Saturday, August 21, 2004
It turns out two Carloses were in charge for the Tigers tonight. Carlos Guillen would end up with 6 RBI, and Carlos Pena would end up with a 3-for-5 day.
Even more amazing in this game is that the Mariners managed to put 10 runs up on the board while basically punting four out of the nine slots in their lineup (Scott Spiezio, Dan Wilson, Ramon Santiago, Willie Bloomquist). To their credit, they went a combined 7-for-20 tonight. To the credit of all the naysayers of the group of for (myself included), 7-for-20 out of those four will never happen again. I defy anyone to find a Major League starting lineup hitters that has four worse hitters than these. What makes this worse is that Bob Melvin might see this output from these four and then decide they need more playing time. Ugh. Again, of those four players, why two of them are even in the starting lineup is a question to me, while I wonder why the other two are even collecting Major League paychecks right now.
The Mariners didn't wait long to score. Ichiro tripled on the second pitch of the game and scored on Randy Winn's single (SEA 1-0). Winn would take second on a Jason Johnson balk, but would be stranded there after a Raul Ibanez flyout and a Bucky Jacobsen groundout.
Jamie Moyer pitched a scoreless bottom of the 1st, though quite a contentious one. With one out, Jamie fell behind 3-0 on Bobby Higginson and walked him two pitches later. Jamie then walked Ivan Rodriguez on four pitches. Damage control was exercised when Dmitri Young bounced out to third and Rondell White bounced out to short.
Scott Spiezio led off the 2nd with a triple. Four horsemen and the rapture followed. Okay, maybe not. Wilson hit a fly ball to score Spiezio (SEA 2-0). Bloomquist ran out an infield single and went to second on a Santiago single. Bloomquist was plated on an Ichiro single (SEA 3-0). Roberto Novoa came in to pitch at this point, as Jason Johnson was pulled for what was later revealed to be a mild left hip strain. Winn flew out (Santiago moved to third). Ichiro stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Bret Boone, but then Boone bounced to short.
In the Tigers' half of the 2nd, Craig Monroe reached when Santiago made a throwing error (I did actually see this part; I think he pulled Spiezio off the bag). Two trends that were working against Jamie Moyer at this point: (1) his propensity this year for giving up the long ball, (2) his inability to solve Carlos Pena. Carlos Pena hit a 2-run bomb to the bullpens in rightfield on a pitch that was up in the strike zone and right over the plate (SEA 3-2). Moyer got Brandon Inge to whiff before Omar Infante scratched out a single. The Moyer did his best Ron Villone impression, throwing six straight balls. Higginson walked on four straight, and Moyer fell behind 2-0 on Rodriguez. Ivan ended up lining a hot shot toward Bloomquist at third, and the ball ate him up. He appeared to be on one knee trying to snare the ball high to his backhand side, and it scooted past him. The score was tied. Dmitri Young whiffed to end the inning.
The Mariners' 3rd inning featured an Ibanez leadoff homer and not much else to give Seattle the lead again (SEA 4-3). It went quite a few rows back in rightcenter, in the area were the seats make a sort of triangle toward the field. Jamie Moyer responded by having a 1-2-3 inning.
The Mariners' 4th inning had a couple more tantalizing extra-base hits. Randy Winn hit a one-out homer to rightfield (SEA 5-3). Ibanez walked one out later, and he came home on a Bucky Jacobsen double to the wall in center (SEA 6-3).
Then the Tigers came a-prowlin' in the 5th. Rodriguez singled after being down 0-2. Young singled after being up 2-0. Rondell White followed up with a single of his own. Yep, three straight singles to start the inning. Not good. Up came Carlos Guillen, who wiped the bases clean with a double to tie the game at 6-6. Guillen then stole third on the 0-1 pitch to Monroe, who would ground out to third. Guillen would score on a single by the other Carlos to get the Tigers the lead (Pena, DET 7-6). In came Shigetoshi Hasegawa (again, what rationale is behind this decision?), who got a groundball double play out of Brandon Inge to end the inning. Moyer's lackluster line: 4 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 9 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 99 pitches (61 strikes). Not good.
The Mariners would toll the bell in the 6th off ex-Angel Al Levine. Ichiro doubled to lead off, and went to third when Randy Winn beat out the throw on a bunt. Bret Boone dinked one into leftcenter to score Ichiro and tie the game at 7-7. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Ibanez stung a ball to Pena at first for a 3-unassisted double play. Bucky grounded out to Guillen to end the inning.
So then Bob Melvin leaves Hasegawa in the game, which is now tied going into the bottom of the 6th. How would Shig start the inning off? Four-pitch walk to Omar Infante. Higginson flew out to right, but Rodriguez singled to put runners on the corners. Young bounced a ball to first, which Infante tried to score on and was unsuccessful (3-2 fielder's choice). Runners were on first and second with two out. Hasegawa fell behind 3-0 on White, and walked him on a full count. Up came Carlos Guillen again, for the second time with the bases loaded. Once again, it was the same result: bases-clearing double (DET 10-7). Monroe would line out to Boone to mercifully end the inning and mercifully end Shigetoshi Hasegawa's night on the mound.
But the Mariners weren't done scoring yet. Gary Knotts went to the mound for the Tigers in the 7th. Two things coming to mind at the mention of Gary Knotts: Don Knotts, Knotts Berry Farm. With one out, Wilson got aboard on an infield single, and Bloomquist followed with an outfield single. Edgar Martinez followed with a pinch-hit (for Santiago, a no-brainer) single to load the bases and get pinch-ran for by Jose Lopez. It was a great time for Ichiro to come to the plate. Esteban Yan was brought into the game, and Ichiro legged out an infield single on the first pitch (DET 10-8). Winn would double on the second pitch to rightfield to tie the game at 10-10. Runners were on second and third with one out. Boone whiffed, Ibanez was walked, and Bucky whiffed.
George Sherrill threw two scoreless innings (7th and 8th). Brandon Inge drew a one-out walk in the 7th, and managed to get himself to third via a steal and a wild pitch while Higginson was up with two out. In the 8th, Sherrill's only blemish was the Rodriguez leadoff single. All in all, an okay outing from Sherrill, and it thankfully wasn't Thornton-esque.
Ugueth Urbina and Scott Atchison traded scoreless 9th and 10th innings. Urbina allowed a little two-out false hope when he walked Winn in the 9th. Winn stole second and Rodriguez uncorked a wild throw to second, advancing Winn to third. Atchison's 9th was 1-2-3. Urbina allowed a one-out walk to Bucky after a 10-pitch at-bat in which Bucky fouled off five pitches. Bucky was lifted for pinch-runner Jolbert Cabrera. Atchison allowed a one-out Higginson singled in an otherwise nondescript 10th.
Jamie "Dyn-o-mite" Walker took the mound for the Tigers in the 11th. Lopez singled. Ichiro flew out. Winn singled to move Lopez to third. Boone whiffed.
Atchison came on for a third inning of work. White led off with a single. Guillen didn't hit a bases-clearing double this time; instead he beat out a double-play throw. He stole second on the 0-1 pitch to Monroe. On the sixth pitch with a 1-2 count, Monroe singled to center, his only hit of the game after a 4-for-5 outing the night before. But tonight, he hit the gamer (DET 11-10). The single was to center, after all, and Randy Winn did have to field the ball.
In the blown leads competition, the Mariners blew 3-0 and 6-3 leads, while the Tigers blew a 10-7 lead.
Gameball: Randy Winn. 5-for-6 with three singles, a double, and a homer, racking up 4 RBI. What a night for the slap-hitting fast-but-not-that-fast centerfielder.
Goat: Jamie Moyer. I know Hasegawa was crap (ugh). However, there's certain things that this team (though we know the season is long lost) depends on, and Jamie Moyer coming out every five days is looked at as a legitimate chance (moreso than others) to get the Mariners a rare win. It's not going to happen when Moyer can't get out of the 5th and gives up five runs in the process. If Hasegawa would have blown up earlier, Moyer could have gotten tagged with another run.
If the Mariners get swept by the Tigers in Detroit tomorrow, is there any way we can call this a Cat Scratch Flu or something? It'd be beyond a mere fever.
Meche. Maroth. Tomorrow.