Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Mariners 7, Blue Jays 5
AP/CP photo -- Frank Gunn

In 25 words or less: Late-inning heroics and a not-too-shaky inning from Eddie Guardado bailed designated home pitcher Jamie Moyer out of a loss.

[posted in part Sun Sep 25 ~5:04a]

This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Scott Downs.

Grade: C-
Nondescript start. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and grounded to second on a full count. Yuniesky Betancourt tapped a 1-2 pitch beside the mound, and Downs made the play. Raul Ibañez grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle, but he was robbed on a good play by shortstop Aaron Hill.

Grade: B+
Not too bad. Reed Johnson took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. Aaron Hill got ahead 3-1 and later took a high full-count pitch for a walk. Vernon Wells lined a 1-2 pitch right at Ibañez in leftfield, and Hill had to scurry back to first from the bag at second. Corey Koskie hit a 2-2 low liner to Ichiro in rightfield.

Grade: C
Not able to take advantage. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-0 and grounded the full-count pitch to Koskie at third, who was eaten up by the ball (error). Adrian Beltre chopped the second pitch to short and barely beat out the double play (Sexson obviously out at second). Jose Lopez watched as Downs snap-threw past first amd into foul territory on a pickoff throw to enable Beltre to scoot to second on a 1-0 count. Lopez ended up rolling a 1-2 pitch to short. Jeremy Reed chopped a 1-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout).

Grade: A
Lightning. Hillenbrand got behind 0-2 a bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Hinske bounced to Sexson at the bag at first. Menechino bounced the first pitch to short.

Grade: C
Stranding. Mike Morse rolled an 0-2 pitch to short. Yorvit Torrealba rolled the second pitch hard to second. Ichiro slapped a 2-2 single into leftcenter. Betancourt stung the first pitch into rightfield for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez shattered his bat on an 0-2 roller to second.

Grade: C
Struggle. Alex(is) Rios clubbed the second pitch into the leftcenter gap, where Ibañez dove in front of the track for the ball and missed, letting Rios coast into third with a triple. Ken Huckaby doubled the second pitch (up and over the plate, off target) off the leftfield wall, scoring Rios easily.
Johnson rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Huckaby. Reed's throw home was up the line, but Johnson was unable to move to second.
Hill looped a single into shallow rightcenter, moving Johnson to third. Wells reached for a full-count pitch outside, which went off the second-base umpire and into centerfield for a single, scoring Johnson and moving Hill to second. The ball was probably hit too hard for Lopez to actually have a play on it.
Koskie fell behind 0-2 and bounced to second for a 4-6-3 double play, moving Hill to third. Hillenbrand rolled out to second.

Grade: B
Should have been more. Sexson bounced the first pitch to short. Beltre drilled a double down the rightfield line. Lopez got ahead 2-0 and wound up lining a homer just over the leftfield wall.
Reed slapped a single into shallow leftfield. Morse lined a second-pitch single through the right side, moving Lopez to second and bringing the pitching coach out to the mound. Torrealba whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Ichiro rolled a 3-1 pitch to second.

Grade: B-
Another dent. Hinske got ahead 3-0 and whiffed on a full-count change. Menechino got ahead 2-0 and later lined to Beltre at third on a full count. Rios got ahead and tagged a homer over the in-wall scoreboard in leftcenter.
Huckaby whiffed on a full-count change low over the inside corner.

Grade: B
Getting back. Betancourt drove a full-count pitch to the wall in rightcenter and scampered to third for a triple. Ibañez got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. Sexson split his bat on a 2-0 grounder to short, a 6-4 fielder's choice that scored Betancourt.
Beltre watched the second pitch (wild in the dirt toward the backstop) as Sexson scooted to second. Beltre later whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Lopez popped the second pitch high to Menechino in shallow centerfield.

Downs' line: 5 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 92 pitches (54 strikes)

Grade: B-
Bullet-dodging. Johnson rolled the second pitch to short, where Betancourt took it off the heel of his glove and off his body (error). Hill walked on a low 3-1 pitch, moving Johnson to second. Wells rolled over a 1-2 pitch, grounding to third for a 5-4 fielder's choice (easily beat out double play), moving Johnson to third. Koskie took umbrage to a fairly low first pitch that was called a strike. Koskie ended up chopping a 2-2 pitch to the mound for a 1-6-3 double play.

Grade: C
Dustin McGowan came in for Downs. Reed lined the second pitch into leftcenter for a single. Morse took a 2-2 curve over the inside corner. Torrealba watched as McGowan threw a pickoff throw past first and into foul ground. With the Blue Jay defenders jogging toward the ball, Reed reached third base. Torrealba chopped the first pitch to a leaping Koskie, but Reed ran on contact and was already halfway home; he hung up between third and home, and Torrealba held at second. Ichiro popped the second pitch short of the track in rightfield.

McGowan's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 10 pitches (7 strikes)

Grade: A-
Great. Hillenbrand bounced out to third. Hinske took an 0-2 pitch at the knees and over the outer half, though it was definitely borderline, and Hinske let plate umpire CB Bucknor know. Menechino got the hitters' counts and drove a 3-1 fly ball a few steps short of the leftfield track.

Moyer's line: 6 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 104 pitches (62 strikes)

Grade: C
Vinnie Chulk came in for McGowan. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Johnson in shallow leftfield. Ibañez smacked a second-pitch single up the middle. Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 slider very low and away. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and ended up reaching for a 2-2 pitch, popping it harmlessly to centerfield.

Chulk's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (10 strikes)

Grade: A-
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Rios flew out to fairly deep rightfield on the first pitch. Huckaby lined a ball right at Beltre's feet (lineout). Johnson grinded out an eleven-pitch at-bat but settled for a full-count roller to short.

Grade: C-
Justin Speier came in for Chulk (Russ Adams replaced Menechino at short and Hill moved to second. Lopez rolled a 1-2 pitch to Adams in the left-side hole. Reed got ahead 3-1 and foul-tipped a full-count breaking ball low and away into the catcher's glove. Morse fell behind 0-2 and took a full-count seventh pitch over the outer half. Morse exchanged words with Bucknor behind the plate, and Bucknor appeared quite livid, snapping back at Morse on his way to the dugout.

Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (12 strikes)

Grade: A
Spelling relief. Hill popped the first pitch foul along the rightfield line, where Lopez came up empty on his sliding attempt for the catch. Hill rolled to second on the next pitch. Wells popped high to centerfield.

George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Koskie whiffed under a 1-2 breaking ball inside.

Mateo's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (15 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)

Grade: A-
Miguel Batista came in for Speier. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Torrealba, poked the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Jaime Bubela ran for Dobbs. Ichiro drag-bunted the first pitch in front of the plate, where Batista tried to throw as quickly as possible, but Ichiro beat it out as Bubela went to second. Ramon Santiago, hitting for Betancourt, bunted a 2-0 pitch in the same spot as Ichiro, but since he's slower, he was out. Bubela and Ichiro moved to third and second on the play. Ibañez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Sexson roped the first pitch just over the rightfield fence, reaching the bullpen.

Jason Frasor came in for Batista. Beltre hit a low lineout to rightfield. Lopez reached and chopped a 1-2 pitch to a charging Hillenbrand near the bag at third, whose on-the-run throw couldn't quite get Lopez at first, who came away with the single. Reed got ahead 3-0 and hit a 3-1 low liner toward the leftfield corner that was caught.

Grade: B-
Eddie Guardado came in for Sherrill (Santiago stayed in to play short, and Miguel Ojeda came in behind the plate). Hillenbrand fell behind 0-2 and spanked a singled into shallow rightfield near the line. Hinske popped to rightfield on the first pitch. Adams rolled the second pitch barely past Guardado and Betancourt and into centerfield for a single, moving Hillenbrand to second. Rios grounded hard to Santiago at short, who should have turned a double play but didn't catch it cleanly, loading the bases. Gregg Zaun, hitting for Huckaby, chopped between third base and the mound. Guardado came off to get the ball, but his only play was to first base. Hillenbrand scored, Adams went to third, and Rios went to second.
Johnson rolled over a 2-2 pitch, rolling it to short. Ballgame.

Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)

Gameball: Jose Lopez.

Goat: Yorvit Torrealba.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-44 .707 -- L4
2002 86-64 .573 20 W2
2003 86-64 .573 20 L2
2000 84-66 .560 22 W6
2005 65-85 .433 41 W1
2004 56-94 .373 50 L3

With the 2-for-5 game, Ichiro has 190 hits on the season and sits with a .303 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (627 at-bats in 150 games, 4.18 at-bats per game, which leaves him with a bit over 50 at-bats)...
-- he needs 10 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .199 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .295 season average.
-- he needs 13 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .259 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 27 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .538 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 217 hits.

Harris. Towers. Tonight.

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