Friday, March 10, 2006

The Rich, Decadent Taste of Victory

M's win, M's win! Today's game featured pretty much everything we like to see in a spring training game: M's victory, George Sherrill picking up the win and slamming the door in the ninth, and Roberto Petagine knocking the ball around.
The M's were down early 4-1 thanks to a Jeff Baker homer off Washburn, but the M's battled back to take a 5-4 lead. Marcos Carvajal gave up the tying run to his former team in the 8th on an RBI groundout.
George Sherrill came in for the 8th and walked the lead-off guy, Eli 'Lefty Killer' Marrero. In a perfect exposition of how relievers' ERAs are subject to random events given the small sample size they deal with, Marrero came around to score on a bunt, a sac fly and an infield single. One more hit and an error, and the Rocks get another run. Whoa, they're really knocking George around down there! An earned run per inning - he's lost it!
The M's quickly retook the lead in the ninth with hits by Matt Lawton, Roberto Petagine, Asdrubal Cabrera and a Sac Fly by TJ Bohn that gave the M's an 8-7 lead. Sherrill stuck around for the ninth and, after giving up a lead-off single, promptly induced a double-play and then a strikeout to end it. That's better.
Given the issues Carvajal's had, and given that neither Woods nor really anyone else in the bullpen's been all that solid, I'd like to assume that however tenuous Sherrill's roster spot was, it's definitely his now. We all know spring training stats don't matter, but if Woods/Carvajal/[insert name here] had a lights out spring, it would've made it harder for Grover to Do the Right Thing. The flip-side of this, of course, is that it's going to be awfully tough for the M's to leave Petagine in Tacoma. He's on a real tear, and I think we can all agree that the M's bench was a bit more open than the bullpen, especially with Dobbs' DFA. So, our new rallying cry is: "While Freeing George Sherrill, Also Free Roberto Petagine." Or perhaps, "Once Sherrill Is Freed, Could You Go Back and See if Petagine Got Out Too?"


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