Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dreams of Contention Have Been Morrow'nd

Future Brony

Were you aware that dia-bee-tuhs is the #1 cause of suckitis in the US? No? Well, then you must not have been paying attention to the last two Mariners games. Morrow, the M's young diabetic closer, entered both those games hoping to earn a save and keep hope for contention alive. Instead he decided to kick the chances at hope square in the balls and then urninate all over them. Last night given a 1 run lead to work with Morrow promptly gave up 2 runs for the loss. Today he was given a 2 run lead and gave up 3. Note to Mariners, Brandon hates being given things.

As painful as these past two games have been to experience there should be no real surprise in the outcome. Morrow has always struggled to throw strikes like Pookie with crack in "New Jack City". This year the problem has risen to new levels. Not helping things is Morrow's desire to throw only one pitch, the fastball.

Morrow used to have breaking stuff. Sexy breaking stuff. Breaking stuff that combined with his gas made him a damn fun pitcher to watch and an even tougher one to hit. Then he got a taste for the closing. The M's tried to work the buttplug into Morrow to stretch him out for starting duty but the damage was done. Like a pitbull that has tasted child flesh Morrow was hooked. Closing was all he thought about. The trade of JJ Putz allowed Morrow to give a bunch of bullshit reasons about his health to get back to his coveted closers role. Once a closer again Morrow forgot all about his breaking stuff and became fastball obsessed. That is why the M's are 16-19.

I can understand falling in love with the fastball, especially when you can throw it at 99mph. That's like having a sex cannon for an arm. There's nothing not fun about that. But just like real life it can't be sex all the time. You gotta mix things up, keep people on their toes. At this Morrow has failed. In his mind if he misses with a fastball he thinks to himself "Just throw the next one harder." Occasionally, against inferior hitters, this strategy has worked. The Rangers are far from inferior hitters. They feast on fastballs. Even if they are thrown at 99mph.

I'm not sure what the solution is here. Perhaps forcing Brandon Morrow to play russian roulette as an example to his teammates. Maybe a good flogging. Hell, making him go Tony Montanna on a pile of pixie sticks would also work. I'm not sure. What I am sure about is this rollercoaster of a season sucks so far.

I could handle if the M's had been playing around .500 ball all season and had dropped a few more than they had won. But going 15-10 got me all excited. Now I have MLB blue balls, not fun.

In closing let me eloquently express my dissatisfaction with the course of events so far this season. GODDAMN IT! WHY MUST YOU MAKE A FOOL OF ME YOU HARLOTS? I STOOD BY YOU WHEN EVERYONE SAID YOU WERE NO GOOD AND THIS IS THE GODDAMN THANKS I GET? FUCK YOU!!!!

Please play better.

Ok, You Guys Have My Attention. Now, Stop It!!!

"I'm not dead yet!" "We'll see about that!"

The Mariners managed to find a new way to lose today, as the rest of the division won their games. I have admit, I'm afraid I may be behind this disastrous collapse that has seen the M's go from 15-10 to 16-18. My negligence has caused this team to falter.

You see, before the season started I extolled the virtues of the new look M's to anyone who would listen. I told them our new GM knew what the fuck he was doing and that, while certain players leftover from the old regime hamstrung his ability to compile an optimal roster, he had built a team that could compete today that also was not in the hole to anyone in the future. Once the season started and The M's started winning I listened to every game on the radio or caught an occasional game on the TV. I blogged the hell out of this team to start the season. I told my readers that there was every reason to be optimistic. Then, like a parent lets go of their child and the bike as momentum takes over, I stopped paying as much attention to the team.

I figured I could trust the team to do well without me as I focused on school and getting laid. How selfish of me. To attract my attention again The M's knew all they'd have to do is revert to what had me watching them the past few years. If they played terribly I would come back. It's just like when a child holds its breath to get a parents attention or that psycho girl you're dating who threatens to hurt herself if you leave. I know in both cases ignoring the problem normally causes it to go away. And when Erik Bedard broke the losing streak two games ago I thought my plan had worked. Little did I know.

Truthfully I'm rather glad I haven't been able to watch this team implode. Just listening to Dave Neihaus describe two straight batters take a walk from a pitcher struggling with his command and then hear him tell me that Yuniesky Betancourt swung into a double play on the first pitch is maddening enough. I can't imagine seeing the pitch location would do anything but infuriate me more. Same goes with Felix starting off the game with 25 of 27 pitches being fastballs. I think I would punch something if I had to witness one of the many casual errors commited by Yuni or Lopez. I might have gouged out my eyes Oepdipus style if I had to witness this teams offense get dismembered by the Unicron of terrible right-handed groundball pitchers like Vincente Padilla, Bartolo Colon, Scott Feldman and others.

I believed contention this year, damn it! I don't buy into the idea that these are our Mariners and they will always be hapless losers. I won't be a shell-shocked fan constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I believe in what Zduriencik is building with this team. But damn if this skid isn't awfully familiar.

This extended slide has put us in a very precarious situation. If one was a terrible writer really reaching for an analogy they might compare this to hanging off a cliff from a vine with a tiger above and a tiger below. But that's some wussy arsty fartsy bullshit we here at NLS won't stand for. 3 1/2 games out isn't a terrible amount to be out this early in the season. At the same time the premise of contention for the M's this year was to grab the division lead and never let go. Just like the offense this team is not built to come from behind.

No one wants to admit this team's season is done before June. But the sad reality is it very well might be. Even if the season is not over yet Zdruriencik faces the uneviable decision of whether or not to become a tenement finisher and gut this team of all or most of it's valuable pieces. This move would be tantamount to waving a white flag and declaring the season dead. The casual fan would hate it if this were to happen but smart fans know that the M's farm system is more of a barren wasteland than Super-Nanny's womb and top flight prospects would help ensure this team could remain competitive years from now. Selling off players like Bedard, Washburn, Beltre and maybe even Felix or Ichiro would be a necesary evil like taking the fat girl home so yer buddy can bang her hot friend.

These next few games will be hyper-critical in determining the M's fate for the rest of the year. If I pay attention will they stop making idle threats and no longer hurt themselves or will I regret the decision when I watch them unravel. Only one way to find out. Ok, Mariners, I'll play your little game now quite fucking around and win something!!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mama Told Me There'd Be Days Like These

She just didn't tell me they'd suck this hard.

The Mariners managed squeaked out a series win over the weekend against the A's bringing hope to their fans. Going into their series with Texas sweep looked very possible. The 1-2 punch of Felix and Bedard was set the shut down the always high powered Texas offense when cruel fate stepped in.

Felix came down with a mean case of the swine flu and was not himself last night. Not himself in the sense that he was throwing a large amount of breaking balls and k'ing Texans like he was the second coming of Santa Anna. Keeping with my Alamo simile, just as Santa Anna killed many Texans he also stretched himself too thin and the army took a heavy toll, Felix k'ed many batters but when a Ranger did manage to make contact the ball left the park. Felix may never throw a breaking ball again after this terrible outing. That he won't is a travesty because those are his best pitches.

Today Erik Bedard took the mound to face the Rangers. He had hoped to pitch well and help the team out of the park early for some arbitrary drinking day Cinco De Mayo festivities. Pitch well he did, giving up only 1 run through seven innings. Too bad for him the run support failed to show up. Vincente Padilla sent out a notice to the M's bat's telling them the game had been canceled and that there was a team meeting at Peso's instead.

The fact that the offense struggled against a RHP is nothing new. Dave over at USSM wrote an article a few days ago talking about this glaring weakness. The gist of the post was that the M's need power left hand bats like David Hasslehoff needs rehab. Without anyone in the line-up to make RHPs worry fans will see many more games like these even against terrible pitchers like Padilla. As Dave pointed out
You know how I keep harping on the roster being too right-handed and how it’s costing us wins?

Padilla, career vs RHB: .241/.300/.370
Padilla, career vs LHB: .299/.381/.484

The Mariners are starting seven right-handed bats and two left-handed bats today

There is one in-house option that could possibly destroy the foul beast of RHP like the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. His name is Jeff Clement. Many people, including I, lamented Clement's demotion at the beginning of the season. Few foresaw the lack of a daily dose of Jeff in the line-up would be the factor that would cause the center not to hold. Yet here The M's stand defeated after being 1(!!!!!!!) hit against a very pedestrian Vincente Padilla.

There is no good reason for Clement to languish in the purgatory of AAA. His defense can't be any worse than that of Rob Johnson. His bat, however, would be a YUGE upgrade. Even if Clement continued to move like a retarded rhino behind the plate his bat would more than make up the difference. I know Jeff has done some unknown and unforgivable sin but now is not the time to hold a grudge, Zduriencik.

M's fans will have to sit through many more games like the one today if some action is not taken to remedy the lack of lefties on the roster. I for one would like not to endure such punishment. Can we please have the shiny new toy of a power LH bat? We needs it so bad!