Saturday, July 09, 2005
Mariners at Angels, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Ryan Franklin (4-10, 4.44 ERA) vs John Lackey (6-3, 4.07 ERA)
---Could it be? A series win against the Angels? The Mariners have two chances to do just that. And here I was looking at a possible 20.5 game deficit at the All-Star break. That's why they play the games.
---The Mariners have scored 10 runs each of the last two nights against the Angels. However, with Ryan Franklin on the mound for the M's tonight, I don't expect the offense to score 10 runs. I could be wrong, but I don't think I will be.
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Play Jeremy Reed, Mike.
In 25 words or less: They waited a little while before hanging up the double digits this time. Some old guy also reached a milestone.
This one featured Jamie Moyer, going for career win number 200, against Jarrod Washburn, whose mere presence guaranteed a start for Willie Bloomquist, who batted a much-too-high sixth and played centerfield, marooning Jeremy Reed on the bench once again (it's unjust).
The inning's promising start quickly gave way. Ichiro lined a single into rightfield to lead off. Randy Winn nubbed a ball back to the mound, tailor-made for a 1-6-3 double play. Raul Ibañez rolled one to short to end the inning.
The Mariners got a couple of good plays. Chone Figgins got ahead 3-1, and later poke a single to rightfield on a full count. Darin Erstad grounded the first pitch down the first-base line where Richie Sexson reached over and threw off-balance to second with his momentum taking him into foul territory. Figgins was out on the 3-6 fielder's choice. Vladimir Guerrero mashed a 2-0 pitch foul and lined out to Lopez on the next pitch. Lopez caught Vlad's liner and threw to first for the double play.
Some promise, but the pay station was not visited. Richie Sexson hit the first pitch hard to third, where Figgins gobbled it up and threw him out. Adrian Beltre hit a sharp grounder up the middle for a single. Willie Bloomquist hit a low liner right to Garret Anderson in leftfield on the first pitch. Mike Morse singled up the middle to move Beltre to third. Jose Lopez flew out behind first base to end the inning.
Moyer began to get sharp. Garret Anderson couldn't hold a checkswing on an 0-2 pitch low and away. Bengie Molina flew out off the end of the bat to centerfield. Juan Rivera grounded out to short to end the 1-2-3 inning.
Nothing seemed to be happening yet. Pat Borders couldn't hold a checkswing on a 0-2 pitch down and in. Ichiro fell behind 0-2, and later chopped a ball to third, which Figgins converted off the shorthop. Winn had the hitters' counts, but flew out to first on a full count to end the inning.
There was some measure of offense from the Angels. Maicer Izturis popped out to Moyer in front of the mound. Jeff DaVanon grounded an 0-2 pitch past Sexson and into rightfield for a single. Adam Kennedy had the hitters' counts, and he ended up whiffing on a full count, and DaVanon stole second on the pitch. Figgins bounced the first pitch to short to end the inning.
The Mariners drew first blood again. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full, fouling off some pitches before rolling out to short. Sexson ripped a 2-0 pitch into leftfield for a single. Beltre whiffed on a pitch up and in for the second out of the inning. Bloomquist dinked his second pitch into rightfield for a single, sending Sexson to second. Morse rolled a 2-1 pitch down the rightfield line for what ended up being a double. Sexson came around to score, and Bloomquist went to third.
»» MARINERS 1, ANGELS 0
Lopez flew out to rightfield to end the inning.
This could have been a lot worse. Erstad hit an 0-2 low liner toward Winn in leftfield, who looked to have been in position to catch the ball. He lost it in the lights, the ball dropped, and Erstad was credited with the single. Guerrero popped a 3-1 pitch to Sexson in foul ground. Anderson grounded to Beltre for a 5-4 fielder's choice. Molina flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter to end the inning.
The Mariners would scratch out another one. Borders bounced the second pitch of the inning off the centerfield grass and over the fence for a ground-rule double. Ichiro fouled off a couple 2-2 pitches before he looked pretty stupid on a ball very low and away. It happens. Winn fell behind 0-2 before working the count full, and then popping the ball high to rightfield. With two out and Borders camped out at second, Ibañez connected with a 1-2 pitch, reaching the track in rightcenter for a double, scoring even the aged Borders.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 0
Sexson took a full-count pitch down and in for ball four. Beltre hit a hard grounder to third, but Figgins played the shorthop nicely once again.
There were some cliffhanger moments slowly creeping in. Rivera flew out to rightfield. Izturis was ahead 2-0, but the count fell full before he flew out to leftfield. DaVanon worked a 1-2 count full, fouling off some pitches before getting a dirtball on a full count and advancing to first base. Kennedy fell behind 0-2, but ended up lining out to second.
The can was opened. Bloomquist took a 3-1 pitch up and away for ball four. Morse flew out to shallow centerfield. Lopez smoked the first pitch to leftfield to send Bloomquist to second.
Joel Peralta came in for Washburn. With the runners sent, Borders hit a 1-1 grounder down the line to third, which Figgins went over to backhand, only to have it go off the end of his glove and down the line. Bloomquist scored.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 0
Ichiro was intentionally walked to keep the double play in order. That also loaded the bases for Winn, who got a hold of the second pitch he saw, reaching the sixth row or so above the out-of-town scoreboard in rightfield. Hooray for Randy Winn's fifth career grand slam.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 0
Ibañez lined a single into rightfield. Sexson had a 3-1 count, and later took a pitch low and very outside on a full count for a walk. Beltre again whiffed at a pitch up and in. Bloomquist, up for the second time in the inning, bounced a ball to Kennedy, who threw for the forceout at second (4-6).
Washburn's line: 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 108 pitches (72 strikes)
The Angels couldn't be held scoreless for the whole series, you know. Figgins singled up the middle into centerfield. Erstad fouled off an 0-2 pitch, then foul-tipped strike three into Borders' glove. Guerrero hit the first pitch hard off Beltre's glove and down the leftfield line, good for a double, and Figgins scooted to third. Anderson got behind 0-2, and whiffed on a 1-2 dirtball change. Molina then golfed a 1-1 pitch out of the yard to rightfield.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 3
Rivera flew out to leftfield to end the inning.
Peralta righted the ship one inning too late. Morse whiffed on some off-speed stuff outside. Lopez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and away. Borders whiffed on an 0-2 outside fastball. Yes, he struck out the side.
Peralta's line: 1 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 34 pitches (21 strikes)
It got dicey, and that was even before the bullpen got involved. Izturis popped one to Beltre beside the third-base line in foul territory. DaVanon golfed a 1-1 pitch into the bullpen beyond the leftfield fence. The game officially had entered "interesting" status.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 4
Ron Villone came in for Moyer. He promptly allowed a single up the middle to Kennedy. Figgins hit a hard grounder that was snared by Beltre, who made a spin move and then threw in time to first. Kennedy went to second on the play. Erstad had the hitters' counts, taking the 3-1 pitch outside and in the dirt for a walk.
Jeff Nelson came in for Villone. Guerrero flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter to end the best Angels' threat of the night.
Moyer's line: 6 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 98 pitches (65 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
Jake Woods came in for Peralta. Ichiro dinked a single along the leftfield line. Winn flew out to rightfield on the first pitch. With the count 0-2 to Ibañez, Woods threw a bad pickoff throw to first, and Ichiro had taken off for second. Erstad got the bad throw from Woods and tried to throw to second to get Ichiro, but the ball went into leftfield, allowing Ichiro to squeak by to third base. Ibañez hit a 1-2 grounder to second, and Ichiro had taken off on contact. Kennedy fielded the grounder and threw home right away, except the throw was way too high and going toward the backstop. Ichiro scored on the play and Ibañez moved to second.
»» MARINERS 8, ANGELS 4
Kevin Gregg came in for Woods. Sexson flew out to centerfield on the first pitch. Beltre flew out to rightfield on the second pitch.
Woods' line: 1/3 inning, 1 run (unearned), 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
It remained dicey with the bullpen. Anderson doubled off the wall in rightfield. Molina rolled the ball to second, advancing Anderson to third base. Rivera got ahead 3-0 and ended up taking a 3-1 pitch barely low for a walk.
JJ Putz came in for Nelson. Izturis fouled off a few pitches before taking a full-count pitch for strike three. The play wasn't that simple, though. Rivera took off for second on the pitch, and Borders uncorked a wild throw to second, which was high. Morse caught the ball and went straight home with it since Anderson was breaking for home. It was a bang-bang play, but Borders was called to have tagged Anderson's foot just before it crossed the plate. To recap that, that's a strike-'em-out/throw-'em-out double play, going 2-6-2 in the book.
Nelson's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (7 strikes)
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
The Mariners pretty much put it out of doubt. Bloomquist walked on four pitches. Morse blooped a single to leftfield, and Bloomquist managed to take third on the play. Lopez took an 0-2 pitch on his left hand, and then took first base after he was deemed to be okay. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Borders chopped the first pitch to Figgins at third, who threw home to start the 5-2-3 double play. Ichiro dumped a 'tweener single into leftcenter to score Morse and Bloomquist and stake the Mariners out to double digits.
»» MARINERS 10, ANGELS 4
Winn flew out to DaVanon in leftcenter to end the inning.
Gregg's line: 1 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz to get in some work before the All-Star break. He went 0-2 on each of the first four hitters he faced. DaVanon poked a 2-2 single into centerfield. Kennedy singled into leftfield. Figgins whiffed on an outside pitch. Erstad popped a 1-2 pitch foul near the third-base line, and Beltre made the basket catch. Guerrero flew out to Ichiro near the foul pole in rightfield on the first pitch. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (14 strikes)
Gameball: Mike Morse.
There's a million ways to go with the gameball for this game. Every Mariner hitter had a base hit. Ibañez and Borders had two hits apiece. Ichiro and Morse had three hits apiece. Morse plated the first Mariner run and helped turn in probably the most important play of the game (even causing me to enthusiastically scream "YES!!!" and give an authoritative clap), getting Garret Anderson at the plate after Pat Borders had thrown wide to second trying to get Juan Rivera. That play happened with the Mariners up 8-4 in the bottom of the 8th with runners on the corners and one out. Any damage for the Angels there, and they're defintely back into the game. Instead, Morse makes a play, the Angels don't score, and the Mariners play add-on in the next half-inning and seal the deal. Offensively though, most had thought that his bat had hit the wall a bit lately. Hopefully this will warm him up and give him more time at short. Then Hargrove will eventually have to give Jeremy Reed some time in centerfield again, then Willie Bloomquist will be where he's supposed to be, etc.
Goat: Ron Villone.
It should have been pretty simple for Villone. He came in with one out and nobody on in the seventh with a three-run lead, relieving Jamie Moyer. He allowed a single to the #9 hitter. Beltre turned in a nice play on Figgins, but then Villone buried the 3-1 pitch to Darin Erstad to make him the most worthless Mariner in this game, mostly since every Mariner hitter got a hit. He made an already dicey situation more treacherous. He was pulled, and Jeff Nelson was left to try to retire Vladimir Guerrero, who represented the tying run with two out. Luckily Nelson came through. Of course, Villone was suffering recently with some neck stiffness, so take what you will from that. He was cleared to play though.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 62-23 .726 -- W1
2002 54-31 .635 8 W2
2003 54-31 .635 8 L2
2000 50-35 .588 12 W1
2005 37-48 .435 25 W2
2004 32-53 .376 30 L8
Congratulations to Jamie Moyer on his 200th career win. I posed this question toward the end of the game thread, and here it is -- when Jamie Moyer hangs it up, does he get his number retired in Safeco Field? The first era of Mariner goodness would yield the obvious candidates of Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson, and Edgar Martinez. Does Moyer belong with this list? Sure, he's not flashy, but look at the time he's done here in Seattle. He's the crafty lefthander that truly found his way in Seattle. I think we've all been blessed in Seattle to see this guy make it with slow, slower, and slowest. It was especially fun seeing that stuff in the same rotation with Randy Johnson, for the short time in which that was indeed the case. Anyway, I think Moyer's #50 jersey hangs in the rafters with the group of Griffey/Johnson/Edgar when the two active thirds of that trio hang it up too.
Fifteen hits qualifies as a hit explosion, right? The Mariners hung ten runs on the Angels for the second straight night. The starting pitchers in this series for the Angels have been no less than Bartolo Colon and Jarrod Washburn. It was great hearing the FSN West crew (Steve Physioc/Rex Hudler) trying to hype Colon as a possible All-Star Game starter. Probably east coast bias here, but I saw SportsCenter earlier with a poll question about who should start the All-Star Game, and their two AL choices were Jon Garland and Roy Halladay. I just like to see the Angels get screwed. Shock the monkey. Needless to say, the well has to run dry at some point. That can either happen after the break, or it can happen tonight when Ryan Franklin takes the mound.
A night after going 2-for-3 with two walks, Richie Sexson went 1-for-3 with two more walks. It's good for his average and on-base percentage and stuff, and he's not making outs, but he'd argue that it means he's not going yard either (hence less strikeouts). Still, he's 3-for-6 through two games in the series with four walks. His average is sitting at .253.
Wilson Valdez and the Exxon Valdez were the whole reason The Pump was born at Sports and Bremertonians. In the early part of the season, we grew accustomed to having goose eggs in the H column next to the names of Wilson Valdez and Miguel Olivo. Look at the bottom third of the lineup, and you get Morse's line of 3-for-5, Lopez with a 1-for-4, and Borders and his AARP bulletin checking in with a 2-for-5. With Valdez and Olivo, you never had a day where the bottom third of the lineup went 6-for-14. Well, maybe there's a chance that happened once or twice when Randy Winn batted seventh, but maybe not.
Randy Winn has clubbed homers in consecutive games, doubling his home run output for the season. He went 2-for-4 in the first game of the series, and turned in a weird line in this game. Though he whacked the grand slam, he went 1-for-6. At least that one hit was a biggie. His average has still plummeted from the reaches of near .300 down to its current .267. But hey, grand slams are cool, I like them when my team hits them and stuff. They make me smile and want to eat Dots, but not gumdrops. Also, how sad is it that I can't wax poetic about Ichiro's 3-for-5 day? I just don't know what to say. He does what he does. His bat is also warming up a fair amount, I'd have to say. Throwing Raul Ibañez into the mix, the top three in the lineup combined for 8 RBIs, going 6-for-16.
I think what I said about Villone is just about all I want to say about the bullpen. If Putz would have loaded the bases in the 8th, there was no way in hell I was going to leave him in, I know that (even if it would have been Jeff DaVanon). Eddie Guardado's 9th inning reminded me of any time that Kazuhiro Sasaki would come in whenever there wasn't a save situation. It just seemed like everything went to crap if the lead was 4 or more, if the Mariners were behind, or if it was a tie game. Sasaki had to have a lead of one, two, or three for me to feel comfortable with him on the mound. It seemed he was a zoo otherwise. Now he's over in Japan teaming up with his second wife and stuff.
The Mariners have two chances to take a series win against the Angels into the break. Can they do it? We'll see.
Franklin. Lackey. Tonight.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Mariners at Angels, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest, MLB.TV)
Jamie Moyer (7-3, 4.58 ERA) vs Jarrod Washburn (5-3, 3.06 ERA)
---Sonics play-by-play broadcaster Kevin Calabro will fill in for Dave Niehaus during next weekend's Baltimore series at Safeco Field (July 14-17). Flying chickens in the barnyard! Calabro may get to call Rafael Palmeiro's 3,000th hit next weekend. It would be fitting if Palmeiro gets his 3,000th hit in Seattle. After all, he has 51 career home runs against the Mariners. Right now, he's currently at 2,993 hits (the Orioles are playing Boston this weekend).
---I should have done this much earlier in the season, but better late than never, right? This is what I think about the Angels' name, which I will not refer to in this post, nor will I ever refer to it here at Sports And Bremertonians.
Next on the docket: Rally Monkey Demolition Night
UPDATE: Ichiro will NOT be in the Home Run Derby. Dodgers 1B Hee-Seop Choi will represent Korea in the event. By the way, Choi is not on the N.L. All-Star team! This is one of the main reasons why I hate the new format for the Home Run Derby. Major League Baseball changed the format so they can promote the World Baseball Classic, to debut next spring. Just another dumb move to ruin the All-Star week.
Once again, IT DOESN'T COUNT!
In 25 words or less: What the frick was this? Scoring an early touchdown enabled the starting pitcher to turn on the cruise control.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro, winless since the 26th of April, against Bartolo Colon, who never was the final piece to the Mariners' puzzle that never was completed back when the team was still good.
Unexpected is an understatement. Ichiro flew out to leftfield to lead off. Randy Winn popped out to the shortstop, closer to third base. Raul Ibañez singled over the middle on a 1-2 count. Richie Sexson banged a single through the left side to move Ibañez over to second. Adrian Beltre walked on a full count to load the bases. Jeremy Reed doubled off the track in the gap in leftcenter, clearing the bases. Huge hit for Jeremy Reed.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 0
Willie Bloomquist joined the parade, poking a 2-0 pitch into the gap in leftcenter, with Chone Figgins cutting the ball off before it reached the wall. Nonetheless, Reed scored.
»» MARINERS 4, ANGELS 0
Jose Lopez hit a broken-bat flyout to leftfield to end the inning. Damage done, though.
Piñeiro got a weird play and some help. Chone Figgins popped up to Beltre on the infield. Darin Erstad appeared to have fouled off a 2-2 pitch, but apparently he hit Miguel Olivo's glove on his swing, which went as catcher's interference. Erstad was awarded first base. Vladimir Guerrero then grounded a 2-0 pitch to Willie Bloomquist to commence the timely 6-4-3 double play.
The Seahawks converted a Josh Brown 46-yard field goal. Miguel Olivo grounded his first pitch up the middle, but Maicer Izturis robbed him with a diving stop and barely got him at first base. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and fouled off four pitches before grounding out to Izturis up the middle. Winn got the hitters' counts and took a 3-1 pitch outside for a walk. Ibañez had a 3-0 count and walked on the fifth pitch. Sexson had the hitters' counts and grounded the 3-1 pitch to Dallas McPherson in the hole on the left side, but he went somewhat tentatively to the ball, and it went off his glove and the bases were loaded on what was credited to Sexson as a single. Beltre then drove the first pitch to the wall in the gap in leftcenter to clear the bases.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 0
Reed flew out to leftfield on the first pitch to end the inning.
Another good inning. Garret Anderson was robbed of a single on a diving stop by Lopez. Bengie Molina hit a low liner to leftfield, caught by Winn. Maicer Izturis got the hitters' counts and walked on the 3-1 pitch low and outside. Dallas McPherson flew out to centerfield to end the inning.
The Mariners' bats cooled off. Bloomquist whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball down and in. Lopez popped out to second on the first pitch. Olivo flew out in foul territory to Erstad along the rightfield line.
Piñeiro delivered more of the same, which in this case was good. Rivera popped a ball foul to the right side down the line, but Lopez collided with Sexson, though at a fairly slow speed. The ball dropped in foul territory. Piñeiro ended up getting Rivera to whiff, so no harm done. Adam Kennedy got behind 0-2 and later chopped a ball to Piñeiro in front of the mound, who threw in time to first, thoguh I thought Sexson was pulled off the bag. I'll take the out. Figgins grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Mariners were hung over a bit from their offensive explosion. Ichiro flew out to leftfield on the first pitch. Winn grounded a ball past Erstad and into rightfield for a single. Ibañez hit a broken-bat flyout to fairly deep rightfield. Sexson lined out to Guerrero in rightfield, who fell down while making the catch. No spectacular play about that, folks, he just plum fell down.
Piñeiro would get touched up. Erstad doubled the second pitch of the inning into the leftfield corner. Guerrero bounced the first pitch to second for a groundout, moving Erstad over to third. Anderson for a second time was robbed of a single by Lopez, who made another diving stop en route to the putout. Erstad scored.
»» ANGELS 7, MARINERS 1
Molina fouled off a 1-2 pitch, which was nearly caught in foul territory near the stands along the rightfield line. Molina eventually singled down the rightfield line. Izturis lined a 1-2 pitch over Sexson's head, except Sexson speared it before it got any further. That's a lineout.
The bats were in some slumber. Beltre chopped a 3-1 pitch high to third for a groundout. Reed bounced a 2-0 pitch to short. Bloomquist hit an 0-1 fly ball to Guerrero that was dropped for an error. Lopez flew out to leftfield to end the inning.
Piñeiro had minimal trouble. McPherson grounded out to first. Rivera flew out to left. Kennedy walked on a full count. Anderson had the hitters' counts, later flying out to centerfield instead of hitting a ball to Lopez for a diving stop.
Ho hum. Olivo took a 0-2 pitch right down the pipe for strike three. Ichiro grounded out to second in the first pitch. Winn grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle, where Izturis vacuumed it up and threw him out.
Colon's line: 6 innings, 7 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 92 pitches (57 strikes)
Piñeiro got some help again. Erstad got ahead 2-0, and later poked a single over Bloomquist. Guerrero grounded the first pitch to Beltre, who turned the 5-4-3 double play. Anderson grounded out to second to end the inning.
Kevin Gregg came in for Colon. Ibañez singled to leftfield on the first pitch. Sexson fouled off a few pitches before walking on a full count. Beltre grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, moving Ibañez to third. Reed got ahead 3-0, had the count go full, fouled off a pitch, then took a pitch in the dirt and past the catcher for a walk. The wild pitch was enough for Ibañez to cross the plate.
»» MARINERS 8, ANGELS 1
Bloomquist whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away for strike three.
Gregg's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 26 pitches (16 strikes)
Piñeiro was feeling it, in case people hadn't figured it out yet. Molina got the first pitch behind him, and ended up grounding out to third. Izturis grounded the 2-0 pitch to second. McPherson whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball.
Esteban Yan, he of the famous Yan/McLemore bout of yore, came in for Gregg. Lopez got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a low and away 1-2 pitch. Olivo was ditto, except with an outside pitch. Ichiro lined a 2-0 pitch into rightfield for a single. Then Winn lined his second pitch a couple rows over the scoreboard in rightfield for a typical Randy Winn-type homer. I still can't believe that guy reached the Hit It Here Cafe.
»» MARINERS 10, ANGELS 1
Ibañez grounded out to short to end the inning.
Yan's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
Piñeiro was almost mopping up at this point. Rivera popped the 2-0 pitch on the infield to Beltre. Kennedy doubled his 2-0 pitch down the rightfield line. Figgins worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to Lopez in short rightfield. With Jeff DaVanon pinch-hitting, Piñeiro made a forward motion and didn't come set, opening him for a balk call. Kennedy moved to third on the balk. Nonetheless, DaVanon grounded out to first to end the inning.
Jake Woods came in for Yan, Sexson walked on four pitches. Beltre hit a 2-0 fly ball to leftfield, but was robbed by Curtis Pride on a diving catch. Reed grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Woods' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Amazingly, Piñeiro stayed in. Pride grounded out to Lopez, who barely got him at first. Molina popped out to Lopez. Josh Paul homered down the leftfield line.
»» MARINERS 10, ANGELS 2
Izturis hit an 0-1 grounder past Bloomquist and into centerfield for a single. McPherson tapped an 0-2 pitch to the mound. Ballgame.
Piñeiro's line: 9 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 119 pitches (72 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
Sure, he hasn't been as hot as Adrian Beltre lately, though no one really has. Still, the other half of last offseason's big free-agent Mariner acquisitions did well for himself. The single off Dallas McPherson's glove looks like a line drive in the scorebook, after all. Anyway, for a guy to whom we usually associate home runs and strikeouts, it's still a very good day if he goes 2-for-3 and walks twice. He scored twice as well, and didn't strike out. 'Twas a night of on-base craziness for Big 44. Though his height had a lot to do with it, it was a good thing he speared that line drive in the fourth just to make absolutely sure that the Angels didn't get anywhere close.
Goat: Miguel Olivo.
Jose Lopez booted the ball, but Olivo's catcher interference counts as an error. Both failed to reach base, but Olivo struck out twice while Lopez did so only once. Hence, Olivo gets this space for this game. I wonder what kind of tear Olivo would have to go on in order to get his average up to my weight. If he did get it up there that far, it'd probably take three months with the limited playing time he's getting. His bat certainly isn't winning him more playing time, that's for sure. In a related note, Ryan Christianson still has not been called up. If you're going to blackball him for the substance abuse thing, just get rid of him. He's served out the suspension, for goodness' sake. Do you not want to see how one of your first-round picks might hack it in the Majors? I'm not saying the guy will be a world-beater, but he's gotta hit better than Olivo, and therefore that would make him a better backup than Olivo. Could we put Jeff Clement ahead of Olivo on the depth chart right now?
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 61-23 .726 -- L2
2003 54-30 .643 7 L1
2002 53-31 .631 8 W1
2000 49-35 .583 12 L2
2005 36-48 .429 25 W1
2004 32-52 .381 29 L7
The Mariners are four games up on the pace of last year's pathetic team. Granted, the fact that the Mariners were going belly-up and unraveling on a nine-game road trip going into the break helps make this team look a lot better. The truth is, these 2005 Mariners have never been more than four games better pace-wise than last year's Mariners. This game marked the first time the Mariners had a pace four games better than the 2004 team since game game 58, when they were 26-32 after the 8-0 win at Florida on the 9th of June. The only other three times the Mariners were up four games on the 2004 team was after the each of the last three games in April. Let's build that cushion, guys!
Needless to say, the obvious gameball candidate would be Joel Piñeiro, since we may never see a complete-game, 2-run, 6-hit shutout out of Joel for the rest of the year. Complete games don't just come and go with these pitchers and this team. Of course, if your team stakes you out to a touchdown in the early innings, then it makes the rest of the game a lot easier. I'm sure Joel felt he could take more chances and be more aggressive out there on the mound. If it's a one-run game in the seventh inning and Joel is out there, it might be a different story, i.e., he's one pitch away from a tie game and he knows it. Luckily here Joel had a very large margin of error, and only got touched up twice, and not for horrendously big innings or anything close to that. Piñeiro was a master of damage control in this game when he needed to be.
A nice thing sticks out in the boxscore for this game, and it's that the 2-3-4 hitters in the Mariner lineup all have a "2" next to their names under the "H" column. It might be somewhat unfortunate to know that those are the only two Mariners that had multi-hit games, but it's also good to know that some of your horses are coming through. Those three hitters combined to go 6-for-11 with two RBIs, four walks, no strikeouts, and seven runs scored. The other big horse, Adrian Beltre, had only the one hit in his 1-for-4 day, but it was the bases-clearing double in the second. Like Beltre, Reed went 1-for-4 with a bases-clearing double, except his was in the first inning.
Willie Bloomquist is doing way too well for his own good. Though his doing well is good for the team I'm rooting for, a dark side of me really misses complaining about him being a waste of a roster spot. Really, I'm torn between my intense dislike for most things South Kitsap and my loyalty as a fan to my favorite professional baseball team. However, this will come to pass. If Bloomquist can keep this going for more than 12 games, then he'll have had more of a run that what he had in September 2002 against September call-up calibre pitching. I have to admit, I'm surprised. We'll see if his Jarrod Washburn mojo is still clicking these days.
Oh great. I bet you five million freakin' dollars that Jeremy Reed sits in the second game of the series so Willie Bloomquist can play centerfield and hit against Washburn. I'm sorry, but if I'm managing the Mariners, Jeremy Reed starts six days a week (if you need Bloomquist's bat in there so bad, start him at short again). Reed's got to learn to hit tough lefties sometime. Does he get better against tough AL lefties when he's sitting on the bench? They've got to let this guy roll with the punches and feel out all these lefty starters in the American League unless the Mariners think they're going to platoon him with somebody, which I don't really see happening, and if it did happen, I don't think the Mariners would admit to such a situation. I just imagine the Mariners ever having a platoon situation. It just seems like that's something they would absolutely never do. If they remotely insinuated or even thought of platooning Bloomquist straight across with Reed, I think I'd break something.
Look at it this way. There will be no sweep of the Mariners in Orange County going into the All-Star break. It's a celebration!
Moyer. Washburn. Tonight.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Mariners at Angels, 7:05 Pacific (KSTW, MLB.TV)
Joel Pineiro (2-4, 5.79 ERA) vs Bartolo Colon (11-4, 3.06 ERA)
---The Mariners are 16.5 games back of the Angels in the A.L. West. This isn't 1995, folks. Don't expect a comeback.
---I hate the Angels.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Will Mike Hargrove give Willie Bloomquist his 6th start in a row tonight?
Let's hope not.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Longtime Sonics icon Nate McMillan is leaving Seattle to head on down I-5 to coach the Portland Trail Blazers. Are you kidding me?
In the past few months, I've thought that Ray Allen was going to be the guy to leave Seattle, not Nate McMillan. Not Mac 10, the longtime icon who's loved by every Sonics fan known to man. Not him.
But you know what?
This is what happens when your front office includes Wally Walker.
Remember 1998, when George Karl was forced out? Granted, this is a little different, considering the history that McMillan and the Sonics have with each other. But now that this news has hit the wire about McMillan going to Portland, I'm shocked.
I guess the thought of McMillan actually leaving Seattle started to circulate among some Sonics fans last week, when the team told the coach that he had a midweek deadline to decide where he was going to coach. Sorry, I don't care if you have to get moving along with the offseason, you just don't treat McMillan that way.
One may look at McMillan's career coaching record of 212-183 and think, "that's not too impressive". However, consider the season the Sonics had in 2004-2005. The Sonics won 52 games and the Northwest Division title when nobody expected them to do anything. Not even the most diehard of Sonics fans expected a season like 2004-2005 to take place. But it happened.
From the moment he stepped into the NBA, McMillan has always been a class act. With the off-the-court events that have haunted the Blazers franchise for the past decade, hiring McMillan has to be considered a step in the right direction.
The Blazers are a young team. They've missed the playoffs the last two seasons after 21 consecutive postseason appearances (1983-2003). But there is some talent in Portland, starting with power forward Zach Randolph, who suffered through an injury-plagued 2004-2005 season. Similar to Luke Ridnour, McMillan will enjoy working with 20-year old point guard Sebastian Telfair. Telfair was the Blazers' first round pick last year from New York City and has the skills to be a special player in the NBA. And let's not forget about former Seattle Prep star Martell Webster, the 6th selection in the NBA Draft last week. I have a feeling that McMillan was very intrigued by the idea of coaching Webster.
Will the Blazers be an instant playoff team under McMillan? Probably not. But that's fine. As I said earlier, the Blazers are a young team. They will be better off with McMillan than they would be without him.
So what's next for the Sonics? Ray Allen will be back (he can't sign until July 22), but must now look for a new head coach. Who's out there?
---Flip Saunders, former Minnesota head coach
I think he's headed to Milwaukee.
---Eric Musselman, Memphis assistant coach
He may be the Grizzlies' head coach sooner rather than later. I don't see Mike Fratello lasting in Memphis too much longer. It will likely take just one bad streak early in the 2005-2006 season for Fratello to get the heave-ho.
---Marc Iavaroni, Phoenix assistant coach
Iavaroni was in the running for the Portland job before the Blazers decided to hire McMillan. Look for his name to pop up with the Sonics' head coaching search.
As a Blazers fan, I'm excited about McMillan coming to Portland. However, I do feel bad for the Sonics fans (my friend and co-writer David being one of them). Sonics fans, don't blame McMillan for leaving town. If the Sonics had a competent front office, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. That's why I think the coaching job McMillan did in 2004-2005 was so damn impressive. He won despite the lack of competence of the front office. Maybe now, he'll finally get some respect from his bosses. Sadly for Sonics fans, those bosses are in the state of Oregon.
UPDATE: Cheer up, Sonics fans. There's always Misty May's ass to look at. (NSFW)
Thank you, Nate McMillan, for all your years of dignified service to the Seattle SuperSonics organization, both as a player and as a coach, and with many great memories.
Sure, it hurts Sonic fans to see McMillan go to a division rival (and especially Portland, according to Chad Ford of ESPN), but Nate proved to be a hot commodity, and he'll only get the chance to cash in on this so many times in his life. Maybe he'll like the challenge of trying to right the ship down there too, who knows.
Who will be the Sonics' next coach? I haven't a clue right now. But tomorrow will be Nate's day.
Mariners at Royals, 5:10 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Aaron Sele (6-7, 4.71 ERA) vs Runelvys Hernandez (5-9, 4.79 ERA)
---Chris Snelling better be in the lineup tonight. Or else.
---Scott Spiezio's current .059 average may be the worst average in the Pump's short history. Pathetic.
---If the Mariners lose this series to Kansas City, the front office has to throw in the Towel. Then again, I already threw in the Towel last week. Hey, it's not my fault the Mariners are mediocre at best.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Snelling! Snelling! Snelling!
Shaun Alexander is Mr. Consistency. Just look at the numbers:
2001-2004 rushing stats: 1283 carries, 5,624 rushing yards, 60 TD
2001-2004 receiving stats: 1268 yards, 10 TD
In the last 4 years, Alexander hasn't missed a game. As a matter of fact, he hasn't missed a game in his 5-year career. I still don't understand why some fans just can't give Alexander the credit that he rightfully deserves.
Last season, if it weren't for Alexander, the Seahawks aren't a playoff team. Matt Hasselbeck didn't have a great 2004 season, but Alexander did. He led the NFC in rushing (1,696 yards). Sure, there was the controversy that surrounded the final game of the season against Atlanta where he missed out on the NFL rushing title by one yard. But as I've documented here before, he had his chance to earn the rushing title at previous points of the season. I was just proud of the fact that a Seahawk led the conference in rushing. Consider that Alexander led a conference in rushing that features such backs as Clinton Portis, Ahman Green, and Deuce McAllister. That seems pretty impressive to me.
It's now early July. Alexander won't sign the $6.32 million tender the Seahawks pegged him with in February. In other words, the franchise tag. Let's see, if he were to sign that deal right now, he would be risking a lot. Remember, the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately?" type of league. If Alexander were to sign the tender and get hurt sometime this season, he's screwed. I'm with Alexander on this issue. I sure as hell wouldn't sign the tender either.
I swear, when I hear/read criticism about Alexander, it drives me insane.
"Alexander is overrated, the Seahawks can put anybody behind the offensive line, just like the Broncos!"
"Alexander doesn't want to be in Seattle, he wants to go to Miami!"
"All he cares about is scoring touchdowns!"
1) Alexander is overrated? How? A RB that runs for 1,696 yards is not overrated. By the way, the Seahawks' offensive line isn't as good as some people think it is. The left side of the line with Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson? The best left side in the game, definitely. But the right side? You're telling me that Chris Gray and Chris Terry are considered to be solid players? I don't think so. Hell, the Seahawks released Terry earlier this offseason, so the whole "the Seahawks offensive line is great" nonsense was thrown out the window then, if it wasn't already thrown away.
Oh, and the Broncos' offensive linemen are a bunch of cheap-shot artists. Next?
2) All along, Alexander has said that he wants to stay in Seattle. The Miami deal came up when he was asked whether he wanted to play in Miami. He said that if things didn't work out in Seattle, then Miami wouldn't be a bad place to play. Besides, the whole thing is a moot point anyway: The Dolphins have their running back now in Ronnie Brown. And Ricky Williams may come back soon.
3) Isn't it a running back's job to score touchdowns? I'm not going to argue with the numbers, folks. 60 rushing touchdowns in the last 4 years.
I expect a long term deal to get done after July 15, the day when the Seahawks and Alexander can start negotiations again. There's no way in hell that Alexander misses a regular season game due to his contract issues. If he hasn't missed a game in the last 5 years, then why would he start missing games this season?
Alexander is the best running back for this team. I'd hate to think about a future without him. Somehow, I don't think I'll have to worry about that.
In 25 words or less: The Mariners scored some runs, but all we're left with is one question -- what's eating Gilbert Meche?
***NOTE: I'm leaving the inning-by-inning stuff rough here so I don't fall to sleep when I'm at work tomorrow (Wednesday). I had some more stuff than usual to do when I got off work on Tuesday afternoon like making a run to Circuit City and staying on hold with the local cable company for 50 minutes. This is all made harder by my non-car-having state. Thanks for your patience. I'll clean the inning-by-inning stuff at a later time. In the meantime, I've still bookended the inning-by-inning stuff with my usual banter, so feast on that as you may.
This one featured Gil Meche against ex-reliever DJ Carrasco, who just went to starting pitching this year. Yes, these are the kinds of experiments you get with the Royals lately.
A couple of mentions were made on the broadcast about the possibility after the All-Star break of Rafael Palmeiro reaching 3000 hits during the homestand at Safeco Field. History aside, that just makes me sick because of how many times he's lit up the Mariners in the past. I'm sick of him, and I'm sick of Viagra. Now when I think of him, I think of the Saturday Night Live commercial parody for Dr. Porkenheimer's Boner Juice.
Ichiro 4-pitch BB
Winn (6-for-55) 0-2 nearly hitting Winn's foot, Ichiro to second. foul. foul. 1-2 bounced to first, Ichiro to third
Ibañez 2-0 pop Teahen drifting back near line, Ichiro holds (may have scored)
Sexson 1-2 whiff low/away K
DeJesus 0-1 flyout LF
Gotay 1-2. Full foul flyout high Bloomquist
Sweeney 0-1 groundout to first
Beltre 3-1 whiff. Full outside mash HR LF
»» MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
Reed 0-2 groundout to short
Lopez 0-2. 1-2 groundout to second
Bloomquist 0-1 poke single RF
Borders 1-2 whiff low/away K, moot throwout of Bloomquist at second
Stairs 0-2. 1-2 single hole right side past Lopez
Brown 0-2. 2-2 foul. foul. foul. whiff K
Teahen 2-0. 2-2 whiff fastball K
Berroa 0-1 up/away single RF, Stairs to second
Costa 1-1 single over short, Stairs scores, Berroa to second
»» ROYALS 1, MARINERS 1
Castillo 0-2 (Niehaus talking about Royals swinging and hitting the fastballs). Full foul. BB low/away (bases loaded)
DeJesus 1-2. 2-2 ball at feet, past Borders, Berroa scores, Costa to third, Castillo to second
»» ROYALS 2, MARINERS 1
DeJesus Full foul (up/in, probably ball four). foul. single up middle through mound, Costa, Castillo score
»» ROYALS 4, MARINERS 1
Gotay 1-0 groundout to second
Ichiro 1-0 single past short (now 10-for-19)
Winn 0-1 bouncer GIDP 6-4-3
Ibañez 2-0 single past third baseman into LF
Sexson 1-2 tap beside mound
Sweeney 1-0 tap in front of plate, Borders can't pick it up (E2)
Stairs 0-2 foul. 1-2 chop to first, Sweeney to second
Brown 2-0. 2-2 foul. groundout to second, Sweeney to third
Teahen 4-pitch BB
Berroa 0-1 triple RF, Sweeney, Teahen score
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 1
Costa 2-0. 2-2 groundout to second
Beltre 3-0. 3-1 foul. Full up middle single CF
Reed 0-2. 1-2 roller 3-1 putout (couldn't get the DP)
Lopez first-pitch one-hop to pitcher
Bloomquist 2-0. 3-1 up/away BB
Borders 1-0 5-4 FC
Castillo 2-0. 2-1 double into RF corner
DeJesus 1-0 (Price to mound) nearly a HR to rightcenter, goes for double, Castillo scores
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 1
Meche out, Thornton in
Gotay 1-2 low liner LF
Stairs 2-0. 2-2. Full 6-4-3 DP
Meche's line: 3 innings, 7 runs (5 earned), 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 80 pitches (50 strikes)
Ichiro 1-1 foul pop LF near stands
Winn 1-1 double down RF line
Ibañez 1-0 roller to mound, Winn to third
Sexson 1-0 bouncing single through hole left side, Winn scores
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 2
Beltre 0-2 whiff up/away K
Brown 1-0 lined to Ichiro, nearly loses ball in lights
Teahen 1-2 roller to short, barely out
Berroa 2-0 high chop to third
Reed 1-0 single over second
Lopez 0-1 double off wall LF, Reed to third
Bloomquist 1-1 roll into LCF gap, double, Reed and Lopez score
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 4
Borders 0-1 lined to CF (drifting back), Bloomquist to third
Carrasco out, Sisco in
Ichiro 1-0 flyout LF, Bloomquist beats throw
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 5
Winn first-pitch single past short
Ibañez 1-1 flyout LF short of track
Carrasco's line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 87 pitches (55 strikes)
Costa 4-pitch BB
Castillo (2-0 Price to mound) 3-0. 3-1 barely down/away BB
Thornton out, Putz in
DeJesus first-pitch flyout deep RCF (Ichiro) gap, Costa to third (throw to second)
Gotay 1-2 flyout Reed LCF, Costa scores
»» ROYALS 8, MARINERS 5
Sweeney 3-1 5-4 FC
Thornton's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 3 walks, 0 strikeouts, 32 pitches (12 strikes)
Sexson 1-2 ball out over plate double off wall RF corner
Beltre 2-0 hard single LCF, Sexson scores
»» ROYALS 8, MARINERS 6
Reed 1-2. Full outside corner looking K (low?)
Sisco out, Wood in
Lopez (pickoff throw gets away from Stairs, but runners hold). 0-2 hard grounder GIDP 5-4-3
Sisco's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (12 strikes)
Stairs 0-2 groundout to second
Brown 0-1 HBP in back
Teahen 1-2. 2-2 Brown steals second, dirt throw (after taking off many times). Full high whiff K
Berroa first-pitch pop to short
Putz' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeouts, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Bloomquist first-pitch single up middle past second baseman
Snelling PH (two pickoff throws)
Wood out, Gobble in
Spiezio PH 2-0. 2-2 foul. foul. Full flyout CF near track
Ichiro 1-0 Bloomquist steals second (no throw). 2-0 flyout track RF, Bloomquist to third
Winn 1-2. 2-2 looking K inside corner
Wood's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (4 strikes)
Gobble's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 16 pitches (9 strikes)
Putz out, Villone in (Olivo in)
Costa 2-2 foul. Full hard grounder to mound
Castillo 1-2. 2-2 low liner LF
DeJesus 3-1 high BB
Gotay 0-2 whiff K
Villone's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (11 strikes)
Gobble out, MacDougal in
Ibañez 1-1 very high chop to mound
Sexson 1-2. Full high/in looking K
Beltre 1-2 foul. low/away whiff K
MacDougal's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 14 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Randy Winn.
I gave him the goat after the first game of the series, saying he fell off the face of the earth. A good way to get back onto the face of the earth would be to have a multi-hit game, which Randy Winn had in this game. He went 2-for-5 with a double and scored one of the Mariners' six runs. He struck out once. In a sick twist, his average of .266 leaves him .003 behind Adrian Beltre, thanks to the three-hit game by the latter. More about him later.
Goat: Gil Meche.
Did he look like a pitcher that had eight wins coming into the game? I could have looked at Gil Meche's 8-5 record going into this game every day for the five days beforehand and not realized or thought that he'd won eight games. Dave and Ron were in the booth talking about it before Meche got lit up -- he had a chance to be a 10-game winner going into the All-Star break. All I thought to myself was, what?! Really?! I don't know if I'm blocking out all of Meche's good moemnts this year or what, but all I can remember is an erratic pitcher. Or I'm mixing him up with Joel Piñeiro or something. Who knows. Anyway, it's a start like this that makes you realize that even though Gil Meche has eight wins, he also has the now-six losses. The bottom line is that the Mariner bats gave the team a chance to win. Meche didn't.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 61-21 .744 -- W5
2003 53-29 .654 8 L1
2002 52-30 .634 9 W1
2000 49-33 .598 12 W1
2005 35-47 .427 26 L1
2004 32-50 .390 29 L5
Yeah, so you look at the boxscore and see that the two people in the lineup that had three hits apiece are Adrian Beltre and Willie Bloomquist. Adrian Beltre is a couple steps above tepid right now, to say the least. It's good to see him string together a couple of good games. He drove in two runs with his 3-for-5 day. The two outs were strikeouts. He can get his old jersey #29 on his back at any ol' time now. No one else is wearing it, after all.
We've said things in this space before. If Willie Bloomquist is getting three hits in a game, I can't complain. I do have a grip on reality, as amazing as that may seem. His average is also up to a bulldozing .235. Miguel Olivo is jealous with his .147.
More lineup shuffling in this one. We'd been warmed up to the idea of Raul Ibañez hitting in the third slot, but today we got a switch of Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson in the fourth and fifth slots. It definitely worked for at least one day. Sexson and Beltre combined for a 5-for-10 day.
More about Meche? Sure. The trainwreck of a second inning featured Meche unable to put batters away with two out. He struck out Emil Brown, but Brown had worked the count full and fouled off a few pitches before strike three. Meche did get Mark Teahen on a 2-2 pitch. Alberto Castillo was down 0-2 and was walked. David DeJesus worked a 1-2 count full, fouled off a couple pitches, then hit the two-run single. Brown and DeJesus worked Meche for 16 pitches between the both of them, but Meche faced six other hitters in the inning. Basically, that was a meltdown. Not that we haven't seen that from Meche. Surely you remember any Ricoh Scouting Report since the beginning of the season.
I was hoping I wouldn't be talking about a rubber game in a series against the Royals, but yeah, it's coming at us. You can only hope to contain it.
Sele. Hernandez. Today.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Mariners at Royals, 5:10 Pacific (KSTW)
Gil Meche (8-5, 4.65 ERA) vs D.J. Carrasco (3-3, 3.23 ERA)
We don't mind going off-topic here.
Allen's agent Lon Babby told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Allen and the Seattle Supersonics have agreed to a new 5-year deal worth $85 million. However, the deal cannot be signed until July 22, but Babby said that Allen will sign the deal at the first available moment.
Allen helped the Sonics win the Northwest Division title in 2004-2005, the team's first division title since 1998. He averaged 23.9 ppg last season, as the Sonics took the eventual world champion San Antonio Spurs to six games in the Western Conference semifinals.
Sonics fans, rejoice!
(Thanks to PositivePaul for the link)
Monday, July 04, 2005
In 25 words or less: I reckon the boy from Spiro done did it again. Thanks goodness for the Royals.
This one featured Ryan Franklin and JP Howell. Franklin was trying to avoid being the first pitcher this year with 11 losses. In other news, Jeremy Reed sat for the second straight game. Me no like.
Some minor frustration in the first. Ichiro drew a leadoff walk. Randy Winn grounded to short for a fielder's choice to force out Ichiro. Raul Ibañez grounded a ball to second for the 4-6-3 double play. Not exactly how you'd want it to go.
Franklin started off nicely. David DeJesus flew out to centerfield on the second pitch. Ruben Gotay flew out to Ichiro down the line in rightfield. Mike Sweeney foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Pat Borders' glove. Yes, a low-pitch inning for Ryan Franklin.
Not much happening early. Adrian Beltre hit a grounder toward the hole on the right side, but Angel Berroa dove to his right and threw from his right knee to get Beltre at first. Sexson grounded out to short as well, with a less impressive play required. Lopez grounded out to third to end the inning.
Franklin looked great early. Matt Stairs popped one back to Pat Borders near the third-base dugout on the first pitch. Terrence Long grounded out to first. Angel Berroa whiffed to end the inning.
Damage was done. Mike Morse singled into leftfield on the first pitch. Willie Bloomquist poked a single through the hole on the right side to move Morse to third. Pat Borders fouled off a 2-0 pitch, then stung the next pitch through the second baseman Gotay, scoring Morse and moving Bloomquist to second.
»» MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
Ichiro whiffed on a pitch low and away. Winn fouled off a 3-1 pitch before hitting a pop fly to rightcenter. This was the play where Terrence Long caught the ball and he and David DeJesus slid into each other, which for some reason went for a Web Gem on Baseball Tonight even though Adrian Beltre's two basket catches in foul territory were nowhere to be found on the countdown. Nonetheless, Ibañez hit a laser beam on the second pitch, reaching the Royals' bullpen.
»» MARINERS 4, ROYALS 0
Beltre then whiffed on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Franklin got some help. Mark Teahen walked on a full-count pitch down and in. John Buck popped a ball along the rightfield line that Jose Lopez ran over to catch. Shane Costa got the hitters' counts, but rolled the 3-1 pitch to Lopez, who started the 4-6-3 double play.
Interesting thing about this inning -- Howell never threw a called strike. Sexson just got under a 2-0 pitch, flying out to DeJesus in leftcenter. Lopez grounded the 2-0 pitch to third, which Teahen bobbled for an error. Morse grounded the second pitch to Stairs at first, who tagged the bag and got Lopez in a rundown for the double play to end the inning.
Still, Franklin kept rolling. DeJesus nubbed a ball to third to lead off. Gotay bounced one to Sexson. Sweeney hit a soft liner to Lopez to end the inning. Quite easy for Franklin.
Once again, not too much. Bloomquist flew out to centerfield on the first pitch. Borders hit a shallow fly to rightfield, which was caught by Gotay drifting backward. Ichiro had a 2-0 count and later singled past Gotay on a full count. Winn worked an 0-2 count full and fouled off a few pitches, but went away with a popout behind the plate.
Franklin kept rolling along. Stairs grounded one down the line to Beltre. Long popped the first pitch foul down the leftfield line, where Beltre made an over-the-shoulder basket catch. Berroa singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch. Teahen grounded an 0-2 pitch toward Franklin, who got a glove on it to knock it down and then threw to first for the out.
The Mariners took out an insurance policy. Ibañez sliced a served a single into leftfield to lead off. Beltre hit a 2-0 laser through the right side for a single. Sexson put the bat on the first pitch, blooping one into rightfield for a single. Long fell down in rightfield trying to field the ball, and Ibañez fell down rounding third almost simultaneously. Ibañez did manage to score, though, and Beltre took third on the play.
»» MARINERS 5, ROYALS 0
Mike Wood came in for Howell. Lopez grounded the first pitch right to short, and an easy 6-4-3 double play was turned. However, Beltre scored.
»» MARINERS 6, ROYALS 0
Morse took a low 3-1 pitch for a walk. Bloomquist hit a chopper to third to end the inning.
Howell's line: 5 innings, 6 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 82 pitches (48 strikes)
Franklin must have known he was facing the Royals. Buck bounced out to third. Costa placed a near-perfect bunt, and Beltre couldn't make the barehand play as Costa pocketed the infield single. DeJesus grounded a ball to Lopez, who threw to Morse at second for the forceout. Gotay got ahead 3-0, but popped to Ichiro in shallow rightfield on the next pitch.
Luckily the Mariners had a six-run lead at this point. Borders chopped a ball to short. Ichiro poked the 2-2 pitch through the right side for another single (warming up?). Winn was ahead 2-0 in his at-bat, during which Ichiro was nearly picked off. Winn would whiff on a full-count slow curve. Ibañez hit a hard grounder right to first to end the inning.
Wood's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
Franklin would escape the jam of all jams. Sweeney mashed the second pitch of the inning over Morse and into the gap in leftcenter, good for a double. Stairs was beaned in the right arm with the second pitch. It appeared Franklin was falling off the wagon a bit. Long hit the first pitch hard into centerfield, which was partly good because Sweeney couldn't break for home. The bases were loaded with nobody out. Franklin then fell behind 2-0 on Berroa. He then got a couple of borderline inside strike calls. Berroa would end up swinging through a low pitch for the first out of the inning. Teahen popped the first pitch foul down the leftfield line, and Beltre made nearly the same over-the-shoulder basket catch play he did earlier in the game, this time cradling the ball with his body. Buck hit the first pitch right to short, where Morse went to Lopez at second for the inning-ending forceout. That's the way it's been going for the Royals.
Ryan Jensen came in for Wood. Beltre got ahead 3-1 but later hit a healthy fly ball to centerfield for a flyout. Sexson singled straight through the box on an 0-2 pitch. Lopez flew out to centerfield on an 0-2 pitch. Morse worked a 1-2 count full before grounding out to first.
Franklin would hang tough. Costa took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. DeJesus worked an 0-2 count full, then lined a ball over Bloomquist's head in deep centerfield for a double. Gotay got the hitters' counts, singling to leftfield. DeJesus held up at third since the single was a shallow one, but DeJesus must have forgotten that Randy Winn was coming up throwing and not Jose Guillen. Sweeney got behind 0-2, later grounding a 2-2 pitch right to Beltre, who turned the 5-4-3 double play. Amazing.
Again, the Mariners hit like they had a six-run lead and were facing the Royals. Bloomquist hit a checkswing grounder to second. Borders whiffed on an outside pitch. Ichiro dinked a 1-0 pitch into centerfield. Winn got ahead 3-0, but flew out to leftfield on 3-1.
Jensen's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 33 pitches (21 strikes)
Franklin would finish what he started. Stairs had a 2-0 count, later popping out to Lopez. Long got behind 0-2, later hitting a low liner to Winn. Berroa flew out to Ichiro on the first pitch. Ballgame.
Franklin's line: 9 innings, 0 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 103 pitches (67 strikes)
Much worthy gameball-type praise could definitely go to Ryan Franklin for a complete-game six-hit shutout, as those things don't happen too often. Other praise could go to Raul Ibañez, whose three-run homer blew the game open and enabled Franklin to get into cruise control, except for that bases-loaded-with-nobody-out inning. However, I really think Ichiro needed a day like this. A 3-for-4 day with a walk is a very good day for Ichiro, and I hope it can get him a little bump in the confidence department, since he had a terrible June. Nonetheless, Ichiro getting on base more often creates more RBI opportunities for the meat of the order, of which Ibañez has suddenly pushed himself up to third in the order. We definitely don't have to worry about the three-righties-in-a-row "problem" that presented itself in the early part of the season anymore (exit Boone). Anyway, if Ichiro gets back on track, good times will be had.
Goat: Randy Winn.
He's lucky Ichiro was terrible throughout June. If I told you a month and a half ago that Randy Winn's average would be the same as Adrian Beltre's, and that they would both be hitting .264, you would have told me I was on crack. Interestingly, it's Ibañez that has kept his near-.300 pace over the last couple weeks while Randy Winn has fallen off the face of the earth. The damage today was an 0-for-5 while leaving six runners on base. But you see, we need the Mariners to kick some mucho tail before the deadline so that the trade value will be crazy high.
This might be a normal postgame formality here...
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 60-21 .741 -- W4
2003 53-28 .654 7 W1
2002 51-30 .630 9 L1
2000 48-33 .593 12 L1
2005 35-46 .432 25 W2
2004 32-49 .395 28 L4
The hitting was timely. The three-run homer by Ibañez got out of the yard in a hurry, but it also made the game a lot more comfortable to watch until Franklin made it way too interesting in the 7th. The aforementioned Ichiro had three hits, while Ibañez and Sexson chipped in two each. More interestingly, the bottom third of the lineup (Morse/Bloomquist/Borders) all had a hit apiece. Is anyone starting to miss those obligatory zeroes in the H column next to the names of Olivo and Valdez in the boxscore? Yeah, me neither.
Once Ibañez hit that homer, I was going to flip my lid if Franklin blew a four-run lead. Luckily, he made the absolute most of it. Granted, I'd have liked it better if the Mariners could have gotten a complete game in the final game of the series in Kansas City so the bullpen could be well-rested going into the four-game road series against the Angels, but still, bullpen rest is good anywhere you can get it. Franklin wriggled out of the nailbiting seventh inning and got two other double plays behind him in the game.
I'm getting ahead of myself here, but let's say the Mariners sweep the Royals. They'll have a four-game win streak going into the four-game series in Orange County to go into the break. What if they won eight in a row going into the break? It's a pipe dream, I know. They'd be at 41-46. Of course, with a team that hot going into the All-Star break, I'm sure the last thing that team would want is a break -- they'd want to keep playing and stay red-hot. Oh well. It was a nice thought, but I kind of wrote and thought myself into a corner.
I'm still ticked that the Angel Berroa play and the Terrence Long collision catch made their way onto the Web Gems segment on Baseball Tonight, but Adrian Beltre's two basket catches in foul territory didn't make a mark. Absolute crap. It doesn't help that Harold Reynolds is still very high on Berroa, but come on, help out your old team here.
It's hilarious to think that these next two games are at 2:10pm over here for me. I'll have to watch this stuff in the MLB.tv archive once I get home. Yes, it's crazy stuff. Of course, my training will take me to Norfolk, VA for football season, so I won't get the incredible joy of NFL Sundays starting at 7 or 8am, depending on whether the mainland has observed Daylight Savings Time.
The Mariners have crossed the halfway point. They're 35-46. That pace would lead them to a 70-92 finish, seven games better than last year. I'd rather they fulfill my prediction and win 77, but hey, time will tell.
Meche. Carrasco. Tomorrow.
Mariners at Royals, 5:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Ryan Franklin (3-10, 4.85 ERA) vs J.P. Howell (1-2, 6.98 ERA)
Happy Fourth of July, wherever you may be tonight.
---Dave Hansen is off the Pump because he's on the DL*.
---If Ryan Franklin loses tonight, should we start a "20 Losses Death March"?
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Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Hank Stram is dead at the age of 82.
Younger fans like myself will remember Stram as a color analyst on the radio broadcasts of Monday Night Football with Jack Buck. Here's hoping that current Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil wears a blazer with the KC logo during the Chiefs' home opener this fall. Oh wait, that's not going to happen, because of the NFL's deal with Reebok. That's too bad, because I think it would be a great tribute.
Happy Fourth of July.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
I'll admit it, when I saw Bret Boone in tears during his press conference (I saw a bit of it on Sportscenter), I couldn't help but feel bad for the guy.
Sure, it's easy for some fans to say, "suck it up, Bret. You're a professional athlete. You make more money in a year than I do in 10 years!". But the fact is, those fans are jealous. There aren't too many players like Bret Boone left in baseball right now.
He's a third-generation ballplayer who's been in the game his whole life. So, when I saw him in tears earlier tonight, it didn't shock me. When you've been a solid player for the better part of your career, days like this will humble anybody. It's not everyday that an All-Star caliber player gets designated for assignment.
We've railed on Boone all season long for his performance. But we did that because we wanted him to succeed. At the same time, we knew that Boone's tenure with the Mariners was coming to a close. He's 36 years old and there's a 21-year old kid named Jose Lopez who was waiting in the wings.
What I've always respected about Boone is that he's always been willing to speak his mind, for better or for worse. I didn't quite care for the Batflip or the highlights in his hair. However, as a Mariner fan, I have to give him credit for the team's success from 2001-2003.
He came back to Seattle before the 2001 season after a 7-year tour that had him in such places as Cincinnati, Atlanta, and San Diego. He came up through the Mariners farm system, so in essence, he was "coming back home" in 2001.
And what a way to "come back home"! In 2001, Boone put up MVP-caliber numbers, hitting a career-high 37 home runs and driving in 141 runs. Boone was a major reason why the 2001 Mariners won 116 games. He had never put up those type of numbers before. Baseball can be a funny game sometimes. Boone proved that in 2001.
The follow-up to the career year of 2001 wasn't as thrilling, but Boone rebounded from a poor first half in 2002 to put up numbers close to his pre-2001 resume (24 HR, 107 RBI). 2003 saw a return to Boone's 2001 season, or at least close to it. Boone hit .317 with 35 home runs in 2003, 2 fewer than his 2001 total of 37. The Mariners would miss the playoffs in 2002 and 2003, even though they did win 93 games each of those two seasons. That's been well-documented, but this post is about Boone and Boone only.
Losing a ton of ballgames can make one look towards the future more quickly than usual. Losing can also make an older ballclub even older in a hurry. That's what happened to Boone and the 2004 Mariners. Boone would hit 24 home runs, but would only have 83 RBI, hitting only .251. It was during the 2004 season where some fans would begin to realize a future without Boone.
Turning 36 years old on April 6 of this season, time was running out for Boone. When Mariners manager Mike Hargrove benched Boone on June 17, he was hitting just .231. Boone's numbers were atrocious (5 HR, 29 RBI, 45 K in 239 AB) at the time of his benching. The writing was on the wall when the benching occurred. He would be back in the lineup just less than a week after his benching. He started to hit better, but his future in Seattle was going to end sooner or later. It just happens that sooner was today, July 3.
Boone's numbers in Seattle (2001-2005)
694 games, .283 BA, 127 HR, 482 RBI, 770 H, 2719 AB
The move to designate Boone for assignment today was the best for all parties involved. Boone can go ahead and try to pick up his career in another city. And more importantly for the Mariners, they can now find out if Jose Lopez is the real deal at second base. Here's hoping that he is.
But know this, there will never be another Bret Boone in Seattle.
In 25 words or less: The Mariners didn't get many hits, but they got great starting pitching and the ability to scratch out a couple of runs.
Yes, it's my first Mariner recap from the new digs. Cable and internet were installed yesterday at my place in glorious Aiea. How did not doing Mariner recaps for the better part of a month affect me? Well, I don't think I really have another creative outlet. My musical instruments are at the Bremerton bunker, and I don't know how to draw. Basically, I went nuts.
This one featured the appealing-his-suspension Kenny Rogers against the mild-mannered Jamie Moyer. Contrary to what one might think, the game's start time was not moved to the afternoon because both starting pitchers are in their 40s and need to go home and get adequate sleep afterward.
This one did not feature second baseman Bret Boone, who was designated for assignment before the game. Maybe the designation of a veteran player for assignment can be a yearly thing. Last year we had Rich Aurilia and John Olerud get the pink slip, this year Bret Boone, next year...who could it be?
Anyway, Dave Hansen was put onto the 15-day disabled list as well. To fill the two spots on the roster, Jose Lopez was called up from Tacoma to play second base, and Chris Snelling was recalled to take the extra bench spot.
The hole was dug quickly. Gary Matthews, Jr., fresh off hitting the go-ahead homer the night before, walloped the first pitch of the game just to the right of the manual scoreboard in leftfield. Before many people at the Safe had found their seats, the Hometown Nine were already behind.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Michael Young flew out to rightfield. Mark Teixeira flew out to the track in leftfield. Hank Blalock fell victim to the whiff on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Inactivity. Ichiro grounded out to second. Randy Winn whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Raul Ibañez hit a ball toward first, but was robbed on a diving stab by Teixeira, who underhanded to a covering Rogers for the out.
A decent inning for Moyer. Alfonso Soriano grounded the first pitch to short. Kevin Mench walked on an inside 3-1 pitch. Richard Hidalgo popped out foul to Scott Spiezio near the first-base dugout. Sandy Alomar, Jr. grounded the first pitch to short to end the inning. The leadoff walk always comes around to score unless it doesn't. The jury's out on what happens with a one-out walk.
Again, not much. Adrian Beltre grounded out to second to lead off. Scott Spiezio whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Jose Lopez flew out to center on an 0-2 pitch to end the inning.
Moyer avoided turbulence. Laynce Nix hit the second pitch softly into centerfield for a leadoff single. Matthews didn't homer this time, instead working an 0-2 count full with a bunch of foul balls. Nix stole second on the 2-2 pitch to Matthews, which was a ball. On the next (full-count) pitch, Matthews whiffed. Young got ahead 2-0 before flying out to Ichiro in shallow foul territory down the line (long way to run). Teixeira flew out to centerfield on the first pitch to end the inning.
The bottom of the lineup continued their slumber. Mike Morse got behind 0-2 and later popped out to short. Willie Bloomquist hit the first pitch for a shallow fly to leftfield, caught by a running Matthews. Pat Borders flew out to Young in shallow leftfield to end the inning.
This may have been Moyer's easiest inning of the game. Blalock grounded the first pitch to second. Soriano grounded out to Beltre at third. Mench whiffed on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
A minor two-out threat was quickly extinguished. Ichiro grounded out to second to lead off. Winn lined a ball to Young to short. Ibañez fouled off a 3-0 pitch before taking the next pitch for a ball and a walk. Beltre singled a 2-1 pitch through the hole on the left side. With two on and two out, Spiezio hooked a 3-0 pitch just foul down the leftfield line. Spiezio fouled the next pitch in front of the first-base dugout to end the inning. Unclutch.
Moyer would get out of a mini-jam. Hidalgo tapped the 2-0 pitch back to the mound. Alomar doubled a 2-0 pitch down the leftfield line. Nix grounded a 2-0 pitch to second, moving Alomar to third. Matthews got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Not a homer, but better yet, a strikeout. Yippee.
The bottom of the lineup would show signs of life. Lopez lined a 2-1 pitch into the corner in leftfield for a leadoff double. Morse came up completely empty in his at-bat, bunting a ball that trickled foul, and then grounding out to the left side of the infield, not good enough to move Lopez. Bloomquist flew out to centerfield on the first pitch, and it was sufficiently deep to advance Lopez to third. Unfortunately, Lopez was a bit slow getting up, enough for trainer Rick Griffin to come out and assess the situation. Needless to say, this wasn't a good development especially because a certain second baseman was designated for assignment before the game to make room for this guy. Lopez stayed in the game. Borders hit a 1-0 grounder that was stopped by Young, but he couldn't throw over in time to get Borders. In came Lopez, and the game was tied.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Ichiro hit a ball off the end of the bat to rightfield to end the inning.
Moyer had his toughest inning of the day. Young got ahead 2-0 and stung the 2-2 pitch into the gap in leftcenter for a leadoff double. Moyer fell behind 3-0 on Teixeira before working the count full, but then walking him. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and fouled off a few pitches before stinging a line drive toward Spiezio, who reached across his body and leaped to snag the ball. Soriano hit a high fly to Ichiro. Mench harmlessly popped up on the infield to Beltre to end the inning and the jam.
The Mariners would respond with nothing. Winn flew out to rightfield. Ibañez grounded the 3-1 pitch softly to third. Beltre took Hidalgo to the track in rightcenter to end the inning.
Moyer recovered from the jam fairly nicely. Hidalgo fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch. Moyer fell behind 3-0 on Alomar, but got him to roll one to short on 3-1. Nix flew out to center on the first pitch.
Time was running out on the Mariners. Spiezio flew out to the wall in leftfield on the second pitch. Lopez flew out to centerfield, also on the second pitch. Morse took an 0-2 pitch for strike three.
Moyer finished brilliantly. Matthews grounded out to short. Young popped a ball foul to Beltre in the coaches' box. Teixeira popped out to Ichiro in shallow rightfield.
Moyer's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 107 pitches (66 strikes)
Timely. Bloomquist singled an 0-1 pitch down the leftfield line, and it may have gone for a double if not for Matthews getting to the ball quickly. Borders bunted foul twice. He took an 0-2 high fastball that backed him off the plate, and the crowd booed Rogers mercilessly. Borders popped the next pitch to shallow center. Bloomquist stole second on the first pitch to Ichiro, drawing no throw since Alomar had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. Ichiro trickled the 2-0 pitch to Young at short, who had no play. Ichiro's 100th hit of the season moved Bloomquist to third with one out. Winn grounded his second pitch right to Blalock at third, who appeared ready to start the 5-4-3 inning-ending double play. He went to second and got the out (as opposed to going home to possibly get Bloomquist), but Soriano couldn't get the ball out of his glove. Bloomquist scored, and the Mariners led.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 1
Ibañez looped a single into leftcenter on the second pitch.
Kameron Loe came in for Rogers, who had boos rain down on him from every corner of Safeco Field. The Mariners pulled off a double steal on the first pitch to Beltre to make things dicey for Loe, who responded by getting Beltre to look at two strikes and whiff at a third.
Rogers' line: 7 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 95 pitches (58 strikes)
Loe's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in to slam the door. Blalock whiffed on an 0-2 pitch, which Borders dropped, but he was able to make the 2-3 putout. Soriano got behind 0-2, and whiffed on 1-2, but the ball went off Borders' glove. This time, Borders wasn't able to throw to first in time. Mench took his first pitch to the wall in centerfield, where Bloomquist came down with it. Soriano stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Hidalgo. Hidalgo fouled off the 3-1 pitch before flying out to center. Ballgame. Losing streak.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
He had the Mariners' only extra-base hit of the game, leading off the fifth inning with a double and then scoring to tie the game. That was his only hit of the game in three at-bats, though as mentioned, no Mariner had a multi-hit game. Also an added factor is that he was called up before the game and stepped right in for Bret Boone. Let the Jose Lopez Era begin at second base.
Goat: Mike Morse.
Only because it has to be somebody. This is the type of game where Scott Spiezio reaching up for a line drive is enough for me to not make him the goat even though he went 0-for-3 with his travails at the plate in the fourth, though he did take a ball to the wall later in the game. Morse's biggest gaffe was failing to lay down a bunt to advance Lopez in the 5th, and grounding out to the left side in the same at-bat. Morse just didn't stand out enough to not get goated, that's all. No big whoop.
Of course I know the obvious gameball would be Jamie Moyer, who more than buckled down after surrendering the homer to Gary Matthews, Jr. on the first pitch of the game. I don't know about you, but I, along with a few thousand people over at the Safe simultaneously muttered, "what the hell next?" as Matthews wrapped the first pitch out of the yard. I know teams don't get bounces when they lose seven straight, but surely that had to right itself sometime. Having the other team homer on the first pitch of the game doesn't make it look too nice though.
Kind of an aside here, but I have to get a couple quick lines off about the lineup today. Needless to say, the absence of Bret Boone was going to make the lineup look different no matter what. Further, I can bet that Richie Sexson probably fought tooth and nail to not take the day off. This is a guy that's played all 162 games of a season before; he's not a guy that likes to come out a lot. But man, Scott Spiezio fifth and Willie Bloomquist eighth in addition to having no Sexson in the lineup? I guess I wouldn't mind having one of the two spot starting, but not both. Once again, I'll note that I'm really not a big fan of sitting Jeremy Reed against semi-tough lefties. He's gotta learn to hit these guys sometime.
Since I'm typing this late enough, I already know that Eddie Guardado has been snubbed from the All-Star Game. Shame. He's been great this year. Of course, Danys Baez has been better. I'm joking. Of course, Terry Francona decided to stash the lone Oakland and Tampa Bay representatives into the bullpen, so no Guardado. Though the Mariners gave you a week where you didn't get much meaningful work, enjoy the break, Eddie. You deserve it. Meanwhile, Ichiro's brutal June knocked him out of the starting lineup but not out of reserve consideration. Oh well, it's a popularity contest, so of course the starting lineups will always be a screwed-up affair. In a weird note, former Mariner Brian Fuentes is the Rockies' lone representative in Detroit.
I'm sure someone is wondering about this, and I did have some extra time on my hands before I got hired on at work, so since I'm sure you want to know...
Yr W-L Pct GB
2001 59-21 .738 --
2003 52-28 .650 7
2002 51-29 .638 8
2000 48-32 .600 11
2005 34-46 .425 25
2004 32-48 .400 27
Yes, this year's Mariners are a mere 25 games off the pace of the 2001 team. Of course, I'm more concerned about the two-game cushion over last year's team. The further the Mariners can get from that, the better. Any win the Mariners get in the next six games will vault them further ahead of the pathetic 2004 team, who were busy losing nine straight going into the All-Star break at this point last year.
It's too bad the Mariners didn't round up some people from Nikon and have a free camera giveaway like Jeremy suggested, but it was still fun to see the Gambler lose to the Mariners, since he usually owns the Mariners. The fans didn't get free cameras, but they booed Kenny Rogers lustily during the pregame introductions and when Bucky Showalter came out with the hook in the eighth inning. As a fan, I might have gone to the game with taped-up fingers or fingers in a cast or splint or something.
I'd have liked the Mariners to get some more hits, but I'll take the win, and I'll just be glad that Jamie Moyer didn't get screwed. He held a great hitting team to four hits over eight innings. The Mariners needed a start like this. The Mariners needed a win.
It's good to be doing this again, it really is. One of my missions is to use the weekends to go back and do the games I missed retroactively, but we'll see how that goes. That'd be a large proposition to go back and do a month's worth of recaps while the season is still taking place, but if I have time, I'll try my damnedest. Not that I have to, but because I want the season's worth of recaps to be complete, that's all.
The last time the Mariners were in Kansas City, I was taking physicals to get to the job I have now. The Mariners also swept the Royals, and Ryan Franklin threw that crazy game. Let's hope for another sweep. And some barbecue.
I just saw one of the Fox promos for the All-Star Game. Carlos Delgado is in the promo. This is me laughing. Or maybe I should be appalled.
Franklin. Howell. Tomorrow.
For the first time in his career, Ichiro will be a reserve on the American League All-Star Team. The A.L. outfield will have Boston's Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, and the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero.
One All-Star for the Mariners. This is the first time since 1989 that the M's have only had 1 All-Star. Amazing, but true.
Rangers at Mariners, 1:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Kenny Rogers (9-3, 2.46 ERA) vs Jamie Moyer (6-3, 4.88 ERA)
---Welcome back to the Pump, Scott Spiezio.
---Islands In The Stream, that is what we are! If the Mariners were smart, they would hand out disposable cameras to the first 20,000 fans who come through the gates, since Kenny Rogers is on the mound today. The Rogers camera story beats the Randy Johnson cameras tussle by a mile.
---Oh, and 20 games is a joke. You want to know why Bud Selig isn't half the commissioner David Stern is? Stern suspended Ron Artest for the rest of the season after his involvement in the incident at the Palace in Auburn Hills last November. What does Selig do to Rogers? 20 games and a $50,000 fine. 20 games for a starting pitcher equals 4 starts, so really, Rogers is only going to miss 4 starts, once he starts his suspension. Unreal.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
It's time to win. Seven losses in a row is enough.
UPDATE AT 12:15 P.M. Pacific: Bret Boone has been designated for assignment!
Dave Hansen has been placed on the 15-day DL with elbow tendinitis. 2B Jose Lopez and OF Chris Snelling have been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the two open roster spots (Boone and Hansen). We're not calling him Doyle here. What, are the USS Mariner guys going to take our link off of their sidebar for not calling him Doyle? Heh.
So, let's see who chose JULY 3 as the day Boone would be traded or DFA'd, as part of the Bret Boone Death March...
We have a "winner". It's Tom!
July 3rd. Just in time for Independence Day.
Tom | 06.27.05 - 9:08 am | #
Congratulations, Tom. What do you win?
Well, Sports And Bremertonians doesn't have the budget for any prizes. But hey, congratulations anyway. You got the exact date right, so that has to mean something.
Alright, now I feel better about this team.