Sunday, July 02, 2006

MIke Hargrove lost Sunday's game

Epsiode 456 in our 756 part series...

1. Sends Betancourt on a shallow flyball in the seventh with Ibanez due up. Raul is absolutely on fire and YuBet was out by a mile.

2. Sends Washburn out to pitch the eighth with a one run lead. Compounds his error by not replacing him after a walk and a bunt single. Leaves him in to walk Helton to load the bases. Interestingly he had two guys up in the pen, Mateo and Putz, both right handers. So there was probably no situation that could have happened that Grover would not have let Washburn pitch to Helton. He could have given up two 700 foot home runs to Carroll and Barmes and Grover would have waited until after Helton to replace him.

3. After pinch-running Bloomquist for Sexson and pinch-hitting Petagine for Rivera, he leaves Bloomquist in at first and puts Johjima into the Petagine/Rivera spot. You can make the argument that you'd rather have Willie Boom-Boom's empty 270 average in the lineup than Petagine's small sample size 200 average. I don't agree but it can be made. The crucial thing here is that he could have had Johjima in the Sexson spot, so that an actual major league hitter could have batted in the upcoming bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth situation.

4. Bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth. Bloomquist, playing first, at the plate. Fuentes, a lefty, on the mound. Bloomquist's three year numbers versus lefties: 257/306/350. As stated earlier, Johjima could be batting here: 274/333/371. But Hargrove already blew that one so his other option is to pinch hit Eduardo Perez, whom the club gave up an excellent middle infield prospect to get. Perez' 3 year line against lefties: 288/397/561. This is exactly why the club acquired Perez, to give them some pop off of the bench against lefties. But Hargrove doesn't use him. There was no one up in the Rockies pen, incidentally, so no way Perez would have had to bat against a righty. This is a terrible, terrible non-move.

5. Bottom of 10. Carl Everett bats against Fuentes. Everett's 2006 line against lefties: 164/250/279. He is done against lefties, he should never be facing them in critical situations the rest of the year if the Mariners plan to contend. And yet Perz remains on the bench. He later enters the game defensively when Reed gets hurt. So your "lefty-masher" is reduced to emergency defensive sub. Great.

The M's are a game out of first. With a competent manager, they would be in first, maybe a couple of games in front. Blech.


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