Saturday, July 30, 2005
Anyways, Randy Winn has been traded to the San Francisco Giants for catcher Yorvit Torrealba and RHP Jesse Foppert, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.
For the record, I called this back in March.
Randy Winn will be traded to the Giants by the trading deadline. Just a gut feeling.
Yes, we did exist back in March.
[actually posted ~9:44p]
In 25 words or less: On the eve of the trade deadline, the Mariners pull off a come-from-behind win. Really.
This one featured CC Sabathia going up against Ryan Franklin. It also featured Randy Winn being scratched out of the starting lineup and riding pine, more than likely awaiting a trade, since he did go 4-for-5 the night before. That'll impress people. Jeremy Reed wasn't in the starting lineup either, possibly due to the mild concussion the night before, but more than likely because Mike Hargrove wants him to never develop his hitting against lefthanded pitchers.
Franklin had little trouble. Grady Sizemore grounded to Richie Sexson at first, who knocked the ball down and underhanded over to a covering Franklin in time. Ron Belliard flew out on the second pitch to Ichiro up against the wall in rightcenter. Jhonny Peralta poked the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Victor Martinez grounded to Mike Morse at short, who stepped on the bag at second for the forceout.
Nothing much for a start. Ichiro got the hitters' counts and grounded to Ben Broussard along the first-base line, and Broussard stepped on the bag for the out. Willie Bloomquist popped the second pitch high to Belliard in shallow rightfield. Raul Ibañez got behind 0-2 and eventually took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner.
Franklin weather the leadoff hitter. Jeff Liefer walked on a 3-1 pitch outside. Aaron Boone whiffed on a 2-2 slider. Ben Broussard grounded to second, and Yuniesky Betancourt went to second, but Broussard beat Morse's throw back to first (4-6 fielder's choice). Casey Blake took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner.
This inning was a little too quick. Richie Sexson flew out high to Sizemore in shallow centerfield. Adrian Beltre lined the first pitch deep to leftfield, where Jason Dubois reached up and made the catch on the track. Mike Morse popped the second pitch high to Sizemore in centerfield.
Franklin got moderately rocked. Jason Dubois lined a 1-2 pitch over Betancourt and into rightfield for a single. Sizemore tagged the first pitch down the rightfield line and toward the corner for a double, moving Dubois to third. Belliard lined the second pitch into leftfield for a double, scoring Dubois and Sizemore.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0
Peralta grounded to a diving Beltre, who threw a bit toward the home plate side of first, but Sexson was able to pull it down and tag Peralta, and Belliard held at second. Martinez popped the second pitch to centerfield, moving Belliard at third, who beat a throw. Liefer grounded out to second.
Nothing again. Scott Spiezio couldn't hold a checkswing on a 2-2 pitch as the fans were already bored at the Safe and doing the incorrigible Wave. Betancourt fouled off a quartet of 0-2 pitches and later grounded a 1-2 pitch to short. Olivo got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch.
Franklin avoided more of a jam. Boone flew out to Ichiro in rightfield on the second pitch. Broussard popped the second pitch into shallow rightcenter, but it was a 'tweener and fell in for a single. Blake doubled a 1-2 pitch down the leftfield line, moving Broussard over to third. Dubois worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing. Sizemore got ahead 2-0 and wound up grounding out to second.
Scoring happened. Ichiro ripped the 2-1 pitch off the windows of the Hit It Here Cafe in rightfield (428 feet), with Dave Niehaus saying "it almost landed in somebody's soup out there!"
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 1
Bloomquist grounded out to short on the second pitch. Ibañez whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Sexson got ahead 3-0 and later lined the 3-1 pitch to leftfield for a single. Beltre popped the second pitch high to Belliard.
Franklin had an inning much like his previous ones. Belliard foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch before reaching on a pitch and popping out to Sexson at first. Peralta hit a high fly to leftcenter, where Bloomquist laid out for the ball but missed, and Peralta coasted into second with a double. Martinez got ahead 2-0 and eventually grounded a 2-2 pitch to Sexson along the first base line, who underhanded to a covering Franklin. Liefer fouled off an 0-2 pitch before whiffing on the next pitch.
Morse hit a high fly to centerfield on the second pitch that just kept carrying over the centerfield wall, making a winner out of
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 2
Spiezio popped out foul to Peralta in foul ground. Betancourt bounced out to third on the second pitch. Olivo popped the second pitch high to rightfield, where Blake made the catch.
Franklin got some help. Boone got behind 0-2 but worked the count full before whiffing. Broussard got behind 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single. Blake lined a 1-2 pitch into leftfield for a single, and Broussard tried to take third, but was nailed by a strong throw from Ibañez. Blake barely beat a follow-up throw to second on the same play. Dubois took a 2-2 pitch barely outside before whiffing on a full count.
Holy hell, it's a lead! Ichiro mashed the 1-1 pitch out of the yard to rightfield. What the f#($??! Seriously. Anyway, the Mariners had the lead.
»» MARINERS 3, INDIANS 2
Bloomquist grounded the second pitch to short. Ibañez got behind 0-2 but worked the count full. He ended up fouling off a pitch, then grounding right to third. Sexson fouled off a 2-2 pitch before checking his swing on a full-count pitch for a walk. Beltre took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Martinez, and Sexson moved to second. Martinez' throw to second was low and got past, but it was backed up. Beltre lined a full-count pitch into centerfield, where Sizemore made a diving catch.
The pitching kept holding on. Sizemore worked a 1-2 count full, then took the next pitch low and away for a walk. Belliard popped a 1-2 pitch high to rightfield. Peralta got behind 0-2 and couldn't check his swing on a 1-2 pitch, resulting in a strikeout.
Ron Villone came in for Franklin. Martinez got ahead 2-0 and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch high and outside.
Franklin's line: 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 118 pitches (77 strikes)
Unfortunately there was no tacking-on of runs. Morse grounded out on the second pitch to third. Spiezio popped out to Blake along the rightfield line. Betancourt popped to Peralta in shallow centerfield.
Sabathia's line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 100 pitches (64 strikes)
The bullpen tried to hold it down. Liefer grounded out to second. Boone slapped a pitch up the middle for a single. Broussard took the 3-1 pitch up and in for a walk.
JJ Putz came in for Villone. Blake walked on a full-count pitch outside. Dubois got behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Sizemore got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball up and away.
Villone's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (8 strikes)
Bobby Howry came in for Sabathia. Olivo flew out high to leftfield on the second pitch. Ichiro whiffed over an 0-2 pitch. Bloomquist chopped the first pitch to second.
Howry's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 6 pitches (6 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Belliard worked an 0-2 count and took a full-count pitch outside. Peralta flew out high to rightfield. Martinez popped the second pitch high and foul to Betancourt along the rightfield line. Jose Hernandez hit for Liefer. He took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Ryan Franklin.
I and many other people have complained oodles about the various habits of Ryan Franklin this year. Today was a solid start. Sure, he did have more than a few runners to deal with (9 hits, 2 walks), but a rarity came along with the performance as he struck out seven batters. Whoa, Ryan, where's the fire? Anyway, the seven strikeouts were a big bonus. Also an even bigger bonus than that was the big goose egg under the "HR" column in Franklin's line. He recorded more groundouts than flyball outs, so the homer stat is less surprising when you consider that first. Still, Ryan didn't let the nine hits rattle him in any inning other than the third. Much like Jamie Moyer has been lately, Franklin proved to be slithery (I'm using that word way too much) in getting out of jams or anything resembling a jam other than the third inning. There were many points along the way where Franklin could have let it get worse, but for whatever reason, he had it going today, and to hold the Indians to two runs despite being touched up for nine hits is no small accomplishment.
Goat: Willie Bloomquist.
Well, an 0-for-4 out of Bloomquist certainly hasn't happened in a while, but that's to his credit. In this game, though, he went 0-for-4 and none of his outs were fielded by outfielders. He hit a high fly into shallow rightfield, but that was caught by second baseman Ron Belliard. The other outs didn't get out of the infield. As I've said a few times, we've bagged on Bloomquist for his cast overratedness and South Kitsapitude for the last few years, but over the past couple weeks, I've had no choice but to shut up. He's been helping my team win, for goodness' sakes. I do have a slight grip on reality, you know. All of this being said, I hope Willie is off and traded by the time the deadline rolls around tomorrow. Why wouldn't he be? And hey, if they're really concerned about Jeremy Reed's concussion (I think it'll be minor, but bear with me here), they can still ship Bloomquist off and have Ichiro play centerfield. I'd be all for a Snelling/Ichiro/Ibañez outfield. I'm more for a centerfielder that covers a ton of ground than I am for the strongest arm being in rightfield, but I've made that case here in the past.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 74-29 .718 -- W2
2003 63-40 .612 11 W2
2002 62-41 .602 12 L1
2000 60-43 .583 14 W2
2005 45-58 .437 29 W1
2004 39-64 .379 35 L2
I sat there for the first three innings after CC Sabathia had set down the first nine batters and Cleveland had put up a three-spot in the third, and I thought, "well, this one's done. Looks like another loss to me. Oh well." Ichiro's not supposed to hit balls off the Hit It Here Cafe. Ichiro's not supposed to have multi-homer games. Ichiro's not supposed to account for half of your team's hits in a game. Ichiro is supposed to score runs, but not when he's driving himself in to score. You could say this game on offense was a step out of the comfort zone for Ichiro, but he's surprised us so many times that nothing should really surprise us about him anymore. Like I mentioned a couple days ago, one of these days the Mariners might be down 18-1 and Ichiro might climb up the wall and stand on top of it to rob a homer, or he might climb the foul pole and rob a homer. Could you imagine if he climbed the Pesky pole (don't think too long about that sequence of words) and robbed a homer from wrapping around the pole? That'd be beyond crazy, and probably against official baseball rules, which I really should read before I think up of a scenario so odd and outrageous as this.
Offensively, I like to point out anyone that had a multi-hit game for the Mariners. Ichiro was the only batter to do so for the Mariners. This will be reserved today for any Mariner that actually got any hit. Richie Sexson hit a single with two out in the fourth. Mike Morse cranked a leadoff homer out to centerfield in the fifth. Ichiro's homers in the fourth and sixth sandwiched Morse's fifth-inning blast. Given the usual plight of the Mariners and the long ball this season, it's ironic to see that the Mariners scored all three of their runs with three solo shots. It's actually kind of hilarious. I think if I was a Cleveland fan, I'd be pretty ticked over such a fact.
Since I want to get some more material here, I guess I'll nit-pick at the bullpen. In 2 1/3 innings today, Mariner relievers gave up a total of three walks. They luckily offset that by striking out four batters and allowing only one hit. Each of Ron Villone, JJ Putz, and Eddie Guardado surrendered a walk. It may not seem like much, but things like that eventually haunt you if they keep happening ("duh" statement of the year, I know). Of course, out of those three pitchers walking batters, I'm the most concerned about JJ Putz walking batters, given his propensity to give up big homers this year, though he went with a big non-play of a grounder the other day which I thought was a nice change of pace. The point is, relief walks are bad, though we know that already. Ron Villone's going to walk people because he's nuts, Eddie Guardado might walk people just to keep you on your toes, but JJ Putz gets thrown into a lot of key situations where he just can't afford to walk people no matter what. Don't walk people, JJ. Thanks.
Randy Winn grabbed pine in this game, and Raul Ibañez started in leftfield, as mentioned. In the sixth inning, with Ben Broussard on first, Casey Blake lined a single to leftfield, and Broussard rounded second and headed for third. Ibañez came up throwing and gunned down Broussard at third by about seven feet. What am I saying? Ben Broussard is safe if Randy Winn is out there playing leftfield today. Broussard missed out on the memo that Randy Winn wasn't out there, and that's a big play since it could have been a first-and-third situation with one out or a second-and-third situation with one out and the game tied at 2-2. That was a big play. The Indians could have been a deep fly ball away from taking a 3-2 lead at that point. That's not too comfortable a situation, to say the least.
Well, the best-case scenario we have here is that we get a carbon copy of the Baltimore series, with the Mariners losing the first two and taking the back half of the series. Sure, the first half of it was bad, but maybe, just maybe the Mariners can salvage a split out of this before taking Monday off and going to Motown.
Westbrook. Piñeiro. Tomorrow.
Indians at Mariners, 1:05 p.m. Pacific (KOMO AM 1000)
C.C. Sabathia (6-8, 5.24 ERA) vs Ryan Franklin (5-11, 4.71 ERA)
Cleveland doesn't rock.
Since when did Cleveland rock in the first place? This has always irked me for some reason. Saying Cleveland rocks is similar to proclaiming Arkansas as the cultural mecca of the United States. Folks, it just isn't true. Although I can tell you that people watching in this state is certainly more fun than watching the Mariners right now. However, we're still going to follow this team, because let's face it, this is our baseball team. A bad baseball team, yes. But a baseball team, nonetheless.
Saturday in the park. I don't think it's the Fourth Of July.
In 25 words or less: This is a game you'd like to forget. It was a stinker early, and the one concussion didn't even relate to the beanballs.
This one featured Kevin Millwood going up against Aaron Sele. The latter was going for his lucky seventh straight loss. In other news, catcher Pat Borders was designated for assignment before the game, and Wiki Gonzalez was recalled from AAA Tacoma. Why? Well, it's to usher in the youth movement of the Mariners at catcher, of course! That happens when you go from a 42-year-old catcher to anybody.
Sele dug the hole early. Grady Sizemore worked a 1-2 count full and then smoked a line drive out of the yard to the left of the hitters' backdrop in centerfield.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 0
Ron Belliard tagged a 1-2 pitch past Yuniesky Betancourt at second for a single. Jhonny Peralta took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. Victor Martinez crushed the second pitch into the gap in rightcenter, scoring Belliard.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0
Jeff Liefer bounced the first pitch to second, moving Martinez over to third. Aaron Boone hit a 3-1 low liner to Ichiro in rightfield, who made the catch.
The Mariners cut it in half. Ichiro bounced out to second. Randy Winn got a hold of a high pitch and put it about ten or so rows into the rightfield seats.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 1
Raul Ibañez flew out high near the leftfield line. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 pitch off the plate outside.
Sele had some two-out trouble. Ben Broussard slapped a line drive the other way right into Mike Morse's glove at short. Casey Blake rolled a high pitch to second for a groundout. Jason Dubois bounced the first pitch up the middle for a single. Sizemore had the hitters' counts, took another strike, then took a pitch barely low for a walk, moving Dubois to second. Belliard got behind 0-2, and Wiki Gonzalez behind the plate had trouble catching a couple pitches, looking like maybe the signs were crossed up. Belliard reached on a pitch low and away and grounded to short, where Morse threw to second, but it wasn't in time, though it was ruled a fielder's choice. Peralta chopped the second pitch high to second and was forced out at first.
The Mariners couldn't muster any runs. Adrian Beltre roped the first pitch the other way into the outfield for a single. Jeremy Reed flew out to fairly deep leftfield on the first pitch. Mike Morse ripped the second pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Beltre to second. Yuniesky Betancourt lined the second pitch to fairly deep leftfield for an out. Wiki Gonzalez smacked a 1-1 pitch foul down the leftfield line, but almost with home-run distance. Gonzalez ended up rolling out to second.
The Indians widened the cushion. Martinez dinked a single into leftfield. Liefer slapped the first pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Martinez to second. Boone worked a 1-2 count full, then took a pitch low and away for a walk. Broussard fouled off an 0-2 pitch, then hit golfed the next pitch high to centerfield, where Reed came down with it. Martinez scored, and Liefer went to third.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 1
Blake flew out short of the track in rightfield, scoring Liefer.
»» INDIANS 4, MARINERS 1
Dubois got behind 0-2 and eventually whiffed over a breaking ball on 2-2.
The Mariners couldn't push runners across again. Ichiro chopped a 2-0 pitch right to first, and Broussard jogged over and stepped on the bag. Winn rolled a ball up the middle, and Peralta fielded it but had no play. Winn had the single. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and later got a hold of a high full-count pitch on a hit-and-run, singling through the right side and sending Winn to third. Sexson took a 1-2 pitch that nearly hit him, then took a 2-2 pitch high and outside, but apparently over the corner for strike three. Beltre grounded the second pitch to third.
The roof fell in. Sizemore crushed the 1-1 pitch to the track in centerfield, where Reed looked to have caught the ball with the bottom of his glove, but lost it after he rammed into the wall and fell down. Sizemore ended up on third base. Belliard dunked the second pitch into shallow leftfield to score Sizemore.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 1
Peralta dumped the second pitch into centerfield for a single, and Belliard moved to second. Martinez golfed a fastball down and in that went barely over the wall in rightfield.
»» INDIANS 8, MARINERS 1
Liefer flew out to Reed on the track in centerfield. Boone got ahead 2-0 and fouled off a couple of 2-2 pitches before whiffing on a 2-2 curve over the outside corner. Broussard got behind 0-2 and eventually flew out lazily to second.
Nothing much here again. Reed got ahead 2-0, then later lined a 2-2 pitch right into a leaping Boone's glove at third. Morse got ahead 2-0 and eventually rolled out to second on a 2-2 count. Yuniesky Betancourt checkswung at the second pitch low and away, dinking it into centerfield for a single. Gonzalez flew out to rightfield.
The Indians just couldn't get enough. Blake dropped the second pitch in front of Winn in leftfield for a single. Dubois ripped a single over Morse at short and into leftfield, moving Blake to second.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Sele. Sizemore got behind 0-2 before smacking a 2-2 pitch into rightfield for a single, and Dubois was caught in a rundown.
»» INDIANS 9, MARINERS 1
Belliard got ahead 3-0, fouled off three pitches with a full count, then flew out to Willie Bloomquist. Peralta got behind 0-2 and later nubbed a 1-2 pitch up the middle into centerfield for a single. Martinez grounded hard to first, where Sexson underhanded to a covering Hasegawa.
Sele's line: 4 innings, 9 runs, 12 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 98 pitches (66 strikes)
The Mariners played like scoring was akin to the plague. Ichiro lofted a ball into centerfield for a single. Winn whiffed on a belly-high 2-2 pitch for a strikeout. Ichiro stole second on the 1-0 pitch to Ibañez, who grounded a 2-2 pitch hard to second. Ichiro moved to third on the groundout. Sexson one-hopped the second pitch to second.
Hasegawa held the fort, or what was left of it. Liefer tagged the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Boone grounded to short for a textbook 6-4-3 double play. Broussard chopped to first, and Sexson underhanded a long toss over to a covering Hasegawa.
It was obvious which team was going to win this game. Beltre nubbed a grounder toward third, and Boone ranged to his left, scooped, and made an off-balance throw in time. Willie Bloomquist, batting for Reed on account of the latter's mild concussion from ramming into the centerfield wall on a catch attempt, bounced out to second. Morse bounced out to short.
It started to get out of hand. Blake fisted a 1-2 pitch in the air to Beltre at third. Dubois crushed a full-count pitch about ten rows back into the seats in rightcenter.
»» INDIANS 10, MARINERS 1
Hasegawa nailed Sizemore near the small of the back with the first pitch, and Hasegawa was tossed. Mike Hargrove argued to no avail. The Cleveland FSN Ohio crew was laying into Hasegawa and Hargrove.
Julio Mateo came in for Hasegawa. Belliard popped the first pitch to Betancourt in shallow rightfield. Peralta whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball.
Hasegawa's line: 2 1/3 innnings, 1 run, 4 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 45 pitches (30 strikes)
The game officially got out of hand. Betancourt was drilled on the left buttock with the first pitch by Millwood, and the latter was tossed. Also ejected was Cleveland manager Eric Wedge.
Rafael Betancourt came in for Millwood. Gonzalez popped the first pitch to shallow rightfield, and it appeared to be between Belliard and Blake in rightfield. Belliard gave way to Blake at the last second, and Blake slid forward a bit and dropped it, and both runners were safe. Ichiro knocked the second pitch down the leftfield line and toward the corner for a double. Yuniesky Betancourt scored, and Gonzalez moved to second.
»» INDIANS 10, MARINERS 2
Winn slapped the first pitch into leftfield for a single. Gonzalez scored and Ichiro moved to second. Cleveland pitching coach Carl Willis visited the mound.
»» INDIANS 10, MARINERS 3
Ibañez popped the second pitch high into leftfield for a flyout. Sexson got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Beltre took a 1-1 fastball that was a bit low, but called a strike, much to everyone's chagrin. He fouled the next pitch into the catcher's glove.
Millwood's line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 88 pitches (57 strikes)
Mateo shut down the Indians. Dave Hansen and Scott Spiezio came in for Sexson and Beltre. Martinez fouled a 1-2 pitch into the catcher's glove for a strikeout. Liefer lined the second pitch to the track in rightfield, where Ichiro reached up to catch it. Boone dumped the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Broussard got ahead 3-0, fouled off two pitches, then flew out to leftfield.
Again, the Mariners couldn't do anything. Bloomquist fouled off an 0-2 pitch, then took a breaking ball just off the plate outside, but it was called a strike, and Bloomquist took quiet umbrage, getting out of the box a bit slowly. Morse worked an 0-2 count full and fouled off a couple pitches before whiffing on a belt-high fastball. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the second pitch high to rightfield.
Betancourt's line: 2 innings, 1 run (unearned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 29 pitches (21 strikes)
Mateo completed his mastery of the Indians. Blake popped a 1-2 pitch high to Gonzalez behind the plate, who caught it without incident. Dubois whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Sizemore whiffed on a 2-2 dirtball.
Mateo's line: 2 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 35 pitches (25 strikes)
David Riske came in for Rafael Betancourt. Gonzalez dumped a single into rightfield. Ichiro was drilled above the right back pocket on the second pitch, having a bit of trouble walking afterward. Riske was tossed.
Arthur Rhodes came in for Riske. Winn slapped the first pitch through the right side for a single, loading the bases. Ibañez smacked a 1-2 pitch over the shortstop, scoring Gonzalez and Ichiro.
»» INDIANS 10, MARINERS 5
Hansen took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Spiezio worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a dirtball low and away. Bloomquist popped the first pitch to Blake. Ballgame.
Riske's line: 0 innings, 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches (3 strikes)
Rhodes' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
He went 2-for-4 with a beanball and a stolen base. He led off the first and third innings with groundouts before he warmed up. He singled to lead off the fifth, then singled to drive in Yuniesky Betancourt in the seventh, then he was drilled in the ninth by David Riske. Sure, it would have been nice for Ichiro to set the table those first two times up, since the Mariners couldn't seem to get anything going when the game was still within reasonable reach, but then Aaron Sele took care of that pretty quickly. In a totally weird note, I don't think it happens often where the leadoff hitter in the lineup actually hits to lead off the inning in his first three times at the plate. Anyway, I thought it was odd, and nobody out there probably cared, but there's that thought for you. Add to this the rightfield defense that we take for granted from Ichiro, and you get the gameball for this awful game. But who cares? A ton of people got free tee-shirts at the gate before the game. We all know the game doesn't matter, just the promotions.
Goat: Aaron Sele.
I don't know what more Aaron Sele needs to do to pitch himself out of a job. In this string of seven straight losses, he has allowed three earned runs in a game once, and that was at Kansas City back on the 6th. Just for shock value, I'll add up his totals in the span of seven losses. Here's his line: 34 innings, 40 runs (39 earned), 61 hits, 12 walks, 17 strikeouts, 637 pitches (387 strikes). That comes out to an ERA of 10.32 in that span, well over a run per inning. If you're ever sitting there one day at work or at school thinking, "how can a starting pitcher increase his ERA by 1.93 around the All-Star break?" then here's Case Study #1. He had an ERA of 3.73 after his June 20th start against Oakland, which was the last good start for Sele, though it was a no-decision. He now graces Mariner fans with a plump, juicy 5.66 ERA. His last win was one start before that Oakland start, which was a June 15th home start against the Phillies. You can bet that it keeps a lot of Phillies up late at night knowing that they were the last team to lose to Aaron Sele. If Aaron Sele is still a Mariner after the trade deadline, I seriously might blow a gasket.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 73-29 .716 -- W1
2002 62-40 .608 11 W1
2003 62-40 .608 11 W1
2000 59-43 .578 14 W1
2005 44-58 .431 29 L2
2004 39-63 .382 34 L1
The only thing worse than watching this game was watching from the bottom of the seventh to the end of it live, cooking dinner, waiting for MLB.tv to archive it, then watching the rest of the game up to that point. I'm basically saying it was worse watching it on archived footage than it was watching it as it happened. Nothing's going to ruin my mood, though, since I picked up the third season of SeaLab 2021 on DVD, along with Dane Cook's brand-new Retaliation album, and...a digital camera. I don't even know why I got a digital camera, since we all know there's basically nothing to take pictures of in Hawaii, but I guess I've just wanted one for the longest time, so I went and got one once I felt secure with my funds and everything. Yes, with purchases of these all at once, there's no way a Mariner game could bring my spirits down.
Crap, now I have to resort to talking about the game itself. Fairly or unfairly (see, I wasn't referring to the broadcaster), every time a Mariner pitcher gives up a few runs in the first inning of a home game, I always remind myself of Freddy Garcia the day after the deadline two seasons ago, when the team could last be considered "good." Of course, Garcia hung a four-spot in the first inning, and the fans booing that day weren't just venting about Freddy going out and stinking it up. The fans that day were also ticked off because the Mariners did jack at the deadline for the 958393th year in a row at the trade deadline. As bad Sele's line was in the game that most of this recap talks about, Garcia's line on August 1st of 2003 is a true ERA buster of five outs and seven runs. Also, as bad as Matt Thornton is, I like him exponentially better than Aaron Taylor, who I didn't like one bit. I'm not saying he's a bad person, I'm just saying that the way he pitched managed to not impress me in any way. Whoa, Julio Mateo struck out eight guys in long relief in that game. Also, Bartolo Colon was still good at the time.
Also, and I've referred to this game many a time here at Sports and B's, every time there's any semblance of a beanball war, I'm reminded of the first game I attended at the Safe. That's when we all learned that Chad Curtis was a punk. That was also around the time we discovered that Chuck Knoblauch couldn't handle himself at second base in the Bronx. How does soembody develop the thing Knoblauch had? When he threw to first, he'd look at the ball as it left his hand, rather than looking toward the target. How does somebody possibly develop that? I'd like to know who taught him to do it, if anyone. Oh yeah, that game. Jeff Fassero was on his way out of Seattle, and he spotted the Yankees a five-run lead before we had even found our seats, namely the Paul O'Neill homer. Three batters were nailed in the Cleveland/Seattle game last night, and only two got plunked in the Yankees/Mariners tilt from six years past. Of course, I'm pretty sure there was a later brushback of Alex Rodriguez, which drew the ire of the Mariner dugout and many fans. The sick thing was that in 1999, the Mariners still had their False Hope Comeback shoes on. The roof was closed because it was stormy outside that day, so that may account for the four homers that were hit.
Multi-hit games for the Mariner offense were bunched at the top of the order, with the aforementioned Ichiro (2-for-4 with an RBI, beanball, and steal), Raul Ibañez (2-for-5 with 2 RBIs), and lastly but definitely not leastly, the obvious gameball candidate, Randy Winn. Winn went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a homer. He vaulted his average to .275 from .268 the night before. His average hasn't been this high in a month. On the 29th of last month, he was hitting .276 after a game at Oakland. June 18th marked the last game that Winn finished with an average over .300. Randy Winn's batting average bottomed out at .262 during his semi-nosedive. If it gets back to .290, whatever team he's with at the time will really like him.
A series loss to offset a series win (Detroit)? It could happen today. Might these be the times that try baseball men's souls?
Sabathia. Franklin. Today.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Indians at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Kevin Millwood (4-9, 3.19 ERA) vs Aaron Sele (6-11, 5.14 ERA)
Catcher Pat Borders has been designated for assignment. Wiki Gonzalez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to take his spot on the roster. This means that Gonzalez and Miguel Olivo will share the catching duties for the rest of the season. Or will they? You just never know with this team.
Best of luck to Pat in the future.
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The post is yours. If you have any late-breaking trade news, by all means post it, especially if it's a Mariners-related deal. I may even give you credit for posting the link. We're not in the business of deleting comments, unless if it's really, really bad. Fortunately, our readers are civil, so we don't have to worry about that kind of stuff. Thank goodness.
Mariners baseball, this team may look different after this weekend!
Today, the Seattle Seahawks embark on a new season.
Forget about last season. Last season was last season. It's time to think about this season.
---Can Joe Jurevicius and Jerome Pathon help shore up a wide receiving corps that has brought the Seahawks offense down the past two seasons?
---Will Matt Hasselbeck take charge and rebound from a so-so 2004 season?
---How will Shaun Alexander top last year's 1,696-yard performance?
---Can Grant Wistrom stay healthy? His health is key, because the Seahawks defensive line needs him.
---Will Jamie Sharper emerge as the leader of the Seahawks defense?
---How about Marcus Tubbs? Will he live up to the expectations of being a 1st-round pick?
---Can Kelly Herndon and Andre Dyson help Seahawks fans forget about Ken Lucas?
---Will the Seahawks special teams improve from a dismal 2004 season?
There are other questions surrounding this Seahawks team, but those are the questions of significance, at least in my opinion.
You want a fancy slogan to go with this Seahawks team?
Here you go...
"Playoff win or bust!"
Short, simple, and to the point.
Football, it's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!
In 25 words or less: The Mariners were close, but not close enough. One-fifth of the starting rotation came away with some physical issues.
This one featured Cliff Lee going up against Gil Meche. The Ricoh Scouting Report on Meche was "fastball 92 to 95mph, curve, change; avoid the big inning; control is off at times, falls behind hitters." Does that mean I lose points if my guess was "keep the ball down; throw strikes; avoid the big inning?" Am I basically saying the same thing? Anyway, the Mariners were fresh off a series win against the Detroit Tigers and hoped to get their first winning streak in ten games.
This game was also the Major-League debut for Cuban refugee Yuniesky Betancourt, who is used to playing shortstop, but played second base in this game, and Jose Lopez was sent to Tacoma to work on his hitting.
Meche survived some two-out ruckus. Grady Sizemore lined out to Ichiro, who charged in to make the catch. Ron Belliard flew out to center on an 0-2 pitch. Jhonny Peralta ripped a pitch through the hole on the left side for a single. Victor Martinez held up on a 2-2 dirtball, but slapped the next pitch to leftfield for a single, moving Peralta to second. Jeff Liefer fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch high, and it went off Olivo's chest protector, and the ball scooted away. It went as a passed ball, but they obviously had their signs crossed up. Peralta moved to third, but Martinez mysteriously stayed at first. Liefer whiffed on the next pitch, a fastball outside.
Lee survived some two-out ruckus. Ichiro whiffed badly on an 0-2 dirtball outside. Randy Winn popped the second pitch high to Belliard in shallow rightfield. Raul Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and later bounced a ball up the middle that Belliard backhanded and tried to throw to first, but it was a desperate move, and it went for a single. Richie Sexson got ahead 2-0 and later singled a 2-2 pitch just past Guillen at short and into leftfield. Adrian Beltre bounced to Aaron Boone at third on the first pitch, and it went for a 5-4 fielder's choice.
Meche's control seemed to be falling by the wayside. Aaron Boone flew out to leftfield on the first pitch. Casey Blake fouled off a 3-1 pitch and took the next pitch high and inside for a walk. Ben Broussard whiffed on a 2-0 pitch and later whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Jason Dubois worked a 1-2 count full, fouled off a pitch, then took the next one down and away for a walk, prompting Bryan Price to come to the mound. On the second pitch, Sizemore chopped out to Yuniesky Betancourt at second for the first putout of the latter's Major League career.
A big debut for a certain someone. Willie Bloomquist popped the second pitch high to centerfield. Mike Morse got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a low 1-2 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt smacked the first pitch into the gap in leftcenter, and he legged out a triple. Miguel Olivo popped out high to Ron Belliard in shallow rightfield.
Meche paid in a big way. Ron Belliard mashed the second pitch off the base of the wall in centerfield for a double. Jhonny Peralta got ahead 3-0 and took the next pitch outside for a walk. Martinez clubbed a hanging letter-high 1-2 pitch a few rows into the seats in rightfield.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 0
Liefer nearly homered on a 2-0 pitch, then ripepd the next one toward first, where Sexson dove and underhanded to a covering Meche. Boone bounced out to third. Blake flew out foul to Betancourt in foul territory halfway down the rightfield line.
Meche's line: 3 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 66 pitches (37 strikes)
The leadoff hitter did his job. Ichiro grounded a ball up the middle, and Belliard nearly backhanded and threw to first in time, but it's Ichiro running, so it's a single (very close though). Winn got ahead 2-0 and later popped out high to centerfield. Ibañez fouled off a couple of 0-2 pitches before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Sexson worked a 1-2 count full (Lee's first three-ball count of the night) before taking the next pitch high for a walk. Beltre took the second pitch with the Mariners pulling a double steal, but Martinez nailed Sexson at second.
Matt Thornton came in for Meche, who left with tightness in his right shoulder. Broussard whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball outside. Dubois whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Sizemore whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up in the zone.
Minimal trouble for Lee, who appeared to be manhandling the Mariners again. Beltre hooked a 2-0 pitch foul, nearly a homer down the leftfield line. He clubbed a high 2-1 pitch, but got a little too much elevation and not enough distance, as Sizemore came down with it on the track. Bloomquist looped a single into shallow center. Morse flew out near the track in rightfield. Betancourt flew out to fairly deep centerfield on the second pitch.
Thornton was pitching like someone else. Belliard flew out high to Betancourt in shallow center on a 2-0 pitch. Peralta grounded the second pitch to Betancourt at second. Martinez flew out to Bloomquist in leftcenter on the second pitch.
Offense! Olivo bashed the 1-1 pitch to the right of Jackie Robinson's retired number 42, dangerously close to where Sexson hit one of his homers the night before.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 1
Ichiro ripped the 3-1 pitch off the track in the gap in rightcenter, and he legged it out for a triple. Winn grounded the second pitch to short for a groundout, but Ichiro came in to score.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 2
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 curve low and away. Sexson flew out on the 2-0 pitch to Sizemore on the track in leftcenter, just missing a homer.
Thornton came through for another inning of long relief. Liefer whiffed on a 2-2 offspeed pitch. Boone tagged a pitch that nearly took off Thornton's head, but it got past and went up the middle, where Betancourt went to the backhand and threw in time to first. Blake got ahead 3-1, fouled off a full-count pitch, then flew out high to Ichiro.
The Mariner bats didn't pick up the anomalous innings from Thornton. Beltre grounded the 2-2 pitch to short. Bloomquist flew out to Sizemore in centerfield. Morse flew out high to Sizemore on the first pitch.
It got out of hand. Broussard took the first pitch to the backstop. He got ahead 3-0 and drilled the 3-1 pitch up the middle for a single. Dubois popped the first pitch into shallow leftfield, where Morse went back for the ball and it landed between him and Winn (Valle attributed this to a strong breeze inward from leftfield). Dubois got credit for a single. Sizemore bunted the second pitch toward the left side, where Thornton picked it up and threw to first. The runners advanced to third and second.
JJ Putz came in for Thornton. Belliard grounded the 1-1 pitch through the mound, where Putz failed to come up with it (it was VERY playable for Putz), and it trickled into centerfield for a single. The runners scored.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 2
Peralta hit a high and inside pitch and flew out to Morse in shallow left. Martinez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Thornton's line: 3 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 44 pitches (27 strikes)
Put the clutch to the floor. Betancourt took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Olivo flew a 1-1 pitch high over the infield, but Peralta and Belliard up the middle failed to go for the ball, and it dropped near the bag at second (the play went for an error on Peralta at short). Ichiro fouled off a 2-0 pitch, then lined the next one over the shortstop for a single, moving Olivo to second. Winn popped the second pitch high to shallow rightcenter, where Sizemore came down with it.
Scott Sauerbeck came in for Lee. Ibañez took a 1-2 pitch just barely off the inside corner after Sauerbeck dropped down sidearmed. Sauerbeck dropped down sidearmed again, but Ibañez mashed it this time, putting it into the first couple rows of seats in rightfield after looking a bit befuddled earlier in the at-bat. Olivo and Ichiro came around as well, tying the game. Incredibly clutch.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 5
Bobby Howry came in for Sauerbeck. Sexson grounded the second pitch to second.
Lee's line: 6 2/3 innings, 4 runs, 9 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 103 pitches (65 strikes)
Sauerbeck's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (4 strikes)
Not again. Liefer fouled off a 2-0 pitch and took the 2-1 offering to the backstop. He whiffed on a 3-1 pitch, then bopped the full-count pitch to centerfield, where Bloomquist had the ball go off his glove and to the wall, with Liefer ending up on second base.
Jeff Nelson came in for Putz. Brandon Phillips came in to run for Liefer. Boone bunted the first pitch toward the mound, and Nelson threw in time to first, and Phillips moved to third. Blake whiffed on an 0-2 slider low and off the plate.
Ron Villone came in for Nelson. Jose Hernandez came in to hit for Broussard. He tagged the 1-1 pitch through the left side for a single, and Phillips scored easily, and there went the tie.
»» INDIANS 6, MARINERS 5
Dubois walked on four pitches, and Bryan Price went to the mound for a visit. Sizemore grounded to Morse, who went to second for the 6-4 fielder's choice.
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Nelson's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (4 strikes)
Villone's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (4 strikes)
Frustrating, this one. Beltre poked the second pitch toward first, and Hernandez had to leap a to make the catch. Bloomquist fouled off an 0-2 pitch before whiffing on a high fastball. Morse grounded to Hernandez, who underhanded to Howry, who ran over to the bag in time.
Howry's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Villone. Belliard got ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch just off the outside corner. After fouling off four more pitches, Belliard finally flew out high to Bloomquist in rightcenter. Peralta poked the first pitch just past Morse and through the hole on the left side for a single. Martinez ripped the second pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Peralta to second. Phillips whiffed on an 0-2 pitch high and outside. Boone got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 2-2 letter-high fastball.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (16 strikes)
Bob Wickman came in for Howry. Betancourt grounded out to second. Jeremy Reed came in to hit for Olivo. Reed grounded hard to short, but Peralta's throw airmailed to first and pulled Hernandez off the bag at first (E6). Ichiro grounded hard to second for the 4-6-3 double play (yes, they even beat out Ichiro at first). Ballgame.
Wickman's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
He went 3-for-5 with the triple that helped the Mariners get back into the game in the fifth. How much more can you ask for in a game from your leadoff hitter? Okay, stolen bases maybe, but 3-for-5 is a more-than-solid night. Guess what? He's now up to a .313 average. Seems to me it hasn't been quite that high in a while. As you may imagine, I'm giving him a break for the game-ending and horribly timed double-play ball. That one was at least hit pretty hard, and it should have found a hole. Just bad luck there. Of course, if it were slower, Ichiro would have beaten it out, but that would have left Randy Winn to keep it alive, and he hadn't had a hit on the night. Anyway, Ichiro got aboard three times and scored twice. He set the table, and that's his job on offense.
Goat: JJ Putz.
He managed to make the game go to crap twice. The third pitch he threw went right back to him, and he should have been able to come up with the ball, hold the two runners on base, and throw to first for an out. Instead, it somehow gets through him, two runs score, and the Indians led 5-2 at that point in the seventh. To lead off the eighth, he fell behind Jeff Liefer and allowed him to get some good wood on the ball. Should Willie Bloomquist have caught that ball? Probably. However, it wasn't worse than the one that Putz missed. You can blame the non-catch in the eighth on Bloomquist, sure, but it did take a certain pitcher to set himself up in the count (i.e., hitters' counts twice) to get to that point. Liefer stood on second base, Putz was yanked, and two pitchers later, the run came around to score. I'll divert from Putz here for a second, but isn't it great to know that with twelve pitchers on the roster (and therefore seven guys in the bullpen), that they couldn't put a lefty out there that could get an out from Jose Hernandez? This twelve-man pitching staff is just the greatest idea, I tell ya. This is without me even getting to Ron Villone giving up the game-breaking hit and then walking the next guy on four pitches. Top-notch stuff, really.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 72-29 .713 -- L2
2002 61-40 .604 11 L1
2003 61-40 .604 11 L1
2000 58-43 .574 14 L3
2005 44-57 .436 28 L1
2004 39-62 .386 33 W1
How morbid. The only time the Mariners have won in the 101st game of the season in the past six seasons of play was last year. Icky. The 2000 Mariners sported a three-game losing streak at this point. As I've mentioned a couple times before, that team went on to epitomize the Dog Days of August trend that was all too often the case for the Mariners throughout their history, and they lost eight straight ballgames. It got to the point where if you left the game for a while and did something, you'd come back and say, "what the f#*$?! Come on! What the f#*$ is wrong with this team!" since you knew how great they had been for most of the season. With the Mariners post-July 2003, they could be behind 9-0 in the first, and though you might be somewhat surprised, you'd more than likely shrug it off. It's amazing how what should have been the Commitment to Excellence that was in fact the Commitment to Competitiveness has degenerated into the Commitment for Average Baseball. It's more sad that the Mariners are having trouble getting to even that.
Here's a sick admission from me. If Gil Meche spends time on the shelf as an adverse effect of the shoulder tightness that forced him out of this game, I can't entirely convince myself that it makes the team worse. With Meche out, would you be missing out on some good starts? Sure you would. You'd also be missing out on some bad starts as well. Despite his record, I think there would be more of the latter than the former remaining for his season, if healthy for the rest of it. How Gil Meche had won 10 games this season, I have no idea. I guess the odd thing is that for the last few months, we've been thinking that Joel Piñeiro is hurt after how erratic he's been on the mound. We forgot to even think that maybe Gil Meche may or may not be hurt. Or do they both just suck? I think at least one out of Meche and Piñeiro has to be hurt (I mean missing-three-starts kind of hurt). Maybe both. Yes, hurting pitchers -- ask for them by name! Mariners baseball! What a Show!
But the giving mentality of the Mariner bullpen overshadowed the opportune moments by the bats in this game, though it took a while. The Mariners squandered a two-out rally in the first, Yuniesky Betancourt's two-out triple in the second (uplifting stuff), and Ichiro's leadoff infield hit in the third. In the fifth, Miguel Olivo's homer and Ichiro's triple helped the Mariners get to within one run. After Matt Thornton and JJ Putz let it get out of hand, Raul Ibañez came up with the clutch blast in the bottom half of the same inning (seventh). Of course, all the clutch was negated when Ichiro bounced into the double play in the ninth. Uggghhh, that was bad.
Matt Thornton cruised along and would have had the gameball sewn up had he been pulled after the sixth inning. He set down the first nine hitters he faced in long relief of the injured Meche. He came out for the seventh and just plum lost it. Ben Broussard's single was legit, but the Dubois single absolutely had to be caught, and I don't care if there was wind. That ball has to be caught. Anyway, those runners were bunted over and JJ Putz came in. Rather than go with his usual fare of giving up a homer in a key situation, Putz instead went with a seeing-eye single back to (and through) the mound that he absolutely should have been able to field, giving Cleveland two more runs' worth of cushion for a 5-2 lead. Then Putz set the table in the eighth so that Ron Villone could do his thing.
As for multi-hit games for the Mariner hitters, Ichiro went 3-for-5 with the triple, Raul Ibañez went 2-for-4 with the game-tying homer, and Miguel Olivo went 2-for-3, which means that they reversed the scoring decision on the pop fly that nobody caught near the second-base bag. I already talked about Ichiro. Raul's homer was so clutch it was sick. Olivo nearly got the gameball, but since either Raul or Ichiro was a candidate for the prize, I went with one of them. Olivo also was credited with a passed ball, so that didn't help matters, and neither did the lucky hit.
The Mariners have alternated wins and losses for five straight games. Let's hope for six, because that'd mean a Mariner win. Then they can break that streak.
Millwood. Sele. Tonight.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Indians at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Cliff Lee (11-4, 3.87 ERA) vs Gil Meche (10-7, 4.59 ERA)
It's a rematch of The Battle For The Golden Boot between Arkansas' Cliff Lee and Louisiana's Gil Meche. While Lee pitched for the Razorbacks up in Fayetteville, Meche signed with the Mariners straight out of high school. Last Saturday in Cleveland, Lee's Indians defeated Meche's Mariners 4-3. Can Lee defend the Golden Boot tonight? We shall see.
The Golden Boot is the trophy earned by the winner of the annual Arkansas-LSU game the day after Thanksgiving. It's a fairly young trophy (debuted in 1996), but the rivalry between the Razorbacks and Bayou Bengals has been in place for years. And let me tell you, Cliff Lee can't stand Gil Meche, Britney Spears, and the New Orleans Saints. On the other hand, Meche can't stand the Razorbacks, Cliff Lee, and Wal-Mart.
So, if the Mariners can get a few runs off of Lee tonight, yell "Tiger Bait" at your TV, radio, computer screen, or all of the above. I'm just trying to keep up the interest level in this team, that's all.
We're just 3 days away from the trade deadline. Please, somebody take Ron Villone off the Mariners' hands. Thanks in advance.
UPDATE: Jose Lopez sent down to Triple-A Tacoma, Yuniesky Betancourt called up.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
In 25 words or less: The Mariners got the lead in weird ways, and the Tigers giftwrapped the win for them. Not that Jamie Moyer needed it given to him.
This one featured Mike Maroth going up against Jamie Moyer. Since there was a lefty on the mound, the unjust practice of benching Jeremy Reed against lefties continued. I can only tolerate that if they're trying to ramp up Willie Bloomquist's trade value in an attempt to trade him to anyone that wants him. There's got to be someone that could convince themselves that they need a Bloomquist, right?
Moyer started with a solid first. Placido Polanco lined out on the second pitch gently to short. Carlos Guillen got ahead 2-0 and later flew out to leftfield. Chris Shelton whiffed on an 0-2 change outside.
Can you think of a weirder way to score three runs? Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and later sliced a single past Guillen at short. Randy Winn lined out for a diving catch by Dmitri Young in leftfield on the second pitch. Raul Ibañez slapped a 2-2 pitch in front of Dmitri Young in leftfield for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Richie Sexson took a 3-1 pitch down and in for a walk, loading the bases. Adrian Beltre took an 0-2 pitch to the left thigh, scoring Ichiro. Incredible.
»» MARINERS 1, TIGERS 0
Willie Bloomquist gently chopped a 1-2 pitch over the mound, where Placido Polanco charged from second and barehanded, but the throw was late (Polanco's fresh off the DL as well). Ibañez scored.
»» MARINERS 2, TIGERS 0
Mike Morse took a 1-2 pitch barely off the inside corner, took the next pitch barely up and in, then took the next pitch high and outside for a walk, forcing in Sexson from third.
»» MARINERS 3, TIGERS 0
Jose Lopez grounded the second pitch into the hole on the left side, where Carlos Guillen went to second, and the throw to first just barely beat Lopez at first to finish off the 6-4-3 double play (I thought he was safe).
Moyer didn't get into too much trouble. Chris Shelton dribbled the first pitch gently to third. Rondell White whiffed on a 1-2 change low over the outside corner. Ivan Rodriguez tagged the first pitch into rightfield for a single. Rodriguez swiped second on the 1-1 pitch to Dmitri Young, who lined the next pitch to leftfield, where Randy Winn reached down and slid to make the catch, which was nearly a trap.
Christmas in July. Pat Borders flew out high to rightfield on the first pitch. Ichiro grounded the 1-2 pitch through Maroth's five-hole and into centerfield for a single. Winn slapped the first pitch through the left side for a single. Ibañez popped the second pitch to Brandon Inge in front of the camera well along the third-base side. Sexson got ahead 3-0, whiffed on 3-1, and took the full-count pitch low for a walk to load the bases. Beltre popped the 1-1 pitch high to Monroe on the track in centerfield, and he just plum dropped the ball, which hit the heel of the glove. Incredible. Catch with two hands, kids.
»» MARINERS 6, TIGERS 0
Bloomquist got behind 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch high for a walk.
Chris Spurling came in for Maroth. Morse ripped a 2-1 pitch through the left side for a single, loading the bases. Lopez checkswung on a 1-2 pitch and nubbed back to the mound, where Sperling threw over to first.
Maroth's line: 1 2/3 innings, 6 runs (3 earned), 5 hits, 4 walks, 0 strikeouts, 55 pitches (29 strikes)
Moyer got out of a moderate jam. Craig Monroe dropped the second pitch into rightcenter for a single. Brandon Inge dribbled the second pitch to Morse at short, who went to second for the force (6-4 fielder's choice). Polanco poked a single into centerfield, moving Inge to second. Guillen flew out to center, moving Inge to third. Shelton fouled off a trio of full-count pitches before flying out high to centerfield.
The Mariners worked on their ground game. Borders reached outside and grounded the first pitch to third. Ichiro ripped the first pitch right to second for a groundout. Winn grounded the 2-0 pitch up the middle where Guillen plugged the hole and threw in time to first.
Moyer got out of a slightly bigger jam. Ordoñez tagged a 1-1 pitch that Beltre knocked down at third, but it rolled past him, and it was scored a single. White grounded the first pitch down the line and behind the bag at third, but the throw was quite late, and Ordoñez moved to second. Rodriguez grounded to Beltre behind the bag at third, who threw to second, and Lopez looked to have dropped the ball, though the out was called on White (Ordoñez moved to third). Young flew out high to Morse in shallow leftfield on the first pitch. Monroe popped high to second on the first pitch.
Fireworks display. Ibañez took a 3-0 strike before taking the next pitch inside for a walk. Sexson clobbered the 1-1 pitch just to the right of Jackie Robinson's number 42 in the leftfield bleachers above the scoreboard (448 feet).
»» MARINERS 8, TIGERS 0
Beltre grounded an 0-2 pitch into the hole on the right side, and Polanco covered it up, knocked the ball down and bobbled a bit, and threw from his knees to get Beltre. Bloomquist whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Morse got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 2-2 offspeed pitch, though it was a nice eight-pitch at-bat with three foul-offs with two-strike counts.
The Tigers worked on their ground game. Inge reached for the 0-2 pitch and nubbed it in front of the plate, and Moyer threw in time to first. Polanco grounded the second pitch into the hole on the left side, and Morse went to his backhand and made the long throw in time to first. Guillen chopped out to short.
The ends of the lineup didn't do anything. Lopez popped an 0-2 pitch in front of the third-base dugout, where Inge made the catch. Borders flew out to fairly deep rightfield. Ichiro fouled off an 0-2 pitch but later lined the full-count pitch to rightfield.
Spurling's line: 3 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 50 pitches (34 strikes)
A scoring chance was thwarted. Shelton popped to shallow rightfield, where Lopez made an over-the-shoulder catch. Ordoñez flew the second pitch to the gap in rightcenter, where Ichiro caught the ball on the track. White whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Franklyn German came in for Spurling. Winn grounded the second pitch to second. Ibañez lined the second pitch toward the gap in rightcenter, and Ordoñez couldn't quite catch it on the fly in time, and it went for a double. Sexson took a 3-0 pitch inside for a four-pitch walk. Beltre smacked the first pitch past Inge and into rightfield for a single, and Ibañez rounded third and headed home. That proved to be a foolish move, as Ibañez was out by about five feet, and Sexson moved ahead to second. Bloomquist fouled a 3-1 pitch back before taking the next pitch over the outside corner.
Moyer got into minimal trouble, if any. Rodriguez lined the second pitch to Ichiro in right for the flyout. Young fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on 1-2. Monroe took a full-count pitch low and away for a walk. Inge sent the first pitch to the track in rightfield, where Ichiro came down with it.
The Mariners failed to pile on, though this was a good chance. Morse grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle for a single. Lopez fouled the 0-2 pitch down the line, but Ordoñez couldn't make the catch. Lopez got behind 0-2 and nubbed a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, moving Morse to second. Borders grounded hard to second, where Polanco started the 4-6-3 double play, moving Morse to third. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and eventually took a full-count pitch behind him and in the dirt for a walk.
Vic Darensbourg came in for German. Jeremy Reed came in to hit for Winn. Reed fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball.
German's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 40 pitches (21 strikes)
Shutout spoilage. Polanco poked a 3-1 pitch down the rightfield line for a double. John McDonald whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball low and off the outside corner. Shelton fell behind 0-2 but worked the count full. He fouled off another pitch before taking the next one just off the inside corner for a walk. Nook Logan looped a single to leftfield, scoring Polanco and spoiling the shutout, and moving Shelton to second.
»» MARINERS 8, TIGERS 1
White reached for a pitch outside and put it into the leftcenter gap, scoring Shelton.
»» MARINERS 8, TIGERS 2
Vance Wilson bounced a 2-2 pitch to short to start a 6-4-3 double play.
Moyer's line: 8 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 106 pitches (71 strikes)
Fireworks again, kinda like July 5th, when you try to burn off any remaining fireworks (if it's still legal where you are). Ibañez nubbed the second pitch toward the mound, where Darensbourg picked it up and threw to first. Sexson fouled off an 0-2 pitch and later walloped an up and away 1-2 pitch five rows into the seats in rightfield (412 feet).
»» MARINERS 9, TIGERS 2
Scott Spiezio came in to hit for Beltre. He whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and in. Bloomquist fouled off an 0-2 pitch and later slapped another 0-2 pitch along the rightfield line for a single. Morse hit a first-pitch broken-bat groundout to second.
Darensbourg's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 23 pitches (18 strikes)
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Moyer. Young gapped an 0-2 pitch into leftcenter for a double. Monroe took a 1-2 pitch just off the outside corner before reaching to line out to Lopez at second. Inge rocked a 2-1 pitch to the track in rightfield, where Ichiro ran back and made the catch. Young tagged and went to third. Polanco poked the first pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Young.
»» MARINERS 9, TIGERS 3
McDonald grounded the first pitch up the middle, where Morse underhanded to Lopez to force out Polanco. Ballgame.
Hasegawa's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Raul Ibañez.
He hadn't had a multi-hit game since the middle game of the series in Toronto (20th). He dumped a single into leftfield in the first, walked to lead off the fourth (and scored on the first Sexson homer), and doubled into the gap in rightcenter in the sixth. All in all, it was good for a 2-for-4 night with a walk, in other words, reaching base three times. As much as I ripped on this guy last year as the face of all that was wrong with the Mariner brass' moves in that offseason, he's proved me pretty freakin' wrong this year. I do realize we haven't had to worry about The Leftfield Adventures of Raul Ibañez this season, but he's held up his end of the bargain at the plate, and I guess if you wanted to bash him for anything, it might be power, but not much else. He sits here after 100 games with a .291 average, 13 homers, and 53 RBIs. A solid average with a little power. Isn't it weird how a lot of other teams just rotate the DH slot to give a guy a day off in the field, yet even in the post-Edgar era, the Mariners have just handed the slot full-time to Raul Ibañez? That strikes me as really weird, but I guess it's almost necessary in a way to keep the defense shored up in leftfield.
Goat: Jose Lopez.
He had a nice at-bat that resulted in a single in the seventh, but managed to leave six runners on base in the game. How? He hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the first, and he tapped back to the mound with the bases loaded in the second. That'll do it. Three runners here, three runners there. The growing pains with the young guys continues, as it will for a while. It looks like we'll be worrying about Mike Morse's glove and the bat of Jose Lopez. Of course, I have a feeling it'll be someone else at shortstop in future years, but who knows at this point. Also, Lopez is four days short of being two years younger than me, which therefore makes me feel old. I'm sure every baseball fan eventually goes through this. I guess the reason I don't feel comfortable with Lopez at the plate is because I can't help but think his stance is too wide, so he crouches maybe a little too low, then he maybe pops up and gets under some balls that he probably should rope for line drives. That's just me, though. I am often wrong.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 72-28 .720 -- L1
2002 61-39 .610 11 W1
2003 61-39 .610 11 W2
2000 58-42 .580 14 L2
2005 44-56 .440 28 W1
2004 38-62 .380 34 L3
After eight games away from it, the Mariners have gotten back to a six-game cushion above the pathetic pace of the 2004 Mariners. This series against the Tigers was the first series the Mariners had won since the sweep at Anaheim, which ended on the 10th of the month. Might things be looking up for the Mariners? Well, remember this -- Jamie Moyer can't be the starting pitcher every day. The offense might wake up a bit, though, since there's still some room for a hitter or two here and there to get warm.
I don't know how Jamie Moyer keeps doing this. He threw shutout ball for seven innings until finally caving a bit in the eighth. Slow, slower, and slowest have been the order of business for Jamie throughout his renaissance era (which has been kind of a while now). You all know the story though. Not a lot of heat, just spotting pitches and using deception, setting up the hitters correctly, and studying the crap out of hitters' tendencies. I'd pay good money just to sit next to Jamie Moyer when he totes the clipboard the day before he takes the mound. Though I have 11 years of grossly inferior baseball experience, I'd love to know what goes on those sheets of paper when Jamie's scrawling stuff about hitters. I mean, we know the basic gist of it all, but I'd like to see scans of it. It'd be awesome. I might even pay good money for it. What wouldn't I pay good money for? Jay Buhner's dip of chaw encased in bubble gum. The cellphone that Bret Boone flipped in the commercial a couple years ago. A video clip of the bullcrap walk-off obstruction call in Tampa Bay last year.
Richie Sexson done lost his mind. He's hit nine of his 26 homers since July 10th. He's driven in 19 of his 80 RBIs in the same span. It's a hot streak, folks. What makes this game especially crazy is that he only went 2-for-2. Of course, the two hits were homers. Furthermore, he walked three times. Yes, Richie reached base five times. He drove in three of the Mariners' runs and scored four of the Mariners' nine runs. Yes, Richie Sexson, with 26 homers, 80 RBIs, and a decent average of .272. It's jolly good stuff. I haven't talked about the placement of the homers yet, have I? The first one was a very healthy shot into the elevated leftfield bleachers, whereas the second homer was one of high arc, and to rightfield. I'm telling you, it's fun to have a hitter where if he looks like he makes good contact, I'm yelling "GET OUT!" at the ball when I see it get up into the air. Usually I throw in an expletive or two since I live alone and it's completely socially acceptable to curse when I'm alone in the house, but those are more likely when, say, Ron Villone drops down sidearmed to a rightie and gets taken yard.
Jamie Moyer pretty much was the pitching story of the night for the Mariners. Richie Sexson wasn't the only one hitting for the Mariners. Other multi-hit games belonged to Ichiro, Raul Ibañez, Willie Bloomquist, and Mike Morse, who all had two hits each. Sexson's homers and the Ibañez double were the only extra-base hits for the Mariners in the game. Pat Borders was the only Mariner starter that went hitless. The Mariners of course got credit for only six RBIs due to the bizarre error in the second that let runs four through six cross the plate. Sexson got his trio, and Beltre, Bloomquist, and Morse came away with single RBIs as well. Miguel Olivo didn't strike out in this game, which can be wholly attributed to the fact that he didn't play.
So, the Mariners win the series and press forth to host Cleveland for a four-game set. I'm just hoping for a split.
I hope everyone slept well on Wednesday night, and you should have if your name isn't Craig Monroe.
Lee. Meche. Tomorrow.
Tigers at Mariners, 7:05 Pacific (FSN Northwest)
Mike Maroth (8-10, 4.42 ERA) vs Jamie Moyer (8-3, 4.47 ERA)
Dave Hansen has once again graced us with his presence on The Pump.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Mariners make up yet another "injury" for Hansen soon. He would go back on the disabled list for "having his psyche damaged by the Pump". In other words, he would be out of service. Again.
Wait, isn't Miguel Olivo's psyche damaged by The Pump already? I'll stop now.
Regardless of what you think about Shaun Alexander, we're all Seahawks fans for the same reason.
We want to see this team win.
Having #37 in the backfield gives the Seahawks a chance to win. Trust me, I feel much more confident with Alexander running the ball than Maurice Morris or Kerry Carter. That's not a knock on Morris and Carter as much as it is my confidence in Alexander.
I've been an Alexander fan since his days at Alabama. There's no denying the fact that I'll be biased towards Alexander as long as he's a Seahawk. That's just how it is and I'm sure some of you will understand that.
Barring a trade, Alexander is a Seahawk for the 2005 season. If the front office and Alexander can reach agreement on a long-term deal, he'll be a Seahawk beyond 2005. But that hasn't happened yet, so we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
This has been a very productive offseason for the Seahawks. They've made significant changes on defense, as well as shoring up their wide receiver corps. More importantly, as I brought up yesterday, the Seahawks will have their three main pieces of their offense in the fold once again in 2005.
Thank goodness one of those pieces is Shaun Alexander.
1 Leisel Jones, Australia, 1:06.25
2 Jessica Hardy, United States, 1:06.62
3 Tara Kirk, United States, 1:07.43
4 Luo Xuejuan, China, 1:07.60
5 Brooke Hanson, Australia, 1:08.07
6 Suzaan Van Biljon, South Africa, 1:08.38
7 Sarah Poewe, Germany, 1:08.47
8 Chiara Boggiatto, Italy, 1:08.98
For the record, Jones took bronze in the Athens final last summer, Luo took gold, and Hansen took silver. Poewe was fifth, and Tara was sixth. So, this means that yesterday Tara beat two swimmers that were on the medal podium in Athens.
Of course, that means there's hardware to be handed out.
Yes, Tara Kirk, representing Bremerton far above and beyond the capabilities of some sports blog.
Of course, there's no rest for Tara, who goes tomorrow in the 200-meter breaststroke event.
Congrats to Tara, and further good luck.
In 25 words or less: What started out as kind of a crappy game turned into a see-saw affair with four lead changes and ended with a crappy result.
This one featured Jason Johnson going up against Joel Piñeiro. The mere appearance of Jason Johnson of course elicits the obligatory mentions on the TV and radio broadcasts of the device attached to the back of his belt with the tube running into his leg that helps him against his diabetes (obviously I'm brutally uneducated with diabetes, given how weirdly I phrased that). It always gets a mention, and though I'm glad I'm not left wondering what it is, I get inevitably uncomfortable at the mention of it. I guess it's because I had IV fluids running into me one time and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. It's horribly confining. Boo to tubes being stuck in oneself! Seriously, though, it was uncomfortable, and I don't know how Jason Johnson can pitch with a tube running into his leg.
Could the Mariners take the series with a win in this game? Here goes...
Piñeiro started out fairly well. Curtis Granderson got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 count. Carlos Guillen lined out to rightfield on the second pitch. Chris Shelton whiffed on a 1-2 curve in the dirt. Magglio Ordoñez got ahead 3-0, then popped the 3-1 pitch to Willie Bloomquist in front of second base.
No early damage for the Mariners. Ichiro swatted the second pitch into leftfield for a flyout. Randy Winn slapped a 2-2 pitch through the hole on the right side for a single. Raul Ibañez gently popped the second pitch to leftfield. Richie Sexson bounced the first pitch into the hole on the left side, where Guillen backhanded the ball and threw to second for the force (6-4 fielder's choice).
The leadoff runner was erased. Rondell White fouled off a 3-1 pitch and dribbled the full-count pitch near the third-base line, where Adrian Beltre charged, barehanded, and threw to first, but the throw was barely late. Ivan Rodriguez grounded the second pitch hard to Jose Lopez, who underhanded to Bloomquist to start the 4-6-3 double play. Dmitri Young flew out to Jeremy Reed on the track in the gap in leftcenter.
The Mariners failed to take advantage of an error, though it was with two out. Adrian Beltre fouled off a 2-0 pitch before rolling over on the next pitch, a changeup that was rolled out to short. Jeremy Reed popped the first pitch high to rightfield. Willie Bloomquist bounced the second pitch through the middle for a single, then almost got picked off with Jose Lopez at the plate. Bloomquist was nearly picked off of first by Rodriguez after the 1-1 pitch, but Shelton couldn't handle the throw (E3) and the ball went into rightfield. Bloomquist skittered to second. Lopez took a full-count breaking ball too high for a walk. Miguel Olivo popped the second pitch in front of the third-base dugout, where John McDonald made a nice sliding catch.
Detroit scratched one out. Omar Infante popped high to Reed in shallow centerfield. John McDonald fouled off a full-count pitch but mashed the next pitch into the gap in leftcenter, which looked like it might be a single, but McDonald squeezed a double out of it. Granderson flew out to Reed just short of the track on the first pitch. Guillen popped a 1-2 pitch to leftfield, where it was trapped by Winn, easily scoring McDonald.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Guillen took off on the first pitch to Shelton and was nailed by Olivo.
Taking advantage of errors, then taking the lead. Ichiro poked the ball past Guillen in the hole on the left side for a single. Winn nearly bunted the first pitch fair down the third-base line, but it trickled foul. Winn whiffed over an 0-2 breaking ball down and in. Ibañez took a 3-1 pitch in the dirt that rolled away from Rodriguez, but it was ball four anyway and Ichiro didn't go past second. Sexson grounded right to Shelton at first, who threw to Guillen covering the bag at second, but Guillen dropped the knee-high throw which he'd had a glove on (E6), and everyone was safe. Beltre mashed the first pitch over the left side for a single, scoring Ichiro.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Reed lined a 3-1 pitch right to center, where it was caught, and Ibañez sprinted in to score.
»» MARINERS 2, TIGERS 1
Bloomquist fouled off a few 1-2 pitches before rolling out to second.
Piñeiro gave it right back. Shelton bounced out to short. Ordoñez popped out to second. White tagged a full-count pitch past a diving Lopez into the hole on the right side for a single. Rodriguez whiffed on a 3-0 pitch but took the next pitch low for a walk. Young ripped a double down the leftfield line, scoring White and Rodriguez to quickly erase the Mariner lead.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Infante got ahead 2-0 and popped the next pitch high to Ichiro just past the rightfield line.
An inopportune line drive killed the threat. Lopez singled over the third baseman McDonald and into leftfield. Olivo whiffed over an outer-half slider on 0-2. Ichiro ripped a 3-1 pitch right to Infante, who tossed over to first for the easy 4-3 double play.
The Tigers played for some cushion. McDonald got the hitters' counts and took a full-count pitch high and inside. Granderson whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and in. Guillen grounded the second pitch right to Sexson, who stepped on the bag at first but didn't have time to throw to second. Shelton dumped the 1-2 pitch into rightfield in front of Ichiro for a single, scoring McDonald.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 2
Ordoñez chopped an 0-2 pitch that skipped past Lopez on a high hop into centerfield with some wicked topspin. White fouled off an 0-2 pitch and worked the count full. White popped to Lopez in shallow left. Thankfully.
A double play nixed the second straight inning. Winn took a 3-0 pitch down the pipe, then took the next pitch up and in for a walk. Ibañez grounded the first pitch for a 4-6-3 double play. Sexson popped the second pitch high to center.
The Tiger threat dissipated in fine fashion. Rodriguez looped the first pitch softly into shallow rightfield for a single. Young fouled off an 0-2 pitch and later grounded through the hole on the left side for a single, pushing Rodriguez to second. Infante bunted the first pitch along the right side, and Sexson charged, didn't have a play at second, then went to first for the out, and the runners moved to second and third.
Julio Mateo came in for Piñeiro. Mateo threw the second pitch for a pitchout to McDonald, and the Mariners had snuffed out the squeeze bunt, as McDonald didn't make contact with the pitch high and outside (it was a pitchout, after all), and Olivo ran Rodriguez toward third and the rundown was pretty short. McDonald whiffed on the 0-2 pitch, which was the next pitch.
Piñeiro's line: 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 100 pitches (63 strikes)
Hey, what's this? Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 pitch outside. Reed bounced a single up the middle. Bloomquist grounded the second pitch through the hole on the right side on a hit-and-run, moving Reed to third. Lopez fouled off an 0-2 pitch, but bounced the next pitch past a diving McDonald, and Guillen grabbed the ball but ate it since he had no play (Bloomquist took off with the pitch). Reed scored.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 3
Olivo nubbed the second pitch in front of the plate, where Rodriguez pounced on it and threw in time to third to force out Bloomquist (2-5 fielder's choice). Ichiro doubled the first pitch into the gap, where Ordoñez had the ball go past him and to the wall. Lopez scored easily, and Olivo scored easily thanks to the misplay by Ordoñez, though it went as a triple for Ichiro. Hooray, lead!
»» MARINERS 5, TIGERS 4
Winn took an 0-2 pitch near his feet, blocked by Rodriguez. Winn whiffed on a breaking ball down and in on the next pitch.
Mateo turned in his usual inning of relief. Granderson whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the inner half. Guillen nearly homered the second pitch down the rightfield line, but pulled it too far. He took a 3-1 pitch for a high and outside strike, then despite his .474 average with a homer on full counts, flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter, who barely avoided Reed, who slid behind. Shelton flew out to Ichiro in fairly deep rightfield.
The Mariners couldn't play add-on with the meat of the order. Ibañez lined out on the second pitch to second. Sexson pulled the first pitch to the hole on the left side, where Guillen threw to first in time. Beltre ripped the second pitch right to second, but for a groundout.
Absolutely terrible. Ordoñez grounded the second pitch to short. White took an 0-2 pitch in the back and took his base. Rodriguez fisted the second pitch barely over Lopez and into shallow rightfield for a single.
Ron Villone came in for Mateo, and Nook Logan pinch-ran for White at second. Young fouled off a ton of pitches, then Villone dropped down sidearmed and Young reached and golfed it out to the bullpen in leftcenter.
»» TIGERS 7, MARINERS 5
Infante grounded the second pitch hard to third. McDonald tapped the second pitch back to the mound.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
Villone's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (9 strikes)
The bats appeared to have nothing left. Reed gave a 2-0 pitch a good ride, but flew out to the track in leftfield. Bloomquist bounced the first pitch to short. Lopez popped high to leftfield.
Johnson's line: 8 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 9 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeoouts, 105 pitches (68 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Villone. Granderson checkswung on an outside 1-2 pitch but looped it into leftfield for a single. Guillen hit the 2-0 pitch over the middle for a single, and pitching coach Bryan Price came out to the mound. Shelton took a 2-1 pitch off Olivo's glove and toward the backstop, advancing the runners into scoring position (passed ball). Shelton took the 3-1 pitch high for a walk to load the bases.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Thornton. Ordoñez flew out on the second pitch into centerfield, and Granderson scored easily.
»» TIGERS 8, MARINERS 5
Logan got ahead 2-0 and later flew out to Reed in rightcenter. Guillen tagged and went from second to third. Rodriguez flew out to center on the second pitch.
Thornton's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
Hasegawa's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
Kyle Farnsworth came in for Johnson. Dave Hansen came in to hit for Olivo. He immediately whiffed on an 0-2 slider. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and ended up grounding out to second. Winn took a 3-0 pitch over the outer half followed by ball foul high and outside. Winn went to second on catcher's indifference on the 0-1 pitch to Ibañez, who fell behind 0-2. He ended up foul-tipping an outside-corner fastball into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate. Ballgame.
Farnsworth's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
Lopez rolls into the boxscore with a 2-for-3 night, scoring once, walking once, and driving in a run. His first hit led off the fourth inning, when he was doubled off first on the Ichiro lineout to second. His second hit was a nicely-placed infield single on an 0-2 pitch that kept the sixth inning alive and scored Jeremy Reed, getting the Mariners within a run. Hey, when Jose Lopez gets on base three times, I think it's news, and I hope it's a confidence builder for him. Well, the solid single to lead off the fourth is probably more of a boost than the seeing-eye infield single in the sixth, but still, the youngun's gotta start somewhere. I guess I'm letting Lopez slide for that grounder up the middle that got serious air on him and skipped over his glove. I reserve the right to do that, you know.
Goat: Julio Mateo.
I'm sticking it on the tablesetter instead of the one giving up the key hit or hits. After retiring the first five hitters he faced (which was very nice, don't get me wrong), he nailed Rondell White in the back, and with an 0-2 pitch, no less. That's a pitch that you either put someone away with, or waste and/or bury. I wish Mateo would have missed in the dirt right there instead of up and in. Still, if you're going to allow a leadoff baserunner to get on base, let it be on a single or something, but not an 0-2 beanball. That's a lot less forgivable. Ivan Rodriguez singled not long after that, and it set the table for Ron Villone and the apparent end of the game. I've given Julio Mateo a whole boatload of gameballs this year, but unfortunately he's got to falter sometime, and it's too bad this was one of those times. Not that it still didn't take Ron Villone to serve up the gopher ball. Anyway, it was too bad we had to see five good outs' worth of relief by Mateo go bad so quickly.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 72-27 .727 -- W4
2002 60-39 .606 12 L3
2003 60-39 .606 12 W1
2000 58-41 .586 14 L1
2005 43-56 .434 29 L1
2004 38-61 .384 34 L2
The starting pitchers are having some weird outings lately, and Joel Piñeiro followed suit. I guess it's a bad thing when the only clear-cut positive you can take out of the start is that he hit 93mph a couple times on the radar gun, so maybe the pop in his fastball might finally be returning soon. The good thing about Piñeiro's line is that he only gave up four runs. The bad thing(s)? Ten hits, two walks. I believe that would translate into 16 outs and 12 baserunners. Not too good. The first two innings were pretty good, and the rest were much less good.
I'd have to say that Ron Villone Dropping Down Sidearmed has been as great an idea as Mike Myers Throwing Overhanded So He Can Face Righties. Both were crappy ideas. Villone and the Mariners paid badly on the 2-2 pitch to Dmitri Young in the eighth. Villone left it low, though out over the outer half of the plate, and Young reached out (that does require arm extension) and put the barrel on it. Home run, Tigers win. Does anyone think the old Tacoma Tigers with Troy Neel, Mike Bordick, Scott Spiezio, and Todd Van Poppel could beat this Mariner team in its current state? Is there like a DiamondMind sim game that has the capability to do this? Why haven't EA or 2K Sports made a separate game or an add-on to their regular Major League games where you can run your own minor-league team? That'd be nuts. As we all know, there's got to be SOMETHING new and fantastic out there to sink GPAs on campus and in high schools across the nation.
What's worse about this is that for the most part, the bats as a whole had stepped up (I realize that's kind of a bold statement since Ibañez, Sexson, and Olivo all went hitless). How much can you really complain when the bats fight back twice and take the lead? I've talked about what killed the Mariners on the pitching side, but on offense, all that really went wrong happened in the fourth and fifth innings, where the Mariners got into double plays after having the leadoff batter reach base. Those double plays were very highly inopportune. Ichiro lined out with one out in the fourth, and Raul Ibañez' double-play ball left the bases clean with two out for Richie Sexson, whose best-case scenario would be no more than a solo shot in that at-bat.
In the trade-value watch, I guess what I'd take out of this game is that the value of Ron Villone decreased, Shigetoshi Hasegawa stock either went unchanged or slightly increased, Randy Winn increased in a day of heavy trading on the floor, and Willie Bloomquist increased as well. If only Ichiro, Sexson, and Beltre are the only true untouchables on this roster, I'm convincing myself that Willie Bloomquist's crazy-nuts streak of late has got to be catching the eye of some team out there that'd be willing to take a risk on him, and forever give me other worthwhile things to complain about when it comes to the Mariners. Yes, I do admit that there hasn't been much to be complaining about lately in the Bloomquist realm, which is unfortunate for us here as Bremertonians, but great for us as Mariner fans. That is, unless it brainwashes Bill Bavasi into giving him a four-year deal to start or something. That would be bad. It'd be passable if they did that and Bloomquist was six years younger than he is, but that's far from the case.
These first two games of the Detroit series have been weirdly entertaining to watch, and it's weird that the games have turned so quickly, something I haven't been used to with watching this team for most of the season. Not to say it'll happen for sure in the third and final game of the series, but maybe it could. It could be a 19-2 drubbing at the hands of the Tigers, but then again, it might not be. You could have the 19-2 loss to the Tigers and have Ichiro climb halfway up the foul pole to rob a home run, which is more than likely against the rules now that I think about it. Probably something about leaving the field of play.
I just realized I passed on Miguel Olivo for the goat despite his stellar like of 0-for-3 with a strikeout and leaving five runners on base, though he scored once. I guess I gave him reprieve for gunning down Carlos Guillen at second and snuffing out the squeeze play correctly, which was a nice play.
It's the rubber game of the series. Can the Mariners win their first series since...the series against the Angels before the break? That's how long it's been. July 10th. The Mariners have gone from winning six of eight after the Baltimore series to now having lost six of eight. Vive le mediocrity!
Maroth. Moyer. Tonight.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Running back Shaun Alexander will be in training camp on Friday in Cheney.
Alexander has signed a one-year, $6.32 million contract, so he will be with the Seahawks for at least the 2005 season. This is not the tender, in case you were wondering. However, this is a guaranteed deal. There is a clause in the contract that prohibits the Seahawks from trading Alexander without prior approval. In addition, the Seahawks cannot place the franchise tag on Alexander.
The Seahawks and Alexander can now talk about a long-term deal, which I think will get done. When will it get done? Your guess is as good as mine. But I do trust Shaun when he says he wants to stay in Seattle.
Now I can truly say this has been a great offseason for the Seahawks. Don't let the national media fool you, folks. This really has been a great offseason for the Seahawks. I can go through the big free agent signings (Jamie Sharper, Andre Dyson, Kelly Herndon, Bryce Fisher, Joe Jurevicius, Jerome Pathon, etc.). But in reality, the success of the Seahawks offseason can be summed up like this:
The big three pieces of the Seahawks offense are back for the 2005 season.
Matt Hasselbeck. Walter Jones. Shaun Alexander.
Training camp starts Friday. Yes, Shaun will be there!
(The Pump is below this post, for obvious reasons.)