Saturday, April 30, 2005
Mariners at Athletics, 1:05 p.m. Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Jamie Moyer (4-0, 2.53 ERA) vs Joe Blanton (0-2, 1.75 ERA)
The Mariners are 3-1 on this road trip, so they're guaranteed to finish at least .500 regardless of what happens today and tomorrow.
Killswitch Engage "Rose Of Sharyn" is the "Hear The Music, Feel The Music" pick of the weekend here at Sports and Bremertonians. On the weekends, we'll just have one track. And if any of you can come up with a better name than "Hear The Music, Feel The Music", put it in the box. Or if you just like the name as it is, that's fine as well.
Opening the box...
[actually posted ~11:57a]
It's a new series. The Kings shot the crap out of the ball and were able to get through to the basket for layups for most of the game. But the Sonics doomed themselves with a poor start.
Jerome James scored the first two baskets of the game, and everything seemed okay until Sacramento followed up with an 11-2 run, putting the Kings up 11-6 just under four minutes into the game. The Sonics had another spell later in the quarter, going nearly four and a half minutes without a field goal. That translated into a 12-1 King run (including the most embarrassing play of the game in the above photo), smattered with six Sonic turnovers. The Kings had a 15-point lead of 31-16 inside the final minute of the quarter before Nick Collison tipped in a missed Ray Allen three. The Sonics were down 31-19 after one quarter.
Ray Allen led the way with five points in the first quarter. Jerome James and Reggie Evans had four apiece. Evans led with four rebounds. Luke Ridnour led in getting a shiner and getting plowed on Brad Miller picks. The Sonics were shooting 8-for-21 (38%) from the field, and the Kings shot 13-for-23 (56%), mostly thanks to getting all the way to the basket for layups.
The most damning stat of the first quarter, and of the game -- 9 Sonic turnovers in the first quarter alone. The Kings scored 12 points off the turnovers. Five of the turnovers were steals. The Sonics were never able to overcome this.
It got worse before it got better. The Kings scored the first five points of the second quarter. The Sonics later answered with the same number of points before the Kings reeled off a 12-2 run to take a 21-point lead, their largest of the game. The Sonics left Brad Miller wide open on the perimeter, and he sank jumpers on four straight Sacramento possessions (three jumpers). The run was broken by a Vladimir Radmanovic three, and Ray Allen scored nine points to spark a 14-1 Sonic run, returning the game to near-respectability as the Sonics trailed 49-41 about three minutes to go in the half. Then Cuttino Mobley answered with a three right after Sacramento had called a 20. The Sonics trailed 54-45 at halftime. A nine-point deficit was definitely better than 21.
The Sonics shot a little better from the field, ending the half at 17-for-41 (41%). The Kings were still torrid at 23-for-43 (53%). The Sonics turned the ball over three more times in the second quarter, making it 12 for the half. The Sonics led 20-13 on rebounds.
Allen led with 16 points at half. James had 10 and Ridnour had 6. James led with 5 rebounds, and Evans had 4.
I'll make it simple for you. Both teams pretty much traded baskets until the last part of the fourth quarter, when the Kings were able to maintain a double-digit lead. Of course, the Sonics started the half down nine points, and trading baskets didn't work to their advantage. Scoring 36 points in a quarter (third) is good, but the euphoria is killed a bit when you give up 38 in the same quarter. At least there was a nice play where Jerome James was double-teamed and passed to a wide-open Rashard Lewis under the basket for a dunk. Ridnour was later plowed by a Miller pick for at least the second time. Two Danny Fortson free throws got the Sonics within seven (86-79) with a minute and a half to play, but they got no closer. Sacramento went on a 6-2 run to end the quarter and led 92-81 after three quarters.
Allen led after three quarters with 23 points. James had 18 and Ridnour had 13. Lewis and Radmanovic had 6 apiece. James and Evans led with 6 boards apiece. Ridnour had amassed 5 assists.
The basket-trading phase ended when the Kings used five free throws and a Bibby layup for a 7-0 run to put themselves up by double-digits for good. For most of the second half, their lead had hovered around nine, but no less than seven.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Ray Allen 33 pts/5 reb/5 ast (10-21 FG, 3-9 3pt, 10-10 free throws, 41 min), Luke Ridnour 15 pts/5 reb/5 ast (6-14 FG, 1-3 3pt, 2-2 free throws, 37 min), Rashard Lewis 9 pts/2 reb (2-10 FG, 0-2 3pt, 5-6 free throws, 40 min), Reggie Evans 4 pts/5 reb (2-2 FG, 16 min)
Vladimir Radmanovic 8 pts/5 reb (3-11 FG, 2-8 3pt, 31 min), Nick Collison 7 pts/4 reb (2-6 FG, 3-4 free throws, 16 min), Antonio Daniels 3 pts/2 reb/3 ast (0-3 FG, 3-4 free throws, 15 min), Danny Fortson 3 pts (3-4 free throws, 8 min)
Jerome James Watch
22 pts/9 reb/1 ast/1 blk (9-14 FG, 4-4 free throws, 2 turnovers, 6 fouls, 36 min)
shot 34-for-81 (42%) from the floor, shot 6-for-23 (26.1%) from downtown, shot 30-for-34 (88.2%) from the line, outrebounded Kings 38-30 (15-9 on offensive glass), turned ball over 16 times, were beaten 40-34 in paint, bench outscored King bench 21-19 (outrebounded them 12-6)
First off, we know that Reggie Evans has gotten into Brad Miller's head in the past, though I think I heard on the broadcast that Evans had some sort of stomach problem, limiting him to just 16 minutes. Thus, Miller was able to be the main picksetter, and Mike Bibby was able to run Luke Ridnour through Miller's picks all night long.
Speaking of picks, the Sonics sure like to bring James out to the perimeter for a high screen if nothing is materializing in the offense. Not that it shouldn't be obvious or anything. Fortson used to do the same thing when he got minutes.
It would sure help the Sonics if Radmanovic and/or finally went nuts. They can't have both of those guys having off-nights from the floor for much longer.
Of course, one could argue that if the Sonics just cut their turnovers in half in that first quarter, they could have won this game. They probably could have. You can't let Kenny Thomas go off for 22 points though. Seriously, what the hell was that? He was blowing by people and getting to the basket. It's one thing if Bibby does it, but it's quite another if Kenny Thomas does it.
I'm hoping Coach McMillan and the assistants can draw something up to take a 3-1 series lead back to Seattle, because I don't know if I can live with a 2-2 tie going into Game 5. From this game alone, they need to seal off the paint and not leave Brad Miller open on the perimeter. It'd help to limit Cuttino Mobley as well.
And for goodness' sake, don't turn the ball over nine times in the first quarter. Good gracious.
Kevin Pelton at SuperSonics.com notified us the other day that Jinkies is up. I asked what the Sonics would need to do to take a 3-1 series lead back to Seattle. His response: "That is funny. I am liking you."
It's good to have Jinkies back. Thanks to Kevin for notifying us of Jinkies' existence. Hopefully it brings back some of that early-season mojo.
In 25 words or less: Aaron Sele got into so many jams it could have been Smucker's Night in Oakland. At least he got out of them.
This one featured Aaron Sele up against a piece of Mark Mulder trade bait, Dan Haren.
Haren didn't have too much trouble. Ichiro lined out to center on the first pitch of the game, and Jeremy Reed flew out to center as well just two pitches later. Three pitches, two outs. Adrian Beltre hacked at the first pitch as well, but doubled off the scoreboard in leftfield. Richie Sexson had the two hitters' counts, but he whiffed on a full-count dirtball to end the inning. Haren threw 10 pitches.
Sele's start was ominous. Mark Kotsay stung one to centerfield that Reed caught. Jason Kendall hit a grounder under Bret Boone's glove that went for a single into centerfield. Eric Chavez ripped a 1-0 pitch off the rightfield scoreboard, putting two runners into scoring position. Sele fell behind 2-0 to Scott Hatteberg, who two pitches later bounced out to Boone as the infield was playing back. Kendall scored.
»» ATHLETICS 1, MARINERS 0
Erubiel Durazo flew out to Reed to end the inning. Sele threw 16 pitches.
Haren had little trouble. Bret Boone was down 0-2 quickly, and though logs say it goes down as a swinging strikeout, I thought Boone might have held his swing and the pitch was there. Raul Ibanez had his 2-0 advantage disappear, and he flew out to left on a full count. Winn took three strikes, with the last being over the inside corner. Haren threw 14 pitches.
Sele would get into some scattered treachery. Mark Ellis singled to center to lead off the inning. Nick Swisher laced a 1-2 single into rightfield. Marco Scutaro at least made an out, as Wilson Valdez ranged to his right to grab a ball from the hole and get the 6-4 fielder's choice. Charles Thomas, whose low average the broadcast crew brought up on numerous occasions throughout the broadcast, took a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Kotsay lined out to Winn in left to end the inning. Sele threw 18 pitches.
The Mariners would get to Haren. Miguel Olivo flew out to Kotsay in center. Wilson Valdez hit a ball up the middle that appeared to hit Haren in the foot or lower leg, and it bounced ricocheted right to Hatteberg near first base, but he overran it (charged with error). Two pitches later, Valdez would come around to score when Ichiro ripped a ball toward the corner in right. Swisher tried to make a diving catch and missed. Valdez scored from first to tie the game, and Ichiro scooted all the way to third for a triple.
»» ATHLETICS 1, MARINERS 1
Oakland manager Ken Macha drew his infielders in to try and prevent Ichiro from scoring on an infield grounder. Reed hit a 1-0 pitch past Scutaro at short and into centerfield, and Ichiro scored easily.
»» MARINERS 2, ATHLETICS 1
Beltre fouled off three pitches before whiffing on a fourth. Sexson fouled off pitches on the two hitters' counts, and he ended up walking. Boone bounced into a 5-4 fielder's choice to end the inning. Haren doubled his pitch count in one inning, throwing 24 to match his total from the first two innings.
Sele got the trouble out of the way early. After getting ahead of Kendall 1-2, he threw three straight balls for the free pass. Chavez flew out to Reed, and Hatteberg grounded out to Sexson at first. Sele got ahead 0-2 on Durazo, who bounced out to Boone two pitches later. Sele threw 13 pitches.
The Mariners would scratch out another run in semi-dramatic fashion. Ibanez drew a seven-pitch walk to lead off. Winn singled up the middle to make it even more interesting. Olivo tapped one back to the mound, and Haren threw to third to nail the lead runner (Ibanez). It was still interesting, though more frustratingly so. Runners remained at first and second, but now with one out instead of none. To make matters worse, Valdez got behind 0-2 right away, paving the way for him to be caught looking on a 2-2 pitch. Ichiro served a 2-2 pitch into leftfield. Winn had a full head of steam coming toward third base, and he was heading to the plate the whole way. He should have been meat. Thomas came up throwing, and Winn slid away from Kendall's glove side at the plate, evading the tag. Hooray!
»» MARINERS 3, ATHLETICS 1
Reed bounced into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning. Haren threw 21 pitches and was at 69 through four.
The rollercoaster ride continued. Mark Ellis singled to left to lead off. Sele fell behind 2-0 to Swisher, but then Swisher watched two strikes. Swisher took ball four on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Two on and nobody out. Not good. Then a funny thing happened -- Scutaro bounced a ball up the middle that Valdez got to, starting the 6-4-3 double play. That sure changed things up. A small buzzkill came two pitches later when Sele beaned Thomas in the back leg, though Thomas made no effort whatsoever to get out of the way. Kotsay lined out to Boone two pitches later to end the inning. Sele threw 22 pitches and was at 69 through four.
Haren sliced through the meat. Beltre bounced out to short on a 2-0 pitch. Sexson drew a walk, but Boone and Ibanez both went down looking to end the inning. Haren threw 18 pitches and was at 89 through five.
Sele averted disaster once again. Kendall had the hitters' counts and grounded out to Valdez. Chavez singled to center. Sele got ahead of Hatteberg 0-2, and dropped in a mother of a curve two pitches later to catch him looking. Durazo ripped a 2-1 pitch just barely foul down the leftfield line for what could have been a double to bring Oakland to within one run. Durazo settled for lining a single into centerfield. Ellis flew out right to Ichiro on 3-1. Sele threw 18 pitches and was at 92 through five.
Haren had no trouble against the Bottom Three. Winn whiffed, Olivo grounded one to Chavez, and Valdez grounded out to short on the first pitch. Haren threw 10 pitches and was at 97 through six.
Sele's easiest inning was his final one, but that doesn't mean he didn't pitch into a couple of three-ball counts. Swisher popped a 3-1 pitch to Beltre in the acres of foul ground. Scutaro bounced out to short. Thomas, who was batting less than a buck, worked a 1-2 count full before grounding out to Boone.
Sele's line: 6 innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 105 pitches (61 strikes)
Haren's final inning had turbulence, though not wholly self-inflicted like Sele's. Ichiro bounced out to second to lead off, and Reed flew out to shallow rightcenter. Beltre hit a high chopper on 1-2, and it bounced over the mound. Haren tried to go back and field it, but he couldn't come up with it. It also would have taken an insane spin move and throw to get Beltre at first, who was credited with a single. Beltre went to second on the first (wild) pitch to Sexson, who ended up with the whiff. Haren threw 16 pitches.
Haren's line: 7 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 6 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts, 116 pitches (72 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Sele, and all Mariner fans soon hated this fact. Thornton walked Kotsay on four pitches to lead off. Kendall had a 2-0 count to start, but worked an eight-pitch walk. Two walks, no outs, no good. Chavez helped out everyone involved by popping one in foul ground to Olivo. Thornton handed a 3-1 count to Hatteberg, but he flew out to Beltre. Thornton got Durazo to roll one to short to start the 6-4 fielder's choice. The inning started badly, and ended a lot better than it started. I'll have a 1-2-3 inning next time, thanks.
Thornton's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
"Ricky" Ricardo Rincon came on in relief for Haren. Boone led off and had a very nice at-bat. Though he fouled off the first two pitches and got behind 0-2, he eventually worked the count full and mashed a ball over the manual scoreboard in leftfield on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. Nicely done. The sooner the Lasik kicks in, the better.
»» MARINERS 4, ATHLETICS 1
Rincon got a bit wild, falling behind 3-0 on Ibanez. Rincon got the gimme strike, and got a flyout to right on the next pitch. Winn helped him out even more by flying out to left on the first pitch.
Huston Street came on for Rincon to face Olivo, and got a strikeout.
Rincon's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (7 strikes)
Street's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
JJ Putz was brought in to set up Eddie Guardado. The first five pitches he threw were strikes. Both Ellis (0-1 pitch) and Swisher (0-2) grounded out to Beltre. Then Putz threw three straight balls after having a 1-2 count on Scutaro. Putz went 0-2, threw two balls, and then did the unthinkable, allowing a single to Thomas (rightfield).
Mike Hargrove couldn't fathom what just happened, so he brought in Ron Villone. Three pitches into the Villone outing, Kotsay singled into leftcenter, and Scutaro came around.
»» MARINERS 4, ATHLETICS 2
Kendall then tapped a 1-2 pitch in front of the plate, and Olivo pounced on it and threw him out.
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
More Mulder trade bait came in to pitch, this time it was Kiko Calero. Valdez fanned to lead off. Ichiro had a 2-0 count, and two pitches later he singled into centerfield. Calero threw over twice to first base to try to pick off Ichiro, and nearly got him once when Ichiro was leaning toward second. Reed ended up taking strike three. Beltre got behind 0-2 as Calero and Kendall were still occupied with Ichiro at first. Beltre flew out to center to end the inning.
Calero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (13 strikes)
Would it be a Cardiac Ninth? Actually, the complete opposite. Chavez was jammed in on the handle and flew out to Reed, Hatteberg bounced one to Sexson, and Durazo smoked one into Winn's glove in leftfield.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
He had the only non-Ichiro multihit game. Sure, both of his hits were with two outs and nobody on, but slumps have to be broken somehow. I hope this starts him on a tear, but who knows? I still wish he'd lay off the breaking stuff low and away, but with how many times over the past few years I've seen Boone swing at strike three on that pitch, I guess I'm numb to it.
Goat: Matt Thornton.
The fans in Oakland had just stretched when suddenly Matt Thornton walked the first two batters and brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Sure, he got out of the jam, but sheesh. At least JJ Putz had gotten two guys out before he got into his mess. Thornton darn near blew the win for Sele.
It was a win sort of like the one from the night before. Pitcher throws well, Mariners get behind at first and then score some runs to get the win for said starting pitcher. Needless to say, Aaron Sele's outing doesn't even come close to touching Gil Meche's outing on Thursday.
Ichiro had the non-Beltre multihit game, and he drove in the tying run as well as an insurance run. He's busy making up for the first couple games at Texas. In a weird note, Richie Sexson struck out twice, but walked another two times in his 0-for-2 day. His last four games: 5-for-11 with a homer, six walks, three whiffs, five runs scored, and three stranded runners.
Wilson Valdez almost ended up in the goat slot, but he at least hit the ball up the middle that Scott Hatteberg made the error on. That was a welcome departure from realizing his 0-for-4 night where he struck out twice and stranded two. So, I guess you get a goat reprieve if you score the tying run.
Aaron Sele, hoo boy. I haven't been too high on his re-signing, and I never like it when he's in a jam in just about every inning, but if he can throw six every time out and keep this team in the game, I think that'd make for a solid season from Sele. Hell, I wasn't expecting him to get much past the fifth going into this season, so I've been wrong a couple times.
Above .500? With this team, I think a betting man would bet high on a Mariner loss today. Of course, it's Jamie Moyer on the mound today, and he's 4-0. He might also run into an umpire who doesn't call a low strike, so who knows what could happen?
This post was aided by...
-- Brave New World, Iron Maiden
-- Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!, Megadeth
Moyer. Blanton. Today.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Mariners at Athletics, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Aaron Sele (1-2, 5.56 ERA) vs Dan Haren (1-2, 4.56 ERA)
SEATTLE MARINERS (11-11)
OAKLAND ATHLETICS (11-11)
When will the Aaron Sele Experience end?
In related news to Dan Haren, if you need to kill some time before the Mariners-A's game, watch the St. Louis-Atlanta game on TBS at 4:30 Pacific. Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson are scheduled to pitch for the Cardinals and Braves tonight, respectively. If that's not a good enough reason for you to watch that game, then I don't know what is. Haren was traded to Oakland in the Mulder deal, in case you had forgotten.
There's not one, but two Seattle-based teams playing in Northern California tonight. The Sonics are on the road in Sacramento tonight for Game 3 (7:30 Pacific, KONG-TV and ESPN). It's a very crucial game for the Sonics, IMO. If they go up 3-0 on the Kings tonight, it would be huge. They don't want to let Sacramento back into this series.
For the "Hear The Music, Feel The Music" selection today, it's The Soundtrack Of Our Lives with "Big Time". I've been listening to this song non-stop since I heard it at Wrestlemania a few weeks back when I was in Los Angeles. Just a good ol' rock song. Yes, we know how to rock.
Mulder-Hudson at 4:30 Pacific. Mariners-A's at 7:00. Sonics-Kings at 7:30.
That's a big time sports lineup, folks.
Today is the start of the Seahawks' mini-camp, with all of the draft picks and free agents present. Running back Shaun Alexander will not show up, since he hasn't signed his tender.
Which means that 5th round pick and martial arts master Jeb Huckeba is in Kirkland right now. Huckeba isn't just a good football player, he also has good martial arts skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have good skills, you know.
As I said last weekend, Seattle fans are going to love Huckeba. He is a hard-nosed player who won't quit. By the way, you don't earn all-SEC first-team honors by not being a good player. The Seahawks and Tim Ruskell knew what they were doing when they selected Huckeba. Out of all the players who were selected by the Seahawks in the 2005 draft, I'm rooting for Huckeba. You can't help but root for good guys like Huckeba.
We'll have more on the Seahawks mini-camp this weekend. After all, we're Sports and Bremertonians, a site that features more than just the Mariners.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
In 25 words or less: It looked for six innings like Gil Meche would suffer from low run support. It came around.
This one featured Gil Meche against 6'10" righty Chris Young.
Young would begin to bewilder the Mariners. Ichiro grounded out to second. Jeremy Reed creamed a 1-1 pitch which may have had home-run distance, but it went foul. He grounded out to third on the next pitch. Adrian Beltre singled into center on his first pitch. Richie Sexson fouled off a 3-1 pitch before grounding out to short. Chris Young threw 13 pitches in the inning.
Meche started off very nicely. Alfonso Soriano bounced out to short on the first pitch. Hank Blalock got behind 0-2 and Meche got him hacking at a dirtball two pitches later. Michael Young grounded out to short. Wilson Valdez got some grounders, which was good because he wasn't hitting. Meche threw only seven pitches.
Young continued to follow in the long line of no-name Mariner beaters (Doug Waechter, Jorge Sosa, Mark Hendrickson, et al). Bret Boone stung the first pitch and flipped the bat, which of course means it won't leave the yard. Boone appeared to get more juice on it than usual as of late, getting it to the gap in rightcenter where Richard Hidalgo caught it at the wall. Raul Ibanez got the green light on 3-0 and flew out to centerfield. Randy Winn bounced out to short. Chris Young threw only seven pitches in the inning.
Meche got a timely ground ball to keep the inning sane. Mark Teixeira singled into rightfield. David Dellucci worked a 1-2 count full before rolling one to Boone, who started the 4-6-3 double play with the kind of flip that's actually meaningful. The double play even came with one of those phantom tags of the bag by the shortstop, perfected by Valdez. Kevin Mench tapped a ball to the third-base side of the mound, where Meche picked it up and threw to first. Meche threw 15 pitches in the inning.
The Mariners were being held at Young gunpoint. Man, that's a stretch. Dan Wilson flew out deep into the corner in rightfield. Wilson Valdez tapped one back to the mound. Ichiro drilled a 2-0 pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a double, but it's too bad there were two out. Reed bounced out to second on the first pitch. Chris Young threw nine pitches.
Meche was a victim of some slight misfortune, but remained unscathed. Richard Hidalgo flew out to shallow right (Ichiro) on the first pitch. Laynce Nix doubled off the wall in leftcenter; this was almost similar to the Willie Bloomquist play in Chicago, but this ball was hit harder. Winn leapt at the wall, but the ball hit the wall two feet away (centerfield side) from his glove. Rod Barajas chased a high fastball, ending up with a flyout on the infield grass to Boone. Soriano whiffed on a 1-2 outside fastball. Meche threw 11 pitches.
Chris Young was pitching, and Dennis DeYoung of Styx might as well have been in the batter's box. Beltre got behind 0-2 and couldn't hold the checkswing two pitches later on a pitch high and outside. Sexson took a 1-2 curveball over the outside corner. Boone hit a 1-2 pitch high in the air, landing in the glove of Blalock, who had camped out on the front slope of the mound. Chris Young threw 14 pitches.
Meche done made a mistake. He fell behind 2-0 on Blalock. Wilson had the target set over the outside corner, but the pitch went over the inner half of the plate instead. Well, it might have gotten there, but Blalock creamed it, reaching the upper deck in rightfield. It was almost a mortar shot like Soriano hit last night.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Michael Young laced a line drive, but right into Winn's glove. Teixeira flew out high to centerfield on the first pitch. Dellucci grounded out to Sexson at first. Meche threw 14 pitches, but found himself behind in the game.
More of the same from the Mariners. Ibanez worked a 1-2 count full and fouled off a couple pitches before flying out to left. Winn blooped a ball into shallow centerfield, but it hung in the air too long and was caught by Nix. Wilson didn't give Nix a lot of recovery time, flying out to center on the first pitch. Young threw 14 pitches.
Meche picked up for the defense a bit. Meche was ahead 0-2 on Mench, who ripped a 2-2 pitch barely foul down the leftfield line, but had to settle for a groundout to short. He went 0-2 on the next hitter as well, Hidalgo, who hit a ball to Boone's right two pitches later. The problem: Boone tried to barehand the ball instead of gloving it and throwing. He got his barehand on the ball, sure, but it bounced away and there was no play (error). Nix helped everyone out by flying out to Reed in center. Meche fell behind 2-0 on Barajas, but got a grounder to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice. Meche threw 17 pitches.
More melatonin from Chris Young. Valdez tapped one back to the mound. Ichiro flew out to shallow right. Reed whiffed at a pitch high and away. Chris Young threw only six pitches and had 63 through six.
Meche had a 1-2-3 inning. Soriano took Winn to the warning track in left on the first pitch. Blalock grounded out to Sexson at first. Meche fell behind 2-0 on Michael Young, but worked the count full and got a tapper right back to him. Meche threw 12 pitches and had thrown 76 through six.
The game got suddenly got very interesting. Beltre flew out to centerfield to start off, but things would warm up. Sexson took a 3-1 pitch high and outside for a walk. Boone fouled off a 1-2 pitch before poking one into centerfield, snapping his 0-for-19 skid. Ibanez smoked a base hit into centerfield on the first pitch, though it was hit too hard to score Sexson. Nonetheless, the bases were loaded with one out, and it was bad enough to get Texas pitching coach Orel Hershiser out to the mound. Winn then hit a high chopper to short that was hit too slow for the double play (at least Soriano thought so, since he didn't throw to first), instead ending up as a 6-4 fielder's choice. Sexson scored and the game was tied. Winn probably would have beaten out a throw anyway.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Winn took second base without a throw on the first pitch to Wilson. Wilson hit a broken-bat flare to Soriano in shallow right to end the inning. Chris Young threw 21 pitches and had thrown 84 through seven.
Meche faltered a bit. He fell behind 3-1 to Teixeira, who fouled off the next four pitches before grounding out to Boone. He walked Dellucci on four pitches. Mench mashed a 1-2 pitch to leftfield which could have gone for a double if it wasn't hit right to Winn, who caught the rope (HUGE out). Hidalgo grounded out to third, ending what I thought was Meche's final inning. Meche threw 19 pitches and had thrown 95 through seven.
I like surprises. Valdez got behind 0-2 and grounded out to first (3-1 putout) two pitches later. Ichiro saw a 1-1 pitch down and in and put the home-run swing on it, putting it 10 rows back into the rightfield seats. Ladies and gentlemen, we have found our 2005 Jeff Zimmerman, and thy name is Chris Young. Whoever ended up with the Ichiro ball in the stands ended up throwing it back. Who in their right mind would throw back an Ichiro ball?
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 1
Reed got behind 0-2 and ended up popping to Blalock at the mound. Beltre got down 0-2 as well, eventually flying out to center. Chris Young threw 18 pitches.
Unfortunately for Young, he gave up the lead in the 7th, and was in line for the loss after the 8th despite spinning a great outing. Somewhere Ryan Franklin is laughing.
Young's line: 8 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 103 pitches (70 strikes)
Mike Hargrove sent Meche out to the mound in the 8th, which surprised me, and they almost ended up paying for it. Nix whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball. Meche then hung a first-pitch breaking ball to Barajas, the #9 hitter, who tagged it down the leftfield line for a double. Gary Matthews, Jr. pinch ran for Barajas. Soriano flew out to center.
Hargrove came out to the mound and Ron Villone was summoned from the bullpen. Villone got a first-pitch strike on Blalock. Blalock fouled off two pitches before whiffing on a fastball up and in. It was quite an authoritative strikeout, and signaled the best we can expect out of Villone in his ridiculous situational lefty role (not his fault).
Meche's line: 7 2/3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 104 pitches (68 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (4 strikes)
Surely the Mariners would like some insurance so Eddie Guardado wouldn't give the fans a Cardiac Ninth. Carlos Almanzar came in to relieve Chris Young. Sexson quickly took care of the insurance thing, swatting an 0-1 pitch over the scoreboard in left, though it took a long time to come down. That was a moon shot, rainmaker, whatever you want to call it.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 1
Almanzar fell behind 2-0 to Boone, who raked one down the leftfield line for a double. Almanzar was threatening to go Jason Davis on us all, walking Ibanez on four pitches, and getting a mound visit from pitching coach Orel Hershiser. Winn bounced into a 4-6 fielder's choice on the first pitch. Almanzar got ahead 0-2 on Wilson but then uncorked an extremely wild pitch, one of those pitches that slips out of the hand. It went well over Wilson's head and to the backstop, scoring Boone.
»» MARINERS 4, RANGERS 1
Three pitches later, Wilson fanned on a pitch low and away. Almanzar threw another wild one on the 1-0 to Valdez, and Winn went to third. Valdez had a 2-0 count as well, but bounced out to second two pitches later. A three-run lead for Guardado is better than a one-run lead, I can tell you that much.
Almanzar's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (10 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came on to close it out. Michael Young lined the second pitch of the inning right to Ichiro. Teixeira hit a very high fly ball that Reed camped under and caught. Chad Allen pinch-hit for Dellucci, and stung an 0-1 pitch that Sexson nearly speared on the fly with a diving backhand catch, but it went off his glove. Boone came up with the ball, but Guardado hadn't hurried over to first in time, though a play at first was probably debatable. Mench put the outcome out of doubt quickly, however, flying out to Winn on the first pitch. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
His line wasn't quite as good tonight as in the two other games of the series, but he was still good. He was 1-for-3, driving in himself, walking once, striking out once, stranding one, and scoring twice. Needless to say, one of the runs was the homer. The other run? That was the tying run (first Seattle run) in the seventh, where he got aboard with the first-pitch walk and scored on the Randy Winn fielder's choice. Sexson capped off an impressive (albeit unusual for him) series, going 5-for-9 with one homer and four walks, striking out only once and scoring five runs. The only thing more odd than Sexson scoring five runs is that he only drove in one. One could think he only drove in one run because he stranded a bunch of guys, but he stranded only one runner the entire series. I'll let that Buckner ball from last night slide, but the gameball is for tonight.
Goat: Dan Wilson.
Can there be such a thing as the go-to goat? Wilson was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding three. He stranded two in scoring position with two out to end the 7th and left Winn on second by striking out in the 9th. I won't dispute that Wilson and Meche had a good thing going today, but someone has to go here, and Jeremy Reed and Wilson Valdez (both 0-for-4 tonight) didn't make any errors or do anything totally stupid or strand a bunch of runners.
You know, it's weird. Last night we got the first sketchy start of the year from Ryan Franklin. Tonight we got the best start of the year from Gil Meche, after some sketchy starts and some not-quite-sharp starts. I'm still quite surprised that Hargrove sent him back out there for the 8th after having thrown 95 pitches and after having given up that 4-pitch walk (his only walk of the game) and that Mench lineout which went into Winn's glove at light speed. He only got the three strikeouts, but his breaking stuff was working really well. I don't consider him too much of a groundball pitcher, but he had 12 of those for outs tonight compared to eight flyball outs.
I'm impressed with this win. I wasn't impressed with the first six innings against Chris Young, but I was incredibly glad that they finally managed to scratch something out against him. To think it started out with a Sexson walk. Patience pays, as Edgar would say (and write). Sexson scored after walking, and then Ichiro had that homer swing, which I've been able to detect apart from the regular hit swing. It's more of a full swing. Let's not forget that two-out double in the 3rd for Ichiro. He was 2-for-4, and with the double and the homer...that'll send his slugging percentage through the ROOF!
Bret Boone's run of futility peaked at 0-for-19 before he poked a single into leftfield in the 7th to move Sexson into scoring position. He also doubled into the corner in left in the 9th. He's now hitting .250. Of course, you have to take the bad with the good, and Boone had that idiotic barehand play that went for an error.
In bullpen news, Villone's strikeout was a nice end to the 8th, and Eddie Guardado didn't collapse after the 2-out ball off Sexson's glove. Somehow I feel that if Guardado's pitching a relatively easy 9th, that doesn't mean I'm living any less. If I want rollercoaster rides, I'll give a ticket to some scruffy-looking volunteer carnival operator with rotten teeth and a chaw in his mouth, and then I'll board the ride. I don't want rollercoaster rides from my closer.
In a really sick note, I listened to a tiny piece of the Mitch Levy show on KJR this morning, and they brought up something that'll make every Mariner fan vomit -- more than half of Jose Mesa's 300 saves (he just got #300) have come AFTER he left the Seattle Mariners. This is me retching.
Well, good friends, we're back to .500. Eleven wins, eleven losses. Thirteen is a baker's dozen, but eleven is a baker's ten. Okay, it's not. Off to Oakland! It's McAfee Coliseum, in case anyone's wondering. It at least sounds like it's named after someone, but they just make antivirus software.
Sele. Haren. Tomorrow.
Mariners at Rangers, 7:05 Pacific (KSTW, FSN Southwest, MLB.TV)
Gil Meche (1-1, 6.86 ERA) vs Chris Young (2-1, 5.79 ERA)
It's the rubber game tonight in Arlington. Can the Mariners win a series against a division rival? We can only hope Meche doesn't end up like Ryan Franklin did last night. By the way, ENOUGH OF THE RUN SUPPORT ARGUMENTS FOR THE FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS-BORN PITCHER! Thanks.
I'd just like to let everyone know that the PUMP is all in good fun. Some people try to take it way too seriously. The same deal goes for the TOWEL!, which is equally as fun as the PUMP. My advice to those of you who take this stuff way too seriously is to relax. There are more serious things in the world to deal with than to bitch and moan about the blogosphere being so down on players such as Willie Bloomquist. Every team has a "whipping boy". Willie is our whipping boy. Again, it's all in good fun.
In serious Mariner news, Dave at USS Mariner reported that the Mariners have signed Dave Hansen to a minor league deal. You may remember Hansen's clutch 3-run home run against Oakland last season, before Mike Myers blew the 4-4 lead in the top of the 9th to give the A's a 7-4 victory. Expect Hansen to be up with the big club soon.
Hear the music, feel the music. You might as well.
It's Dark New Day with "Brother" (song plays when you open the page). Dan Lucero has been all over this band, and with good reason. Dark New Day features former Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery, so this band is definitely worth a listen. I'm not sure how Sevendust will do without Lowery, who not only played guitar but was one of the main songwriters. But in the meantime, Dark New Day is today's "Sports and Bremertonians Hear The Music, Feel The Music" pick. You tell me what other "Mariner blog" gives you music along with opinions on the Mariners?
The box is open for you to use. Use it, will ya?
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
In 25 words or less: Ryan Franklin got the shellac treatment in the first inning, and the game was pretty much over from that point.
This one featured Ryan Franklin going up against The Gambler, Kenny Rogers.
The Mariners got some baserunners, but did nothing. Ichiro grounded out to first. Randy Winn hit a hard grounder that went off Hank Blalock's glove at third and into centerfield for a single. Adrian Beltre flew out to rightfield on the first pitch. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 3-1 change, but Winn stole second on the pitch. Sexson ended up working a walk. Bret Boone flew out to right to end the inning. Rogers threw 18 pitches.
Ryan Franklin put the game out of doubt early. Alfonso Soriano ripped a 3-1 pitch down the rightfield line. At that point, I don't know how I felt this way, but I knew Franklin would get bombed. With that ballpark, and the way the Rangers hit four homers the night before, I thought that'd be the case. Well, they didn't hit four homers in the inning or something, but it was still devastating. Franklin bounced back from the double by walking Hank Blalock on four pitches. Michael Young drilled a thigh-high fastball over the middle, clearing the wall in leftcenter, going into the bullpen past the 390-foot marker.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 0
Franklin got ahead of Mark Teixeira 0-2 and eventually got a high flyout to Ichiro. David Dellucci was inexplicably green-lit on 3-0, but fouled it off. He walked on the next pitch. Kevin Mench laced a doubled into leftfield, and Winn tried to get Mench going to second, overthrowing the covering Bret Boone at second. Richie Sexson backed up the throw to stop and further damage. Then Richard Hidalgo grounded a ball up the middle to score two.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 0
Laynce Nix grounded a ball to Boone, who made a nice flip to start the 4-6-3 double play. The damage was done, though. Franklin threw 28 pitches in the inning.
The Mariners got favorable counts in the inning but couldn't capitalize. Raul Ibanez flew out to Mench in leftfield. Miguel Olivo had a 3-0 count which eventually went full before he grounded out to Blalock along the third-base line. Jeremy Reed walked on a 3-1 pitch. Wilson Valdez had a 2-0 count, then bounced out to second on 2-1. Rogers threw 22 pitches.
Franklin didn't get shelled again, but still had some trouble. Franklin hung one to Rod Barajas, but he got under it too much because he's Rod Barajas, so it was a flyout to Valdez in shallow left. Soriano got under a 2-0 pitch, flying out a little deeper to Winn. Blalock then walked on four pitches, and all eight pitches he'd seen on the night up to that point were all balls. Anomalously, Franklin dropped an 0-2 slider over the outside corner to catch Young looking and end the inning. Franklin threw 12 pitches.
Nothing was doing for the Mariner bats this inning (get used to that theme for tonight). Ichiro had a 2-0 count, but ended up lining out to Blalock in front of third on the infield grass. Winn and Beltre grounded out to short. Rogers threw 12 pitches.
Franklin didn't get touched up for any runs, but the inning was still a bit edgy. Teixeira's first-pitch double to rightfield beat FSNNW coming back from the break. Dellucci flew out to Winn in left, abut Teixeira was smart by tagging up and going to third on a ball hit to Randy Winn. Lest we forget, Randy Winn has no arm. Mench grounded out to Beltre on the infield grass, and Teixeira had to hold. Hidalgo had a 2-0 count, but later flew out in the gap to Ichiro. Franklin threw 13 pitches.
Former Mariner broadcaster Ken Levine (Levine's Law) used to say "the leadoff walk always comes around to score unless it doesn't." In this inning, the latter applied. Sexson walked tl lead off the inning. Boone predictably flew out to centerfield on the first pitch. Ibanez whiffed on a 2-2 outside-corner pitch, and Olivo flew out to right. Rogers threw 14 pitches.
This inning could have been worse. Nix hit an 0-2 grounder to the right side, and Sexson didn't have his glove all the way down, allowing the ball to go through his legs (error). Barajas then singled to left on the first pitch. Soriano took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. Blalock grounded his first pitch to Boone, and the runners advanced. Young flew out to center to end the inning. Franklin threw 11 pitches.
Same as the 4th. Reed worked from a 1-2 count and walked. Valdez bounced a grounder toward Rogers, who came off the mound, bobbled it, picked it up, and threw to first, falling down as he did so. Rogers barely got Valdez at first. Ichiro hit a low line drive to centerfield for a flyout. Winn had a 3-0 count, took strike one, then swung at ball four a couple times (fouling) before grounding out to the mound. Rogers threw18 pitches.
Franklin composed his swan song. I can't remember if he beat the network back from commercial again, but Teixeira singled to center on the first pitch. Mench smoked a base knock to left and scored Teixeira. If there was any doubt that the game was over, Franklin was quelling such a notion.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 0
Hidalgo flew out to Olivo in foul territory on his first pitch. Nix singled up the middle on his first pitch to plate Dellucci.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 0
Franklin had finally sealed his own fate and was pulled for Matt Thornton.
Barajas flew out to center. Soriano had an 0-2 count and eventually hit a hard shot to Beltre at third, who tagged the bag to end the inning. Thornton threw eight pitches.
Franklin's line: 4 1/3 innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 78 pitches (48 strikes)
Rogers started to falter as his pitch count got high, but it didn't matter. Beltre flew out to center on the first pitch. Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before lacing a single into leftcenter. Boone bounced his second pitch right to short for an easy 6-4 fielder's choice. Ibanez drew a walk, but Olivo hit a foul popup along the rightfield line, and it was caught over-the-shoulder by Teixeira. Rogers threw 21 pitches.
Kenny Rogers' pitch count was up there, and he didn't come out for the 7th. This probably elicited nondescript and barely detectable grins from the Mariner hitters.
Rogers' line: 6 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 5 walks, 1 strikeout, 105 pitches (57 strikes)
When you put Thornton in, you're just trying to get the game over with. Blalock had a 2-0 count, and eventually walked on a full count. Young flew out to right. Teixeira foul-tipped a ball into Olivo's glove. Dellucci sent a ball to the track in centerfield to end the inning.
Thornton's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
Someone may have snapped out of a small slump, but other than that, nothing happened. Brian Shouse came in for Kenny Rogers. Reed had two hitters' counts, but foul-tipped a breaking ball into the catcher's glove on a full count. Valdez popped out to the second baseman. Ichiro fouled off an 0-2 pitch before golfing a low pitch into centerfield for a single, his first hit in nine at-bats in the series. Winn hit a broken-bat grounder to third to end the inning.
Shouse's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Jeff Nelson came in and got tagged for a run, but no one cared by this point. He got strikeouts on Mench and Hidalgo (0-2 pitch) to start the inning before Nix bashed one out to rightfield.
»» RANGERS 8, MARINERS 0
Barajas flew out to center to end the inning.
Nelson's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 11 pitches (9 strikes)
It was pretty much over at this point, though the Mariners weren't quite in hurry-up mode. Nick Regilio took the mound for the Rangers. Beltre popped a ball foul along the rightfield line, and Teixeira didn't make an over-the-shoulder catch this time, instead settling for a regular ol' boring catch in about the same spot. Sexson had a 2-0 count and fouled off a couple pitches before flying out to center on a full count. It was the only plate appearance in which Sexson failed to reach base in the game. Boone bounced out to second to end the inning.
Regilio's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Congratulations to Julio Mateo for having the best inning of the night by a Mariner pitcher. Soriano and Blalock flew out to Reed, and Young lined out to Sexson at first. Hooray, Julio.
Mateo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
Hey, they did something. Francisco Cordero came on to get some easy work, and that's usually when closers aren't quite as sharp. Ibanez and Olivo led off with singles to centerfield. Reed took two pitches and whiffed on the third. Greg Dobbs came in to pinch hit for Valdez. He got down 0-2 and worked an eight-pitch at-bat resulting in a fielder's choice that erased Olivo from the basepaths. The first pitch to Ichiro was a bit inside, and he had to get out of the way, but he did this weird twist thing, and if something would have gone wrong, Ichiro could have turned his left ankle. Ichiro fought back on the next pitch, doubling into the gap in rightcenter, just over the reach of Hidalgo. At least the shutout was ruined.
»» RANGERS 8, MARINERS 2
Winn got down 0-2 and whiffed. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 26 pitches (18 strikes)
Gameball: Julio Mateo.
Ichiro would have been too obvious, and Richie Sexson (two walks and a single) had that error. Julio Mateo hadn't thrown in a game since Friday, so he was well-rested and he looked sharp, though it was in garbage-time relief.
Goat: Ryan Franklin.
Bret Boone can thank Ryan Franklin for not getting picked for a third straight goat. Boone was 0-for-4 and stranded four tonight, but it was Ryan Franklin who lost this game. Sure, he's had outings where he's lost close games with low run support this year, but tonight, he gave up too many runs to begin with, rendering the run support argument moot. If he got five runs of support per night, he still would have lost this game because he sucked, and he definitely sucked. He was taken to the woodshed by the Ranger bats, plain and simple. Three walks didn't help either, two of which were four-pitch walks to Hank Blalock, and two of which came around to score. Frankly, this game reeked of the one Gil Meche threw against Cleveland five nights ago. Meche gave up five runs in the first inning of that game as well.
Well, crap. The team's back below .500. I can't stress to you how much I thought Franklin was going to get rocked after he gave up that leadoff double to Alfonso Soriano. Just a gut feeling, I guess. In a way, though, I guess you could say it was due based on how well he'd been doing up to this point. The groundball/flyball ratio also wasn't heavily tilted toward groundouts this time, as it was a 4/7 ratio this time. Fly balls, bashers, and Arlington make for a mixture of homers.
How the hell did Kenny Rogers walk five batters and not give up a run? Two of them were leadoff walks. Simply amazing. What a hallmark for futility. Of course, the three walks that weren't leadoff walks were all with two out, so those were a bit more harmless. Still, if the pitcher's walking people, you've got to make something out of it.
Since somebody was more worthy of a goat than Bret Boone, I'll spend this paragraph on Bret Boone. 0-for-4 tonight, stranding four. The night before, he was 0-for-5, stranding 5. He hasn't had a hit since last Friday, which ironically was the last time a Mariner pitcher got blasted for five runs in the first inning. He's hitless in 17 at-bats. That's some suckage right there. The ol' average is down to .238, and wouldn't you know it, that's worse that Wilson Valdez. Amazing.
Jeremy Reed went hitless (0-for-2), but he continues to impress, drawing two walks and still making himself an offensive factor. I'm glad to see that Mike Hargrove is keeping him in against the lefties as well, because hey, he's at least going to give you a quality at-bat most of the time.
It's a Bonanza of Mediocrity. Of course, I'd rather have a year full of this than last year. I'd also rather have the Mariners tread water instead of going on horrendous losing skids. Either way, I'm hoping the power picks up soon. I wish Jeff Zimmerman would come out of the Texas pen and throw to Ichiro.
[Add Thu ~6:59a -- You know, I thought that it looked closer than the umpires and broadcasters made it seem, but Miguel Olivo was safe on that forceout in the 9th, on the Dobbs ground ball. I thought my eyes tricked me or something, Rizzs passed it off like it was nothing, etc.]
Meche. Young. Tomorrow.
Mariners at Rangers, 5:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, FSN Southwest, MLB.TV)
Ryan Franklin (1-2, 2.51 ERA) vs Kenny Rogers (0-2, 3.33 ERA)
SEATTLE MARINERS (10-10)
Ichiro rf .333
Winn lf .275
Beltre 3b .256
Sexson 1b .246
Boone 2b .250
Ibanez dh .296
Olivo c .184
Reed cf .270
Valdez ss .254
TEXAS RANGERS (10-11)
Soriano 2b .292
Blalock 3b .250
Young ss .287
Teixeira 1b .241
Dellucci dh .295
Mench lf .306
Hidalgo rf .176
Nix cf .381
Barajas c .242
Here's hoping that I get to watch the Mariners-Rangers on FSN Southwest tonight. Knowing my luck, FSN will pre-empt the game for meaningless SEC baseball action. Who knows how many relatives and friends Ryan Franklin will bring down from Spiro, Oklahoma. THERE'S THAT HOMETOWN AGAIN, PARTNER!
Feel the power of Pantera. Every Pantera album, with full-length tracks. Real Player required. Rest in peace, Dime.
The general makeup of Game 2 was a lot like Game 1. The Sonics got ahead early, built up a ridiculously huge lead, the Kings made their run, the Sonics got a bit lazy, and they had to hold them off before finally sealing the victory. Luckily, the Kings never got to within one point toward the end of this one like they did in Game 1.
The Kings got the first basket of the game, but on the first Seattle possession, Ray Allen drilled a deep jumper on the right side to beat the shot clock. Luke Ridnour hit a pull-up in transition the next trip down, and Rashard Lewis hit a couple free throws for a quick 6-0 run and a 6-2 Sonic lead with 10:08 to go. Sacramento rattled off a 6-0 run of their own, and Jerome James answered the run, backing down Brad Miller all the way to the basket and laying one in to tie the score at 8-8 with 7:29 to go. Lewis was doubled the next trip down the floor and kicked to Evans, who laid in another one. Luke Ridnour stole the ball from Greg Ostertag and Reggie Evans somehow made the layup down low among a sea of arms and bodies to get the Sonics up three at 13-10 with 5:13 to go. Ridnour altered a Peja Stojakovic drive to the rim, and Peja was stuffed by the rim as a result. The Sonics got the ball up the floor, and Rashard Lewis hit a three from the corner to put the Sonics up four, 18-14. Vladimir Radmanovic hit baskets on the next two Sonic possessions as the teams started trading baskets.
The Sonics led 26-22 after one quarter. Radmanovic led the team with 6 points. Allen and Lewis had 5 each. James had 4. Evans, Ridnour, and Collison had 2 apiece. Evans had 6 boards, James had 3.
About halfway through the second quarter, the Sonics put together a 7-0 run to stretch their lead from four points to 11 which included Ray Allen jumping a passing lane in backcourt and Nick Collison finishing with a layup where he had to adjust in mid-air before laying it up. The Sonics led 41-32 with 5:10 to go in the half. In the basket-trading phase of the quarter after that, Allen moved off a Jerome James screen near the corner to hit a three. James then scored the next two trips down the floor. Cuttino Mobley was stuffed by the rim with 35 seconds to go.
The Sonics led 55-44 at half. Ray Allen led with 12 points, and Jerome James had 10. Radmanovic had 8, Lewis and Fortson had 6 each, Daniels had 5, Collison and Evans had 4 each. Evans led with 5 boards, and Fortson and James had 4 apiece.
Reggie Evans hit a layup and was hacked on the first play of the quarter. The Sonics opened the half with a 6-2 run capped by a play where Brad Miller was definitely miffed about getting an elbow to the chin, and Miller got a technical foul with 9:52 to go for his complaints and throwing of the headband. The Sonics not long after used a 7-0 run to push Sacramento into calling timeout. The last five points of the run were scored by Ridnour -- he hit two free throws after being fouled in backcourt by Mike Bibby, then following a possession where the Kings grabbed three offensive boards and missed three shots (two in close), Ridnour sank a corner three, forcing Rick Adelman to call another timeout. The Sonics led 70-51 at this point with 7:15 to go in the quarter. The Sonics called timeout after a small 6-2 run by the Kings with 5:07 to go. The Kings didn't score another point until Peja Stojakovic hit a free throw after Danny Fortson was tech'd with 2:09 to go. The Sonics had reeled off an 8-0 run to stretch the lead even further -- it started with a baseline jam by Lewis, and it ended with the fastbreak play of the game. Collison saved a ball in backcourt, and from about halfcourt, Allen found Radmanovic streaking across the baseline for an easy slam and a roof-raiser at the Key. The Sonics led 80-57 at that point with 2:55 to go.
The Sonics led 88-62 after three quarters. Allen led with 17 points, and James had 15. Lewis and Radmanovic had 10 apiece. Ridnour and Daniels had 9 each, Collison had 8, Fortson had 6, and Evans had 4. Evans led with 8 boards, Collison had 7, James had 6. Ridnour led with 5 assists.
Antonio Daniels found Danny Fortson rolling to the basket for a layup, and the Sonics found themselves up 90-64, with the 26-point lead equaling their largest of the night. The problem was that the Kings were making their run on the other end. They went on a 10-0 run to start the quarter, and Coach McMillan called timeout with 9:51 to go and the Sonics 26-point lead cut to 18 at 90-72. The Sonics didn't score before being forced to call timeout yet again with 8:12 to go, with the Kings having scored another seven points since. Put that together, and it was a 17-2 run (or a 15-0 run if you please) to start the quarter by Sacramento, and the lead was only 11 at 90-79. The Sonics missed six straight baskets after the Fortson layup, and also ran the shot clock to the buzzer after Radmanovic was a little tentative in crunch time on the possession. When Lewis stepped on the baseline with 5:27 to go, the Kings had uncorked a 23-7 run, getting the lead to within 10 at 95-85. Not long after, Ray Allen had hit his second straight three to restore some sanity. The Kings wouldn't stop coming though. Bobby Jackson capped an 11-4 run with a wide-open three to make it 100-92, scaring the crap out of everybody with 2:32 left in the game. However, the Kings didn't hit a basket the rest of the way, and the Sonics closed by outscoring the Kings 5-2 over the final two and a half minutes, capped by a Ray Allen three-point play.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Ray Allen 26 pts/2 reb/6 ast (8-15 FG, 3-6 3pt, 7-7 free throws, 39 min), Rashard Lewis 12 pts/4 reb (3-12 FG, 1-2 3pt, 5-6 free throws, 40 min), Luke Ridnour 9 pts/3 reb/6 ast/2 stl/2 blk (2-11 FG, 1-3 3pt, 4-4 free throws, 31 min), Reggie Evans 4 pts/8 reb/2 stl (2-3 FG, 0-2 free throws, 17 min)
Vladimir Radmanovic 10 pts/3 reb/2 ast/2 blk (5-8 FG, 0-3 3pt, 23 min), Antonio Daniels 9 pts/3 reb/3 ast/2 stl (3-9 FG, 3-4 free throws, 24 min), Nick Collison 8 pts/8 reb (3-6 FG, 2-2 free throws, 21 min), Danny Fortson 8 pts/4 reb (3-5 FG, 2-3 free throws, 15 min), Damien Wilkins 0 pts/1 reb (1 min)
Jerome James Watch
19 pts/9 reb/1 blk (9-11 FG, 1-2 free throws, 3 fouls, 3 turnovers, 29 min)
shot 38-for-80 (47.5%) from the floor, shot 5-for-15 (33.3%) from downtown, shot 24-for-30 (80%) from the line, outrebounded Sacramento 45-42 (were beaten 12-9 on offensive glass), turned ball over 12 times (scored 14 off 12 Sacto turnovers), beat Kings 46-38 in the paint (but beaten 15-13 on the break), bench was outscored 44-35 (both benches had 19 boards)
What was everyone thinking after the game? Kevin Calabro during the big Sacramento run said that he would have bet large sums of money (but not quite the mortgage on the house) that Rick Adelman was going to bring Bibby, Stojakovic, and Miller back in if the Kings got to within 10. The TNT studio crew after the game was wondering the same thing. Still, it appeared that maybe Adelman had thrown up the white flag a bit or just wanted the same guys that started the run to finish it off. One thing's for sure, Bibby (29 minutes), Stojakovic (32), and Miller (17) were well-rested.
I guess the scary thing about the Kings' run is that (as Calabro pointed out) they might have figured out they can go small and athletic and get results. Boston did that twice to the Sonics this year, and Philadelphia and Washington had some success against the Sonics as well doing the same thing. Based on this fact alone, I think this series is going at least five or six.
It's true! The Sonics can win despite Lewis and Ridnour combining for 5-for-23 shooting! Of course, that was more than made up for by the Allen/James tandem (17-for-26). I know from a couple of games this season that Jerome is capable of what he's done the past couple nights, so I'm not going to question where it's come from, I'm just going to enjoy the ride.
Vladimir Radmanovic had his impact felt immediately. He hit shots right away, but he also had those other numbers in the stat line, including the two blocks. Even though he's not up to full strength right now, this team missed him a whole bunch while he was gone, and it's amazing they did as well as they did without him. Of course, when both Lewis and Radmanovic went down, they were screwed.
In a related note, I wish teams from Seattle would learn to close out games when they have big leads. If they have a big lead, they just have to go for the jugular and make it so bad that they can put their scrubs in and finish it out. I wanna see some Murray/Potapenko garbage time in the final minutes with the Sonics up 35.
I would have asked Jinkies if he likes to eat eggs off the sidewalk in the Sacramento valley in mid-July. Them there's good eatin'.
In 25 words or less: The Mariners scored early again. Joel Pineiro gave up a bunch of home runs, but otherwise threw really well.
This one featured Joel Pineiro for the Mariners and the Rangers' Opening Day starter, Ryan Drese.
The Mariners didn't waste any time. Well, maybe Ichiro did; he grounded out to second to start the game. But then the rest of the inning started with Jeremy Reed breaking a bat and blooping a 2-0 pitch into centerfield for a single. Adrian Beltre creamed his first pitch, a belt-high fastball over the plate, above the scoreboard (wall) in leftfield. There's two quick runs.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 0
Richie Sexson hit his 2-0 pitch high and foul, and it appeared that Mark Teixeira (coming from first base) had a beat on the ball even if it was a row into the stands. A fan somewhat interfered with the play and Teixeira's glove, but since said fan didn't reach into the field of play, it's a little less damning. Of course, to Ranger fans it'd be damning still, since Sexson ended up walking instead of fouling out. Bret Boone did his thing and flew out on the first pitch, with Alfonso Soriano scooting from his position at second to the rightfield foul line to make the catch. Raul Ibanez didn't get a strike until his fourth pitch, then rolled the 3-1 pitch up the middle and into centerfield. Randy Winn slapped a 2-0 pitch into leftfield, and third-base coach Jeff Newman had the stop sign thrown up until leftfielder Kevin Mench had the ball go through him. Sexson came around to score.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 0
Miguel Olivo still lived off some euphoria over the bases-clearing double on Sunday, so he grounded out to second. Drese was worked for 24 pitches.
Pineiro had it easy in the first. Alfonson Soriano whiffed on an 0-2 curve in the dirt (Olivo to Sexson on the putout). Hank Blalock got down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 high change. Michael Young flew out to Jeremy Reed on a 2-0 pitch. Pineiro threw 10 pitches.
Then Drese pulled more of a Pineiro impression rather than of what he was in the first. Wilson Valdez worked a 1-2 count full, then lined a single into centerfield. Valdez then took off for second on the first pitch to Ichiro and Rod Barajas gunned him down by a mile; good throw, and it wasn't even close. Jeremy Reed fouled off his 3-1 pitch, and then was caught looking at a pitch on the inside corner. Drese threw 17 pitches in the inning.
Pineiro would limit damage. Mark Teixeira tapped the first pitch back to Pineiro. David Dellucci got a 1-1 hanging changeup and didn't miss it, covering the pitch and taking it out of the yard to rightfield. Come on, Joel. David Dellucci???
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 1
Kevin Mench flew out to Reed in center, but then Pineiro walked Gary Matthews, Jr. (who has a good history against him) on four pitches. Pineiro got ahead of Barajas 0-2 and later froze him on a curve over the outside corner. Pineiro threw 16 pitches in the inning.
Let there be runs. Beltre got down 0-2, and eventually rolled a slow one to Soriano, who had to scoop-toss to first with his glove to beat Beltre to the first-base bag. Sexson had the two hitters- counts and ripped a single into centerfield on 3-1. Boone did his thing and flew out to right. Ibanez laced an 0-1 pitch through the right side for a single, and Sexson took third on the play. Winn walked on four pitches, loading the bases. Amazingly, and just like Sunday, this brought up Olivo with the bases loaded. Olivo ripped a 1-1 pitch through the left side, and both Sexson and Ibanez scored.
»» MARINERS 5, RANGERS 1
Then Valdez whiffed at a pitch way outside. Drese threw 23 pitches in the inning.
Pineiro kept doing well for himself. Laynce Nix was caught looking on a curve over the outside corner. Soriano ripped a first-pitch belt-high fastball down the leftfield line for a double. Blalock hit a single to rightfield, but Pineiro followed by getting Young to ground into the ol' 5-4-3 around-the-horn double play. Pineiro threw eight pitches in the inning.
Drese had settled down. Ichiro got down 0-2 right away and would be caught looking at an outside-corner pitch. Reed grounded the first pitch toward Teixeira at first, who had to footrace him to the bag. Beltre chased an 0-2 slider in the dirt. Drese threw only eight pitches.
Pineiro would get a bit more roughed up in the inning. Teixeira golfed the first pitch he saw about halfway up the rightfield foul pole.
»» MARINERS 5, RANGERS 2
Luckily, Dellucci didn't do a repeat performance, as he flew out to right. Then Mench absolutely blistered a belt-high pitch over the scoreboard in left.
»» MARINERS 5, RANGERS 3
Luckily, Matthews' old numbers against Pineiro didn't hold up this time, as he flew out to Reed in center. Rod Barajas flew out to Beltre on the first pitch to end the inning. Pineiro threw nine pitches in the inning.
Drese once again held the Mariners mostly in check. Sexson rolled an 0-2 pitch to short. Boone got down 0-2, and rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle which looked like it might be a base hit until Young swooped over and made the play on the other side of the second-base bag. After these two outs, it seemed odd that Ibanez walked on four pitches. Nonetheless, Winn was jammed and hit a grounder beside the mound. Drese threw 14 pitches and was at 86 through five.
Pineiro got through this one easy. Nix flew out to left. Soriano broke his bat on a bloop to short left, which was caught by Valdez. Blalock hit his first pitch down the first-base line, and Sexson took it from behind the bag, underhanding to Pineiro for the putout. Pineiro threw only eight pitches in the inning and had thrown 51 through five.
Drese got through some choppy waters. Olivo was down 0-2 and eventually hacked and missed on a curve in the dirt that was way outside (his bat was cashed after the single earlier in the game). Valdez fouled off three pitches with two strikes on him and then singled to centerfield. Ichiro flew out to right. Reed hit a shallow fly to center that dropped for a single and Valdez scampered to third on the play. Beltre got a 2-0 pitch and lined it to Matthews drifting backward in rightfield. Drese threw 20 ptiches in the inning and was at 106 through six.
Pineiro was getting through the Texas lineup fairly easily. He allowed 2-0 counts to the first two hitters, but nothing became of them. Young bounced out to Boone, and Teixeira was robbed of a base hit as Boone made a diving catch toward the hole on the fly. Dellucci flew out to Reed on his first pitch. Pineiro threw only seven pitches and was at 58 through six.
Pitch count of 106 be damned, Bucky Showalter trotted Drese out to the mound for the 7th. Sexson had a 3-1 count and later ripped a single through the hole on the left side on a full count. Boone did his thing and flew out to the shortstop on the infield.
Drese was given the hook from Showalter, who brought in Ron Mahay. Ibanez whiffed on a ball up and away. Winn grounded a ball to Soriano, who threw to Young to get the lead runner. Mahay threw eight pitches.
Drese's line: 6 1/3 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 114 pitches (67 strikes)
Pineiro looked very good for most of this game. Mench rocketed a ball right into Beltre's glove. Matthews bounced out to short. Barajas finally saw a strike on the fourth pitch of his at-bat and ended up fouling a high breaking pitch into Olivo's glove. Pineiro threw 11 pitches and was at 69 through seven.
The inning started out okay. Olivo drew a four-pitch walk. Valdez bunted on his second pitch. Mahay fielded the bunt and threw to a covering Soriano at first, though the throw might not have been there in time anyway. Valdez ended up with a single and runners were on the corners. Reed had an 0-2 count and fouled a 2-2 pitch back by the stands, and Barajas came down with it. Mahay threw 14 pitches in the inning.
Mahay's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
This inning got dicey. Nix flew out to the leftcenter gap on an 0-2 pitch. Soriano got an inner-half 2-0 fastball and just absolutely mangled it, sending it into the upper deck in leftfield. That was a freakin' shot.
»» MARINERS 5, RANGERS 4
Though he'd only thrown 75 pitches at that point, Mike Hargrove had seen enough of Joel Pineiro, and Ron Villone was summoned on in relief. He got Blalock to cut and miss on a 2-2 low and away pitch.
Since Hargrove feels like using Villone as Paul Assenmacher for some reason, JJ Putz was brought into the game. Things got incredibly interesting and a little too close for comfort for most Mariner fans. Young had a 3-1 count aind singled through the left side on a full-count pitch. Teixeira smoked his first pitch into leftfield. Dellucci walked on a pitch high and away. Luckily, Mench put an end to the edginess, grounding one hard to Beltre, who stepped on the third-base bag to end the inning.
Pineiro's line: 7 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 75 pitches (51 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (3 strikes)
The Putz line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
Doug Brocail came in for the Rangers, and the Mariners were choppin' Brocaili before they knew it. Beltre worked from an 0-2 count and fouled off six pitches and took two before lacing a double down the leftfield line, almost hitting it on one knee on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Sexson dinked a 1-2 pitch into center for a single, and Beltre went to third. Boone did his thing and hit a fly ball to center that wasn't deep enough to score Beltre. Ibanez then ripped one to the wall in the gap in leftcenter to score Beltre and Sexson and get Eddie Guardado and the Mariners some insurance.
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 4
Winn wanted to make sure I was able to catch the Sonics from the opening tip, so he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Brocail's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 28 pitches (18 strikes)
Eddie Guardado pitched a 1-2-3 ninth? He sure did. Of course, it helped that he was going up against the bottom third of the Texas lineup. Matthews whiffed on a 1-2 fastball inside. Barajas had a 3-0 cout before it went full. He flew out to center. Richard Hidalgo came on to pinch hit for Nix. He got a 3-1 count before fanning to end the game.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
No big blasts, but I've been wanting to give him the gameball for a while now. His 3-for-4 night has thankfully rescued his average from floating anywhere near .200 for a while. Combined with the walk, Sexson reached base four times in his five plate appearances and ended up scoring three times. The blasts will come soon enough, but the fact that everyone and their mother for Texas (and Adrian Beltre) was hitting blasts in the game bodes well for Sexson, who I think just has to tag one fairly well.
Goat: Bret Boone.
Yeah, so this is two games in a row in this spot for Boone. I seriously thought for a second about giving it to Ichiro, who was 0-for-5 with a strikeout. Boone had the diving stop of what would have been a base hit even though he was 0-for-5 like Ichiro. Of course, that was my train of thought until I saw the boxscore that had stranded runners in it. Boone left five runners on base, including not being able to get Beltre in from third with a sufficiently deep fly ball in the ninth.
Pineiro actually threw a good game, though. The four homers off Pineiro went for solo-shot homers, so the solo part is at least a mitigating circumstance for his mistakes. Pineiro only gave up two hits that weren't homers, and he only walked one. It'd be hard from a linescore to tell whether Joel did good, but he was great at times in this game. I was surprised Hargrove took Pineiro out after only 75 pitches, though Pineiro did come off of the strained flexor bundle and injury rehabilitation to get to this point, and it's still early in the season, so there's some reasons to have pulled Pineiro when Hargrove did, though they've let Pineiro go a lot longer into the games than 75 pitches this season.
Beltre, Ibanez, and Olivo got the big RBI hits in the game. Boone was busy stranding runners like Sexson, who nonetheless scored three of the Mariners' seven runs. Olivo also stranded three runners, but had the nice single to go with it.
One big hooray and thank you to the bottom third of the Ranger lineup. They combined to go 0-for-10 with one walk and four strikeouts, and enabled me to not miss a second of Sonic playoff action on FSNNW -- this was even with Guardado pitching the 9th against the three, and even after all the inane pitching moves Hargrove made in the 8th to try and foil my plan.
Don't worry, Wilson Valdez. Just because you didn't get the gameball doesn't mean your 3-for-4 night goes unnoticed. Raul Ibanez also was 3-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, stranding one. Valdez has an average just over .250, while Ibanez' warm bat of late has his average at .296.
Well, it's two straight wins with timely hits. This one also puts the Mariners back to .500. I doubt I'll ever enjoy mediocrity as much as I have and will this year. Of course, the schedule will get rougher soon, so we'll see how the Mariners fare in the next couple weeks.
Franklin. Rogers. Tonight.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Mariners at Rangers, 5:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest and MLB.TV)
Joel Pineiro (1-1, 6.39 ERA) vs. Ryan Drese (2-1, 6.39 ERA)
SEATTLE MARINERS (9-10)
Ichiro rf .355
Reed cf .259
Beltre 3b .247
Sexson 1b .213
Boone 2b .268
Ibanez dh .269
Winn lf .273
Olivo c .178
Valdez ss .218
TEXAS RANGERS (10-10)
Soriano 2b .282
Blalock 3b .250
Young ss .289
Teixeira 1b .229
Dellucci dh .293
Mench lf .310
Matthews Jr. rf .254
Barajas c .259
Nix cf .444
Tonight's Mariner game on FSN Northwest may be aired simultaneously with the Kings-Sonics Game 2 tonight should the M's game go past 7:30 p.m. Pacific. The plan is to have both games on a split screen format should FSN have to go that route.
I've had MLB.com's All Access package for almost 2 weeks now and I love it to death. The only problem I have with it is the stupid blackout rules. Case in point, this week. The M's are in Texas, so I won't get to watch tonight's game on MLB.TV. I do have the next two games (Wednesday and Thursday) on my FSN Southwest affiliate, but tonight's game is not on FSN Southwest. Hell, I may just decide to listen to Dave Niehaus instead of listening to Josh Lewin talk about how he was such a big fan of "The Hogan Family" for the next two nights.
For the record, I live over 300 miles from Arlington, Texas. I hate blackouts. Sadly, Seattle fans like myself know all too well about blackouts.
Hear the music, feel the music. It's Nine Inch Nails with "The Hand That Feeds" off of "With Teeth", in stores next Tuesday (May 3). Quicktime is required.
The box is wide open.
Monday, April 25, 2005
"Mezmerize" will be in stores May 17. It is the first of two albums System of a Down will release in 2005. "Hypnotize" is tentatively scheduled to be released in late summer-early fall. I've played the hell out of "Toxicity", so hopefully "Mezmerize" lives up to the intensity of that album.
Another single off of the soon-to-be-released "Mezmerize" album is "Cigaro". Just listen to it for yourself. Trust me on this one.
I can't wait for May 17.
Bone was an assistant on Lorenzo Romar's staff at Washington for the last three seasons. He served as head coach at Seattle Pacific University from 1990 to 2002, where he had a 253-97 record. The Falcons won 6 conference titles during Bone's tenure at the school. Bone coached one season (1985-1986) at Olympic College, so he does have some ties to Bremerton.
Portland State won the Big Sky Conference regular season championship, but lost to Weber State in the conference tournament at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland last month. The Vikings will have the services of former Washington player Anthony Washington, a 6'9" center out of Garfield High School, next season, coming off of a redshirt season after transferring from Montlake.
This is a great hire by Portland State. Bone is very deserving of a Division 1 job. It remains to be seen how well Bone will do in Portland. But he's definitely worthy of being in the same class of Ben Howland (Northern Arizona/Pittsburgh/UCLA) and Ray Giacoletti (Eastern Washington/Utah) if he can get the Vikings to the NCAA Tournament.
I've seen a lot of stories posted there that have made me laugh my ass off. This weekend, I found the two funniest stories that I've ever seen at the site. Metal health will drive you mad, kids.
Former Warrant frontman signs on for VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club 2"
Quiet Riot singer Kevin Dubrow: Who the f**k is Meshuggah?
First, the Jani Lane story.
Surely you remember Warrant. Of course you do. What man doesn't like the "Cherry Pie" video? The fact that Jani Lane is going to be on "Celebrity Fit Club" is high comedy. But wait, there's more!
Joining the former Warrant frontman on the show will be Phil Margera (father of Bam), the Snapple Lady (again), Willie Aames (who had Scott Baio's leftovers on "Charles In Charge"; now known as Bibleman!), Jackee ("227" and "Ladybugs") and.....
I can't wait to see Busey and Bibleman, I mean, Willie Aames, go at it. The possibilities are endless here. Maybe Lane can write a song about it, hell if I know.
I'll admit, I wish VH1 would play more music. That goes for all the music channels out there. However, when you have a show with Busey, you can't go wrong.
Now, the Quiet Riot/Meshuggah story.
Dubrow in an interview with KNAC.com: "I've never heard of them, but that's neither here nor there. It's like, 'QUIET RIOT sucks, but MESHUGGAH rocks!' Well, who the f**k is MESHUGGAH, and what do they have to do with us? I wish them nothing but good luck, but you know what I'm saying."
At Blabbermouth.net, there are a few posters who like to end their posts with Meshuggah. Meshuggah is a underground metal band that I've never really heard of, except for the endless props on Blabbermouth. The Meshuggah props along with the "Lars Ulrich sucks!" comments are what makes Blabbermouth.net what it is. Nevermind that the site actually gives the fans good metal news every once in a while. Once again, metal health drives me mad.
Does anybody remember the 1997 playoffs when Quiet Riot re-recorded "Cum On Feel The Noize", but used Sonics lyrics in the song? "CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE! SEA-TOWN ROCK YOUR BOYS! WE'LL GET WILD, WILD, WILD! WILD, WILD, WILD!" I also remember the Presidents of the United States of America recording a version of "Supermodel" called "Supersonics", with clips of Kevin Calabro in the song itself. Not only am I a big sports fan, I'm also a big music fan. Can't you tell?
Basically, the point is that Gary Busey rules, Jani Lane is washed up, and Kevin Dubrow wants to know who the f**k Meshuggah is. I've been asking myself that question for a year or so now, Kevin.
MESHUGGAH SUCKS! SPONGE RULES!
This off-day post brought to you by Summer Sanders' Sweet Cherry Pie.
"She's my cherry pie. Cool drink of water, such a sweet suprise! Taste so good, make a grown man cry! Sweet cherry pie! Swing it!"
Sunday, April 24, 2005
The Seattle Seahawks have signed 9 undrafted college free agents. Local ties to the Seattle area include Washington LB Tim Galloway (Auburn/Auburn HS) and Duke TE Calen Powell (Bellevue/Lake Washington HS).
SS Jamaal Brimmer, UNLV
LB Tim Galloway, Washington
G Steven Gibbs, Arkansas State
P Chris Kluwe, UCLA
RB Jesse Lumsden, McMaster (Ontario, Canada)
TE Calen Powell, Duke
FB Leonard Weaver, Carson-Newman
RB Marquis Weeks, Virginia
QB Brian Wrobel, Winona State (Minnesota)
In 25 words or less: Jamie Moyer did his thing, and the Mariners got some timely hits that turned into a big inning.
This one featured ex-Astro Scott Elarton and slow-as-molasses Jamie Moyer.
Moyer didn't get blasted in the first inning like Gil Meche the night before. Coco Crisp chopped the first pitch of the game over Beltre and into left for a single; Crisp got hits on the first pitch of all three games in this series. Ron Belliard bunted on the first pitch down the first-base line, and Moyer tossed to Richie Sexson at first as the sacrifice went as planned. Victor Martinez went down hacking on a 1-2 change. With Jose Hernandez up, Crisp got a huge jump on the 1-2 pitch and stole third base without a throw. One pitch later, he hit one off the end of the bat and flew out to Jeremy Reed in center. Moyer threw 11 pitches in the inning.
The Mariners scored first. Ichiro fouled off some 0-2 pitches before getting a 1-2 change he liked, singling into leftfield on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. On the 0-1 pitch to Jeremy Reed, Elarton made a false head movement that was called for a balk, and Ichiro got a free pass to second. Reed drove a 3-1 pitch almost to the track in leftfield, but it was caught. However, Ichiro nicely tagged up and went to third on the play because he's fast. Ryan Ludwick's throw from leftfield one-hopped Aaron Boone at third, who bobbled it. Adrian Beltre got a 3-1 pitch to drive, and sent it to the gap in leftcenter, sufficiently deep to score Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 1, INDIANS 0
Richie Sexson got behind 1-2 and worked the count full, only to foul-tip strike three into the catcher's glove. Elarton was worked for 24 pitches in the inning.
Moyer got a 1-2-3 inning. He got ahead 0-2 on Casey Blake and got him to hack at a ball in the dirt. Aaron Boone hit a high flyout to Reed in center. Josh Bard flew out to Bret Boone on the infield. Moyer threw 11 pitches.
Guess what the Mariners were doing again? Bret Boone got a 2-0 count, fouled off three pitches, and went down swinging. Raul Ibanez flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Randy Winn popped an 0-2 pitch into foul territory, caught by Other Boone. Elarton threw 12 pitches.
Moyer would get into a groove. Ryan Ludwick grounded out to Beltre at third. Jhonny Peralta bounced his second pitch to Wilson Valdez at short. Coco Crisp muddied things up, singling into centerfield. Moyer got Ron Belliard to whiff on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Moyer threw 14 pitches in the inning.
Boring. Miguel Olivo flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Wilson Valdez got behind 0-2 and swung at a curve up and in, flying out to Other Boone along the third-base line just in front of the plate. Ichiro put what looked like one of those home-run swings on a 1-1 pitch, but flew out to rightfield. Elarton threw 10 pitches, and had set down nine straight Mariner hitters.
Moyer got some glove help in the inning. Martinez lined one just past Beltre and into left for a single. Hernandez tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Moyer was more than ready for the ball, and started the 1-6-3 double play. Blake hit a ball to the gap in rightcenter, but then Reed fully extended and made a crazy-good diving catch to end the inning. Moyer threw 11 pitches.
Again, not much. Like it always seems, the player making an incredible play to end the inning ended up starting the next inning at the plate. Reed took a 2-0 pitch just short of the track in left. Beltre grounded an 0-2 pitch to third. Other Boone threw a bit wide to first, but Hernandez apparently made a sweeping tag on Beltre as he ran past. Sexson drew a four-pitch walk to stop Elarton's retired hitters streak at 11, but Boone foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch on the outside corner into the catcher's glove to end the inning. Elarton threw 15 pitches.
Moyer was cruising, getting a 1-2-3 inning. Other Boone rolled a 3-1 pitch down the first-base line, and Sexson took it to the bag. Bard one-hopped the first pitch to Beltre at third. Ludwick generated some wind currents on a 2-2 changeup. Moyer threw 12 pitches.
Elarton was still getting it done for the most part. Ibanez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch up and in. Winn whiffed on an 0-2 pitch up and in. Olivo did something extremely extraordinary, smacking one down the leftfield line. The ball hit the angling part of the stands near the line, and it probably would have been a double anyway. Still, Ludwick tried to barehand the ball, and it skipped past, but Olivo wasn't able to scoot to third base or anything ridiculous like that. Valdez had a 3-1 count, but later bounced out to short. Elarton threw 17 pitches in the inning and had thrown 78 through five.
Moyer wasn't quite as sharp in other innings, but he still got the job done. Peralta grounded out to short. Crisp got behind 0-2 and eventually flew out to center. Belliard smashed a single to left because that's what it seems like he does against Mariner pitching, or at least in this series. Martinez had a 2-0 count, but bounced to short on a 2-2 pitch. Moyer threw 15 pitches.
Inning gigante! Ichiro ripped the second pitch to right, and Reed walked. Beltre stung an 0-2 pitch past Peralta at short and into leftfield. Ichiro scored on the play, and the ball went under Ludwick's glove in left, enabling Reed and Beltre to move to third and second, respectively.
»» MARINERS 2, INDIANS 0
Sexson was walked to load the bases and put the double play in order. Boone hit an 0-2 pitch to sufficiently deep rightfield, enabling Reed to score. Beltre was able to tag up from second and go to third on the play.
»» MARINERS 3, INDIANS 0
Scott Sauerbeck came in for Elarton. Ibanez worked a walk out of a 1-2 count to load the bases.
Rafael Betancourt came in for Sauerbeck. Winn tapped an 0-1 grounder to Peralta at short. Peralta threw home, and Bard appeared to have stepped on home plate to force out Beltre coming in from third. Or did he? Replays showed Bard's toe was a few inches off the plate when he caught the ball, partly necessitated by a short Peralta throw (error on Peralta). Beltre scored, and the bases remained loaded.
»» MARINERS 4, INDIANS 0
Olivo fell behind 0-2, fouled off a pitch, then smoked his fourth pitch into the gap in leftcenter to clear the bases. Much joy and jubilation were had as the Mariners had a commanding lead.
»» MARINERS 7, INDIANS 0
Valdez whiffed. Ichiro had a 2-0 count, but grounded out two pitches later to first. That's an inning.
Cleveland pitching lines...
Elarton: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 95 pitches (57 strikes)
Sauerbeck: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Betancourt: 2/3 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (11 strikes)
Somebody spoiled the shutout. Hernandez fell victim to a nice play by Beltre, who went back to the glove side, spun around, and threw to first in time. Blake was blown down on a 2-2 change. Other Boone hit a rope over the manual scoreboard in left, and that ball got out of there in a hurry. Laser beam. Friggin' lasers!
»» MARINERS 7, INDIANS 1
Bard was victim to another Beltre play, this time cutting across the diamond and firing to first in time to end the inning. Moyer threw 10 pitches and was at 84 through seven.
Jason Davis came in to pitch for Betancourt and looked pretty good, with an explosive heater to boot. Reed hit his first pitch off the handle to first (3-1 putout). Beltre got a 3-1 count, but popped out to Belliard in shallow rightfield. Sexson couldn't catch up to Davis' gas on a full count. Davis threw 12 pitches.
Moyer showed no signs of imminent about-to-get-poundedness. Ludwick flew out to Reed. Peralta got a 2-0 count, and knocked one through the left side on a 2-1 pitch for a single. Crisp hit his second pitch high into the air in foul territory, and Sexson was able to come down with the ball in front of the camera well. Belliard hit a 1-1 pitch to Valdez, who didn't quite catch it on the fly, but caught the shorthop and stepped on the bag at second to end the inning.
Jamie Moyer is defying age again. We're 19 games into the season, and Moyer is 4-0. We thought last year might be the beginning of the end, but it appears the quadragenarian's got some fuel left in the tank. More importantly, the Mariners needed this start out of somebody. Of course, it helped that Elarton's balk helped let the first run score, and Bard's foot wasn't on the plate, etc. Still, Moyer was the beneficiary of having the Mariners score first, and eventually was the beneficiary of having them score often. All hail the ageless one! No walks!! Amazing!
Moyer's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 95 pitches (59 strikes)
Jason Davis would get the complete opposite of a 1-2-3 inning. Boone flipped his bat after hitting a 2-1 pitch to the track in right. Ibanez walked on a 3-1 pitch. Winn walked on four pitches. Olivo had his two hitters' counts before walking and loading the bases. Valdez walked on four pitches and Ibanez scored.
»» MARINERS 8, INDIANS 1
Ichiro got the two hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch, scoring Winn. Was this really happening?
»» MARINERS 9, INDIANS 1
Thankfully, Eric Wedge didn't let Davis suffer out there much longer. He had thrown 21 pitches in the inning, and not many were strikes. It wasn't like watching Rick Ankiel out there, and I'm sure this guy will do better than Ankiel, but yikes. It was like watching The Degeneration of Jason Davis out there. Five straight walks! I couldn't believe it.
David Riske came in for Davis. Three pitches later, he got Reed to tap one back to him and he started the 1-2-3 double play.
Davis: 1 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 0 hits, 5 walks, 1 strikeout, 39 pitches (11 strikes)
Riske: 2/3 innings, 0 runs. 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Moyer and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, though I think it was helped immensely by Cleveland's hurry-up offense as they were anxious to get on the plane and go back home...where it was snowing. Martinez popped out to Ichiro on a 1-0 pitch, Hernandez took Ichiro to the track on his first pitch, then Blake popped the first pitch behind the mound, where Valdez caught it. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Gameball: Miguel Olivo.
Olivo hit one double with two out and nothing else happening in the inning, but then hit the other double to clear the bases and put the game out of doubt. I've been waiting for the longest time for him to have a game like this, and he did. If last season was an indication, I was used to this guy sucking most of the time and then getting a multi-hit game every 10 days or so, possibly putting a ball in the seats every once in a while. He raised his batting average by 35 points today. Yeah!
Goat: Bret Boone.
Are you sick of seeing the bat flip on balls that don't even get to the warning track? I am. Boone struck out twice, stranded a baserunner, and went 0-for-3, driving in the Mariners' third run with a sacrifice fly in the big inning. There's no real clear-cut goat today. Reed stranded two of his four runners on that double play in the 8th, but by that time it was completely meaningless. Richie Sexson balanced his two strikeouts with two walks (one intentional). I guess it boils down to this: Bret Boone didn't reach base in this game, and he didn't even draw a walk off Jason Davis.
Congratulations to Jamie Moyer, who with his 130th win as a Mariner tied Randy Johnson on the franchise's all-time wins list. [Add ~11:30p -- Moyer is also the American League's first 4-game winner this season] Hoorah! I thought Sele struck out more people than I was used to last night, and though Moyer didn't beat him in that department, I was more impressed with the fact that Moyer didn't walk anybody.
I'm just glad to see the Mariners win a game. Losing four games in a row just wouldn't have been good. Is it a little unnerving that they only scratched out five hits? Sure it is. It was nice to see them take advantage of the opposition's mistakes, though. It was nice to see them not go hack-happy when Jason Davis couldn't find the strike zone if his life depended on it. The six Mariner hitters Davis faced in that 8th only swung at three pitches that inning. They watched two strikes and 22 balls.
Last night he got two hits, but today, Richie Sexson had another 0-fer, going 0-for-2. It's not an 0-for-4, though, and that's because he made himself useful and drew a couple walks. As for the other money hitter in the lineup, Adrian Beltre drove in the first run of that big inning and drove in another on a sacrifice fly.
Still, I would have liked to have seen a big inning because of a bunch of hits and stuff rather than a bunch of weird-ass plays, but as Mariner fans, we'll take it. Wins are wins. Wins where everyone stays healthy are good wins too.
Can I comment on how uncomfortable-looking Scott Elarton's motion is? I've seen the guy throw in years past, and I thought it was herky-jerky when he was in Houston, but at least back then he didn't shortarm it as much as he does now. His speed is decent-looking, too, so I'm going to secretly anticipate his shoulder exploding or something. Of course, if he were to sign with Seattle somehow, I'm sure his shoulder would explode right after pen hit paper.
In a related note of uncomfortable-looking pitching motions, I saw part of the UW/Stanford game on FSNNW this afternoon, and man, Tim Lincecum's motion just makes me cringe. It's like he does that thing like Mark Gubicza when he brought his arm back and it kind of locks and comes back. The thing is, it looks like Lincecum rotates too soon or something, like maybe he'd drag his arm behind or something. I hope for him that his shoulder doesn't explode, but I'm just spewing blather at this point through the keyboard, so I'll just stop now.
The Mariners lie one game under .500. They'll have their chance to get back to .500 on Tuesday in Arlington. Raise your hand if you actually call it Ameriquest Field? I didn't think so. It's the Ballpark, it's always been the Ballpark, and it will always be the Ballpark.
Oh crap. The Mariners have tomorrow off. What am I going to do? We've had some ideas floating around, I guess. Or I could just sleep. I've wanted to sleep because of NFL Draft/Mariners/Sonics playoff day yesterday. That was crazy. I loved it, too.
Pineiro. Drese. Tuesday.