Saturday, August 06, 2005
In 25 words or less: Being able to hang with a team having the best record in baseball doesn't mean that you win. That's why they have that record.
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Mark Buehrle. Jamie Moyer returned after missing a start due to a stiff back. The Mariners were hoping to go for a series win, having won the first game in three of the last four series, and having won only one of those series. Ichiro was looking to snap an 0-for-22 slump, and since a lefty (at least he's tough) was on the mound, Jeremy Reed grabbed pine again. Willie Bloomquist got the start in centerfield, and he has Jarrod Washburn Syndrome against Mark Buehrle as well, or at least that was the case in this game.
Runners, but nothing else. Ichiro grounded a 2-2 pitch off of Buehrle's glove, and it rolled toward shortstop Juan Uribe, who couldn't come up with it and booted it away. Ichiro stood on first with what was credited as a single, snapping his 0-for-22 funk. Willi Bloomquist laced the first pitch into rightfield for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez nubbed an 0-2 pitch toward short, and Uribe only had the play at first. Ichiro and Bloomquist moved to third and second. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-0 and fouled off a full count pitch before taking a pitch at the knees over the outside corner for a strikeout (nice pitch). Adrian Beltre hit a low liner to centerfield.
This wasn't good. Scott Podsednik broke his bat on a grounder toward third, and Beltre muffed it, his first error in a very long time. Tadahito Iguchi grounded back to the mound, moving Podsednik (who took off with the pitch) to second. Podsednik stole third on the first pitch to Aaron Rowand, who blooped the next pitch into shallow centerfield for a single, easily scoring Podsednik.
»» WHITE SOX 1, MARINERS 0
Paul Konerko bashed a 1-2 pitch about eight rows into the seats in leftfield.
»» WHITE SOX 3, MARINERS 0
AJ Pierzynski fouled the 2-0 pitch off a guywire on the screen behind the plate, probably robbing the Mariners of an out since Yorvit Torrealba may have had a play. Pierzynski nubbed the ball toward first, where Sexson underhanded to a covering Moyer. Joe Crede popped high to Yuniesky Betancourt in shallow centerfield.
This one was quick. Mike Morse rolled out to short. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a low liner to rightfield on the second pitch for a flyout. Chris Snelling broke his bat on a groundout to third.
The only trouble was quickly erased. Timo Perez popped out high to third on the first pitch. Geoff Blum fell behind 0-2 and reached on a 2-2 pitch and flew out to Bloomquist in leftcenter. Juan Uribe got the hitters' counts and walked on a low 3-1 pitch. Uribe was picked off before Podsednik saw a pitch in his at-bat.
Some events, but nothing too spectacular. Yorvit Torrealba nearly doubled down the leftfield line on the first pitch, but it was barely foul. He reached for a pitch and flew out lazily to centerfield. Ichiro nubbed back to the mound. Bloomquist poked a single into leftfield, and he stole second on the 1-2 pitch to Ibañez, a pitch in the dirt that Pierzynski couldn't handle. Ibañez flew out to leftfield.
Moyer looked to be settling down. Podsednik grounded the second pitch back to the mound. Iguchi grounded out gently to third. Rowand worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a change.
Again, too quick. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Beltre flew out high to rightfield on a full count. Morse broke his bat on a low pop to first.
Moyer may have found a groove. Konerko hit a low liner to Ichiro in rightfield. Pierzynski whiffed badly on a 2-2 pitch low and outside. Crede popped the second pitch to Sexson on the infield grass.
Buehrle was getting by too easily. Betancourt rolled out to third. Snelling got behind 0-2 before chopping out to second. Torrealba tapped the first pitch right to the mound.
Moyer was officially in a groove. Perez bounced back to the mound. Blum foul-tipped a full-count pitch into Torrealba's glove for a strikeout. Uribe fouled off a full-count pitch before whiffing on a change over the outside corner.
It's something. Ichiro looped the first pitch near the rightfield line for a single. Bloomquist poked a pitch near the leftfield line and toward the corner for a double, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez grounded out to second, but Ichiro scored.
»» WHITE SOX 3, MARINERS 1
Sexson took a 1-2 pitch barely outside before absolutely smoking a ball to Buehrle, taking off his glove, but he recovered to pick up the ball and throw in time to first. Beltre got behind 0-2 and eventually took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner.
Groove theory. Podsednik grounded out to second. Iguchi flew out high to Snelling down the leftfield line near the corner. Rowand took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner.
Runners, but equal frustration. Morse bounced out to third. Betancourt popped the second pitch high to centerfield. Snelling tapped the next pitch down the third-base line and Blum dove to stop the ball, but didn't have a play afterward as Snelling came away with the single. Torrealba fisted the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Ichiro bounced out to second.
Buehrle's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 105 pitches (69 strikes)
This inning turned on a dime. Konerko got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch low and inside. Pierzynski nubbed along the third-base line, and Beltre charged and threw to first in time to Sexson, but first-base umpire CB Bucknor ruled that Sexson was off the bag, though it appeared to be on the side of it. Sexson was miffed. Crede looped an 0-2 pitch into leftfield, but Snelling dove forward and made the catch, then threw to second to easily double off Konerko at second. Perez lined the first pitch right to Sexson at first.
Cliff Politte came in for Buehrle. Bloomquist foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into the catcher's glove for a strikeout. Ibañez took a highish 0-2 pitch for a strikeout. Sexson got fouled off a 2-0 pitch and later roped a full-count liner that Rowand tried to reach down to catch, but it got under and behind him, enabling Sexson to get a double out of it. Beltre stung a 2-0 pitch down the leftfield line for a double, easily scoring Sexson.
»» WHITE SOX 3, MARINERS 2
Morse grounded the second pitch right to short.
Politte's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (11 strikes)
This sealed the victory for Chicago. Blum grounded the first pitch to second. Uribe rolled a 2-0 pitch to second. Podsednik took a 3-1 pitch high for a walk, and he took second easily on the 1-2 pitch to Iguchi. Iguchi worked the count full and poked a single into leftfield, easily scoring Podsednik, who took off with the pitch.
»» WHITE SOX 4, MARINERS 2
Jeff Nelson came in for Moyer. Iguchi easily stole second on the 1-1 pitch to Rowand. Rowand whiffed on a 2-2 slider outside.
Moyer's line: 7 2/3 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 108 pitches (62 strikes)
Nelson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (3 strikes)
Dustin Hermanson came in to close it out. Jeremy Reed came in to hit for Betancourt. Reed grounded a ball up the middle, and Iguchi made the tough backhand play to get Reed at first. Snelling lined out to first on a 3-1 pitch. Dave Hansen came in to hit for Torrealba. Hansen took a four-pitch walk. Ichiro took an 0-2 pitch that went off of Pierzynski and got away from him, and Pierzynski had trouble finding it. Hansen advanced, took a wide turn at second, then scurried back to second instead of trying to take the extra base. Ichiro grounded the 2-2 pitch to second. Ballgame.
Hermanson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
He tagged a ball off of Mark Buehrle, Juan Uribe couldn't make a play on it, and Ichiro get credited for the single to lead off the game, snapping his hitless streak that stretched across 22 at-bats and six games (five full games). The hits today were his first in the month of August, with this being the fifth game of the month for the Mariners. Oddly, before the stretch of futility, Ichiro had a five-game stretch where he went 11-for-22. Anyway, I remarked after Friday's game (late) that the offense is better served when Ichiro sets the table for everyone involved. Of course, not too many other Mariner hitters got anything done against Mark Buehrle, which in a way isn't too surprising. Anyway, Ichiro had a 2-for-5 day and scored a run. His batting average now sits at .302. If I hear that he read the Sports and Bremertonians game piece earlier today for the first game of the series and subsequently was seen cutting up and/or burning his remaining "I Know The Boone" tee-shirts, I'd crap my pants because Ichiro came to the website, then I'd laugh hysterically because he followed the advice and it worked. Of course, I'm sure absolutely none of that happened. Moving on...
Goat: Raul Ibañez.
The big horses of the Mariner offense weren't producing in this game. Though Dave Valle praised Raul Ibañez in the first for moving Ichiro and Bloomquist to third and second with a groundout in the first inning, you definitely want more than that. I'm not just being greedy here. If you have two runners on base with nobody out and you want to move them over, that's great if you get that and the #8 or #9 hitter in the lineup is at the plate. I don't care if it's the first inning against Mark Buehrle, I'm not satisfied with a grounder to advance two runners with my #3 hitter in the lineup at the plate. This guy's supposed to be driving in runs, and I need at least a ball hit hard or hit to the outfield in that situation to feel good about myself. In the sixth, he had the same two runners on base, but they were already in scoring position with nobody out. He got an RBI in that situation, yes, but it was on a groundout. If he plates both in that situation, the game gets a lot more fun, and the Mariners may end up tying the game at some point.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 79-30 .725 -- W3
2002 67-42 .615 12 W4
2003 66-43 .606 13 L1
2000 63-46 .578 16 W1
2005 47-62 .431 32 L1
2004 40-69 .367 39 L1
The Mariners have been seven wins better than the 2004 team for five games. They have mirrored the win-loss pattern of the 2004 team for the last four games. The 2004 team isn't involved in the next statistic: the Mariners haven't won consecutive games since the last game of the Baltimore series in Seattle (July 17th). That's 18 games and nearly three weeks without a winning streak, kids. The longest such non-winning streak streak for the 2004 Mariners went for a period of 22 games (late June to just past the All-Star break). Of course, the thing about the Mariners lately has been that their record over this span is 6-12. The 2004 Mariners were 4-18 in their span of ick, which included losing streaks of four, two, one, nine, and two. As bad as this current span of games is, the Mariners haven't had a losing streak of longer than three. Of course, the problem is an abundance of onesies and twosies. So, would you rather have bait-and-switch with a bunch of scattered single wins, or would you rather just mope over some long losing streaks? I guess that's what it's been avout recently.
In today's game, no Mariner hitter not named Ichiro or Willie Bloomquist had a hit until Chris Snelling's two-out infield single in the seventh. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre got the back-to-back doubles in the eighth, which brought the Mariners to within one run, but it turns out those two hits were the first hits for both hitters in the game. Snelling and Yorvit Torrealba recorded the only non-Ichiro/non-Bloomquist hits off of Mark Buehrle, and those came with two outs in the seventh, Buehrle's final inning. As for legitimate scoring chances, refer back to the Goat paragraph, because Raul Ibañez had probably the two best chances in the game to really do some damage, but he couldn't quite do the job either time. When your team is facing a pitcher like Mark Buehrle, you have to take advantage of situations like that. I know hitters can't come through every time (or half the time, who bats over .500?), but it just so happens that Ibañez didn't come up roses today.
Chris Snelling had an impact on the last couple innings. He had the infield single in the seventh. He made the nice diving catch in the bottom half of the inning that turned into a double play (more on the seventh inning shortly). In the ninth, he smoked a ball right into Konerko's glove at first. If that gets through, the Mariners get the tying run to the plate in the form of pinch-hitter extraordinaire Dave Hansen (though I haven't seen the "extraordinaire" part too many times in Seattle). Since that ball probably would have gone for a double, Ichiro probably gets to the plate with Snelling in scoring position. If Hansen gets aboard along with Snelling...stuff could have gone nuts.
That bottom of the seventh inning was really something. It turned so quickly it was incredible. Jamie Moyer appeared to be losing it, walking Paul Konerko on five pitches. Then Pierzynski hit the ball along the third-base line, and we've seen Adrian Beltre scoop up that ball with the bare hand and throw a bunch of runners out this year, and it looked like he had Pierzynski at first, though the first-base umpire thought Sexson's foot was off, which I don't think was the case. The point is, the walk was bad enough, but the questionable call made it worse, and this was with the score 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh and nobody out. Then came the Snelling diving catch off of Joe Crede which turned into a double play followed by the Timo Perez laser into Sexson's glove on the first pitch. One minute, it was like, "oh crap, here we go again," and thirty seconds later, it was like, "huh? Did that just happen? How did Chicago not score in that inning? What am I watching?"
There are only two bad things about Jamie Moyer's outing. One was the longball, this time hit by Paul Konerko in the first that put Chicago in the catbird seat with a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The other thing was the three walks. Juan Uribe drew a two-out walk in the second, since that was during Moyer's span of dominance in the game. After the Konerko blast, Moyer set down 16 of 17 hitters, and Uribe was the one that didn't make an out. Konerko led off the seventh with the walk, and that was a badly-timed walk, though Snelling and a lineout to Sexson saved that inning. The walk that did in Moyer was the two-out walk to Scott Podsednik in the eighth, since he stole second and then scored the dagger run to basically end the game. When Chicago scored that run, it was over because the bottom third of the Mariner lineup was coming to the plate. Let's face it, since the Mariners have been carrying twelve pitchers all year, it's not like there's much of a bench anyway.
But hey, put on your happy faaaace! The Mariners still have a chance to come away with a series win against the team with the best record in baseball. Also, tomorrow you'll get to see the first Major League start for Jeff Harris. It wouldn't matter if he got the crap pounded out of him in this game, it's a victory for him already to make it to this level. Those five shutout innings after Jorge Campillo's injury kind of helped too.
Harris. Garland. Tomorrow.
Jamie Moyer (9-3, 4.33 ERA) vs Mark Buehrle (12-4, 2.86 ERA)
Back on April 16, Mark Buehrle was able to beat the Mariners in just an hour and 39 minutes. Somehow, I don't think tonight's game will be as short as the one on April 16. Buehrle works fast, however, so there's a chance tonight's game won't last more than 2 hours and 5 minutes. That's a good thing, if MLB.TV users are stuck with Hawk and DJ once again tonight.
On that note, Heave The Hawk!
In 25 words or less: It's fair to say that a game like this wasn't expected. The unexpected outcome from a pitching duel in a hitters' park. I'll be damned.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Freddy Garcia. Two years ago, I was hoping I'd never have to say something like that. Alas, here we are. The two pitchers aren't heading in completely opposite directions, but the one that's still in Seattle appears to be on a downward spiral. So, it isn't just the track of the two pitchers that seemed stacked against the Mariners, it was the fact that the third-worst team in the American League was going up against the team with the best record in baseball. Chances for a team that was 22-32 on the road going up against a team that was 34-21 at home didn't seem all that great. Of course, they still have to play the games, and this one was played to completion and everything.
The usual first. Ichiro rolled out to second, making him 0-for-19. Willie Bloomquist grounded out to third. Raul Ibañez sliced a ball to leftfield, which was caught on the run by Scott Podsednik.
One costly pitch. Scott Podsednik got ahead 3-0 and eventually popped a full-count pitch high to Bloomquist behind the mound. Tadahito Iguchi got ahead 2-0 and fouled off a few pitches with a full count before whiffing on a pitch down and in. Aaron Rowand clubbed a 91-mph meatball that was left over the plate and went well over the leftfield wall by about six rows of seats.
»» WHITE SOX 1, MARINERS 0
Paul Konerko flew out high to leftfield on an 0-2 pitch.
They at least got it back. Richie Sexson golfed an inside pitch just inside the leftfield foul pole and over the leftfield wall.
»» WHITE SOX 1, MARINERS 1
Adrian Beltre took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Jeremy Reed dinked a single into rightfield. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the second pitch to Joe Crede near the plate. Reed took off for second on the first pitch to Chris Snelling, but he was gunned down via an AJ Pierzynski throw.
Joel regained control after losing it a bit. AJ Pierzynski got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 curve. Jermaine Dye took a four-pitch walk. Joe Crede flew out high to Chris Snelling short of the track in leftfield. Geoff Blum got behind 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 pitch along the first-base line, where Piñeiro picked it up and ran it to the bag.
Absolutely nothing here. Snelling flew out high to the track in rightfield on a full count. Yorvit Torrealba fouled off a couple of 0-2 pitches and eventually reached for a 1-2 pitch, grounding it out to short. Ichiro bounced a 2-2 pitch to second.
Piñeiro held the fort. Juan Uribe tapped the second pitch back to the mound. Podsednik got behind 0-2 and later laced a 1-2 pitch down the rightfield line and toward the corner for a double. Iguchi got the hitters' counts and took a 3-1 breaking ball to the helmet, and came away laughing as the trainer attended to him. Rowand tapped back to the mound, where Piñeiro started the 1-6-3 double play.
Hey, it's a lead! Bloomquist dumped a single into rightcenter. Ibañez got ahead 3-0, Bloomquist was naerly picked off, and Ibañez took a 3-1 pitch high and outside. Sexson whiffed on an 0-2 curve low and away. Beltre took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt, and the runners took off on the pitch, ending up on third (Bloomquist) and second (Ibañez). Beltre reached to poke the next pitch (offspeed) into rightfield, plating Bloomquist and moving Ibañez to third.
»» MARINERS 2, WHITE SOX 1
Reed took a 1-2 breaking ball barely inside, but then took the next pitch, a fastball, off the outside corner, but the umpire called it a strike anyway. Betancourt flew out to the track in centerfield on the second pitch.
Not as good this time. Konerko worked an 0-2 count full and flew out high to leftcenter. AJ Pierzynski popped the second pitch about six rows into the seats in leftcenter.
»» WHITE SOX 2, MARINERS 2
Dye got under the second pitch, flying out to leftfield. Joe Crede got ahead 2-0 and grounded the 2-2 pitch into the hole on the right side, where Bloomquist threw at Piñeiro's feet at first. Blum got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch outside.
Ho hum. Snelling whiffed on a low 0-2 pitch. Torrealba got behind 0-2 and later reached on a 1-2 pitch, tapping to the mound. Ichiro walked on four pitches. Bloomquist grounded into a 4-6 fielder's choice.
Uribe worked an 0-2 count full, fouled off a pitch, then bounced out to short. Podsednik chopped a 1-2 pitch to a charging Bloomquist on the right side, who threw in time to first. Iguchi looped an 0-2 pitch just over Betancourt and into leftfield for a single. Rowand grounded to Beltre behind the bag at third.
The Mariners retook the lead. Ibañez rolled a 2-2 pitch past Garcia and up the middle for a base hit. Sexson smoked a 2-2 pitch down the leftfield line, scoring Ibañez thanks to an offline throw. The ball got away behind home plate, and Sexson tried to take third, but Garcia backed up the play and Sexson was out by about ten feet.
»» MARINERS 3, WHITE SOX 2
Beltre chopped out to second. Reed poked a 2-0 pitch back to the mound.
This one didn't get out of hand. Konerko roped a single into leftfield. Pierzynski tapped the second pitch to the mound for another 1-6-3 double play by the Seattle infield. Dye took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner.
The Mariners widened the lead. Betancourt walked on four pitches. Snelling got ahead 2-0 and later poked a pitch into rightfield between Dye and the line for a double, but Betancourt didn't pick up the ball and/or the third-base coach right away, so he didn't score on the play. Instead, he moved only to third. Torrealba grounded the first pitch to short, but Uribe didn't have a chance at the plate, electing to get the out at first instead. Betancourt scored, and Snelling moved to second.
»» MARINERS 4, WHITE SOX 2
Ichiro flew out to Dye on the track in rightfield on a 2-0 pitch, and Snelling tagged and moved to third. Bloomquist chopped the first pitch to short.
Garcia's line: 7 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 110 pitches (62 strikes)
The relief corps helped out Piñeiro. Crede flew out very high to Betancourt on the outfield grass. Blum blooped a single into rightcenter, bringing pitching coach Bryan Price out to the mound. Uribe laced the first pitch up the middle for a single.
George Sherrill came in for Piñeiro. Podsednik failed to check a high swing on a 2-2 pitch.
Jeff Nelson came in for Sherrill. Iguchi lined out right to Sexson along the first-base line.
Piñeiro's line: 6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 104 pitches (67 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (3 strikes)
Nelson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (2 strikes)
Bobby Jenks came in for Garcia. Ibañez slapped a 1-2 pitch to short for a groundout. Sexson took a 1-2 fastball low over the outside corner for a strikeout. Beltre bounced out to short.
JJ Putz came in for Nelson. Rowand grounded the first pitch out to second. Konerko fisted a grounder to the right side, and Sexson underhanded to a covering Putz. Pierzynski hit a checkswing nubber to third for a groundout on the first pitch.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeout, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
Reed took an 0-2 pitch over the outside corner but maybe a bit low for strike three (he took umbrage with the plate umpire). Betancourt was nearly hit with the 0-2 pitch but later whiffed on a 1-2 dirtball. Snelling popped out to Crede along the leftfield line.
Jenks' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 25 pitches (19 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in to shut the door. Dye fouled off a couple of 0-2 pitches before chopping out to third. Crede popped a 1-2 pitch into shallow leftfield, where Betancourt went back to make the catch. Pablo Ozuna hit for Blum. Ozuna whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: JJ Putz.
Putz often comes out in the entry directly below this, but he more than came through in this game thanks to a 1-2-3 eighth inning. That inning came against the third, fourth, and fifth hitters in the Chicago lineup as well, so no slouches there. I sometimes forget that the White Sox amazingly do have the best record in baseball as well, further putting some light on the importance of what Putz did in this game. Did it help that two of three hitters he faced swung at the first pitch? Sure it did. Did he give up any untimely homers? No. He didn't even give up any untimely walks or hits. Just three up and three down for JJ Putz, who was holding a two-run lead in the eighth inning of a game against the meat of the order of the best team in baseball. That's no small feat. Of course, every team he has an outing like this, I just hope he gets some confidence from it and takes that into subsequent outings and dominates for the rest of his career as a Mariner. The odds of it all happening might be a total crapshoot, but sometimes all we have is hope.
He'll be here until he gets a hit. He came into the game 0-for-19 going back to his final out in the middle game of the Cleveland series. He took a four-pitch walk in this game, but remained hitless, leaving him in an 0-for-22 chasm. I have to suggest that if Ichiro has one of those "I Know The Boone" tee-shirts still lying around from spring training, he should burn them immediately. It's bad luck. If Boone got sloppy with his hair highlighter when he was still in Seattle and splattered some of it on Ichiro's bag, bat(s), and/or locker, he should have those things discarded immediately. The Mariners need to clear all leftover things Boone in order to get Ichiro hitting again. The Mariners have won a couple of games without Ichiro doing anything, but it's just conventional wisdom that they're better when he's getting at least one hit a game and then raising hell on the basepaths. An 0-for-23 slump is one that is more than sizable. On the positive, it's everything you could possibly want in a slump. That doesn't mean it doesn't suck.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 78-30 .722 -- W2
2002 66-42 .611 12 W3
2003 66-42 .611 12 W3
2000 62-46 .574 16 L2
2005 47-61 .435 31 W1
2004 40-68 .370 38 W1
The posted MLB.tv feed for this game was what was broadcasted over Comcast SportsNet in Chicago. This means I had to subject myself to Ken Harrelson and Darrin Jackson for two hours and 37 minutes. A span of 2:37 is pretty short for a ballgame these days, but when you have Hawk and DJ over it, it's akin to knocking back some castor oil as an after-dinner drink. I knew about the "he gone" and everything, but I didn't know about the extraneous use of "we" by the duo as well as things like "come on, Jermaine, we need a hit here." It's absolutely intolerable. Couple all of this with the fact that it was Elvis day at the ballyard in Chicago. The opening montage rolled, and the camera showed Hawk and DJ in Elvis wigs and glasses. Brutal. They read off multiple emails during the broadcasts, which isn't too bad an idea, but also tells me that the broadcasters aren't good enough to fill more time during the telecast. Anyway, one of them asked them about the wackiest promotion ideas they'd seen. Hawk told some story about riding Charlie O. Finley's mule around Yankee Stadium. He fell off the mule and shallowed his chaw, then threw up afterward. Anyway, I'm hoping for any other feed on MLB.tv today. Of course, since it's a 4:05p start from Seattle, I don't think I have to deal with a Fox network blackout, so that's cool at least. But if I don't get the FSNNW feed today, I might throw something.
The only worthwhile thing I took out of the Comcast SportsNet broadcast was that the Mariners now have a record of 37-1 when leading after seven innings, good for second-best in the Majors, trailing only the Yankees (who else?). This showed up in its best form in this game, with the flawless and hitless final 2 2/3 innings out of the quarter of George Sherrill, Jeff Nelson, JJ Putz, and Eddie Guardado. It doesn't happen every day, sure, but it's good to know that if the Mariners take a lead into the eighth, they're doing okay in the eighth with whoever they want to trot out there, and we know Guardado is nuts, here converting his 25th straight save opprtunity, and 26 of 27 overall. What made this even better is that they were able to do this in a game where Ichiro did barely anything offensively, and Joel Piñeiro had the kind of start that's been more of the exception to the rule this year.
Yes, Piñeiro did pretty well and failed to implode. The way I ended the last game post, I said the pitching matchup was horribly lopsided in Freddy Garcia's favor. That was before I knew about Garcia's home record, but it was still tilted toward Freddy. Mechanically, though, Piñeiro looked a bit different when winding up. He didn't get into any huge jams, and faced more than four hitters in an inning only once, and that was in the fourth, the inning that included the AJ Pierzynski solo shot. Piñeiro also got the benefit of two ground balls right back to him that he was able to turn into double plays. In an interesting note, none of the Chicago hitters had a multi-hit game. What's more, Piñeiro only walked one batter in the game, which is way less than what we've grown accustomed to over the last few months. Yes, this start is good for Piñeiro's second win in his last 17 starts. He's got to start somewhere, I guess.
Richie Sexson had the only multi-hit game in the Mariner lineup by virtue of his solo shot in the second inning and his RBI double down the leftfield line in the sixth to offset his two strikeouts. Richie is now hitting .269 with 27 homers and 84 RBIs. The double was his 24th of the season. Sexson is slugging at a .551 clip. He is also tall. He also gives us a damper to some high throws from Mike Morse at short, turning some of them into outs, but also lets us know just how high Morse is throwing the ball when it ends up going over him. By the way, a Morse error is the type of thing that would kill a game like this. If Morse's defense was a little bit better, I'd consider taking him over Betancourt, who has looked pretty freakin' awesome in the field at short in his short time there. Back to hitting, the hitless games belonged to Ichiro, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Yorvit Torrealba. Those three weren't completely inept; Ichiro walked, Betancourt walked once and scored, and Torrealba came through with an RBI groundout.
Once again, I'm left asking...can the Mariners pull off a series win in the middle game of the series?
I know this one's late, but hey, I was out having a life last night. Just a note to anyone that comes out here, if you reserve a table at Duke's (bottom of the Outrigger) on a Friday night for a party of seven, you'll be guaranteed a table with four chairs, but you have to be sly to get the other three chairs, i.e., looking for the black book with the check in it on other tables to signify that the patrons have left, then taking the chairs from the table. I guess I'm trying to say they don't have enough chairs. Also, since that's Waikiki on a Friday night, it can get pretty crowded.
Moyer. Buehrle. Today.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Joel Pineiro (3-7, 6.06 ERA) vs Freddy Garcia (11-4, 3.76 ERA)
Which one of these pitchers would you rather have right now, Mariner fans?
Well, at least the Mariners got Jeremy Reed in return for Garcia. What would the Mariners receive for Pineiro in a trade? Vance Wilson? After all, the Mariners are destined to acquire every backup catcher known to man.
Felix Hernandez isn't scheduled to pitch until next week in Seattle, so if you want to just skip this weekend's White Sox series, you're more than welcome to do so. Nobody will blame you at this point. Besides, it's the weekend. Spend some time with your family and friends. Play Connect Four. Sing like Bruce Dickinson. Do something.
Of course, if you want to subject yourself to the 2005 Mariners, we'll be here to enjoy the ride. Well, I'm not sure about the "enjoy" part, but I digress.
By the way, does anybody read Baseball Weekly, I mean, Sports Weekly, anymore?
Why, yes there is!
The 2005 Pro Football Prospectus was written by Aaron Schatz and the staff of FootballOutsiders.com. Last November, FootballOutsiders.com and Baseball Prospectus entered a partnership. BP writer Will Carroll is featured in the PFP as he tackles the issue of the five football injuries you meet in hell.
What is the Pro Football Prospectus all about? Well, let the guys from FootballOutsiders.com explain...
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 fans 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.
I haven't used statistical analysis very often here at Sports And Bremertonians. For some reason, I've never been able to get into statistical analysis in baseball. When it comes to football, however, that's a different story. This season, I'd like to use statistical analysis in my Seahawks/football coverage. No, I'm not crossing over to the dark side, heh.
Statistical analysis is a nice tool to have, but it isn't the only tool. In football, it's obvious that you can't just use statistical analysis, because football is such a complex game. But again, it's a really nice tool to have, especially in some situations.
Example: Schedule strength.
PFP argued the schedule strength between quarterbacks Carson Palmer (Cincinnati) and Byron Leftwich (Jacksonville). Palmer plays in the AFC North while Leftwich is in the AFC South. Which division is tougher? I'd say the AFC North by a longshot, even though Indianapolis is in the South.
"In the NFL, where each team plays only 13 of the other 31 teams, ignoring the impact of schedule when evaluating individual performance would seem foolhardy at best." --- Ned Macey, Pro Football Prospectus
What does the PFP have to say about the Seattle Seahawks?
This was the opening sentence of the 2005 Seahawks preview in the PFP:
"Is it possible for a team to win the division title and be considered a failure? If any team has ever earned this dubious distinction, it is the 2004 Seattle Seahawks." --- Michael David Smith, Pro Football Prospectus
It's hard for me to argue with that point of view. When you lose three times to your divisional rival, an 8-8 team at that, that's a hard pill to swallow.
Smith isn't too high on tight end Jerramy Stevens. He even went as far to say that the 2002 selection of Stevens was a good example of why Mike Holmgren failed as general manager. The 2002 draft was bad for the Seahawks, but the 1999 draft was even worse. It was "terrible", in the words of Smith. Antonio Cochran (4th round) is the only remaining player from the 1999 draft class. Let's just say that Holmgren The Coach is better than Holmgren The GM.
Trent Dilfer was traded to Cleveland, a thought that didn't sit well with Smith. What Smith and other folks have to understand about the Dilfer deal is that once a starting quarterback job opened up, the Seahawks were going to do everything in their power to find Dilfer a new home. It's not fair for a guy like Dilfer to backup Matt Hasselbeck for the rest of his career. Dilfer deserves to start in the NFL again. He'll get that chance this season with the Browns. Best of luck to Trent. I just hope the Browns offensive line can keep him healthy, considering that they have to play both Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice this season.
It's not all doom and gloom for the Seahawks, however. On the cover of the PFP, Matt Hasselbeck is "ready for a rebound". Kelly Herndon was praised for his play in Denver last season. And the PFP believes that the Seahawks will win the NFC West. Wow, a preseason football publication not picking Arizona to win the division? Shocking!
As much as I enjoyed reading the Pro Football Prospectus, there were a few errors that should have been avoided.
---Chike Okeafor is a defensive end, not a linebacker
---Anthony Simmons is no longer with the Seahawks (Simmons was released in March)
---The Tennessee Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 3 times in 1999, not 2000
---Darrell Jackson went to Florida, not Florida State
Errors aside, this is a fun book to read. It's the book that football fans like myself have wanted to read for some time. As much as I love baseball, football is my favorite sport. The Pro Football Prospectus is full of great humor and interesting stats. I'll try to figure out what DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average) means by the time the Seahawks open up their 2005 season in Jacksonville September 11.
The 2005 Pro Football Prospectus is at Amazon.com for just $12.89. If you want free shipping, you just need to order at least $25 in merchandise. You're more than welcome to use my shopping plan, which included the PFP, the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book ($11.53), and the NFL Films CD The Power And The Glory ($10.99). These three items came out to a total of $35.41. Amazon.com is a godsend.
In my opinion, the Pro Football Prospectus is worth the $12.89 just based on the hysterical ramblings on why the Jets were stupid to take Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent in the 2nd round.
"Every time Jason Taylor or Willie McGinest blows by Adrian Jones or Marko Cavka to drop (Chad) Pennington and knock the Jets into deep field goal range, at least Jets fans can feel assured that Mike Nugent will absolutely, positively never miss from 55-plus yards. I mean, the guy was a second-round draft pick, for crying out loud."
So what are you waiting for? Click here. And follow my shopping plan.
In 25 words or less: It was a day for a certain starting pitcher making his debut. It certainly wasn't a day for Mariner hitters.
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Sean Douglass. The Mariners were hoping to get a series win with a win of this game featuring none other than Felix Hernandez, all of 19 years of age. This of course is all part of a plan to make everyone out there feel freakin' old.
Though it's a totally unrelated exercise here, I have to throw this one in here...rank the following from worst to best, though they're all going to be bad:
-- Rocky V
-- Bill Bavasi expecting that Scott Spiezio could start more games in the 2004 season at third base despite never having played that many games combined at that position in his career
-- Quite Frankly hosted by Stephen A. Smith
Have you ever had so much fun ranking different types of crap?
Oh yeah, the game.
Nothing to see here. Ichiro popped the second pitch foul to Brandon Inge in foul ground on the left side. Willie Bloomquist lined a ball off of Douglass' glove. Douglass knocked it down and threw in time to first. Raul Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 high fastball.
Big jam, but little damage. Placido Polanco grounded a ball under Hernandez' glove and into centerfield for a single. Carlos Guillen got the hitters' counts and walked on a full-count dirtball outside. Chris Shelton walked on a full-count pitch barely outside, loading the bases. Magglio Ordoñez smacked a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Polanco, sending Shelton to second, and bringing pitching coach Bryan Price to the mound.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Dmitri Young grounded the second pitch to first, where Sexson threw home to start a nicely turned 3-2-3 double play. Ivan Rodriguez couldn't hold an 0-2 checkswing, and went away with the whiff.
A runner, but only with two out. Richie Sexson fisted a fly ball to shallow centerfield for a flyout. Adrian Beltre grounded an 0-2 pitch to short. Jeremy Reed hit a fly to deep centerfield which Nook Logan had to go back to get, and Reed scooted into second for the double. Mike Morse lined the second pitch just foul down the leftfield line before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch.
This is more like it. Craig Monroe chopped a 2-0 pitch to the left side, where Beltre charged and threw barehanded to first, where Sexson picked it off the dirt in time. Brandon Inge grounded out to third on a full count thanks to a spinning play by Beltre. Nook Logan took an 0-2 fastball at the knees and over the outside corner.
Again, a runner, but no more. Scott Spiezio took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Wiki Gonzalez grounded a ball past Inge at third and down the leftfield line for a double, just barely beating the throw (i.e., coasting) to second. Ichiro whiffed on an 0-2 outside pitch. Bloomquist rolled the 2-0 pitch to short for a groundout.
A mistake lets a run across. Polanco took a 1-2 pitch on or near the right forearm. Polanco took off for second on a 1-0 pitch to Guillen, and the throw by Gonzalez nearly got him. Guillen got ahead 2-0 and later grounded out to short, with Polanco holding at second. Shelton grounded a 1-2 pitch toward first, where Sexson underhanded to Hernandez at the bag. Ordoñez took the first pitch, and it went off Gonzalez' glove behind the plate and got away, allowing Polanco to score.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Ordoñez got the hitters' counts, took a strike, fouled off a couple pitches, then whiffed on a full-count slider off the plate outside.
Ho hum. Ibañez took a 3-1 pitch low for a walk. Sexson grounded the second pitch deep into the hole at short, and Guillen ranged over to turn a nice 6-4-3 double play. Beltre got behind 0-2 and later nubbed a 2-2 groundout on the right side to Shelton, who tossed to a covering Douglass.
Much much better than the first. Young stung a ball down the rightfield line and off the portion of the stands that jut out, allowing Ichiro to come forward for the ball and hold Young to a single. Rodriguez grounded a 1-2 pitch to third, where Beltre went to second to try to turn the double play, but the ball wasn't hit hard enough. Young was out at second though. Monroe grounded out in a hit-and-run to Bloomquist in the hole at second. Inge chopped out to short.
A whole lotta nothing. Reed flew out to leftfield on the first pitch. Morse grounded hard to the backhand of Polanco at second, who threw him out. Spiezio fouled off a couple of 2-2 pitches before grounding to Guillen in the hole at short on a nice play.
Hernandez approached his pitch count nicely. Logan tried bunting his way aboard, but it went too fast and right to Sexson, who slightly impeded Logan's path for the out. Polanco got behind 2-0 and grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Guillen whiffed on a low 2-2 pitch.
Hernandez' line: 5 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 81 pitches (49 strikes)
Sigh... Gonzalez popped high to shallow centerfield on the first pitch. Ichiro sliced a high fly to leftfield for a flyout. Bloomquist got behind 0-2 and later flew out high to centerfield.
Julio Mateo came in for Hernandez. Shelton worked a 2-2 count for a walk. Ordoñez got behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Young flew out to centerfield. Rodriguez whiffed on an 0-2 pitch inside.
They cut it in half at least. Ibañez got ahead 3-1, fouled off a couple pitches, then grabbed hold of a pitch and deposited it over the leftfield fence for a solo shot.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Sexson chopped out to third on the first pitch. Beltre chopped a ball over Douglass on the mound, but Polanco charged in and threw in time to first. Reed looped a flyout into leftcenter.
Not much trouble here. Monroe popped the first pitch to Sexson in foul territory. Inge knocked off Mateo's cap with a line drive up the middle for a single. Logan grounded the first pitch to second for a 4-6 fielder's choice to force out Inge. Mateo pitched out on the first pitch to Polanco, but Gonzalez' throw wasn't even close to being in time. Logan came in a little hard and had a trainer attend to him, but he stayed in the game. Polanco flew out to rightfield on the next pitch.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
The leadoff walk gets stranded. Morse worked an 0-2 count for a walk on an inside pitch. Spiezio flew out high to Ordoñez running toward the rightfield line. Gonzalez bounced out to second, and Morse took second since he ran with the pitch. Ichiro grounded to second.
Douglass' line: 8 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 100 pitches (64 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Mateo. Guillen chopped a 2-2 pitch to Morse at short, who tried to make a throw on the run and threw the ball over Sexson and into the crowd. Shelton got behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up in the zone. Ordoñez fouled off a couple 2-2 pitches before singling over Bloomquist at second and into rightfield, where the presence of Ichiro's arm held Guillen at third. Young fouled off three pitches before singling into rightfield to score Guillen and move Ordoñez to second.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Rodriguez grounded to second for a quick 4-6-3 double play.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 27 pitches (20 strikes)
Fernando Rodney came in for Douglass. Bloomquist got ahead 2-0 and later grounded out to short. Ibañez worked an 0-2 count for a full count and an eight-pitch at-bat that ended in a flyout high to Ordoñez in rightcenter. Sexson smoked the second pitch high to Polanco at second, who climbed the ladder with a leap and speared the line drive. Ballgame.
Rodney's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Julio Mateo.
He threw two innings of shutout ball after Felix Hernandez left the game. He held the Tigers in those two innings, keeping the Mariners within one run of the Tigers. What more can you ask for? Well, probably zero walks instead of one, but it's still a very solid job. Do you think Matt Thornton could have bheld the Tigers scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings of a one-run game? Me neither. Ron Villone? Me neither. That's why he's gone. Anyway, I feel better with Julio Mateo out on the mound than I did for that little uncomfortable period after they had him start that one game back in May, a month which was far from merry for the Mariners and their fans. Of the players that I'm glad the Mariners didn't trade away, I'm glad they didn't trade Mateo. I'm glad Villone's gone, Hasegawa should be gone (and may be soon), and Thornton shouldn't have even made the team in the first place, but I'm glad Mateo's still on board.
It's said that where Ichiro goes, the offense goes. On occasion, the Mariner bats have been able to scare up some runs even without Ichiro at his best, but it's generally better to have Ichiro setting the table for the money batters to do their thing. Ichiro went 0-for-12 in the Detroit series and is 0-for-18 going back to the Cleveland series. As you might guess, that's bad. In that span of time, his average has dropped from .316 to .303. It hasn't been this low since after the Texas game on the 3rd of July (.300). Yes, folks, that's what some people would call a "funk." I guess the sad thing is that Ichiro spraying line drives into the gaps would have been perfect for Detroit and he would have been able to ring a couple of triples here and there and maybe even an inside-the-park homer. Alas, it was not to be. Sure, I didn't think Ichiro was going to have a year like he did in 2004 or 2001. What lies in between? He hit .321 in 2002 and .312 in 2003. I'll peg him at .310. I do reserve the right to look like a total idiot if Ichiro hits .600 in September.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 77-30 .720 -- W1
2002 65-42 .607 12 W2
2003 65-42 .607 12 W2
2000 62-45 .579 15 L1
2005 46-61 .430 31 L2
2004 39-68 .364 38 L6
What I should have added to that list of crappy things in the first part of the post was the fact that this game wasn't televised back to the Seattle area. Not that it was too much better for any of us with MLB.tv. The only camera in Detroit for this game was stationed behind and above the plate. That was the only camera. In other words, I couldn't fully grasp what Felix Hernandez was doing out there, how his stuff was breaking, how well he was spotting his pitches, etc. It's great that I was able to watch the game, sure, but call me picky. Hell, I get picky when the score constant isn't at the top of the screen, so you can imagine how well I dealt with a single camera being the only mode of transmission from the ballyard. I wasn't pleased.
Not that there was a lot of Mariner hitting prowess that was demonstrated. Sean Douglass followed in the long line of no-name pitchers that have eaten the Mariners for dinner. Jorge Sosa, Eric Bedard circa 2003, Doug Waechter, Mark Hendrickson, et al., you've got company. What more can you say about eight innings of one-run ball? A three-hitter against the Mariners? Not that it's totally out of the realm of possibility with the Mariners, but a three-hitter? Don't ever say anything's impossible, I guess.
Thus, there were no multi-hit games for Mariner hitters in this game. Raul Ibañez, Jeremy Reed, and Wiki Gonzalez had the only hits of the game. Just to recap, and to waste space since I'm not sure how much material I can come up with for a game like this, what with the inferior camera angle and whatnot, I'll recite when each of the hits took place. Jeremy Reed hit a two-out double in the third. Wiki Gonzalez hit a one-out double in the third. Raul Ibañez led off the seventh with a solo shot. There's your hitting output for the game, folks. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Sean Douglass, ladies and gentlemen. Don't forget him. Rather, don't forget him whenever the Mariners have the Tigers coming up on the schedule. He'll probably suck against everyone else and whoop the Mariners every time he faces them. Remember the one year where Anthony Young pitched for the Cubs and lost a billion games? If he were pitching today, he'd beat the Mariners two or three times in a season and lose every other game in which he pitched.
What's next? Three with the White Sox. They're kinda good. I don't know how, but they're good. Yep, looks like a sweep to me. The pitching matchup for the next game almost games me want to cry. It's so lopsided it's sick.
Piñeiro. Garcia. Today.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
"Seahawks Sunday: Seize The Day"
Sure beats the hell out of "What A Show!"
In other Seahawks news, cornerback Kris Richard has been traded to the Miami Dolphins for defensive end Ronald Flemons.
"This was a roster maintenance move for us, if you will," Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said. "Kris was on the bubble for us, and they had inquired about him several times. We want to keep looking at defensive linemen and see who might be a fit with our group. Both of those criteria were met in this trade.
"This will be a nice fit. Obviously, not a world-beater trade, but one we thought would be right for us. He’s a linear guy that gets up field."
The Seahawks open up their exhibition season next Friday in New Orleans.
Felix Hernandez (first ML start) vs Sean Douglass (3-1, 3.86 ERA)
PRAY FOR FELIX!
In 25 words or less: Big innings. Twice. Yes, the predictable starting pitcher was involved in yielding said big innings, therefore negating the Mariners' offensive prowess.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Mike Maroth. Could the Mariners pull off a series win? Did anyone even care about this game because they knew what they might get today from Meche and would rather see Felix throw the next day? Yes, Wednesday night in the Northwest was most likely a day to go out with some friends or do laundry or something. Thursday night is the night to plop yourself down in front of the TV and watch something you'll only see once. Hopefully you've all created shrines in your households with rings of lit candles and stuff so we can all keep Felix's good health intact. By the way, don't do that if you're in a dorm at college where they don't allow open flame. Having college dorms burn down not only sucks and isn't cool, everyone that lived near you will more than likely hate your guts for the rest of your life. That's not good. In that case, just print off a bunch of Felix pictures and arrange them in a circle above your desk or something and throw a Yin-Yang insignia over it or something. Anything for good luck with this guy.
Nothing crossing the plate to start. Ichiro got behind 0-2 before slicing a 1-2 flyout into leftfield. Willie Bloomquist worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a pitch over the outside corner. Raul Ibañez waved at an 0-2 offspeed pitch over the outer half.
Meche had that dreaded inning, though he got some negative help. Placido Polanco fouled off a 3-1 pitch before smacking a single into leftfield. Carlos Guillen took a 3-0 strike, but bopped the next pitch off the track and off the wall near the leftfield corner for a double, moving Polanco to third. Chris Shelton sent the first pitch into the gap and bouncing off the scoreboard in rightcenter for a double, scoring Polanco and Guillen.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Magglio Ordoñez bounced the second pitch past Meche and into centerfield for a single, scoring Shelton.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 0
Rondell White grounded the first pitch into the hole at short, where Yuniesky Betancourt ranged to his right to get the ball and threw back to Willie Bloomquist at second, who eventually lost the handle on the catch (fielder's choice, E6), leaving everyone safe. Ivan Rodriguez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and in. Dmitri Young got behind 0-2 and ended up popping a 1-2 high to shallow leftfield, where a ball that should have been caught instead landed between Raul Ibañez and Yuniesky Betancourt, with the former calling off Betancourt too late. Ibañez is rusty in leftfield, kids. No doubt about that. The bases were loaded. Craig Monroe flew out to centerfield on an 0-2 pitch, sufficiently deep to score Ordoñez.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 0
Omar Infante popped out high to centerfield.
Nothing once again. Richie Sexson lined out hard to third. Adrian Beltre rolled over an outside pitch, grounding out to short. Mike Morse grounded to Polanco behind the bag at third, and he was out on the very long throw.
Not too much trouble for Meche, though it couldn't get much worse than the first. Polanco got the hitters' counts before flying out to center on the 3-1 pitch. Guillen flew out high to leftfield on the second pitch. Shelton took a four-pitch walk. Ordoñez flew out high to Sexson in foul ground on the right side.
A runner even got to scoring position, and via a hit, no less. Jeremy Reed popped the first pitch to Young in leftcenter. Yuniesky Betancourt gapped the second pitch on one hop over the wall in leftcenter for a double and the Mariners' first hit of the game. Wiki Gonzalez took an 0-2 pitch right over the inner half. Ichiro grounded the second pitch to Shelton at first, who underhanded to the covering Maroth.
Meche weathered the leadoff runner. White reached with one arm on a low and outside pitch and duplicated Betancourt's feat in the preceding half-inning, bouncing a ball off the warning track and over the fence in the gap in leftcenter for a double. Rodriguez worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a curveball over the outer half. Young grounded to first, where Sexson underhanded to a covering Meche, moving White to third. Monroe got the hitters' counts and popped the 3-1 pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter.
Instant offense. Bloomquist singled into leftfield on the second pitch. Ibañez got behind 0-2, and Bloomquist stole second on the 1-2 pitch. Ibañez ended up fouling off a couple of full-count pitches before slapping a ball toward third, where Polanco held Bloomquist at second and threw over to first. Sexson took a 2-2 pitch barely off the inside corner, fouled off a pitch, then took the next pitch inside for a walk. Beltre blasted the first pitch about ten rows back into the seats inside the leftfield foul pole.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 3
Morse rolled over on an 0-2 pitch, and Guillen plugged up the hole and threw on the run to first, where Shelton picked it out. Reed flew out to centerfield.
Sort of a weird, but harmless inning. Infante popped foul to Sexson near the tarp on the right side. Polanco got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch low and away for a walk. Guillen threw his bat and whiffed on a 1-1 hit-and-run pitch high and outside, and Gonzalez nailed Polanco at second. Guillen grounded out to second.
Too easy for Maroth. Betancourt got ahead 3-0 and grounded out hard to third on a full count. Gonzalez grounded out to Guillen in the hole on the left side. Ichiro grounded hard to first, and Shelton stepped on the bag.
Because one big inning is never enough. Shelton took a 2-2 curveball over the outside corner. Ordoñez singled up the middle and into centerfield. White got ahead 2-0 and later flew out high to Sexson on a full count. Rodriguez roped the first pitch into the gap in leftcenter for a double, scoring Ordoñez from first without a throw (Betancourt held the relay).
»» TIGERS 5, MARINERS 3
Young mashed a single to the right side to score Rodriguez.
»» TIGERS 6, MARINERS 3
Monroe got ahead 2-0 and later took a full-count pitch outside for a walk.
Clint Nageotte made his 2005 debut, coming in for Meche. Infante was beaned on the left elbow on a 1-2 pitch, loading the bases. Polanco bounced a ball past a diving Beltre for a single, scoring two.
»» TIGERS 8, MARINERS 3
Guillen singled hard up the middle, scoring Infante and moving Polanco to second.
»» TIGERS 9, MARINERS 3
Shelton grounded the second pitch up the middle to Betancourt.
Meche's line: 4 2/3 innings, 8 runs (7 earned), 9 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 104 pitches (59 strikes)
There was some runs, at least. Bloomquist singled past the shortstop and into centerfield for a single. Ibañez singled up the middle, moving Bloomquist to third. Sexson flew out high to the leftfield corner, Bloomquist scored, and Ibañez moved to second.
»» TIGERS 9, MARINERS 4
Beltre popped high to Ordoñez in shallow rightfield. Morse grounded the first pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Ibañez.
»» TIGERS 9, MARINERS 5
Morse was picked off of first with the count 1-1 to Reed.
A quick one for Nageotte. Ordoñez grounded out to Beltre behind the bag at third. White popped foul to Sexson on the right side. Rodriguez broke his bat on a first-pitch flyout to leftfield.
Nageotte's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Reed splintered his bat on a single into rightfield.
Franklyn German came in for Maroth. Betancourt flew out to Infante on the infield on the first pitch. Gonzalez flew out high on the second pitch to Shelton along the first-base line. Ichiro foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into the catcher's glove for strike three.
Maroth's line: 6 inning, 5 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 97 pitches (64 strikes)
Masao Kida came in for Nageotte. Young poked a single into rightcenter, and Nook Logan ran for him. Monroe grounded the first pitch to Beltre, who threw hard and wide to second, so only the 5-4 fielder's choice was attained. Infante popped high to Bloomquist in shallow rightfield. Polanco flew out high to centerfield on the first pitch.
This was the last gasp. Bloomquist fisted the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Ibañez got behind 0-2 and looped the 2-2 pitch over Infante at second and into rightfield for a single, moving Bloomquist to third. Sexson got ahead 3-1, whiffed at a pitch, then took the next pitch inside for a walk, loading the bases.
Chris Spurling came in for German. Beltre dropped an 0-2 pitch into rightfield for a single, scoring Bloomquist and keeping the bases loaded.
»» TIGERS 9, MARINERS 6
Morse grounded to short, where Guillen went for a 6-4 fielder's choice. Ibañez scored.
»» TIGERS 9, MARINERS 7
Fernando Rodney came in for Spurling. Reed got behind 0-2, and Jamal Strong ran for Morse. Reed whiffed on a 1-2 pitch outside. Betancourt popped the second pitch high to rightfield.
German's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeouts, 20 pitches (14 strikes)
Spurling's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
There was more to try to surmount. Guillen got behind 0-2 and eventually flew out to Ichiro in rightfield. Shelton got ahead 2-0 and roped the 2-2 pitch off the top of the wall in rightfield, which was called a homer shortly thereafter.
»» TIGERS 10, MARINERS 7
Ordoñez got behind 0-2 and grounded out to third. White chopped out to third on the first pitch.
Kida's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (18 strikes)
Dave Hansen hit for Gonzalez. Hansen took a three-pitch walk but was awarded first after Rodney went to his mouth. Yorvit Torrealba ran for Hansen. Ichiro grounded the second pitch hard to Infante at second, who couldn't come up with it in time for a double play, but was able to throw out Ichiro (Torrealba safe at second). Bloomquist popped to Logan in centerfield, who held on to the ball for a little too long, allowing Torrealba to scoot to third (Rod Allen on FSN Detroit: "GET IT IN!!"). Ibañez got ahead 3-0, then took the next pitch low and inside for a walk. Sexson popped a 1-2 pitch to Infante in shallow rightfield. Ballgame.
Rodney's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 23 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
One could argue this is an obvious gameball, but there were two other Mariner hitters with two or more hits in the game, so there's my excuse. Beltre had one of his better games at the plate as a Mariner, and in a blatant hitters' park, no less. That homer to leftfield is a homer even without the fences being moved in. The great thing about the homer was that it came with two runners on base. I've grown a bit tired of seeing solo shots from Sexson and Ibañez, and the occasional Beltre. Yay for the table being set when Beltre was at the plate. As for defense, he made a couple of strong and long throws from around third, with his only semi-mishap coming on what should have been a double play, when he threw a bit wide of Bloomquist at second. But the big thing is the 2-for-4 with four RBIs. That's a good night for Beltre.
Goat: Gil Meche.
The Detroit TV crew brought up the fact that Gil Meche had a stretch this season where he won six of eight decisions. For me, that's a distant memory. I don't even remember it, seriously. It might be selective memory. Apparently Meche has been 8-4 and 10-6 at certain points this year, but all I remember is a guy prone to the big inning who misses up every once in a while and gets beat around like a pinball machine. Of course, maybe he was due for a game like this one since he hadn't been truly battered in nearly a month (7 runs, 5 earned at Kansas City on July 5th). Still, I'm just disappointed they couldn't unload Meche on any team with a pitching coach who thinks they can turn him around. Could Leo Mazzone turn Meche into a year-in, year-out 16- or 17-game winner? It wouldn't surprise me. Then he'd get a big free-agent contract somewhere else and then stink it up. I remember at one point, I think it might have been spring training or early in the season, when I heard that instead of working corners, they were going to make Meche work the upper and lower parts of the strike zone instead, which I thought sounded like the worst idea, even given the pop on his fastball. Anyway, that's the only semi-fresh material I could come up with for this entry. Meche has exhausted me mentally. Meche has made Jeremy start the Gil Meche Death March. We all know how the Bret Boone Death March ended.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 76-30 .717 -- L1
2002 64-42 .604 12 W1
2003 64-42 .604 12 W1
2000 62-44 .585 14 W1
2005 46-60 .434 30 L1
2004 39-67 .368 37 L5
On the FSN Detroit broadcast (MLB.tv), they spit out some stat along the lines of the Mariners being 8-26 (adjusted after the loss) when falling behind in the first inning. I forgot if it was falling behind in the first inning or just being scored against in the first inning, but either way, that stat sucks. In other words, if the Mariners have that happen in the first inning, they'll have less than a one-in-four shot that they'll come back and pull out the win, which seems a little too hopeless to me. Sad stuff, I know. Okay, that's a stretch, it's just that they've been crappy when getting behind early.
The Mariners managed to crank out seven runs in a hitters' park and still lose. Multi-hit games for the Mariner hitters included Beltre (gameball), Willie Bloomquist (3-for-5), and Raul Ibañez (2-for-4 with a walk). Ibañez might have gotten the gameball for me if it weren't for that 'tweener fly ball that he let drop. He's been rusty in leftfield since he's been DHing all year, so naturally I think we're all anticipating the return and hopefully long-term and productive stay of one Chris Snelling. Yes, there will be an Australian, an American (or Statesider, to Canadians who may object to such use of the word American), and a Japanese guy in the outfield for the Mariners. This of course means the Mariners' promo department can pull off some thing with the Woodland Park Zoo and bring a roving exhibit to the ballpark. Here's Chris Snelling with a dingo! Jeremy Reed with a bald eagle! Ichiro with a Japanese crane! I would have thrown Ichiro in with a cherry blossom, but that's kind of not an animal.
On the other hand, things aren't coming up roses or cherry blossoms for Ichiro in the first two games of this series, which have left him 0-for-8 in the month of August with a walk and a strikeout. They won the first game without his production, but weren't so lucky in the second game. When Bloomquist goes 3-for-5 and doesn't manage to drive in any runs, that's not wholly because Ichiro wasn't on base, since the bottom of the lineup comes before that, but Ichiro still didn't get on base. Sexson (1), Beltre (4), and Mike Morse (2) drove in all of the Mariners' runs in this game. Ichiro didn't get on base, and the next guy to drive in a run was the #4 hitter in the lineup. Basically what I'm getting at is that I don't think Bloomquist and Ibañez should be able to combine for five hits and not drive in any runs. Granted, it's an anomaly and Ichiro will get his hits and everything, but this game is this game, and that's what happened.
Can the Mariners pull out the series win? Can Felix help them do that? Much anticipation is had. Stay healthy, Felix. I'm not talking Potvin here either. I think it's much cooler to have a Felix whose nickname has his first name preceded by "King" rather than followed up by "the Cat." Of course, you could go with "El Cartelua," which does look cool when you're reading, but not so much when you're pronouncing it. Too many syllables, and I think after three years of high school Spanish that it's grammatically incorrect. It'd have to be "La Cartelua," matching the feminine article with the feminine noun "Cartelua," but I may be, and probably am wrong. Of course, when Felix makes his first start at the Safe, someone should bring a sign that says "Muthaf#*$!%@ Felix!" though I'm sure even in masked form that wouldn't fly. Remember, I'm a guy who thinks that any ad campaign on television is made 10 times better if you tack on "...bitch!" to the slogan. "Hey bro, what's for dinner?" "Pizza Hut, bitch!" "Awesome!" It's kind of like that completely immature game from high school when you read through the signatures in your yearbook and just tack on "in bed" to all of the stuff that people wrote in your yearbook, not that anybody wrote in mine or anything. That shouldn't surprise any of you.
Hernandez. Douglass. Today.
One of the things that we've prided ourselves on in the almost-2 year run of Sports And Bremertonians is that we update this site on a daily basis. What helps us is that we aren't just a one-sports blog. We have the freedom to talk about various sports. And at times, we don't talk about sports at all. Again, that's part of the freedom we have here.
It's not often that Sports And Bremertonians receives good publicity, so needless to say, this is a great moment for this site. Thanks, readers.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
We've used the Death March before with Bret Boone.
It's time to break out the Death March one more time!
Gil Meche, step right up.
So what if he's won 10 games. The 2004 St. Louis Rams won a playoff game. Does that mean that the 2004 Rams were a good football team? Absolutely not.
Meche is the worst 10-win pitcher in baseball. Jason Michael Barker of the goodship U.S.S. Mariner likes to point out from time to time that wins and losses are misleading. When it comes to Meche, Barker is right on the money with his statement.
Sports And Bremertonians readers, here's the deal:
When will Gil Meche's arm fall off?
Leave your predictions in the box. The reader who guesses the exact date will receive something from Sports And Bremertonians. That "something" likely being praise on the ol' site. Sorry, the Rajun' Sexy Cajuns are not included.
My prediction? I'll predict August 23 in Texas.
I'm sick and tired of The Big Inning. I know you're tired of it as well. There's only so many Big Innings a man can take before he just goes insane.
(Hat tip to Johnny B)
Gil Meche (10-7, 4.70 ERA) vs Mike Maroth (8-11, 4.57 ERA)
Since The Pump is no longer in service, it's time to think of a new name for the Sports And Bremertonians Mariners game posts. If you have any suggestions, go ahead and post them in the box.
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Jorge Campillo has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. Clint Nageotte will take Campillo's spot on the 25-man roster. He'll be with the M's tonight in Detroit.
Pray for Felix. Seriously, pray for the King.
The Seahawks have signed center Chris Spencer, the team's first-round draft choice, to a multi-year deal, according to Seahawks.com.
Spencer, who played at Ole Miss, is expected to take over for Robbie Tobeck in 2006.
By the way, Spencer left Oxford after his junior season. The Seahawks.com story incorrectly noted that Spencer played every game his senior season. He started every game for Ole Miss in 2004 as a junior. Maybe I should write for Seahawks.com, eh?
Everybody is in Cheney. Celebrate.
In 25 words or less: More issues with the starting pitching, but a yeoman's effort in long relief saves the Mariners.
This one featured recent call-up Jorge Campillo going up against Jason Johnson. For the uniform number addicts, Jorge Campillo wore number 49. Jeff Harris, called up from Tacoma to take the spot of Jeff Nelson, who was placed on the bereavement to tend to the passing of his father-in-law, wore number 58. Yorvit Torrealba was spotted in the dugout wearing number 8, and hopefully will hit better than his predecessor with the same number, Miguel Olivo. There were also some roster moves since the last time I did one of these recap deals. Aaron Sele was mercifully released to make room for Campillo. Masao Kida is taking Ryan Franklin's spot on the roster, due to the latter's violation of baseball's drug policy. I've probably forgotten some moves, maybe not.
Not a banner start. Ichiro nubbed a groundout up the middle. Willie Bloomquist got the hitters' counts and smacked the 3-1 pitch through Johnson and up the middle for a single. Bloomquist was nearly picked off by Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate after the second pitch to Raul Ibañez. Ibañez chopped a 1-2 pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play.
Some trouble, but no damage. Placido Polanco tagged a 3-1 pitch down the leftfield line and toward the corner for a double. Brandon Inge fouled off a full-count pitch before popping high to Adrian Beltre near third. Bryan Price came out to visit the mound. Chris Shelton lined out to leftfield on the second pitch. Magglio Ordoñez popped out high to Yuniesky Betancourt near the mound.
Campillo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (9 strikes)
They dented the scoreboard. Richie Sexson got behind 0-2, eventually foul-tipping a 2-2 pitch into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate. Adrian Beltre crushed the second pitch about five rows into the seats into leftfield for a solo shot.
»» MARINERS 1, TIGERS 0
Jeremy Reed fell behind 0-2 and later grounded out to second. Dave Hansen popped the first pitch to Dmitri Young short of the track in leftfield.
Jeff Harris, making his Major League debut, came in for Campillo, who left due to a strained right elbow. Rondell White grounded a full-count pitch to short thanks to a strong throw by Betancourt. Ivan Rodriguez crushed a 2-0 pitch to Ibañez, who reached up to make the catch at the wall in leftfield. Dmitri Young popped a 1-2 pitch high into rightfield for the flyout.
Nothing here. Wiki Gonzalez flew out to Young in the gap in leftcenter on a ball that nearly got down for extra bases. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled out to second on the second pitch. Ichiro grounded the first pitch hard to second.
Avoiding trouble once again, but with Joe Dumars spending some time with Rod Allen and Mario Impemba in the Detroit TV booth. Craig Monroe grounded an 0-2 pitch to short, where Betancourt ranged toward the middle and threw, but was late anyway, and the throw got past Sexson, though Monroe didn't advance. Omar Infante bunted the second pitch in front of the plate, but Gonzalez was able to come from behind the plate and nail the lead runner Monroe at second. Polanco dinked the second pitch in front of Reed in centerfield for a single, moving Monroe to second. Inge worked a 1-2 count full and fouled a pitch off before taking a pitch over the inside corner for a strikeout. Shelton got ahead 2-0 and hit a checkswing grounder to second for an out.
Johnson benefitted from a great play. Bloomquist got ahead 3-0 and chopped out to short on a full count. Ibañez clubbed the second pitch deep to centerfield, where Monroe ran full steam back toward the wall and made the catch over the shoulder just short of the wall. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and eventually nubbed a full-count grounder to third, where Inge charged, barehanded, and threw to first, barely in time.
A fairly quick inning for Harris. Ordoñez stung the ball into leftfield for a solid single. White flew out on the first pitch to Sexson, who was way in on the first-base line. Rodriguez grounded the second pitch hard to second, starting the 4-6-3 double play.
A fairly quick and uneventful inning. Beltre grounded the first pitch to second. Reed worked a 1-2 count full by taking a couple of very close pitches, fouled off another pitch, then took the next pitch up and in for a walk, snapping Johnson's streak of nine straight retired hitters. Hansen whiffed on a 1-0 pitch inside, which didn't help Reed's plight, as he was gunned down at second despite a high throw. Hansen lined a pitch toward the corner in rightfield, but Ordoñez came over and caught it.
Amazingly, another quick inning for Harris. Young poked a ball deep toward the leftfield corner, where Ibañez made the catch near the warning track. Monroe flew out to Ibañez on the track in leftfield. Infante flew out to Reed in centerfield.
Some runners, but nothing more. Gonzalez lined the first pitch right to Young in leftfield. Betancourt dumped the second pitch in front of Young in leftfield for a single. Ichiro grounded a 3-0 pitch hard up the middle, but Infante came over (tough play) and backhand flipped to second for an out, though Ichiro predictably beat out the throw to first (6-4 fielder's choice). Bloomquist got ahead 3-0 and grounded the 3-1 pitch to short.
Harris looked good. Polanco flew out to centerfield on the second pitch. Inge chopped out to short. Shelton got behind 0-2 but worked the count full before lining right to Beltre.
Harris' line: 5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 65 pitches (41 strikes)
Some deep balls, but they're all outs. Ibañez sent the first pitch near the warning track in centerfield, where Monroe went back and made the catch. Sexson mashed a pitch to the track in leftcenter, again caught by Monroe. Beltre chopped out to third on the second pitch.
Julio Mateo (birthday boy, 28 years old) came in for Harris. Ordoñez got behind 0-2 and chopped a 2-2 pitch to short for the groundout. White bashed a 2-2 pitch to Ibañez, who caught it on the track in leftcenter. Rodriguez lined the first pitch five rows into the rightfield seats for a solo shot, tying the game.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Young got ahead 2-0, fouled off a full-count pitch, then hit a low liner that found Reed's glove in centerfield.
Mateo's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
This one was fruitful. Reed fell behind 0-2 and later lined a 1-2 single into centerfield. Hansen pulled back a bunt on a strike, air-bunted a 1-1 pitch foul, pulled the bunt back on a 1-2 pitch up and in, then bunted in front of the plate, where Inge charged and threw to first in time. Noticing that third base was uncovered on the play, Reed rounded second and broke for third. He beat Ivan Rodriguez to third, who had to race out from the plate and receive the throw from first, which wasn't in time. Gonzalez took a 3-1 pitch down and in for a walk on a pitch that crossed up Rodriguez behind the plate. Detroit pitching coach Bob Cluck came out to visit the mound. Betancourt grounded the first pitch down the leftfield line, and it died next to the stands, good for a double to score Reed and move Gonzalez to third. The Mariners now led.
»» MARINERS 2, TIGERS 1
Ichiro took an intentional walk, loading the bases. Bloomquist popped the second pitch high to Polanco on the grass in shallow centerfield.
Jamie Walker came in for Johnson. Ibañez tagged an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single into centerfield, scoring Gonzalez and Betancourt, further solidifying the lead. Ichiro scooted to second.
»» MARINERS 4, TIGERS 1
Craig Dingman came in for Walker. Sexson grounded to short for an easy 6-4 fielder's choice.
Johnson's line: 7 2/3 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 100 pitches (57 strikes)
Walker's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Dingman's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (2 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Mateo. Monroe grounded the first pitch, which went off Beltre's glove and high into the air, where Betancourt pulled it barehanded out of the air and threw in time to first, a run-on-the-mill 5-6-3 putout. Infante stung the second pitch down the rightfield line for a double. Polanco grounded an 0-2 pitch into the hole on the right side, where Bloomquist moved over to throw in time. Inge fell behind 0-2 and later flew out on a 2-2 pitch to fairly deep rightfield.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
Ramon Colon, making his Detroit debut, came in for Dingman. Beltre pulled an outside pitch for a 1-2 groundout to short. Reed whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball. Hansen got behind 0-2, worked the count full, then tapped to Colon just off the mound, who went to first for the out.
Colon's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Shelton got ahead 2-0 and eventually flew out to fairly deep rightfield on a 2-2 pitch. Ordoñez flew out high to Reed in shallow centerfield. White grounded an 0-2 pitch to short. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Gameball: Jeff Harris.
After the last couple years, I'm so glad to see the Mariners on the good end of the following scenario -- pitcher who is new to league shuts down other team, and the hitting team usually blames it on not having a book on the pitcher. Anyway, though the Mariners don't have playoff implications like they did in 2003, I'm glad that the Mariners came out on top in this game. I'd never seen Jeff Harris pitch before this game, but he had it going tonight. Hopefully he won't need it in the future for five innings at a time. After the suckitude of the starting pitching lately, the Mariners needed someone to eat up innings. After Jorge Campillo came out after the first inning due to the strained throwing elbow, the Mariners' entire pitching staff could have been screwed for a week or so. In a sense, they still might be, but less so than if they didn't have Jeff Harris come in and mop up. Julio Mateo could have been the first guy out of the pen, and he could have been burned for four games. In related news, Harris at times reminded me a little bit of former Mariner Todd Williams. I thought Tom Davey at first for some reason, but it's more along the lines of Todd Williams.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
It's got to be somebody. Nobody was a blatant hole of suck tonight. Since Sexson generally is expected to contribute more to the offense than a Dave Hansen (0-for-3), Sexson is getting the goat for this game. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and left two runners on base, one of them in scoring position with two out. Still, even with the 0-for-4 day, his average is still at a very respectable .271. Good times. I hope he doesn't offset a crazy July with a cliffdive of an August, though I am expecting him to level off at least a little bit. If we see 40 homers out of Richie this season, I think that's a victory. Of course, the spaciousness of Comerica did rob Richie of what would normally be a homer in this game, but when doesn't Comerica do that?
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 76-29 .724 -- W4
2002 63-42 .600 13 L1
2003 63-42 .600 13 L2
2000 61-44 .581 15 L1
2005 46-59 .438 30 W1
2004 39-66 .371 37 L4
Someone else had a good game whose name wasn't Jeff Harris. Yuniesky Betancourt went 2-for-3 with the only multi-hit game for any Mariner hitter in this game. He singled in the sixth and had the game-winning double in the eighth. Not only did he have the key hit of the game, he made some very nice defensive plays, leaving the Detroit TV crew marveling at his strong arm. There was also the play where the ball ate up Adrian Beltre and went high into the air. That didn't prevent Betancourt pulling the ball out of the air with his bare hand and throwing in time to first. That was a crazy play. If Betancourt can have a game on offense every once in a while like this and play such sound defense... Would you rather have a Mike Morse, who obviously is better on offense than defense, or would you rather have a Betancourt, who appears to be stellar on defense, and might be good enough on offense? It's a dilemma, I know, and it doesn't factor Adam Jones into the equation or anything like that. Just something to think about.
Let's hope Jorge Campillo's elbow comes out of the wash okay. Of course, we probably saw better output from Campillo in one inning today than if Aaron Sele would have started the game and went four innings. In those four innings, Sele probably would have been tagged for 6 runs and 9 or 10 hots or so, even in Comerica Park. Of course, since Jamie Moyer's back is bad and Ryan Franklin is kinda out for a couple starts due to the 'roids thing, this leaves the rotation pretty much in shambles. We're left with Gil Meche as the most consistent healthy starting pitcher, and well...if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what does. Sounds like a great time for a youth movement, huh?
I just recently thought about this...you can pretty much take the following statement to the bank: Ryan Christianson will NEVER put on a uniform at the Major League level for the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners shipped off Miguel Olivo, and after all of the moves, the Mariners ended up adding Yorvit Torrealba and Miguel Ojeda, two more catchers to put ahead of Christianson on the organizational depth chart at catcher. The Mariners have now had seven catchers put on the uniform this year, and none of them have been named Ryan Christianson. If they're not going to use Christianson at the Major League level, can they just get something for him or cut him loose already? If he doesn't get a September call-up...ugh. I'm not expecting him to come up to Seattle and just tear things up, but he's got to get at least one chance to step on the field for this team. Heck, if they brought him up as a late-inning defensive replacement and then got rid of him totally, I'd be all right with that. If they're blackballing him because of the steroid thing, then Ryan Franklin better get some of the same medicine when he gets back, but I know he won't.
Let's play a fun little game. I'll put up the Opening Day roster for this year, and we can compare it to the current roster. I'll bold the new additions and put asterisks by those either gone or just off the 25-man roster...
position players (13)
CURRENT (as of me typing this, anyway)
position players (13)
By my count, it looks like 10 of the 25 roster spots are different from Opening Day. That's 40 percent. Yes, stuff has happened for the Seattle Mariners this year. There's been some moderate housecleaning.
So...let's see if the Mariners can pull off a series win tomorrow before Felix pitches on Thursday, eh?
Meche. Maroth. Today.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Jorge Campillo (0-0, 0.00; first start of 2005) vs Jason Johnson (7-8, 4.16 ERA)
---I've decided to discontinue the Pump photos, effective immediately. Without Wilson Valdez, Miguel Olivo, and Pat Borders, the Pump just isn't the same. The game threads will still be up every day though. Yes, this is a game thread.
---Ryan Franklin has been suspended 10 days for violating Major League Baseball's steroid policy. I didn't see this one coming. Did you?
(Yes, you can talk about Franklin's steroid suspension in the box. Just don't let it get too out of hand, okay? Thanks.)
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Lack of run support, my ass.
Monday, August 01, 2005
However, since we're music fans here at Sports And Bremertonians, we might as well bring you the official soundtrack listing for Madden NFL 2006. Why not?
Madden NFL 2006 Soundtrack
Avenged Sevenfold - "Bat Country"
Bullet for My Valentine - "4 Words (To Choke Upon)"
Bump J - "Move Around"
Chamillionaire - "Hate in Ya Eyes"
Disturbed - "Ten Thousand Fists"
Fall Out Boy - "Dance, Dance"
Finch - "Ink"
Foo Fighters - "No Way Back"
Funeral for a Friend - "Steetcar"
Godsmack - "Bring It On"
Hot Hot Heat - "Pickin' It Up"
Memphis Bleek - "Like That"
Nine Black Alps - "Cosmopolitan"
Papoose - "Born to Win"
The Reverend Run - "Mind on the Road"
Sam Scarfo - "Tear 'Em Up"
Slim Thug - "Get It Started"
Spider Loc - "When I Get Angry"
Stat Quo - "Rock Da Party"
Tech N9ne - "The Beast"
All-American Rejects - "Night Drive"
EA Sports always brings it with the soundtracks. The Madden NFL 2006 soundtrack is no different. While there will be complaints among some Madden fans (too much rap!), the EA Sports soundtracks usually provide a nice balance, especially for the Madden series. Yes, I listen to rock and rap. I'm an eclectic music fan. One minute I can listen to Iron Maiden. The next minute, I can listen to Chicago. That's the truth.
Once again, Madden NFL 2006 comes out next Tuesday. (PS2, X-Box, PSP)