Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hard Luck Livingston

Okay, so we get a plug from the inimitable J at MarinerMinors, and I take a night off and miss yesterday's game. Great timing! To the three of you that checked back again today, thanks, and here you go:

Man, I'm really going to be glad to see the back of the A's/A's affiliates.
The Rainiers lost 5-1 tonight to the Sacramento Rivercats - that's three straight for Sacramento, after the Rainiers swept the Colorado SkySox in four.
The hard-luck loser tonight was Bobby Livingston, who went 6 innings and gave up only *one hit*. Sadly, that hit was a long HR to left by Bobby Kielty. Worse, the Rainiers had only an infield single to their credit at that point.
This game, to me, shows what promise Livingston has. In all, his pure stuff probably wasn't what it was in his last start (a win over Colorado Springs); his change just didn't have much life, and he struggled to keep it in the zone. His fastball will never really carry him (he was throwing 87), and tonight he was having a bit of trouble locating it. But his huge overhand curve, along with some guile, meant he was able to really work for a line of 6IP, 1H, 1R, 2BB, 4K. He induced 11 GB outs to 3 flyball outs - including hits, errors, etc., he gave up 12 grounders to 4 flies, one of which was an infield popup. In short, it was a great performance, but it was negated by the Rainiers inability to get to the Rivercats starter, Juan Dominguez (or the 'cats bullpen).
Dominguez walked the first two he faced, and I thought we were ready for a blowout (in his first start, Dominguez yielded 6ER in 2 2/3IP). Not quite; he got 12 of the next 14 that faced him. He had a great fastball, and was able to overpower a number of hitters. Just like last night, the Rainiers simply couldn't get an extra base hit: they had 6 hits on the night, all of them singles. TJ Bohn led the way with a 2/3 night (he also drew a walk), while Adam Jones and Shin-Soo Choo crushed pitches that were turned into deep fly outs. Since most of the Rainiers hits were little texas-leaguers off the fists or IF singles, I'm down to noting who made the loudest outs, ladies and gentlemen.
Renee Cortez put the game out of reach with two innings of 4R, 1ER, 5H, 1K baseball. This line is precisely the reason statheads complain about ERA. According to the scorer, he gave up one earned in 2 innings. In reality, he was getting tagged, and just plain couldn't locate any of his pitches. The big play was a deep fly off the bat of Matt Watson that Adam Jones dropped... Following an IF pop up, Cortez was almost out of it. Then he gave up three straight hits, and the game was basically over.
Jones made up for his gaffe with a truly impressive running catch in the next inning to deny Jeremy 'Moneyball' Brown. Playing at normal/shallow depth and shaded towards left, Brown hit a drive that would've caromed off the right-center wall around 380 feet out. Jones got a great jump, and made the catch right at the wall on a dead run. His reads have been excellent, especially for someone so new to the position. He still has lapses in concentration (see his error), but you can tell he *can* be a solid defensive CF. I still have visions of Jeremy Reed's, er, circuitous routes out in the Cheney OF, wondering how this guy was going to fare in Safeco. Well, Jones looks quite a bit better to this point, though there are major sample size issues with that...
Speaking of defenders who've looked suspect at Cheney, Mike Morse continued his epic tour around the diamond and played at SS for the first time in quite a while today. Asdrubal Cabrera's injury means we'll be seeing more of Jose Morban and Scott Youngbauer (whoo hoo!) at 2b/SS, and Morse will probably get more time on the left side of the IF as well. He looked pretty good - he had 4 assists, and while he missed one ball that a good SS probably gets to, he made a pretty nice relay on a tricky 3-6-1 double play. All in all, solid work out there.
Sean Green had a so-so 9th, yielding a walk to the first batter and then hitting another guy (on an 0-2 pitch!). Green *still* has a problem when he overthrows and misses WAAAY in to a left handed hitter (occasionally, less glaringly, he'll hit this same spot when a righty's up) - he's hit two guys, both on pitcher's counts. He's not trying to send a message, he's not trying to establish anything, he's just missing his spot by a good 1/2 a yard. He's still a great pitcher - he quickly erased the walk with a double play, and got another GB out to end it - but he's got to fix this little issue with overthrowing. It shouldn't be a big deal, because he's generally around the plate.

So even in the face of a third straight defeat, there are some real positives from tonight's game. I'd like someone else to find the good in defeat tomorrow... it sounds like Rich Dorman will go for the Rainiers against Shane 'Hawaiian Punchout' Komine.

11 Comments:

At 4/13/2006 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff as always Marc, guys.

How'd Livingston's mound presence grab ya?

Cheers,
Dr D

 
At 4/13/2006 9:39 AM, Blogger marc w said...

Mound presence/poise whatever you want to call it, he has it.
Remember, this line-up has been battering Cheney for two games. Bobby Kielty, Matt Watson, even Jeremy Brown are good, patient hitters. I'd like to see Billingsley/Weaver/Reyes take on this line-up.

 
At 4/13/2006 11:31 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Rain, Rain, Go away...

Yeah, it's Rich Dorman, but at least it's not Baek tonight. The boy and I are slated to head to Cheney tonight, so this weather better clear up.

I so badly wanted to be there yesterday. Sacramento is the AAA equivalent of the Yankees. Great pitching, great hitting. How we beat them last year in the playoffs, especially with our hodge-podge of roster turnover last year, I'll never figure out...

 
At 4/13/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger Deanna said...

I am totally going to go down to Tacoma one way or another to see Sacramento next time they're in town, especially if they still have Kielty, Ginter, etc all on the roster. I had a lot of other stuff going on this week, unfortunately, so it was pretty much out of the question. But all things considered, I really do like seeing the Rainiers play Sacramento and Salt Lake, both for AL West pride and for Curtis Pride.

 
At 4/13/2006 5:16 PM, Anonymous Oly Rainiers Fan said...

I thought of you (not that I know you, personally) this whole series, as my season seat is 2 rows behind the visitors on-deck circle at Cheney. So every time I saw Bobby Kielty, I thought, 'man, Deanna should be sitting here'.

There were some fans there Tuesday night that were pretty rude to him, I gotta say.

Marc: nice talking to you on the way out of the stadium last night. i realized after i got in my car that i should have told you how much i enjoy your game recaps, and what i post under...as if you hadn't already figured it out.

now i'm trying to figure out if they're gonna call the game or not. i don't want to start the trek up from oly only to get there and find out there's no game, but they haven't called it yet...

 
At 4/13/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger marc w said...

Well, now we know: it's a rainout.
Pair that with Felix getting rocked, and I'd say this is one forgettable day.

 
At 4/13/2006 10:23 PM, Blogger marc w said...

Marc: nice talking to you on the way out of the stadium last night. i realized after i got in my car that i should have told you how much i enjoy your game recaps, and what i post under...as if you hadn't already figured it out.

I HADN'T figured it out, though I now feel really dumb for not putting 2 and 2 together.
Figures you'd find your way to a blog written by fellow state gov. workers....

 
At 4/14/2006 2:56 AM, Blogger Deanna said...

Jeremy Brown vs. Hunter Brown in the Battle of the Browns. Who would win?

Anyway, heh, cool. So when's the official Mariners Morsels stalking day at Cheney? :)

 
At 4/14/2006 3:07 AM, Anonymous Oly Rainiers Fan said...

Birds of a feather? Now we just have to get Gunga to start posting here too. I wonder how many more of us there are...

Seriously, I do enjoy your writing and observations - on things that I just wouldn't normally see (I suck at distinguishing pitch types for example, and I hate sitting behind the netting which doesn't help in that regard). And it's good to be able to go somewhere and read about the Rainiers game in a little more detail...

I have some single seat tickets I won't be able to use at the end of this month (Apr 27-30) if you or Positive Paul would want any of them, let me know.

 
At 4/14/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Corco and I introduced ourselves to Gunga last year -- at the Championship game. It was the weirdest thing getting a note in my inbox at work from him (he tracked me down pretty easily). He'd mentioned you were there, too, but I still haven't run into you myself. Amazing, especially since you've hijacked an M's blog-o-sphere identity that I find myself coveting. You're the more rightful owner of that identity, though, as you have season tickets. I don't get to games as much as I'd like to.

I'd LOVE to take pix from your seats, Oly -- especially if a righty is pitching. I'm quite sure I could make use of them that week.

We definitely will have to have a Tacoma gathering soon. I'd LOVE to have one in Safeco, but since this blog is still in AA-AAA status (compared to the USSM and LookoutLanding powerhouses and other places like SportSpot and ITP, which, of course, I'm totally cool with), it'd be appropriate to have one in Tacoma.

Or, here's a thought...

I could reserve our family compound in Stevenson for a weekend, and we could have a gathering of all my blogs. We could hook up with PDB for a game in Portland, and drive up the Gorge for a photo shoot and wine tasting excursion (probably a good idea to make them 2-3 seperate trips). That might be kinda interesting...

 
At 4/14/2006 7:04 PM, Anonymous Oly Rainiers Fan said...

Lemme know how to get the tix to you Paul and if you think you'll use all 4; the seat is prime photo taking real estate, especially, as you point out, for right handed pitchers or left handed batters. (or, of course, if you have a penchant for any of the players on the visiting team (which will, that weekend, be the SLC Bees - farm club of the Anaheim Angels).)

On another forum I used to post on (MLB Fanstop, back when the Ancient Mariner was the moderator), I was Oly Ms Fan. That was back when I had Ms season tix (the last 8 years). The last 3-4 I've had a partial plan in Cheney AND Ms tix. Now I'm just down to full season at Cheney and I've gotta say, it's been way more fun and a much less grueling commute.

I mean, opening night I got to wear a World Series ring for an inning. That NEVER happened at Safeco.

 

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