Feb. 18, 2012: The day the Mariners bats came alive

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Sure the Mariners finished last in the majors in runs scored in 2011 and 2010 (and last in the AL in 2009), but that’s no reason not to be optimistic in mid-February.

We’ll let Seattle Times beat writer Larry Stone take over from here:

Ichiro, Carp, and Smoak are putting on a show in their BP group. Lots of bombs.

Mike Carp, in particular, was hitting tape measure shots, scurrying the fans behind RF and whacking at least one car

Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field

Gutierrez showing some pop. He’s hit a couple over the wall, lots of gap liners. Physical difference is notable

From the sound of things, it looks like a massive turnaround is on the way. Fortunately, Stone does have a sense of humor abut the whole thing:

If Mariners can talk opponents into starting Jeff Datz on mound every game, they’ll be in business

For the record, the Mariners did improve from 513 runs scored to 556 runs scored last year. Of course, that still put them 63 runs behind the AL’s next worst team, Minnesota.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.

Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.

Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.