Friday, September 10, 2004
Before we go any further, I'll post the Ichiro update...
Tonight, Ichiro was 2-for-4, and his batting average stands at .378.
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 (23 games remain), he would need to go 28-for-92 (.304).
>> if he averaged five at-bats per game, he would need to go 28-for-115 (.243).
But the real goal for Ichiro, at least in my mind, is breaking Sisler's record in 154 games (i.e., how many Sisler played in 1920). To do this...
>> if he averaged four at-bats a game for the next 16 games, Ichiro would have to go 28-for-64 (.438)
>> if he averaged five at-bats a game, he would have to go 28-for-80 (.350)
Ichiro has had one day off this year, so I've figured that in accordingly.
Of course, the reality is that the Mariners have a remaining schedule that's full of contending teams that most liely won't hesitate to walk Ichiro if he comes to the plate in any sort of threatening situation. Thus, the likelihood of Ichiro getting five at-bats a game consistently from here on out is low, or at least I think so.
But really, the story tonight was Madritsch, Jose Lopez, a couple of errors by the Sox, and not one of the greatest outings out of Tim Wakefield.
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 -- fighting out of jam
Mark Bellhorn hit a one-out double off Madritsch, and a runner in scoring position can be quite the precarious situation with Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz due to come to the plate. But Madritsch got a flyout from Manny, and a whiff from Ortiz to end the inning.
BOTTOM 1ST -- minimal damage
Ichiro kept the hit parade going (228), singling into centerfield on the sixth pitch after being down 0-2. He stole second on the first pitch to Randy Winn and scooted to third on a passed ball by Doug Mirabelli before Winn walked. Two outs later, with Jolbert Cabrera at the plate, a bad pickoff move by Wakefield scored Ichiro (SEA 1-0). Then Cabrera was beaned and was writhing in pain on the dirt of the batters' box in pain. Okay, not really; it's a knuckleball, after all. Greg Dobbs celebrated his first Major League start by flying out and lowering his average to .500.
TOP 2ND -- fighting out of jam
This time Madritsch gave up a one-out single to Orlando Cabrera (too many Cabreras in one game...), who would end up stealing second. But Madritsch caught Mirabelli looking and got a ground ball out of Bill Mueller to end the threat.
BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Not really much in the inning other than a two-out double by Jose Lopez.
TOP 3RD -- 1-2-3
Madritsch got through former K-Swiss Minor League Player of the Year Gabe Kapler, Johnny Damon, and Bellhorn with relative ease.
BOTTOM 3RD -- minimal damage
Consecutive doubles by Winn and Bret Boone greeted Wakefield (SEA 2-0). Boone moved to third on an Ibanez groundout before Jolbert Cabrera was nailed again by Wakefield. He would steal second (bet that wasn't too hard). Dobbs netted himself yet another RBI for his young Major League career, grounding out to second to score Boone (SEA 3-0).
TOP 4TH -- 1-2-3
I reckon that there Illinois boy done struck out the side. Manny, Ortiz, and Kevin Millar all whiffed.
BOTTOM 4TH -- ho, hum
Jeremy Reed led off with a first-pitch groundout. Through three Major League at-bats, Reed saw five total pitches in a sign of early hacktasticity (miniscule sample size, of course). Lopez hit his second double of the game, and Ichiro walked. Winn (popout) and Boone (whiff) would make sure the runners were frozen.
TOP 5TH -- fighting out of jam
Madritsch had two on and one out thanks to a Mirabelli walk and a first-pitch Mueller single. Luckily, this is were a double-play ball off the bat of Kapler came in really handy.
BOTTOM 5TH -- some damage
A leadoff single by Raul Ibanez and a walk by Jolbert Cabrera opened up the inning against Wakefield. One out later, Dan Wilson's fly ball to Manny in leftfield that should have been a flyout was dropped, letting Ibanez and Cabrera score (SEA 5-0). Reed popped out to third on the first pitch (that's six pitches in four ML at-bats). Then Lopez scored the big blow, a two-run blast to left (SEA 7-0). Yes, the rout was on. Then Ramiro Mendoza came in to mess with everyone's timing, and to get Ichiro to fly out.
TOP 6TH -- 1-2-3
Damon, Bellhorn, and Manny are no match for Madritsch, who gets three groundouts.
BOTTOM 6TH -- ho, hum
Winn singled to lead off. Mendoza balked him over to second with Boone up. Boone had a full count and a runner on second with nobody out. Boone flipped a ball over the rightfield fence the night before with two strikes on him, but it wasn't to be tonight, as he flew out instead. Ibanez grounded out on 2-0 and Cabrera flew out to end the inning.
TOP 7TH -- fighting out of jam
Madritsch threw 23 pitches in the inning, but runners didn't make it into scoring position until there were two out. He walked Ortiz to lead off. Ortiz stood on second after being moved over by a groundout. Mirabelli singled him over to third, but Mueller lined out to Dobbs at third.
BOTTOM 7TH -- ho, hum
Terry Adams was on to pitch for the Red Sox, and at least this crappy inning's contributors had fresh faces. A Wilson whiff was sandwiched inbetween a first-pitch groundout by Dobbs and a six-pitch at-bat by Reed (he took some pitches!) resulting in a groundout.
TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
Madritsch had thrown 100 pitches through seven innings, and he trotted out there once again for the 8th. A one-out walk to Damon wasn't a good thing, and neither was the single by Bellhorn. Manny fouled off four pitches in his eight-pitch at-bat before grounding into a fielder's choice. Madritsch's last batter would be Ortiz, who grounded out to him.
Bobby Madritsch's line: 8 innings, no runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 126 pitches (76 strikes). Definitely his best performance yet, in terms of runs and innings. I still laugh when I hear Ron Fairly say "the Red Sox are facing young Bobby Madritsch for the first time." Sure, I know he's young in terms of ML experience, but the dude's 28 years old. Jose Lopez is young, not Madritsch or Sherrill.
BOTTOM 8TH -- ho, hum
Other than Ichiro beating out a grounder in the infield (229), the inning only featured the return of Mike Myers. Mariner fans probably were thinking more of the former than the latter.
TOP 9TH -- some damage
Scott Atchison didn't have the greatest inning. Orlando Cabrera smashed a 1-2 pitch over the wall in leftcenter to spoil the shutout (SEA 7-1). Atchison gave up consecutive singles to Mueller and Mirabelli before getting a pinch-hit double-play ball off the bat of Doug Mientkiewicz. To whom it may concern, I typed Doug's last name straight through without stopping until I typed in an "x" where the "c" should be.
Total side note, but it was a weird night for the Cabreras. Orlando was 2-for-4 with a steal and a solo shot. Jolbert's line stuck out like a sore thumb in the boxscore because he only had one at-bat, whereas everyone else had four or five (0-for-1, 1 walk, 2 beanballs).
Gameball: Bobby Madritsch. I can't upstage Bobby's performance tonight with that of Jose Lopez (3-for-4, two doubles, two-run homer), I just can't. Not on a night when he threw eight shutout innings, I can't.
Goat: Dan Wilson. 0-for-4, striking out twice and stranding two.
Two words come for tomorrow, and those two words are "bombs away."
Schilling. Franklin. Tomorrow.
[Edit ~4:25p -- Jeff got me on the score. I don't usually post the score in the intro paragraphs of the recaps, but the one time I do, I get it wrong. Go figure.