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TedSGN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Virtual Baseball Season/Franchise Updates
    Posted: 07-18-2009 at 2:23pm
We just swept Baltimore at home bringing us to 29-25 and in 2nd place 3.5 back of the Angels.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-20-2009 at 4:52pm
Slumberland: That's amazing about your injury run.  In my 6 seasons so far, I'm yet to see anyone out with a months injury on my team -- hope that doesn't jinx things...

Ted: Cool that you're hanging in and could make a run at first!!

We played four games over the weekend, it was ecstasy and agony...Remember that we had dropped 4 straight to fall to 3-5 at the end of the previous road trip.

First two games against first-place Tampa.  Stan Sheridan was amazing in the opener, went 8 innings giving up only 2 hits and striking out 10!  Only one runner reached second base.  Best single-game pitching performance in my entire franchise so far. Carlos Lee -- who generally can't do a thing at the plate, but always seems to be in the middle of our key rallies -- drove in a run early and scored one later, and we hung on for a great 2-0 win. 

In the second, Mark Mulder was in-and-out of trouble through five, he got them to leave the bases loaded twice, but they finally got to him in the sixth and it was 3-3.  I was thinking "This is the type of game I would lose 9-3 in previous seasons", but the bullpen was awesome and we hit two homers late and won it 6-3.  Colby Lewis now has 5 saves in 5 appearances, and at 5-5 we're only 1 game back of now-first-place Toronto!!

Then two games against Cleveland, who were only 2-8 coming in.  I expected good things, but they didn't materialize as the offense went dead-silent in the first game.  We had a number of hits, but couldn't string anything together and couldn't score.  Down 3-0 in the ninth, one on, none out, Sean Casey hit a sure DP ball to the Pitcher who threw it into CF!  Two more hits and ANOTHER error later it was 3-3 with Carlos Lee on second and only one out!! But we couldn't deliver him and then in the 10th Cleveland scored 2 and won it 5-3.  What a let-down, though to be honest we didn't deserve the win.

Then in the second game Shawn Chacon was hot-and-cold and our offense remained comatose.  Cleveland won it 5-2, and it wasn't real close.

So we're now 5-7, 3 games back of the red-hot Yankees who are now in first place.  Out current homestand is a long and critical one, with Baltimore in for three games next, and both Toronto and New York coming in before we hit the road again.  Hopefully the hitting will wake up again vs. the O's.  Finally being in the race, even kind-of sort-of, even this early in the season, is FUN! :-)



The two biggest differences in this season:

- Our pitching is just SO MUCH BETTER than it has been previously, both starters and the bullpen

- Our team speed has gone from fantastic (from 2003-2007) to horrible in 2009.  We have three super-slow guys who are regulars in the lineup, with only 2 fast guys remaining; and our ability to move guys around the bases and manifacture runs is all-but-gone.

Still super-fun though, hope to play a few more tonight...


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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-20-2009 at 6:51pm
Seattle improves to 31-26 after beating the Twins 2 out of 3 at home.  2 games back of the Angels and going on the road for a 9 game trip against Baltimore, Colorado, and San Diego.  Colorado is playing .500 ball and both Baltimore and San Diego are struggling below .500 so I'm hoping to see a strong push here to move us up.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-22-2009 at 12:01am
We took 2 of 3 from Baltimore to improve to 33-27 and just 1 game back of the Angels.  We won my game 8-1 with the following events of note:

Eric Bedard pitched a complete game, improved to 6-2 and struck out 11 batters, allowing only 1 earned run and 6 hits.

Ichiro extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

Ty Wiggington of Baltimore had his hitting streak halted at 13 games.

On to Colorado.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-22-2009 at 4:03pm
That's a nice touch with the hit-streak tracking.  We were in process of adding that for HH2005 when 3DO died... :-(

Anyway the Sox had a bad stretch, losing all 3 to lowly-regarded Baltimore a few nights ago.  First a 7-6 heartbreaker where Carl Crawford was thrown out at home in the 8th inning, then a 2-0 loss despite a great pitching performance from budding star Stan Sheridan, and finally a 12-3 thrashing in the finale where our bullpen couldn't get anyone out.

Then yesterday we started the Toronto series with a ridiculous 12-11 10-inning loss that I feel personally responsible for -- the wind was blowing out, everyone was hitting home runs, it was NOT an intense game and I wasn't as focused as normal; two bad baserunning decisions in the 9th cost us a chance to win, and not pinch-running for Sean Casey in the 10th (which I pretty much always do late in the game) cost us a chance to tie.  On a 6-game losing streak and fading, we  then rallied for 2 tremendous wins -- first a laugher behind Shawn Chacon (who has been pitching great) that ended closer-than-it-should-have 8-4, then a tight game which we eeked out 3-1 with single runs in the 7th and 8th to win it.

We're now 7-11, not great, but still not too far from .500 if we can keep the pitching consistent.  And our homestand still has 2 games against KC and 3 against the now-first-place Yankees left.

BTW a few pitching changes:

- Joe Mays, our newly acquired long reliever, has been hit hard and dropped in favor of new signing Doug Davis.  Davis pitched decently in long-relief in his first appearance.

- Lafayette Pierce, one of our three good-looking young starting pitchers from last season, has been blasted so far this season.  He's temporarily (at least) banished to the bullpen as a long-reliever, and Davis will get a chance to start in his spot next time around.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-22-2009 at 8:05pm
We dropped 2 of 3 to Colorado, my game being the only win.  We're now 34-29 and still 1 game back of the Angels.

My start was a crazy roller coaster ride.  I hadn't had a game like this yet with 2k9 so it was very entertaining.  It was both teams 5th starters taking the mound, with mine being Carlos Jimenez who is actually a long reliever filling in for the injured Jarod Washburn.

Their starter was gone after the third and Jimenez only made it through four.

Here is the scoring line.

Team
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
Mariners
0
0
4
2
1
0
4
2
0
13
20
1
Rockies
0
0
3
3
4
0
2
0
0
12
22
1

Beltre was the Pepsi Clutch Performer tonight with a 4-4 performance including a 3 run and a 2 run HR.  It was his 2R HR in the 8th that won the game.

Obviously we went into the 9th up 1 run.  I had brought in Corcoran, our right handed setup/closer, late in the eighth when Lowe got into trouble, two outs men on 1st and 3rd.  Corcoran wrapped it up with a ground out so I continued with him in the 9th.  As a precaution I have warmed up our lefty setup/closer, Rowland-Smith.

Corcoran immediately gives up a lead off double to Tulowitzki.  Crap, we're going extra innings I thought.  And we're down to just Rowland-Smith in the bullpen.  Corcoran also loses some composure and his control gets wobbly.  I send the manager to mound to talk him down.  He seems to relax a bit so I let him continue. 

Man on 2nd, no outs.  Up comes right hander Iannetta.  Corcoran strikes him out looking on 3 straight pitches, the last being a high outside fastball that just caught the black.  Ianetta argued at the plate and went away mad.

Corcoran still in and his composure is hanging in there.  Up comes right hander Baker.  1st pitch a fastball strike.  Next pitch a circle change low and away for a ball.  Third pitch an outside fastball and Baker pops it high and foul between home and 1st.  2 outs.

Now, the batters on both teams have been punching the pitchers in the face the whole game and here comes lefty Todd Helton to the plate.  He's already got 3 hits.  Everyone is friggin hot.  I'm agonizing.  Corcoran is still pretty fresh with less than 20 pitches thrown.  He's looked solid except for that double.  And he has calmed down.  I don't want to manage myself out of the game.  Corcoran has been better than Rowland-Smith so far this season.  Yet, I just think I have to go with Rowland-Smith here and play the percentages.

Lefty v. Lefty.

1st pitch Helton takes a low fastball for a strike.  2nd pitch Helton watches a slider catch the black.  0-2.  I'm a little surprised when Johjima calls for the next pitch high and outside fastball, but still catching the plate.  I think about shaking him off, but don't.  I trust Kenji since he has been calling good games all season for me.  I throw the pitch and Helton hits it well, but right to Griffey, Jr.  who is playing left after pinch hitting earlier in the game.  3rd out, fist pumping time.  It was Mark Lowe, the fourth pitcher of record, who got the win.

On to San Diego.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-23-2009 at 3:20pm
Awesome game!!  FWIW Helton is awesome in my High Heat franchise, he has beaten me regularly...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-23-2009 at 5:51pm
The Mariners finished up their 9 game road trip with slightly disappointing 4-5 record.  This brings us to 35-31 and we've dropped to 2.5 games behind Anaheim.

We dropped two of three to San Diego with my start being the only win again.  In what was a parallel universe type game to my last start, we took a strong lead only to have it whittled away as the innings progressed.  San Diego tied it late on a break out 7th inning that saw starter Morrow crumble and reliever Batista crash and burn.  Tyler Walker held the Padres down in the 8th. 

Corcoran and Rowland-Smith double teamed the final four batters.  After getting the lead off hitter to ground out, Corcoran gave up a hit to lefty Gerut.  He got Eckstein to fly out.  Rowland-Smith came in to face lefty big bat Adrian Gonzales and got him to ground out for the final out of the game.  Gonzales had hit his 14th HR of the season, a three run bomb, in the third inning to put the Padres on the board and start their rally.  And just like the big game in Colorado, Beltre hit the game winner with a solo dinger, his 10th of the season.  He leads the club now in HR's.

The starters for the game were:

Mariners Brendon Morrow 3-3 4.79 ERA
Padres Josh Geer 2-6 5.43 ERA

Scoring line

Team
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
Mariners
1
4
0
2
4
0
0
1
0
12
19
1
Padres
0
0
3
0
1
2
5
0
0
11
17
0

I should have pulled Morrow sooner.  I've been picking up some bits and pieces about when to pull a starter and didn't pull him soon enough according to some of the signs.

Mike, I'll ask you since you seem to be a real student of the game......the signs I start to look for to pull the starter (that I've picked up from different forums and blogs about baseball) are:

1.  Giving up 4 or more runs in 6 innings or less
2.  Giving up his 10th hit of the game
3.  100 pitches (unless it is late in the game and starter is going for something special)

If any of those criteria get met it's probably time for a reliever according to what I'm reading.  Morrow had reached 1 and 2 by the fifth inning.  He gave up two more in the sixth, but since we were five runs up I stuck with him.  Then San Diego exploded in the 7th.  Morrow gave up a single and a double to put men on second and third with no outs.  I brought in Batista.   Batista probably would have been crappy anyway, but I would have caught it much sooner and maybe prevented a save situation. 

Just wonder your thoughts.

We're going home for six games against Arizona and San Diego.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-24-2009 at 3:23pm
"Mike, I'll ask you..." (re: pulling a starting pitcher)

I'm not really an expert on this particularly topic, and I think the guidelines your using are decent. But in my experience there's way more "time and place" and "feel" involved (both in real MLB and also in video-game recreations).

A lot of it has to do with the pitcher's historic performance, the bullpen quality and tiredness, and the importance of an individual game.

For example: In HH, my "proven" starters get a lot of leeway.  If a top starter gives up 4 early, I'm usually willing to consider it just a blip and assume he'll settle down.  On the other hand if a 5th starter gives up 4, I expect it to continue and will give it the hook much more quickly.  Also, if I have a reliable long man whose rested, the starter's margin for error will be a lot less than if I only have 4 short relievers available and 5 or 6 innings left -- pulling a starter in that situation can really screw up a bullpen for a week!  And of course it depends if those 4 runs came via bombs vs. a couple bloop hits, errors, steals, etc., as well as if it's the deciding game of a series/pennant race as opposed to just a random game in mid-May.

Also, regardless of pitch count, if there are strong pitchers available in the bullpen I almost always consider using them in the late innings.  Even a good starter with reasonable pitch count is often tiring somewhat by the 6th or 7th innings. 

How long do you typically let your starters go in an average start ?  Mine are usually removed either in the 5th, 6th, or 7th.  It requires either a great preformance or a  weird bullpen situation to get them much into the 8th or 9th.  I think the real-life MLB average is somthing like 5.8 Innings-Per-Start.










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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-24-2009 at 6:27pm
Well, I'm always looking for that "quality" start stat, which I think is recorded at 7 innings pitched.  I don't expect to get there though and usually hope for 6 innings.  It depends on the score, but I'm usually looking to the pen as soon as it is a save situation (3 runs or less with 3 innings or less to go). 

I think those two shootouts might have cost me the second and third games of each series, but the other team went through their entire bullpens as well so maybe not.  I do know that my bullpen is below average and my setup/closers are weak, imo.  Heck, my whole rotation isn't that great to be honest.  There is some strength there, but the only dominant pitcher is Fernandez.
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