Saturday, September 18, 2004


...it just might take a couple years to turn this around, that's all.

Cha Seung Baek followed his so-so outing last time with a not-so-good outing today, failing to get out of the sixth inning. Other than Ichiro getting hit number 236 and Randy Winn hitting a two-run homer, the big story of the game was Tim Hudson's usual manhandling of the Mariners, somewhere along the lines of eight innings of three-run, eight-hit ball.

You know, with only 14 games left in the season, and no hockey for the foreseeable future, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when the season's over. It'll probably follow a predictable path, though. Baseball playoffs and the Sonics are more than likely going to be involved, with possible daily or semi-daily stuff about the Seahawks. Or maybe I might actually have to do some digging and shed some light on some sporty stuff that usually doesn't make it to Sports and B's because I spend most of my time cranking out recaps. Who knows.

Once again, the Ichiro update.

Ichiro was 1-for-5 today, putting him at 236 hits on the season, 21 shy of George Sisler's 84-year-old record and 22 short of setting his own record.

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 (14 games remain), he would need to go 22-for-56 (.393).
>> if he averaged five at-bats per game, he would need to go 22-for-70 (.314).

For Ichiro to break Sisler's record in 154 games and avoid the asterisk (there's no way he'll do this)...
>> if he averaged four at-bats for the next 7 games, he would need to go 22-for-28 (.786).
>> if he averaged five at-bats a game, he would need to go 22-for-35 (.629).

Only 14 more spectra to go...

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 -- 1-2-3
Bark allowed a leadoff dinker off the bat of Mark Kotsay for an ominous start. But Baek caught Eric Byrnes looking and got a double-play ball out of Eric Chavez.

BOTTOM 1ST -- ho, hum
Edgar Martinez continued the farewell tour with a two-out walk.

TOP 2ND -- decent inning
Erubiel Durazo mashed a two-out double to right, but Baek didn't have much more trouble.

BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Bret Boone, Greg Dobbs, and Miguel Olivo fall to Tim Hudson in order.

TOP 3RD -- 1-2-3
Baek has his easiest inning, getting Damian Miller, Marco Scutaro, and Kotsay out with relative ease.

BOTTOM 3RD -- ho, hum
Jeremy Reed, Jose Lopez, and Ichiro combine to do absolutely nothing against Hudson. Not that doing nothing against Hudson is new for the Mariners or anything like that.

TOP 4TH -- decent inning
Baek doesn't have much trouble again, this time allowing only a one-out walk to Chavez, who never advanced to second.

BOTTOM 4TH -- minimal damage
Consecutive two-out singles by Raul Ibanez, Boone, and Dobbs brought home the first run of the day for either team (SEA 1-0).

TOP 5TH -- some damage
Baek didn't escape the inning with the lead. He beaned Bobby Crosby with one out. He struck out Miller, but threw a wild 2-1 pitch to Scutaro to advance the runners. Five pitches later, Scutaro doubled home the ducks on the pond to give Oakland the lead (OAK 2-1). Baek did some damage control and got consecutive outs in the air from Kotsay and Byrnes to end the inning.

BOTTOM 5TH -- ho, hum
Ichiro singled (hit number 236 on the year) and Winn singled, but all with two outs. Nothing more happened.

TOP 6TH -- some damage
It didn't start well, as Chavez mashed a ball into the rightfield seats on the second pitch (OAK 3-1). Baek got a ground ball from Hatteberg, but Jermaine Dye mashed a ball into centerfield for a double, and Reed misplayed it. With Dye on third with one out, the Mariners put Durazo on base to keep the double play in order. Baek diced up the situation, going 3-0 on Crosby before walking him and getting pulled. Scott Atchison came in and walked Kotsay with the bases loaded, always a good thing (OAK 4-1). Scutaro hit a grounder to Dobbs at third, and Miller was forced out at second, but there wasn't enough time for the back end of the double play, and Durazo scored (OAK 5-1). Kotsay whiffed to end the inning.

Baek's line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 99 pitches (55 strikes). One of the walks was intentional, and Durazo later scored. All in all, Baek didn't improve on his last outing, which is mildly disappointing. I know Baek has shown promise in the minor leagues and stuff, but through a handful (or so) of starts, I really haven't been all that impressed. The best thing he's got going for him is the breaking ball, but he has a danger of the opposing team just teeing off on him (hitting the ball hard) every time he goes out there. Though I hate watching baseball on Fox, the phrase they used to describe Baek out there was "no deception." So far, it's appeared to be mostly true, because he doesn't appear to be fooling anyone out there. As of now, his ERA is 7.43. No word on whether Baek slashed the tires on Atchison's car after the game for scoring his two runners. Why do I think about these things?

BOTTOM 6TH -- ho, hum
Ibanez led off with a single to centerfield. Hudson went to a 2-0 count on Boone. On the next three pitches, Boone, Dobbs, and Olivo grounded out. Also, Ibanez was in scoring position for all of two pitches.

TOP 7TH -- 1-2-3
Atchison got a flyout from Byrnes and was pulled for Randy Williams (enjoy his short stay in Seattle, folks), who got Chavez to whiff and Hatteberg to fly out to Boone.

BOTTOM 7TH -- some damage
Reed led off with a double off the final "s" on the Starbucks sign on the wall just to the left of the rightfield foul line. Two outs later, Winn hit a bomb into the rightfield seats to give the Mariner fans a little something to cheer about (SEA 5-3).

TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
A big Bremertonian "welcome back" to Julio Mateo, back off the DL from elbow tenditis, pitching for the first time since July 28. Though I'm not sure there's really any point to actually bringing him back to pitch this season, it was sort of a good feeling to see a familiar face coming out of the bullpen in the later innings. He allowed back-to-back singles to Durazo and Crosby, but got Miller to fly out and got Scutaro looking to end the inning.

BOTTOM 8TH -- ho, hum
Hudson's final inning saw him get through Ibanez, Boone, and Dobbs.

TOP 9TH -- some damage
Masao Kida took the mound for the Mariners. Byrnes legged out an infield hit, and Chavez followed with a single of his own. One out later, Dye hit an RBI single (OAK 6-3), and Durazo made it a 4-for-4 day with an RBI single of his own (OAK 7-3). Kida was pulled for Aaron Taylor, who walked Crosby before getting Miller to fly out.

BOTTOM 9TH -- minimal damage
Octavio Dotel wasn't bulletproof, but he did well enough to shut the door. He walked Reed with one out and Lopez singled Reed home (OAK 7-4). Ichiro whiffed (wish I could have seen that at-bat). Winn walked, but Jolbert Cabrera pinch-hit for Edgar (not sure why this move was made) and bounced into a fielder's choice to end the game. [Edit Sun ~12:53a -- Edgar was out because of a foul off his foot in his last at-bat. I'd forgotten all about it until I saw some FSNNW highlights.]

Gameball: Randy Winn. 2-for-4 with the homer. I didn't relaize it until I looked at the boxscore, but the guy's driven in 72 runs this year. Sure, he's got Ichiro hitting in front of him, but I think 72 RBI is quite a modest number for Winn. Also getting their 72nd RBI in the game were Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye. Still, why Winn's played centerfield this whole year is beyond me. As soon as everyone realized Spiezio sucked and Winn wasn't the answer in centerfield, Ibanez should have been moved to first immediately, and Winn back to left. Needless to say, I'd have moved Ichiro to center and rightfield would be reserved for any ol' young guy. This definitely is what should have happened post-Bucky.

Goat: Miguel Olivo. 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding three. It's been a while since he's had one of those games where he drives in runs with a double and a homer or something. We haven't had anything to distract us from the passed balls in a while. Interestingly enough, no passed balls by Olivo today.

Now I can't even stay on subject. That kicker for Tennessee went from feeling like total crap to jubilation in about the span of 10 minutes. If he would have missed that final field goal try, if I were him, I don't know if I could have even set foot outside my dorm the next day. Yes, it would have been a lonely day somewhere in Knoxville.

The game was on Fox today, and Dan Devone of Q13 hosted a postgame show with New York Vinnie. The two disagreed on whether Jamie Moyer should come back next year (Devone suggested "cut bait") and Vinnie went as far as to suggest that Bret Boone "slacked off" once he knew the Mariners were out of it, and that Boone is in mail-it-in mode. No matter what you think, you can't argue with the rash of errors he had in the two previous games. You know, I think Boone has the same habit that Darin Erstad used to have -- that whole every-other-year thing. Boone has had monster years in 2001 and 2003, and has had duds in 2002 and 2004. He's an odd-year guy, I guess.

Short off-subject note before giving the pitchers -- I flipped through the channels and saw the Stir show on the International Channel, a San Francisco-based program geared toward Asian Americans (of which I am one), and one of their guests was the blogger of The Angry Asian Man. The guy refused to disclose his actual name, but he reminded me a lot of Harold, who in a recent movie was paired with Kumar.

Hey, guess what? I'm actually looking forward to the game tomorrow. Why? The Seahawks are playing Tampa Bay. Aaaaaaaand, Bobby Madritsch is pitching, so it more than likely won't suck. Let's hope he goes deep into the game and Bob Melvin doesn't make his arm fall off.

Redman. Madritsch. Tomorrow.

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