Saturday, June 18, 2005
Mariners 4, Mets 1
P. Martinez L(7-2)
6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
The Mariners have finally defeated Pedro Martinez. He is now 13-1 against the Mariners lifetime. This is definitely a cause for celebration.
And get this, the Mariners scored 4 runs for Ryan Franklin!
After last weekend's sweep in Washington, D.C., the Mariners have played solid baseball this week, taking 2 out of 3 from Philadelphia. With their second straight win against the New York Mets, this is yet another series this ballclub has won in the month of June. Can the M's sweep Tom Glavine and the Mets tomorrow? I don't see why they can't at this point.
Folks, it's definitely early, but I'm already loving the Jose Lopez Era at second base. The Bret Boone Death March is definitely in full effect. Lopez is a key part of the Mariners' future, so hopefully he can live up to that expectation.
I'm in a definite celebratory mood right now, that's for damn sure. The Mariners defeat Pedro Martinez after Richie Sexson gets ejected in the first inning? With Willie Bloomquist at third base and Dave Hansen at first base? With Ryan Franklin on the mound, who's the so-called "hard luck pitcher"?
This is the most fun I've had as a Mariner fan since 2002. That's sad to think about, but it really is. Seeing your team defeat Pedro F*cking Martinez definitely raises the optimism meter a few pegs.
Glavine. Meche. Tomorrow. 1 p.m. Pacific. Be here, if you aren't going to the game.
Mets at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (KSTW, MLB.TV)
Pedro Martinez (7-1, 2.56 ERA) vs Ryan Franklin (2-8, 4.81 ERA)
For more info on Pedro's dominance of the M's, click here.
But I do have some good news...
BRET BOONE IS ON THE PUMP!
We've started The Bret Boone Death March, where you can predict which date Boone will leave the Mariners organization, via trade or release. I'll put the link on the sidebar soon, so you can get to it easier in the coming days and weeks.
It's Saturday Night. Dip, dive, socialize, get ready for the Saturday Night!
This is similar to my post on Pedro Martinez from last season. Consider this post "an updated version". Tonight will be Pedro's first start against the Mariners as a National League pitcher.
Pedro Martinez vs the Seattle Mariners (1998-current)
April 11, 1998
Red Sox 5, Mariners 0
9 IP, 2 H, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
May 12, 1999
Red Sox 9, Mariners 0
P. Martinez W(7-1)
8 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 15 K
August 14, 1999
Red Sox 13, Mariners 2 (Pedro in relief)
P. Martinez W(17-3)
4 IP, 3 H, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
September 4, 1999
Red Sox 4, Mariners 0
P. Martinez W(20-4)
8 IP, 2 H, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 15 K
***April 4, 2000***
Red Sox 2, Mariners 0
P. Martinez W(1-0)
7 IP, 2 H, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K
***August 2, 2000***
Red Sox 5, Mariners 2
P. Martinez W(13-3)
9 IP, 5 H, 0 HR, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
September 4, 2000
Red Sox 5, Mariners 1
P. Martinez W(16-4)
8 IP, 6 H, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
May 1, 2001
Red Sox 2, Mariners 0
8 IP, 3 H, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 12 K
***May 12, 2002***
Red Sox 10, Mariners 4
8 IP, 4 H, 0 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 K
May 18, 2002
Red Sox 4, Mariners 1
8 IP, 6 H, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
August 16, 2003
Red Sox 5, Mariners 1
7 IP, 3 H, 0 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
August 25, 2003
Red Sox 8, Mariners 1
6 IP, 6 H, 0 HR, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
May 28, 2004
Red Sox 8, Mariners 4
7 IP, 8 H, 2 HR, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
(*** --- games that I attended)
13 games (12 starts)
Current Mariners vs Pedro
Adrian Beltre: 0-for-3, .000
Willie Bloomquist: 1-for-2, .500
Bret Boone: 8-for-30, .267, 1 HR, 9 K
Pat Borders: 0-for-5, .000, 3 K
Dave Hansen: 1-for-4, .250
Raul Ibanez: 2-for-15, .133
Richie Sexson: 0-for-11, .000, 7 K
Ichiro: 5-for-20, .250, 4 SB
Randy Winn: 7-for-23, .304, 4 2B, 3 RBI
(Thanks to Retrosheet.org for the info)
Pedro. Franklin. Tonight at Safeco Field.
The agony has to end sometime, doesn't it?
Friday, June 17, 2005
With the callup of infielder Jose Lopez, the future of Bret Boone as a Seattle Mariner is as dark as ever.
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove plans on sitting Boone for a few games to let him work on his hitting. In other words, this is the beginning of the end for #29 in Seattle. At least that's what I believe this news to be.
So, faithful Sports And Bremertonians readers, I'll ask you a question:
When will Bret Boone leave the Seattle Mariners for good?
It doesn't matter how it happens. I don't know how much the M's can get for Boone at this point. What matters is that Boone is not in the future plans of this franchise.
Post the date you think Boone will leave the Mariners, via trade or release, in the comments box. As for my date when Boone will exit the organization, I'll say July 25.
It's your turn.
This is the Bret Boone Death March.
Batflips are not acceptable.
Mets at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Kaz Ishii (1-5, 5.48 ERA) vs Jamie Moyer (5-2, 4.90)
Let's just say that the Mariners would never sign a pitcher whose wife garners a lot of attention. In related news, Kris Benson isn't pitching this weekend. Don't worry though, that doesn't mean that I can't bring up Anna Benson.
Mike Cameron is back in Seattle for the weekend, but may not play at all. I'm expecting the fans at Safeco to give Mike a standing ovation in some form or fashion. He gave Mariners fans 4 solid years and I for one will never forget the night he robbed Derek Jeter in 2000. Memories, man. Memories.
Oh, and Pedro Martinez is scheduled to pitch for the Mets tomorrow night. Just great.
Hey, this game thread is now open. Use it.
UPDATED at 4:25 Pacific: Jose Lopez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma. Lopez will start tonight at third base and wear #4. Greg Dobbs has been sent down to Tacoma to make room on the 25-man roster for Lopez.
But I'm sure a few of you do after watching the Jessica Simpson "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" video (see post below).
If Felix Hernandez is seriously hurt... I seriously don't want to think about that.
It's time for me to ramble. Hooray.
---I should care about the NBA Finals. After all, I'm a sports fan. But there's no way I can give praise to a series that hasn't had a single ounce of competitiveness in it. The first four games of the series? All four of them were blowouts. Now, I'm not going to knock the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs. They earned the right to get to the NBA Finals. However, that doesn't mean that I have to like this series. Don't try to force this series down my throat, ESPN and ABC.
---The NBA better be careful. I wouldn't be so sure that if a lockout takes place, the fans would come back when a deal would be reached. Obviously, this is a different situation than the NHL Lockout. But make no mistake about it, there are a few fans in this country who don't give a damn about the NBA right now.
I'll have more on my thoughts on a possible NBA Lockout soon. Believe me, there's plenty for me to say about this issue.
---If we don't have the NHL and NBA this fall, I may talk about Arkansas State athletics a lot more here at Sports And Bremertonians. I hope it doesn't come to that, however. Not because I don't like talking about ASU, because I definitely do. I just don't think the majority of our readers give a rat's ass about Arkansas State. To most of our readers, Arkansas State is just a school that has a very low rating on the EA Sports NCAA Football game. That's a fact, by the way.
---When I listen to "The Worm" by Audioslave, I just want to scream "HALO!" at any random person who comes in contact with me. I don't have the voice of Chris Cornell, but who does? "The Worm" pumps me up.
---If you haven't picked up Phil Steele's College Football Preview issue yet, you should. It's 328 pages long and features writeups on every Division 1-A team. Yes, even Arkansas State. You can receive a free NFL Preview issue from Steele if you buy the college football preview issue. Free! I'm ashamed of myself that I didn't read Steele's preview magazine before this year. Since I was so impressed by Steele's college football preview magazine, I'm not buying another college football preview magazine this year. Hell, if I really want the obligatory cheerleader photos, I know where to look for them. Heh.
---Queensryche has signed with Rhino Records. I really hope that Geoff Tate isn't forced to do a 1990s pop songs infomercial. It's bad enough when I see Roger Daltrey hawking 1970s rock CDs on an infomercial at 4 a.m. I don't want to see Tate fall into that same trap.
---If you asked me right now who fits the role of the "New Millennium Rock Star", I'd have to say Dave Grohl, with Queens Of The Stone Age lead singer Josh Homme coming in a close second. In related news, "The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret" is in my Top 10 list of songs released since 2000. That would be a great title for a blog. Don't tell anyone.
---QOTSA News: Here's the new video for "In My Head". It's the 2nd best video I've seen this year. See the post below once again for my #1 video of 2005 (so far).
---The Nine Inch Nails/Queens Of The Stone Age tour needs to hit Memphis. Nashville has a date lined up, but I'd prefer Memphis. Memphis is a shorter trip from Jonesboro. When I'm up in Jonesboro this fall, I'm going to turn some people on to QOTSA. Here in Arkansas, there aren't a lot of QOTSA fans. Good music is a terrible thing to ignore, people.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
To close this edition of Free Ramble, note to the Mariners:
If you're going to play 13 innings, win the damn game, alright? Thanks.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
I don't have a recap.
I don't have any charts.
I don't have any gameballs.
Enjoy this little video from Jessica Simpson.
Phillies at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Brett Myers (5-3, 2.24 ERA) vs Joel Pineiro (2-3, 6.20 ERA)
I'd like nothing more than to see a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies tonight.
I'd also like to see a Seahawks victory over the Eagles on Monday, December 5.
In case you missed it, Scott Spiezio has left Sandfrog. This is a big victory for music fans such as myself. I just hope that Greg Dobbs doesn't start up his own band. We don't need gorgeous jamming to go along with that gorgeous swing, Greg.
Enjoy the ballgame and remember, this is a game thread. You can use it if you want to. If you have a question for us, just ask. I promise you I won't give the tired "Google it" line. We never insult our readers, so that's that.
"There is still a SandFrog and if they continue with some of the music we wrote in the past year, they'll do real well," said Spiezio, who has been out since April 20 with a strained oblique [side]. "I just couldn't get along with one of the guys, but I still talk to two of the guys. There are no hard feelings; it's just better this way."
"I haven't even picked up a guitar in months."
We here at Sports And Bremertonians would like to thank Scott for leaving Sandfrog. With the departure of Spiezio from Sandfrog, the chances of us hearing from this band again are likely slim and none. Let's be honest, the only reason Sandfrog garnered attention in the first place was because of Spiezio.
It's just better this way
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Phillies at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Vicente Padilla (3-5, 6.43 ERA) vs Aaron Sele (5-5, 3.99 ERA)
I'm back from Jonesboro, Arkansas (home of Arkansas State University), but I wish I could stay up there. August will come soon enough, I know.
Anyways, this is the Pump. Aaron Sele's ERA is below 4. I have nothing to say about that. It's not often that I'm at a loss for words. Consider this one of those times.
You know the drill.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Just covering for Jeremy here because I know he's got the thang going on for going to Arkansas State next fall and all that good stuff. As for me, it was the first day at work. I haven't experienced work for about six and a half months, so that's a good thing. Point is, I'm not sure if Jeremy's got the computer access over there or not, and I'm not sure I could get to a computer in time to post this thread. So, though I'm posting this at 9:13p PT the night before the game, the post time below is predictably preemptive.
But seriously, though. How about three games in Seattle against the red-hot Phillies?
Though I'm in Hawaii, I won't rub it in by ending my posts with "mahalo." I'll just give you tips, like not using the #20 bus if you want to go past the airport and if you want to take one stop at the Ala Moana Center as opposed to four. Ride the #42 because it's quicker.
Monday, June 13, 2005
This is what I like to call an open thread.
Anything and everything (within reason) is acceptable in the box.
For the Alexander/Henry talk, just go to the post below this one.
This has been a VORP-free message. Thanks.
353 carries, 1696 yards, 16 touchdowns
Player B stats:
325 carries, 1438 yards, 13 touchdowns
The stats above were from their best seasons. Player A in 2004 and Player B in 2002.
You tell me, which player do you want in the Seahawks' backfield?
Player A or Player B?
Sunday, June 12, 2005
In 25 words or less: Broom Hilda. I wasn't a huge fan of the comic to begin with, though I didn't hate it. However, it reminds me of this series.
This less-detailed-than-the-game-before recap is of a game that featured Ryan Franklin going up against Tony Armas, Jr. Jeremy Reed finally got some playing time on this interleague road trip, and Randy Winn and Bret Boone both got the day off. Willie Bloomquist played second in place of Boone.
They at least made Armas work. Ichiro flew out to leftfield on the second pitch. Jeremy Reed got down 0-2 and fouled off seven pitches en route to a 13-pitch walk. Adrian Beltre got ahead 2-0 and smacked a double into rightfield, moving Reed to third. Richie Sexson got down 0-2 and whiffed on the fourth pitch. Raul Ibañez got ahead 2-0, but eventually tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
Franklin had some mild trouble. Brad Wilkerson got one strike and watched the next four pitches for a walk. Ryan Church fell behind 0-2 and eventually bounced a ball to Boone, who started the 4-6-3 double play. Jose Guillen took three strikes on three pitches to end the inning.
More missed opportunities. Mike Morse flew out to rightfield. Willie Bloomquist singled through the hole on the right side. Rene Rivera bounced a ball to Armas, who bobbled it. Runners stood on first and second with one out. Ryan Franklin grounded a ball to third, and Rivera was forced out at second. Runners stood on first and third with two out, but Ichiro was at the plate. He grounded out to short.
One part of the Ricoh Scouting Report was violated. Nick Johnson doubled into rightfield. Vinny Castilla flew out deep to Reed in centerfield, and Johnson tagged and moved to third. Junior Spivey mashed a low pitch over the leftfield fence.
»» NATIONALS 2, MARINERS 0
Brian Schneider fell behind 0-2 and flew out to leftfield. Jamey Carroll got down 0-2 and was caught looking in a Franklin flash of brilliance.
More frustration, not that it's anything new. Reed gave the ball a good right, missing a homer to rightfield. Beltre doubled to centerfield and was assisted by Wilkerson misplaying the ball a bit. However, he wasn't helped by his hamstring, which tightened up on him as he rounded first base. He later came out of the game. Sexson was caught looking. Ibañez worked a nine-pitch walk. Morse got behind 0-2 and managed to work the count full, but whiffed to end the threat.
Franklin had some diciness once again. Franklin gave up a single to Tony Armas, Jr., the pitcher. Wilkerson took five pitches, which were one strike followed by four balls. Luckily, Church went down whiffing. Guillen flew out to center. Johnson grounded to Bloomquist at second for the fielder's choice to end the inning.
I'm not sure whether plain 1-2-3 innings were more tolerable. Bloomquist whiffed. Rivera doubled to centerfield. He took second on the 2-0 wild pitch to Franklin, who ended up walking. Too bad Ichiro was up next. He flew out to leftfield. Reed bounced out to second to end the inning.
Unfortunately, Beltre was pulled at this point and replaced at third by Dave Hansen, leaving a gaping power hole in the third spot of the lineup. Castilla got behind 0-2 and would single to leftcenter. He stole second on the first pitch to Spivey, who ended up whiffing. Schneider flew out to rightfield. Carroll singled to leftcenter to score Castilla and pretty much drive the nail into the coffin. Yes, I know this was only the 4th inning.
»» NATIONALS 3, MARINERS 0
Armas grounded out to second to end the inning.
A baserunner, but the usual. Hansen got behind 0-2 and would whiff in Beltre's spot. Sexson singled to shallow centerfield. Ibañez stung one to short, but it was snared by Carroll at short. Morse got behind 0-2 and whiffed to end the inning.
Armas' line: 5 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 107 pitches (70 strikes)
It would be the final inning for Franklin. Wilkerson doubled to lead off. Church popped one behind the plate to Rivera. Guillen popped to Hansen near third base. Johnson drew a walk. Castilla was caught looking.
Franklin's line: 5 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 83 pitches (54 strikes)
Signs of life! Gary Majewski came in for Armas. Bloomquist got ahead 2-0 and led off with a single. Rivera got behind 0-2 and would whiff. Greg Dobbs pinch-hit for Franklin, officially ending the day for the latter. Dobbs wrapped a double to rightfield that scored Bloomquist from first.
»» NATIONALS 3, MARINERS 1
Ichiro grounded out to short. Right after the 1-1 pitch to Reed, Dobbs was caught napping at second by the catcher. It's one thing for the pitcher to step off and nab the runner at second on a daylight play, but it's quite another for the catcher to throw all the way down to second to nab the runner. Inexcusable.
Julio Mateo came in for Franklin. Spivey got behind 0-2 and ended up with the whiff. Morse bobbled a Schneider grounder at short. Carroll popped a ball foul to Hansen, alleviating the pressure a bit. Majewski thankfully was the next hitter, and Mateo got him via el whiffo.
More life! Reed singled to center to lead off. Hansen flew out to left (gaping #3 hole). Sexson flew out to centerfield. Ibañez doubled to leftfield, scoring Reed and bringing the Mariners within one run. Ibañez was able to scoot along to third on the throw back in from Church.
»» NATIONALS 3, MARINERS 2
Luis Ayala came in for Majewski. Morse flew out to end the threat.
Majewski's line: 1 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
Mateo turned in another mostly solid inning of relief. Wilkerson was ahead 2-0 but ended up flying out to Reed. Church walked on four pitches. Guillen fouled a 2-0 pitch to Sexson at first. Johnson flew out to leftfield to end the inning.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 34 pitches (21 strikes)
Once again, nothing. Bloomquist grounded to second to lead off. Rivera nearly hit a homer on an 0-2 pitch, but it went for a flyout. Randy Winn pinch-hit in Mateo's spot and hit a single, so that was something. Ichiro lined out to the rightfielder to end the inning. Fun.
Ayala's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Jeff Nelson came in for Mateo. Castilla flew out to right. Spivey succumbed to the whiff. Schneider popped out to short to end the inning.
Nelson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
Chad Cordero came out once again to slam the door shut. Reed flew out to centerfield. Hansen bounced out to first. Sexson grounded out to short. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
Let's hope he's okay. Thank goodness the Mariners had the day off after this game. He went 2-for-2 with both of the hits being doubles, but came up grabbing his left thigh rounding the bag at first after the second double. The hamstringness is recurring a little too often for my tastes. Anyone think it's sickly ironic that he hit 48 bombs on a jacked-up foot last year and he's hitting (fill in the blank) this year? It's quite disheartening. Still, I know who on this team I'd want to see at third base and batting third in the lineup, and it's definitely not Dave Hansen.
Flirting with .400 seems like an eternity ago. Ichiro has gone hitless in three of the ten games so far this month. Though this 0-for-5 outing (six runners left on base) ended a six-game hitting streak, Ichiro has had exactly zero multi-hit games in the month of June. I'm amazed the Mariners won eight of 11 games despite Ichiro going through this funk. Though the Nationals are red hot, I think the fact that Ichiro is off his game has finally caught up to the Mariners' offense. The result is now going from winning eight of 11 to losing four of five. Yes, we can use losing grammar again, it's okay.
Again, I don't care if the Nationals are on fire. The Mariners were in all three of the games in this series. I'm on a fence between hating the Mariners for not taking at least one of the games and telling myself that it's at least competitive baseball. Still, it's pathetic to think that the Mariners didn't even draw Livan Hernandez and they still got swept. Not a nice thought.
Ryan Franklin...unfortunately the run support argument does carry some weight here, but at the same time, don't walk three guys. Walks suck, and so do walk parties. Amazingly, I'm saying this despite the fact that none of the three walks came around to score. Now that boils down to Franklin keeping the ball down and not running it over the middle of the plate. Junior Spivey didn't hit the best home-run pitch, but he still got a hold of one. Worse yet, if you want to use the "that's okay if it's only a solo shot" argument, Franklin had given up a double to Nick Johnson two batters before that. Too bad.
I think this was the only game of the three in the series where the Mariners never held the lead. I guess that's why it seemed like the most boring game of the series. Though I'll draw somewhat on my hockey experience here, I think it's very important for the Mariners to score first, and I think that's doubly true when they're at Safeco Field. That's mostly to keep the crowd interested in the game, or else it goes silent and you can hear a pin drop in there. Scoring first helps everyone out, as it obviously should. Needless to say, they scored first in the first two games of this series in Washington and won neither game, but they've got to use anything they can as a building block. It's good for the hitters, the starting pitchers, everyone. I'm not sure what I'd think if I heard Franklin say, "hey, they got leads for the other two guys in the series..."
For the hitting, I already mentioned the two biggies in the gameball/goat section. Begrudgingly, I'll admit that Willie Bloomquist did indeed get two hits to provide some production from the bottom of the order. I'll also put some praise toward Greg Dobbs for his RBI double, though I wished it could have come a day earlier and could have been traded for that popout to the screen. Other than Ichiro's numbers, the other horrific numbers that stand out in the boxscore belong to Mike Morse, who went 0-for-4, struck out three times, left four runners on base, and made an error. As we well know, that's the tradeoff you'll get with the occasional 2-for-3 day from the Coded One.
What comes next is an off-day for Monday followed by three each with the Phillies, Mets (Mike Cameron returns), and the A's in Seattle. All we want is a winning homestand. A week ago, that would have been a realistic goal. Now...
Lieber. Meche. Tuesday.
"They're not interested in the present, they're interested in the future. And that's their right. But when other teams are getting better presently, you're going to get your butts beat and that's exactly what's happening."
"I'm not going to take responsibility for this. If I had been given a $40 million or $45 million payroll, I'd stand up like a man and say it's my fault. Well, I'm not going to do it. So if you want answers about what's going on here, you call the new ownership group and let them give them to you."
"When I came here three years ago, we talked about a situation where we wanted to win now and we were interested in winning now. And you know what? With a small payroll we [improved] from 55 [victories] to 63 and then to 70. This was supposed to be a breakout year. The problem is we've got a new ownership group here that's changed the direction of where we're headed."
The Devil Rays (21-42) are currently in last place in the A.L. East, 15.5 games behind first-place Baltimore. Is Lou fed up enough with the Devil Rays' situation that he leaves the ballclub before the end of the season? I wouldn't put it past him.
Just don't expect the Mariners to give Lou his own statue for the 1995 10th Anniversary celebration, if he were to leave the Devil Rays before this season is up. If the M's wouldn't give Randy Johnson his own statue, what makes anybody think that they'll honor Lou?
I miss Lou.
More importantly, I also miss winning baseball.
Yay for Jeremy already having a Pump picture put into the Photobucket. Yes, it's a matter of being prepared, something that we here at Sports and B's pass onto you, the choosy surfer of the WWW.
Mariners at Nationals, 10:05a PT (FSNNW, MLB.tv)
Ryan Franklin (2-7, 4.77 ERA) vs. Tony Armas, Jr. (2-3, 4.91 ERA)
The Mariners nice string of late may be fading a bit, since we're using words like "salvage" before the third game of a series.
Anyway, it's cloudy on Waikiki as I post this, but it's also nearing 7am. Should get better. If it was the Northwest and it was cloudy at this point, I'd be a little less optimistic.
In 25 words or less: Come-from-behind wins by the Nationals are a great story when they don't come against my team.
Okay, this might be an isolated incident here. This is just a lucky thing because the person I'm staying with has MLB.tv and I was able to actually sit there for three hours and watch it. I've had very few instances since I got to Hawaii where I could actually sit in one place for three hours and watch a game or do something not related to trying to find a place to live.
So even though I'm moving into my new place on Wednesday, I've called the cable/internet people (Time Warner/Road Runner) and they'll be able to hook my place up on...July 2nd. I was pre-warned about the non-quickness when it comes to getting service, so I really wasn't surprised.
Seriously, enough about me and this whole place they call Hawaii. It's time to do a game wrap, dang it.
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against John Patterson.
Not much of a start. Ichiro popped the first pitch foul by the third-base bag. Randy Winn singled up the middle past the shortstop. Adrian Beltre popped the 0-2 pitch high to Nick Johnson beside the mound. Richie Sexson got behind 0-2, later popping out to centerfield.
Moyer didn't start out too hot. Brad Wilkerson was beaned in the right arm with a 2-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd jumped on a 3-1 pitch, driving it to the gap in leftcenter where Raul Ibañez made a running catch, and Wilkerson had to hurry back to first on the failed hit-and-run attempt. Wilkerson stole second on the first pitch to Jose Guillen, drawing a ridiculously wide and late throw from Pat Borders behind the plate. Guillen walked on four pitches. Nick Johnson fell behind 0-2, later hitting a flare to leftfield that Ibañez charged and caught. With his momentum carrying him toward the infield, Ibañez threw to second and was able to double Wilkerson off of second, who thought the ball was going to drop.
More of nothing out of the offense. Raul Ibañez flew out to centerfield. Bret Boone grounded the first pitch to third and was nailed by a charging and very old Vinny Castilla. Mike Morse took a 3-1 pitch to the track in centerfield, missing out on his first big-league homer.
Luckily, Moyer would get on track a bit. Castilla flew out to centerfield. Junior Spivey grounded the first pitch to third. Gary Bennett whiffed on a 1-2 pitch that was way outside.
This one was frustrating. Pat Borders led off by ripping a 1-1 pitch into centerfield for a single. Jamie Moyer missed bunting on the first two pitches, both strikes. He bunted the 0-2 pitch and placed it nicely, but it was too hard, and Johnson was already about halfway down the first-base line when Moyer had bunted the ball. Johnson was able to pounce on the ball and nail Borders at second. Not good. Patterson climbed the ladder and got Ichiro hacking and missing on a 0-2 pitch. Winn got ahead 3-1, and hit a gapper to leftcenter on a full count for a double, moving Moyer to third but no further thanks to Wilkerson stopping the ball short of the track and wall. Beltre came through in the clutch, popping the first pitch to Spivey just onto the outfield grass. Hilariously, the FSNNW broadcast had rolled the theme music before the ball had even come down in Spivey's glove.
Moyer returned to some shakiness. Cristian Guzman nubbed a 2-1 pitch into centerfield. John Patterson bunted to send Guzman to second. Wilkerson walked on a 3-1 pitch. Byrd got behind 0-2 and ended up flying out short of the track in leftfield, deep enough to move Guzman to third. Guillen weakly popped an 0-2 pitch to centerfield to end the inning.
Not a banner inning for the middle third of the order. Sexson whiffed. Ibañez flew out to centerfield. For the cherry on top, Boone was caught looking.
It was apparent by this point that Moyer wasn't having one of his better outings. Johnson was beaned on the right elbow by a 2-2 pitch. Castilla got behind 0-2 and later flew out to Ichiro. Johnson was gunned down at second on the 3-1 pitch to Spivey. Johnson took the next pitch for ball four. Bennett whiffed on an 0-2 pitch low and outside, and Moyer reacted to the swing and miss in somewhat of an exhaustive nature...you'd really have to have seen it since I really can't describe it.
At least a run got across. Morse walked on a 3-1 pitch up and in. Borders hit an 0-2 lazy pop to leftfield. Moyer bunted correctly this time, able to move Borders to second. Ichiro hit a full-count hard grounder to first that ate up Johnson and went into rightfield, enough for career hit #999 for Ichiro and good to push Borders across the plate. Guillen also had some trouble fielding the ball in rightfield, and that ensured Borders' run, but Ichiro couldn't scoot to second.
»» MARINERS 1, NATIONALS 0
Winn fouled off a 2-0 pitch and later hit a grounder that went off Guzman's glove, though he was able to recover and throw to first in time. Dammit.
I enjoyed the lead while I could. Guzman bounced a 3-1 pitch off the track and over the wall for a ground-rule double. Patterson bunted to the third-base side, moving Guzman to third. Wilkerson whiffed on a full count. Byrd tripled on the first pitch to score Guzman and tie the game. Fiddlesticks.
»» NATIONALS 1, MARINERS 1
Guillen had the hitters' counts and grounded to the hole at short, where Morse made a decent backhand play to nab him at first.
Again, frustrating. Beltre led off by singling an 0-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Ibañez was caught looking. Boone popped out to Spivey along the rightfield line. Oddly, Beltre did his job in Bizarro Sixth Inning.
This would be Moyer's final inning. Johnson grounded out to short. Castilla grounded a 3-1 pitch deep into the hole at short, and Morse tried to backhand it, but never had control of the ball, and it went for a single. Spivey got behind 0-2 and ended up taking the whiff. Bennett flew out to Winn in leftcenter.
Moyer's line: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 102 pitches (54 strikes)
The last gasp. Morse ripped a leadoff single through the left side. He stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Borders. Borders fisted off a pitch that was way inside and grounded it to first, moving Morse over to third. Up came Greg Dobbs to pinch-hit for Moyer, officially signaling the end of the latter's outing. Dobbs proved his pinch-hitting prowess by getting the hitters' counts, and also by popping a foul ball behind the plate by the screen, caught by Bennett. The Mariners needed only a sacrifice fly to retake the lead, but oh well. Ichiro flew out to leftfield to end the inning, and in my mind, the game.
Patterson's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 106 pitches (73 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Moyer. Guzman grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to Beltre, who made the play. Paleozoic exile Carlos Baerga came in to pinch-hit for Patterson, and singled past a diving Boone into centerfield. Tony Blanco pinch-ran for the relic. Wilkerson took a 3-1 pitch high and outside for ball four. Ryan Church came in to pinch-hit for Byrd, and he drew a four-pitch walk. Great times, really. With the bases loaded and one out, I then predicted a two-run double for Guillen, but he instead just settled for a single up the middle to score one runner (Blanco). For all intensive purposes, that was the game.
»» NATIONALS 2, MARINERS 1
Johnson grounded the second pitch to Boone, who started the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Too bad that double play didn't come one hitter earlier.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
Luis Ayala came in for Patterson. Winn flew out to rightfield. Beltre fouled off a 2-0 pitch but flew out to Spivey on the outfield grass on the next pitch. Sexson grounded out hard to short to end the inning.
Ayala's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
Jeff Nelson came in for Putz. Castilla was caught looking on an 0-2 pitch. Spivey walked on a 3-1 pitch. Bennett ripped a single to rightfield, moving Spivey to third. Surely Nelson couldn't get through it that easily. Guzman took a 1-2 backdoor slider over the outside corner. Wil Cordero hit in the pitcher's spot and flew out to centerfield.
Nelson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
Chad Cordero came in to close things out. Ibañez grounded out to the hole on the right side. Boone took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner since clutch is everything in life. Morse flew out to centerfield. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Gameball: Mike Morse.
The gameball after the obvious Randy Winn (only multi-hitting Mariner) is going to Morse, who went 1-for-3 with a walk, a steal, and a decent turn on the double play that ended the 7th. I'm just hoping he hits more consistently than now-Padre Wilson Valdez. Or Willie Bloomquist.
Goat: JJ Putz.
I keep thinking of Rondell White derailing Arthur Rhodes' season a couple years ago. Now I'm drawing that parallel with JJ Putz and the two grand slams in consecutive appearances from a few weeks ago. It's been said that closers and other relievers have to have short memories, but I've learned that the Seahawk defense and JJ Putz seem to have roughly the same amount of success. I'm not saying the offense wasn't terrible in spots during this game, because they certainly were bad. However, with the game tied, Putz gave up a single to a dinosaur and then used the next nine pitches to walk the next two batters. It's a miracle only one run scored in that inning, but it was all Washington needed.
Though I'm all the way over here in Hawaii, I did see part of the first game of the series as well, and though I know the Nationals are on a crazy tear right now and they're winning a bunch of one-run games, it makes it that much worse to know that I think the Mariners should have won both of the first two games in this series. It's pretty much a testament to the season that they didn't manage to pull one of these games off, and dare I say it's an end to the good streak of late. Maybe they can waddle in mediocrity for a week or two before having another good streak. Anything other than pushing the button marked "nosedive" is good with me.
Maybe it's better that I was away from the Mariners for a while. They did win seven of nine and eight of eleven. My interest in the Mariners was re-piqued after I got closer to getting my new place of residence, and now they've lost this series at RFK. The only good memory of this series so far that I'm remembering is Richie Sexson reaching the upper deck in leftfield. Washington's roll aside, I can't believe the Mariners might get swept in this series without even drawing Livan Hernandez. That's cause for momentary sadness. Of course, like I said, I'll have to wait until the first Saturday in July to fully welcome my new place to civilization, so maybe that'll give the Mariners some time to find themselves again.
But as much as I've just whined about the past two games, at least we can say that the Mariners haven't gotten the shellac treatment. They've had the lead in both games. The games have been competitive. The endings have left a lot to be desired, but it's still a step up from an 8-19 month of May. Of course, when a month of June starts out 4-4 and it's an improvement, that gives you an idea of the type of team we're dealing with. Baby steps.
The Mariners have four weeks of baseball left before the All-Star break. I know the Angels have been banged up, and I know Vlad Guerrero is back from injury and everything...but the Mariners might be able to make some hay if they go into the All-Star break five games back of the division lead. I think it's a worthwhile goal for this group, and I hope they can come through on it. They've shown signs of waking up lately, and I certainly hope they do.
Franklin. Armas. Today.