Saturday, September 11, 2004
I said last night that I didn't think Ryan Franklin would win a game for the rest of the year, and now I'm not too sure Jamie Moyer will win another one either. He hasn't won since June 18th, when I wasn't even in town; that's almost a three-month span. The wire article I'm reading also says he's made 15 starts (16 games) since his last win, and his ERA has gone from 3.64 to 5.09.
Before I go further, another Ichiro update...
Ichiro was hitless in four at-bats tonight for the second night in a row, remaining at 229 hits, lowering his average to .373, and painting the picture a little more bleakly, depending on which version of George Sisler's record you want to see him break.
For Ichiro to break Sisler's record before the end of the season...
>> if he averaged four at-bats per game the rest of the way (21 games remain), he would need to go 28-for-84 (.333).
>> if he averaged five at-bats per game, he would need to go 28-for-105 (.267).
To break Sisler's record in 154 played games and avoid the asterisk...
>> if he averaged four at-bats for the next 14 games, Ichiro would have to go 28-for-56 (.500).
>> if he averaged five at-bats a game, he would have to go 28-for-70 (.400).
Also for tonight, the offense was putrid, except this time they were putrid against Bronson Arroyo instead of Curt Schilling. Arroyo was the guy who recorded 11 strikeouts in a row (with some singles or walks inbetween) against the Mariners earlier this year. Arroyo threw 85 pitches in seven shutout innings tonight and gave up four hits. The Mariner offense only managed one extra-base hit, a meaningless pinch-hit double to the Starbucks sign in left in the 9th by Hiram Bocachica. The Mariners had more than one runner on base in only the 3rd and the 8th.
Tony Garassi of KJR has just relayed this stat: since August 7th, no starting pitcher not named Gil Meche or Bobby Madritsch has won a game for the Mariners. Also, Garassi has suggested that lefty Randy Williams, who made his Major League debut in the 9th and really knows how to throw a ball, looks like a lefthanded Paul Abbott.
Rumors circulated before the game that during batting practice, Manny Ramirez (righty) parked one into the upper deck (yes, the third deck) five rows back of the Budweiser sign above the Hit it Here Cafe, which would be to the opposite field for Manny.
Also, George Sherrill will be shut down for the rest of the year.
As the complete aside, Bronson Arroyo's motion has that get-nothing-out-of-the-leg-kick type of deal that reminds me a lot of former Braves closer Greg McMichael.
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 -- minimal damage
Moyer got two quick groundouts but Manny took him yard for a solo shot to left (BOS 1-0). And with that, the game was basically over.
BOTTOM 1ST -- ho, hum
This wasn't just Arroyo having a 1-2-3 inning. It was Ichiro, Randy Winn, and Edgar Martinez all swinging at and grounding out on the first pitch.
TOP 2ND -- some damage
It wasn't a good inning for Moyer. Jason Varitek led off with a four-pitch walk, which is never a good sign. Kevin Millar doubled on the next pitch and scored Varitek from first (I'd have liked to have seen that play, BOS 2-0). Orlando Cabrera had a 3-0 count, but ended up flying out. Kevin Youkilis had himself a 2-0 count, but whiffed. Gabe Kapler singled and drove in Millar (BOS 3-0), on a play in which any centerfielder with an arm would have had a play on Millar at the plate (Winn was charging inward). Johnny Damon was down 0-2 and worked the count full before lining out to Raul Ibanez in left to mercifully end the inning in which Moyer threw 28 pitches.
BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Ibanez flew out to Damon, Bret Boone bounced out to Youkilis at third, and Jolbert Cabrera was caught looking. The Mariners are lucky they didn't draw Pedro in this series.
TOP 3RD -- 1-2-3
Moyer teases each and every once of us, getting Mark Bellhorn to whiff, Manny to ground out on the first pitch, and David Ortiz to fly out to Winn in center to retire the side in order.
BOTTOM 3RD -- ho, hum
The Mariners had their best offensive inning of the game. Greg Dobbs ran out an infield single and Dan Wilson singled him over to third. Jose Lopez whiffed, Ichiro bounced into a fielder's choice (Dobbs held at third), and Winn bounced out to Youkilis. Yippee!
TOP 4TH -- 1-2-3
Moyer has another 1-2-3 inning?! His toughest out of the inning was when Millar watched six straight pitches: three balls and three strikes, in that order.
BOTTOM 4TH -- ho, hum
Ibanez hit a one-out single. That's about it. That and Manny making a leaping catch in the corner at the wall in foul territory to retire Jolbert Cabrera.
TOP 5TH -- terrible inning
Moyer walked both Youkilis (snapping the seven-in-a-row retired Sox streak) and Kapler (the 8 and 9 hitters in the Sox lineup) to start the inning. Damon then roped a double into the corner to clear the bases (BOS 5-0) and ended up on third after the throw home. But Damon wouldn't be coming home on a sacrifice fly. Bellhorn smashed the first pitch he saw into the bullpen to ensure that the rout was on (BOS 7-0). Moyer would then record four outs, three of them strikeouts (wild pitch on one of them) and no more runs would score.
That was Moyer's last inning. His line: 5 innings, 7 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 106 pitches (68 strikes). All three of the walks came around to score. After the first inning, the Red Sox were very patient and watched a lot more pitches from Moyer. That ramped up his pitch count and he was gone in a hurry. It's times like this when you almost wonder to yourself, "this guy won 21 games last year?"
BOTTOM 5TH -- ho, hum
Dobbs (lineout), Wilson (whiff), Lopez (grounder to short). Arroyo has no trouble.
TOP 6TH -- 1-2-3
Scott Atchison comes in and gets through Orlando Cabrera (flyout), Youkilis (groundout), and Kapler (groundout).
BOTTOM 6TH -- ho, hum
Arroyo retires the top third of the Mariner lineup on six total pitches.
TOP 7TH -- 1-2-3
Ron Villone continues the carousel of Mariner relievers tonight, retiring the top third of the Boston lineup in order, getting Damon and Manny to whiff along the way.
BOTTOM 7TH -- ho, hum
Arroyo does give up a Jolbert Cabrera two-out single, but other than that, more of the same. Terry Francona wouldn't let Arroyo go out for the 8th, even after only having thrown 85 pitches, but the game wasn't in doubt, and they're gunning for the playoffs, so maybe they were just looking to sharpen a couple of their arms in the pen.
TOP 8TH -- decent inning
Masao Kida joins the Mariner reliever carousel, allowing a one-out walk to Varitek, but nothing else.
BOTTOM 8TH -- ho, hum
Back-to-back muffs by Orlando Cabrera and Youkilis allowed Wilson and Jose Lopez to stand on second and first, respectively. Ichiro's fielder's choice and Winn's double play ended any threat.
TOP 9TH -- some damage
Earlier I mentioned that Randy Williams could really throw a ball. I didn't say he could throw a strike. He threw a first-pitch ball to his first six hitters out of a total seven. His first two hitters, Youkilis and Kapler, both were started out 3-0 and both went to 3-1, but both also flew out. But then David McCarty singled, and Adam Hyzdu doubled McCarty in (BOS 8-0). Williams then walked Ortiz, and also walked Doug Mirabelli to force in a run (BOS 9-0). Williams still only had one out to get, but in a completely meaningless game down by nine runs, Bob Melvin continued his latest stupid trend of bringing somebody else in to get the final out in the 9th. Williams threw 11 strikes and 20 balls in his 31 pitches and 2/3 inning of work. Do we have to have Melvin manage for the rest of the year? Matt Thornton got Dave Roberts to whiff.
BOTTOM 9TH -- ho, hum
Hiram Bocachica recorded the only Mariner extra-base hit of the game, a double to the Starbucks sign in left. Other than that, same old crap.
Gameball: Greg Dobbs. He got another hit in the Majors, at least. Only other consideration would have been Bocachica for getting the only extra-base knock.
Goat: Jamie Moyer. Seriously, is this ever going to end? I think we'd all be encouraged if we saw just one good start out of the guy, but it's looking bleak.
It's one more before divisional play. Will the Mariners ratchet up their play, or will they fold? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know that the Mariners will have to play slightly over .500 ball to avoid 100 losses on the season. That isn't going to happen. Book it.
Also, Bob Melvin was unavailable to the media after the game. We know he's no Piniella, who eventually would say "I'm tired of saying the same damn thing, over and f$(&ing over!"
Lowe. Meche. Tomorrow.