Wednesday, April 05, 2006

'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.


At 4/05/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger marc w. said...

Are we really "George Sherrill's bloggers" as opposed to some guys who blog about George Sherrill? Yes. You can take that to the bank, America.
We are the Eddie Perez to Lookout Landing's Javy Lopez. We're the Doug Mirabelli to USSMariner's Jason Varitek. We're the Paul Bako to Detectovision's, er, Javy Lopez!

And I'm the Henry Blanco of this very blog (to PositivePaul's, wait for it, Javy Lopez!), which is sort of apropos, if you think about it....

At 4/05/2006 11:40 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

One would think that George would be used to getting squeezed, considering how often he had to put up with it in AAA games. It's something he'll have to game plan for, and adjust his intestinal fortitude appropriately. He's done it so far, and will continue to do it.

Dude, you're much more than the Henry Blanco 'round here. You've been a wonderful addition, and I'm very thankful to have you on board.

Immediately after the final out, I rang up elsid, and we chatted for a bit. He was about as happy as I was. Indeed George looked very cool in the post-game interview. Very cool, and very humble. Cracked a smile at the end, too, which was really nice.

You had to bring up the Diagnostics, didn't ya. Heh -- we're so totally on the same page. I was just thinking this afternoon how we never did compile them, so I'll get to work on that now. Readers might even get to have THREE posts from us in one day (or, really, 4, since I posted my opening day thoughts well after midnight).


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