Updated Apr 21, 2012 - 10:44 pm
Mariners blanked. Now what?
By Shannon Drayer
Like most of the regular Mariners media I missed it. I missed the perfect game. I have never seen one before and I suppose that is something I can still look forward to seeing.
Complete days off for me during the season (and since I am writing this I guess it is not one) are about as rare as a perfect game and I had made a concerted effort to stay away from baseball today. It was my first opportunity to spend time with my family since I returned from spring training and the start of the season and since it was such a beautiful day I had no problem being away.
I did hear in the car on the way to Greenlake with the nephews and niece that Philip Humber was perfect through four. I really didn't think much of it. The kids played and then we took them home, celebrated a birthday and I was finally able to give them the gifts I brought back from Japan. When it was over I heard about it via Twitter of course.
Matt Pitman tweeted that it figured the first perfect game in Safeco Field history would occur while we were both off (and blissfully so, he was at the zoo with his niece). I immediately tweeted back that I wasn't sure how I felt about that.
I love the game, I love history, but I don't think I needed to see a perfecto thrown against this group. Maybe it would have been different if I had been there to see it, or maybe it would have been different if it were the middle of July and the offense had kicked in some time ago but this past week has been such a struggle offensively I think this is the last thing I would have wanted to see.
Since I missed it my immediate response was that I wanted to hear how it sounded. Rick Rizzs delivered with the final call and I was thrilled for him to get to call something that had only been called twenty-one times in baseball history.
My next thought was, how will the guys respond? Eric Wedge said some of the right things on the podium about Humber's performance but I could hear a little edge in his voice. I could hear the irkedness. This certainly wasn't a neat thing. Then he broke it down.
"We missed fastballs," he stated. Pet peeve. Wedge has preached being ready to hit the fastball from day one.
"You have got to put up good at bats and got to make him work a little more than we did today," he continued.
Ninety-six pitches pretty much says it all. This wasn't just about a stellar performance from the other side although the stuff was very good and he very well may have been able to do the same thing in 116 or 126 pitches. I am not sure they could have bounced him from the game at some point even with better at bats but Wedge obviously wanted more.
Brendan Ryan who was involved in the controversial last call refused to talk about the checked swing. He did address the mindset of the team however.
"I hope we come pissed off tomorrow. You can't go up there to try and get hits or make hits, we just have to come back angry, chip on our shoulder. Out with something to prove," he said.
Appropriately embarrassed is what I get from that.
"The best way to learn is from failure. We failed today and hopefully we will have better at bats tomorrow," he finished.
Even Blake Beavan had a hard time finding appreciation for the feat of a fellow pitcher.
"It's not exciting when you are losing," he said. "Obviously we wanted to get a hit and try to win a game."
This is a young team coming off a tough few days offensively. It would be one thing as I said at the top of the post if this had come after a period of time where the team was having success with the offense. If that were the case, hey, great performance, these things happen. But Wedge and Ryan pointed to specifics. Good at bats that were missing. It will be very interesting to see in the coming days how both the players and manager react.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.