Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Also, every Mariner in the starting lineup managed to get a hit tonight. Ichiro managed to get 2 RBI, which of course means the bottom of the lineup had to be doing something. They did (great night for the bottom third).
Again, the spectrum...
Mariners on defense/pitching (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
TOP 1ST -- ho, hum
I wasn't expecting the Mariners to do much against Josh Towers. Ichiro, Randy Winn, and Bret Boone lived up to the low expectations, as they were retired 1-2-3.
BOTTOM 1ST -- decent inning
The only bad thing by Moyer in the inning was the two out walk to Vernon Wells, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because there were two outs, and it was Vernon Wells at the plate.
TOP 2ND -- ho, hum
Raul Ibanez led off with a single, Edgar Martinez was caught looking, Bucky Jacobsen bounced into a double play. Move along, folks, nothing to see here.
BOTTOM 2ND -- fighting out of jam
Here, the only jam was with two outs, but it was a little more than just a two-out walk like in the 1st inning. There was a Frank Menechino two-out walk, followed by Chris Woodward singling to center. Kevin Cash stopped the nonsense by hitting into a 4-6 fielder's choice.
TOP 3RD -- ho, hum
Jolbert Cabrera led off with a single and was doubled off on a nicely placed Dan Wilson grounder to Orlando Hudson at short. That's called a double play. Jose Lopez whiffed.
BOTTOM 3RD -- terrible inning
This thing with Jamie Moyer and home runs is getting to be ridiculous. Hudson hit a double with one out, and one out later, Carlos Delgado went yard (TOR 2-0). Eric Hinske saw one pitch and went yard also (TOR 3-0). Alexis Rios hit a double. These were hard-hit balls. Menechino then singled to drive in Rios (TOR 4-0). Woodward ended the 4-run inning with a groundout.
TOP 4TH -- come on, y'all
Bret Boone ran out an infield single with two out. Raul Ibanez doubled to leftfield, and Boone broke for home, only to be gunned down at the dish. The Mariners would stay behind four runs at that point and like it.
BOTTOM 4TH -- decent inning
Nothing here other than a Reed Johnson single with one out.
TOP 5TH -- some damage
Edgar singled to lead off and was in the same spot two outs later. Dan Wilson singled to centerfield, then Lopez came through with a well-anticipated busting-out of the whoopin' stick. A smash to centerfield brought the Mariners within one (TOR 4-3). Ichiro singled to rightfield because he's nuts, and because that's just what he does. I have no idea why Josh Towers wasn't on the mound for the Blue Jays in the 6th. He'd only thrown 78 pitches up to that point, and hell, Freddy Garcia at times had 85 or 90 at the same point in some games. I don't know if Towers was injured, on a pitch count, or what. The wire article isn't giving me anything to work with here.
BOTTOM 5TH -- fighting out of jam
Really, it was a sort of weak jam. With two outs, Riod walked and Menechino singled. Woodward ended another inning with a groundout, though.
TOP 6TH -- come on, y'all
I didn't know much Kevin Frederick coming in except that he had a high ERA. Bret Boone, Ibanez, and Edgar failed to read the memo, however, going down 1-2-3.
BOTTOM 6TH -- 1-2-3
Moyer had his best inning, setting down Kevin Cash, Johnson, and Hudson in order.
TOP 7TH -- some damage
Cabrera got aboard on an infield single, chasing Frederick. Vinny Chulk got a quick ground ball from Wilson to force Cabrera out at second. Wilson would stand on third after Lopez singled. Ichiro then had an ever-so-rare RBI opportunity, and seized it with a single to centerfield to tie the game at 4-4. For today, it's Clutchiro (trying to resist a slam on his second halves of the past two years...resisting...gnashing teeth...). Winn followed with a single of his own to give the Mariners the lead (SEA 5-4). Boone would walk, and Ibanez would fly out to end the inning. But the lead changed hands, did it not? That's something.
BOTTOM 7TH -- some damage
Delgado singled with one out off Moyer. Hinske is listed in the game logs as flying out to centerfield, and Delgado tagged up and went to second. SportsLine's game logs do specify whether a flyout is "deep" or not. This one wasn't, but Delgado advanced into scoring position. Since I didn't see the play, I am left to once again ask myself why Randy Winn is playing centerfield for this team. Anyway, with Delgado in scoring position, Rios singled to centerfield to score Delgado and tie the game at 5-5. The log indicates that Rios went to second on the throw, which once again makes me factor Winn into the equation. I'm wondering if it was a rainbow throw or a bad relay.
Either way, Rios was the last batter Moyer would face. His line: 6 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 10 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 101 pitches (67 strikes). Don't forget the two homers. To his credit, all of the walks Moyer gave up occurred with two out and none of them scored. But ten hits? That's a little crazy. There aren't many times where I hear sentences like "Jamie Moyer scattered 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings en route to a victory, extending the Mariners' winning streak to five games." I don't think you use the word "scattered" for anything over 8 hits.
Scott Atchison came in and had Menechino 1-2 before throwing three straight balls to walk him. Luckily, Woodward would end yet another inning with a groundout.
TOP 8TH -- some damage
Bucky doubled with one out. Bloomquist ran for him. Cabrera walked on four pitches. Since Dave Myers is out of his mind, and since Willie Bloomquist is Willie Bloomquist, Willie broke for third on the first pitch to Wilson, and luckily he made it. Three pitches later, Wilson singled to give the Mariners the lead (SEA 6-5). Lopez whiffed. Ichiro singled because that's what he does; it was his 56th hit of August, two more than Alex Rodriguez in August 1996. Said single drove in Cabrera with an insurance run (SEA 7-5). The runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, but Winn whiffed.
BOTTOM 8TH -- fighting out of jam
Gregg Zaun led off with a four-pitch walk. Luckily, he would catch the front end of a Johnson double-play ball. Hudson walked also, but would be witness to Vernon Wells whiffing. Atchison didn't give up any runs, but he didn't have his best outing either, walking three batters in the 1 1/3 innings he logged in the game.
TOP 9TH -- ho, hum
Boone led off with a single and then was erased on an Ibanez double play. Edgar whiffed.
BOTTOM 9TH -- 1-2-3
George Sherrill came on for what seemed like a save. He got Delgado to fly out, and got Hinske to ground out to Cabrera. Then Bob Melvin decided to go with JJ Putz to face Alexis Rios to get one single solitary out. Rios lined out to Ichiro. I hope JJ Putz had fun earning the easiest save of his life tonight. Big thanks to Bob Melvin, because I'm sure this experience tonight was great for both Sherrill and Putz.
Corey, the Mariner Optimist, welcome back. ...Right?
I'm kind of surprised that the Blue Jays managed to draw a shade over 21000 on the same day and at the same time as the USA/Canada World Cup of Hockey matchup.
Gameball: Jose Lopez. 2-for-4 with a three-run blast. It's good to see this out of Lopez, the Mariners' shortstop of the future who hasn't shown us yet that he can hit consistently at the Major League level, but has shown us that every throw to first base can and should be an adventure.
Goat: Raul Ibanez. Everyone in the Mariner lineup got a hit tonight, and Jamie Moyer almost got through seven innings, even while giving up ten hits, five runs, and two smashes. So what am I to do? I gave the goat to the hitter who drove in the least amount of runs and stranded the most runners. Raul was 2-for-5 with a double, but drove in zero runs and stranded five.
Meche. Bush. Tomorrow.
[Edit ~11:19p -- Hilarious. Even in this year of suckitude, the Mariners have won five in a row, and STILL haven't gained a game on the A's, who have won eight straight. It's reminiscent of last year when they went a month or something crazy without gaining on the A's on a day in which they played.]