That, ladies and gentleman, is how you grab a national audience's attention.
With all the talk recently about Ichiro's leadership role, people seem to have forgotten the fiery personality of El Cartelua/El Rey. You know, the guy that eviscerated one of the most fearsome line-ups in the AL. The guy who made Richie Sexson feel about 1 foot tall after Richie dropped that double play relay. The guy who willed his defense into playing above their collective head. The guy whose 111th pitch elicited the single silliest swing I think I'll see all year.
All credit to despair.com and gomez for the inspiration for this image.
I'd meant to give y'all a minor league update, but I'm a little bit jacked up after today's game...
Anyway, Adam Jones continued his hot start with a 2b and a 3b in 6 ABs, and Rob Johnson doubled in the decisive 11th inning as Tacoma topped Fresno today 6-5. The Grizzlies' starter? None other than ex-Rainier and M's 'spect favorite, Travis Blackley. Travis went only 2IP in his second Fresno start (he was quite effective in his first start, and picked up his first pro hit as well). No word yet on why this outing was so short; he wasn't terribly effective, but he also wasn't so awful that he deserved the hook. Whatever, Rainiers win.
Sean Green went 5 solid innings for the win. His K/BB will always look suspect (as will Chien Ming Wang's), but the guy's a very good AAA pitcher/passable MLB reliever. His 5 innings for a bullpen that's been hemorrhaging runs was critical today. Hopefully the rest of the 'pen follows his example.
Jeff Clement was 0-4 with a BB, Wlad Balentien was 1-6, and Jeremy Reed was 1-5 with an RBI. Jorge Campillo versus Tim Lincecum tomorrow in a classic battle of opposing styles. Will Campillo's drunk monkey prevail against Lincecum's tiger claw?
West Tennessee was shut out, 7-0. To be fair, the Diamond Jaxx (god that sounds pornographic) have faced two exceptional teams in Montgomery and Jacksonville, but still - you'd like to see more of a fight here. This time, it was William Juarez' turn to make the DJ's look foolish - he went 7IP and gave up 5H and 1BB versus 6Ks. The Nicaraguan did not allow an extra base hit. Here's hoping the M's Nicaraguan 'spect, Juan Carlos Ramirez, is as effective in AA. Sebastian Boucher maintained his hitting streak, going 0-4 from the lead-off spot to keep his average at a cool .000. Matt Tuiasosopo went 1-4 with a single and a CS. Andy Baldwin pitched quite well - 5 IP 1R, 2BB, 4K. The bullpen made things decidedly less interesting.
High Desert is presently tied with Visalia 4-4 in the 10th inning. The Mavericks haven't allowed any earned runs, as 4 errors have combined to gift Visalia their four runs. Even the great Austin Bibens-Dirkx was effected, as errors and two wild pitches lead to 2 unearned runs scoring on him (the first two of the year). The Mavs also have zero extra base hits thus far, but Ron Garth has 3 singles to his name. Aaron Jensen started and allowed 2 unearned runs in 6IP, with 5H, 1BB, 3Ks on his line. Always a gambler, Jensen ran a 4-11 GB-FB ratio in High Desert, but he got away with it. Roman Martinez did well out of the pen - 1 2/3 IP, 2H, 1BB, 2K with no runs scored.
Wisconsin was snowed out.
[Edit to add High Desert final]
Visalia pushed 5 across in the 11th to win vs. High Desert 9-4. You can thank John Sullivan for his 1 IP 6H 5R 1K performance to pick up the well-earned L. But hey, Josh Womack got a 2B, so that bit above about the Mavs not getting any XBH? Forget about it.