Saturday, September 24, 2005
In 25 words or less: Moyer on the road and a no-name going for the Tigers. In other words, a good chance for Detroit to snap their skid.
This game featured Jamie Moyer going up against Jason Grilli. The Tigers were looking to snap their eight-game losing streak. The Mariners were trying to extend their one-game winning streak, which doesn't necessarily qualify as a streak. What unfolded was something that would make you wish you spent your Saturday late afternoon doing something else. As for me, I have no car and my bus line doesn't run up the giant hill on weekends, so I soak up the heat in a studio in Hawaii with no air conditioning. As if that wasn't bad enough, I watch the Mariners in these conditions.
Stumbling out. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and wound up popping out near the leftfield line on a 2-2 pitch, the eleventh pitch of the at-bat. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out to short. Raul Ibañez rolled the second pitch to short.
Misstep. Curtis Granderson bounced the second pitch back to the mound. Placido Polanco flew out to centerfield on a 1-2 pitch. Chris Shelton clubbed a homer about ten rows back into the leftfield seats (414 feet).
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Craig Monroe split his bat and tapped a full-count pitch to the mound.
Knot. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-1 and first-base umpire Adam Dowdy said he went on the full-count pitch. Adrian Beltre got the hitters' counts and took a low 3-1 pitch for a walk. Greg Dobbs dumped the second pitch into shallow leftfield for a single, and Beltre hustled around second and took third base on the play. Jose Lopez drilled a single through the left side, scoring Beltre and moving Dobbs to second.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Shin-Soo Choo foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into the catcher's glove. Rene Rivera whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball low and away.
Sufficient. Carlos Peña grounded the second pitch behind the bag at first (3-1 putout). Ivan Rodriguez grounded the second pitch to third. Marcus Thames got ahead 3-0 and took a full-count pitch over the outside corner, though he was on his way to first with what he thoguht was ball four.
Ichiro whiffed on a high 1-2 pitch. Betancourt got ahead 2-0 and popped a 2-2 pitch to rightfield. Ibañez grounded to a charging Shelton, who scooped to a to-be-covering-first Grilli for the out.
Fast. Brandon Inge popped a 2-0 line drive to Choo in fairly deep centerfield. Omar Infante popped the second pitch to Betancourt along the leftfield line. Granderson grounded a full-count pitch to first (3-1 putout).
Too fast. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and worked a walk (ball four down and in). Beltre grounded the second pitch to third for a 5-4-3 double play. Dobbs popped the first pitch to centerfield.
Another dent. Polanco fell behind 0-2 and rolled a full-count pitch to second. Shelton hit a low liner to centerfield, where Choo picked it off his shoetops. Monroe crushed a line drive on the first pitch about six rows back into the leftfield seats.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Peña took a 1-2 pitch for strike three and took umbrage with the plate umpire.
Gak. Lopez got the hitters' counts and walked on the 3-1 pitch. Choo popped the second pitch to Infante in foul ground outside the leftfield line. Rivera whiffed on the first pitch, on which Lopez took second with a huge jump and no throw. Rivera grounded the second pitch to short. Ichiro smacked the second pitch right into Grilli's glove on the mound.
Decent. Rodriguez flew out to centerfield on the first pitch. Thames stuck the first pitch up the middle and into centerfield for a single. Inge grounded a 2-0 pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play.
Sigh... Betancourt smoked a line drive right to a leaping Inge at third. Ibañez flew out just short of the track in leftfield. Sexson rolled over on a 2-2 groundout to short.
Double the hole. Infante popped the second pitch to leftfield. Granderson lined the first pitch into Moyer's glove on the mound. Polanco golfed the second pitch just beyond the leftfield fence.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Shelton fell behind 0-2 and went with a 2-2 pitch for a single into rightfield. Monroe hit a sinking liner to Choo in centerfield.
This is bad. Beltre walked on four pitches (ball four low). Dobbs hit a soft liner up the middle into Infante's glove. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and later bounced a 2-2 pitch to third for a 5-4-3 double play.
Grilli's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 97 pitches (61 strikes)
Some diciness. Peña popped an 0-2 pitch to Rivera on the track behind the plate. Rodriguez walked on four pitches (no gimmie 3-0 pitch). Thames grounded the first pitch to short, where Betancourt bobbled the ball to snuff out a double play chance (Rodriguez went to second), but Betancourt's arm saved him as he got Thames at first (replays showed otherwise). Inge walked on a full-count dirtball low and away, luring pitching coach Bryan Price to the mound. Infante got the hitters' counts and grounded the 3-1 pitch to Beltre at third, who threw to second for the force.
Chris Spurling came in for Grilli. Choo stuck a 2-2 pitch up the middle, but Infante ranged to his left to make a diving stop and nail Choo at first from one knee. Rivera popped the second pitch to rightfield. Ichiro chopped a ball over the mound and Infante couldn't come up with it quickly enough. Betancourt dumped the first pitch into shallow leftfield for a single, and Ichiro scampered to third on the play.
Jamie Walker came in for Spurling. Ibañez took a 2-2 pitch barely low before grounding the full-count pitch hard, but right to Infante at short.
Spurling's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Walker's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
Caving. Granderson popped a 2-2 pitch to shallow left.
Scott Atchison came in for Moyer. Polanco bounced an 0-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double, stopped pretty hard in his tracks coming around second, nearly tripping. Shelton did nearly the same as Polanco, doubling the second pitch near the rightfield corner, scoring Polanco.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 1
Monroe got ahead 3-1 before drilling the full-count pitch up the middle for a single, though it appeared Choo had Shelton out by ten feet at the plate. Shelton was called safe, and replay showed that Rivera waited but applied a high tag.
»» TIGERS 5, MARINERS 1
Matt Thornton came in for Atchison. Peña spanked the first pitch over the wall in leftfield.
»» TIGERS 7, MARINERS 1
Rodriguez drilled the second pitch up the middle for a single. Thames got ahead 2-0 and popped a full-count pitch high to leftfield. Inge got the hitters' counts and took a 3-1 pitch way outside. Infante watched a second-pitch dirtball inside that got away from Rivera, allowing Rodriguez to scoot to third and Inge to second. Infante got ahead 3-1 and whiffed on a full-count fastball over the outside corner.
Moyer's line: 7 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 97 pitches (58 strikes)
Atchison's line: 0 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Thornton's line: 2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Fernando Rodney came in for Walker. Sexson walked on a 3-1 pitch low and away. Beltre broke his bat on the second pitch, popping to Inge running back into shallow rightfield. Dobbs dropped a 3-1 pitch into rightfield for a single, moving Sexson to third. Lopez whiffed over a 2-2 breaking ball. Choo splintered his bat on a full-count pitch, looping to the left side where the ball was caught by Inge diving backward toward leftfield.
Rodney's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 24 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Greg Dobbs.
The Doobinator went 2-for-4, singling with one on and one out in the second, then singled with one on and one out in the ninth during the Mariners' last gasp. He has five multi-hit games in the month of September, and he is hitting .333 for the month with eight RBIs. He's been getting regular play since being called up in late August. In the stretch starting from August 20th until now, Dobbs is 27-for-92 (.293) and has driven in 13 runs. I have the feeling I'll be remembering Dobbs for signing my Carlos Guillen batting practice ball last winter; I don't think Dobbs will be with this team next year. What role would he serve? With the direction the Mariners plan to be going, I just don't think there is room for him, and I know he wants to be more than some designated hitter who may or may not get playing time. Surely there's a young team like the Twins or A's or the Nationals that might be able to use him or something, though Dobbs is no spring chicken in baseball terms. There's no room for him on this team next year unless he's the 24th or 25th man on the roster again, and I doubt he or the Mariners want(s) that.
Goat: Scott Atchison.
Every time I see him go out there, I've been hoping he'll do well. I just want him to do okay and have something to build on so he can be a part of this bullpen next year, and I think if healthy, he'll be a good one. Of course, this is now, and his last two outings haven't been too hot. In this game, he gave up an 0-2 single to start off, gave up a double two pitches later, then fell behind with hitters' counts to Craig Monroe before he singled. Two runs, no outs recorded. Not a good outing. The 0-2 single isn't generally lucky, but he didn't dig himself out of the hole. But in a sense, all that this latter half of September is for is building for next year, though unfortunately it doesn't seem to include winning most of the time. Let's just hope that Atchison and Rafael Soriano get some work here and there and get used to facing live batters and everything so that they can build toward next year, because I see them as key contributors for the Mariner bullpen of 2006. I wish one of Atchison and Julio Mateo were lefthanded, but oh well. As long as next year's bullpen doesn't include Matt Thornton, I'm okay with it.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 110-45 .714 -- L1
2002 89-66 .574 21 W1
2003 89-66 .574 21 W2
2000 86-69 .555 24 L3
2005 67-88 .432 43 L1
2004 60-95 .383 50 W1
With seven games left in the season, the Mariners have 67 wins. They've failed to meet expectations for people who thought they'd get 88 wins and make the playoffs. They've failed to meet expectations of people who thought they'd get to .500. They've even failed what I thought was a realistic expectation, and that was to win 77 games, which would have been a 14-game improvement over the year before, which is significant. The way it is right now, the Mariners will improve by a guaranteed three games and possibly eleven games if they run the table. Eleven games would be nice, but it won't happen. It's fairly obvious where everything went wrong. The starting pitching was absolutely abysmal and/or hurt. Gil Meche and Joel Piñeiro failed to improve, though I thought Joel was hurt most of the time. Aaron Sele was Aaron Sele, and he should have never made the team out of spring training. The team really could have used Bobby Madritsch. The team could have really used a healthy Rafael Soriano. Remember Bret Boone's laser eye surgery? Didn't make a damn difference. Matt Thornton? Good gracious. Ron Villone? Overrated. Glad he's gone. You can throw all the numbers you want at me, I thought the bullpen was horribly overrated other than Eddie Guardado.
Enough of the retrospective though. Jamie Moyer's line didn't look too bad in this game. His good performances have usually happened at Safeco Field this season. He got into the eighth inning in this game and gave up three runs, which usually should be good enough to win. Of course, it's bad that three of the five hits he gave up sailed over the fence. But we know that about Moyer. He gives up homers. That happens.
What's not supposed to happen is the Mariners getting two-hit in seven innings by Jason Grilli. Seriously, what the hell was that? Even more disappointing is that three of the four walks that Grilli gave up were leadoff walks in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. None of those walks came around to score. Why? Adrian Beltre hit into a double play in the fourth, the three batters after Jose Lopez couldn't hit a fair ball out of the infield in the fifth, and Lopez hit into a double play to end the seventh. Those three leadoff walks should turn into scoring opportunities. Only Lopez managed to get to second base in those three innings, and that's because he stole on the first pitch. The Mariners only came through in the second inning when the game was actually within reach, and that was on a one-out Adrian Beltre walk followed by consecutive singles by Greg Dobbs and Jose Lopez, who had the only relevant RBI of the game. What can you say offensively about this game for the Mariners that is actually good? What can you say about the Mariner bats other than that they were simply Grillified?
The only multi-hit game went to Dobbs, who got the gameball. I guess I could have tried to find a gameball among the one-hit guys on the team, but nothing stood out. The 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup were held hitless. Raul Ibañez failed to get a hit or draw a walk. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre each walked twice. Jose Lopez had the Mariners' only RBI and walked once. Rene Rivera made up for his three-hit game on Friday by going hitless, and Shin-Soo Choo struck out once and left five runners on base for his 0-for-4 day.
With the 1-for-4 game, Ichiro has 194 hits on the season and sits with a .298 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (650 at-bats in 155 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 29 at-bats)...
-- he needs 6 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .204 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 10 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .341 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- he needs 24 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit .818 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
The Tigers snapped their eight-game skid, but can the Mariners still take the series on Sunday? Does anyone care?
Meche. Maroth. Tomorrow.
Jamie Moyer (12-6, 4.44) v Jason Grilli (0-0, 4.50)
But really, this thread's for anything. Discuss any range of topics, be it the Huskies getting pummeled, the Seahawks playing tomorrow, anything. And congrats to the Puget Sound Tomahawks for starting out the season 2-0. They've host River City next weekend.
I do reserve the right to bail on the Mariner game when the Canucks start their preseason home game against Anaheim at 7. Go here for the radio broadcast at the appropriate time. Listen if you're curious, if you like hockey, or if you forgot what hockey on the radio sounds like.
In 25 words or less: Even with Ryan Franklin pitching, neither team mustered much offense. Also, a starting pitcher walked four guys and it wasn't even Franklin.
This one featured Ryan Franklin going up against Sean Douglass. Richie Sexson was serving a one-game suspension for throwing a bucket of balls onto the field back on June 18th. Though I had my apartment at that date, I didn't have cable and internet for another two weeks, so I wasn't fortunate enough to see that. Maybe I'll see that now with MLB.tv. Hmm...
Could the Mariners push the Tigers to an eight straight loss? How many people in Detroit know that the Detroit Sports Report on FSN is broadcast from Bellevue? Doesn't that make it a fraud?
Picks and breaks. Ichiro bounced a full-count pitch to a backhanding Brandon Inge at third. Jeremy Reed got the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch outside. Raul Ibañez watched as Reed was nailed at first by Ivan Rodriguez by about a fingertip after a 1-2 pitch. Ibañez later walked on a full-count pitch well outside. Adrian Beltre splintered his bat on a 1-2 liner that was speared by a leaping Inge at third.
Nothing too brutal. Curtis Granderson whiffed on an 0-2 pitch up and away. Placido Polanco popped the first pitch to Ibañez on the foul side of the leftfield line. Chris Shelton dropped the second pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single. Magglio Ordoñez bounced the first pitch in the left-side hole, where Yuniesky Betancourt went to second for the force.
Opposite of hitting. Greg Dobbs flew out to centerfield on a 2-0 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt whiffed on a low 1-2 breaking ball. Dave Hansen flew out to centerfield on a 2-2 pitch.
Not bad. Carlos Peña got ahead 3-0 but whiffed on a full-count. Ivan Rodriguez took the second pitch up and in but off his bat. Rodriguez fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Reed in rightcenter. Craig Monroe popped the second pitch to Reed near the scoreboard in rightcenter.
Minimal damage. Jose Lopez got ahead 3-0 before doubling a 3-1 pitch near the leftfield corner and into the leftfield seats. Rene Rivera punched the second pitch through the right side for a single, scoring Lopez.
»» MARINERS 1, TIGERS 0
Ichiro lined the first pitch right to second. Reed grounded a 2-2 pitch to second for a 6-4-3 double play.
Giving back. Brandon Inge grounded the first pitch to Lopez in the right-side hole. Omar Infante cranked an 0-2 hanging breaking ball over the fence in leftcenter.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Granderson got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 high pitch. Polanco fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Rivera behind the plate.
Bleah. Ibañez flew out to fairly deep rightfield on the second pitch. Beltre spanked a 2-0 pitch to leftfield for a single. Dobbs sliced a 2-0 flyout to leftfield. Betancourt walked on a 3-1 pitch very high. Hansen watched as Beltre was caught napping off of second base by Rodriguez behind the plate.
Not much trouble. Shelton whiffed on a 2-2 waist-high breaking ball over the plate. Ordoñez bounced to third. Peña hit a broken-bat single to rightfield on the second pitch. Rodriguez grounded the first pitch to Beltre behind the bah at second.
Negligible offense. Hansen got ahead 2-0 and later popped to Infante in shallow centerfield. Lopez took a 2-2 breaking ball over the outside corner and at the knees. Rivera dumped an 0-2 single into leftcenter. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and later took the eighth pitch (2-2 count) over the inside corner at the knees, though Ichiro thought it was under him.
Solid. Monroe grounded the second pitch hard to third. Inge popped the second pitch to Lopez in foul ground on the right side. Infante took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner.
Mind-numbing. Reed bounced the first pitch to second. Ibañez walked on four pitches (ball four outside). Beltre whiffed on a low 2-2 pitch. Dobbs foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch outside into the catcher's glove.
Two-out ruckus, but not much more. Granderson bounced an 0-2 pitch into the right-side hole for Lopez. Polanco popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow rightfield. Shelton cranked a 3-0 fastball off the track in straightaway centerfield for a triple. Ordoñez grounded the first pitch hard to third.
Chris Spurling came in for Douglass. Betancourt popped the second pitch into leftfield. Hansen popped a 3-1 pitch to centerfield. Lopez cranked a second-pitch line drive that was destined to be a homer to leftfield, but Monroe leaped to rob it.
Douglass' line: 6 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, 99 pitches (54 strikes)
Mild trouble. Peña fell behind 0-2 and lined a full-count double into rightcenter. Rodriguez bounced the first pitch to short. Monroe grounded the first pitch hard to third, where Beltre dove to his left, spun around, and threw in time to first. Inge worked an 0-2 count for a walk (ball four down and in), and pitching coach Bryan Price strolled to the mound. Infante bounced the second pitch up the middle to Lopez, who threw to Betancourt covering second for the force.
Franklin's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 85 pitches (57 strikes)
Ahead. Rivera fell behind 0-2 and broke his bat on a 1-2 pitch that bounced through the left side for a single. Jaime Bubela ran for Rivera.
Vic Darensbourg came in for Spurling. Ichiro lined an 0-2 pitch into rightfield for a single, and Bubela made his way to third. Reed got ahead 2-0 and ended up grounding into a 1-6-3 double play as Bubela scored (Darensbourg didn't try going home).
»» MARINERS 2, TIGERS 1
Ibañez got ahead 3-1 and wound up reaching and softly lining out to short.
Spurling's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
Darensbourg's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (9 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Franklin (Yorvit Torrealba came in to catch). Granderson smoked a hard bouncer off the palm of Putz' throwing hand, and Beltre picked it up and threw to first. After the trainer and Mike Hargrove came out, Putz threw warmup pitches and stayed in the game. Polanco walked on four pitches (ball four high). Shelton walked on a high full-count pitch, moving Polanco to second. Ordoñez rolled to the left side, where Putz couldn't quite get it, and Beltre barehanded and threw to first, pulling Dobbs off the bag with a high throw. Nook Logan ran for Ordoñez.
George Sherrill came in for Putz. Carlos Guillen, hitting for Peña, fouled off the first two pitches and whiffed on the third pitch, a fastball.
Julio Mateo came in for Sherrill. Rodriguez grounded to third, where Beltre threw to second for the force.
Putz' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 16 pitches (6 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Mateo's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Chris Dingman came in for Darensbourg (Logan stayed in to play centerfield, Granderson moved to left, and Monroe moved to right). Beltre got under one, flying out to leftfield. Dobbs walked on four pitches (ball four outside). Betancourt looped an 0-2 single in front of Logan in shallow centerfield. Hansen grounded the first pitch hard right to short, starting a 6-4-3 double play.
Dingman's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Mateo. Monroe popped a 1-1 pitch foul on the right side, where Dobbs couldn't make the catch over the shoulder. Monroe later reached and poked a 2-2 pitch to rightfield for a single. Inge bunted the first pitch back along the right side, where Guardado came off the mound and threw to first, moving Monroe to second. Infante fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch over the outer half. Marcus Thames, hitting for Granderson, whiffed at an 0-2 pitch over the outer half.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Rene Rivera.
Goat: Dave Hansen.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 110-44 .714 -- W4
2002 88-66 .571 22 L2
2003 88-66 .571 22 W1
2000 86-68 .560 24 L2
2005 67-87 .435 43 W1
2004 59-95 .383 51 L1
With the 1-for-4 game, Ichiro has 193 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 (646 at-bats in 154 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 34 at-bats)...
-- he needs 7 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .209 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 11 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .328 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- he needs 25 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit .745 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
Moyer. Grilli. Tonight.
Friday, September 23, 2005
In 25 words or less: Joel Piñeiro had a bad first inning as usual, but this time it was especially bad. It wasn't completely over though.
[to be finished]
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Gustavo Chacin.
Squandered. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before tapping a 2-2 pitch hard back to the mound (tenth pitch of the at-bat). Yuniesky Betancourt broke his bat on a second-pitch single to leftfield. Raul Ibañez got ahead 3-0 before watching Betancourt get picked off of first with the count full. Ibañez took ball four barely up and away. Richie Sexson drilled a 1-2 pitch through the mound and into centerfield for a single, moving Ibañez to second. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 fastball off the plate outside, the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Chacin threw 30 pitches.
Bad. Russ Adams grounded the second pitch toward the first-base line, where Sexson made a diving stop, but had trouble coming up with the ball and didn't throw to first. Frank Catalanotto slapped the second pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Adams to third on the hit-and-run. Vernon Wells rolled a single up the middle, scoring Adams and moving Catalanotto to second.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Corey Koskie golfed an 0-2 curve to the wall in leftcenter for a double, scoring Catalanotto and moving Wells, who nearly passed Catalanotto on the basepath, to third.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Shea Hillenbrand grounded a full-count pitch hard to Beltre, who threw home to get Wells in a rundown (5-2-5-3), though Hillenbrand got to second on the play (Koskie replaced Wells at third). Alex(is) Rios took the first pitch in the dirt and to the backstop, but the ball bounced quickly back to Yorvit Torrealba behind the plate, and Koskie held at third. Rios got ahead 3-1 and stuck a full-count single into centerfield, scoting Koskie and moving Hillenbrand to third. Pitching coach Bryan Price visited the mound.
»» BLUE JAYS 3, MARINERS 0
Gabe Gross chopped a single over Sexson and into rightfield, scoring Hillenbrand and moving Rios to third.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 0
Aaron Hill clubbed a first-pitch line drive right to Ibañez. Rios tagged from third and scored on the play.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 0
Guillermo Quiroz cranked a line-drive double to the leftfield wall, moving Gross to third. Adams whiffed on an 0-2 low curve.
Quick. Mike Morse popped an 0-2 pitch to rightfield just short of the track. Jeremy Reed looped a 2-0 flyout to shallow leftfield. Jose Lopez took a 1-2 pitch on the outside corner.
Weird 1-2-3 inning. Catalanotto fell behind 0-2 before bouncing the full-count pitch to first. Wells got ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a full-count low curveball. Koskie bounced a 1-2 pitch to second.
Nothing much. Yorvit Torrealba got ahead 2-0 and looped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Ichiro chopped the second pitch to a charging Koskie at third. Betancourt took a 3-1 pitch outside. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball.
Getting weird. Hillenbrand popped a 2-0 pitch to Lopez on the right side. Rios whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball. Gross fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a full-count breaking ball.
Glimmer. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count slider down and in. Beltre popped an 0-2 pitch to the track in leftfield, just missing a homer. Morse drilled the first pitch for a single into rightfield, moving Sexson to second. Reed slapped the first pitch barely fair down the leftfield line, and a fan grabbed the ball as it went near the stands (ground-rule double). Sexson scored, and Morse went to third.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 1
Lopez swatted a 2-2 high fastball to the wall in leftcenter for a double, scoring Morse and Reed.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 3
Torrealba grounded the first pitch to third as Lopez held at second. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 but rolled slowly to the right side, where Hill charged and made the play.
Could it be a roll? Hill got ahead 2-0 but foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Torrealba's glove. Quiroz took an 0-2 pitch above the kneecaps and down the pipe, Piñeiro's fourth straight strikeout and fifth of six batters. Adams grounded a 1-2 pitch to second.
Betancourt walked on four pitches (ball four inside). Ibañez chopped to second, forcing Betancourt out at second but not getting the double play. Sexson clubbed the second pitch into leftcenter, not quite reaching the wall as Ibañez was held at third on Sexson's double. Beltre smoked the first pitch down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Ibañez and Sexson.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 5
Dustin McGowan came in for Chacin. Morse whiffed on an 0-2 dirt curveball away. Reed failed to hold a 2-2 breaking ball down and in, or so the plate umpire thought. Reed didn't like it.
Chacin's line: 4 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 92 pitches (59 strikes)
Still smokin'. Catalanotto chopped the second pitch up the middle into centerfield, snapping Piñeiro's streak of ten straight retired Blue Jay hitters. Wells rolled the second pitch to short for a quick 6-4-3 double play. Koskie got ahead 3-1 and whiffed on a full-count breaking ball.
Yuck. Lopez took a 2-2 curve over the inner half. Torrealba fell behind 0-2 and nearly was nailed in the head with a 2-2 pitch. He rolled the full-count pitch up the middle for a single. Ichiro grounded right to short for a 6-4-3 double play.
En fuego. Hillenbrand popped a 2-2 pitch high to rightfield. Rios popped the second pitch high to shallow leftfield. Gross popped an 0-2 pitch to leftfield, making it 15 of 16 retired for Piñeiro.
Quick again. Betancourt grounded the second pitch hard to second. Ibañez popped a 2-0 pitch to leftfield. Sexson bounced the first pitch to third.
McGowan's line: 2 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 31 pitches (19 strikes)
Who's pitching? Hill popped high to Beltre in foul ground on the left side. Quiroz whiffed on an 0-2 curve in the dirt (2-3 putout). Adams got ahead 2-0 and later chopped a grounder to th eright-side hole that went off the heel of Lopez' glove and landed at his feet (error). Catalanotto flew out to Reed in leftcenter. Piñeiro had thrown 105 pitches.
Justin Speier came in for McGowan. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and beat out a 2-2 chopper that to third (yes, he reached on the pitch). Greg Dobbs, hitting for Morse, roped the second pitch right to second, where Adams threw to first since Beltre was in front of him, then the rundown get Beltre as well. Reed bounced a 1-2 single up the middle. Lopez watched the 0-2 pitch as Reed took off on a delayed steal that caught the Blue Jays by surprise. Lopez nonetheless flew out to rightfield on a 1-2 pitch.
Bubble burst. Wells popped the first pitch into shallow rightfield as Piñeiro had retired 19 of the last 21 Blue Jay hitters. Koskie got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 curve low and away. Hillenbrand fell behind 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch to Reed in fairly deep centerfield. Rios cranked the second pitch off the screen of the leftfield foul pole.
»» BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 5
Gross doubled the first pitch past Ichiro to the wall in rightcenter.
Rafael Soriano came in for Piñeiro. Hill popped a 1-2 pitch to Ichiro on the rightfield line.
Piñeiro's line: 7 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 118 pitches (79 strikes)
Soriano's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Speier had warmed up to start the inning.
Scott Schoeneweis came in for Speier. Ramon Santiago, hitting for Torrealba, just missed a double down the rightfield line (foul) and was later nailed with a 2-2 pitch to the left elbow as trainer Rick Griffin came out to assess the damage. Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch right to short that would have resulted in a double play if it wasn't Ichiro that had hit the ball.
Miguel Batista came in for Schoeneweis. Dave Hansen, hitting for Betancourt, got ahead 2-0 and watched Ichiro scamper to second on the next pitch (indifference). Hansen flew out to the rightfield corner on a 2-2 pitch, and Ichiro tagged and moved to third. Ibañez flew out high to leftfield on a 2-0 pitch. Ballgame.
Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
Schoeneweis' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (5 strikes)
Batista's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (4 strikes)
Gameball: Jeremy Reed.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 109-44 .712 -- W3
2002 88-65 .575 21 L1
2003 87-66 .569 22 L1
2000 86-67 .562 23 L1
2005 66-87 .431 43 L1
2004 59-94 .386 50 W3
With the 0-for-5 game, Ichiro has 192 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 (642 at-bats in 153 games, 4.20 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 38 at-bats)...
-- he needs 8 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .212 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 12 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .318 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- he needs 26 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit .688 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
Franklin. Douglass. Tonight.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
However, being busy can sometimes lead to inactivity here at Sports And Bremertonians from my end of the country. Well, middle if you want to be technical. Yeah.
Anyways, you know I like to ramble.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
---If it weren't for Felix Hernandez, my enthusiasm for the Mariners would be even lower than it already is. Sorry folks, I just want this season to end. Get it over with and we'll all be better off for it.
---Katrina was a mean bitch. Rita? Stay tuned.
---The 2005-2006 NHL season begins in less than 2 weeks. I've missed the pucks. I just wish that my local retailers would have NHL 2006 in stock by now. Then again, it's not like I would have enough time to play the game anyway.
---2005 has really been a good year for rock music. Disturbed's Ten Thousand Fists is the latest addition to the 2005 list. Favorite track off of Ten Thousand Fists? "Just Stop" (track 2). I told David that "Holiday" was going to be a huge single for Green Day when American Idiot came out. Well, I'm going to go on record and say that "Just Stop" will be a huge single for Disturbed. Most underrated track? "Forgiven" (track 10). I would do a full-scale review here, but I'm likely covering it for my school paper, so I'll just link it here when the review is published.
---I feel guilty in a way for being pumped up about this bit of news, but so be it.
The Voodoo Music Experience is moving to Memphis Halloween weekend!!!
Nine Inch Nails (confirmed). Foo Fighters. Queens Of The Stone Age. Many more acts.
I'm going to be in Kansas City during that week, but I should be able to make it to Memphis on that Saturday. That weekend is a pretty bare one for me, considering that both the Seahawks and Arkansas State have byes that weekend. Hooray, bye weeks. Oh, and my baseball team isn't going to play in the World Series that week either.
The profits from the Voodoo festival will benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
---I'm so ready for Sunday's Cardinals-Seahawks game.
Hit Kurt Warner. Hard. Every damn play.
The Seahawks are in a position to put the media darling Cardinals in an 0-3 hole. How sweet would that be? All offseason long, I've heard about the Cardinals. News flash, THEY ARE STILL THE ARIZONA CARDINALS. I feel like Talia Shire when I'm talking about the Cardinals. Difference being, the Cardinals aren't going to win.
---How about those 0-2 Minnesota Vikings? They were a media darling during the offseason as well. Once again, they are the Minnesota Vikings. They don't win either.
---I love talking about how teams can't win, considering the fact that I'm a Seahawks fan.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Gotta run for now...
Pick Me Up and the Seahawks this weekend. Believe it.
In 25 words or less: A young pitcher who has the chance to throw a no-hitter every time out had a decent chance at exactly that in this game.
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Dave Bush. Could Felix bounce back from his sketchy starts of late? Could the Mariners win and have a chance to take three of four in the series? Would they crumble under the fact that games in Toronto start at times ending with the number 7? Would the retractable roof have Safe-like computer problems? Would the power go out?
Also, after a few days of being relegated to audio feed for archived games, I finally found a way to get my Windows Media Player to stream video again. I don't know what was keeping it from streaming video, but now it can do it again. I may have had no motivation to fix it if MLB.com enabled Realplayer to play archived MLB.tv feed of the games. If you're wondering why the stream of recaps dried up the first half of this week, part of the reason was that I couldn't stay awake with just the audio feed on. I needed something to look at to keep my eyes open.
Did the game start? Ichiro grounded very hard to third, but Corey Koskie made a very nice quick stop on the ball and made the throw. Jeremy Reed bounced a 1-2 pitch to first for a 3-1 putout. Raul Ibañez popped the 2-2 pitch to shortstop Russ Adams in shallow centerfield.
No damage. Russ Adams bounced a 3-1 fastball hard to first for a 3-1 putout. Frank Catalanotto chopped the second pitch high along the first-base line, where Greg Dobbs came down with it and raced to the first-base bag in time. Vernon Wells got the hitters' counts and walked on the 3-1 pitch inside. Corey Koskie watched as Wells stole second on the 0-2 pitch with nobody covering second base on the delayed steal. Koskie failed to check his swing on the next pitch, which was low.
Long, but no results. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 big curve outside. Adrian Beltre fell behind 0-2 and finally whiffed on the twelfth pitch of the at-bat, a 2-2 dirtball. Greg Dobbs popped the first pitch to Johnson on the track in rightcenter.
Like the top half, but good for Felix. Shea Hillenbrand tapped a 2-2 pitch in front of the plate, and Yorvit Torrealba came out to field the ball and throw. Eric Hinske flew out high to rightfield on a 1-2 pitch. Gregg Zaun fell behind 0-2 but worked a ten-pitch at-bat, though he took that full-count wicked curve for strike three.
Blip on the radar. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced to third. Ramon Santiago rolled the first pitch to second. Yorvit Torrealba rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, snapping Bush's game-opening streak of retired Mariner hitters at eight. Ichiro got ahead 3-1 but whiffed on a big slow full-count curve.
Rolling? Reed Johnson got behind 0-2 and bounced the 1-2 pitch to second. Aaron Hill grounded an 0-2 pitch to third. Adams bounced to first for a 3-1 putout.
Could have been more. Reed took a 3-1 pitch outside for a walk. Ibañez took a four-pitch walk (last pitch outside), moving Reed to second. Sexson laid his bat on a full-count pitch over the outer half, looping it over the second baseman and scoring Reed. Ibañez also moved to third.
»» MARINERS 1, BLUE JAYS 0
Beltre fell behind 3-0 and walked on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, a full-count pitch low and away, moving Sexson to second to load the bases. Dobbs bounced a second-pitch single up the middle to score Ibañez and Sexson and move Beltre to second.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 0
Betancourt bunted the first pitch between the plate and mound, moving Beltre to third and Dobbs to second. Santiago was nailed in the leg with an 0-2 curveball, loading the bases.
Brandon League came in for Bush. Torrealba broke his bat on a 2-0 grounder to Adams at second, who tagged Santiago in the basepath and threw to first to complete the double play.
Bush's line: 3 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 78 pitches (47 strikes)
Still no hits. Catalanotto bounced slow to first, and Dobbs had to sprint over to the bag in part due to a late-covering Hernandez. Wells bounced a 2-2 pitch over the mound to Betancourt, who ranged over and threw to first. Koskie walked on four pitches (last pitch low), snapping Hernandez' streak of nine straight retired Blue Jay hitters. Hillenbrand fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 dirtball curve low and away (2-3 putout).
Fast end. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to second. Reed got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 pitch low and away. Ibañez flew out very deep to centerfield, but Wells caught it in front of the wall. Reed, running on contact, thought the ball would go over Wells' head, and he was easily doubled off of first while trying to run back in time.
Yep, rolling. Hinske grounded the first pitch to first (3-1 putout). Zaun lined a 2-0 pitch right to Ichiro in rightfield. Johnson grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to first, where Dobbs made a backhanded stop and underhanded to Hernandez covering first for the out.
Meah. Sexson grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to third which was nicely scooped by Koskie, who threw to first. Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and over the outer half. Dobbs grounded a 2-2 pitch to third.
Fire. Hill whiffed on a full-count curve down and over the outer half. Adams lined the second pitch right into Betancourt's glove at short. Catalanotto grounded the first pitch to Dobbs off of first for another 3-1 putout.
Slumber. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Catalanotto on the leftfield track in front of the bullpen. Santiago whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball (2-3 putout). Torrealba got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch up and away. Ichiro rolled an 0-2 pitch to second.
League's line: 3 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 42 pitches (26 strikes)
Dammit! Wells grounded hard to second. Koskie lined the second pitch toward Betancourt, who leaped to get a glove on it, but it went off the side of his glove and into leftfield. Koskie was awarded a single for Toronto's first hit of the night, though it was catchable (the crowd booed). Hillenbrand got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Hinske rolled to second.
Shaun Marcum came in for League. Reed took a full-count fastball over the inside corner. Ibañez grounded a 2-2 pitch to first. Sexson got the hitters' counts and walked on a full-count pitch inside. Beltre doubled down the leftfield line. Dobbs got ahead 2-0 and looped a 2-2 pitch that didn't quite get over Adams at short, who leapt and caught it.
Slight turbulence. Zaun walked on a high 3-1 pitch. Johnson got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 change inside. Hill smoked an 0-2 pitch that ripped off Hernandez' glove at the mound. Felix went back to field the ball, but had no play as Hill was safe at first, and Zaun moved to second.
George Sherrill came in for Hernandez. Adams foul-tipped a full-count breaking ball low into Torrealba's glove behind the plate. Frank Menechino was coming up to bat to hit for Catalanotto.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Gabe Gross, hitting for Menechino, popped high to Ibañez near the leftfield line.
Hernandez' line: 7 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 106 pitches (64 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
Putz' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Boo. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Hillenbrand in foul ground just past first base. Santiago got ahead 2-0 and grounded out to second. Torrealba grounded down the line to third, where Hillenbrand had to make a long throw, but Torrealba beat it out for a single. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch to second.
Marcum's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 39 pitches (25 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Wells singled just past Betancourt's reach up the middle at short. Koskie chopped high to the mound where Guardado leaped to catch it, threw to second and it would have been a double play if Dobbs would have snared the scoop. Instead, the ball didn't stay in his glove, and Koskie was safe at first. Hillenbrand crushed a full-count pitch over the outer half into the second deck in leftcenter, scoring Koskie.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 2
Alex(is) Rios, hitting for Hinske, walked on a full-count pitch barely high and inside. Zaun fouled off his first three pitches but flew out to Reed on a running catch in the leftcenter gap near the wall on the fourth pitch as Rios had to sprint back to first. Johnson got ahead 0-2 and foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch into Torrealba's glove. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 31 pitches (19 strikes)
Gameball: Felix Hernandez.
I can't try to rationalize anyone else for the gameball here. In a game where the Mariners mustered only five hits (only one for extra bases), it has to be Felix. He took a no-hitter into the seventh, for goodness' sake. It'd be different if say Sexson went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer or something, but that's not the case here. You could say that from his line he wasn't that sharp, but the weird thing is that it seems to me like Felix concentrates his wildness. For instance, in his three walks in this game, one was on four pitches, and the other two were issued on only five pitches. Though it's never really a timely thing to walk hitters, I guess it's a good thing that Felix seems to right the ship pretty quickly after walking a batter. Felix now has ten Major League starts under his belt, and he has evened up his record at 4-4. This effort helped lower his ERA to 2.63. In his previous two starts, he had given up 6 runs in seven innings (big inning) against Baltimore and Texas. I just hope Felix has been able to learn things from those two games.
Both Ichiro and Yorvit Torrealba left three runners on base in this game. Yorvit had two base hits, but Ichiro had zero. Hence, Ichiro is in this here paragraph. Of course, there's also the discussion that Ichiro is bunting more lately because he might be especially conscious about getting to 200 hits. Part of a related argument is the simple question -- why the hell hasn't he been bunting more all along? I remember the big contract that Ichiro got, and for the amount of money he's being paid, he's got to step up for more than .301. If you judge him by on-base percentage, he's also got a career-worst year in that statistic on tap this season. It's widely known that he doesn't walk a lot, but what's he going to do when his hits stop falling for a period of time? I guess he's either going to have to bunt or draw some walks. This is where I add that if he's making outs instead of walking, that means he's not getting on base. In turn, that also means that Ichiro is not on the bases and wreaking havoc on the opposing pitcher and the supporting defense.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 108-44 .711 -- W2
2002 88-64 .579 20 W4
2003 87-65 .572 21 W1
2000 86-66 .566 22 W8
2005 66-86 .434 42 W1
2004 58-94 .382 50 W2
Hey, the Mariners have a completely opposite record from five years ago. That's curious.
Felix Hernandez taking a no-hitter into the seventh is one thing. Managing to only get five hits in a game where the pitchers faced were Dave Bush, Brandon League, and Shaun Marcum is another. For one reason or another, the Mariners were at the plate performing like Roy Halladay was on the mound or something. I also remember when the Mariners were actually able to hit home runs in the not-too-distant past. At home they'd play Safe ball, then on the road they'd bust out the whoopin' sticks and hit home runs. All we're seeing thus year out of the offense is that Richie Sexson hits homers wherever, and anyone else chimes in once every blue moon with a homer as well. Since the Mariners have lined themselves up this upcoming offseason for a free-agent starting pitcher, they can't bring in a top-flight slugging threat. So, the current crop of Mariners has to just keep working on their swings and the fans just have to hope like hell that a decent percentage of the guys can turn it around and have their swings start clicking, and I'm not just referring to Adrian Beltre.
Eddie Guardado's lost. His last few weeks of outings have just been beyond shaky. There's shaky when you walk a guy, allow a base hit, and still finish off the game. Shaky takes on a sharper meaning when you start bringing the winning run to the plate in the ninth after you've already given up a homer that brought the home team to within a run. I've always wondered how Eddie gets it done with slow stuff, and I guess for him it requires a bulletproof mental state and pinpoint control. It seems like he might have neither right now. As far as I'm concerned, to a certain extent I'm just willing to give him a free pass since he was one of the better reasons to watch this team for the first five months of the season. It's a shame to see his numbers crashing back to earth, but what can you say? Them's the breaks, and he's been helping pilot this broke-ass team for a good deal of the season.
The only multi-hit game went to Yorvit Torrealba. He ended Dave Bush's no-hit bid in the third inning and legged out an infield single in the ninth. He was 2-for-3 with a walk, reaching base three times. Since letting the paragraph stop here would be boring, the other three hits went to Richie Sexson (4th-inning RBI single), Adrian Beltre (8th-inning two-out double), and Greg Dobbs (4th-inning two-run single). Raul Ibañez, Sexson, Beltre, and Torrealba each drew a walk. Jeremy Reed walked twice.
With the 0-for-5 game, Ichiro has 192 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 (637 at-bats in 152 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with a bit over 42 at-bats)...
-- he needs 8 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .191 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .295 season average.
-- he needs 12 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .286 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- he needs 25 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .597 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 217 hits.
Can the Mariners get the series win tonight? Let's hope so. The last memory I have of the Skydome is a botched throw at first base in late 2003. Baaaaaaad times.
Piñeiro. Chacin. Today.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
[edit ~7:18p -- Matt Cooke apparently re-signed just hours after I typed up this post this morning.]
Since I totally fell asleep on my usual Mariner post and don't have enough time to crank it out right now, I figure this would be a good time to crank something out that's Canuck-related.
The Canucks open up preseason play in Edmonton tomorrow night at 6pm in the first of seven preseason games for the Canucks before their opener, a home game against Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes on October 5th (Wednesday). After that, they get a four-game road trip and a four-game homestand. They have a six-game homestand from December 17-28 (for anyone planning to visit Van for the holidays) and a five-game homestand from March 23-31. Helping balance that out is a seven-game road trip from January 23-February 4 (a week before the Olympic break) with two back-to-back sets. The other curious thing about the Canucks' home schedule is that they adopted what the Mariners did after moving into Safeco Field -- no 7:30/35 starts. Just a bunch of 7pm starts.
Compared to other teams in the Northwest Division, the Canucks didn't lose or gain a lot of big names. Edmonton made huge moves (Mike Peca, Chris Pronger), and so did Calgary (Tony Amonte, Darren McCarty). Minnesota got Brian Rolston and others. Colorado got Pierre Turgeon, but lost Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote, Paul Kariya, and Teemu Selanne. The Canucks lie somewhere between the Calgary/Edmonton end of the spectrum and the Colorado end of the spectrum in terms of moves.
Though the Canucks didn't lose huge, i.e., Brendan Morrison or Markus Naslund didn't leave, they lost significant depth on defense with Marek Malik and Brent Sopel going to the New York teams. The Canucks plan to alleviate the situation by hoping new acquisition Steve McCarthy can fill out the middle of the depth chart and one of the Moose players from last year (Kevin Bieksa, Wade Brookbank, Tomas Mojzis) can handle the back end of the blueline while Bryan Allen gets bumped up the depth chart and receives a huge gain in minutes from 2003-04, a possibility which is generating a decent bit of skepticism. What I'm hearing on McCarthy is that he's pretty good and was never given a decent chance by the Chicago Blackhawks organization, which was pretty much in shambles when he was in it.
In goal, Johan Hedberg generally fell out of favor with Marc Crawford at times in 2003-04, and Alex Auld was knocking on the door to Dan Cloutier's backup spot anyway. However, there seemed to be a chance that Cloutier might be let go during this offseason and Auld and others might ascend to the starter's spot, but that possibility was put down when Cloutier was signed to a three-year deal. Brent Johnson was signed in the offseason to give the Canucks some depth, but even though GM Dave Nonis will try to deny it, Auld will be the backup since Johnson has a two-way contract, and Auld doesn't. Johnson will be playing for the Manitoba Moose. For Auld to be sent to Manitoba, the Canucks would have to jump through a ton of hoops. This isn't made easier by the fact that I don't think a complete copy of the new collective bargaining agreement has been made available to the general public. That'd explain the two-way deal a lot better than I can. When we last had on-ice hockey, Alex Auld was the goalie against Calgary in three games of that first-round series and did a fairly good job considering the circumstances. Last year in Manitoba, I wouldn't say he fell out of favor with coach Randy Carlyle in Manitoba (now head coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks), but Wade Flaherty must have caught fire well beyond what I was reading on a nightly basis if the former isn't true. Flaherty was the goalie for most of the Moose's run to the Calder Cup finals.
As for the rest of the group, the annual "who will skate with the Sedins?" question is apparently answered with the addition of Anson Carter. Matt Cooke is unsigned at this point, and rumor is that the contract he wants is a bit nutty, but his ability to be in the right places at the right times is invaluable. He's the kind of guy you like on your team, but hate like hell if he's on the other team (Sean Avery of the LA Kings once said if he had a free punch against anyone in the NHL, it'd be to Cooke because he doesn't fight his own fights). Richard Park was brought in from Minnesota, and it appears Dan Cloutier thinks Park's offensive game might be set free from the shackles of Minnesota's style of play. Park's addition is the reaction to Artem Chubarov opting to play in Russia. Though not a force on the scoresheet, Chubarov...well, go here.
I of course wouldn't go this far without mentioning Todd Bertuzzi. It's been said he's looking good in camp, and it'll be good to see the top line back out there. I do find it unfortunate that I'll be rooting for Todd Bertuzzi to do well, and I wish I never had to empathize with fans that root for Kobe Bryant, Leonard Little, Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis (the latter two on the NFL's most hard-to-root-for team, the Baltimore Ravens), and the list goes on. If memory serves right, only Little and Jamal Lewis out of that group actually were convicted. Bertuzzi struck a plea bargain, but he did plead guilty. The biggest difference is that Bertuzzi's incident was on camera, on the ice, and in front of thousands of people. I guess what I was getting to is that the Laker fans seemed to welcome Bryant with open arms after the whole trial in Eagle County, and I kinda got the vibe that there was a myopic sort of deal with the Laker fans, or that they almost looked the other way after the trial was done (it helped he wasn't guilty in the trial, but he was admittedly guilty of adultery and oddly held a press conference to confess such; I got a weird vibe from it anyway). During the lockout, Bertuzzi came back to Vancouver as part of Brad May's charity game at the Pacific Coliseum, and he got a raucous ovation. Point (though fragmented) is, I'm getting that weird Kobe Bryant feeling when I heard about the Bertuzzi return and everything. I don't know if that's because they'd have been better equipped for a Cup run with him the last time out, or if it's undying fan loyalty...surely the punch seen 'round the world has to be in the back of your mind somewhere whenever you think of Todd Bertuzzi.
As for predictions, it's really hard to predict how the team might fare until we see how the rule changes affect the game around the league. The Canucks' hierarchy seems to believe the rule changes will help the speed game that they've been putting onto the ice. That may be nullified by the loss in defensive depth.
So I can't really predict, and it's hard to predict even before the preseason games start up, but I'm thinking the Canucks have to be a top-six playoff team. Top three would mean winning the division, and like I said, I can only be so specific about this without knowing how the rule changes will hash out.
I have to say I do find it hilarious that after it was all over in 2003-04, there were vows by Canuck brass to shake up the core of the team, and I don't know if the rule changes have to do with it or what, but other than Malik and Sopel being gone, it's largely the same team. Especially when compared to other teams in the division, the Canucks look nearly unchanged.
For my main hockey resources I've been using, go here, here, here, and I listen to some of this.
TEAM (TSN preview, raw training camp roster)
+Markus Naslund/*Brendan Morrison/Todd Bertuzzi
*Daniel Sedin/*Henrik Sedin/^Anson Carter
*Matt Cooke/Ryan Kesler/Trevor Linden
*Jarkko Ruutu/Brandon Reid/^Richard Park
*Tyler Bouck/Nathan Smith/*Jason King
^Josh Green/Craig Darby/Lee Goren
Ed Jovanovski/*Mattias Ohlund
*Sami Salo/*Bryan Allen
~Steve McCarthy/Nolan Baumgartner
^Sven Butenschon/Wade Brookbank
Kirill Koltsov/Kevin Bieksa
* = re-signed, restricted free agent
+ = re-signed, unrestricted free agent
^ = newly signed, unrestricted free agent
~ = acquired via trade
F Brad May (Colorado)
F Martin Rucinsky (NY Rangers)
F Jeff Heerema (Ottawa)
D Brent Sopel (NY Islanders)
D Marek Malik (NY Rangers)
D Johnathan Aitken (Montreal)
G Johan Hedberg (Dallas)
F Artem Chubarov (Russia)
Remaining preseason games...
Wed Sep 21 at Edmonton
Fri Sep 23 vs. San Jose
Sat Sep 24 vs. Anaheim
Mon Sep 26 at Calgary
Wed Sep 28 at Anaheim
Fri Sep 30 vs. Calgary
Sat Oct 1 vs. Edmonton
I'm looking forward to this season since I'm freakin' starved for hockey. Special thanks to the Puget Sound Tomahawks for getting me through last year and for letting me handle in-arena music for roughly a third of the home games.
What I'm not looking forward to this year is following the bulk of the season from the east coast. My half of the show is moving to Virginia Beach on October 1st for about five and a half months before returning to Hawaii. In other words, home games at 10pm. Ouch.
In 25 words or less: Late-inning heroics and a not-too-shaky inning from Eddie Guardado bailed designated home pitcher Jamie Moyer out of a loss.
[posted in part Sun Sep 25 ~5:04a]
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Scott Downs.
Nondescript start. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and grounded to second on a full count. Yuniesky Betancourt tapped a 1-2 pitch beside the mound, and Downs made the play. Raul Ibañez grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle, but he was robbed on a good play by shortstop Aaron Hill.
Not too bad. Reed Johnson took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. Aaron Hill got ahead 3-1 and later took a high full-count pitch for a walk. Vernon Wells lined a 1-2 pitch right at Ibañez in leftfield, and Hill had to scurry back to first from the bag at second. Corey Koskie hit a 2-2 low liner to Ichiro in rightfield.
Not able to take advantage. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-0 and grounded the full-count pitch to Koskie at third, who was eaten up by the ball (error). Adrian Beltre chopped the second pitch to short and barely beat out the double play (Sexson obviously out at second). Jose Lopez watched as Downs snap-threw past first amd into foul territory on a pickoff throw to enable Beltre to scoot to second on a 1-0 count. Lopez ended up rolling a 1-2 pitch to short. Jeremy Reed chopped a 1-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout).
Lightning. Hillenbrand got behind 0-2 a bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Hinske bounced to Sexson at the bag at first. Menechino bounced the first pitch to short.
Stranding. Mike Morse rolled an 0-2 pitch to short. Yorvit Torrealba rolled the second pitch hard to second. Ichiro slapped a 2-2 single into leftcenter. Betancourt stung the first pitch into rightfield for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez shattered his bat on an 0-2 roller to second.
Struggle. Alex(is) Rios clubbed the second pitch into the leftcenter gap, where Ibañez dove in front of the track for the ball and missed, letting Rios coast into third with a triple. Ken Huckaby doubled the second pitch (up and over the plate, off target) off the leftfield wall, scoring Rios easily.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Johnson rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Huckaby. Reed's throw home was up the line, but Johnson was unable to move to second.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Hill looped a single into shallow rightcenter, moving Johnson to third. Wells reached for a full-count pitch outside, which went off the second-base umpire and into centerfield for a single, scoring Johnson and moving Hill to second. The ball was probably hit too hard for Lopez to actually have a play on it.
»» BLUE JAYS 3, MARINERS 0
Koskie fell behind 0-2 and bounced to second for a 4-6-3 double play, moving Hill to third. Hillenbrand rolled out to second.
Should have been more. Sexson bounced the first pitch to short. Beltre drilled a double down the rightfield line. Lopez got ahead 2-0 and wound up lining a homer just over the leftfield wall.
»» BLUE JAYS 3, MARINERS 2
Reed slapped a single into shallow leftfield. Morse lined a second-pitch single through the right side, moving Lopez to second and bringing the pitching coach out to the mound. Torrealba whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Ichiro rolled a 3-1 pitch to second.
Another dent. Hinske got ahead 3-0 and whiffed on a full-count change. Menechino got ahead 2-0 and later lined to Beltre at third on a full count. Rios got ahead and tagged a homer over the in-wall scoreboard in leftcenter.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 2
Huckaby whiffed on a full-count change low over the inside corner.
Getting back. Betancourt drove a full-count pitch to the wall in rightcenter and scampered to third for a triple. Ibañez got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. Sexson split his bat on a 2-0 grounder to short, a 6-4 fielder's choice that scored Betancourt.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 3
Beltre watched the second pitch (wild in the dirt toward the backstop) as Sexson scooted to second. Beltre later whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Lopez popped the second pitch high to Menechino in shallow centerfield.
Downs' line: 5 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 92 pitches (54 strikes)
Bullet-dodging. Johnson rolled the second pitch to short, where Betancourt took it off the heel of his glove and off his body (error). Hill walked on a low 3-1 pitch, moving Johnson to second. Wells rolled over a 1-2 pitch, grounding to third for a 5-4 fielder's choice (easily beat out double play), moving Johnson to third. Koskie took umbrage to a fairly low first pitch that was called a strike. Koskie ended up chopping a 2-2 pitch to the mound for a 1-6-3 double play.
Dustin McGowan came in for Downs. Reed lined the second pitch into leftcenter for a single. Morse took a 2-2 curve over the inside corner. Torrealba watched as McGowan threw a pickoff throw past first and into foul ground. With the Blue Jay defenders jogging toward the ball, Reed reached third base. Torrealba chopped the first pitch to a leaping Koskie, but Reed ran on contact and was already halfway home; he hung up between third and home, and Torrealba held at second. Ichiro popped the second pitch short of the track in rightfield.
McGowan's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 10 pitches (7 strikes)
Great. Hillenbrand bounced out to third. Hinske took an 0-2 pitch at the knees and over the outer half, though it was definitely borderline, and Hinske let plate umpire CB Bucknor know. Menechino got the hitters' counts and drove a 3-1 fly ball a few steps short of the leftfield track.
Moyer's line: 6 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 104 pitches (62 strikes)
Vinnie Chulk came in for McGowan. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Johnson in shallow leftfield. Ibañez smacked a second-pitch single up the middle. Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 slider very low and away. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and ended up reaching for a 2-2 pitch, popping it harmlessly to centerfield.
Chulk's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Rios flew out to fairly deep rightfield on the first pitch. Huckaby lined a ball right at Beltre's feet (lineout). Johnson grinded out an eleven-pitch at-bat but settled for a full-count roller to short.
Justin Speier came in for Chulk (Russ Adams replaced Menechino at short and Hill moved to second. Lopez rolled a 1-2 pitch to Adams in the left-side hole. Reed got ahead 3-1 and foul-tipped a full-count breaking ball low and away into the catcher's glove. Morse fell behind 0-2 and took a full-count seventh pitch over the outer half. Morse exchanged words with Bucknor behind the plate, and Bucknor appeared quite livid, snapping back at Morse on his way to the dugout.
Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Spelling relief. Hill popped the first pitch foul along the rightfield line, where Lopez came up empty on his sliding attempt for the catch. Hill rolled to second on the next pitch. Wells popped high to centerfield.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Koskie whiffed under a 1-2 breaking ball inside.
Mateo's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (15 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Miguel Batista came in for Speier. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Torrealba, poked the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Jaime Bubela ran for Dobbs. Ichiro drag-bunted the first pitch in front of the plate, where Batista tried to throw as quickly as possible, but Ichiro beat it out as Bubela went to second. Ramon Santiago, hitting for Betancourt, bunted a 2-0 pitch in the same spot as Ichiro, but since he's slower, he was out. Bubela and Ichiro moved to third and second on the play. Ibañez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Sexson roped the first pitch just over the rightfield fence, reaching the bullpen.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 4
Jason Frasor came in for Batista. Beltre hit a low lineout to rightfield. Lopez reached and chopped a 1-2 pitch to a charging Hillenbrand near the bag at third, whose on-the-run throw couldn't quite get Lopez at first, who came away with the single. Reed got ahead 3-0 and hit a 3-1 low liner toward the leftfield corner that was caught.
Eddie Guardado came in for Sherrill (Santiago stayed in to play short, and Miguel Ojeda came in behind the plate). Hillenbrand fell behind 0-2 and spanked a singled into shallow rightfield near the line. Hinske popped to rightfield on the first pitch. Adams rolled the second pitch barely past Guardado and Betancourt and into centerfield for a single, moving Hillenbrand to second. Rios grounded hard to Santiago at short, who should have turned a double play but didn't catch it cleanly, loading the bases. Gregg Zaun, hitting for Huckaby, chopped between third base and the mound. Guardado came off to get the ball, but his only play was to first base. Hillenbrand scored, Adams went to third, and Rios went to second.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 5
Johnson rolled over a 2-2 pitch, rolling it to short. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
Goat: Yorvit Torrealba.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-44 .707 -- L4
2002 86-64 .573 20 W2
2003 86-64 .573 20 L2
2000 84-66 .560 22 W6
2005 65-85 .433 41 W1
2004 56-94 .373 50 L3
With the 2-for-5 game, Ichiro has 190 hits on the season and sits with a .303 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (627 at-bats in 150 games, 4.18 at-bats per game, which leaves him with a bit over 50 at-bats)...
-- he needs 10 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .199 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .295 season average.
-- he needs 13 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .259 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 27 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit .538 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 217 hits.
Harris. Towers. Tonight.
Monday, September 19, 2005
[for Jeremy's postgame piece, scroll down one post or click here.]
That number 51 is different when you know it's not Anthony Simmons, isn't it? Except Anthony Simmons isn't playing for anybody right now and has a bad wrist. Yes, the man above is Lofa Tatupu. If he keeps going like he has in the first two games, he won't be a reach like he was labeled on draft day.
Here it is, the piece for Week 2. The stuff right under the headings is off the top of my head, and the other stuff is as labeled. The link to the Gamebook is here.
--handled Falcons in first half
--pressure on Michael Vick
--no catches for Alge Crumpler until second half
--Vick had only 35 passing yards at the half
--not much of a running game for Atlanta
--able to eventually establish the run
--Shaun Alexander much better production than last week
--Matt Hasselbeck leaps and bounds better than last week; NO INTERCEPTIONS
--offensive line much much better with protecting Hasselbeck and opening lanes for Alexander
--Joe Jurevicius catches only one ball, but it's a very important one
--another flash of brilliance by Jerramy Stevens on the touchdown catch
--ran a three-minute drill for a touchdown drive to end the first half
--not getting lit too much on third down
--though not able to score in second half, did manage to chew up decent amount of clock
other good times from my notes or the gamebook...
--Rocky Bernard nailed Vick on the third-down play of the first Falcon possession, nearly resulting in an interception
--Ken Hamlin "horse-collared" Vick to end the first quarter, according to Steve Raible, and I did see the play later on a highlight reel...what was the kind of tackle that was made illegal in the offseason?
--Seahawk offense converts two third downs on the first touchdown drive, one of the converting runs is Alexander for 16
--Lofa Tatupu smears Vick on the first play of Atlanta's first possession of the second quarter; Atlanta goes three and out
--on Atlanta's second possession of second quarter, TJ Duckett runs for nine yards on the first play; Duckett and Vick get stood up for no gain on second and third down, and the Falcons punt
--correction, the drive before halftime was a 2:05 drill that started at 2:33
--defense holds Atlanta to field goal after allowing 30-yard bomb to Crumpler and the Hamlin 15-yard facemask on the first play of Atlanta's drive that made it 21-10
--defense forces Atlanta into three and out from midfield after Seattle offense goes three and out
--on the drive in the fourth quarter that ended with the Engram fumble, the Seahawks managed to eat 7:06 of clock with the Falcons down 21-10
--after Vick pulled up with the hamstring on the first-down play late in the fourth quarter, Grant Wistrom added to it, pounding Vick on a first-down pass; Matt Schaub entered the game on the next play
--offense goes three and out with just under four minutes left; third down play had Hasselbeck throwing behind a wide-open Stevens
--last gasp for Falcons; Warrick Dunn stuffed, DD Lewis plows Griffith, then the crowd helps force a false start to force a 3rd-and-13...then Vick sacked on third down by Bryce Fisher
--ball nearly picked on Falcons' last offensive play from scrimmage
--final 11-yard run for Alexander seals the deal
--Leo Araguz, whose only good punt was because a Falcon special teamer mistakenly let it bounce and roll
--the Engram fumble
--three-and-outs by the offense in the second half
--horribly untimely penalties in second half by both sides of the ball
--DBs beaten on a couple of balls that were under/overthrown by Vick and could have gone for a billion yards
--no takeaways by defense
--Alex Bannister having his right clavicle X-rayed during the time and coming back in street clothes
--offense shut out in the second half
other bad stuff from my notes or the gamebook...
--the Brad Finneran non-fumble on the second Falcon possession; I didn't see the video, but if you ask Jeremy, Finneran was on top of another player and therefore not down when he fumbled the ball
--Keith Brookings plowing Hasselbeck on a 3rd-and-7 to kill a promising drive (Josh Brown punt after a fake field goal on fourth down)
--crazy Peter Warrick punt return to the Atlanta 36 negated by an Alex Bannister hold to start the second quarter
--Seahawks hold ball for 11:22 of second quarter
--after a good Alexander run to move the sticks, the first Seahawk drive of the second half stalls
--terrible punt after that first drive, and a 27-yard return too gives Atlanta great field position, leading to a touchdown drive
--Seattle offense goes three and out on their second possession of the half, then Araguz punts 34 yards
--first play after that three and out was a 30-yard bomb to Crumpler AND a major facemask penalty on Hamlin that put the ball on Seattle's 33
--holding backs up Seattle to their 15 after the field goal; Hasselbeck has forever to throw and overthrows a wide-open Jackson on a 2nd-and-7; pass tipped on third-down play; second straight three and out
--on Seattle's last possession of third quarter, Hasselbeck sacked for loss of seven on 2nd-and-3, then Jackson ran before catching a slant pass on third down
--offense penalized four times (25 yards) on first possession of fourth quarter, two straight penalties from the Atlanta 27 took it way out of field-goal range to the Atlanta 42; the possession ended with Engram's fumble
--the 32-yard Vick run that started the Falcons' final touchdown drive that made it 21-18
--Seahawks' fourth quarter time of possession is 10:10 to 4:50
--seven penalties for 59 yards in the half by Seattle
--punted on five of six possessions before game-ending possession; the one that wasn't a punt was a fumble
--Hasselbeck 7-for-15 in second half
...YOU KNOW I'VE HAD MY SHARE
They needed this win. Sure, it wasn't the biggest must-win in recent memory. It wasn't any of the three games against the Rams last year. However, the alternative was worse. A loss and an 0-2 record would have made me incredibly glad I'm not in Seattle within KJR airwaves. It would have been an all-out crisis line with endless cries of "same old Seahawks."
Not that they didn't try to be the same old Seahawks in the second half. Like Jeremy alluded to in his post, it'll be inevitable for all Seahawk fans to have the Week 5 game from last year in the backs of their minds whenever they have a fourth-quarter lead. Hell, I had it in my head when they went into halftime with the 21-point lead. The bottom line is that if the Seahawks get any sort of lead, I'm already focused on the worst-case scenario. Why? This is a trained behavior. This is being a fan of Seattle sports. This is nothing new.
From a team perspective, this game is a lot easier to stomach with the Seahawks winning. They bended but didn't break. It would have been unbearable for me going through the next week with this team 0-2. Instead, the Seahawks with a 1-1 record are in a three-way tie for first place. Next week, they face the trendy pick to win the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals. After getting drubbed in Week 1 by the Giants, the Cardinals never reached the end zone at home against the Rams.
Also from a team perspective, it was an emotional win given the condition of Ray Rhodes, who was in the stadium for the game, though not carrying on with normal duties.
To sum it up, the Seahawks had a very good first half, and damn near took the second half off. If they get up 21-0 on any team, they should stomp on that team and put the victory out of doubt. When that happens, we'll truly know that this team has made some kind of leap, and maybe even the leap.
Next week at the Q, it's the 0-2 Arizona Cardinals, picked by a bunch of media types to win the NFC West. Neil Rackers was the all-star for the Cardinals yesterday, kicking four field goals. Kurt Warner was able to throw for 327 yards and the Cardinals never reached the end zone. They were 4-for-13 on third down. They managed only 82 ground yards. Eight penalties for 72 yards didn't help either. Keep in mind that the Cardinals were at home yesterday.
Also, the Cardinals' new uniforms are terrible.
See you next Sunday. Of course, if you want to wade through Mariner stuff, we've got that throughout the week. Also, the Canucks start preseason play on Wednesday.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
If you're a Seahawks fan, you had thoughts of the Rams game of 10/10/04 running through your mind during the second half today. Or thoughts of the Cowboys Monday Night game of 12/6/04. Thankfully for us, we can breathe a sigh of relief right now.
There's no way in hell that the Seahawks could have afforded an 0-2 start. Sure, the NFC West isn't the best division out there. But 0-2 is 0-2, folks. In 2004, no team that started the season 0-2 made the playoffs.
The first half of football from the Seahawks was definitely the best half of football this team has played since last year's Rams game. Yes, the same one I mentioned above. This was a stark contrast to last week's debacle in Jacksonville, which saw the Seahawks crap the bed in the second half.
Matt Hasselbeck rebounded from a subpar Week 1, going 20-for-31 with 281 yards and 2 touchdowns. Folks, the Seahawks offense has faced two quality defenses in Jacksonville and Atlanta in this early part of the season. In the first half at least, Hasselbeck had his way with the Falcons defense, which was coming off of an emotional victory last Monday night against Philadelphia.
Feed Shaun Alexander. You do that, you win. 28 carries, 144 yards, 1 touchdown. 2 receptions, 11 yards. Another key Seahawk offensive player who was able to rebound from last week.
The receivers are catching the damn ball. Oh my God, they're catching the damn ball. Darrell Jackson looks like he's ready for a great 2005 season. Eight receptions, 131 yards for the Seahawks #1 receiver. It's early, but I'm impressed with Jackson so far. Joe Jurevicius is already proving to be a great acquisition. What does he do? Catch touchdowns. His only catch today was a touchdown.
We've waited for Jerramy Stevens to show up since 2002. Now, I don't want to say that he's arrived yet. But when he makes a beautiful 35-yard touchdown catch, you want to scream "Stevens is here!". At least I want to, anyway. If Stevens can play well the next few weeks, then we'll show him some love.
The Seahawks definitely had a better defensive effort today. They should have, because they were facing a Falcons team that had to travel cross-country on a short week. And they're at home. That's a recipe for success, I think. Sure, they allowed 18 points in the second half. But when the offense can't do diddily poo offensively, the defense is going to suffer. That's how it usually works.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
The Seahawks are 1-1, going into next week's NFC West tilt against the media darling Arizona Cardinals (0-2). However, I have to bring up FOX analyst Brian Baldinger's view of the Seahawks. Tell me he isn't right:
"Seattle just doesn't know how to put a team away"
It's the same thing we've been saying for God knows how long. I'm glad that the Seahawks won today, believe me. But there is cause for concern when the Seahawks almost piss away a 21-point lead. If the Seahawks want to be considered an elite team, they have to put away teams at home. Especially a team as good as Atlanta.
Media darlings. 'Hawks. Next Sunday. I won't be able to watch it. Damn Cowboys.
Atlanta FALCONS (1-0) at Seattle SEAHAWKS (0-1), 1:05p
I miss the non-corporate name...
As a Seattle sports fan of many years, I can say there's a pretty good chance we will see a win from one team out of the Mariners and Seahawks today, but not both. That said, I'll risk the Mariners getting swept in four by the Rangers if it means the Seahawks don't start out 0-2.
The photos heading the threads today are via Google Earth, and if you have a broadband connection and haven't downloaded Google Earth yet, then by golly, do it. It'll kill a whole lot of time. It's fun. I know I spent a good portion of my final year of college messing with airphotos, digital elevation models, and GIS, but you'll still like Google Earth.
It's thread time. It's Seahawk time. The Mariners are playing, yeah, but you know who's starting. If you slept in, don't feel bad.
Better thread than dead!
In 25 words or less: It's amazing how Ryan Franklin can test positive for steroids, and it turns out all that appears juiced are the homers he gives up.
[This will be finished at a later time. What, you thought I'd rather do a recap of a baseball team 20 games under .500 than a football team that still has a chance with their season? Also, I had to do some laundry, cook food, etc. Seahawks took priority over the Mariners on Sunday, I won't lie.]
This one featured Ryan Franklin going up against RA Dickey, now a knuckleballer. If I say "pitch" in the Mariner half-inning where Dickey is pitching, it's a knuckleball.
Preliminary results sketchy. Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt looped an 0-2 pitch to leftfield. Raul Ibañez had his helmet fly off while whiffing at the first pitch. He fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch high to Alfonso Soriano in shallow rightfield.
Long time. David Dellucci tapped a ball along the right side, and Franklin got the ball and raced toward Dellucci, tagging him in front of the bag. Michael Young whiffed on a 2-2 pitch that Miguel Ojeda behind the plate had go off his glove as Young got aboard. Mark Teixeira took a 3-1 pitch up and in. Hank Blalock got behind 0-2 and foul-tipped a full-count pitch into Ojeda's glove, and he caught it this time. Alfonso Soriano got behind 0-2 and looped a 2-2 pitch to Jose Lopez in shallow rightfield.
Not a good start. Richie Sexson grounded the first pitch out to short. Adrian Beltre bounced an 0-2 pitch to third. Greg Dobbs fell behind 0-2 and fouled a 1-2 pitch into the catcher's glove.
Getting through. Kevin Mench fell behind 0-2 and held up on a full-count pitch low and away for a walk. Mark DeRosa popped the first pitch to short. Gary Matthews, Jr. flew out to shallow centerfield. Rod Barajas got ahead 2-0 and grounded out to Sexson beside the bag at first.
Something. Jose Lopez got the hitters' counts before driving the 3-1 pitch off the leftfield wall for a double. Shin-Soo Choo got ahead 3-1 and bounced the full-count pitch to first, moving Lopez to third. Miguel Ojeda dumped a second-pitch single into centerfield, scoring Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Ichiro popped the first pitch to Teixeira in front of the camera well on the right side. Betancourt got ahead 3-1 and grounded the full-count pitch hard off of Blalock's glove near the line at third, and all he could do was knock it down as Ojeda went to second. Ibañez grounded the first pitch hard to first.
Big flies. Dellucci cranked a line drive about eight rows into the rightfield seats.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Young got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch outside. Teixeira whiffed oddly at a high 0-2 pitch. Blalock popped the first pitch high to Lopez on the infield grass. Soriano lined the first pitch barely foul beside the leftfield foul pole, and it would have been a homer. He cranked an 0-2 pitch the other way, reaching the third row in rightfield, scoring Young.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Mench popped the seconds pitch to Sexson in foul territory.
What's this? Sexson got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Beltre bounced the first pitch through the right side, and Sexson moved to second. Dobbs flew out to centerfield on the first pitch, and Sexson tagged and went to third. Lopez poked an 0-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double, scoring Sexson and moving Beltre to third.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Choo took a full-count pitch down and in for a walk, loading the bases. Ojeda got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch barely down and in for a walk, scoring Beltre and luring pitching coach Orel Hershiser to the mound.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 3
Ichiro got the hitters' counts and chopped the 3-1 pitch behind the second-base bag, where Soriano stepped on the bag at second, and Ichiro beat out the double play. Lopez scored.
»» MARINERS 4, RANGERS 3
Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and popped a 1-2 pitch to shallow rightfield.
Good gracious. DeRosa rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Matthews grounded to second for an easy 4-6-3 double play. Barajas cranked the second pitch barely over the fence in front of where the Target sign used to be in leftcenter to the right of the scoreboard.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 4
Dellucci took a full-count pitch outside. Young popped a 2-0 pitch to shallow centerfield, and Choo dove and had the ball go off his glove, moving Dellucci to third. Teixeira blasted the second pitch a few rows beyond the fence in rightcenter, 427 feet away, scoring Dellucci and Young.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 4
Blalock fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner.
Franklin's line: 4 innings, 7 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 83 pitches (49 strikes)
Boring. Ibañez grounded the second pitch up the middle to short. Sexson got ahead 3-1 and later grounded hard to third on a full count. Beltre reached for an outside pitch and flew out to centerfield on the second pitch.
Scott Atchison came in for Franklin. Soriano whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Mench whiffed at a full-count pitch up and in. DeRosa took a 1-2 strike.
A case of the runs. Dobbs lined the second pitch just beyond the grasp of a diving Matthews for what turned out to be a triple. Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch to second, scoring Dobbs.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 5
Choo walked on four pitches. Ojeda grounded the first pitch into the hole at short, and DeRosa ranged way over to nail him at first as Choo went to second on the play. Of course, it's different because replays show Ojeda was visibly safe on the play. Like it matters.
Joaquin Benoit came in for Dickey. Ichiro ripped a 2-2 single to rightfield, scoring Choo. A bad throw home enabled Ichiro to move to second.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 6
Betancourt whiffed on a 1-2 slider.
Dickey's line: 5 2/3 innings, 6 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 99 pitches (59 strikes)
Spelling relief. Matthews struck out on three pitches. Barajas got ahead 2-0 and wound up looping a single to shallow centerfield.
George Sherrill came in for Atchison. Dellucci got behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Young fell behind 0-2 and grounded the full-count pitch to a barehanding Beltre, who threw over in time.
Atchison's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 24 pitches (17 strikes)
Fizzle. Ibañez poped an 0-2 pitch high to centerfield. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Beltre got ahead 3-1 and whiffed on a full count.
Benoit's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
Teixeira crushed the second pitch well out of the yard to rightfield.
»» RANGERS 8, MARINERS 6
Blalock took a 1-2 strike as well as a seat.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Alfonso Soriano bounced the second pitch to second. Mench popped a 2-2 pitch to first.
Sherrill's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
CJ Wilson came in for Benoit. Dobbs bounced an 0-2 pitch to short. Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch low. Rene Rivera, hitting for Choo, watched an 0-2 wild pitch as Lopez went to second. Rivera bounced out to short on a 2-2 pitch. Ojeda bounced the first pitch to short.
Wilson's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
In the field, Jaime Bubela took over in centerfield. DeRosa whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Matthews grounded a 1-2 pitch softly past the mound, and Lopez' toss to first wasn't quite in time. Barajas popped a 1-2 pitch out to Lopez barely on the outfield grass. Dellucci got the hitters' counts and took a low full-count pitch for a walk, moving Matthews to second. Young was caught looking at an 0-2 pitch.
Rafael Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 34 pitches (24 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Wilson. Ichiro bounced the second pitch inside the first-base line where Teixeira won a footrace to the bag. Dave Hansen, hitting for Betancourt, grounded the full-count pitch to second. Ibañez got the hitters' counts and lined a 3-1 single into rightfield. Sexson popped a 2-2 pitch to second. Ballgame.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Scott Atchison.
Goat: Ryan Franklin.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-43 .711 -- L3
2003 86-63 .577 20 L1
2002 85-64 .570 21 W1
2000 83-66 .554 23 W5
2005 64-85 .430 42 L4
2004 56-93 .376 50 L2
With the 1-for-5 game here as a DH, Ichiro has 188 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 (622 at-bats in 149 games, 4.17 at-bats per game, which leaves him with a bit over 54 at-bats)...
-- he needs 12 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .221 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .296 season average.
-- he needs 15 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .276 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 203 hits.
-- he needs 29 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit .534 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 217 hits.
Moyer. Downs. Tonight.