Saturday, August 28, 2004


Bob Melvin flip-flopped the pitchers in today's doubleheader sometime last night without me knowing about it. This made Clint Nageotte the starter in the first game, matched up against Kansas City's Darrell May.

Nageotte wouldn't stay in this one for long, and a roster move was made after the game as a result.

Does anyone else out there get ticked off when Rick Rizzs and Ron Fairly add an "h" sound to the surname Berroa? These guys deal with at least twenty surnames every day they go to work. Is it too much to expect Berroa to not be pronounced as Berroja? Rico, Red, there's no J in that name. Also, I was one of those guys who'd get ticked off when John Mabry became "John Mayberry" to Ron Fairly. Grr.

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 -- terrible inning
Nageotte walked David DeJesus to start the game, and gave up a longball to Joe Randa two batters later (KC 2-0). Two groundouts on two pitches followed to end the inning, but walks are bad. Homers after the walks are bad, too.

BOTTOM 1ST -- come on, y'all
Ichiro, Randy Winn, and Edgar fall 1-2-3 to Darrell May. Yuck.

TOP 2ND -- terrible inning
Nageotte allowed singles to Calvin Pickering and Aaron Guiel to lead off the inning. John Buck bunted the runners over, and Angel Berroa drove them in with a single (KC 4-0). Hiram Bocachica one-hopped the backstop from centerfield with his throw to the plate. Once again, Nageotte would somehow end the inning with two groundouts on two pitches.

BOTTOM 2ND -- come on, y'all
Bret Boone hit a one-out double to left. With Dan Wilson at bat, Boone breaks for third on the first pitch. Keep in mind that the Mariners are down 4-0 at this point. Boone was meat at third, Wilson flew out. A quick end to something that had a chance to be a rally.

TOP 3RD -- fighting out of jam
With one out, Nageotte gave up a Matt Stairs single and walked Abe Nunez. A Pickering groundout to first moved the runners over, and Guiel bounced out to Boone to end the inning. Nageotte threw 20 pitches in the 3rd.

Clint Nageotte left the game after the 3rd inning with back spasms. How bad were they? It's probably debatable (bad spasms or excuse to make move?), but Nageotte was optioned to Tacoma, then placed on the 15-day disabled list. Cha Seung Baek was brought up in his place. Nageotte's line: 3 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, no strikeouts, 49 pitches.

BOTTOM 3RD -- minimal damage
May fell behind 3-0 to Hiram Bocachica before giving up a single. Jose Lopez doubled to left, scoring Bocachica (KC 4-1), and moved to third on a bad throw by Guiel. Willie Bloomquist fouled off two pitches, looked at the third one, and then sat down. Ichiro bounced out to short, and Lopez scored (KC 4-2). Winn singled and Edgar whiffed.

TOP 4TH -- decent inning
Matt Thornton came into the game, bringing his trademark to the day's festivities: the three-ball count. All the hitters in the inning saw the three-ball count, though there were only three hitters. Berroa got on board thanks to a Lopez error, but was erased on the back end of a strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double play (DeJesus the whiffer).

BOTTOM 4TH -- minimal damage
Bucky Jacobsen reached the leftfield bleachers with a smash (KC 4-3). Other than that, Boone walked and was erased on a Dan Wilson line-out double play. Hiram Bocachica walked and was picked off.

TOP 5TH -- fighting out of jam
Five Royals came to the plate in the inning, and Thornton went to three-ball counts on three of them. Randa and Stairs (who Thornton had 0-2) drew consecutive one-out walks, but Nunez and Pickering both flew out.

BOTTOM 5TH -- some damage
Bloomquist drew a one-out walk. Ichiro and Winn followed with shallow and/or hard-hit singles (the games weren't televised today). Edgar apparently hit an infield single, and Bloomquist scored to tie the game at 4-4. If I see Edgar hitting an infield single in the game logs with runners on, I've got to think that whoever fielded the ball threw late to a base other than first. Bucky then mashed a double to rightfield, scoring Ichiro and Winn to give the Mariners the lead (SEA 6-4). This chased Darrell May from the game, as he was replaced by the Reign Man, a.k.a. Shaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn Camp! Yeah, it sounds slightly different, but I was just remembering when the Sonics were good. Memories indeed. Camp used five pitches to get Boone to bounce out and Wilson to whiff.

TOP 6TH -- 1-2-3
Thornton still managed to go to three balls on John Buck before getting him to whiff. This was Thornton's final inning. His line: 3 innings, no runs, no hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts. The high pitch count and the three-ball counts were a little unnerving, but it's a little less maddening when the K/BB ratio is 5/2. Or 2.5/1, for whoever wants it that way. The zero hits factor is also one of mitigation.

BOTTOM 6TH -- minimal damage
Bocachica fought back from 0-2 to draw a leadoff walk off Camp. Lopez singled on the next pitch, and Bloomquist bunted the runners over. Ichiro was walked. Winn bounced a ball to the pitcher, and was put out 1-3 as Bocachica scored (SEA 7-4). I can only hope that play wasn't like the catastrophic Matt Herges play from Atlanta the other night. Edgar bounced out to the pitcher to end the inning.

TOP 7TH -- terrible inning
George Sherrill came on, and had a little hiccup. DeJesus hit a leadoff single adn moved to second on a wild pitch to Desi Relaford, who would walk. Joe Randa grounded out to the right side, moving the runners over. Stairs doubled the other way, scoring the runners (SEA 7-6). Nunez flew out and Pickering bounced to second to end the threat.

BOTTOM 7TH -- minimal damage
Boone hit a one-out single and moved into scoring position thanks to a Camp balk. He moved to third on a Wilson flyout to rightfield. Bocachica bounced a ball to Berroa at short, be it was muffed. Boone crossed the plate for an insurance run (SEA 8-6). Lopez hit a ball to the pitcher to end the threat.

TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
It's only a jam because Scott Atchison walked Aaron Guiel to lead off the inning, and I still remember what Ken Levine said about the leadoff walk. Atchison then caught Buck looking, whiffed Berroa, and got DeJesus to line out to Bloomquist at third.

BOTTOM 8TH -- minimal damage
The Mariners tallied another insurance run on Camp. Bloomquist drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Winn two hitters later (SEA 9-6). Edgar walked on four pitches, but BUcky whiffed and Boone bounced into a fielder's choice.

TOP 9TH -- some damage
JJ Putz didn't weather a lot of damage, just a Desi Relaford leadoff smash (SEA 9-7). Randa doubled, but Putz got Stairs to whiff, got Nunez to line out to Ibanez, and got Pickering to whiff. Ballgame.

Well hey, whaddaya know? The Royals blew another 4-0 lead to the Mariners. I'll be damned.

Gameball: Hiram Bocachica. 1-for-2 with 2 walks, scoring twice. He got on base and scored twice, and quite frankly, that's way more than I expect out of someone who shouldn't even be on this roster. Yes, I'm playing the unsung card here, knowing full well that Bucky went 2-for-5 and drove in three, and that Randy Winn was 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI.

Goat: Dan Wilson. 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding four. Yeah, bruthah!!! Surely none of us expected Olivo to catch last night and then catch both ends of a doubleheader. That'd be nothing short of crazy, and quite possibly sadistic.

I've got to be honest; I didn't expect the Mariners to win this game, no way. But that's why it's the Royals they're facing. Anything is possible when the Royals come to town, at least nowadays. Three more homers today added to the nine from last night. Bucky's homer today was his 9th of the year, and the most by a Mariner rookie since Jose Cruz, Jr. hit 12 in 1997. Aw hell, let's have Bucky chase Junior Cruz in addition to Ichiro chasing Sisler, what the hell? Along that Ichiro line, he was 1-for-4 in this game, adding another hit to the tally, but sinking the average a bit. Yes, we can kiss .400 goodbye; it's all about Sisler now.

Even with three of the choppiest no-hit innings seen by mankind, it's time to congratulate Matt Thornton on his first Major League win. Congrats, buddy.

The next recap will commence its being typed up as soon as this second game ends. I'll just say I would have been ticked if Madritsch would have been tagged with the L after this game. Stuff may have been thrown.

[Edit Sun ~1:19a -- The Bugger reminds me in the comment box that Hiram had a wild throw to the backstop, something I completely neglected to factor into the gameball. That said, let's go with Bucky.]

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