BROOKS ROBINSON Dept.
The first few games of Dr. D's childhood? The 1970 World Series, in which Johnny Bench hit about three game-winning doubles down the left field line ... only to be snared by Brooks Robinson laying full out, popping up and throwing Bench out at 1B. If you didn't see Wednesday's game:
Bottom of the 9th, with 3 men on base, only 1 out
Mariners clinging to a 1-run lead like a cat with its claws on a screen door at a height of 6 feet
Edwin Diaz finally getting enough pressure that he could show his competitiveness
Diaz fans Jefry Marte, avoiding the sac fly and immediate extra innings against the soft underbelly of the M's bullpen
Andrelton Simmons comes up in the backyard wiffle ball, ultimate, game situation
Simmons works it to a 3-1 pitch
Diaz and Iannetta decide on a SLIDER "that took some guts" - Seager
Simmons whacks a sharp grounder into the LF corner to win the game
Except Kyle Seager reverses the outcome, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat
How good is Seager? SSI would suggest that we lay aside the sabermetrics for a moment. They've got Seager as a very good third baseman, although it's tough to tell for a lot of reasons. Including the 21st-century shift. Also let us lay aside the trite paradigm "I think this .572 slugger is better than this .569 slugger but is worse than this .581 slugger." Why do we care which tremendous player is a shade the better, or a shade the worse, than some other tremendous player? Isn't the point that we want as many tremendous players as we can get?
The Seahawks have seven major stars on defense - two on the DL, two at linebacker, three in the secondary. Isn't that the point, that they've got about nine or ten players (of the starting 22) who are major stars? Why get lost in the question of whether Bobby Wagner is better than Luke Keuchly? The 49er's would be okay with either one of them.
Seager's arm is almost supernaturally consistent on throws to 1B. He looks to have excellent range to his glove side, he specializes in the kind of lay-out down the 3B line we just saw, and his glove "has velcro on it" according to Scott Servais. Defensively, if Kyle Seager is your third baseman, you are giddy about it. And as glove specialists go, Kyle Seager can hit a little bit, too.
Question is floated, How do you see the pecking order shaking out? Do we have reliable pitchers now?
Dr. D's two cents on this 30,000-foot view satellite recon: The rest of the year is likely to be a "hot hand" question. Christine Michael vs Thomas Rawls? Either one is a big game or a terrible game away from giving away snaps to the other one. Same deal-io here. Arquimedes Caminero is probably a few botched games away from giving the 7th to a Drew Storen who fans 6 out of 8 guys in a series.
I don't have a lot of confidence in anybody down there, except Diaz, of course. They've looked great lately, with a 1+ ERA during the winning streak. Could be the "three tough saves" guys will hold their jobs. You think? Or could be that a hot offense, and a hot KPax/Taijuan, will have to pick up slack for setup relievers who fade. We could use some more 6-2 leads when the starter comes out in the seventh.
Chris Iannetta crushed a pitch the other way, into right-center field, deep and high off the wall. A double that was hit better than his 50th-percentile home run. He had another hit, too, and was 2-for-4. Changed the scoreboard with an RBI and changed it again with a R. Threw out a runner stealing second, and that runner could have been the ballgame.
Gimme two starting catchers, so that I have a good player behind the plate on my worst two games of the week, and I'll be glad to try to build a winner from there.