Saturday, September 17, 2005
Joel Piñeiro (7-9) vs. Kenny Rogers (13-7, 3.38)
Really, it's a Saturday thread. I'll probably be the only one saying anything, since I know everyone out there has something to do besides visiting Sports and B's and planting comments in the box. Not that it's not cool if you do, it totally is.
So, it doesn't have to be just Mariners. You can talk about Michigan State nearly choking at Notre Dame and winning it in overtime, which is totally cool since I can trash talk to my Notre Dame-loving coworker, you can talk about Falcons/Seahawks coming tomorrow, you can even talk about the Husky women's volleyball team coming over here and laying waste to the Hawaii team last night. Seriously, it was bad. I'd watch the rematch tonight, but it's on pay-per-view. I'm not kidding about watching the volleyball or the pay-per-view.
Fire away. Anything and everything.
In 25 words or less: El Gato had even more of a shaky outing, though we knew it was coming at one point or another.
[posted in full Sat ~1:33p]
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Josh Rupe, who was making his Major League debut. Jose Lopez was given the night off due to a sore wrist.
Something. Ichiro stuck the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Ramon Santiago fell behind 0-2 and took the 1-2 pitch off his back, moving Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez got the hitters' counts and drilled a full-count single into centerfield, scoring Ichiro and moving Santiago to second.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre bounced a full-count pitch to Soriano at second for a double play.
Boo. David Dellucci took a 2-2 pitch for strike three. Michael Young fell behind 0-2 and later grounded a full-count pitch to third that got past Beltre for a single. Mark Teixeira popped the second pitch to centerfield. Hank Blalock ripped the second pitch into centerfield for a single, moving Young to second. Alfonso Soriano softly lined the first pitch into centerfield for a single, scoring Young and moving Blalock to second.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Kevin Mench grounded the 2-0 pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Blalock and moving Soriano to second.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Adrian Gonzalez worked a 1-2 count for a walk, loading the bases. Gary Matthews, Jr. tapped the second pitch back to the mound.
Lame. Greg Dobbs got behind 0-2 and later punched a full-count single through the right side. Yuniesky Betancourt chopped the second pitch past the mound, nearly hitting into a double play, but he beat out the 6-4 fielder's choice. Jaime Bubela watched as Rupe's pickoff throw got by Teixeira and went to the wall in front of the stands in foul territory, and Betancourt scooted along to second. Bubela got ahead 2-0 and later popped foul to a running Blalock near the third-base dugout. Yorvit Torrealba took a 1-2 pitch very far outside, allowing Betancourt to move to third. Torrealba took the next pitch for strike three.
Muy good. Rod Barajas took a 1-2 brushback pitch and whiffed on the next pitch. Dellucci took an 0-2 curve over the outside corner. Young grounded the second pitch to short.
Same results. Ichiro bunted along the first-base line, and Teixeira missed his tag, but Ichiro was called out of the baseline. Santiago got ahead 3-0 but bounced to first on a 3-1 count. Ibañez rolled out to Soriano, who charged and shoveled to first for the out.
Shaky. Teixeira cranked a double on a 3-0 pitch off the track and wall in rightcenter. Blalock walked on a full-count pitch low and away, a ten-pitch at-bat. Soriano hit a liner to Ichiro making a long running catch in rightcenter as Teixeira tagged and went to third. Mench popped the first pitch to Betancourt in shallow centerfield. Gonzalez fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a full-count pitch.
Zzzzz. Sexson grounded a full-count pitch hard to second as Rick Rizzs told a story about meeting John Madden. Beltre lined out to centerfield on a 1-2 pitch. Dobbs fell behind 0-2 before lining a 2-2 single into centerfield. Betancourt bounced the second pitch to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice.
Not his day. Matthews got ahead 3-1 and took a full-count pitch high and outside for a walk. Barajas crushed a pitch down and in for a homer about ten rows or so above the big wall in leftfield.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 1
Dellucci clubbed a double into rightcenter on the second pitch. Young swatted a 3-0 single through the left side, sending Dellucci to third.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Hernandez. Teixeira poked a single through the right side, scoring Dellucci and moving Young to second.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 1
Blalock grounded the first pitch right to Santiago at second to start a 4-6-3 double play as Young moved to third. Soriano grounded the second pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who ranged over and made the play.
Hernandez' line: 3 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 78 pitches (43 strikes)
Barely a blip. Bubela grounded to first for a 3-1 putout. Torrealba bounced out to third. Ichiro grounded the second pitch to a charging Young, but he beat out the throw (umpire's call) for an infield single. Santiago fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 change.
Kinda there. Mench popped to Ichiro sprinting into shallow rightfield. Gonzalez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Matthews lined the second pitch off of Betancourt's glove and into leftfield (error). Barajas popped the second pitch to Sexson on the edge of foul territory on the first-base side.
Sign of life. Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and wound up singling the 2-2 pitch to leftfield, moving Ibañez to second.
Scott Feldman came in for Rupe. Beltre bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. Dobbs drew a four-pitch walk. Betancourt singled into leftfield to score Ibañez and move Dobbs to second.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 2
Bubela worked a nine-pitch at-bat, flying out to a running Matthews in centerfield to end it.
Rupe's line: 5 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 96 pitches (57 strikes)
Feldman's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (9 strikes)
Okay. Dellucci got ahead 2-0 and grounded to first on a full-count for a 3-1 putout. Young flew out to the centerfield track on a 1-2 pitch. Teixeira was behind 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch to first.
CJ Wilson came in for Feldman. Torrealba grounded hard to second. Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 low slider. Santiago got ahead 2-0 and ended up walking on a full-count pitch down an in. Ibañez poked the second pitch into centerfield for a single, moving Santiago to second. Sexson
John Wasdin came in for Wilson. Sexson blistered the first pitch halfway up the leftfield scoreboard, scoring Santiago, but Ibañez went through the stop sign and went to the plate standing up, enabling him to get gunned down on the relay from leftfield.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 3
Wilson's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
Nice. Blalock lined the first pitch to Ibañez in leftfield. Soriano popped the second pitch high to rightfield. Mench popped a 2-2 pitch high to Beltre neat the third-base coach's box.
Hasegawa's line: 4 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 44 pitches (27 strikes)
Bleah. Beltre lasered the second pitch to leftfield for a single. Dobbs just missed a double down the rightfield line on the second pitch, then lined a full-count pitch that was caught by Matthews on the run in centerfield. Betancourt popped the second pitch high to rightfield. Bubela fell behind 0-2 and whiffed over a 1-2 breaking ball.
Wasdin's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Hasegawa. Gonzalez whiffed on a full-count pitch up and away. Matthews fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner.
Scott Atchison came in for Thornton. Barajas popped a 2-2 pitch to Bubela in shallow leftcenter.
Thornton's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Atchison's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches (3 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Wasdin. Dave Hansen, hitting for Torrealba, whiffed on a 1-2 slider down and in. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and was nailed in the right (front) foot with a 1-2 pitch. Santiago punched a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez popped to fairly deep rightfield, moving Ichiro to third. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 26 pitches (20 strikes)
Gameball: Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
His role has decreased considerably over the season, be it due to ineffectiveness or injury. JJ Putz has for the most part taken the role that we'd seen Hasegawa take in the past. In this game, he was brought in to eat up some innings after Felix Hernandez underwent some growing pains. He did allow a single to the first batter to help inflate the ERA of Felix a bit, but then buckled down for four shutout innings of one-hit ball. Hasegawa, injuries into account, is on pace for considerably less appearances than in 2004. However, the innings pitched may actually be the same, most likely since he's been doing more longer relief than just to take the eighth inning. For example, in this particular game, I'd usually expect to see Julio Mateo take the next two or three innings of relief. Of course, Hasegawa hadn't pitched since the 10th (Saturday), and Mateo had just thrown two innings two days before. Hasegawa more than likely has the next two or three days off. More time for Scott Atchison to work, and more time for Rafael Soriano to make sure he's still got the velocity and some semblance of control.
Goat: Felix Hernandez.
I was hoping he'd bounce back a bit from the last start, but it turns out he had a bit further to dig to get to his worst outing of his young career. Well, here it was. Unlike the last game, where one inning was bad and the rest were pretty good, here he couldn't get out of the fourth. The Rangers sent eight batters to the plate in the first and five more in the third. Felix threw a 1-2-3 second. He gave up two hits after the Rod Barajas homer in the fourth, and his day was done. I'm almost glad I didn't get to actually see that part of the game (thanks, Windows Media Player). Nonetheless, I'm anxious to see what another Major League spring training camp is going to do for Felix. I'm wondering if the lessons he's learning right now can help him going into next year. We all know Felix has to go 26-3 to get this team a playoff spot in 2006. I know we haven't gone through the post-2005 offseason yet, but I have no idea what to reasonably expect from this team in 2006. I just know it's unacceptable to have them take a step back.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-41 .721 -- L1
2003 85-62 .578 21 W3
2002 84-63 .571 22 L5
2000 81-66 .551 25 W3
2005 64-83 .435 42 L2
2004 56-91 .381 50 W1
Yes, the end of the season looked so promising after the sweep of the Angels, didn't it? This time the Mariners don't have the excuse of the All-Star break flagging their momentum. They've scored six runs in two games in homer-happy Arlington, and they haven't homered in this series yet. The starting pitchers they've faced in the series, by the way, are Kameron Loe and Josh Rupe. One guy was just converted to a starting pitcher a month or so ago, and the other made his Major League debut. I'm remembering all the no-name pitchers the Mariners lost to in the second half of 2003, but strangely enough, this 2005 team will get the same reward that the 93-win 2003 team got -- no playoffs. This loss gave the Rangers a 10-5 lead in the season series against the Mariners. Of course, if I'm a Ranger fan, I look at 2005 as a step back for my team, since they did quite well in the beginning of the season. They still haven't quite gotten the pitching to turn around in Texas. For example, remember Ryan Drese? How bad are you if you're a pitcher who gets designated for assignment by the Rangers?
After it was clear that Felix was having an off day, how realistic of a chance did the Mariners actually have of winning this game? I guess that was my first reaction when I saw the lineup for the Mariners and saw the names of Ramon Santiago and Jaime Bubela in it. Needless to say, I'm looking at the lineup and pretty much seeing that the Mariners are punting at least two spots in the lineup. Let's say Ichiro and someone from the bottom of the lineup are on base with two out in the fifth inning or something. What do you expect Ramon Santiago to do? I'd have to surmise that you'd run Ichiro's glove and cap out to him. Say Sexson and Dobbs are both in scoring position with two out. Jaime Bubela comes to the plate. Again, the correct answer is to run Sexson's glove out to him at first, and maybe get Dobbs' seat cushion ready, or warm up the JUGS machine in the back since he's the designated hitter and all.
Where was Beltre or Santiago signaling Ibañez to get down? I'm referring to the play that ended the top of the seventh. Richie Sexson reached the leftfield scoreboard for a double and Ramon Santiago scored. Mistake number one came when Raul Ibañez blew through Carlos Garcia's stop sign at third base. What was mistake number two? I know what it was, but I'm not sure who to blame. The mistake was that Ibañez went into the plate standing up on a play at the plate that was way too close to do so, and he was tagged easily. Ramon Santiago scored just ahead of him, so I guess he could have turned around and yelled or signaled for him to slide, but usually I don't think that's the leading runner's responsibility. Still, I'm pretty sure I didn't see him throwing up hands or yelling or anything. Who else? Adrian Beltre was the on-deck batter, and I don't remember him getting near the plate and signaling down or yelling or anything. Whatever the case, the situation should have either been a runner on second with two out for Beltre or runners on second and third with two out for Beltre. You have to at least give Beltre a chance to pull a grounder to the shortstop to end the inning.
With the 2-for-4 game here, Ichiro has 184 hits on the season and sits with a .301 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (612 at-bats in 147 games, 4.16 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 16 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .240 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .297 season average.
-- he needs 18 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .256 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 202 hits.
-- he needs 32 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .512 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Can there be a series split? Yes, we're relegated to looking forward to series splits. Can there be a half-healthy Ichiro?
Piñeiro. Rogers. Tonight.
Friday, September 16, 2005
This is an open thread. Then again, every thread here is an open thread.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Baltimore at Tennessee (CBS)
---I miss the Ravens-Titans rivalry from the AFC Central days.
Detroit at Chicago (FOX)
---I did predict the Lions to win the NFC North. Gutsy, I know.
Minnesota at Cincinnati (FOX)
---The Vikings defense doesn't impress me one bit.
San Francisco at Philadelphia (FOX)
---LOCK OF THE WEEK!
Buffalo at Tampa Bay (CBS)
---You can't go wrong with Willis McGahee or Carnell Williams.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (CBS)
---GAME OF THE WEEK: No heat for you, Jaguars.
New England at Carolina (CBS)
---It's beginning to look a lot like last season for the Panthers.
Pittsburgh at Houston (CBS)
---The Steelers-Oilers rivalry was good. Steelers-Texans? Not so much.
Atlanta at Seattle (FOX, Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger)
---The Seahawks cannot afford to go 0-2 in this young season.
St. Louis at Arizona (FOX)
---UPSET OF THE WEEK: Not much of an upset, but oh well.
Miami at New York Jets (CBS)
---Will the Jets play to win the game this week after last week's pathetic effort?
Cleveland at Green Bay (CBS)
---Reggie White's #92 will be retired by the Packers on Sunday.
San Diego at Denver (CBS)
---Antonio Gates will be back for the Chargers.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City at Oakland (ESPN)
---Chiefs. Raiders. Rivalry city, baby.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
New York Giants vs New Orleans (ABC/ESPN)
---9 home games for the Giants.
Washington at Dallas (ABC)
---These two teams could go 3-13 and they would STILL be on Monday Night Football.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Enjoy the games.
In 25 words or less: Thirteen definitely wasn't a lucky number here. It was a night where not even four Ranger errors could help the Mariners.
[***NOTE -- post probably will be finished late Friday night.]
This one featured Jeff Harris going up against Kameron Loe. Could Harris right the shakiness of his last couple starts? Could the Mariners run their winning streak to four, the longest since right before the All-Star break? Could they take advantage of the homer-friendly confines in Arlington?
And thanks to Dan Lucero for finding this. Though we're grateful for any link, I was mildly disappointed that something along the lines of "so obsessive with the recaps, it's no wonder he's single!" wasn't included in the blip. It would have been good for at least a chuckle. Yes, I'm joking. About the disappointment part. Welcome to any new readers that may come as a result of that there link.
Phooey. Ichiro grounded out to Michael Young in the hole at short. Jeremy Reed punched a grounder down the rightfield line for a double. Raul Ibañez bounced the second pitch behind the mound, but Alfonso Soriano's throw to first was dropped by Mark Teixeira at first as Reed moved to third. Richie Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre walked on four pitches, moving Ibañez to second. Greg Dobbs bounced an 0-2 pitch to second.
Quick and to the painless. David Dellucci fell behind 0-2 and settled for a 1-2 groundout to short. Michael Young bounced the second pitch to Yuniesky Betancourt at short, who charged and threw to first for the out. Mark Teixeira lined out to Ichiro at the track in rightfield.
Early run. Jose Lopez popped high to short. Yuniesky Betancourt cranked a double off the leftfield scoreboard. Yorvit Torrealba got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch low and away. Ichiro took the first pitch high and outside and to the backstop, advancing Betancourt to third and Torrealba to second. Ichiro grounded to Teixeira at first, scoring Betancourt and moving Torrealba to third.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Reed flew out to Mench making a running catch in rightcenter.
Well-centered. Hank Blalock got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch inside. Alfonso Soriano popped the second pitch to rightfield. Kevin Mench flew out to Reed in deep centerfield on the second pitch. Adrian Gonzalez popped the 2-0 pitch to deep rightcenter, where Reed made a reaching running catch, plowing into the wall and holding onto the ball.
Err. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 offering back to the mound. Sexson tapped to Loe as well, but it went through his legs (error) and Sexson was aboard at first. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and tapped a 2-2 pitch to the mound, and Loe threw wide of second base trying to get the force on Sexson, and it went to centerfield, allowing Sexson to move to third. Dobbs flew out to deep centerfield, easily scoring Sexson.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 0
Lopez lined a ball off of Blalock's glove (error) and into leftfield for a single, moving Beltre to second. Betancourt grounded hard to Blalock at third, who stepped on the bag for the force.
Giving back. Gary Matthews, Jr. lined a 1-2 pitch over Betancourt at short for a single. Gerald Laird got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch low and away. Dellucci bounced a 2-0 pitch to first where Sexson threw to second, but second-base umpire Brian Knight actually called Laird safe on the neighborhood play on Betancourt tagging the bag (bases loaded). Young singled to leftfield on the first pitch for his 200th hit of the season, scoring Matthews and leaving the bases loaded.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 1
Teixeira flew out to leftfield on a 2-0 pitch, but Laird held at third. Blalock made good though, flying out even deeper to Ibañez who ran back and made a reaching over-the-shoulder catch, scoring Laird on the first pitch. Young had to tag second base on his way back to first after the catch.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 2
Alfonso Soriano popped a 2-2 pitch to Lopez in shallow rightfield.
Bah. Torrealba whiffed on a 1-2 dirtball (2-3 putout). Ichiro walked on four pitches (ball four low and away). Reed rolled to Teixeira, allowing Ichiro to advance to second. Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson bounced the first pitch to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice.
Even more glove. Mench doubled the second pitch toward the rightfield corner, even beating an Ichiro throw. Gonzalez popped to Ibañez on a running catch near the leftcenter track, allowing Mench to move to third. Matthews lined a lined fly ball into shallow rightcenter, where Reed dove and made a backhanded catch, though Mench scored on the play.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Laird flew out high to leftfield on the second pitch.
Dang it. Beltre popped a full-count pitch to centerfield. Dobbs stung a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. Lopez nailed Laird behind the plate in the catcher's helmet on a 1-1 backswing before popping the next pitch to Soriano on the infield. Betancourt doubled the first pitch off the base of the wall down the leftfield line, and Dobbs was nailed at the plate on the relay (7-6-2).
Zoom. Dellucci lined right to Sexson at first. Young flew out to centerfield. Teixeira whiffed on a full-count pitch.
More crap. Torrealba whiffed on a bunt attempt and fell behind 0-2 before lining a ball under Young at short for a single. Ichiro watched as Torrealba went to second on a horrible pickoff throw by Loe, who threw the ball well wide of first. Ichiro tried bunting for a base hit on the first pitch, but instead settled for a sacrifice as Torrealba moved to second.
Brian Shouse came in for Loe. Reed bounced the second pitch to third, and Blalock went home for the easy play on Torrealba coming in from third. Ibañez got ahead 3-0 and singled to rightfield on the 3-1 pitch, moving Reed to second.
Joaquin Benoit came in for Shouse. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full count checkswing, loading the bases. Beltre bounced the first pitch for a 4-6 fielder's choice.
Loe's line: 5 1/3 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 6 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 100 pitches (58 strikes)
Shouse's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Decent. Blalock grounded the 0-2 pitch to Sexson's feet, and he went to the bag. Alfonso Soriano flew out to Ichiro in fairly deep rightcenter on the first pitch. Mench was beaned on the kneecap and writhed in pain on the dirt, luring trainers and manager Buck Showalter to the plate, though Mench eventually made his way to first. The beaning snapped Harris' streak of retired Ranger hitters at eight. Gonzalez popped the second pitch short of the track in centerfield.
No runners left on, at least. Dobbs fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on the 1-2 pitch. Lopez popped to rightfield on the second pitch. Betancourt had a 3-0 count go full before flying out to third.
Benoit's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Fairly good ending. Matthews fell behind 0-2 and later grounded hard to second on a full count (ninth pitch). Laird popped the second pitch to rightfield. Dellucci got ahead 2-0 when Ibañez called timeout and threw the ball into the crowd, where the ball was given to a toddler, who threw it back onto the field of play. Dellucci later walked on four pitches. Young watched as Dellucci was gunned down at second on a 1-2 pitch. Jeff Nelson in the Mariner bullpen later hooked the toddler up with a ball, by the way, which his mother stashed away in her purse.
Harris' line: 7 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 3 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 96 pitches (56 strikes)
CJ Wilson came in for Benoit. Ramon Santiago, hitting for Torrealba, broke his bat on a soft lineout to short. Ichiro looked at a 1-2 pitch that he thought was under him, but it was a strikeout. Reed fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner.
Wilson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Harris. Young got ahead 3-0 and later popped to Lopez along the rightfield line on a full count. Teixeira dumped a 1-2 pitch into shallow centerfield for a single. Blalock slapped an 0-2 pitch down the leftfield line for a double, but Teixeira held up at third. Alfonso Soriano was nicked on the jersey with the second pitch, loading the bases. Mench fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to rightfield, and Teixeira broke for home and made it because Miguel Ojeda dropped Ichiro's throw from rightfield, which may have been about a millisecond late. Ojeda was a bit shaken up on the play, but remained in the game.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 2
Scott Atchison came in for Soriano.
Then Matt Thornton came in for Atchison before the latter even threw a pitch. Adrian Gonzalez looped out to Beltre on the left side.
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 24 pitches (17 strikes)
Thornton's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Wilson. Ibañez softly poked a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. Sexson broke his bat on a very slow roller to short, but it was slow enough to thwart a double play as Ibañez went to second. Beltre poked an 0-2 pitch through the right side for a single, scoring Ibañez.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 3
Dobbs rolled a full-count pitch to second, where Alfonso Soriano backhand flipped a bit low to Young, who was nearly drilled by Beltre sliding into second. Dobbs was safe at second, and Jaime Bubela ran for him. Dave Hansen, hitting for Lopez, watched as Bubela took second on a 1-2 pitch. Hansen whiffed on a full-count low slider. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
Gameball: Jeff Harris.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-40 .726 -- W7
2002 84-62 .575 22 L4
2003 84-62 .575 22 W2
2000 80-66 .548 26 W2
2005 64-82 .438 42 L1
2004 55-91 .377 51 L1
With the 0-for-4 game here, Ichiro still has 182 hits on the season and sits with a .299 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (608 at-bats in 146 games, 4.16 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 18 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .270 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 21 hits to finish with a .300 (.301) average for the season; he'd need to hit .315 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 34 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .510 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Hernandez. Rupe. Tonight.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
In 25 words or less: The Angels were held to two runs in the series after two games. The complete opposite happened here.
[first posted Thu ~9:10p; lack of sleep caught up to ol' me. So did a game that lasted three hours and twenty-seven minutes.]
This one featured Joe Saunders going up against Jamie Moyer.
Solid start. Chone Figgins fell behind 0-2 before popping a 1-2 pitch to Richie Sexson along the rightfield line. Orlando Cabrera bounced out to short. Garret Anderson got ahead 2-0 and wound up flying out to leftfield.
Early and often. Ichiro grounded the second pitch to first. Jeremy Reed walked on a 3-1 pitch low and away for a walk. Raul Ibañez took a 2-0 pitch very very high and to the backstop. Reed had gone to second on the pitch and had it easily, and the wildness allowed him to scoot to third. Ibañez nonetheless cranked the 3-0 pitch well over the wall in rightfield.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 0
Richie Sexson lined a full-count pitch into the rightfield seats over the Boeing advertisement.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 0
Adrian Beltre grounded the second pitch hard to a sliding Cabrera in the left-side hole. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 but dragged out the at-bat until popping to Adam Kennedy in shallow rightfield on a 1-2 pitch, the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
Very good. Vladimir Guerrero got ahead 3-1 and later flew out to Ichiro at the rightfield fence on a full count. Robb Quinlan popped a 2-0 pitch to Reed charging inward in centerfield. Casey Kotchman stuck the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Jose Molina fell behind 0-2 and took the 1-2 pitch to the left shoulder, moving Kotchman to second. Jeff DaVanon flew out to centerfield on a 2-2 pitch.
Split the uprights. Greg Dobbs fell behind 0-2 and poked a full-count pitch past Kotchman and down rightfield line for a double. Yuniesky Betancourt walked on four pitches. Miguel Ojeda fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a 1-2 change. Ichiro popped a 1-2 pitch to shallow leftfield, where Anderson made a running and sliding catch. Reed chopped the second pitch off of Kotchman's glove at first and down the rightfield line for a double, scoring Dobbs and moving Betancourt to third.
»» MARINERS 4, ANGELS 0
Ibañez laced the first pitch into centerfield for a single, scoring Betancourt and Reed.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 0
Sexson fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a full count.
Saunders' line: 2 innings, 6 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 57 pitches (33 strikes)
Brutal. Adam Kennedy fouled off four pitches with a full count before stinging the eleventh pitch of the at-bat past Lopez and into rightcenter for a double. Figgins singled through the left side, moving Kennedy to third. Cabrera popped a 2-2 pitch to Lopez on the infield. Anderson lasered the first pitch into rightfield for a single, scoring Kennedy and sending Figgins to third.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 1
Guerrero flew out to leftfield on the first pitch, and Figgins beat the throw home. Anderson tagged and went to second.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 2
Quinlan singled into rightfield on the first pitch, and Anderson beat the throw home. Quinlan took second on the throw.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 3
Kotchman singled the second pitch past Lopez and into centerfield, scoring Quinlan.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 4
Molina stuck a single into leftfield, moving Kotchman to second. DaVanon grounded the first pitch to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice.
Esteban Yan came in for Saunders. Beltre smoked the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Lopez singled into rightfield on a 2-0 pitch, moving Beltre to second. Dobbs got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch high and away. Betancourt flew out to rightfield on the second pitch, and Beltre tagged and scored.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 4
Ojeda smacked a 2-2 pitch right to Figgins in centerfield. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and eventually chopped a 2-2 pitch to third.
Odd. Kennedy flew out to centerfield. Figgins got ahead 3-0 and stung a 3-1 pitch into leftfield for a single. Cabrera watched as Figgins was snuffed out on the basepaths as Moyer threw to Sexson, who threw over to Betancourt at second. Cabrera later singled into rightfield. After Cabrera was nearly picked off of first, Anderson flew out to leftfield on an 0-2 pitch.
Zerophonic. Reed flew out to centerfield. Ibañez rolled to second on the first pitch. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and later took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner.
Yan's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 36 pitches (20 strikes)
No. Guerrero cranked a 3-1 high fastball for a double on the leftfield line and toward the corner. Quinlan bounced to third, and Guerrero held at second. Kotchman singled a 2-0 pitch up the middle, scoring Guerrero.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 5
Molina lined the first pitch into centerfield for a single, moving Kotchman to second. DaVanon grounded an 0-2 pitch to Sexson for a 3-1 putout, moving Kotchman to third and Molina to second. Kennedy got ahead 3-0 and wound up aingling into rightcenter, scoring Kotchman and Molina.
»» ANGELS 7, MARINERS 7
Figgins fell behind 0-2 and ended up watching as Kennedy took off too early from second, and Moyer threw over to first, starting the 1-6-3 putout.
Moyer's line: 5 innings, 7 runs, 13 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 101 pitches (64 strikes)
Kelvim Escobar came in for Yan. Beltre grounded a 1-2 pitch to third. Lopez grounded out to short. Dobbs whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Figgins lined a single into rightcenter. Cabrera got ahead 2-0 and wound up grounding to short, moving Figgins to second (he'd taken off with the pitch). Anderson popped the first pitch high to Betancourt on the outfield grass. Guerrero was intentionally walked. Quinlan whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Yippee. Betancourt lined the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Ojeda bunted the first pitch up the first-base line, and Escobar tagged Ojeda on his way down the line. Ichiro nubbed a 1-2 gapper into leftcenter for a double, scoring Betancourt.
»» MARINERS 8, ANGELS 7
Reed watched as Ichiro took third on a 2-0 pitch. Reed hit a broken-bat 3-0 single to centerfield, scoring Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 9, ANGELS 7
Ibañez watched as Reed was nailed trying to steal second. Ibañez singled to centerfield on a 2-0 pitch. Sexson tapped the second pitch back to the mound.
Escobar's line: 2 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 29 pitches (19 strikes)
Solid. Kotchman grounded a 2-0 pitch to short. Molina fell behind 0-2 and eventually whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. DaVanon whiffed on a 2-2 pitch as well.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
Brendan Donnelly came in for Escobar. Beltre popped the first pitch to Kennedy on the infield. Lopez popped a 2-0 pitch to DaVanon on the rightfield track. Dobbs worked a 1-2 count for a walk (high ball four). Betancourt fell behind 0-2 but singled to centerfield on a full count, moving Dobbs to second. Ojeda popped the second pitch high to rightcenter.
Donnelly's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (10 strikes)
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Kennedy whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Figgins walked on a high full-count pitch.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Cabrera hit the first pitch right to Lopez at second, who had a sure inning-ending double-play ball go off the heel of his glove as Figgins advanced to second and Cabrera reached on the error. Anderson bounced a 2-2 pitch through the hole on the right side, scoring Figgins and sending Cabrera to third.
»» MARINERS 9, ANGELS 8
Guerrero grounded the first pitch to Betancourt at short, who started the 6-4-3 double play.
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 1 run (unearned), 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (7 strikes)
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
Francisco Rodriguez came in for Donnelly. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and later grounded out to short. Reed lined out to third on the second pitch. Ibañez roped a full-count pitch into centerfield for a single. Sexson watched an 0-2 dirt breaking ball that went off Molina's shin guard, allowing Ibañez to move to second. Sexson later failed to hold his swing on a 2-2 fastball up and in.
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Quinlan bounced a 1-2 pitch that was hit right to Beltre, who bobbled it; Betancourt picked the ball up, but it was too late. Maicer Izturis ran for Quinlan at first. Zach Sorensen, hitting for Kotchman, bunted in front of the plate. Guardado fielded it and threw to first, where Lopez dropped the ball (error later given to Guardado for the throw). Izturis came all the way around third, trying to score, but Lopez (staying on the ground, long delay) finally picked the ball up and threw home in time to nail Izturis. Molina bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Bengie Molina, hitting for DaVanon, singled into rightfield on a 1-2 pitch, and Sorensen was able to beat Ichiro's throw home. Curtis Pride ran for Bengie Molina.
»» ANGELS 9, MARINERS 9
Juan Rivera, hitting for Kennedy, popped the first pitch to Ojeda in foul ground, reaching over a railing.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
In the field for the Angels, Izturis stayed in to play to third, Sorensen went to second, Rivera went to rightfield, and Darin Erstad came in to play first. Beltre took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and drilled a full-count double into the leftcenter gap. Ramon Santiago ran for Lopez. Dobbs was intentionally walked. Betancourt singled into leftfield, and Anderson airmailed the throw home, allowing Santiago to score easily. Ballgame.
»» MARINERS 10, ANGELS 9
Rodriguez' line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 35 pitches (19 strikes)
Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
Goat: Miguel Ojeda.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 105-40 .724 -- W6
2002 84-61 .579 21 L3
2003 83-62 .572 22 W1
2000 79-66 .545 26 W1
2005 64-81 .441 41 W3
2004 55-90 .379 50 W2
With the 1-for-5 game here, Ichiro has 182 hits on the season and sits with a .301 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (605 at-bats in 145 games, 4.17 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 18 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .254 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 21 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .296 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 34 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .479 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Harris. Loe. (Thursday).
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
In 25 words or less: Pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Also, there was a rarity...a walk-off hit in favor of the Mariners.
This one featured Paul Byrd going up against Ryan Franklin. The Mariners had a chance for a series win against the AL West division leaders. Surely that's too good of a thing to wish for. Or is it? The Mariners were one loss away from guaranteeing themselves a losing season, but were also one win away from guaranteeing at least a tie with last year's team at 63 wins, but no worse. How would they fare?
Harmless. Chone Figgins singled the second pitch through the left side for a single. Orlando Cabrera watched a 1-1 pitch as Figgins was nailed trying to steal second. Cabrera doubled the next pitch down the rightfield line. Garret Anderson bounced the second pitch behind the bag at first for a 3-1 putout, moving Cabrera to third. Vladimir Guerrero bounced a 1-2 pitch past the mound, and Yuniesky Betancourt charged, barehanded the ball, and threw to first in time. That play went for the #2 Web Gem on Baseball Tonight.
Ichiro chopped a 1-2 pitch toward the second-base bag on which Cabrera made the play. Jeremy Reed bounced out to second. Raul Ibañez lined the second pitch to leftfield for an out.
Decent. Darin Erstad got ahead 2-0 and wound up chopping out to short on a 2-2 pitch. Bengie Molina got ahead 2-0 and eventually bounced out to third. Steve Finley popped the second pitch to Betancourt near the leftfield line.
Sigh... Richie Sexson got ahead 3-1 and walked on a high pitch. Adrian Beltre got ahead 2-0 and later whiffed on a 2-2 pitch inside. Greg Dobbs slapped a first-pitch grounder to the left-side hole where Cabrera went to second for the force (6-4 fielder's choice). Jose Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch to short, and Cabrera barely beat Dobbs to the bag for the force.
Good recovery. Juan Rivera shot a second-pitch grounder past a diving Lopez and into centerfield for a single. Adam Kennedy chopped into a 5-4-3 double play, though Kennedy thought he'd beaten it. Figgins flew out high to rightfield on a full count.
Bunt cake. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced a 2-0 single through the left-side hole for a single. Yorvit Torrealba bunted the second pitch in front of the mound, and Byrd came up and threw to first, moving Betancourt to second. Ichiro bunted the first pitch toward the left side, and Byrd came off the mound to field it, but threw over Erstad at first, enabling Betancourt to score.
»» MARINERS 1, ANGELS 0
Reed air-bunted the first pitch to a fully-extending and diving Figgins along the third-base line. Ibañez bounced the second pitch to Erstad behind the bag at first.
Nice. Cabrera popped out to centerfield. Anderson flew out to Betancourt in shallow centerfield on the first pitch. Guerrero bounced the second pitch to short.
Bad bad bad. Sexson flew out very high to centerfield on an 0-2 pitch. Beltre laced a full-count single into leftcenter. Dobbs popped the first pitch high to centerfield, and for some reason Beltre tried to tag up and go to second, but was nailed by about eight feet.
Roll? Erstad popped the first pitch to Sexson just foul near the first-base line. Molina fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Finley got the hitters' counts and flew out to Sexson in front of the first-base dugout on a full count.
Bah. Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch to short. Betancourt ripped the first pitch into leftfield for a single. Torrealba whiffed on the first pitch, and Betancourt was nailed trying to steal second on the pitch. Torrealba whiffed on an 0-2 pitch down and away.
Still good. Rivera rolled a 2-0 pitch to short. Kennedy popped the first pitch high to rightfield. Figgins flew out to shallow leftfield.
Not much again. Ichiro lined the second pitch right to Cabrera at short. Reed shot the first pitch up the middle for a single. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away. Sexson fisted an 0-2 liner to Cabrera at short.
Roof leak. Cabrera popped the second pitch to Reed in rightcenter. Anderson hit a sinking fly ball to shallow centerfield, and Reed ran a long way and made the diving catch, which went for the #3 Web Gem on Baseball Tonight. Guerrero drilled the second pitch into leftcenter for a single, snapping Franklin's streak of 13 straight retired hitters. Erstad punched a 1-2 single through the right side, moving Guerrero to third. Molina poked a 1-2 single down the rightfield line, scoring Guerrero.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 1
Finley popped the second pitch to Betancourt for a one-handed over-the-head catch along the leftfield line with Beltre and Ibañez around him.
Throw it away. Beltre grounded a 3-1 pitch to Figgins, who threw him out, except the ball was ruled foul. Beltre ended up flying out to Guerrero in shallow rightfield. Dobbs slapped the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Lopez got ahead 2-0 and grounded hard into a 5-4-3 double play.
Sheesh. Rivera grounded the second pitch hard to second. Kennedy popped the first pitch to Ibañez near the track for a semi-teetering catch to his left side. Figgins popped the 0-2 pitch to Betancourt in shallow leftfield.
Nothing again. Betancourt popped the first pitch a few steps in front of the track in centerfield. Torrealba drilled the first pitch off of Byrd's glove but right to Cabrera for a 1-6-3 putout. Ichiro grounded the 0-2 pitch hard to third.
A near miracle. Cabrera chopped the first pitch hard to third, but Beltre couldn't spear the ball with his glove, though he got a glove on it (single). Anderson nailed the rightfield ballgirl with the first pitch, a foul ball. Anderson drilled the next pitch down the rightfield line, and it went into the stands for a ground-rule double, moving Cabrera to third. Guerrero was intentionally walked, loading the bases with nobody out.
George Sherrill came in for Franklin. Erstad bounced to Beltre at third, who stepped on the bag to force out Anderson and threw home to get Cabrera in a rundown, and Torrealba tagged him out.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Molina chopped a 2-0 pitch very high to the left side, where Beltre threw in time to first.
Franklin's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 8 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 96 pitches (60 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Putz' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (1 strike)
Nearly very bad. Reed showed bunt on the second pitch, waited a bit, then bunted to the right side past Byrd for a single. Ibañez looped an 0-2 pitch into shallow rightfield for a single, moving Reed to third.
Scot Shields came in for Byrd (Maicer Izturis came in for Finley). Sexson grounded to the left side, where Kennedy held Reed at second and turned the double play, tossing to Maicer Izturis at second to start it (5-8-3) among a five-man infield. After the weird defensive alignment, Izturis was moved to third and Figgins was moved to centerfield. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and was intentionally walked. Dobbs watched as Beltre took second on indifference on the first pitch. Dobbs ended up knocking the second pitch into centerfield. Ballgame.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 1
Byrd's line: 8 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 8 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 86 pitches (66 strikes)
Shields' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (3 strikes)
Gameball: Ryan Franklin.
We've bagged on Ryan Franklin here many times this year, and many more times after the steroid suspension. What he did in this game was basically have his way with the Angel offense up until he ran into trouble to start the eighth. I think the Angel broadcasters said that Franklin had only one quality start in his last six starts going into this game, and he'd nearly bottomed out after the steroid suspension. Unlike Piñeiro on Monday night, whose resulting jam was tempered by the fact that the Mariners were up five runs at the time, Franklin left a 1-1 game in the ninth with the bases loaded. In the seventh, Franklin had a streak snapped where he'd set down thirteen straight Angel hitters. That went all the way back to the third inning. This was impressive stuff. Franklin's eight hits weren't really scattered, they were bunched into the first, third, and seventh innings. He had some stuff working in this game, or maybe it was just stuff that was good enough to shut down the Angels' hot-and-cold bats.
Goat: Jose Lopez.
Well, he didn't do anything completely horrible, he just didn't make any crooked numbers in the boxscore other than for at-bats, helping turn a double play, and grounding into a double play to kill off the seventh inning. I hope this guy hits .260 or .270 this year. Though he hasn't been up with the big club for a huge stretch of time, I just hope he learns how to hit on a semi-consistent basis in the Majors. We've seen some short flashes of brilliance out of his bat here and there, and we've seen the same with Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt has his crazy glovework to help him out on the side, and Lopez doesn't have that, so somebody's gotta hit eventually. I get uncomfortable seeing him crouch that low in the batters' box if only for the fact that he's hitting .225 in 129 at-bats. Is it working? Will it work? Has it worked? Above triple-A? In other horribly unrelated news, Lopez is younger than me and therefore makes me feel old. What happened to the days when everyone on the Mariner team was old?
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 104-40 .722 -- W5
2002 84-60 .583 20 L2
2003 82-62 .569 22 L3
2000 78-66 .542 26 L1
2005 63-81 .438 41 W2
2004 54-90 .375 50 W1
The 2005 Mariners have 63 wins, therefore guaranteeing they can drop every game for the rest of the season and still not be worse recordwise than the 2004 Mariners. One more win and the season is officially a better one recordwise than the 2004 season. Also, though more of a crazy unlikelihood, the Mariners still have a remote chance of winning the last eighteen games and finishing with a .500 season. Though there's no way in hell that's going to happen, an 18-game improvement from one year to the next is incredibly good. I'm still rooting for a 14-game improvement myself. That of course means I'm rooting for a 14-4 finish from here on out. It's a tall order, sure. Yeah, it's impossible. There's an 11-game east-coast road trip in there. Not gonna happen. If they go .500 from here on out, they'll be 72-90. Losing ninety games is still bad, though that would be a nine-game improvement over the previous year. It's not quite competitive, sure, but that's a solid improvement. I've just looked at the standings, actually, and the Mariners are 36-38 at home. They have seven home games left. A 41-40 home record wouldn't be a bad thing to aim for.
Actually, the ninth inning featured two monumental jams that both teams nearly escaped. Luckily, only one team did. The Angels had the bases loaded with nobody out in the top of the ninth. One ground ball later to Adrian Beltre, and the Mariners had two out. One high chopper to Beltre, and the inning was done. The Mariners had runners on first and third with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. Richie Sexson got up and grounded into a double play to a five-man infield, which is something I'll probably never see again. Adrian Beltre took two balls, which later was as good as an intentional walk, then Greg Dobbs won the game and good times were had. You know, it seems to me the Mariners in recent years really haven't been very adept to the walk-off hits. I can barely remember the walk-off hits. I seem to remember Raul Ibañez walking off with a homer early last year. I'll never forget Jay Buhner's extra-inning double against the Royals that scored Mike Cameron even though the later replays showed he was out. Then there was the 19-inning game, which I'll never forget.
Multi-hit games in this one belonged to Jeremy Reed, Greg Dobbs, and Yuniesky Betancourt. Reed and Dobbs were 2-for-4, and Betancourt was 2-for-3. Dobbs had the only Mariner RBI of the night, since the first Mariner run came in on Paul Byrd's overthrow of first base on an Ichiro bunt. Reed singled with one out in the sixth and placed the perfect bunt to lead off the ninth, leading to his scoring of the winning run. Dobbs singled with one out in the seventh, only to be doubled off via a Jose Lopez ground ball. Dobbs also ended the game with a single. Betancourt singled to lead off the third (he scored the first run of the game later that inning) and singled with one out in the fifth, both good solid hits. I was going to say that the common thread with these guys is that they all are arguably part of the Mariners' youth movement, but I'd only be two-thirds right because Dobbs is 27 years of age. It's much in the same way as George Sherrill is a rookie despite being 28 years old. Yes, the Mariners have some old rookies on the premises.
With the 1-for-4 game here, Ichiro has 181 hits on the season and sits with a .302 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (600 at-bats in 144 games, 4.17 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 19 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .253 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 22 hits to finish with a .300 (.301) average for the season; he'd need to hit .293 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 35 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .467 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Isn't it weird? The Mariners get the shaky start from Felix on the weekend, and then they get back-to-back good starts from Joel Piñeiro and Ryan Franklin. If Gil Meche was still pitching, it'd be weird if he pitched Wednesday and went eight shutout innings. I wouldn't know what to think about the whole first 80 percent of the season then. Even more weird is that the Mariners have already won this series and they're going for a sweep now. Good times.
Saunders. Moyer. Today.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
In 25 words or less: The starting pitching was way better than it should have been, and same with the offense. That's a good thing.
[posted in full Wed ~5:15a]
This one featured Ervin Santana going up against Joel Piñeiro. Which Joel Piñeiro would we see? How would the Mariners follow up after Felix Hernandez had the worst outing of his young Major League career the day before?
Joel-esque. Chone Figgins doubled the first pitch down the rightfield line, catching the corner of the stands. Orlando Cabrera chopped high to third, but the ball was speared by Adrian Beltre at the line, and he threw in time to first as Figgins advanced to third on the play. Garret Anderson popped the second pitch to Raul Ibañez in leftfield, and Figgins tagged and scored.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 0
Vladimir Guerrero fell behind 0-2 and wound up popping a 1-2 pitch to Jose Lopez drifting back into shallow rightfield.
No denting. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and wound up lining a 2-2 pitch to a leaping Cabrera at short. Jeremy Reed rolled the second pitch to first. Raul Ibañez lined a first-pitch single into leftfield. Richie Sexson had the hitters' counts and whiffed on a full count.
Decent. Darin Erstad got ahead 3-0 and whiffed on a high full-count fastball. Bengie Molina grounded the second pitch deep in the hole to Yuniesky Betancourt on the left side. Casey Kotchman rolled the second pitch to first.
Bleah. Adrian Beltre chopped the second pitch to third and got aboard with the infield single. Greg Dobbs looped the first pitch into shallow centerfield for a single, moving Beltre to second. Jose Lopez popped a 2-0 pitch high to Adam Kennedy on the back slope of the mound. Yuniesky Betancourt air-bunted the first pitch in front of the mound, and Santana caught it. Dobbs was nearly doubled off of first on the play. Yorvit Torrealba grounded the first pitch hard to short, and Cabrera's backhand flip to second was nearly late getting Dobbs, but Kennedy stepped on the bag in time.
Odd. Steve Finley flew out near the rightfield track on a 1-2 pitch. Adam Kennedy golfed the first pitch off the rightcenter track and into the crowd for a double; the ball dropped right in front of Ichiro, though he and Jeremy Reed may have miscommunicated. Figgins rolled the first pitch to short. Cabrera popped the second pitch high to first.
Juice. Ichiro swatted a 2-2 pitch into shallow leftfield for a single. Reed popped a 2-0 pitch into shallow rightfield that nearly dropped in front of Guerrero, but he caught it. Ibañez popped the second pitch to rightfield. Sexson whiffed on a 2-0 pitch on which Ichiro stole second with a high throw. Sexson crushed the next pitch into the back of the Mariner bullpen in leftcenter.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 1
Beltre popped the second pitch to rightfield.
Good. Anderson drove the first pitch to leftcenter that Reed ran a long way to get, but he got it and juggled it out of his glove, but got it back. Guerrero rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Erstad popped the second pitch high to centerfield.
More. Dobbs popped the first pitch high to rightfield. Lopez took a hard 2-2 pitch and was nailed on the arm or something, but I wouldn't know since the Angel telecast was busy showing a rookie initiation picture instead of using the replay to see where Lopez was beaned. Betancourt watched as Lopez took second on the first pitch, a ball in the dirt. Betancourt flew out high to Kennedy on the rightfield grass. Torrealba laced a 2-2 single up the middle, scoring Lopez.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 1
Ichiro was intentionally walked. Reed popped out to Kennedy on the rightfield grass.
Might someone be rolling? Molina popped an 0-2 pitch to the rightfield track. Kotchman rolled to second. Finley popped to Betancourt in shallow centerfield.
Add on. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and later drove a full-count pitch off the track and wall in centerfield for a double. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and had the front of his jersey untucked by a 1-2 pitch way inside. Beltre bounced to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice as he beat out the double play at first with Ibañez moving to third. Dobbs popped a 2-2 pitch to Figgins in foul ground on the right side. Lopez took a 2-1 pitch and Beltre took off for second and drew a throw, but Kennedy's throw back home wasn't that great, and Ibañez scored. Beltre was safe at second.
»» MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1
Lopez was ahead 3-1 but whiffed on a full count.
Roll. Kennedy bounced out to second. Figgins rolled the second pitch to second. Cabrera bounced a 1-2 pitch to short.
Meah. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Guerrero in shallow rightfield. Torrealba drilled a 2-2 single over the middle.
Jason Christiansen came in for Santana. Ichiro drove a flyout to deep leftcenter. Reed got ahead 2-0 and eventually bounced out to second.
Santana's line: 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 96 pitches (58 strikes)
Christiansen's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
On fire. Anderson roped the second pitch to Lopez in the hole on the right side, and he threw to first. Guerrero flew out to Lopez in shallow rightcenter. Erstad grounded out to second.
Kevin Gregg came in for Christiansen. Ibañez got ahead 3-1 and popped a full-count pitch that carried into the visitors' bullpen.
»» MARINERS 5, ANGELS 1
Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on an outside pitch. Beltre got ahead 3-1 and stuck a full-count pitch up the middle. Dobbs took an 0-2 pitch that rolled past Molina (passed ball), moving Beltre to second. Dobbs later took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Lopez stuck the second pitch the other way into rightfield for a double, scoring Beltre.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 1
Betancourt popped the second pitch to Erstad in foul ground on the right side.
Gregg's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
Dodging bullet. Molina took a 3-1 pitch for a walk, snapping Piñeiro's streak of retired Angels at twelve. Kotchman rolled the second pitch to second, advancing Molina to second. Finley worked an 0-2 count full before taking a breaking ball over the inside corner. Kennedy singled the second pitch into shallow centerfield, moving Molina to third. Figgins got ahead 2-0 and Kennedy took second on the 2-2 pitch. Figgins ended up walking on a low pitch, loading the bases.
JJ Putz came in for Piñeiro. Cabrera popped an 0-2 pitch to Ichiro in shallow rightfield.
Piñeiro's line: 7 2/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 91 pitches (57 strikes)
Putz' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Greg Jones came in for Gregg. Torrealba looped a 2-0 pitch into centerfield for a single. Ichiro reached low and lined out to centerfield on the second pitch. Reed lined the second pitch into the leftfield corner for a double, scoring Torrealba, who beat the throw home.
»» MARINERS 7, ANGELS 1
Ibañez drilled a full-count pitch into leftfield, scoring Reed easily.
»» MARINERS 8, ANGELS 1
Sexson bounced a 3-1 pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play.
Jones' line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Anderson whiffed on a 2-2 pitch down and away. Guerrero fisted a pitch up the middle for a single. Erstad whiffed on an 0-2 pitch low and away. Molina took a strike and four balls. Kotchman popped to centerfield. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Yorvit Torrealba.
Unlike Miguel Olivo's Seattle tenure, Torrealba has been a solid backstop and he's shown something at the plate. He's warmed up at the plate ever since snapping the 0-for-20 skid on Sunday. Frankly, if he goes 3-for-4 in any game, I'll probably be putting him in this spot. It's not just good for him, it's good because Ichiro is behind him, and if you give Ichiro chances to hit with runners aboard, I'd have to say that's generally a good thing. The only drawback I could see to that is if Ichiro were trying to leg out a triple and somehow passed whatever catcher you had hitting ninth that day on the basepaths. That'd be bad. Anyway, the Angels only got him out the one time, and that was on a pretty hard-hit ball that nearly got through Orlando Cabrera in the second with two on and two out, and Cabrera nearly muffed the backhand toss over to Adam Kennedy at second. Torrealba singled in every remaining at-bat. If he's a stopgap until Jeff Clement comes up, I'd have to say I'm okay with that scenario coming out of camp next spring. Give Clement at least half of next year and see where he's at, then maybe think about bringing him up. If not, I guess we'll see Clement next September or in 2007.
Goat: Yuniesky Betancourt.
He unfortunately went 0-for-4 on a night where the Mariner lineup pounded out fourteen hits and no one else went hitless. Of course, there was his usual defensive nuttiness, but I hardly think any of his crazy defensive plays made a seven-run difference in the game. That's harsh, yes, but somehow I have to pick a goat for this game. I hope Betancourt and Jose Lopez put their hitting shoes on next year. If both of those guys hit .260, I'll be cool with it. Fifteen homers from Lopez, I'd be all right with that. Eight triples for Betancourt, and I'd be cool with that. I'd dig some passable hitting from the middle infielders, and some big damage from the corner infielders. Even better so far this season has been that the defensive ineptitude of Jose Lopez has been much less prevalent than last year, when he racked up many errors in a short amount of time. In other words, Mike Morse was 2005's Jose Lopez. Sure, there's an obvious difference in height between the two. Hopefully only the one between the two of them took steroids in the minors too.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 103-40 .720 -- W4
2002 84-59 .587 19 L1
2003 82-61 .573 21 L2
2000 78-65 .545 25 W2
2005 62-81 .434 41 W1
2004 53-90 .371 50 L1
Well, this game certainly got out of hand, didn't it? The Mariners didn't necessarily tattoo any one pitcher, nor did they pound out a big inning. They just played add-on, battering the Angels with a series of onesies and twosies, and did they definitely kept adding to the offensive smorgasbord. The aforementioned smorgasbord consisted of fourteen Mariner hits, five of them going for extra bases. Doubles were hit by Raul Ibañez, Jose Lopez, and Jeremy Reed. Homers were hit by Richie Sexson, who hit his 35th (third homer in the last five games) and Raul Ibañez, who luckily put a cushion of three between himself and Ichiro with his 18th homer of the season.
Multi-hit games in this one went to Raul Ibañez, Adrian Beltre, and Torrealba (gameball). Ibañez had himself a monster day, going 4-for-5 with a double, homer, two RBIs, and even a steal of home on the front end of a double steal. He singled with two out in the first, led off the fifth with a double that one-hopped the wall in centerfield, homered to lead off the seventh, then hit a one-out RBI single in the eighth. Beltre went 2-for-4, getting aboard with a leadoff infield single in the second, and getting on with a traditional single with one out in the seventh. But hey, hits of any kind are good, really, and Beltre ended up scoring later in the seventh on a Jose Lopez double.
But it wasn't all about the hitting. Joel Piñeiro had one of his better starts of the year, making one truly wonder if maybe he really was hurt during all the times that he's been far from stellar this season. He had a streak of twelve straight retired Angel hitters in the eighth inning before it started getting a bit dicey. Perhaps if not for the shaky start to the eighth inning, maybe he goes all nine. After the first inning, he pretty much manhandled the lineup of the division leaders. In a way, isn't that typical Piñeiro? Hasn't Joel even in his best form struggled in the first innings of his starts? We know that Gil Meche is the Big Inning guy, but Joel Piñeiro has been the Big First Inning guy. What do you say after a start like this? Do you say that it's good to have Joel back? I don't think I'd go quite that far, because I still need a bit more to convince myself that he's even on his way back. Not that this start wasn't encouraging, because it certainly was. Let's hope he can get through spring training next year without any health issues, and let's see how he looks around late March.
With the 1-for-4 game here, Ichiro has 180 hits on the season and sits with a .302 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (596 at-bats in 143 games, 4.17 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 20 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .253 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 23 hits to finish with a .300 (.301) average for the season; he'd need to hit .290 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 36 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .455 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Might the Mariners win this series? Against the Angels? Against the division leaders? Against their lineup? Even with having to face Vladimir Guerrero?
Byrd. Franklin. Tonight.
Monday, September 12, 2005
[for Jeremy's quick take on the game, scroll down a post or click here if you're wading through the archive]
Since I won't be in the Seattle market this year (no guaranteed local telecasts), and since I'll be in two different places for parts of the football season (no sense getting Sunday Ticket if I won't be at my place for five months and it'd probably be weird taking a laptop to a bar), there's no way I can count on video feed for every Seahawk game this season. Through pure luck, they did air Seahawks/Jaguars in the Hawaii market, so I was able to watch it, though I didn't want to go crazy with the game posts like last year because I knew there'd be no way I'd be able to keep that up.
So, I start with a completely different format. I have no idea if it'll hold up, but here it is for now.
Off the top of my head, and what's apparent from the NFL.com gamebook...
-- much less dropped balls
-- two third-down stops in the red zone by the defense (from the 5 and the 11)
-- other third-down defensive stops from the 23, 25 (missed field goal), 39, and 23
-- sacks from Marcus Trufant, Bryce Fisher, and Rocky Bernard (helmet loss on the play)
-- less getting torched on jump balls like games in the past that I remember in Minnesota or Baltimore
-- Shaun Alexander busting the 36-yard run on the touchdown drive
In my abbreviated game notes...
-- Grant Wistrom bulldozed Byron Leftwich into a bad throw on 3rd-and-10 on the ensuing possession after the Seahawks' first touchdown
-- with the ball on the Seattle 33 after the first Hasselbeck pick, the defense allows a nine-yard run, then holds the Jags on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1, forcing a missed field goal
-- Shaun Alexander's 36 yard run was great...he was huge on that touchdown drive right before the half
-- Jordan Babineaux plowed Pearman on a kickoff
-- Marcus Trufant forced a Leftwich fumble, but it was recovered by the tri-state area's favorite son, Kyle Brady
-- somehow the defense held the Jags to a field goal after the idiotic Hasselbeck pick in the fourth quarter; that drive started at the 15
-- Jerramy Stevens moved the sticks on the 3rd-and-13 play on the final drive
-- last three possessions ended in an interception, fumble, and an interception
-- trouble establishing the run until the touchdown drive right before halftime
-- Matt Hasselbeck throwing three picks and fumbling once
-- that play where the interception was caught with the Deon Grant's left foot out of bounds
-- third quarter time of possession...Jacksonville 11:55, Seattle 3:05
-- Jimmy Smith grabbing the ball out of Marcus Trufant's hands in the left sideline of the end zone
-- Jimmy Smith in general
-- would Itula Mili have been able to make a difference?
-- would Ray Rhodes in the stadium have made a difference?
-- Hasselbeck hurried and hit a lot; how good do you feel about this offensive line?
-- sure, there were third-down stops, but the defense managed zero takeaways
-- I hate when trick plays work against my team; end around, fake end around, I don't care
-- that tipped ball that went to Greg Wrighster? That kind of crap only happens to Seattle teams
In my abbreviated game notes...
-- how could I forget Josh Scobey's fumble on the opening kickoff?
-- the Jaguars threw at will on the first drive until the defense stopped them on 3rd-and-1
-- first possession collapsed after two first-down passes to Darrell Jackson
-- defense blew a 3rd-and-7 after a false-start penalty
-- first decent running play didn't come until the second set of downs in the third possession on a Shaun Alexander 10-yard draw
-- first Hasselbeck interception had Bobby Engram with three Jaguars around him
-- offense goes three-and-out after Jacksonville misses the field goal, with Alex Bannister unable to catch a third-down ball at his shoulders
-- I don't care what anyone says, the Jags ran the play clock past zero before the play where Smith caught the 45-yard pass
-- Smith catches a 35-yard touchdown on the play right after the Rocky Bernard sack...I have "defensive confusion" in my notes
-- first Jacksonville drive after the half, Chuck Darby encroached on 3rd-and-3...that drive ended in a touchdown about five minutes later
-- that drive included Greg Jones running over Andre Dyson for a first down, then the tipped ball to Wrighster for 27 yards
-- Hasselbeck delay of game on a 3rd-and-15 play, first possession of fourth quarter, down 20-14
-- after defense stalls a Jag drive near midfield, Hasselbeck throws the braindead pick on the first play
-- then there was Hasselbeck getting steamrolled and fumbling
-- Hasselbeck picked one last time on the final drive, which reeked of the final drive last year in New England and wouldn't have made a difference even if they scored a touchdown on it
-- I mean, they could have scored a touchdown, but plays like the Dallas on-side kick on Monday night last year NEVER GO THE SEAHAWKS' WAY
...YOU KNOW I'VE HAD MY SHARE
Well, I don't know exactly what to say about this game or this team, but I'll try to say something, and it might rehash the above, I have no idea.
I'm glad there were less drops and I'm glad the defense could get off the field every once in a while on third down (Jacksonville was 4-for-13 on third down). I'm not glad that Josh Scobey coughed up the good field position and set the tone for the entire game with that fumble on the opening kickoff. That wasn't Trent-Dilfer-getting-injured-in-the-first-possession-of-a-preseason-game bad, but it was still a bad omen and a tonesetter. The passing game ran lukewarm and cold, and Hasselbeck wasn't totally sharp, and his decisionmaking was horrible on the picks. On the other hand, there were some instances where the pass protection suffered massive breakdowns and allowed guys to get to Hasselbeck nearly unimpeded. Coming into this game, everyone was unsure of how the defense was going to perform, but coming out of it, I'm unsure about this offensive line. Is the Jacksonville front seven just that good, or is the Seattle offensive line just worse than we thought? I thought the latter when Chris Gray drew that false start penalty. Sure glad we kept him. Of course, if the offensive line was suspect, that didn't help the running game either. Alexander was a big factor only on the one touchdown drive, and the rest of the time holes were closing up on him very quickly or he danced around too much, and the latter isn't the line's fault.
I wish Itula Mili would have been available.
Well, there goes Week 1. Jeremy will say it again if he hasn't already, but the Seahawks can't afford an 0-2 start. Too bad they have to wrestle a win from Ron Mexico and the Atlanta Falcons to do that.
It's bad when the only solace a Seahawk fan can take after Week 1 is that the Rams lost and the Cardinals got the crap pounded out of them, but that's what we have to do this week. Just tell yourself that the Vikings got beat and the Broncos got smeared too. Maybe that'll elicit a smile from someone.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Those two categories sum up the game for me, folks.
I may update this post later, so we'll see what happens.
Ron Mexico comes to Seattle next Sunday. It's only just begun.
In 25 words or less: Felix exudes his inner Gil Meche, blowing an early lead while the Mariners fail to put up any more runs.
[***NOTE -- actually posted ~10:23p]
This day of rememberance featured a game where Bruce Chen was going up against Felix Hernandez. Could Felix give Seattle sports fans something to cheer about after the Seahawks were stomped earlier in the day? Please? It's obvious what the answer is since the score is all over the top of this post.
Decent start. Brian Roberts popped a 3-1 pitch to centerfield. Bernie Castro grounded the first pitch to Yuniesky Betancourt in the left side hole, and Castro beat out the throw. Melvin Mora watched the 2-1 pitch as Castro stole second without a throw. Mora got ahead 3-1 and ended up whiffing on a full count. Miguel Tejada bounced out to short.
Early runs, though it could have been more. Ichiro softly lined a single over Tejada at short and into leftfield. Jamal Strong was nailed in the left hand with a pitch, but umpire Bruce Froemming didn't let him have first base until he reviewed the situation involving Strong's hand, moving Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez grounded out to Tejada in the hole at short, moving Ichiro and Strong to third and second. Richie Sexson took a four-pitch walk, loading the bases. Adrian Beltre nubbed a 1-2 pitch to Chen along the third-base line, who tossed to Sal Fasano at the plate, but he dropped the ball and Ichiro was able to score.
»» MARINERS 1, ORIOLES 0
Jose Lopez lined the second pitch toward leftfield, but Tejada climbed the ladder and speared it, and the runners had to hold. Jeremy Reed got ahead 2-0 and wound up walking on a full-count pitch low and away, forcing Strong across the plate and leaving the bases loaded.
»» MARINERS 2, ORIOLES 0
Yuniesky Betancourt took the first pitch about two feet in front of the plate, off Sal Fasano's chest protector and to the backstop, enabling Sexson to score.
»» MARINERS 3, ORIOLES 0
Betancourt popped the second pitch to Tejada near the leftfield line.
Bad. Greg Dobbs came in for Strong in leftfield after Strong's hand more than likely acted up on him. Jay Gibbons laced a 2-0 single into rightfield. BJ Surhoff got ahead 2-0 and eventually walked on a full-count pitch down and away, moving Gibbons to second. Alejandro Freire walked on four pitches, loading the bases and bringing Bryan Price to the mound. David Newhan flew out near the rightfield track, and it was more than deep enough to score Gibbons from third.
»» MARINERS 3, ORIOLES 1
Sal Fasano took an 0-2 wicked curve on the outside corner. Roberts got ahead 3-0 and settled for a walk on a full-count pitch outside, reloading the bases. Castro doubled the first pitch into the leftfield corner and into the stands, scoring Surhoff and Freire.
»» ORIOLES 3, MARINERS 3
Mora singled into rightfield, scoring Castro and Roberts. Ichiro gunned back to the infield, and they caught Mora before he could get to second.
»» ORIOLES 5, MARINERS 3
Crap. Yorvit Torrealba popped to Freire near the stands on the first-base side. Ichiro crushed the first pitch for a foul near-homer down the rightfield line. He later scooped a 2-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. Dobbs took a 2-2 curve over the outside corner. Ibañez watched as Ichiro stole second on the second pitch with a wide and high throw. Ibañez ended up flying out high to Gibbons near the rightfield corner and a foot from the wall.
Whew. Tejada bounced the second pitch to second. Gibbons doubled an 0-2 pitch into the rightcenter gap for a double. Surhoff lined the first pitch to Betancourt, who easily threw to second to double off Gibbons.
Bleah. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a high hard 1-2 pitch. Beltre rolled over a 1-2 pitch and grounded to short, but Tejada threw past first base and toward the camera well (E6). Lopez grounded into a near-double play, but he beat it out at first (Beltre forced out). Reed looped the second pitch to leftfield, but Surhoff made a charging and sliding catch (nearly a trap) for the out.
Best inning so far. Freire took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Newhan bunted back to the mound. Fasano whiffed on a 2-2 offspeed pitch outside.
Still in slumber. Betancourt took an 0-2 curve over the inside corner. Torrealba lined the first pitch into leftfield for a single, snapping an 0-for-20 slump. Ichiro scooped the first pitch into Roberts' glove up the middle in the air. Dobbs whiffed on a 2-2 pitch.
Solid inning. Roberts grounded the first pitch to second. Castro fell behind 0-2 and waved at a 1-2 pitch outside. Mora flew out to Reed on the second pitch running toward the rightcenter track.
Same ol'. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and popped high to centerfield on the 1-2 pitch. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and ripped a single to leftfield. Beltre popped an 0-2 pitch deep to Gibbons in rightcenter, and Sexson was able to tag and move to second on the play. Lopez looped an 0-2 pitch into shallow centerfield that was caught with a gentle dive by Newhan. s
Solid, though more pitches. Tejada broke his bat on a 1-2 grounder to third as Felix retired eight straight hitters. Gibbons popped to Reed in centerfield on a full count. Surhoff got ahead 3-1 and wound up flying out to Reed in leftcenter on a full count.
Ugh. Reed bounced the first pitch to short. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Mora reaching over a railing on the third-base side in foul ground. Torrealba lined a fly into centerfield directly over Newhan, who had much trouble with the ball, spinning and having a devil of a time. Torrealba ended up on second with the double. Ichiro took a 2-2 fastball up and away for strike three.
Chen's line: 6 innings, 3 runs (unearned), 5 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 104 pitches (70 strikes)
They woke up again. Freire tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Newhan drove the first pitch near the rightfield corner for a double, snapping the Felix streak of eleven straight retired Orioles. Fasano rolled a 1-2 pitch off the tip of Beltre's glove and into leftfield for a single, scoring Newhan. Ed Rogers ran for Fasano.
»» ORIOLES 6, MARINERS 3
Roberts flew out near the rightfield track on a 1-2 pitch. Castro bounced the first pitch to second.
Hernandez' line: 7 innings, 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 106 pitches (68 strikes)
Tim Byrdak came in for Chen (Geronimo Gil came in for Fasano). Dobbs took an 0-2 pitch over the outside corner. Ibañez took a full-count dirtball for a walk.
Todd Williams came in for Byrdak. Sexson watched a wild second pitch and Ibañez moved over to second base. Sexson got ahead 3-1 and later tapped back to the mound, though Ibañez sneaked over to third. Beltre bounced the second pitch on a shorthop to third.
Byrdak's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Hernandez. Mora got ahead 3-1 and eventually popped a full-count pitch to Dobbs in shallow leftcenter. Tejada bounced an 0-2 pitch to short. Gibbons popped high to short.
Mateo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Boo. Lopez bounced a pitch into the left-side hole and Tejada made an absolutely crazy long throw in time to first. Reed rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single. Ramon Santiago, hitting for Betancourt, lined out to centerfield. Dave Hansen, hitting for Torrealba, grounding a full-count pitch hard to first for a 3-1 putout.
Williams' line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 24 pitches (14 strikes)
Matt Thornton came in for Mateo. Surhoff lined the second pitch right to Beltre. Chris Gomez got the hitters' counts and ended up grounding to third on a full count. Newhan chopped out to a charging Lopez at second.
Thornton's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
BJ Ryan came in for Williams (Luis Matos came in to play center, Newhan moved to right for Surhoff). Ichiro popped a 2-0 pitch to third. Dobbs poked a sharp single through the left side on the second pitch. Ibañez flew out to leftfield on an 0-2 pitch. Sexson worked a 1-2 count for a walk, moving Dobbs to second. Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 pitch down and in. Ballgame.
Ryan's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Yorvit Torrealba.
The Mariners' mostly-starting catcher post-trade deadline snapped an 0-for-20 skid with his leadoff single in the fourth inning. He followed that up with a two-out double in the sixth inning, which was more like a ball that was directly at David Newhan in centerfield, but Newhan had trouble judging and getting to the baseball, which eventually dropped safely. Sure, one of the hits might be cheap, but Torrealba was one of only two Mariners that notched a multi-hit game today. That's probably scary considering that the Mariners only got seven hits in a game where Bruce Chen was the starting pitcher. Even worse, the Mariners only hung up nine runs in the three-game series against the Orioles. Only so many pitchers out there can win on occasion with their team scoring only three runs for them. The Mariners had two guys that maybe could do it going in the series, and one of the two won (Jamie Moyer and not Felix). Back to Yorvit though, all it took was an 0-for-20 cold spell and going hitless in seven straight games to sink his average with the Mariners to .239. He was at .319 on August 28th.
Goat: Adrian Beltre.
How else can you react when you look at the boxscore and see not only an 0-for-5, but also a big 6 in the "LOB" column? Six baserunners left on base? For what we're putting up with this year in terms of league adjustment, Adrian Beltre better have a 2006 where he hits .310, clubs 40 homers, and drives in 110 because we're putting up with a lot this year from Beltre at the plate. The book I've been hearing for months is how he can't catch up to a good fastball. What's sick is that he could catch up to a good fastball while playing on one foot last year, and he can't do it this year with a seemingly normal foot. I guess there's some added vitriol here due to the Sal Fasano single that went off of his glove and into leftfield to score Baltimore's final run, but really, this has been sort of building for a while now. It sucks if we have to let Beltre slide for an entire year while he tries to figure himself out in a new league, a new park, and a new city. It was just coupled by the fact that he was the tying run in the ninth at the plate and didn't make contact, let alone yank one. Of course, one could debate whether that's even a reasonable thought since he hasn't homered since the 20th of August, the third of the four-game series in Minnesota. That's twenty games without a homer from Beltre.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 102-40 .718 -- W3
2002 84-58 .592 18 W3
2003 82-60 .577 20 L1
2000 77-65 .542 25 W1
2005 61-81 .430 41 L2
2004 53-89 .373 49 W1
Once Felix walked two guys and loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, it was already his worst outing of the year. It's amazing how high we've set the bar for this kid. Everyone knew Felix wasn't going to walk on water for the entire remainder of 2005 after coming up to the big club, but it's a shame that he had to show his inner Gil Meche in the second inning. It was pretty disconcerting, and not just for those of us who were trying to get over some awful Seahawk football from the morning. If the tone for this game wasn't set by Josh Scobey's opening-kickoff fumble shortly after 10am Pacific, it was definitely set when Felix walked Alexander "f#*$ wit' " Freire to load the bases with nobody out in the second. What followed was a little hole in the armor with the Newhan sacrifice fly to open the scoring. Sal Fasano was caught looking before Felix walked his third to reload the bases, then Bernie Castro and Melvin Mora drove in two runs apiece, with the inning only ending because Mora hung himself out to dry. The sad thing is that Felix threw pretty well in six out of his seven innings. Actually, the fact he even got through six, let alone seven, after that second inning is a victory in itself. He'd set down eleven straight Orioles until Newhan's double in the seventh.
I don't know what you can really hang your hat on for this game. Julio Mateo and Matt Thornton combined for two perfect innings of relief, I guess, so you can do whatever you want with that. Mateo had to cut through Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, and Jay Gibbons, so he had the tougher go of it. Now that I look at it more, I could have gameballed Richie Sexson since he had two walks to go with the 1-for-3, but you could also argue that he should be crushing extra-base hits instead of walking twice. He walked with runners on second and third with one out in the first, and the other walk came with two on and one out in the ninth. One of those would be more let-slideable. But let's get our priorities straight here. Sexson's got 34 homers and 104 RBIs while our local third baseman has 18 homers and 79 RBIs. The way the latter has started out this month, it'll take a mircale for him to finish with 100 RBIs on the season. I know there's league adjustment, but can you really just toss away the first year of a five-year deal like that?
Multi-hit games in this one belonged to Torrealba (gameball) and Ichiro. The latter went 2-for-5, singling in the first and second. He went 7-for-13 in the series, making his quest for 200 hits seem a lot more reasonable than it did for most of August. Ichiro is hitting .375 (15-for-40) after ten games in August. He's got fifteen hits, two of them doubles, and one of them a triple. He's got twenty games to get twenty-one hits to add up for his 200 that he holds so dear, but I think he's probably going to do it. He'd have to really fall off the face of the earth again to somehow screw it up this time. However, he'll have to go crazy-nuts to finish above .305 on the season. I think 200 hits are a certainty, but I also think Ichiro's worst single-season average of his Major League career is also a certainty. Right now, he'll have to get to 211 hits to finish at .312, which was the average he finished with in 2003, the last year where he hit double-digit homers and finished with that .312 mark.
With the 2-for-5 game here, Ichiro has 179 hits on the season and sits with a .302 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (592 at-bats in 142 games, 4.17 at-bats per game)...
-- he needs 21 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .252 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 24 hits to finish with a .300 (.301) average for the season; he'd need to hit .288 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 37 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .444 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 216 hits.
Oh, I can't forget that Jamal Strong's preliminary x-rays showed a fracture of his hand after getting nailed by a pitch. Sick to think plate umpire Bruce Froemming nearly didn't let him have first base.
Of course it's a great time for the Angels to come to town for three games. Are you kidding me?
Santana. Piñeiro. Tomorrow.
Seahawks-Jaguars game thread is below this one.
I'll have a Seahawks game post up later today.