Hideki Matsui connected for three hits tonight including a 2-run homer in the second inning against Mariners starter Ian Snell as the Angels took the first game of this weekend series. Matsui who came over from the Yankees was matched hit for hit by Ichiro, unfortunately Ichiro had two of his hits negated by Chone Figgins who doubled up Ichiro in both the first and third innings. Joe Saunders who started for the Angels was able to pitch out of several jams early on in this one and now goes to 4-6 on the year.The Angels went on to score 7 runs on the night, and the Mariners only managed to put up 1 run in the fifth inning on an otherwise quiet night for the offense.
The Mariners starting rotation has been strong this year with the exception of the fifth starter. Ian Snell is now 0-4 on the year and appears to get rattled easily with runners on base in addition to other issues that do not seem to be working themselves out. However the skipper Don Wakamatsu on the radio tonight in the post-game interview sounds like he has had enough. It was a bit disturbing to hear the manager talking about Snell’s problem with throwing strikes and the slow tempo of the games he pitches, then Snell coming on the air and basically dismissing his own manager. Snell is obviously on his way to being dismissed and will hopefully be replaced by Luke French who is 6-2 with a 1.93 ERA for AAA Tacoma.
Wakamatsu on the other hand seems to have some issues of his own as far as being able to be direct with his players as far as what is expected of them. The reports coming in that he and Griffey did not speak for the last week of Griffey’s stay with the team is another example of poor communication, though Griffey I’m sure had a part in some of that situation. It appears that Wak is always thinking which is good, but not good if the players are not sure of their role with the team and what is expected of them at any given time. The catcher situation is another example of the guessing game that is going on as far as who will end up as the starting catcher. This is not good for team morale and at some point a decision has to be made even if it ends up to be Rob Johnson the clear favorite of Wakamatsu despite the fact that all three of the other catchers have performed better this year.
This is a big series and unfortunately Doug Fister will be out tomorrow due to a sore shoulder, instead Ryan Rowland-Smith will get the call. It would be a perfect time to bring up Luke French, but Smith seems to be another project that somehow keeps hanging around for no apparent reason. In addition to sending my daily posts to the Seattle PI, I have been picked up by the folks over at Mariners Mayhem part of the Bloguin network, and wanted to thank them and remind my readers to go over and check out all the great things going on at that Blog at www.marinersmayhem.com .http://jeffsmariners.com