Thursday, September 29, 2005


Mariners 4, Rangers 3
AP photo -- Elaine Thompson

In 25 words or less: If you have to make a choice between a cameraman attacker and someone nailed for steroids, go with the youth.

[Edit Fri ~2:05a -- If that last line looks different since the last time you read it, that's because I originally slapped steroids on Rogers as well, which was incorrect. That's what I call mind slippage. I caught myself, though a few hours later.]

This one featured Kenny Rogers going up against Ryan Franklin for a 3:35pm Thursday start in Seattle. Can you say "record low for attendance at Safeco Field?" I knew you could. A grand total of 19841 paid to pass through the turnstiles (some not passing through at all, I'm sure) for the game.

Grade: B+
No damage. David Dellucci took a 1-2 pitch barely outside before whiffing on a full count. Michael Young nubbed the second pitch to first (3-1 putout). Mark Teixeira poked a full-count pitch into shallow leftfield for a single. Hank Blalock popped the second pitch near the leftfield corner, where Mike Morse reached over into the stands to make the catch. Kudos to nearby fans for not interfering.

Grade: B+
Early runs are always good. Ichiro rolled the second pitch through the right side for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled a 1-2 pitch to short, but barely beat out the double play (Ichiro was out). Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and wound up fouling a full-count pitch into the catcher's glove to end an eight-pitch at-bat (five pickoff moves). Richie Sexson stuck a full-count pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a double, scoring Betancourt.
Adrian Beltre walked on a 3-1 pitch outside. Mike Morse bounced the second pitch to a charging Blalock, and it ate him up (error), loading the bases. Jose Lopez chopped a full-count pitch high along the third-base line, where Rogers barehanded and spun to throw to first, but Lopez was safe and Sexson scored, with the bases remaining loaded.
Jaime Bubela whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away, throwing 37 pitches or so.

Grade: B-
Beanballs. Alfonso Soriano had the first pitch brush his jersey, and he took his bench. Kevin Mench watched the first pitch as Soriano stole second, drew a low throw that got into centerfield, then took third as a result. Mench was nailed on a 1-1 pitch on the left forearm. Gary Matthews, Jr. fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Rod Barajas grounded hard to third for a 5-4-3 double play.

Grade: C-
Absence. Miguel Ojeda popped very high to Teixeira in foul territory near the line. Ichiro looped a flyout along the leftfield line. Betancourt grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to third.

Grade: B-
Obligatory. Mark DeRosa grounded the second pitch hard to third. Dellucci cranked a 2-2 pitch over the wall and toward the hitters' backdrop in centerfield.
Young rolled the first pitch to second. Teixeira was robbed of a hit on the second pitch thanks to a backhanded diving stop by Lopez and his throw to first.

Grade: C
Missed opp. Ibanez popped the first pitch into shallow leftfield along the foul line. Sexson ripped the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and rolled over a 1-2 pitch just past Young's backhand reach and into leftfield for a single, moving Sexson to second. Morse popped a 2-2 pitch to rightfield, and the runners held. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and tapped the 1-2 pitch back to the mound.

Grade: B
Stranding. Blalock golfed a 2-0 pitch to Ichiro drifting back on the track in rightfield. Soriano got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 pitch in the dirt outside for a walk. Mench crushed the second pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Soriano to second. Matthews popped the second pitch to Bubela in leftcenter, who nearly collided with Morse while making the catch. Barajas flew out to Beltre along the leftfield line.

Grade: C-
Officially bored. Bubela bounced the second pitch to a charging Teixeira for a difficult 3-1 putout. Ojeda got ahead 2-0 and wound up popping a 2-2 pitch to Teixeira along the track in foul ground on the right side. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and later fisted a 1-2 pitch off of Rogers' glove and to Young at short, who made a strong throw in time.

Grade: C+
Come on. DeRosa rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle past Franklin's throwing hand, but to Betancourt, who gloved and spun before throwing in time to first. Dellucci fell behind 0-2 and later dumped a full-count pitch into rightfield for a single. Young looped a single into leftfield, moving Dellucci to second. Teixeira clubbed a double into centerfield to the left of the hitters' backdrop, scoring Dellucci and Young.
Blalock bounced a 2-2 pitch along the first-base line to Sexson at the bag, moving Teixeira to third. Soriano popped the second pitch to Bubela in leftcenter.

Grade: B
This was good. Betancourt lasered a single past Rogers and into centerfield. Ibañez took a full-count pitch outside for a walk. Sexson got ahead 3-1 and wound up singling through the left side, scoring Betancourt and moving Ibañez to second.
Beltre poked a 2-0 single through the left side, scoring Ibañez, who just beat the throw from leftfield.
Morse grounded the first pitch to the mound, where Rogers started a 1-6-3 double play. Lopez popped an 0-2 pitch to leftfield.

Grade: A
Quick. Mench flew out high to Ichiro in shallow rightcenter. Matthews bounced the 2-2 pitch to first. Barajas popped the second pitch to Bubela in rightcenter.

Grade: C
Mild celebration. Bubela lasered a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, his first Major League hit. Ojeda popped the first pitch to shallow rightfield. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and stung a 1-2 pitch to Blalock at third, who dove quickly to his right to snare the line drive and freeze the runner at first. Betancourt popped the 1-2 pitch to Matthews in shallow rightcenter.

Rogers' line: 6 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 9 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 116 pitches (75 strikes)

Grade: A
Who's on the mound? DeRosa whiffed over an 0-2 pitch. Dellucci popped the first pitch to Ichiro in shallow rightfield. Young grounded very hard to Beltre at third, who made a nice stop.

Franklin's line; 7 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 95 pitches (59 strikes)

Grade: C-
John Rupe came in for Rogers. Ibañez popped a 1-2 pitch to Barajas leaning over the railing in front of the third-base dugout. Sexson split his bat on a popout beside the mound to Rupe. Beltre popped out to Barajas on the track behind the plate.

Grade: B+
George Sherrill came in for Franklin. Teixeira crushed the second pitch for homer distance, but barely foul, making the count 0-2. Teixeira later walked on a full-count pitch down. Blalock got ahead 3-0 and wound up whiffing on a full-count change low and away.

Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Alfonso Soriano foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Ojeda's glove behind the plate. Mench flew out to Lopez on the rightfield grass.

Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (5 strikes)

Grade: C-
Zilchophonic. Morse took a 1-1 pitch near the left wrist. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and flew out to centerfield. Bubela grounded the first pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play.

Rupe's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (13 strikes)

Grade: A
Eddie Guardado came in for Soriano. Matthews whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Barajas flew out to Lopez on the dirt on the first pitch. DeRosa popped out to rightfield. Ballgame.

Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (6 strikes)

Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
He was 2-for-3 with a couple of well-placed singles. He also walked in the first, demonstrating at least some semblance of patience. Of course, Rogers isn't a righty with a slider low and away, so Beltre didn't have that at which to swing in this game. Combine this with what seemed to me like a more-abundant-than-usual glut of nice defensive plays, and there you have it, the gameball. Well, that and I don't pick the obvious gameball, which you could argue for in favor of Richie Sexson (3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs) or Ryan Franklin (line above). In the batting average race, Sexson at .263 is leading Beltre at .257. In the RBI race, Sexson's 121 leads Beltre's 85. Oddly, Beltre this year has hit a career-high 35 doubles, and his 85 RBIs are tied with 2000 for his most RBIs in any season that isn't 2004. His 152 hits are also a career-high when not compared with 2004. Unsurpisingly, Beltre's 106 strikeouts are an outright career-high. I wonder how many more games the Mariners would have won this year with an Adrian Beltre that was hitting .270.

Goat: Miguel Ojeda.
Mike Morse actually had a worse line, going 0-for-3 and leaving a whopping six runners on base, but for the life of me, I can't goat him thanks to that catch he made into the leftfield stands. That was totally unexpected for me out of Morse, so no goat for him. Instead, I'll pick Ojeda here, who is 5-for-29 as a Mariner with one homer and no other extra-base hits. Ojeda has zero multi-hit games as a Mariner. Amazingly, his best series according to the game log was the home series against the Yankees to close August and start September. He was 2-for-5 with a homer and a couple of walks. It's like the Mariners can't get the good half of anything that involves Miguel Olivo. Even the guy they got in return for him can't hit. He's contributed very little offensively toward the Mariners, obviously, other than that homer in the Yankee series. As for uniform numbers, number 2 didn't get it done for him, and I saw him wear number 35 in this game for the first time, and it looks like that didn't get him going either. If it gets real bad, he might be wrestling Jaime Bubela for his number 62. You never know.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 114-45 .717 -- W4
2002 92-67 .579 22 L1
2003 90-69 .566 24 L2
2000 89-70 .560 25 L1
2005 68-91 .428 46 W1
2004 62-97 .392 52 L1

With this 1-for-4 game, Ichiro has 198 hits on the season and sits with a .297 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (667 at-bats in 159 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 13 at-bats)...
-- he needs 2 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .159 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 6 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .477 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- (impossible unless the Mariners close with three 25-inning games or something) he needs 20 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit 1.589 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.

Saarloos. Moyer. Tomorrow.

/ Click for main page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Sports and B's 

home page