editorial comment...that worked out well for the now bankrupt Rangers).  Yeah, he might have moped around the locker room if you didn't pick him, but Omar Infante belongs on the National League team this year more than A-Roid on the American League team.  Tell him to pipe down and get his batting average up over .300! 

Steve Swisher?  Really?  Another Yankee needed to be on the last chance ballot?

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:40 pm

3 to watch: The It takes (more than) 2 edition

Because we have great pitching staff, but when your offense cant produce more than 1 run everynite, you will lose most games. We see it everynight, 2-1, 3-1, 1-0! I feel bad for these young starters getting no support and having low low ERA's! Thanks Jack Z for no Power..again!

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:37 am

3 to watch: The It takes (more than) 2 edition

This one is a total mystery for me too.

How do you march out two of the ten best SPs in baseball two out of five games a week and end up in the basement?

Granted Lee started the season on the DL, but still King Felix and Cliff Lee have looked nothing short of advertised this season and the Mariners still have an awful record.

Watching the Mariners come to Yankees Stadium last week and shut down the Bombers offense made me even more baffled. Say what you want to say about the Yankees, but the Mariners flat outpitched them & won a series in the Bronx. It made me wonder how the hell this team is in last place. They looked more like a playoff contender in that series.


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