Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mariners-Angels, 8/12/12



It was a hot Sunday afternoon at Angels Stadium but an enjoyable game for me at least. The Mariners won 4-1, Jered Weaver lost, Jesus Montero smacked a couple home runs, wow Mike Trout is fast and my ass there were 35,000 fans in attendance.

Jason Vargas kept the Angels lineup in check all day. He didn't waste any time in between 96 pitches through 8 1/3 innings and was rarely threatened. Howie Kendrick struck out to end a bases-loaded threat in the 3rd inning while Albert Pujols grounded in a Rally Monkey killing double play in the 8th. I'm glad the Mariners didn't sell low on Vargas at the trade deadline since he's a pretty decent #3 starting pitcher who throws a lot of effective innings. The long ball, which has been Vargas' weakness this year, didn't hurt him today although a couple balls did approach the warning track.

Outside of Montero the M's didn't have much luck against Jered Weaver's assortment of offspeeds and angles. To their credit the Seattle lineup was patient enough to draw four walks on the day. Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher didn't like what he saw early and was tossed in the first inning for arguing strikes and balls.

Mike Trout is electrifying. He almost bunted for a base hit in the first, was incorrectly called out on a routine grounder to third and scaled the center-field wall to nearly rob Montero of his first home run. I've never seen anyone run as fast as he does on a baseball diamond. The fact that he's chiseled makes his speed even more astounding. Just an amazing player to witness in people.

John Jaso has an OPS of nearly .900 and is without question the best all-around bat in the Mariners lineup at the moment. Hard to believe he was the third-string catcher earlier this season. Kudos to GM Jack Zduriencik for identifying Jaso to fill the void at catcher -- at least until Mike Zunino arrives.