Dan Haren may not have been selected as an All-Star, but don't tell that to the Seattle Mariners.
On a day when All-Stars were dropping out of the Midsummer Classic faster than the girls on Teen Mom dropped out of high school, Dan Haren somehow remained on the outside looking in despite his impressive stat line. Maybe Ron Washington only had time to watch the first inning of today's game and saw Haren struggling with his command and what was shaping up to be a short outing. Too bad Washington didn't hang around longer to see Haren do what he always does and quickly right the ship to shutdown the Mariners the rest of the game.
But maybe that was part of Mike Scioscia's secret plan. Maybe Sosh didn't want both his aces having their schedule thrown off and that is why he yanked Haren with just one out needed for his third complete game of the season.
Alas, Haren's greatness will continue to go unrecognized outside of Anaheim.
- I officially have my first critique of future superstar Mike Trout: he needs to work on his fielding fundamentals. Yes, the kid is crazy fast and already made some big defensive plays for the Halos, but he made a rookie error misplaying a bounced into center today and at least twice I have seen him catch flyballs fairly flat-footed with runners on, thus allowing them to advance. Speed is great, but it doesn't do everything, so Trout could do himself some good by working on that portion of his game a bit more.
- A guy who doesn't need work on defense is Torii Hunter, who made a spectacular catch to rob Dustin Ackley of a double. I'm just glad Hunter didn't hurt himself because it sure looked like either dislocated his shoulder or cracked his collar bone with the way he was wincing after landing awkwardly on his side.
- Nobody has more reason to be upset about the timing of the break than Mark Trumbo who hit ANOTHER huge homer for today. He now has four dingers and a redonkulous .656 SLG so far in nine July games.
- If I were to write a "team needs" profile of the Mariners before the trade deadline, the top need would have to be "someone that can properly count to four." I know it is really the umpire's fault for allowing Bobby Abreu to draw a three-ball walk, but this is the second time in nine days that the Mariners have fallen victim to that error and nobody even flinched when Abreu started jogging to first. In Seattle's defense, that was career walk #1,400 for Abreu, so when he flipped his bat like it was ball four, it was the equivalent of him Jedi mind tricking everyone on the field into believing it was really ball four since he would know better than anyone else.
Just when I was getting ready to write about how it is time for the Halos to get serious about finding an upgrade at third base, Callaspo has to go and have a three-hit day that included the uber-clutch game-winning double. Now I'm really going to look like an ass when I write that later this week.