Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Looks like our fellow blogger Optimist Corey will have to wait another week, as the Mariners' winning streak stops at three.

If you want it quick, let's look at the Mariner half of the 8th, with Brad Lidge pitching and the Houston Astros up 1-0...
    -- John Olerud TRIPLES to lead off when Craig Biggio misplays a ball (thanks to KJR for adding the Biggio part) (Willie Bloomquist pinch-runs)
    -- Bret Boone pops an insufficiently deep fly ball to rightfield, Bloomquist stays at third
    -- Scott Spiezio is caught looking
    -- Dave Hansen is brought off the bench to pinch-hit for Rich Aurilia, who is 6-for-his-last-19. Hansen whiffs.
How about your 2004 Seattle Mariner offense in a nutshell, fans?

Of course, the other obvious story to this game was the pitching, and on both sides, surprisingly.

I can't help but feel cheated knowing that Mariner fans have drawn Pedro and Roger Clemens in close succession and have seen both in less-than-vintage form. Pedro obviously wasn't Pedro when he faced the Mariners, and the Rocket tonight was rocketing balls in places other than the strike zone, as he uncharacteristically walked five batters in addition to his seven strikeouts. It looked like Roger was going to be himself after the Mariners were set down on eight pitches in the first (both Ichiro and Edgar hacked at the first pitch), but that first inning turned out to be Roger's easiest inning of the night. Clemens allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in four straight innings (2nd through 5th). Roger struck out the side in the 3rd, and stranded Edgar at second in the 4th. He managed to load the bases with two out in the 5th and got Edgar to fly out to right. Also, Roger stranded Boone at second after he had hit a one-out double in the 6th.

Time for the other half of the pitching. Time for another great starting pitching outing thrown down the drain. Joel Pineiro finished with 117 pitches on the night, making it less surprising that he finished eight innings after he threw 17 pitches in the 1st, 19 in the 2nd, 19 in the 4th, and another 19 in the 7th. Joel really only had one jam to escape, in the 2nd inning when Jeff Kent hit a leadoff double and was stranded at third with one out. The one jam Joel didn't escape was in the 7th when two runners were in scoring position with one out. Morgan Ensberg's fly ball to left managed to score Jeff Bagwell from third, and wouldn't you know it, Randy Winn and his much-ballyhooed horrible arm were in leftfield tonight (Hiram Bocachica started in centerfield). Of course, KJR now tells me that there was apparently a play at the plate (so it's not wholly Winn's fault) where Dan Wilson didn't catch the ball cleanly and Jeff Bagwell may have gotten a hand in on the ball, though apparently he would have been out by ten feet if Dan fielded the ball cleanly...I guess I need a visual representation.

Steve Sandmeyer is now saying that Scott Spiezio and Dave Hansen (two lefties) were so afraid of Brad Lidge's fastball that they were beat badly on the pitch they should have been looking for (slider down and in). Steve also tells us that Edgar has struck out 50 times this year.

Inexplicably, Bob Melvin brought in Shigetoshi Hasegawa to hold the game close in the 9th, obviously a case in which you could argue for the summoning of Eddie Guardado. Shig made sure to allow two walks, one of which was on four pitches.

I didn't get to the Mariners' 9th yet. The 8th was their BIIIIG chance, but in the 9th, Dan Wilson got aboard with a leadoff single and Jolbert Cabrera (pinch-runner) was frozen two outs later. Randy Winn singled to move Cabrera to second, setting up Edgar, who fell behind 0-2 and whiffed. Yes, Edgar comes up in a key situation once again, and it's getting to be a little too familiar.

Just to add, in the 5th, with Rich Aurilia aboard on a leadoff single, Dan Wilson bunts on 1-0 and pops out to first base. This seems impossible because after all, he IS the BEST BUNTER ON THE TEAM.

If you were wondering how a 1-0 game could go three hours, you got your answer tonight.

Sure, it's Roger tonight, but that doesn't mean it isn't a tough one to lose. That 8th inning...yikes. What more is there to say?

Gameball: Joel Pineiro. There's really nowhere else to go here. Eight innings, one run, three hits, three walks, four strikeouts. When I see a pitcher get screwed like this, it reminds me of a day in 2000 when Jeremy, friend Grant, and I saw Freddy Garcia in the 76 station across from the Safe before the game filling up his car. He started that day, threw eight innings, gave up two runs, and lost to the White Sox. The Mariners got beat that day by Sean Lowe. Yes, Sean Lowe. Does anyone fully realize that Joel is 1-8 on the year?

Goat: Edgar Martinez. 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts, stranding SIX. Frankly, it's sad seeing this guy fail in clutch situations, and it seems it's happening a lot more often this season.

Miller. Garcia. Tomorrow.

[Edit Wed ~12:31a -- Roger stranded Boone after a one-out double in the 6th, just to clarify. Someone out there may have been wondering what inning it was, maybe had a bet riding on it or something, who knows...]

[Edit Wed ~3:58p -- Spiezio was actually caught looking in the 8th, contrary to what both SportsLine and ESPN had in their game logs last night, which was that he'd whiffed.]

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