'Excitement' is his middle name
As Paul noted below, our man Sherrill got his first major league save today in the M's 6-4 win over the Angels.
Some random thoughts on this auspicious occasion:
I was driving home from work, so I didn't actually get to SEE the pitches the crowd complained about, but the fans seemed to think that George got about 3-4 Ks. One or two versus Kotchman, one v. Rivera and one v. Mathis. I wonder what the differences are between the PCL strikezone and the MLB strikezone. It seems George is really getting squeezed, but it certainly doesn't happen to everyone. Felix walked many, many more PCL hitters than MLB hitters last year. Is it a name recognition thing - i.e., Greg Maddux gets those calls, and GS52 doesn't, is it a certain *type* of difference in the strikezone that affects a guy like George more (that's not as ridiculous as it sounds; I'd bet Felix lost a lot of PCL K's because his devastating yakker fooled the umps as well as the batter. George relies more on location, which might be more susceptible to league variation. Where's questec when you need it?), or is there no difference at all - is it just the home crowd pulling for the big, game-ending K?
The *good* part of listening to the game on the radio was that George was the post-game interview. At least, that's good in the abstract - not so much in practice. In what was perhaps the most pointless interview ever, George was asked if it felt good to get the save, and if it was good that the M's beat the Angels 2 out of 3 (yes and yes, by the way). But hey, at least he gets a free dinner at one of Seattle's better restaurants! As an aside, I've never understood this concept. Hey Richie Sexson, you've just made $12,400 during the course of this interview, how would you like to go get a fancy dinner - ON US! GS52 is, of course, making the league minimum, so this offer might conceivably allow him to take his brother, or, and I'm just thinking aloud here, his bloggers out for dinner. Seriously though, why do they pick up the dinner tab for professional athletes (non-Sherrill; he deserves a dinner tonight)?
If you remember, the first of our diagnostic tests for the 2006 M's was how they used George. It would be a really, realy bad sign if George was used solely as a situational lefty, getting essentially 1/3 IP per appearance. Well, so far so good. He's faced righties - tough righties - and, despite some wildness/bouts of crappy umpiring, Hargrove has stuck with him. That's a great sign for everyone involved: it's great for those of us who care about the M's, it shows Hargrove is paying some attention and not just applying match-up dogma religiously, and it shows what we've known all along: Sherrill can have a serious career, and a serious impact on the M's bullpen.