Wednesday, May 05, 2004

M's Win Two 

Wow! What a win for the M's last night, or should I say, this morning, pulling out an umpire and Twin-aided 4-3 win in the wee hours of the morning.

The first half of this game was a tidy 3-2 win for Jamie Moyer, with the M's getting a 2-run homer from Raul Ibanez and a 2-out double from Dan Wilson followed by a run-scoring single from Randy Winn. Moyer pitches 8 nifty innings with the exception of two long home runs.

2 outs, top of the ninth, Guardado in and a runner on first, and here's where the game gets crazy. Guardado gives up a single and a double, and the double certainly would have scored 2-runs except for a crazy carom in right field, an amazing throw by Ichiro, and a slide from Corey Koskie away from a diving Dan Wilson that seemingly kept him from touching the plate.

A similar bang-bang play in the top of the 10th has Raul Ibanez throwing out Lew Ford at home, as Wilson blocked him from accessing the plate. And the capper had to be an 11th inning fake from Bret Boone that convinced Christian Guzman that a single to right was really a fly out. Guzman heads back to first, and Ichiro tosses to Boone for the easy out at second base. Freakin' hysterical. And Doug Mientkiewicz was picked off later in the inning. Yes, the defense was great and the Twins heads were elsewhere.

In the 14th, Villone gets into and out of a bases-loaded jam and then proceeds to cruise through the 15th and 16th. Finally in the 16th, the M's produce some offense with Randy Winn sneaking a finger in on home plate before the tag on an infield grounder.

And while the 16-inning affair felt like a doubleheader, the second win I'm talking about is that they picked up the option on Bob Melvin's contract. This should help keep the media focused on where the M's problems lie currently - the players, not the manager. It shows that the M's will not try a quick fix of firing the manager. If their woes continue (and they WON'T), the M's will be forced to acknowledge that the problem is the talent, and will use their budget to address it.

Roster notes
Rafael Soriano returned in this game and walked the leadoff hitter in the 11th, and did not get to pitch much. Shiggy is still not sharp and was the beneficiary of the 10th inning play at the plate. For tonight's game, I'm guessing that Mateo and Villone are unavailable, leaving a bullpen of Guardado, Shiggy, Myers,
Soriano and Putz. Putz stays with the big club after the Soriano callup with Willie Bloomquist going on the DL.

George Sherrill looks to be the next callup from Tacoma as he is absolutely dominating right now. Will be interesting to see if he gets the call soon, and if its at the expense of Mike Myers.

Joel Pineiro heads out tonight to make the winning streak three.

Today's picks:
Rockies (Kennedy) +102 over Expos (Day)
Giants (Williams) -123 over Mets (Seo)
Pirates (Wells) +175 over Astros (Clemens)
Mariners (Pineiro) -135 over Twins (Silva)

Money to date: $-253 (picking dog/favorite = +560/-813, 19-23, 14-13) - M's win an easy one for $100 on favorites and got the Indians & Dodger upsets correct while missing the Pirates & Padres. But when picking underdogs, a split wins you money and in this case $85 more to inch closer to even on the season.

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