Thursday, August 26, 2004


Ichiro gets his 200th hit of the year tonight on a leadoff homer in the 9th, making him the first player in Major League history to get 200 hits in his first four ML seasons. Getting 200 hits in any four seasons is quite a feat. This record, well, what you think of it probably depends on what you thought when Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Ichiro won Rookie of the Year awards. If you think those ROY awards were bogus, then you probably think the same about this. I'm not sure if I quite call this bogus, but it sure doesn't have the same air about it as it would if some 22-year-old fresh out of the minors reeled off four straight seasons of 200 hits.

I just heard Bob Melvin call this the worst game of the year. I can't really tell anymore, frankly. Though I am kind of surprised he said something even to that degree.

Okay, I'm going to try a new scheme here tonight. It'll involve some scales and/or spectra.

Mariners on pitching/defense (bad to good): massacre < terrible inning < some damage < fighting out of jam < decent inning < 1-2-3

Mariners on offense: I hate this team < come on, y'all < ho, hum < minimal damage < some damage < big inning

As a bonus here, a quick totally unrelated stat from David Locke: teams are hitting .290 off Ron Villone as a starter.

Recap time, with a new and experimental twist.

TOP 1ST -- terrible inning
Jamie Moyer got David DeJesus to bounce a ball right to him. What followed were two singles and a walk to load the bases. Abe Nunez stepped to the plate. He got a Moyer-speed pitch up over the plate and got the barrel on it. Yes, 'twas a grand slam a few rows back inside the foul pole in left (KC 4-0). Yes, the wind was taken out of the ballpark early tonight. But you know, this team never quits!

BOTTOM 1ST -- ho, hum
The Mariners actually did score in this inning. Randy Winn and Edgar Martinez singled, and Raul Ibanez walked to load the bases with one out. Bret Boone had the ol' RBI fielder's choice (KC 4-1). Bucky Jacobsen lined out to the third baseman.

TOP 2ND -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Dan Wilson and Willie Bloomquist were on first and second with one out. Ichiro hit a hard grounder to second, and there was ample time for the double play.

TOP 3RD -- fighting out of jam
Well, maybe a semi-jam. Moyer walked Matt Stairs and Abe Nunez with two out. Nothing more, though.

BOTTOM 3RD -- come on, y'all
Just a 1-2-3 inning here out of the 2-3-4 hitters in the Mariner lineup: Winn/Edgar/Ibanez.

TOP 4TH -- fighting out of jam
John Buck hit an infield single to lead off. Aaron Guiel took his place on the basepaths with a fielder's choice. Ruben Gotay worked the count and fouled off five pitches before walking on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Guiel was nailed breaking for second on the first pitch to David DeJesus, who would ground out to second.

BOTTOM 4TH -- ho, hum
Bucky hits a single with one out and stays there.

TOP 5TH -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 5TH -- come on, y'all
Bloomquist drew a leadoff walk and didn't move, thanks to Ichiro (flyout), Winn (whiff), and Edgar (groundout).

TOP 6TH -- some damage
Nunez (2-for-3 with 4 RBI tonight) hit a leadoff single. Calvin Pickering lined out to Jose Lopez, who tried to catch Nunez napping off of first. Instead, he threw the ball wide of big Bucky. Pickering ended up on second, a good vantage point to watch John Buck draw a walk. The next play was a bit weird. Guiel hit a single to right, and Nunez was going to score anyway. Ichiro tried to gun down Buck at third, and the ball hit Buck as he was sliding into third. He would get up and break for home as Bloomquist, backing up on the play, tried to nail Buck at home. Wide throw (KC 6-1), Guiel (SONIC BOOM! Yeah, I know it's spelled wrong) scores.

Moyer was pulled. His line: 5 1/3 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 6 hits, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 117 pitches (68 strikes). Here's some stats that I heard David Locke spit out tonight. Jamie Moyer has not won a game since June 18th against the Pirates, which made his record 6-2. I was in the sticks in Oregon at that time. Moyer is now 6-9. Moyer has allowed 4 or more runs in eight of his last ten starts. I haven't brought it up in a while, but...QuesTec, anyone? I don't want to make it seem like an excuse, but we know Jamie needs certain calls to be effective. Let's not forget that on this same night where Ichiro gets a record, Jamie Moyer was involved in that home run record. You know, the one that had Scott Bankhead's name on it? Moyer tied it, yielding long ball number 35 on the season.

Shigetoshi Hasegawa came to the mound. Gotay hit a shallow fly ball to Ichiro in right, and Guiel decided to press his luck and break for home. Ichiro's throw short-hopped Dan Wilson a foot or two up the line from the plate, but Wilson caught it cleanly. I never saw a conclusive camera angle on the play, and couldn't tell when the tag was laid down, and whether it was before Guiel's foot touched the plate. Who cares, though, really. The game was decided long before this point.

BOTTOM 6TH -- I hate this team
Ibanez led off with a double. Boone hit an infield single, and Ibanez held. Bucky hit a ball deep enough to right to move Ibanez to third. With Dan Wilson up, Boone took off for second base on a 2-2 pitch. He was nailed. Problem? The count as recorded on the scoreboard was 3-1, which was incorrect. Boone didn't know that though. Lopez singled to score Ibanez, at least (KC 6-2). Bloomquist hit an obligatory fly ball to left. The Mariners had four baserunners in the inning. It took four hitters to score Ibanez from second after he led off with the double. I'm trying to look for a real damning sentence here, but I can't come up with one.

TOP 7TH -- some damage
Typical 2004 Hasegawa here. He gets the quick double play after Moyer gets pulled, then he gives up a run the inning after. Angel Berroa (Mr. Sophomore Slump) hit a one-out double and scored one out later on a Matt Stairs single (KC 7-2). Not exactly a New Brunswick-sized bomb, but he'll take it, fresh off the DL.

BOTTOM 7TH -- ho, hum
Winn hit a one-out double on a high-and-away fastball that Nunez got a terrible jump on, as it was just out of his reach. An Edgar flyout would move Winn to third. Jamie Cerda would walk Ibanez before getting Boone to whiff.

TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
Hasegawa allows back-to-back singles on two pitches with two out. Nothing more, though.

BOTTOM 8TH -- ho, hum
DJ Carrasco allows a Lopez walk with two out. Bloomquist is caught looking to end the inning.

TOP 9TH -- decent inning
Matt Thornton allows a one-out Joe Randa single. Matt Stairs bounces into a double play to end the inning. Thornton doesn't lose his mind or his control, always a plus.

BOTTOM 9TH -- ho, hum
Yes, that's right. Ichiro tallies a home run for his 200th hit for the season, making it four straight seasons of that many hits to start his Major League tenure. However, the inning is still "ho, hum." Why? The three hitters afterward went down 1-2-3.

These guys never quit.

Gameball: Randy Winn. 2-for-5 with a double. It gets harder and harder to find gameballs these days.

Goat: Jamie Moyer. I posted his line already. The guy hasn't won in over two months. Surely no one out there is as sure about Moyer as they were two months ago. Can we expect to see him return to form next year, defying the usual trends of regression with age once again? It's got to stop somewhere, right?

Ichiro hung up a 1-for-5 game tonight after the 0-fer last night and three more 1-hit games before that. I think we can probably kiss a run at .400 goodbye, unless he picks the pace back up to the ungodly level from a few weeks ago. He's definitely got a much better shot at George Sisler than he does at .400.

Yes, the Mariners have lost four in a row to start the homestand. Against Tampa Bay. And Kansas City. Somehow, I still expect the Mariners to pull two wins out of the remaining four against the Royals. The suckitude between the two teams has to balance out, right? Like identical polarities on different magnets?

Holy crap. I just looked at the league-wide scoreboard and saw that Chan Ho Park won his first game off the DL; his first win since May 12. Texas is at 71 wins, equaling their win total from last year. At least HIS team doesn't suck.

Holy crap again. I just saw Livan Hernandez hit a home run and flip his bat on the highlight reel. Yikes. I really need to end this post.

Greinke. Meche. Tomorrow.

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