|SEA||Ken Griffey Jr||-0.390||-0.390||0.000||0.000||0.000||0.00||0|
How Net Runs works
Player of the Game: Delmon Young (2.039 NRuns: 1.457 hitting, 0.582 fielding)
Also pretty good: Justin Morneau (1.552 NRuns: 1.172 hitting, 0.439 fielding, -0.059 running)
Mariners Player of the Game: Jose Lopez (1.850 NRuns: 0.365 hitting, 1.485 fielding)
Mariners with more than 1.000 NRuns contributed: 4 (Lopez, Josh Wilson, Franklin Gutierrez, Chone Figgins)
Mariners defense: 2.846 NRuns
Rob Johnson and Matt Tuiasosopo: -2.058 hitting NRuns
Mike Sweeney and pinch hitters (Griffey, Kotchman): -1.249 hitting NRuns
Rest of Mariners hitters: 2.522 NRuns
Goat: JJ Hardy (-1.890 NRuns: -0.897 hitting, -0.559 fielding, -0.434 running)
I'm tired of talking about the futility of losses in what's become a lost season, so I'll focus on the simpler, productive details.
Francisco Liriano and Doug Fister pitched much better games than their lines indicate. The final was 5-4 but had more of the makings of a 3-2 game. Fister's had better games but not only did he show veteran caliber backbone in shaking off five flash runs and pitching into the 8th, but 5 of his 7 full innings were 1-2-3 frames. Save for the two bad frames (flyballs and line drives are going to happen: It's just a matter of minimizing them), Fister was solid yet again. Those of you waiting for him to plummet back to replacement level Earth... once again have to wait another week.
Liriano seemed like he got into a lot of trouble, and... well... he kind of did, but killed a lot of rallies with big strikeout after big strikeout... though I guess getting to face Rob Johnson and Matt Tuiasosopo certainly helps.
Don Wakamatsu finally got the hint with Josh Wilson and let the surprisingly productive shortstop hit during a pressure situation in the 9th, only to see Wilson come up with an RBI single. Probably not a bad idea to try that again. Actually, Wak also made good moves in pinch hitting Griffey and Kotchman, even if both produced rally-killer outs to end the game. Griffey and Kotchman are much better bets to produce in a tight spot than Rob and Tui.
Brandon League's going to get kudos for getting the M's out of a two runner, no out jam in the top 9th, and truth be told he did a fine job with three groundballs. But the credit belongs mainly to a guy who has caught a lot of flak lately: Jose Lopez.
On a double play ball, Lopez could have gone for the 5-4-3 and conceded the run. He also could have checked Justin Morneau back to 3rd and taken the out at 1st (though that would have put runners at 2nd and 3rd and Wak likely would have responded with yet another stupid intentional walk). Instead, Morneau helped Lopez out by breaking for home a little too soon and being forced to commit to his ill-fated run, giving Lopez the easy decision to throw home and get Morneau for the 1st out AND save a run. Lopez already had made a solid play by keeping Cuddyer's ground in the infield (0.481 NRuns), but added another 0.218 runs by getting the out at home.
Lopez then finished the inning by snagging the other two League grounders and converting both into outs. Lopez's work that inning was worth 1.485 NRuns, pretty much cleaning up the mess that Ryan Rowland-Smith had left Brandon League. Nicely done.