Saturday, July 23, 2005
Seattle MARINERS at Cleveland INDIANS, 12:05pm
Gil Meche (10-6, 4.72) vs. Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.94)
Trade rumors swirl as I type this, involving Sidney Ponson, Joe Randa, and others. Of course, nothing is involving the Mariners. Oh well.
It's early baseball for everyone, but it's morning baseball in Hawaii. You betcha.
In 25 words or less: Christmas in July? The Indians partly gave away the game, but the Mariners still had to score four runs while only having four hits.
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Scott Elarton. Scott Spiezio replaced Jose Lopez in the starting lineup just before the game, stemming from Jose Lopez injuring his knee in the third inning of the final game in Toronto.
At least a couple of balls were hit hard. Ichiro flew out to leftfield on the first pitch. Randy Winn lined out to second on an 0-2 pitch. Raul Ibañez flew out to the track in rightfield.
Not the greatest of starts for Moyer, though nobody scored. Grady Sizemore got ahead 3-1, but bounced the full-count pitch to Richie Sexson at first, who underhanded to Jamie Moyer jogging toward first, who barely got there in time. Coco Crisp whiffed on a 2-2 pitch inside at his feet. Victor Martinez got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch low and away for a walk. Jose Hernandez worked a 1-2 count full, fouled off a pitch, then smoked a single over Mike Morse at short, advancing Martinez to second. Casey Blake got ahead 2-0, enough to get Pat Borders to come out to the mound to chat with Moyer. Blake ended up grunding to Adrian Beltre near the line, where he fielded the ball and stepped on the third-base bag to force out Martinez.
This was a quick one. Richie Sexson got under a 2-2 pitch, flying out to Ron Belliard in shallow rightfield. Adrian Beltre flew out high to rightfield on the second pitch. Jeremy Reed flew out to fairly deep leftfield on the second pitch.
Amazingly, this could have been a whole lot worse. Jhonny Peralta ripped a single through the left side on a full count. Ben Broussard nubbed the second pitch to short, where Morse thew to second for the force (6-4 fielder's choice). Ronnie (apparently it's not Ron anymore) Belliard poked the second pitch down the rightfield line for a double, moving Broussard to third, drawing a throw from Winn, who could have thrown to second to keep Belliard at first (Belliard could have been credited with a single and advanced on the throw). Aaron Boone got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 pitch just off the inside corner to load the bases. Sizemore nubbed the first pitch in front of the plate, and Moyer underhanded it to Borders at the plate for a force, and the bases remained loaded. Coco Crisp took a 3-1 pitch very high and outside for a walk, forcing Belliard in from third and keeping the bases loaded. Pitching coach Bryan Price made a visit to the mound.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 0
Martinez whiffed on some offspeed stuff low and way away. Moyer had thrown 53 pitches through the first two innings.
This offense may make you drowsy. Mike Morse foul-tipped a low and inside 1-2 changeup Martinez' glove behind the plate. Scott Spiezio, added late into the lineup do to a knee injury suffered in the final game at Toronto, fouled a ball down the rightfield line near the stands, and Blake caught the ball at the railing, having run about a mike to get it. Pat Borders flew out to the track in centerfield on the first pitch.
Moyer bounced back nicely from the early silliness. Hernandez fouled off four of five pitches before reaching for a pitch low and outside and bouncing out to third. Blake flew out leftfield on the second pitch, though it took Randy Winn to the wall. Peralta reached for a pitch low and outside for a groundout to short.
The Mariners pushed a run across without a hit. Ichiro walked on four pitches, snapping Elarton's streak of setting down nine straight Mariner hitters. Winn bunted the first pitch softly along the third-base line, where Elarton came off the mound to barehand and throw in time to first, and Ichiro moved to second on the sacrifice. Ibañez rolled a full-count pitch toward short, where the ball bounced over Peralta's glove on the backhand. Ichiro scored as a result to tie the game.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 1
Sexson hit a 3-1 rope right to Crisp in leftfield near the track. Beltre went for a high pitch and flew out high to shallow centerfield.
The long ball makes scoring runs a snap. Broussard dumped the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Belliard got behind 0-2 and clubbed the 1-2 offering a couple rows over the scoreboard in leftfield for a two-run smash.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 1
Boone rolled out to third. Sizemore flew out near the track in leftfield on the second pitch. Crisp dinked the first pitch into shallow rightfield for a single. Martinez came to the plate, but he didn't see a pitch. Crisp took off on the first move, and Moyer guessed right, tossing over to Sexson and getting Crisp into a rundown that eventually ended with Crisp running outside of the basepath.
The Indians were helping out the good guys. Reed stung the ball off the end of Boone's glove at third and into leftfield for a single. Morse singled to rightfield on the second pitch, and Blake had the ground ball go past his glove and behind him, though Sizemore backed him up. Nonetheless, Reed came around to score, and Morse ended up on second.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 2
Spiezio lined the first pitch right to Blake, who caught it this time. Borders had the hitters' counts and smoked the 3-1 pitch to centerfield, where Sizemore went back and caught it. Ichiro attempted to bunt on the first pitch, drawing some skepticism from the Indians' broadcast crew since the tying run was on second and Ichiro's kind of a good hitter. Ichiro swung and missed and looked stupid on the 1-1 pitch before popping the next pitch to Peralta in shallow leftfield.
Moyer trudged along. Martinez grounded the second pitch hard to third. Hernandez dropped the first pitch into centerfield for a single. Reed played the ball and bobbled it a bit, but Hernandez didn't try to take an extra base. On the second pitch, Blake took Winn to the leftfield wall once again for another flyout. Peralta took a 3-1 pitch low for a walk. Broussard got behind 0-2 and ended up putting a jolt into the ball toward rightfield, where Ichiro ran back and caught the ball on the track.
Not a great day for hits for the Mariners. Winn flew out on the second pitch to Sizemore just short of the track in the gap in leftcenter. Ibañez hit a high flyout to center. Sexson got behind 0-2 and worked the count full, fouling off three pitches along the way, and walking on a high ninth pitch. Beltre got behind 0-2. The 1-2 pitch to Beltre bounced off the plate, under Martinez' glove, and away in foul territory as Sexson went to second. Beltre hit a 'tweener fly ball into leftcenter, where Sizemore ran forward and made the catch.
Moyer finished, though not exactly in an illustrious fashion. Belliard got ahead 2-0, but whiffed on a 2-2 pitch outside. On a full count, Boone flew out high to Sexson between the mound and first. Sizemore got ahead 2-0, but singled past a diving Sexson and into rightfield on a 2-2 pitch. Sizemore drew three pickoff attempts from Moyer with Crisp at the plate, but stole second on the 0-1 pitch. Crisp fouled off a couple of 2-2 pitches before hitting a fly ball toward the corner in right, where Ichiro ran over and made the catch.
Moyer's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 8 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 115 pitches (68 strikes)
Reed flew out high to shallow leftfield on a 2-0 pitch. Morse bounced the second pitch to short for an out. Spiezio flew out high to Belliard on the very shallow rightfield grass.
JJ Putz (seven homers) came in for Moyer. Martinez fouled off a 3-1 pitch, fouled off the next pitch, then took a fastball over the inner half of the plate (with Martinez looking for something outside). Hernandez got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 low breaking ball. Blake got ahead 2-0 and fouled off four pitches over the course of the at-bat before whiffing on a full count at a pitch down over the inner half. Putz had struck out the side.
Chris Snelling came in to hit for Borders. Snelling fouled off a full-count pitch, then took ball four down and in. Cleveland pitching coach Carl Willis came in to stall and get warmup time for Scott Sauerbeck and Arthur Rhodes in the bullpen. Cleveland decided to stay with Elarton, who had given up two hits at this point. Ichiro whiffed horribly on a first pitch that bounced to the plate. After a pickoff move, Elarton threw a knee-level fastball down the middle, and Ichiro jumped all over it, taking it out to rightcenter. Snelling came in to score as well, and the Mariners suddenly led.
»» MARINERS 4, INDIANS 3
Winn got behind 0-2 and ended up chopping out to first, where Hernandez stepped on the bag. Ibañez chopped a 1-2 pitch to Peralta in the hole at short, and Ibañez beat the semi-long throw. Sexson clubbed a first-pitch line drive right into a leaping Boone's glove at third. Beltre took a first-pitch strike followed by four balls (3-1 pitch low) and a free pass.
Arthur Rhodes came in for Elarton. Reed whiffed at a high 0-2 pitch.
Elarton's line: 7 2/3 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 hits, 4 walks, 1 strikeout, 110 pitches (69 strikes)
The defense picked up for Putz. Peralta had the hitters' counts and walked on a low full-count pitch. Broussard slapped a single into leftfield on the first pitch, eschewing the bunt and moving Peralta to second. Belliard, who had doubled and homered in the game, bunted the first pitch off his foot. On the second pitch, Belliard bunted to the third-base side, and the Mariner defense executed the wheel play, with the pitcher staying back as the corners charged and the middle infielders took the corner bases. Beltre charged and threw to Morse at third, forcing out Peralta for the very conventional 5-6 putout at third. Boone tagged a 1-2 pitch right to Sexson at first, who dove to try to tag Belliard at first. Belliard was originally called safe, but his slide momentum carried him off the bag while Sexson still had the tag on him. That's a double play.
Putz' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 34 pitches (22 strikes)
No last-minute punch out of the bottom of the lineup. Morse flew out on the first pitch to Blake in rightfield. Spiezio took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Miguel Olivo fisted a liner back to Rhodes.
Rhodes' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in to nail it down. Sizemore whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Crisp flew out to Reed on the track in centerfield on the second pitch, just feet from tying the game. Martinez worked an 0-2 count for a walk (full-count pitch way outside), which is really good for Martinez in that situation, but quite bad for the Mariners. Brandon Phillips came in to run for Martinez. Hernandez drove an 0-2 single into centerfield to make it way too interesting and to move Phillips to second. Blake foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Olivo's glove for the strikeout. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
It's hard to give a non-obvious gameball in a game where Ichiro would be the only obvious gameball and nobody had a multi-hit game. Sexson had zero hits, but hit the ball hard twice, worked an 0-2 count into a walk, and had the unassisted double play that ended the eighth and hot JJ Putz out of a werewolf-hairy situation.
Goat: Scott Spiezio.
Everything is more expensive in Hawaii. Why am I thinking of this? Spiezio's 0-for-4 night left him with an average of .077. What would I be able to buy here with 77 cents? It costs 75 cents to get a bag of Cheetos out of the snack machine at work. Olivo's batting average of .150 would be enough to get a 20-ounce soda, which goes for $1.25 at work. With Ichiro's .308, I may be able to buy a $3.08 gallon of milk, but that might price me out of the ritzy milks. You'd almost think I worked on a Washington State Ferry or something with how expensive these prices are. My point? Well, I guess I really don't have one, other than that I hope Jose Lopez' knee is doing okay. Willie Bloomquist came in late as a defensive replacement for Spiezio, but the offensive ineptitude had already worked its magic. I'll admit that even I would have preferred the chances for a sick-as-a-dog Willie Bloomquist at the plate rather than Scott Spiezio wearing a Mariner uniform.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 68-27 .716 -- L1
2002 59-36 .621 9 W1
2003 59-36 .621 9 W1
2000 56-39 .589 12 W1
2005 42-53 .442 26 W1
2004 37-58 .389 31 L1
Sure, no one can be all too pleased with only four hits from the Mariner offense, but any time you can get a win in spite of that, it's always a great win. What also makes it great is the very nice timing of Ichiro's homer in the 8th. You never know when his homers are going to come since he hasn't come up against Jeff Zimmerman lately and probably won't anymore. Still, the clutch homer and the great defense in the bottom of the eighth pulled this game out of the hat for the Mariners. Yes, it's things like this that you have to reach for in a game where neither team gets a hit with a runner in scoring position.
What helped? Jamie Moyer was able to wriggle out of trouble a couple times, something he did to a much greater degree in his previous start. He threw 53 pitches in the first two innings, then threw 82 over the four remaining innings. Any way you slice it, Jamie wasn't sharp, which is something four walks and eight hits would indicate. When Moyer or any other pitcher doesn't have his A-game with him, there's only one thing to do, and that's to just keep your team in the game and give them a chance to win. It's a minor miracle that the Indians didn't get more than one run out of those first two innings.
The other thing that helped was something that would have made me cringe if I'd actually gotten to watch the game rather than watch it on archived MLB.tv when I already know the final score. What am I talking about? With the Mariners down 3-2 and with Jamie Moyer having thrown 115 pitches, Mike Hargrove trotted JJ Putz out to the mound. Again, I'm left to fear the homer at this point. In the seventh, though, it was quite the opposite, since Putz struck out the side. Hopefully that gave Putz some confidence that he can use for later appearances and outings in his career.
...Of course, Putz still had to pitch the eighth, now with the Mariners leading 4-3, and that got way too crazy. The first two Cleveland batters reached base, and it was honestly quite amazing to see the defense pick up for JJ Putz. The Cleveland broadcast crew pointed out the wheel play that the Mariner infield used against the Ron Belliard bunt. Sexson and Beltre charged in, the pitcher stayed put, and the middle infielders went to the corner bases. The ball found Beltre, and thank goodness Beltre's a top-notch defensive player, because he turned and threw to third in time. It's not a play you make every day on the diamond, folks. Then again, neither was the next play where Sexson leapt to spear a line drive, then dove to tag Belliard at first, who went in with his left hand touching the bag, and then his momentum carried his arm off the bag, with the tag still applied. With two very opportune defensive plays, Cleveland went from threatening to tie or go ahead to having their inning end much too soon for their liking.
The other thing that helped Putz was the fact that the Indians had to face a flamethrower that looked much much faster since Jamie Moyer had been throwing the six innings beforehand. As mentioned, Putz struck out the side in the seventh, but in the eighth, no one pulled a fair ball into play off of him. Ben Broussard's single was the only hit Putz gave up, and it went to the opposite field. I guess I'm saying this -- I'm not sure if there's a trend already or anything, but they should bring out Putz to be the long relief guy any time Moyer comes out of the game. Offset the slop with some gas, and you should get deception of the nicest kind. Remember when they had Moyer and Randy Johnson in the same rotation? Ah yes, those were the days...
If the eighth had you cringing, then the ninth had to make you a bit anxious. Eddie Guardado had the most cardiac save I've seen him get in quite a while. Fortunately for the Mariners, that Cleveland lineup looks considerably less formidable without Travis Hafner in it. Still, the tying run was in scoring position, and the winning run was on first. Thank goodness Guardado had set down the first two hitters of the inning, though Coco Crisp nearly tied the game with one swing of the bat for that second out. I remember Kazu Sasaki used to have some cardiac saves every once in a while, and for some reason I thought about Jose Mesa somewhere along the way when I was thinking of this topic. Then I watched Baseball Tonight and saw Todd Helton bash the game-winner off of Mesa in extra innings a few hours after I watched this game.
I know there may or may not be someone out there who got miffed at the fact that the Jacobs Field deejay played "Zombie Nation" after Victor Martinez walked in the ninth to put the tying run on base. It's not exclusively the Mariners' song, so don't get all worked up over it. It's not like "Who Let the Dogs Out" got them anywhere anyway, and that was Alex Rodriguez' idea anyway. By the way, none of the teams that adopted that song that year ended up winning the World Series. You know what they should do? I came up with this idea just now -- take measures two through five of Metallica's "Of Wolf and Man" and just loop it. Well, that wouldn't be an endgame celebration song, but oh well. I'd go on more about this, but I'm getting tired, and this might take away some off-day post material, so I should probably wrap this all up.
Can the Mariners get a series win? If FSNNW was broadcasting the game (they aren't, it's the Fox network of free TV instead), would the Ricoh Scouting Report on Gil Meche consist of "get ahead in the count, spot the fastball, avoid the big inning"?
Lee. Meche. Today.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Mariners at Indians, 4:05 Pacific (KSTW)
Jamie Moyer (8-3, 4.47 ERA) vs Scott Elarton (6-4, 4.75 ERA)
The NHL is back.
Sidney Crosby will be a Pittsburgh Penguin as of next Saturday.
I just mentioned hockey in a baseball post. We are Sports And Bremertonians. And we also encourage you to go off-topic. You knew that already.
I'll have more on the NHL relaunch later (maybe later tonight or this weekend, who knows?). In the meantime, check out Phil's new hockey blog, The NHL Is Back. He's a Mariner fan, so he's alright with me. His beloved New York Rangers didn't get the #1 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, but I think he'll manage. I think.
Seattle or Cleveland, which is the better rock music city? Both cities have rock music museums, although the latter city is home to the more "prestigious" museum.
THIS IS A RANT, DON'T BE SCARED...
There is NO Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame without Black Sabbath, Rush, and Van Halen!
(Hockey and music in a baseball post. We can get away with that here.)
---1. Which coach will face more scrutiny: Mike Holmgren or Mike Martz?
Chadiha: "We'll go with Holmgren on this one, simply because he came to Seattle with heavy-duty hype. Six seasons later, he still has yet to win a playoff game in three appearances and his team continues to be dogged by questions about its mental toughness."
While Martz will definitely face scrutiny in St. Louis this season, I agree with Chadiha. This will be Holmgren's 7th season in Seattle. Hard to believe, isn't it? In his previous 6 seasons as Seahawks head coach, Holmgren has taken the Seahawks to the postseason three times, losing in the first round in each of those appearances. Getting to the playoffs this year isn't enough. This team must win a playoff game, if only to get the 20-year old monkey off the organization's back.
---5. How will Shaun Alexander's contract situation play out in Seattle?
Chadiha: "He'll be back at some point -- and without a new deal."
We'll see. I've been a member of the pro-Alexander camp since the beginning, so you know where I stand on this issue.
---8. Will dropped passes plague the Seahawks again?
Chadiha: "Seattle rid itself of at least one if its primary culprits in this area -- it dumped wide receiver Koren Robinson during the offseason -- so there is at least hope."
To Joe Jurevicius and Jerome Pathon,
Please catch the damn ball.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Training camp opens next Friday in Cheney.
In my "best" Napoleon Dynamite voice...
In 25 words or less: Toronto came forth with the brooms, and now let's hope that some additional housecleaning is done in the starting rotation.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Josh Towers. For those able to watch the game, they saw it on MLB.tv since it wasn't televised in the Seattle area. So, it was a DiamondVision (or JaysVision) bonanza. Does anyone realize how badly the top-of-screen score constant graphics have spoiled us as sports fans? I've realized I really like to know what the count is without having to remember it from the pitch before. This of course has something to do with my short attention span, but I just really like a tastefully designed score constant.
Again, not much of a start. Ichiro chopped out up the middle to second. Randy Winn flew out high to centerfield on a full count. Raul Ibañez flew out to short on the second pitch.
Piñeiro had a good first. Russ Adams bounced out to short. Frank Catalanotto rolled out to short. Vernon Wells chopped out to short. That's Mike Morse with three errorless chances.
Sigh... Richie Sexson fouled off the first two pitches before whiffing on a 2-2 slider low and outside. Adrian Beltre popped to Shea Hillenbrand in foul territory near the dugout on the first-base side. Jeremy Reed tagged the first pitch into rightfield for a single, then broke for second on the second pitch to Mike Morse, but was nailed by a throw from Ken Huckaby, though I'd have to admit it kinda looked like Reed was safe.
Toronto drew first blood. Shea Hillenbrand rolled the second pitch to short. Aaron Hill had the hitters' counts and later flew out to rightfield. Reed Johnson worked a 1-2 count full, then bopped a pitch into the seats in leftfield.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Eric Hinske couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 pitch.
Nothing above a whimper for the Mariner bats. Mike Morse got behind 0-2 and lined out a 2-2 pitch near the track in rightfield. Jose Lopez took a 1-0 pitch behind him, fouled off three pitches after being up 3-1, then flew out high to Hill near the bag at third. Pat Borders grounded hard to Hill, who booted it for an error. Ichiro rolled the first pitch to second.
All hail the big inning. Frank Menechino smacked a 3-1 pitch throug the left side for a single. Ken Huckaby fouled off an 0-2 pitch before rolling very slowly to Lopez at second, moving Menechino to second. Adams dumped a single into rightcenter, and Menechino scored.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Catalanotto flew out to left. Wells rolled a ball up the middle, and Morse fielded it and threw immediately, but it wasn't in time. Lopez remained down on the field after the play, and Hargrove and a trainer attended to him. Lopez wound up able to finish the game. Hillenbrand got behind 0-2, then golfed a low pitch over the plate and deposited it into the first couple rows in leftfield.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 0
Hill got ahead 2-0, then grounded out to short two pitches later. (54:53)
Winn grounded hard to Hillenbrand, who dove to his right and underhanded to Towers at first. Ibañez flew out high to center on the second pitch. Sexson hit the second pitch high into the air, where it went as a flyout into shallow center.
Piñeiro bounced back with a good inning. Johnson fouled off a couple of full-count pitches before flying out to Ichiro in the rightcenter gap. Hinske foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Borders' glove. Menechino chopped an 0-2 pitch near the mound, where Beltre gobbled it up and threw to first.
Beltre rolled out to short on the first pitch. Reed fouled off a 2-0 pitch and nubbed the next pitch to short, where Adams came up with the ball, then fell down (possibly thrown off by the ball hitting a seam in the turf), and it went as an error (terrible call). Morse got ahead 2-0 flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Lopez checkswung, but tapped along the third-base line, where Towers picked it up and threw in time to first.
A very minor threat was quelled. Huckaby rolled out to second. Adams fouled off three 0-2 pitches before getting jammed and chopping a ball to Lopez, who charged and threw in time to first. Catalanotto drove a pitch into the gap and to the wall in leftcenter for a double. Wells couldn't check his swing on a dirtball outside.
The bats woke up a bit. Borders flew out high to left on the second pitch. Ichiro scraped a 1-2 pitch just off the ground and served it into leftfield for a single. Ichiro stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Winn, who pushed a single through the left side on the next pitch, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez flew out to left on a 2-0 pitch, deep enough to score Ichiro.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 1
Winn stole second on the second pitch to Sexson, who wrapped a double into the gap in rightcenter, scoring Winn.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 2
Beltre rolled a ball up the middle where Adams moved over to plug the hole and throw to first.
This could have been really bad. Hillenbrand broke his bat on the second pitch, dinking a single into centerfield. Hill walked on a low 3-1 pitch. Johnson whiffed at a 1-2 pitch down and away. Hinske grounded the first pitch to Sexson behind the bag at first, who threw to second, but Morse's throw back to first was barely beat by Hinske (3-6 fielder's choice) as Hillenbrand moved to third. Menechino fouled off a 3-1 pitch before taking the next one very high, a curveball that got away from Piñeiro, loading the bases. Huckaby reached for an 0-2 pitch, and Sexson gloved it and threw to a covering Piñeiro.
Piñeiro's line: 6 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 115 pitches (77 strikes)
No offensive help here. Reed bounced the second pitch to second. Morse hit a low liner that was caught by Wells. Lopez drove a pitch into the gap in leftcenter, but fell victim to a running catch by Wells, reaching down for the ball.
Julio Mateo came in for Piñeiro. Adams flew out to Winn near the leftfield track on the first pitch. Catalanotto got behind 0-2, took three balls, fouled off a full-count pitch, then drove a ball into the gap in leftcenter, where Reed sold the ranch, diving and missing the ball as it rolled to the wall. Catalanotto scooted to third with a triple, then Morse threw to third for some reason, or rather over Beltre and into the third-base dugout, allowing Catalanotto to score.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 2
Wells fouled off a couple of 1-2 pitches before shooting a ball past a diving Morse into centerfield for a single. Hillenbrand was beaned in the arm on an 0-2 pitch, moving Wells to second. Hill got behind 0-2 and lined out softly to Sexson. Johnson got behind 0-2 and later flew out to Reed.
Mateo's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
Borders clubbed a 2-2 pitch down the leftfield line and into the corner for a double.
Scott Schoeneweis came in for Towers. Ichiro got behind 0-2, but eventually punched a single through the right side and moving Borders to third. Winn chopped the second pitch to third, and it went for a 5-4-3 double play, and Borders scored. As is always clarified when this happens, Winn gets no RBI on the play.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 3
Ibañez took a full-count pitch low and outside for a walk.
Miguel Batista came in for Schoeneweis. Sexson reached on the second pitch outside and chopped out to short.
Towers' line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 96 pitches (60 strikes)
Schoeneweis' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (9 strikes)
Jeff Nelson came in for Mateo. Hinske got ahead 3-0 and tagged the 3-1 pitch to the wall in the leftfield corner for a double. Menechino grounded a ball past Nelson and toward Morse, who threw to third to try to get an advancing Hinske, but Beltre threw the ball over Lopez (in the book as a fielder's choice). Runners remained on first and second. Huckaby air-bunted the second pitch to Nelson off the mound, who let the ball drop and threw to third, then Beltre went to second for the textbook 1-5-6 double play. Adams got ahead 2-0 and ended up ripping the 2-1 pitch up the middle and into centerfield for a single, moving Huckaby to second. Alex(is) Rios got ahead 2-0 flew out to Ichiro near the rightfield corner.
Nelson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (10 strikes)
Beltre got ahead 2-0, but flew out near the track in the rightfield corner on the 2-2 pitch. Reed singled past the shortstop. Morse took a 1-2 pitch over the inner half of the plate. Lopez chopped out to third. Ballgame.
Batista's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Jeremy Reed.
He was one bad scoring decision away from a three-hit game. I guess I'm letting him slide for diving and missing the Catalanotto ball that got past him and went for a triple. What does this all mean? Well, Reed and Beltre now are both hitting .261. I guess I'd just like Reed to get up to about .280 and hover there. I'd be happy with that. One curious thing I've thought about is whether Jeremy Reed's centerfielding is better than that of Randy Winn last year. Are they about the same, except Winn's tenure in centerfield was too close to the Mike Cameron era that we hadn't fully adjusted to a realistic expectation yet? I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward Reed being a better centerfielder than Winn. Anyway, two solid singles for Reed, and what should have been an infield hit.
Goat: Joel Piñeiro.
I'll have more about Piñeiro below. Though he had a couple of solid innings, Piñeiro chomped on a healthy serving of long ball, and that turned out to be the game. Granted, if the Mariners score only three runs, they're not going to win many games, but if a Mariner starting pitcher gives up five runs, there's almost no way in hell that the Mariners win the game. Not this year, anyway.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 68-26 .723 -- W2
2002 58-36 .617 10 L2
2003 58-36 .617 10 L1
2000 55-39 .585 13 L1
2005 41-53 .436 27 L3
2004 37-57 .394 31 W2
Well, how do you like that? A road sweep of the Angels before the break, a home split against the Orioles, and now the bad kind of sweep in Toronto. This translates into the Mariners losing five of seven after the break. If there's one thing you can depend on with this team, it's either that they'll win a game, then lose one, or they'll reel off a four-game win streak and then lose four straight or five of six or something. Yes, it's frustrating, but I didn't expect this year to be easy.
For all intensive purposes, the game was over the minute Shea Hillenbrand golfed that three-run homer in the third. So, what it amounts to is a pretty boring game, which I guess is fortunate for Mariner fans in the Northwest that didn't get the game televised. MLB.tv had the stadium video with a crew of Billy Sample and Brian McRae voicing over it. The coolest thing was when they didn't cut away during pitching changes, and Sample and McRae would shoot the breeze while the in-game promotional stuff was showing on the board. Also different about the Blue Jays was their "in-game host," and I didn't know quite what to think about that. Yes, things are different nowadays in the Rogers Centre.
The Mariners had some chances late to score, but not really to tie the game. Richie Sexson's RBI single in the sixth that made it 5-2 had already happened with two out, and an Adrian Beltre homer after that would have brought the Mariners within a run, but it wouldn't have tied the game. Randy Winn had runners on the corners with nobody out in the eighth and the score 6-2. A double-play ball there isn't exactly what the doctor ordered, though a run did cross the plate. I guess you could say the Mariners had chances to get back in it, but really, they didn't. That kind of thing will happen when you stake the other team out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning against Joel Piñeiro, who's got to be hurt by this point. That's got to be the only explanation, right?
Anyone out there like the Mariners' starting pitching in this series? Let's tally it up, shall we? Mariner starting pitchers in the Toronto series combined for a spkarling 14 2/3 innings, 19 runs, 25 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts, and 296 pitches (194 strikes). That translates to an ERA of (drum roll...) 11.66. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Yes, that averages 1.30 runs an inning. The Blue Jays piled 27 runs on the Mariners in the series, with all but eight given up by the starters. Still, there were big innings for the Blue Jays, and they didn't even face Gil Meche in the series. Amazing. In a related note, the Mariners just got swept by a team whose starting pitchers included Ted Lilly, Gustavo Chacin, and Josh Towers. I'm only glad Lilly got tagged in his game, but that doesn't make the whole outlook too bright.
As we know, the Blue Jays were apparently struggling when the Mariners came into town. The Mariners had just split a series with the Orioles, though they'd won the last two games and maybe they'd recaptured the magic from the sweep in Anaheim. You know what's sad? I can only vaguely remember a time when the Mariners weren't the elixir for a struggling team. How I miss those times. I know things should be on the up-and-up soon, but it shouldn't have taken this long.
Moyer. Elarton. Today.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Turiaf, the 2005 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 37th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft last month. He had played for the Lakers' summer league team and had averaged 14 points and 4.7 rebounds a game before being held out of the final four games of the summer league.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who spoke with Turiaf on Thursday night, said Turiaf was in the best condition he had seen him in when he visited Turiaf at the Chicago predraft camp in June.
"We're in a state of shock," Few said. "We're going to be by Ronny's side during this entire ordeal. Our staff, our players and the entire community of Spokane are behind him. He's meant so much to all of us. We're going to see him through this and get him back healthy. There will be a lot of thoughts and prayers coming out of Spokane."
Our thoughts and prayers are also with Ronny for a speedy recovery. Basketball is not nearly as important of a game as the game of life is.
Mariners at Blue Jays, 9:37 a.m. Pacific (Radio only)
Joel Pineiro (3-5, 5.61 ERA) vs Josh Towers (6-8, 4.85 ERA)
Yes, it's an early game today. On a weekday, to boot.
Here at Sports And Bremertonians, we always go off-topic. We encourage it. Think of us as the variety show of the Mariners blogosphere. If you do not want to talk about the game, you don't have to. Believe me when I tell you that I don't really give a damn about today's game. Seahawks training camp starts up next week, so if you have any Seahawks questions/comments, then by all means post them in the box. It's fair to say that I'm just biding my time until football comes around.
By the way, it will always be the Skydome to me.
In 25 words or less: The starting pitching for this game and the last game makes me wish Rafael Soriano and Bobby Madritsch were healthy.
This one featured Ryan Franklin going up against Gustavo Chacin, who as I said yesterday wears the Antoine Carr glasses. Also, this thing with how the Blue Jays have their game times ending in :07 or :37 is just as irritating as when TBS used to start their shows at :05 and :35 after the hour.
A completely anti-torrid start. Ichiro worked his count full and fouled off a pitch before tagging a ball right to Orlando Hudson up the middle. Randy Winn tagged the second pitch toward the hole on the right side, but like Ichiro, he lined out to Hudson as well. Raul Ibañez got behind 0-2 and eventually grounded to Hudson on the outfield grass.
Franklin looked well-rested. Russ Adams flew out high to centerfield on the second pitch. Frank Catalanotto drilled the second pitch over Franklin's head and into centerfield for a single. Vernon Wells got ahead 2-0, fouled off two pitches, then whiffed on a breaking ball over the outside corner. Shea Hillenbrand grounded hard to Adrian Beltre, who went to second for the out and the 5-4 fielder's choice.
A little too quick in this inning. Richie Sexson took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Adrian Beltre got ahead 2-0 but ended up flying out to right. Mike Morse rolled out to second on the first pitch.
Franklin showed signs of promise through two innings. Aaron Hill grounded hard to Beltre, who sidesaddled and scooped the ball before throwing to first. Gregg Zaun ripped a ball through the right side for a single. Alex(is) Rios flew out high to rightfield on the first pitch. Eric Hinske waited until his second pitch to fly out to Ichiro.
More good plays from the Toronto defense. Jeremy Reed drag-bunted on the first pitch toward the right side, but Hudson charged hard and shoveled the ball to first in time. Jose Lopez got behind 0-2, but eventually he hit a soft liner that seemed destined for a soft single to shallow center, but Hudson ran back and caught it. Miguel Olivo took a 1-2 backdoor curve just off the ourside corner before rolling out gently to third.
The roof sprung a leak. Orlando Hudson smoked a 3-1 pitch into rightfield for a single. Adams bounced an 0-2 pitch to Sexson, who threw to Morse at short for the out, but Morse's throw back to first was quite high and pulled Sexson off the bag (3-6 FC). Catalanotto stung an 0-2 pitch past Beltre and into leftfield for a single. Wells crushed the first pitch to the wall in the gap in leftcenter, scoring Adams and Catalanotto.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Hillenbrand took a strike, fouled off three pitches, then whiffed on a fastball down and in. Aaron Hill bashed a hanging breaking ball on the first pitch over the bullpen in leftcenter, a few rows back into the seats.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 0
Zaun bounced the second pitch to Morse, who threw low on a bounce to Sexson at first, though Sexson couldn't come up with the scoop. Still, the error went to Morse, even though the ball was pretty catchable. Rios whiffed on a 1-2 pitch down and in.
Once again, the offense didn't muster much. Ichiro popped the second pitch out to Adams near the leftfield line. Winn barely held up on a 2-2 pitch, but flew out high to centerfield anyway on the next pitch. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and eventually walked on a full-count pitch very low and outside, ending Chacin's streak of 11 straight Mariners set down. Sexson reached for a 2-2 pitch low and away and dribbled it along the third-base line, where Hillenbrand charged, but couldn't throw in time to first as the Mariners had their first hit of the game. Beltre bounced the 0-2 pitch right to Hillenbrand, who stepped on the bag at third to force out Ibañez.
This inning brought to you by a repeat appearance from the letter E and the threat of sign theft. Hinske worked a 1-2 count full before hitting a broken-bat fly to Ichiro in rightcenter. Hudson rolled a 2-2 pitch to Morse, who had the ball go off the end of his glove for an error. Hudson reached despite falling down in the batters' box after following through with his swing. Adams ripped the second pitch past Sexson into rightfield for a single, moving Hudson to second. Catalanotto got behind 0-2, but Franklin and Olivo had two conferences at the mound. Franklin then approached Hudson at second, possibly about Hudson trying to steal signs. Such a notion is comical since the Blue Jays were up four runs anyway. Catalanotto finally whiffed on a 2-2 dirtball change. Wells took a 1-1 dirtball curve outside for a wild pitch that went off Olivo's glove, and the runners moved to second and third. Wells got ahead 3-1 and popped a full-count pitch foul to Sexson foul near the first-base line.
This one was a bit frustrating since it was their first real chance. Morse ripped a 2-1 pitch through the right side for a single. Reed fouled off a few pitches, working the count full before lining a ball softly right to Adams at short. Lopez climbed to get a pitch high and outside and drove it to rightfield for a single, moving Morse to second. Olivo flew out to leftfield. Ichiro whiffed on a low full-count breaking ball.
Here comes Franklin's best inning of the night. Hillenbrand flew out to left on a 3-1 pitch. Hill took a 1-2 pitch low and over the inside corner. Zaun flew out to Ichiro near the track on the second pitch.
What are these "runs" you speak of? Winn smacked a 2-1 pitch to the left side that normally would sneak through for a single, but Hillenbrand dove to his left and snared the line drive. Ibañez fouled off a 3-1 pitch before Chacin hung a pitch that was smashed into the second deck in rightfield, the first homer that Chacin has yielded this year to a lefthanded batter.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 1
Sexson reached for a low and outside 1-2 pitch and lined it for a flyout to the track in rightfield. Beltre singled through the middle on the first pitch. Morse doubled over Hillenbrand's head at third and into leftfield, as Beltre advanced to third. Reed chopped a ball to the right side and once again was robbed by Hudson, who made a backhanded flip to first this time to get Reed.
Chacin's line: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 110 pitches (70 strikes)
The dam hath burst. Rios got behind 0-2, worked the count full (taking a 2-2 pitch over his head), then grounding a ball to Morse at short, who dove to his left, but Rios beat out the throw for a single. Rios broke for second on the first pitch to Hinske, but was nailed on a perfect throw by Olivo (seriously, perfect). Hinske ended up smacked a single into leftfield, which luckily carried less meaning after the Olivo gundown on the preceding play. Hudson fouled off an 0-2 pitch, took a ball, then flew out high to Reed in center. Adams worked a 1-2 count full, fouled off a couple pitches, then roped a single up the middle, moving Hinske to second. Bryan Price and Olivo conferred with Franklin on the mound before Catalanotto came to the plate. Catalanotto got behind 0-2, but eventually delivered the dagger via Canada Post, a 1-2 pitch up in the zone that Catalanotto clubbed into the first couple rows of seats in rightfield.
»» BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 1
Wells mashed an 0-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double.
JJ Putz came in for Franklin. Hillenbrand ripped a hanging second pitch over the wall in centerfield, scoring Wells. Ugh.
»» BLUE JAYS 9, MARINERS 1
Hill grounded the second pitch to Morse at short.
Franklin's line: 5 2/3 innings, 8 runs, 12 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 111 pitches (75 strikes)
Vinnie Chulk came in for Chacin. Lopez grounded the second pitch hard to third. Olivo got behind 0-2 and ended up flying out high and foul to Hinske by the first-base coaches' box. Ichiro smoked a single under Hinske and into rightfield. Winn chopped out to first on the first pitch.
Chulk's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Zaun stung an 0-2 pitch hard to the left side, and Beltre knocked it down, but it trickled away and Zaun had the easy single. Rios was beaned on the left elbow with a 1-2 pitch. Hinske grounded the second pitch to Sexson at first, who started the 3-6-1 double play, though the play at first was a bit close. Hudson bounced out to short.
Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
Chad Gaudin came in for Chulk. Ibañez dumped a single into centerfield. Sexson mashed a 2-0 pitch (Ron Fairly said "goodbye" immediately after contact) into the second deck in leftcenter (435 feet) to make it a tiny bit more respectable.
»» BLUE JAYS 9, MARINERS 3
Scott Spiezio came in to pinch hit for Beltre. Spiezio worked his count full and reached the fifth row or so in rightfield. I'll be damned. Good to see Spiezio do something.
»» BLUE JAYS 9, MARINERS 4
Morse got behind 0-2 and eventually whiffed on a pitch low and away. Reed chopped the second pitch to first. Lopez got behind 0-2 and would bounce out to third.
Gaudin's line: 1 inning, 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 25 pitches (17 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Putz. Adams whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball low and outside. Reed Johnson hit a pitch into the hole on the left side, where Morse backhanded it and had it go off his glove for yet another error, completing the hat trick. Wells flew out high to Lopez on the right side of the infield on the first pitch. Thornton uncorked a dirtball at Hillenbrand's feet for a 1-2 wild pitch that advanced Johnson. Hillenbrand took another ball before flying out to Chris Snelling in rightfield.
Thornton's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Justin Speier came in for Gaudin. Olivo fell behind 0-2 but later whiffed nonetheless on a ball way outside. Snelling lined a 2-2 pitch right to Rios in rightfield. Winn flew out on the second pitch to leftfield. Ballgame.
Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Raul Ibañez.
Raul went 2-for-3 with a solo shot and a walk, and he scored half of the Mariners' runs. If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year whether I'd ever want Raul Ibañez hitting third, I would have cringed and probably given off a nervous twitch or two. As a matter of fact, when Mike Hargrove first started putting Ibañez in the three-spot, I really didn't like the idea. This is why I'm not a Major League manager. Of course, I still don't want my tying run at the plate in the ninth inning bearing the name of Scott Spiezio, homer in this game aside.
Goat: Ryan Franklin.
He wasn't burned badly by any of the Mike Morse errors, but he was burned by the double play that Morse couldn't quite turn when he overestimated Richie Sexson's height at first base. Morse's errors didn't figure too greatly into any of the scoring. All of Franklin's eight runs were indeed earned, after all. Morse errors aside, Franklin still shouldn't be giving up twelve freakin' hits. Twelve hits is enough for an entire team in a nine-inning game, and Franklin gave Toronto twelve hits in 5 2/3 innings. I guess the really odd thing is that he struck out five and didn't walk anybody, which is a bit maddening since I would have hoped he would have crapped the bed in every statistic in this game. He did serve up two gopherballs though, a true Franklin staple. Sheesh, if you look at the linescore for this game, you could look at the Blue Jays' four-spot and five-spot and swear that the Mariners' starter was Gil Meche instead of Ryan Franklin. Anyway, if I had my way, Sele and Franklin would be pitching for their jobs with their next outings. Dead serious.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 67-26 .720 -- W1
2002 58-35 .624 9 L1
2003 58-35 .624 9 W1
2000 55-38 .591 12 W2
2005 41-52 .441 26 L2
2004 36-57 .387 31 W1
Though Ryan Franklin didn't help in matters of winning, the offense wasn't horribly great either. One-third of the starting lineup went hitless. Randy Winn went 0-for-5, Jeremy Reed went 0-for-4, and Miguel Olivo reminded us he was still alive, going 0-for-4 with an obligatory strikeout. Of course, the Mariners (and Reed in particular) were robbed of hits by Orlando Hudson and the Toronto defense. Three of the Mariners' four runs came via the long ball, and the other one came in on Sexson's RBI single in the eighth.
The multi-hit games belonged to Raul Ibañez, Richie Sexson, and Mike Morse. I went over Ibañez in the gameball entry. Sexson hit yet another homer, getting up to 22 on the year. Morse thankfully wasn't completely inept in the game, getting his hits to help ease the sting of the hat trick of errors.
You know what I hate? Since this game for me was played entirely while I was gone, I waited to watch it in the MLB.tv archive. It arbitrarily goes out every 20 minutes or so, I think, but I can find my place again fairly easily. Of course, the bad part was that during the sixth, seventh, and eighth, half of my time in front of the monitor was spent waiting for buffering. 'Twas infuriating. One of these days I'm going to run into a problem that can't be soothed by thinking "hey, you live in Hawaii. Lighten the frick up."
I don't feel like sounding off on this for the billionth time, but I still don't feel safe with JJ Putz on the mound. I know he was pitching in garbage time again, but sheesh, it's getting crazy. I feel like every batter is a home-run threat with JJ Putz on the mound. Maybe they should slot Julio Mateo into Hasegawa's role (that looks like where it's going), then give Putz some long relief and/or soft landings...like what Mateo has been so good at. This of course means we should bring Masao Kida up to close. Not! Man, if I don't feel comfortable with Putz on the mound, Kida's mini-audition late last year didn't impress me a bit.
I'm not sure what else to say. I need sleep. Sleep is fun. I doubt I'll be able to pull up MLB.tv at work, since it'd be 6:30 over here and everything. So, I'll be watching the game at 5 as I did for this game. Big fun. May the Mariners win some games now?
Piñeiro. Towers. Today.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Mariners at Blue Jays, 4:07 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Ryan Franklin (5-10, 4.35 ERA) vs Gustavo Chacin (8-5, 3.81 ERA)
Mariners Baseball, What A Show!
Has anybody realized that the theme song, "Open Road", is sung by a Canadian? That Canadian is none other than Bryan Adams. How does this make sense? ESPN is touring the United States, not Canada. It's the little things like these that bother me. Why, I don't know.
The family of networks is also giving Stephen A. Smith his own show, "Quite Frankly", premiering August 1 on ESPN 2. Quite frankly, I don't know what to think about this. Then again, this is the same company that values taped poker over live sports. Is it such a bad thing to air live baseball on Tuesday nights?
Bryan Adams, Stephen A. Smith, and the World Series Of Poker. I'd say that's the triangle of hell. Of course, if you add Stuart Scott to the mix, it would be the square of hell. I digress.
In 25 words or less: The offense certainly wasn't the problem. This one makes you wonder how long it'll be before Aaron Sele is pitching to retain his job again.
This one featured Aaron Sele going up against Ted Lilly. Miguel Olivo was 4-for-5 lifetime against Lilly with three homers going into this game, but nonetheless rode pine. Ludicrous.
Not much of a banner start. Ichiro mashed the 1-0 pitch foul into the upper deck along the rightfield line and eventually chopped out to third. Randy Winn smacked the second pitch through the hole on the left side for a single. Raul Ibañez couldn't hold up on a 2-2 pitch up and in. Winn stole second standing up on the 0-2 pitch to Richie Sexson, who later took a full-count pitch over the outside corner.
A rocky but scoreless inning for Sele. Russ Adams ripped an 0-2 curve into centerfield for a single. Frank Catalanotto got behind and was nearly beaned on an 0-2 pitch. He later served a hanging 2-2 curve to the opposite field (left) for a single, moving Adams to second. Vernon Wells rolled a 2-0 pitch to Mike Morse, who started the 6-4-3 double play, which was very well-timed. Shea Hillenbrand worked a 1-2 count full, though he took a questionable 2-2 ball over the outside corner and later somehow fouled a ball off his helmet, which Ron Fairly had a thing or two to say about. He walked on a dirtball curve low and outside. Aaron Hill lined out to Ichiro in rightfield (mercifully).
It's an early-inning scoring semi-bonanza! Adrian Beltre mashed the high and outside first pitch over the wall in centerfield.
»» MARINERS 1, BLUE JAYS 0
Mike Morse got the hitters' counts and walked on an inside pitch. Morse broke for second with a horrible jump on the 0-1 pitch to Jeremy Reed and got the bag, with the throw coming in too high. Reed walked on a 3-1 pitch up and outside. Jose Lopez got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-1 bunt attempt. He popped to Eric Hinske in foul territory along the rightfield line. Pat Borders, getting a warm ovation on the heels of his Toronto doings over a decade later, singled through the right side thanks to Orlando Hudson vacating the hole to cover second for an unknown reason.
»» MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 0
Ichiro ripped the first pitch to the track in rightcenter, deep enough to score Reed.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 0
Winn lined the 2-0 pitch right into Hudson's glove.
Sele cranked the knob to the setting of "suck." Gregg Zaun walked on a full-count pitch up and away. Alex(is) Rios was beaned on the left elbow on the first pitch. Eric Hinske flew out to Winn near the leftfield line. Orlando Hudson chopped the 1-1 pitch deep into the hole on the right side, where Lopez was able to get to it, but had no play as the bases were loaded. Adams flew out to Reed in leftcenter on the first pitch, deep enough to plate Zaun as Reed threw to third.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 1
Catalanotto nearly ripped the second pitch down the rightfield line, but instead ripped the next pitch up the middle for a single to score Rios. The throw from Reed went to third, and the throw hit Hudson and nearly got past Beltre. Catalanotto went to second as a result of the throw.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 2
Wells got behind 0-2, but later clubbed a double deep down the leftfield line to score Hudson and Catalanotto.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 3
Hillenbrand lined the first pitch to deep rightfield, where Ichiro leaped while running backward and reached up to make the catch.
Not much of a blip on the radar here. Ibañez popped out high to Hinske near the mound on the first pitch. Sexson took the first-pitch strike, fouled off the next pitch, then whiffed at the next pitch over the outside corner. Beltre ripped the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Morse flew out to rightfield.
Hill got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Zaun got ahead 3-1 and walked. Rios flew out to Winn in leftcenter on the run. Zaun went to second on an 0-2 dirtball curve that got away from Borders. After a mound meeting with Borders, Sele served up a high pitch that Hinske blasted hard and high into rightfield, off of one of the suites just below the fifth deck. Zaun also scored.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 3
Hudson lined out to leftfield on the first pitch.
Sele's line: 3 innings, 6 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 70 pitches (42 strikes)
This wasn't encouraging given how the Blue Jays had stormed back. Reed flew out to Hudson at second. Lopez reached on a pitch low and outside and did the same. Borders walked on four pitches. Ichiro got ahead 2-0, but hit a very hard grounder to Hinske at first, who was near the bag and stepped on it for the out.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Sele. Adams grounded the second pitch to Morse at short, who bounced it over to first, and Sexson tried to scoop it but it bounced out. Morse was charged with the error on the play. Catalanotto flew out high to centerfield on a 2-0 pitch. Wells smoked a pitch through the mound for a single (Hasegawa probably should have knocked it down), and Adams scooted to third (Reed's throw hit him). Hillenbrand flew out to Lopez on the outfield "grass" along the rightfield line. Hill got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full count pitch low and away to load the bases. Zaun popped up to Lopez in shallow leftfield.
A sign of life. Winn lined a pitch over the leftfield bullpen and into the first few rows of seats to put a mark on the scoreboard.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 4
Ibañez rolled out to second. Sexson lined a first-pitch single to leftfield, shorthopping Catalanotto. Beltre took a 1-2 slow curve over the outer half of the plate. Morse lined his second pitch into the gap in leftcenter, but Wells made a nice running catch to rob Morse of a double and an RBI.
Hasegawa wouldn't escape the carnage this time, and the two-out thing just made it worse. Rios fouled off a 3-1 pitch before taking the next pitch at the knees. Hinske lined out to leftfield on the first pitch. Hudson gapped a 2-2 pitch into rightcenter for a double. Adams got behind 0-2, took a couple of balls, watched as Borders and Hasegawa conferred on the mound, then lined a single into leftfield. Hudson scored easily, but for some reason Winn and his noodle arm got the bright idea to throw the ball to the plate, though Beltre probably should have cut it off as well. Nonetheless, Adams moved to second on the throw.
»» BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 4
Catalanotto hit the 0-2 pitch over Ichiro's head and off the wall on a bounce to score Adams. Catalanotto coasted in to second base.
»» BLUE JAYS 8, MARINERS 4
Wells smoked the second pitch (hanging offspeed) into the gap in leftcenter, and Catalanotto scored easily, and Wells had the double.
»» BLUE JAYS 9, MARINERS 4
Hillenbrand stung his 3-1 pitch up the middle and into centerfield to score Wells.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 4
Hill tapped the 2-2 pitch back to the mound to end the inning.
Hasegawa's line: 2 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 49 pitches (28 strikes)
The Mariners fired back. Reed barely missed a homer to centerfield by about a foot, hitting near the top of the wall. He coasted into third with a triple. Lopez fouled off a 1-1 pitch, and got some trainer attention, prompting some speculation about the hamate injury he'd suffered from earlier in the season. He stayed in the game, working a 1-2 count full and then flying out deeply enough to leftfield to score Reed.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 5
Jason Frasor came in for Lilly. Borders rolled a single under a diving Adams at short. Ichiro hit a 1-2 pitch over Rios' head in rightfield for a double, and Borders scored.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 6
Winn grounded out hard to second, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez got behind 0-2 and fouled off six pitches with two strikes on him, working the count full before chopping the ball very high to third, and the throw from third pulled Hinske off the bag at first, finishing off a 12-pitch at-bat. Ichiro scored.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 7
Sexson creamed the first pitch over the wall in rightfield to bring the Mariners dangerously close to tying the game.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 9
Beltre reached on a 2-2 pitch and hit it off the first-base bag, where Hinske played the carom behind the bag and tossed to a covering Frasor. Weird play.
Lilly's line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 96 pitches (57 strikes)
Frasor's line: 2/3 inning, 4 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 26 pitches (19 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Hasegawa. Zaun singled up the middle into centerfield. Rios flew out high down the rightfield line on a 3-1 pitch. Zaun scooted to second on a passed ball by Borders on a 1-0 pitch to Hinske that went off his glove on a very catchable pitch. Hinske mashed a full-count pitch over the wall in rightfield, not quite as high this time, but still very much a homer.
»» BLUE JAYS 12, MARINERS 9
Hudson fouled off a 2-2 pitch before singling past a diving Sexson and into rightfield. Bryan Price made a visit to the mound. Adams got ahead 2-0 and chopped a full-count pitch into a 4-6 fielder's choice.
Julio Mateo came in for Thornton. Reed Johnson came in to pinch hit for Catalanotto. Johnson got behind 0-2. Adams took off for second on the 1-2 pitch and was nailed on a one-hop throw by Borders that was picked off the infield by Lopez, who applied the tag.
Thornton's line: 2/3 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
Justin Speier came in for Frasor. Morse flew out to rightfield. Reed got behind 0-2 and lined out two pitches later to Hillenbrand at third. Lopez singled on the first pitch past the shortstop. Borders lined a 1-2 pitch to centerfield.
Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Mateo at least held down the fort. Johnson air-bunted the first-pitch between first base and the mound, and Lopez had to charge and shovel over to Sexson, but it wasn't quite in time as Johnson got the single. Wells got ahead 2-0 but ended up flying out to shallow center. Hillenbrand flew out to center on the first pitch, but Johnson nearly didn't get back to first in time. Reed's throw back to first was a bit off, but Borders backed up the throw. Johnson took off on the first pitch to Hill and was nailed by a perfect throw from Borders.
Scott Schoeneweis came in for Speier. Ichiro chopped a ball to second, and Hudson made the quick play for the out. Winn hit a very high chopper to Hillenbrand on the infield, but he had absolutely no play, and Winn pocketed the single. Ibañez hit a low liner to rightfield, and Rios dove for the ball but trapped it, and Winn moved to second.
Miguel Batista came in for Schoeneweis. Sexson got behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch that nearly scraped the inside corner. He smacked the next pitch into rightfield for a single to score Winn and moved Ibañez to second.
»» BLUE JAYS 12, MARINERS 10
Beltre flew out to a running Johnson in the leftcenter gap on the first pitch. Batista's 1-1 pitch to Morse was way outside and went to the backstop, moving Ibañez to third and Sexson to second. Morse fouled off a pitch, then nubbed in front of the plate, but Batista picked it up and threw to first in time.
Schoeneweis' line: 1/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
No damage here. Hill popped one near the plate, and it was caught by Borders in foul ground. Zaun got ahead 2-0 but ended up flew out high and foul to Beltre. Rios stung a double down the leftfield line.
Ron Villone came in for Mateo. Hinske fouled off a 2-0 pitch but ended up whiffing on a pitch down and in.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (12 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
It had a morsel of hope. Reed grounded out to short. Chris Snelling came on to pinch hit for Lopez. He got ahead 2-0 and rocketed the 2-1 pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a double. Scott Spiezio inexplicably was put in to pinch hit for Borders. He got ahead 3-1, foul-tipped the next pitch into Zaun's glove, then took a pitch over the outside corner for strike three. Ichiro grounded out to short on a bang-bang play. Ballgame.
Batista's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (18 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
Randy Winn would be here if not for coming up with the brilliant idea to try to throw Orlando Hudson out at the plate. Know your arm, Randy. It's really the only thing I've consistently disliked about Winn, but when he just stays within himself when it comes to the arm, it's not bad, since he can run down balls fairly well and stuff and hit in spurts. Thus, Richie Sexson gets the nod, even though it's a semi-obvious gameball, but Winn had three hits as well, so I can pass that off as an excuse. Sexson went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs, though striking out twice. It's a more customary good outing for Sexson compared to the 1-for-3 games he was having in the Angels series where he'd walk three times in the game. Two singles and a blast from Sexson; there's a good day at the office for Sexson.
Goat: Aaron Sele.
Not that Shigetoshi Hasegawa was any better, but Sele was just terrible. He's been surprisingly good for most of this year, sure, but lately he's stunk it up, and this outing was pathetic. He kicked away the Mariners' early three-run lead in the very half inning after they'd accumulated it. He then gave up two more runs in the third inning on his way out just to dig the hole deeper. Somebody's 6-10 here, somebody's lost each of their last five starts, and somebody hasn't recorded a win since June 15th. I'll give you a hint -- his last name rhymes with that of Itula Mili. We haven't complained about a ten-loss pitcher since...Ryan Franklin. Seriously, I wonder when this guy's going to have to pitch for his job again. Could we have possibly come full circle with Aaron Sele in two months?
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 66-26 .717 -- L1
2002 58-34 .630 8 W1
2003 57-35 .620 9 L1
2000 54-38 .587 12 W1
2005 41-51 .446 25 L1
2004 35-57 .380 31 L1
The Mariners have mirrored the 2004 Mariners' habits for the past six games. If you're like me, and your only goal for the Mariners is to be 14 wins better than the year before, things like this disturb you.
Another disturbing thing is that each of the Mariners' first three pitchers in the game (Sele/Hasegawa/Thornton) all gave up runs in the half-inning right after the Mariners had scored runs for them. There are ways to win ballgames, and there are ways to lose ballgames. The philosophy of "give it right back" does not fit under the umbrella of winning ways. They got the offense down pat pretty well, and I was glad to see the Mariners chase Ted Lilly, but the pitching for the first half of this game was absolutely inept.
We even got a bit of the unexpected in this game. Raise your hand if you ever thought Pat Borders would end two straight innings by gunning down a runner at second? He did get some help on the throw in the sixth that was picked off the ground by Jose Lopez, but the second throw was right there. Add that to the 2-for-3 day with an RBI and a walk at the plate, along with the warm ovation given by the Toronto fans thanks to his piece in the fabric of Toronto sports lore, I'm really wondering why I didn't give him the gameball tonight. I wish I would've now, but it's late now and I don't feel like changing it.
Not sure if this was unexpected or not, but raise your hand if you were a big fan of pinch-hitting for Borders, who'd had two hits on the night already, just so you could go righty-lefty with Scott freakin' Spiezio? Anyone like this move? I don't have any head-to-head splits for Spiezio against Miguel Batista, but I'd hesitate to say they'd mean anything because if he'd hit three homers against him in 2002 or something, the year right now is 2005, and Scott Spiezio can't hit. Plain and simple. Therefore, to bring Spiezio to the plate representing the tying run with one out in the ninth is just unconscionable to me. Even though he's a righty, any close-and-late situation where the Mariners are behind makes me want a Bucky Jacobsen at the plate or something. Of course, maybe if the Mariners carried 11 pitchers instead of 12, they could have another lefty bat on the bench in that situation that's worth a damn.
Congrats to the Mariner offense. Five starters had multi-hit games. Winn and Sexson had three hits apiece. Ibañez, Beltre, and Borders had two apiece. Morse was the only hitter that went hitless. The second through fifth hitters combined for a grand 10-for-20 (pretty good) with three homers and six RBIs. I don't know where else to fit this in, but Winn's average has creeped back up again, and now it's sitting at .273. Beltre's 2-for-5 day leaves him at .264. Weirdly, Sexson's day leaves him at .264. Given Sexson's usual season-end lines from years past, I don't expect Sexson to finish as high as .264. I'm thinking more along the lines of .250 or something, but I'll take .264, though that may or may not coincide with a power drop.
Well, I'm praying that the MLB.tv feed doesn't devolve into a slideshow for the middle game of this series once I get home and see the last two innings or so. Unless Gustavo Chacin works really deep into the game, I won't get to come home and be welcomed by the sight of his Antoine Carr glasses.
Franklin. Chacin. Today.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Mariners at Blue Jays, 4:07 Pacific (KSTW)
Aaron Sele (6-9, 4.77 ERA) vs Ted Lilly (7-9, 5.21 ERA)
I'm expecting a slugfest tonight. That's your game analysis for today.
Thanks for keeping Sports And Bremertonians a civil place, folks. We appreciate it. Once again, I'll ask y'all to not talk about Saturday's USS Mariner feed. Besides, it's Tuesday. Make up some wacky trade rumors, I don't care.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Robinson was arrested in Medina on May 6. He had a blood alcohol level of .191. A second charge of reckless driving was dismissed by Kirkland Municipal Court Judge Albert Raines.
"I hope you spend the day reflecting on what is ahead of you rather than what is behind you," Raines told Robinson.
Robinson has not signed with another NFL team yet. However, I'm more concerned with him getting the help that he needs. Life is bigger than football, folks. Cherish it.
Weiss has been an assistant with the Sonics since 1994. He has had previous head coaching experience with San Antonio (1986-1988), Atlanta (1990-1993), and the Los Angeles Clippers (1993-1994).
Press conference is at 1:30 p.m. Pacific.
Consider this the 2005 debut of "The Trenches".
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TRAVIS HENRY FINALLY OUT OF BUFFALO?
The winner of the Travis Henry sweepstakes may be the Tennessee Titans.
Barring any unexpected complications, i.e. a failed physical, Henry will be traded to the Titans for a 2006 third-round choice. Henry wants out of Buffalo because he isn't the starting running back. Willis McGahee is the starter for Mike Mularkey offense.
Since coming into the league out of Tennessee in 2001, Henry has rushed for 3,849 yards and 27 touchdowns. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2002 (1,438 yards) and 2003 (1,356 yards).
Henry would challenge incumbent running back Chris Brown for the starting job. Brown missed 5 games in 2004 due to injury and is recovering from a broken hand, which happened during offseason practices. It is not out of the question that Henry could very well take Brown's starting job. In fact, I think Henry will be the starting running back for the Titans when they travel to Pittsburgh on September 11.
For the Seahawks fans who wanted Henry, sorry. Which brings me to the next topic...
ALEXANDER, SEAHAWKS ABLE TO NEGOTIATE
It is after July 15, therefore running back Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks are able to negotiate a possible long-term deal. The Seahawks used the franchise tag in February on Alexander, so they could not negotiate with Alexander until July 15.
Obviously Alexander wants a long-term deal. I've said here many times that he deserves a long-term deal. However, he has to sign the 1-year tender of $6.32 million in order to be able to negotiate a long-term deal with the Seahawks. Seahawks fans can only hope that this situation will be resolved one way or the other in the coming weeks. Hopefully that "one way" will be Alexander signing a long-term deal to stay in Seattle.
THE RIGHT STUFF
When the NFL season opens in September, there could be at least 15 teams with new starters at right tackle. The Seahawks will be one of those 15 teams.
As far as the Seahawks' offensive line goes, here's my starting offensive line:
Left tackle Walter Jones
Left guard Steve Hutchinson
Center Robbie Tobeck
Right guard Floyd Womack
Right tackle Ray Willis
That's right, I have the rookie out of Florida State, Ray Willis, as my starting right tackle. While the Seahawks will definitely give Sean Locklear and Wayne Hunter the opportunity to compete for the starting right tackle job, I think Willis has the "right stuff", pardon the pun, to play right tackle for this team. Nevermind the fact that he's a rookie. Willis is just as good as his former Seminole teammate, tackle Alex Barron, if not better. Barron went to the St. Louis Rams in the first round.
Womack has experience at right tackle. But at this point, I think he would be better suited at right guard. Chris Gray, the incumbent at right guard, is back with the Seahawks, but he's not as good as Womack. I believe you put your five best offensive linemen on the field. Those five guys are Jones, Hutchinson, Tobeck, Womack, and Willis.
What about Chris Spencer? The rookie center out of Ole Miss will have a chance to learn from Tobeck this season, then will take over as the starter in 2006, if not sooner. Center is the hardest position on the offensive line as far as learning goes. I'd rather have a rookie starting at right tackle (Willis) than a rookie starting at center. That's not to say that Spencer isn't good enough to start right away, because he has the talent to do so. There's a reason why the Seahawks passed up on a few defensive players to grab Spencer with the 26th pick overall this past April.
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I came across this over the weekend, so I'll bring it up for y'all.
You've probably heard of Baseball Prospectus. Sure you have.
How about the Pro Football Prospectus?
Believe it or not, the Pro Football Prospectus does exist. The prospectus was done by the folks at Football Outsiders. Here's a brief intro to the Pro Football Prospectus, straight from Football Outsiders themselves:
For the over 14 million people who play fantasy football every year; for the hardcore fan who wants information beyond sports page recaps; for everyone who bets on the NFL; and for the smart, casual enthusiast looking for entertainment and insight comes the essential preseason annual. With numerous statistical measures that go far beyond standard NFL stats, Pro Football Prospectus finally gives NFL fans the kind of Sabermetric-like statistical analysis that revolutionized the fanÂs understanding of baseball. And like its sister publication, Baseball Prospectus, it's written with a knowing dry wit that gets under the skin of America's most popular spectator sport.
If you've read Sports And Bremertonians, you know that I don't get into statistical analysis in baseball too often. This may come as a surprise to some people, but I'm very interested in diving into the football statistical analysis pool.
Now, don't expect me to become a total stats freak when it comes to football. Football is too complex of a game to rely on just statistics. But a little statistical analysis in football can't hurt anybody, can it?
The NFL is a much friendlier league than Major League Baseball when it comes to statistical analysis. A big reason for that is because the NFL changes every couple of years. The 2-point conversion and instant replay are two major examples of the changes in the NFL over the past 15 years or so. When was the last time baseball made a rule change? No, I'm not crying out for any rule changes in baseball, because baseball is fine as it is.
The 2005 Pro Football Prospectus is $12.89 at Amazon.com. By the way, if you want free shipping on your order, make sure to buy at least $25 in merchandise. David and I have done that in the past and it's well worth it.
Seahawks training camp opens up next week, with the rookies reporting to Cheney on July 26 and the veterans on July 28. It's about time.
With that completely unnecessary Cracker reference, welcome to Monday, a Mariner off day.
Thus, my material today will be non-Mariner stuff, and other stuff that wouldn't fit in the Mariner posts. Like...
-- Random Seahawk Sal thread about Shaun Alexander. The Geocities link that's in that thread has WAY too much stat stuff on Shaun Alexander, trying to prove/debunk popular Shaun Alexander myths, etc. Things like "Shaun runs out of bounds too much"...it's things like that which are covered by said stat stuff. Is it too much? Yes. But it's still there.
-- I randomly went to the Ken Pomeroy college basketball blog after yesterday's Mariner game and saw this. Have you ever wondered what conference has the best homecourt advantage in the past five years? The Pac10 is 23rd out of 31 conferences with a .602 winning clip. The Mountain West leads the way with a .686 buzzsaw.
-- Here's your important NHL dates. Basically, the last week of July is going to be nuts. If you find yourself let down at baseball's trade deadline, look no further than the next day, August 1st, when the NHL's free-agent signing period begins. Watch as everyone goes nuts as certain teams have to fit under the salary cap! Oh yeah, here's a bonus hockey image. Thanks, CBC.
-- Last, but definitely not least, congrats to 2002 Bremerton HS grad Dana Kirk, who swept the 100 (yesterday) and 200 (Friday) butterfly events over the weekend at the Janet Evans Invitational, held at USC. In related news, the 2005 FINA worlds are underway in Montreal. The actual swimming-against-clock events (as in not water polo, diving, or synchronized swimming, or open water) go from the 24th to the 31st. Unless something happened while I was over here trying to get my place for most of June, Dana's sister Tara will be swimming in Montreal in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events after having qualified for them back in early April.
-- Really last this time, I've been waiting a long time to read a sentence like "Atlanta's rookie draft picks hooked up for a nice play towards the end of the first quarter, with Salim Stoudamire finding Marvin Williams for a breakaway dunk to put the Hawks up, 18-11." Read more about it here, as 2004 Bremerton grad Marvin Williams scored 11 points and grabbed 4 boards in a Rocky Mountain Revue summer league game against the Dallas Mavericks' summer team.
Well, I might have more later, but I've got to get to sleep here. It's not because it's 1am, because it's 10pm here in Hawaii. I just get up way too early. It's not because I want to get up early, folks.
Enjoy your Mariner off day.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
In 25 words or less: It took a while for somebody to pull a Meche, only it wasn't Gil Meche. After that, there was no looking back.
This one featured Sir Sidney Ponson of Aruba going up against Gil Meche. The Mariners were hoping to salvage a split in the first series after the All-Star break. Gil Meche, as we know, isn't the most consistent starting pitcher.
It started out okay. Brian Roberts got ahead 2-0, but ended up bouncing out to first. Larry Bigbie fouled off an 0-2 pitch before grounding out to second. Melvin Mora grounded a ball down the third-base line where Adrian Beltre gloved it, but it was a long throw across and wasn't in time. Miguel Tejada flew out high to centerfield.
The Mariners wouldn't jump on Ponson like they did with Bruce Chen the night before. Ichiro lined out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Randy Winn singled into leftcenter. Raul Ibañez grounded a ball under a diving BJ Surhoff at first, but it was gloved by a diving Roberts in the hole, and Surhoff got up, went to first, and received the throw in time. Richie Sexson whiffed at a 2-0 pitch, then bounced out to short on 3-1.
Not again. Rafael Palmeiro golfed the second pitch of the inning just over the wall in rightfield. Uh-oh.
»» ORIOLES 1, MARINERS 0
BJ Surhoff grounded out to second. Jay Gibbons grounded a ball to a diving Jose Lopez, who tried to throw to second, but it was a bit low and got by Sexson. It went as a single. Luis Matos got behind 0-2 and would fly out to rightfield. Sal Fasano flew out high to Lopez on the outfield grass.
Sleepy bats. Adrian Beltre flew out high to leftfield on an 0-2 pitch. Jeremy Reed got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 pitch way outside for a walk. Mike Morse got behind 0-2 and ended up grounding a ball to second, which started an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
This could have been a lot worse. Roberts bounced a single up the middle. Bigbie grounded a ball to Beltre, who threw low from his knee to second, and Lopez dug the throw and completed the 5-4-3 double play. Not helping matters, Meche walked Mora on four pitches. Tejada smoked a single to leftfield, and Mora moved to second. Palmeiro whiffed on a 3-1 pitch, and took a full-count waist-high pitch over the outside corner for strike three.
Again, not a lot. Jose Lopez flew out to Tejada in shallow leftfield. Miguel Olivo fouled off a 2-0 pitch, and later flew out to shallow centerfield. Ichiro flew out near the leftfield line on the first pitch.
Meche was walking the tightrope. Surhoff worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Gibbons got behind 0-2, and later bounced a ball to Sexson, who stepped on the bag for the out as Surhoff made his way to Sexson. Matos grounded out to second on the first pitch, and Surhoff moved to third. Fasano flew out high to Reed in leftcenter.
The Mariner bats had been nothing short of boring. Winn grounded out to first. Ibañez foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into the catcher's glove. Sexson grounded out hard to third.
Again, Meche was cutting it close. Roberts worked an 0-2 count for a walk (really). The second pitch to Bigbie got away from Olivo (wild pitch), and Roberts went to second. Bigbie ended up flying out to left. Mora hit a fly to center, but Reed came in and made a great diving catch. Tejada bounced out to second.
They might have had a chance to get on the board. Beltre grounded the first pitch to Surhoff, who underhanded to Ponson for the out. Reed hit a ball to the track in rightcenter, where Gibbons didn't reach out far enough for the ball, and probably would have had it. Instead, the ball bounces into the stands, and Reed gets credit for the double. Morse flew out to centerfield. The first pitch to Lopez ate dirt and got away from Fasano, allowing Reed to move to third. Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch outside.
Meche still was playing with a degree of fire. Palmeiro got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full count. Surhoff grounded the second pitch to the right side, where Sexson made a diving stop, tagged the bag with his glove, then threw to second, where Morse laid the tag down on Palmeiro's foot for the 3-6 double play. Gibbons flew out to left.
It's nice to see it happen to the other guy for once. Olivo tagged a 1-1 pitch foul down the leftfield line. On 2-2, he looped a single into leftcenter. Olivo broke for second on the first pitch to Ichiro, and Fasano threw the ball into centerfield, though Tejada was also late to cover. As a result of the throw, Olivo took third. Ichiro flew out to center on the second pitch, and it was deep enough for Olivo to score and tie the game.
»» ORIOLES 1, MARINERS 1
Winn was beaned somewhere around his right hip (probably his jersey) and took his base. Ibañez took a four-pitch walk, and pitching coach Ray Miller visited the mound. Sexson singled up the middle, and Winn easily scored. Ibañez attempted to go from first to third on the play, and drew a throw from Matos in centerfield. He beat it, and Sexson alertly broke for second and beat the subsequent throw as well.
»» MARINERS 2, ORIOLES 1
Beltre was intentionally walked. Reed fouled off an 0-2 pitch before whiffing on a ball up and outside. Morse hit a soft bloop single into rightcenter, and both Ibañez and Sexson scored.
»» MARINERS 4, ORIOLES 1
Lopez doubled down the leftfield line past a diving Mora. Beltre crossed the plate.
»» MARINERS 5, ORIOLES 1
Todd Williams (former Mariner) came in for Ponson. Olivo, up for the second time in the inning, grounded out to short.
Ponson's line: 5 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 88 pitches (56 strikes)
Meche would finish up. Matos flew out to Morse on the outfield grass. Fasano bounced out to third on a 2-0 pitch.
Matt Thornton came in for Meche. Roberts got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 delivery up and in for a walk. Thankfully, Bigbie whiffed on 1-2 pitch up and away.
Meche's line: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 4 walks, 1 strikeout, 101 pitches (60 strikes)
Thornton's line: 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 9 pitches (4 strikes)
Add-on! Ichiro worked a 1-2 count full before grounding out to third. Winn dribbled the first pitch between the mound and first, and Williams dove for the ball and took out a divot on the grass, but couldn't shovel over to first (single for Winn). Ibañez stung the first pitch through Tejada's legs at short (error), and Winn moved to third. Sexson flew out near the track in rightfield, and Winn scored easily from third.
»» MARINERS 6, ORIOLES 1
Beltre got behind 0-2 and checkswung on a 2-2 pitch, or so he thought. The ball got past Fasano, and Beltre ran after the umpire finally signaled that he'd swung. He got to first safely, and Ibañez moved to second.
Steve Kline came in for Williams. Reed dropped a 2-0 pitch into rightfield for a single to score Ibañez and move Beltre to third.
»» MARINERS 7, ORIOLES 1
Morse worked an 0-2 count for a walk, which is always a good at-bat when it goes your way. Lopez grounded out to third on an 0-2 pitch.
Williams' line: 1 inning, 2 runs (unearned), 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
Jeff Nelson came in for Thornton. Mora tagged a 2-0 pitch down the leftfield line for a double. Tejada tapped the ball in front of the mound, and Nelson hesitated a bit, and barely got Tejada out at first.
Ron Villone came in for Nelson. Palmeiro whiffed on a very high 1-2 pitch. Surhoff worked a 1-2 count full and singled hard through the left side, too hard to score Mora from second, so he held at third. Gibbons fouled off an 0-2 pitch and would fly out near the wall in rightfield.
Nelson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (3 strikes)
Villone's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
Then the improbable happened. Olivo hit a 1-0 pitch just over the wall into the left side of the Mariners' bullpen in leftcenter.
»» MARINERS 8, ORIOLES 1
Ichiro worked an 0-2 count full, then chopped a ball to new shortstop Chris Gomez, who double-clutched and therefore didn't have a chance to throw Ichiro out at first (single). Winn grounded a ball to third, and Mora tried to turn the double play, but the Orioles only got the out at second for a 5-4 fielder's choice. Ibañez grounded hard to first, and Surhoff tried to turn the double play. Winn was out at second, but Gomez bounced his throw into the dugout (error), and Ibañez went to second. Scott Spiezio came in to hit for Sexson, and flew out high on the infield to Surhoff, who made a completely unnecessary basket catch. That or the sun was horrific.
Kline's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Nelson to get some much-needed work. Matos flew out to rightfield on the first pitch. Fasano lined an 0-2 pitch off the tip of a jumping Morse's glove and into leftfield for a single. Roberts got behind 0-2 and hit a fly ball on 1-2 that went toward leftcenter. Winn appeared to camp under it and slowly drift, but he reached to his left and didn't catch it as it came down. Roberts coasted into second with the double, and Fasano went to third. Eli Marrero came in to pinch-hit for Bigbie. He flew out to Reed in rightcenter, and Fasano scored. Reed's throw to third held Roberts at second.
»» MARINERS 8, ORIOLES 2
Mora fouled off a 2-0 pitch. On the next pitch, he flew out high to shallow rightfield. There was some minor confusion between Lopez and Ichiro as to who would catch the ball, but Lopez backed away at the last second and Ichiro made the catch. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 16 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Randy Winn.
I want this guy to get the ol' average back up near .300 again. He'd cooled off quite a bit lately, taking the average from near .300, and after this 2-for-4 day, he's sitting at .268. As you might suspect, I'm letting the weird fly ball double by Brian Roberts slide. Winn scored two of the Mariners' runs and got aboard via singles in the first and seventh as well as a beanball in the sixth and a fielder's choice in the eighth. When Ichiro's not getting aboard as much as everyone would like him to, someone's gotta pick up the slack a bit. Randy Winn getting two hits helps the cause. It also gives the meat of the order something to drive in. Richie Sexson tacked on a couple of RBIs today, and the runner driven in both times was Randy Winn, in the sixth and seventh. Somebody's got to set the table, and if Ichiro's not doing it, it's good to know that someone else did. Hoorah to Randy Winn.
Goat: Adrian Beltre.
He was intentionally walked and scored off of it. He reached base in the seventh on the strikeout pitch that got away from Sal Fasano behind the plate. He and Raul Ibañez were the only Mariner starters without hits. This isn't an infuriating goat today or anything, it's just that it has to be somebody. The usual sources of Jose Lopez and definitely Miguel Olivo decided to actually do something today, so I can't go to the ol' trustee goat paragraph for those guys, and Gil Meche didn't lose his mind on the mound. It's a tough go for the goat today, but it has to be somebody. Meanwhile, Ibañez has a weird line, scoring twice despite going 0-for-4. He walked and came around, and later got aboard on a fielder's choice and came around to score. As for Beltre, no grind-it-out at-bats today, but oh well. Maybe he'll light it up in Toronto.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 66-25 .725 -- W2
2002 57-34 .626 9 L1
2003 57-34 .626 9 W1
2000 53-38 .582 13 L1
2005 41-50 .451 25 W2
2004 35-56 .385 31 W2
In a totally random note, the White Sox (61-29) right now are only four wins off the pace of the 2001 Mariners (65-25). I'm not kidding you.
The Mariners of 2005 have mirrored the win-loss sequence of the Mariners of 2004 for the last five games. Hence, they still maintain a pace six games better than their horrendous predecessors. At this point last year, the Mariners were busy reeling off a stretch of four wins in five games. I don't remember it. Apparently there was a stretch in a long homestand where they won four of five from the Red Sox, Indians, and A's. Oh yeah, I was in the sticks in Oregon at this point last year. I drove back home on the same night where Vladimir Guerrero took an inside pitch from Bobby Madritsch a little too seriously. I miss Bobby Madritsch.
Gil Meche had a very weird outing. He had a lot of elements that would usually give way to the big inning, but it never materialized as a whole. In the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, the leadoff batter reached base every time. Rafael Palmeiro homered to lead off the second, and Brian Roberts bounced a single up the middle in the third. The other three innings started with walks, accounting for three of Meche's four walks. The other was a four-pitch walk to Melvin Mora in the third right after the Mariners had turned a double play. Amazingly, Gil Meche took advantage three times of the latter half of Levine's Law. Do I still lament at how Meche can get two strikes on a guy and never seem to strike the guy out, despite his reputation as a power pitcher? Of course. When a supposed strikeout guy walks four and strikes out only one, you gotta wonder about that. Still, for the second straight game, the Mariners' starting pitcher proved to be incredibly slithery. There were jams that Jamie Moyer had no business getting out of last night, and Meche won't get away with walking the leadoff guy as often as he did today. How odd is it that Meche has won for the fifth time in seven starts and I still don't feel safe with him out there?
As for the bats, three Mariners had two hits apiece. Their names are Randy Winn (gameball), Jeremy Reed, and Miguel Olivo. Reed bounced a ball over the fence for a double in the fifth, and he dumped a single into rightfield to score the Mariners' seventh run in the seventh. Olivo started the parade in the sixth with a looper of a single, then homered to lead off the eighth. Usually if you have three Mariners with multi-hit games, you think maybe Ichiro, Ibañez, and Sexson or Winn as the guilty parties. Today, Reed and Olivo are the unlikely contributors, and hitters 6 through 9 in the lineup go 6-for-14 with 5 RBIs and 2 walks.
I nearly fell asleep watching the game around the fourth and fifth inning. With how the games usually have gone this year, I thought the Mariners just might lose it 1-0. Sidney Ponson came in with a horrible opposing batting average, and the numbers didn't catch up to him until the sixth. Then that snowball thing happened. Just for kicks, does anyone else remember the Sidney Ponson Era in San Francisco? Yes, 'twas a distant memory.
Miguel Olivo will be showing on Tuesday's Pump with an average of .156. He's just about to my non-wrestling season high school weight. If he piles on about 15 to 20 points to that, he'll finally be hitting my weight. Of course, if he does that, I'm pretty sure Pat Borders would be seeing less playing time because that'd be a semi-torrid streak for Olivo. You know what they should do with him? They should do the reverse Dan Wilson. Wilson used to be a hockey goalie at one time. They should put a bunch of pads on Olivo and have hockey players fire a bunch of pucks at him at high speeds and see what happens. It couldn't hurt, right?
So it's an off day tomorrow before three at the SkyDome, now known as the Rogers Centre, with the scoreboards on the wall in play that kinda weird me out and stuff. The game times aren't too bad if you're in the Northwest, but if you're over here in Hawaii...let's just say I'll have to wait until MLB.tv archives the games before I can watch them. I'll only be able to see live action if the games on Tuesday and Wednesday go extras. The game times for me are 1:07pm for the first two, and a grandiose 6:37am start on Thursday. Archive city.
Sele. Lilly. Tuesday.