|SEA||Ken Griffey Jr||-0.834||-0.834||0.000||0.000||0.000||0.00||0|
Player of the Game: Josh Wilson (2.196 NRuns: 0.766 hitting, 1.430 fielding)
Seattle Luckbox: 1.517 NRuns
Seattle fielding: 4.581 NRuns
The Three MuskRainiers (Langerhans, Wilson, Saunders): 3.407 NRuns
Adam Jones (2.053 NRuns: -0.397 hitting, 2.450 fielding)
Nick Markakis: 0.918 NRuns
Rest of Orioles lineup: -3.580 NRuns
Number of Orioles with negative defensive NRuns: 0
Baltimore pitching: -3.009 NRuns
The average pitching staff should give up about 5.5 runs per game in Camden Yards with an average defense, so add in some craptastic pitching by the Orioles today, and there's no way even the Mariners could screw this up. Even given some overacheiving defense by a mediocre Orioles defense, the Orioles had no chance with a Mariners-like performance at the plate: Only Garrett Atkins and Nick Markakis posted positive hitting contributions.
After a subpar outing his last time out, Brandon League ran a 3.31 EXERA in snuffing out an 8th inning O's rally and pitching a scoreless 9th. It may not be a matter of if, but when he supplants David Aardsma as the Mariners closer, and "when" will probably come at some point this season regardless of how the team is doing. If Aardsma doesn't implode, look for the M's to sell high on their incumbent closer. They've got a superior replacement waiting in the wings.
There wasn't a bad enough performance to justify tabbing anyone a goat, but Jose Lopez laid an egg at the plate in his -1.600 NRun performance, with a 0.957 performance in the field offsetting a -2.004 NRun failboat at the plate plus (or in this case minus) -0.553 NRuns for running out the back end of a GIDP.
Josh Wilson's hot bat has created a question of what to do with him when Jack Wilson returns in the next few days... and KIRO AM talking head Mike Salk has humbly suggested giving Lopez a game or two off per week with his bat ice cold, and perhaps shifting Figgins to 3B so Josh Wilson can play 2B and stay in the lineup. Clearly, Josh is going to cool off at some point, but cooled off Josh Wilson could still be an effective contact and gap bat in this lineup, and rotating days off among the infield to get him playing time in a Jeff Keppinger or Ronnie Belliard sort of way may be a useful approach as long as he's helping the M's at the plate.
As for Michael Saunders, his emergence as a hitter could finally be for real this time, and Milton Bradley's forthcoming return produces a question with an easier, and sadder, answer: One of Ken Griffey Jr or Mike Sweeney has to go so Bradley can man the primary DH role and save his troubled legs. Even after Sleepygate, the easy choice to keep between the two old men is Junior, if you don't DL him if he continues to slump... at the plate, not in his barca-lounger.
Again, the average pitcher in Camden Yards gives up more runs than average, so don't be too discouraged with Cliff Lee's EXERA. Though some line drives and flyballs inflated his number, his performance wasn't too far from average today. He did get a lot of defensive help today, however.