A nice, taut win to finish a fine road series victory. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ichiro tripled. Ichiro had already homered to win Saturday's game for Seattle, and indeed, would homer again later in this one. I'm thinking, "Why don't we have guys like that?" You know these guys. Ichiro was doing his very best to win this series singlehandedly for the Mariners. As it turns out, we do. Brian Fuentes comes in with one out and the bases loaded, smokes Raul Ibañez (like a cigarette) and induces a weak groundout from Willie Bloomquist. Then for good measure he pitches a perfect tenth. Yay, Brian Fuentes.
He's an All-Star, in fact, as is Matt Holliday. Holliday was a no-brainer pick -- he should be starting -- but the choice of Fuentes is interesting. Has the way All-Star managers select pitchers changed now that they're expected to try and win the games? I think it has a little bit. There are guys with gaudier save totals and better stat lines than Fuentes in the NL at the moment, but is there a guy in the league you'd rather call upon to get one lefty out in crunch time? No, there isn't.