Final Score in Seattle: Don't Ask.
When Catcher Jeff Mathis is behind the plate, he is lauded by a terrible hack sportswriter who keeps his job only because he must excel at gladhanding the frat brother who hired him. When Jeff Mathis walks out to the mound late in the game with a plan to get the final batter of thinning out and that man ends up getting on base and then Mathis calls for the pitch that is hit to drive that man in for the winning run, will the Mathis-loving hack ever blame the terrible game calling of Jeff Mathis? No. He only points out the intangible good that Jeff Mathis does. Can I say definitively Jeff Mathis lost this game for the Angels? No. But can I say that his presence in the lineup hindered their chances? Yes. Did his presence behind the plate cause Dan Haren to strike out 7 Mariners? I would say no, but of someone offered tangible evidence the case remains open a bit. But the hacks of this world only stroke away, insulting the intelligence of every passionate fan.
Rangers lose to Rays (Texas has scored 3 runs past two games) Angels Magic Number drops to 31 despite losing 2-1 to Felix Hernandez and an obviously on-the-bribe-Pete-Rose-style home plate umpire make that check payable to Brian Knight mister bookie is Bart Giamatti spinning in his grave tonight Mister Rothstein? Was Tim Donaghy the rule or the exception? Does Mickey Hatcher encourage his batters to hack because he knows that plate discipline goes unrewarded in an era of gamblers controlling the MLB plate umpiring?
Bobby Abreu's much lauded plate discipline was not an asset with Brian Knight behind the plate. The #3 batter struck out three times. The Angels had the lead with four outs to go and couldn't close the door. At least they got dominated by one of the game's pitchers with an assist to the dirt near the pebbles a little bit away from the crevice before the black edge of the plate.
UPDATE: It was not Knight's strike zone throughout the game that was as egregious as his HIGH-LEVERAGE wide and high strike zone in the 9th inning against Angels batters.