rt2 | Tampa, Miami, Houston

From Home Heaven to Road Hell . . .

After going 7-2 on the home first home stand of the season (W vs Astros, W vs Rangers and a sweep of the Royals) – the M’s had the exact opposite results on the road (L vs Rays, L vs Marlins and swept by the Astros).

TAMPA
Great start to the series with an 8-4 win which saw the bats hammer out SEVEN runs in ONE inning and another strong outing from Logan. Then came the bad news: a 2-3 loss where Marco got hit square on the wrist by a come-backer and a 1-2 loss where Scott was ejected when blowing off some well-deserved steam with regard to the ri-dic-u-lous strikes called on Julio.

MIAMI
I occasionally like to listen to the opponents radio broadcast and was pleasantly surprised with the Marlins – they have a woman on their crew and both were well versed in their research of the M’s. But, the only good news from this series was Julio’s first major league homer which was of the THREE-run variety and came after they INTENTIONALLY Abraham – bit of a backfire there ūüėČ (he got the ball!) and another stellar start from Logan in the salvage game on Sunday – a 7-3 win. Brash had a rough go in the first game, giving up SIX runs in TWO innings – M’s bats tried to compensate and scored SIX runs of their own but ended up with a 6-8 loss. Robbie was OK in the second game but, the bats couldn’t get anything going and they ended up with a 1-3 loss.

HOUSTON
yeah, we definitely have a problem – swept for the first time this season ūüė¶
Marco had a decent bounce back start in the first game (after being hit by that come-backer in TB) and, in the same game JP extended his hit streak to ELEVEN but, they would get shutout in that game 0-3 AND in the next, where Chris pitched well, 0-4. The last game was a 2-7 loss where Matt got knocked around a bit and the bats couldn’t muster much in their second go at Verlander.

rt1 | Twins, White Sox

3-4 on the trip w/bookend wins (won the first two by one run and the last one by four)

ON the MOUND

  • Robbie w/a nice opener in Minny, not so great in Chicago
  • Logan TWO great starts (combined for only ONE earned run and ELEVEN strikeouts)
  • Marco and Chris both struggled in Minny
  • Matt Brash w/ a nice major league debut in Chicago

OUT of the PEN

bit of a mixed bag, hard to tell so early but, seems like the bull pen should be able to pick up where they left off last season . . .

AT the PLATE

  • Mitch leading in homers (3) and RBI (7)
  • Ty and Adam second in RBI (tied w/4)
  • Ty, of course, leading in HBP (TWO – including his first AB of the season)
  • Jesse leads in patience w/NINE walks
  • JP lead in average (.400) and doubles (3)

IN the FIELD and ON the BASES

  • SEVEN DP’s
  • FOUR errors
  • Jerrad and Julio each w/TWO SB
  • Some nice OF play

a long time comin’ ~ revelin’ on the road . . .

ahh… at last, a beautiful road trip!

California, USA

fUN wITH rOAD nUMBERS . . .

RECORD:  4-2

HITTERS
HOMERUNS:  11 (104 total tied for 5th in the bigs, 3rd in the AL and already surpasses entire 2012 total)
TRIPLES:  2 (both by rookie Brad Miller, in his first game at lead-off)
DOUBLES:  7
HITS: 57
WALKS:  23
RUNS SCORED:  28
STRIKEOUTS:  56 (ok  . . .  yuck!)

PITCHERS
HOMERUNS ALLOWED:  5 
TRIPLES ALLOWED:  0
DOUBLES ALLOWED:  12
HITS ALLOWED:  52
WALKS ALLOWED:  12
RUNS ALLOWED: ¬†25 (take out the clunker in Cinci yesterday and it’s down to 12)
STRIKEOUTS:  34

Good to see that much of the production was from the kids (6 homers – 6 doubles – 19 runs – 16 rbi).
With the 5-4 loss in the third game in Texas ¬†t ¬† h ¬† i ¬†s ¬†close to sweeping in Arlington for the first time since 2001. ¬†But, even with the clunker in Cinci yesterday, M’s win in all differentials except hitters’ strikeouts and doubles. Baby steps, as they say. Even this pitching and defense lovin’ gal will admit that the homers have been an extremely fun but, while that ready-made “O” is great novelty, it is even greater to see the start of some manufacturing . . . get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in . . . ¬†if they can just start doing those little things on a regular basis – it will go a LONG way.

Next up . . .
BO SOX for FOUR at THE SAFE
o Lester v Felix
o Webster v Kuma
o Doubront v Harang
o Dempster v Bonderman

 

Road Reflections | CHI, KC

Chicago was about as bad as it gets…
Three games, three heart-breaking losses, all by one-run (in fact, all but one of the games on this road trip were decided by one run, and that one by two). ¬†To twist the knife a bit more, two were walk-offs and one was in the 8th. ¬†RRS continued to struggle, Doug and Jason continued to shine. ¬†While the bullpen’s lapse was a bit concerning, the late surge by the offense in two of the three games was encouraging. ¬†As for the “D”, despite a couple of errors, there were five DP’s turned.

Back on track in KC…
Felix took his first loss, but still put up a quality start (maybe not to “Felix quality”, but quality nonetheless). ¬†Ian’s line wasn’t great, but the way in which he was able to escape self-induced trouble was pretty impressive. ¬†RRS was on his way to a solid start, looking good for five innings, but couldn’t finish things in the 6th – apparently, April is not his month. ¬†As for the rest of the pitching staff, right back up on that horse, er, ¬†mound they got. ¬†The pen as a whole pen recovered pretty darn well from their debacle on the South Side – pitching 8 scoreless innings in KC and the DA notched two more saves (of the one-run variety). ¬†The offense, while certainly far from potent, showed a little spunk, especially in the last game, bunching some runs to go ahead early, losing the lead and then scratching out a run late to win.

Regarding Jose…
Something occurred to me the other day. ¬†Many are concerned, understandably so, about the offense and there’s already be quite a lot of mention about Jose … his lack of patience, etc. This is nothing new and he’s typically a slow starter. ¬†The thing that struck me was the lack of concern about something that many had a fair amount of trepidation about going into the season… how would he perform at his new position? ¬†Well, so far, question answered – in spades!¬† He has not only performed adequately, he has embraced the change and seems very comfortable in his new home at the hot corner. ¬†Considering the shoes he had to fill, this is excellent, if seldom mentioned, news.

Milty = Mr Happy…
Some¬†good signs from MB … he was out of commission in Chicago, but back in action in KC and contributing.¬† Some nice gestures with the fans as well – like when he tried to toss a ball to a Mariner fan above the M’s dugout in KC, but a Royals fan interviened and caught the ball – he went into the dugout, got another ball and personally handed it to the fan.¬† Love it.

Hanging with the best | Road Reflections

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2-1 vs. Dodgers
1-2 vs. Yankees
2-1 vs. Red Sox


ROAD RHYTHM

~ Felix being Felix (not quite as strong in BOS as he was in LA) but definitely coming into his “ace-hood”
~ Super kudos to the bottom of the order who started to take off with the salvage game in Yankee Stadium and continued rolling on into Fenway (in 5 games the 5-9 hitters were 35 of 52 in hits, 16 of 27 in RBI and 17 of 27 in runs scored)
~ the D.A. added two more saves to his total
~ JR hit his 620th career homer in LA and his 621st in the new Yankee Stadium
~ Russell hit a MOON shot in new YS
~ Red Sox fan catches a foul ball in his cap (preventing You
ks from catching it) and the inning extends and the M’s get three on a double and a homer
~ Comin’ from behind is always fun, but doing it in Fenway is sweet! (and on the 4th of July, no less!)



ROAD RUBBISH

~
Jason continued his road woes in LA
~ Sean struggles mightily for the first time all season (in NY and BOS)
~ Some critical errors spoil comeback in NY and BOS
~ Bullpen implosion in Fenway prevents M’s from sweeping the Sox
~ Adrian decides he can no longer play through the pain – the Dodger series is his last prior to surgery

Closer than it seemed | Road Reflections

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4-5 in Baltimore, Colorado, San Diego
oh so close to at least 6-3 ;-(


ROAD RUBBISH

Very bad things tend to happen when walk after walk is issued and when pitchers throw toward something other than home plate. Unfortunately, the M’s proved this time and again in the middle of their road trip in Colorado. While the third game was a bit of a blow-out (Jason was due for a bad game) the first two could have been pretty easily won if the pitchers had not committed the a fore mentioned sins. And, the other two losses (one to the O’s and one to the Pads) were each by one run.


ROAD RHYTHM

The trip started and ended well at least, with the M’s taking 2 of 3 from the O’s and the Pads. With the exception of Brandon (who’s still finding his way) the pitching in Baltimore and SanDiego was solid even in the losses and quite stellar in wins ~ especially Felix’s 2-hit complete game shutout of the Padres! The bats seem a tad bit more patient (20 walks) and powerful (21 XBH) in the 9 games.

Win some, lose some | Road Reflections

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Oaktown and Disneyland (3-3)

They came OH SO close to 4-2


Two total heart-breakers…

The second game in Oakland that would have sealed the SERIES win…
Jarrod FINALLY get a tad bit of run support (3-0) and Miggy and Mark blow it in the 7th giving up four runs and that’s all they would need.

The third game in Anaheim that would have meant SWEEP…
The offense FINALLY scores early and often and adds on (8-1 after top 6th) with enough to overcome the struggles that would eventually find Garrett. But, the D.A. (who has been awesome since assuming the closer’s role) blows it in epic fashion in the ninth, yielding two hits, four walks and three runs (M’s lose 8-9)

Here’s hoping it is true what they say …

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”


Bright Sights…

  • Averaged 5.75 runs per game through the last four
  • Adrian starting to come ’round ~ 4-multi-hit games
  • Ichiro not only extended his hitting streak to 24 games – he collected 15 hits on the trip (including a homer and 3 doubles)
  • Felix and Jason and Erik – oh Yeah!
  • Jose late inning magic!


Bleak peeks…

  • Jaku just never seems to have it vs. the A’s … go figure – he beats the Halos and the BoSox
  • Same old, same old for Jarrod the past few years … nearly non existent run support
  • The bullpen has been the strength … it was just a matter of time and over-use that weakened it

Early Road Warriors | Road Reflections

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Minny & Oaktown (5-2)

OK, it’s early.
But it is nice to remember how if feels to have a winning road trip ūüôā

  • 4 game split w/Minny ~ outscored the Twins 18-13
  • 3 game sweep in OakTown ~ outscored the A’s 14-9
  • and one shut-out in each series

Winning is better than losing, right?
So, I will enjoy it while it lasts. Funny thing is, I see no reason why it can’t last. Provided everyone stays relatively healthy ~ it’s not too hard to envision a fun summer of baseball….

  • the defensive improvement was nearly a given ~ so far, it has not disappointed
  • we were told the offense would lean toward the fundamentals and be aggressive ~ CHECK ~ (plus, the M’s lead the league in BA w/RISP .381, something they struggled mightly w/last season)
  • some were a bit (OK, aLOT) unsure about the bullpen. ‘t was worry for naught ~ the M’s lead the AL in saves (4) and are 2nd in both ERA (2.45) and BAA (.154). Brandon, as mentioned previously, is still building up his strength, but Roy, Shawn, David, Mark, Miggy and Chris are getting it done!
  • as for the starters ~ it has been my contention all along that if the starters were solid, the M’s could contend. Erik took a HUGE step today toward that end. We KNOW Felix is cabable, Wash had one awesome start to build upon, so that leaves Carlos and RRS ~ remains to be seen if they will be able to step up (or at least give enough innings with a strong defense behind them and an offense that can keep pace)

Fun summer, indeed!