Saturday, October 01, 2005
[upcoming plane flights have a way of sapping away time you'd normally use for game posts. Thus, I give you this...]
The guard has officially changed.
Dan Wilson was once an All-Star in 1996. In his later years, I had wished that the Mariners could get a younger catcher with some pop and more speed than Wilson, who I attached to a sure out whenever there were two out in an inning, and I'd developed a pretty good record of knowing when he was going to roll into a double play with runner(s) on base.
As much as I'd stood by my opinions (this could also get irrational, given those were my late teenage years) on replacing Wilson, the bottom line is that Wilson held off Ben Davis and Miguel Olivo. Wilson was felled not by any player trying to take his job, but only by an ACL tear.
Years went by and Daniel Allen Wilson was there from 1994 to last night. A former hockey goalie, he used some of the same skills to stop balls in the dirt and combined this with a stellar ability to know his pitchers -- what they have that day, what they have to work with -- and call the game, no doubt taking some of the burden off his managers. His ability to block balls gave confidence to his pitchers, enabling them to thrown everything they had and know it wouldn't get past unless it was well over Dan's head, and such pitches would be grossly high since Wilson was 6'3". It wasn't just Jamie Moyer that could throw a changeup in the dirt and get a swing and miss. We're talking Randy Johnson's slider down and in to righties, we're talking Kazu Sasaki's thang, we're talking Jeff Nelson's frisbee slider two feet outside to a righty, we're talking dealing with Jose Mesa and Armando Benitez (though nothing could save Benitez), etc. Lest we forget Wilson having to deal with Lou Piniella as well. Surely Dan had to calm a young pitcher or two down after Lou sank his teeth into an unsuspecting young'un on the mound.
Sure, I'd begged over the years for Wilson to finally be off this team. However, all I needed was the revolving door at catcher this year to know (much more than before) that Wilson's value couldn't only be measured with offensive statistics. He handled the Mariners' pitching staff over the last decade with outstanding results, and he had a feel for the game behind the plate. After his injury, the Mariners and especially the pitching staff this year sorely missed him and everything he brought to the game.
Therefore, I missed him. And I'll continue to do so.
There's no way a particular high school classmate is reading this, but if you're reading this, Kate, you won. I'm rarely this happy when I end up being wrong about something. Such is life, and such is baseball.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
In 25 words or less: If you have to make a choice between a cameraman attacker and someone nailed for steroids, go with the youth.
[Edit Fri ~2:05a -- If that last line looks different since the last time you read it, that's because I originally slapped steroids on Rogers as well, which was incorrect. That's what I call mind slippage. I caught myself, though a few hours later.]
This one featured Kenny Rogers going up against Ryan Franklin for a 3:35pm Thursday start in Seattle. Can you say "record low for attendance at Safeco Field?" I knew you could. A grand total of 19841 paid to pass through the turnstiles (some not passing through at all, I'm sure) for the game.
No damage. David Dellucci took a 1-2 pitch barely outside before whiffing on a full count. Michael Young nubbed the second pitch to first (3-1 putout). Mark Teixeira poked a full-count pitch into shallow leftfield for a single. Hank Blalock popped the second pitch near the leftfield corner, where Mike Morse reached over into the stands to make the catch. Kudos to nearby fans for not interfering.
Early runs are always good. Ichiro rolled the second pitch through the right side for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled a 1-2 pitch to short, but barely beat out the double play (Ichiro was out). Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and wound up fouling a full-count pitch into the catcher's glove to end an eight-pitch at-bat (five pickoff moves). Richie Sexson stuck a full-count pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a double, scoring Betancourt.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Adrian Beltre walked on a 3-1 pitch outside. Mike Morse bounced the second pitch to a charging Blalock, and it ate him up (error), loading the bases. Jose Lopez chopped a full-count pitch high along the third-base line, where Rogers barehanded and spun to throw to first, but Lopez was safe and Sexson scored, with the bases remaining loaded.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 0
Jaime Bubela whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away, throwing 37 pitches or so.
Beanballs. Alfonso Soriano had the first pitch brush his jersey, and he took his bench. Kevin Mench watched the first pitch as Soriano stole second, drew a low throw that got into centerfield, then took third as a result. Mench was nailed on a 1-1 pitch on the left forearm. Gary Matthews, Jr. fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Rod Barajas grounded hard to third for a 5-4-3 double play.
Absence. Miguel Ojeda popped very high to Teixeira in foul territory near the line. Ichiro looped a flyout along the leftfield line. Betancourt grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to third.
Obligatory. Mark DeRosa grounded the second pitch hard to third. Dellucci cranked a 2-2 pitch over the wall and toward the hitters' backdrop in centerfield.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 1
Young rolled the first pitch to second. Teixeira was robbed of a hit on the second pitch thanks to a backhanded diving stop by Lopez and his throw to first.
Missed opp. Ibanez popped the first pitch into shallow leftfield along the foul line. Sexson ripped the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and rolled over a 1-2 pitch just past Young's backhand reach and into leftfield for a single, moving Sexson to second. Morse popped a 2-2 pitch to rightfield, and the runners held. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and tapped the 1-2 pitch back to the mound.
Stranding. Blalock golfed a 2-0 pitch to Ichiro drifting back on the track in rightfield. Soriano got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 pitch in the dirt outside for a walk. Mench crushed the second pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Soriano to second. Matthews popped the second pitch to Bubela in leftcenter, who nearly collided with Morse while making the catch. Barajas flew out to Beltre along the leftfield line.
Officially bored. Bubela bounced the second pitch to a charging Teixeira for a difficult 3-1 putout. Ojeda got ahead 2-0 and wound up popping a 2-2 pitch to Teixeira along the track in foul ground on the right side. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and later fisted a 1-2 pitch off of Rogers' glove and to Young at short, who made a strong throw in time.
Come on. DeRosa rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle past Franklin's throwing hand, but to Betancourt, who gloved and spun before throwing in time to first. Dellucci fell behind 0-2 and later dumped a full-count pitch into rightfield for a single. Young looped a single into leftfield, moving Dellucci to second. Teixeira clubbed a double into centerfield to the left of the hitters' backdrop, scoring Dellucci and Young.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Blalock bounced a 2-2 pitch along the first-base line to Sexson at the bag, moving Teixeira to third. Soriano popped the second pitch to Bubela in leftcenter.
This was good. Betancourt lasered a single past Rogers and into centerfield. Ibañez took a full-count pitch outside for a walk. Sexson got ahead 3-1 and wound up singling through the left side, scoring Betancourt and moving Ibañez to second.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 3
Beltre poked a 2-0 single through the left side, scoring Ibañez, who just beat the throw from leftfield.
»» MARINERS 4, RANGERS 3
Morse grounded the first pitch to the mound, where Rogers started a 1-6-3 double play. Lopez popped an 0-2 pitch to leftfield.
Quick. Mench flew out high to Ichiro in shallow rightcenter. Matthews bounced the 2-2 pitch to first. Barajas popped the second pitch to Bubela in rightcenter.
Mild celebration. Bubela lasered a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, his first Major League hit. Ojeda popped the first pitch to shallow rightfield. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and stung a 1-2 pitch to Blalock at third, who dove quickly to his right to snare the line drive and freeze the runner at first. Betancourt popped the 1-2 pitch to Matthews in shallow rightcenter.
Rogers' line: 6 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 9 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 116 pitches (75 strikes)
Who's on the mound? DeRosa whiffed over an 0-2 pitch. Dellucci popped the first pitch to Ichiro in shallow rightfield. Young grounded very hard to Beltre at third, who made a nice stop.
Franklin's line; 7 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 95 pitches (59 strikes)
John Rupe came in for Rogers. Ibañez popped a 1-2 pitch to Barajas leaning over the railing in front of the third-base dugout. Sexson split his bat on a popout beside the mound to Rupe. Beltre popped out to Barajas on the track behind the plate.
George Sherrill came in for Franklin. Teixeira crushed the second pitch for homer distance, but barely foul, making the count 0-2. Teixeira later walked on a full-count pitch down. Blalock got ahead 3-0 and wound up whiffing on a full-count change low and away.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Alfonso Soriano foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Ojeda's glove behind the plate. Mench flew out to Lopez on the rightfield grass.
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (5 strikes)
Zilchophonic. Morse took a 1-1 pitch near the left wrist. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and flew out to centerfield. Bubela grounded the first pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play.
Rupe's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (13 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Soriano. Matthews whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Barajas flew out to Lopez on the dirt on the first pitch. DeRosa popped out to rightfield. Ballgame.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
He was 2-for-3 with a couple of well-placed singles. He also walked in the first, demonstrating at least some semblance of patience. Of course, Rogers isn't a righty with a slider low and away, so Beltre didn't have that at which to swing in this game. Combine this with what seemed to me like a more-abundant-than-usual glut of nice defensive plays, and there you have it, the gameball. Well, that and I don't pick the obvious gameball, which you could argue for in favor of Richie Sexson (3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs) or Ryan Franklin (line above). In the batting average race, Sexson at .263 is leading Beltre at .257. In the RBI race, Sexson's 121 leads Beltre's 85. Oddly, Beltre this year has hit a career-high 35 doubles, and his 85 RBIs are tied with 2000 for his most RBIs in any season that isn't 2004. His 152 hits are also a career-high when not compared with 2004. Unsurpisingly, Beltre's 106 strikeouts are an outright career-high. I wonder how many more games the Mariners would have won this year with an Adrian Beltre that was hitting .270.
Goat: Miguel Ojeda.
Mike Morse actually had a worse line, going 0-for-3 and leaving a whopping six runners on base, but for the life of me, I can't goat him thanks to that catch he made into the leftfield stands. That was totally unexpected for me out of Morse, so no goat for him. Instead, I'll pick Ojeda here, who is 5-for-29 as a Mariner with one homer and no other extra-base hits. Ojeda has zero multi-hit games as a Mariner. Amazingly, his best series according to the game log was the home series against the Yankees to close August and start September. He was 2-for-5 with a homer and a couple of walks. It's like the Mariners can't get the good half of anything that involves Miguel Olivo. Even the guy they got in return for him can't hit. He's contributed very little offensively toward the Mariners, obviously, other than that homer in the Yankee series. As for uniform numbers, number 2 didn't get it done for him, and I saw him wear number 35 in this game for the first time, and it looks like that didn't get him going either. If it gets real bad, he might be wrestling Jaime Bubela for his number 62. You never know.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 114-45 .717 -- W4
2002 92-67 .579 22 L1
2003 90-69 .566 24 L2
2000 89-70 .560 25 L1
2005 68-91 .428 46 W1
2004 62-97 .392 52 L1
With this 1-for-4 game, Ichiro has 198 hits on the season and sits with a .297 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (667 at-bats in 159 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 13 at-bats)...
-- he needs 2 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .159 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 6 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .477 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- (impossible unless the Mariners close with three 25-inning games or something) he needs 20 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit 1.589 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
Saarloos. Moyer. Tomorrow.
In 25 words or less: Joel Piñeiro didn't have the horrible first inning like usual. He made it the second instead and took care of a 3-0 lead too.
This one featured the tall Chris Young going up against Joel Piñeiro. It was revealed that Jeremy Reed will miss the rest of the season with a partially torn left wrist ligament, possibly from an outfield dive or something. Apparently it had bothered him for a couple weeks. Surgery may be had.
But hey, Richie Sexson nabbed number 39, though just barely. There is a gameball and a goat at the end of this, so yes, I at least got that posted.
Uncharacteristic. Gary Matthews, Jr. chopped a 1-2 pitch to second. Michael Young grounded the second pitch hard to second. Mark Teixeira got the hitters' counts and grounded to Jose Lopez in the hole on the right side on a full count. Lopez was a busy man in the inning.
Good start. Ichiro slapped a full-count single past Young and into centerfield. Yuniesky Betancourt popped an 0-2 pitch high to centerfield. Raul Ibañez watched as Ichiro took off on a 1-1 pitch, stole second, then moved to third on a throw that bounced past Michael Young at the second-base bag. Ibañez roped a 3-1 single through the right side to score Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Richie Sexson popped the second pitch just barely past Jason Botts' reach (he had misjudged the ball to begin with) and off the top of the leftfield wall in front of the visitors' bullpen. Ibañez scored as well.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 0
Adrian Beltre rolled over an 0-2 pitch to short. Greg Dobbs lined a single into rightcenter. Jose Lopez popped a 1-2 pitch to Soriano in shallow rightfield.
Terrible. Hank Blalock took a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Alfonso Soriano cranked a 2-2 knee-high breaking ball off the wall in rightcenter for a double. Kevin Mench punched a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single, moving Soriano to third. Adrian Gonzalez watched an 0-2 fastball down over the outside corner. Jason Botts slapped an 0-2 single into leftfield, scoring Soriano.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 1
Gerald Laird walked on a 3-0 pitch (ball four way inside), loading the bases. Matthews walked on a 3-0 pitch up and away, forcing Mench across the plate.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 2
Michael Young lined the second pitch up the middle, scoring Botts and Laird.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 3
Teixeira crushed the second pitch, bouncing it over the rightfield wall, scoring Matthews and moving Young to third.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 3
Blalock whiffed on a full-count high fastball.
Nope. Shin-Soo Choo popped a 2-2 pitch to Young in shallow leftfield. Rene Rivera poked a 2-2 pitch through the left-side hole past a diving Young for a single. Ichiro dribbled a full-count pitch to a charging Blalock, moving Rivera to second. Betancourt got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch.
No runs at least. Soriano cranked a 3-0 pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. Mench popped the second pitch to Choo in rightcenter. Gonzalez laced a single up the middle and into centerfield, scoring Soriano, who drew a throw from Choo that was about a second late.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 3
Botts hit a sinking liner into Dobbs' glove in leftfield. Laird flew out to fairly deep leftfield on an 0-2 pitch.
Piñeiro's line: 3 innings, 6 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 67 pitches (40 strikes)
Nothing here. Ibañez grounded hard right to first. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full count. Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 dirtball about a foot outside. Dobbs got ahead 2-0 and later popped to Soriano on the infield dirt.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Piñeiro. Matthews popped out to Choo in shallow rightcenter. Young took an 0-2 pitch barely outside and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away. Teixeira got ahead 2-0 and chipped a hanging breaking ball outside into centerfield for a single. Blalock whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball low and away.
Yawn. Lopez popped the second pitch to Teixeira in foul ground, who dropped the ball and fell down, nearly colliding at low speed with Laird. Lopez later bounced a 2-2 pitch to third. Choo popped the first pitch to leftfield. Rivera popped a 3-1 pitch lazily to centerfield.
Decent. Soriano got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Mench popped the second pitch to Ichiro. Gonzalez tapped back to the mound, starting a 1-6-3 double play.
Bah. Ichiro popped the second pitch to Teixeira in foul ground near the rightfield line, who made an over-the-shoulder catch. Betancourt whiffed on a 2-2 pitch and showed some frustration afterward, hammering the end of his bat into the dirt afterward. Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch as well.
Chris Young's line: 5 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 94 pitches (58 strikes)
Zzzzzz. Botts got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch low and away. Laird fell behind 0-2, took the next pitch barely off the plate, then roped a 2-2 pitch over Dobbs' reach in leftfield, moving Botts to third. Matthews popped the second pitch to leftfield, scoring Botts.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 3
Michael Young flew out to Ichiro near the rightfield corner, moving Laird to third.
Matt Thornton came in for Hasegawa. Teixeira got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on the 2-2 offering.
Hasegawa's line: 2 2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 46 pitches (26 strikes)
Doug Brocail came in for Young. Sexson took a 2-2 pitch over the outer half. Beltre splintered his bat on a 2-2 roller to short. Dobbs bounced to Teixeira on the right side (3-1 putout).
Brocail's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
I guess no runs scored. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and reached down for a 2-2 pitch, doubling it into the rightfield corner. Soriano fouled an 0-2 pitch into Rivera's glove. Mench whiffed on a high 0-2 pitch. Gonzalez got ahead 3-1 and took the full-count pitch off the inside corner for a walk, luring Bryan Price to the mound. Mark DeRosa, hitting for Botts, got ahead 2-0, then watched as Rivera tried to pick Blalock off of second, but the throw went into centerfield (Blalock to third). DeRosa popped to Ichiro in rightcenter on a 3-1 pitch.
Thornton's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 27 pitches (16 strikes)
John Wasdin came in for Brocail. Is there a game going on? Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch way outside. Choo worked a 1-2 count for a walk (ball four outside). Rivera dumped an 0-2 pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single. Ichiro popped the second pitch to Blalock in front of the third-base dugout. Betancourt chopped a 2-0 pitch to short.
Wasdin's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 19 pitches (10 strikes)
Gil Meche came in for Thornton. Laird popped the first pitch to Choo in rightcenter. Matthews lined a 1-2 pitch to Beltre's glove at third. Young roped the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Teixeira bounced a 2-0 pitch to second.
Meche's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
Joaquin Benoit came in for Wasdin. Ibañez got the hitters' counts and popped high to leftfield on a 3-1 pitch. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a full-count breaking ball. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and wound up whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball low and away.
Benoit's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 17 pitches (9 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Meche. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and later rolled a full-count pitch to second. Alfonso Soriano grounded the first pitch nearly foul down the third-base line, where Beltre made an off-balance throw to first, where Sexson had to come off to field it, but tagged Alfonso's left thigh on his way to first. Mench popped a 3-1 pitch to Betancourt in shallow leftfield.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
CJ Wilson came in for Benoit. Dobbs whiffed on an 0-2 pitch way low and away that got away from Laird and into foul territory, allowing Dobbs to get aboard. Lopez took the second pitch way inside, and it rolled up Laird's arm, but not enough to allow Dobbs to move to second. Lopez got ahead 3-0 and lined the 3-1 pitch to Matthews in centerfield. Mike Morse, hitting for Choo, laced a 2-2 single through the right side, moving Dobbs to second.
Francisco Cordero came in for Wilson. Dave Hansen whiffed on a 2-2 pitch low and away. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to the right-side hole, where Alfonso Soriano bobbled the ball twice and his throw to first was a bit late to get Ichiro. This loaded the bases. Betancourt popped the first pitch to centerfield. Ballgame.
Wilson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
Cordero's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
Gameball: Rafael Soriano.
Yeah, I've got to make a reach for this game's gameball. He threw a perfect ninth in a game that had been long lost. He seems able to reach mid-90s on the speed gun again, so that's a good thing. I have no idea if they're going to have him play winter ball again, but I wonder whether they should send him south anyway. Should he play winter ball and get more game situations in before camp, or should he just spend extra time in Peoria over the winter? I'm not suggesting that his winter ball in 2004 might have led him to the ribcage injury (and subsequent Tommy John surgery possibly due to overcompensation for the ribcage), but it's something to think about. Overall, it looks to me like JJ Putz and Soriano are the righthanded one-inning stoppers at the back end of the bullpen. Or maybe you could play matchup and have one of those guys sandwich a lefty. Julio Mateo is your long man, and if you had a righty garbagetime role (lefty Matt Thornton's role, for example), maybe that could be Scott Atchison. Still, though it's just nice to see Rafael Soriano is getting back to speed. At least the results are. I'm not in the box standing in against the pitches.
Goat: Yuniesky Betancourt.
Ichiro wasn't intentionally walked three times in this game, but for the second night in a row, the Mariners' #2 hitter (it was Reed the night before) left seven runners on base. On this night, the defensive wunderkind struck out twice and left the lucky seven. This was somewhat related to the fact that Ichiro in the leadoff spot left five runners on base. Dave Hansen pinch-hit for Rene Rivera, the #9 hitter, and stranded two runners himself, so a banner night for the ends of the lineup. Really, I'm just hoping that Betancourt can hit like Adrian Beltre circa 2005, and I hope Beltre can hit more like Adrian Beltre circa 2004. Betancourt would only have to hit 19 homers to equal 152-game Beltre 2005's power numbers. Right now, Jose Lopez is the weak link among the infield defense, but sheesh, the other three are well above average. Seattle fans, except for last season, have been particularly spoiled in recent years with the defensive crews that have rolled through the Emerald City.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 113-45 .715 -- W3
2002 92-66 .582 21 W4
2003 90-68 .570 23 L1
2000 89-69 .563 24 W3
2005 67-91 .424 46 L4
2004 62-96 .392 51 W2
With this 1-for-5 game, Ichiro has 197 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 (663 at-bats in 158 games, 4.20 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 17 at-bats)...
-- he needs 3 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 .294 season average.
-- he needs 7 hits to finish with a .300 average for the season; he'd need to hit .417 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- (virtually impossible) he needs 21 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit 1.251 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
Rogers. Franklin. Tonight.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
In 25 words or less: Remember that home game Felix pitched against the White Sox a while ago? This game kind of reeked like that one.
This one featured Kameron Loe going up against Felix Hernandez. This would be the first game of a six-game homestand to close the very long 2005 season.
Jeremy talked about it in last night's thread, but I too miss when September baseball in Seattle meant something. Since the division's been decided now, the Mariners can't even play spoiler in the final series. The boring gets even more boring.
I won't lie here, but my usual two- or three-paragraph game spiel after the gameball/goat entries might be gone for the rest of the season, or I'll have to come back to them. I'm preparing this week to get ready for a flight to Norfolk, where I stay until March for training purposes. Thus, I'll at least try to crank out the gameballs and goats.
Slight tarnish. Gary Matthews, Jr. got ahead 2-0 and singled just past Yuniesky Betancourt's glove side at short. Michael Young looped an 0-2 pitch along the rightfield line and off the angled portion of the stands for a double, moving Matthews to third. Mark Teixeira grounded the second pitch to second, scoring Matthews and moving Young to third.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Hank Blalock whiffed at an 0-2 change over the outside corner. Alfonso Soriano grounded the first pitch hard to short.
Nothing to see here. Ichiro chopped a 1-2 pitch to second. Jeremy Reed grounded a 2-0 pitch hard to first. Raul Ibañez grounded the second pitch hard to first (3-1 putout).
Nice rebound. Kevin Mench chopped a 1-2 pitch to a charging Jose Lopez behind the mound. Adrian Gonzalez whiffed on an 0-2 change. Jason Botts took a 1-2 pitch barely off the inside corner, then whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball.
No run from a leadoff walk. Richie Sexson walked on a 3-1 pitch. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a low sinker. Greg Dobbs popped high to leftfield on a 2-0 pitch. Jose Lopez bounced a 1-2 pitch to short for a 6-4 force on Sexson.
No damage. Rod Barajas popped the first pitch high to rightfield. Matthews walked on a 3-1 pitch. Young watched as Matthews was picked off before a pitch was thrown, going on first move. Young punched the first pitch up the middle under a diving Lopez. Teixeira popped a 2-2 pitch high to Ichiro in rightcenter.
Not good. Yuniesky Betancourt cranked a 2-0 pitch off the track and over the wall for a ground-rule double into the bullpen. Yorvit Torrealba fell behind 0-2 and whiffed over a 2-2 pitch. Ichiro lined the first pitch right to Botts in leftfield, who threw to second to easily double off Betancourt.
Nice damage control. Blalock took a first-pitch 97mph fastball to the ribs. Soriano took a first-pitch ball and the trainers came out to the mound as Felix had slipped on the mound after delivering the pitch. Nothing appeared to be wrong. Soriano later whiffed on a full-count dirt curve low and way outside. Mench grounded the first pitch up the middle, where Lopez stepped on second and threw to first for the double play.
Life? Reed bounced a 3-1 pitch over the centerfield wall for a ground-rule double. Ibañez slapped the second pitch over the left side and into leftfield, moving Reed to third, except the ball got past Botts in leftfield, allowing Reed to score.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Sexson grounded the second pitch hard into the hole on the right side, but Young was there to start the 4-6-3 double play. Beltre got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Dobbs popped a full-count pitch high to Soriano in shallow rightfield.
Chugging along. Gonzalez drilled the second pitch through the left side for a single. Botts whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the outer half. Barajas popped the second pitch to Torrealba in front of the Mariner dugout. Matthews grounded the second pitch to Lopez on the rightfield grass.
Piece by piece. Lopez scooped an 0-2 pitch into rightcenter for a single. Betancourt took the second pitch way outside, and Lopez stole second, but just barely. Betancourt later took a full-count pitch low and away for a walk. Torrealba bunted the second pitch along the left side, where a charging Blalock threw to first, dodging Loe in pursuit of the ball (Lopez to third, Betancourt to second). Ichiro was intentionally walked. Reed got jobbed by the third-base umpire on an 0-1 checkswing, then grounded the next pitch to the right-side hole, where Soriano couldn't get the ball quickly out of his glove, getting the runner at second, but nullifying the chance of a double play. Lopez scored, and Betancourt went to third.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 1
Ibañez bounced a 1-2 pitch to second.
Not perfect, but more than sufficient. Young bounced up the middle behind the mound to a charging Betancourt. Teixeira popped the second pitch to Reed in leftcenter. Blalock got the hitters' counts and took the 3-1 pitch outside for a walk. Soriano got ahead 2-0, luring Torrealba to the mound for a chat. Soriano splintered his bat on a 3-0 pitch, bouncing to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice.
Sexson rolled over a 2-0 pitch to short. Beltre rolled the first pitch up the middle for a single. Dobbs spanked an 0-2 pitch right to Blalock, who shotputted to second, starting the 5-4-3 double play.
He's settled. Mench grounded a 1-2 pitch behind the bag at third. Gonzalez rolled an 0-2 pitch to third, and Beltre played the tricky hop and threw to first. Botts whiffed on an 0-2 fastball.
Golden opportunity. Lopez crushed a 2-2 pitch into and out of a crease in the padding on the very top of the leftfield wall just to the right of the manual scoreboard, though it looked like Botts may have had a chance to catch it (double). Betancourt bounced a full-count pitch to Young in the left-side hole, and Lopez had to hold at second. Torrealba grounded hard to second, and Lopez went to third. Ichiro was intentionally walked.
CJ Wilson came in for Loe. Reed whiffed on an 0-2 fastball.
Loe's line: 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs. 6 hits, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts, 108 pitches (61 strikes)
Rawhide. Barajas bounced a 2-2 pitch up the middle, where Betancourt went to both knees to stop it, double-clutched, looked like he wouldn't get the out, but the umpire gave it to him (very close). Bucky Showalter came out to argue and was tossed. Matthews walked on a 3-0 pitch barely inside. Young chopped a ball to Betancourt, who went to one knee to make the stop, then backhanded to Lopez at second to start the 6-4-3 double play. Dude's crazy.
Unfruitful. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to Soriano on the rightfield grass.
Doug Brocail came in for Wilson. Sexson lined out to centerfield. Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 pitch over the outer half.
Wilson's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strkeout, 8 pitches (7 strikes)
Brocail's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
Daaaaammit. Teixeira got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch high and away for a walk, and Esteban German ran for him. Blalock grounded a 1-2 pitch softly into the left-side hole, where Betancourt went to second for the out (too soft for a double play). Soriano rolled the second pitch to a charging Beltre, who threw to first as German went to second. Mench lined a single into leftfield, where Ibañez slipped and fell fielding the ball, allowing German to score. Mench took second on the throw.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 2
Gonzalez took a 1-2 belt-high fastball for strike three.
Hernandez' line: 9 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts, 114 pitches (75 strikes)
Joaquin Benoit came in for Brocail. Dobbs popped the second pitch to Matthews in the rightcenter gap. Lopez got ahead 2-0 and slapped a ball to third, where German had the ball go off his glove and into foul territory, and Lopez beat the throw to first. Betancourt got the hitters' counts and took a full-count pitch up and in, moving Lopez to second. Dave Hansen, hitting for Torrealba, never saw a pitch.
Brian Shouse came in for Benoit. Rene Rivera, hitting for Hansen, bounced the second pitch in the left-side hole, and he threw to second, getting Betancourt since his back leg hit the bag, and not the front foot. Rivera went to third on the play. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Reed had the count 1-2 as members of the Rangers' training staff came out to assess Shouse's health, but he shook them off. Reed wound up whiffing on a 1-2 pitch way outside.
Benoit's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Hernandez. DeRosa rolled the second pitch to short. Barajas popped a 2-0 pitch high to leftfield. Matthews whiffed on a 2-2 slider.
Get this over with already. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and later rolled the 2-2 pitch to second.
John Wasdin came in for Shouse. Sexson popped a full-count pitch to fairly deep rightfield. Beltre popped a 1-2 pitch high into centerfield.
Shouse's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Wasdin's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
I got my wish, kinda. Young flew out to rightfield. Teixeira got the hitters' counts and smoked the 3-1 pitch toward Lopez, who stopped it, but it got away from him and he couldn't get off a strong throw. German crushed the second pitch (up in the zone) off the base of the leftfield wall for a double, scoring Teixeira.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Soriano popped a 3-1 pitch to the rightfield track, easily allowing German to move to third (Ichiro's arm isn't that strong). Mench bounced the first pitch to Lopez on the right side.
Mateo's line: 2 inning, 1 run, 2 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Wasdin. Dobbs grounded out to Teixeira near the first-base bag. Lopez dumped the second pitch into leftcenter for a double. Betancourt drilled a single through the left side, but it was hit too hard to score Lopez, who held at third. Shin-Soo Choo, hitting for Rivera, whiffed at an 0-2 pitch off the outside corner. Ichiro, not walked intentionally, bounced the second pitch to Teixeira in front of the first-base bag, who intended to block Ichiro off. Teixeira backpedaled to the bag after some juking.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
He's hit .262 on the season, with his first game being July 28th. He's hitting .282 in September. He has eight multi-hit games this month. His batting average has been on a pretty steady upward climb since it was at .213 on the 12th of the month. He didn't just go 2-for-3 with a double and two walks in this game. The defense was amazing as usual. The two plays in the eighth were really something. I guess the first one could have been fielded more cleanly, but boy, did he flash that arm. I thought originally that Rod Barajas was safe on the play (Bucky Showalter obviously did, and got thrown out for it), but replays showed it was way closer than I thought it was. That same inning ended with the one-knee backhand toss to start the double play. As good as Betancourt has been at short, let's not forget that on all these double plays that start with Betancourt, Lopez is doing a solid job turning the double plays, and his defense seems nowhere near a stumbling block as it did last season. Bill Bavasi has said it himself that he can see an Opening Day infield next year of the one we see now with Beltre/Betancourt/Lopez/Sexson. It's crazy to see that we've moved from what we thought was a damn good defense with Cirillo/Guillen/Boone/Olerud to what we see now, and the dropoff really isn't that much.
Goat: Jeremy Reed.
There are many ways to go with the goat. Ichiro, Richie Sexson, Greg Dobbs, and Yorvit Torrealba all went hitless. Reed didn't. Reed went 1-for-5, drove in a run, and scored once. He struck out twice. The main thing is that Ichiro was intentionally walked three times in this game and Reed, hitting behind Ichiro, ended up leaving seven runners on base. That's just the opposite of clutch. The pitch at which he swung and missed to end the ninth inning was way outside. It wasn't even close. I know we got way more than we expected with Reed as a defensive centerfielder, but I hope he can hit around .275 next year. It'd improve the team offense quite a lot. If I'm reading the charts right, Reed's 33 doubles are tied for the lead among all American League rookies. I'm thinking about it more, and I end up thinking the same way I did when Mike Cameron was here. If Reed can produce at the second spot in the lineup, he provides protection for the meat of the order. If not, they move him down to seventh and hit Betancourt or someone in the second slot. Of course, if they do get some lefthanded power in the lineup, some of this may change.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 112-45 .713 -- W2
2002 91-66 .580 21 W3
2003 90-67 .573 22 W1
2000 88-69 .561 24 W2
2005 67-90 .427 45 L3
2004 61-96 .389 51 W1
With this 0-for-3 game (three walks), Ichiro has 196 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 (658 at-bats in 157 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 21 at-bats)...
-- he needs 4 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 8 hits to finish with a .300 (.301) average for the season; he'd need to hit .382 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 204 hits.
-- (just about impossible) he needs 21 hits to finish with a .320 average for the season; he'd need to hit 1.002 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 217 hits.
Young. Piñeiro. Tonight.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Too bad that I won't be able to watch it.
Basically, this picture sums up the Arizona Cardinals for me.
You make the caption!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
From ESPN Magazine, September 12, 2005 issue, page 126...
This can't be. A buzz? In Arizona? Actually, yes. This spring, when (Larry) Fitzgerald took in a Suns game, a fan yelled: "I'm a Cowboys fan! But I'm pulling for you guys this year!" And it's not just because of the potential star power (Warner, Boldin, Fitzgerald, Arrington) that Denny Green has to work with on offense. No, there's also buzz in Phoenix these days over DE (Bertrand) Berry, who might be the best free agent the team has ever signed (14.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl last season). This year, they added (Chike) Okeafor, who's totaled 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Mix in a linebacker corps led by future Pro Bowler (Carlos) Dansby and a secondary that'll be greatly helped by (Antrel) Rolle, and anything short of their second winning season since 1998 will be a buzzkill.
ESPN Magazine picked the Cardinals to win the NFC West, and they weren't the only ones to do so. As for some of the names in that paragraph, Fitzgerald caught three balls for 41 yards today, Boldin caught six for 88 yards, Arrington ran five times for nine yards, and Warner was 8-for-13 for 105 yards before leaving with a strained groin. Warner was also drilled a bunch by the Seahawks, though to be fair, another part of the ESPN preview piece did point out an offensive line weakness toward pass protection. Berry had three tackles and an assist. Rolle? Let's just say Matt Hasselbeck threw for 242 yards, and Darrell Jackson caught 125 of them. They lit him up all day. Just because Rolle led the team with ten tackles today doesn't mean it's a good thing. If he's a cornerback, and he's generally away from the line, and he leads the team with ten tackles... Oddly, the article didn't even mention the booming leg of Neil Rackers.
As Jeremy has pointed out, no team in 2004 made the playoffs after starting out the season 0-2. The Cardinals are 0-3. They had to do way more than bring in some free agents, make the Cardinal logo "meaner," and turn their uniforms into CFL knockoffs. Call everyone back when you get an offensive line. At least when the Seahawks were a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl two years ago, they started out the season 3-0. Two years ago, the Seahawks went to Lambeau after the Week 4 bye and got their behinds handed to them. Last year, I don't have to tell you what happened. Week 4 bye there also. This year, the bye is in Week 8. Time is ripe for change.
Week 2 against Atlanta was a must-win because the Seahawks couldn't afford to start the season 0-2. This game against the Cardinals wasn't necessarily a must-win, but losing a home game to a division foe would have really sucked. Though it's only three games into the season, 2-1 looks a whole lot better than 1-2. It also looks worlds away from 0-3. Thank goodness that didn't happen to the Seahawks.
What we have here is a game that turned into a gradually easy win. Also, congratulations to "Ground" Chuck Knox on his induction into the Seahawks' Ring of Honor. It's been a long time coming.
Here's my rap sheet for the 37-12 win over the Cardinals.
-- the only guy scoring for the Cardinals was Neil Rackers (again)
-- DEFENSIVE TAKEAWAYS!
-- Alexander fed regularly again
-- passing game crisp
-- really, a good balanced attack between run and pass
-- defense didn't allow a touchdown
-- Warner drilled repeatedly
-- Hasselbeck/Jackson picking on Antrel Rolle
-- great day for Alexander
-- great day for Jackson
-- Hasselbeck never sacked
-- no turnovers by the offense
-- the deep ball made friends with the Seahawk offense on a couple occasions
-- Ken Hamlin is nuts
-- it had to be fun on defense watching Arizona get whistled for all those false starts
-- Cardinal ground game? What Cardinal ground game?
-- PUT AWAY AN OPPONENT
-- scored second-half points for the first time this season
-- outscored Arizona 27-3 in the second half
other good times from my notes or the gamebook...
-- that first drive was great; Alexander six runs for 43 yards on the drive, including the 25-yd touchdown run
-- raucous crowd helps force Warner into the first of two Arizona false starts with the Cardinals on the Seattle 18 early in the second quarter
-- defense gets a three-and-out in Arizona's next possession after their second field goal, Warner sacked on third down
-- on following drive, defense plows Warner at least three times before the groin pull
-- opened half with magnificent touchdown drive, helped by a major facemask penalty
-- right after touchdown drive, Josh McCown backed up and sacked by Boulware, fumbles, Bernard recovers at the one, Alexander touchdown on next play
-- right after that touchdown, defense forces three-and-out
-- halfway through third quarter, defense yields nine yards on a first down, then yields no more yardage (field goal result)
-- 80-yard drive to end third quarter including 46-yard Alexander run, first play of fourth quarter is touchdown
-- held ball for 9:48 of third quarter to Arizona's 5:12
-- defense forces three-and-out after first Seahawk field goal in fourth quarter
-- second fourth-quarter field-goal drive eats 6:20 off the clock
-- held ball for 10:38 of fourth quarter to Arizona's 4:22
-- token game-ending interception for Babineaux
-- only a 10-9 lead at half?
-- Andre Dyson's illness/flu or whatever it was
-- that Warner run for 13 yards on a 3rd-and-13 in the first half
-- seems like Herndon got beat a couple times
-- a couple of deep balls made an appearance
-- there was a missed coverage assignment on one of those deep balls
-- jump balls too, they luckily were rare though
-- Arizona receivers on occasion able to use their size
-- Leo Araguz
other bad stuff from my notes or the gamebook...
-- that Warner run was a 3rd-and-13 on the first possession of the game
-- offense gets a first down in Arizona territory on first possession of second quarter, then gets two yards with the next set of downs
-- with a possession starting on the 50-yard line, offense manages only a field goal
-- what should have been a Seattle three-minute drill offense before halftime turned into a three-and-out with a penalty
-- with ball inside the two-minute warning, offense failed to get into field goal range
-- offense 1-for-5 on third down
-- jump ball, Fitzgerald over Hamlin for 24 yards to the Seattle 30-yd line midway through the third quareter
-- allowed three straight plays for first-down yardage on first three plays of first Arizona possession of fourth quarter
-- first full Seahawk possession of fourth quarter stalls on the Arizona 5-yd line (field goal)
-- third-down pass to Boldin on second-to-last Arizona possession of game broken up by Boulware and Dyson, who jarred the ball loose
-- Wallace, Warrick, Morris and Weaver get some touches on final Seahawk drive
...YOU KNOW I'VE HAD MY SHARE
It feels good, doesn't it? I didn't feel too great about the game at halftime with the Seahawks only up by one, though I felt better than I did before the Seahawks started to get to Kurt Warner and then he went down with the groin injury. After the half, the Seahawks mounted that great touchdown drive, recovered the fumble to set up another touchdown, then ended the third quarter with a drive that opened the fourth quarter with a touchdown. For all intensive purposes, the game was sealed when Rocky Bernard fell on that fumble deep in Arizona territory. It was the first forced turnover by the Seahawk defense this year, and was preceded just minutes earlier by the first points the Seahawks had scored in the second half of any game this season. What else is there to say? The Seahawks led at halftime, though by a sliver. In the second half, the Seahawks dominated the Cardinals 27-3 on the scoreboard and 20:26 (to Arizona's 9:34) on the clock.
Oh yeah, Chike Okeafor had two tackles and an assist. Orlando Huff had eight tackles and three assists. The Seahawks offensive line allowed zero sacks. The Seahawk defense allowed 266 yards, while the Cardinal defense allowed 447. The Seahawk defense recorded three sacks, forced two fumbles, and recovered one of the fumbles. I liked what he did on the field for the Seahawks, but what will Chike say now?
The only thing that could have made this all better would have been the Titans winning in Saint Louis, but that didn't happen today. Instead, the 2-1 Seahawks are tied with the 2-1 Rams for first place in the NFC West. San Francisco is in third place at 1-2, and Arizona is in sole possession of last place with their gleaming 0-3 record. And I couldn't be happier.
As we discussed in the thread during the game, Shaun Alexander's Burp the Baby touchdown celebration can get a little silly (especially when repeated a few times), but even he didn't repeat it after the fourth touchdown. My take? I'll gladly put up with burping the baby if Shaun keeps running like this and the Seahawks keep winning like this. I'll put up with it all season if the Seahawks are 10-6 or better and go to the NFC title game. Gladly.
People picked the Cardinals to win the NFC West. I still can't believe that. Sheesh.
It's a road game against the Redskins next week. That'll be tough. Prepare for the obligatory Mark Brunell stories in your local Seattle-area daily newspaper. They're 2-0 and coming off a bye week, but hopefully they come out like Mike Holmgren's post-bye Seahawk teams. I guess the bad news there is that the Seahawks are at Arizona for Week 9 after their bye, and I just can't have this team losing to Arizona this year. It's unfathomable.
Okay, that's a wrap. I need to stop it here before I ramble more.
Kurt Warner must go down. Hard. Threeve times. Or more.
The media darling Cardinals will be 0-3.
Fire it up.
In 25 words or less: The Mariners suffer the big inning, and Meche leaves early. However, the big inning isn't charged to Meche, which may seem unusual.
[posted in part ~1p]
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Mike Maroth. Meche was on a pitch count of about 75-80, looking to build on his relief appearance earlier in the week.
Waaaay too quick. Ichiro bounced out to second. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled the second pitch gently to first. Raul Ibañez rolled a 2-2 pitch to short.
Not a big inning. Curtis Granderson poked a 2-2 curve up the middle for a single. Placido Polanco reached on the first pitch and poked a single into shallow rightfield, enabling Granderson to move to third on the hit-and-run. Chris Shelton got ahead 2-0 and wound up rolling a 2-2 pitch deep into the left-side hole, where Betancourt made an off-balance throw to second to start a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Granderson.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Carlos Peña whiffed on a 2-2 fastball outside.
No threat. Richie Sexson grounded the first pitch to Brandon Inge behind the bag at third. Adrian Beltre poked a 2-2 fly ball to Marcus Thames in leftfield, who dove for the ball and missed as Beltre took the double. Jose Lopez popped a full-count pitch to Craig Monroe in shallow rightfield. Mike Morse took the second pitch in the dirt and Beltre overestimated his wheels, attempting to steal third and getting gunned down by five feet.
Threat averted. Craig Monroe dumped the first pitch into rightcenter, where it appeared Ichiro and Shin-Soo Choo had trouble communicating, and Ichiro gloved the ball off the shorthop on the double. Marcus Thames popped the second pitch to rightfield, and Ichiro's throw to third hit Monroe in the back, allowing the latter to take third on the flyout. Brandon Inge lined a 1-2 pitch right to Beltre on a backhanded catch, and he walked to step on third, doubling off Monroe.
Meche's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
Rinse and repeat. Morse popped the first pitch to shallow centerfield. Shin-Soo Choo bounced the second pitch to short. Yorvit Torrealba bounced out to short.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa came in for Meche. Vance Wilson grounded the second pitch to short. John McDonald looped a 1-2 flyout to Ichiro. Granderson flew out to leftfield on a 1-2 pitch.
Vital sign. Ichiro poked the second pitch into the rightcenter gap for his 1119th Major League hit, breaking the record for the most hits in a five-year span. Betancourt lined the first pitch back to the mound, after which Maroth got Ichiro hung up between second and third, staying in a rundown long enough to let Betancourt sneak into second base (a high throw nearly went into rightfield, and the scorer gave Betancourt a single for some reason). Ibañez crushed a 3-0 pitch off the track and wall in centerfield, scoring Betancourt easily.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Sexson flew out to fairly deep centerfield, allowing Ibañez to move to third. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and took a high full-count pitch for a walk. Lopez watched as Beltre was nearly picked off. Lopez flew out to centerfield.
Very good. Polanco bounced a full-count pitch to short. Shelton flew out to fairly deep centerfield. Peña popped a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt near the leftfield line.
Ick. Morse got ahead 3-1 and grounded the full-count pitch behind the bag at third. Choo whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Torrealba took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner.
Game over? Monroe punched the first pitch through the left-side hole for a single. Thames spanked the second pitch through the left side as well for a single, moving Monroe to second. Inge bunted the first pitch in front of the plate, and Hasegawa threw to first as Monroe and Thames moved to third and second. Wilson stuck a 2-0 single through the left side, scoring Monroe and moving Thames to third.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
McDonald bounced the second pitch down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Thames and moving Wilson to third.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Granderson rocked a triple to the rightfield wall, scoring Wilson and McDonald.
»» TIGERS 5, MARINERS 1
Polanco popped the second pitch to centerfield, and Choo's throw was a bit embarrassing, failing to clear the mound. Granderson easily scored.
»» TIGERS 6, MARINERS 1
Carlos Guillen, hitting for Shelton, popped to Ichiro on shallow rightfield on a 2-2 pitch.
Hasegawa's line: 3 innings, 5 runs, 5 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 40 pitches (25 strikes)
The inning was delayed by a couple minutes due to problems with the first-base bag. Ichiro chopped high to first. Betancourt popped the second pitch along the leftfield line, where Thames made a sliding catch to his backhand side. Ibañez smoked the second pitch toward first, but Peña leaped up to spear the ball.
Rafael Soriano came in for Hasegawa. Peña whiffed on a full-count fastball over the outside corner. Monroe fell behind 0-2 and flew out to centerfield on a full count. Thames popped the second pitch high to Betancourt in shallow leftfield.
Ho hum. Sexson got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full count. Beltre popped the first pitch to deep centerfield. Lopez doubled the first pitch down the leftfield line, moving Sexson to third. Morse popped the second pitch to Thames in shallow leftfield. Choo whiffed on an outside 1-2 pitch.
Maroth's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 93 pitches (58 strikes)
Wind tunnel. Inge fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball down the pipe. Wilson poked a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single. McDonald fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Granderson whiffed on a full-count fastball.
Soriano's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 44 pitches (31 strikes)
Franklyn German came in for Maroth (Nook Logan came in to play centerfield, and Granderson moved to leftfield). Torrealba popped the second pitch to Inge in front of the mound. Ichiro doubled the second pitch along the rightfield line as the rains came to the ballpark. Betancourt popped the second pitch to Wilson behind the plate. The second pitch to Ibañez was inside and got past Wilson, enabling Ichiro to move to third. Ibañez rolled a 2-2 pitch softly toward third, where Inge charged and threw barely in time to get Ibañez.
German's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Jeff Harris came in for Soriano. Polanco got ahead 2-0 and later took a 2-2 pitch for strike three. Guillen poked the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Peña crushed the second pitch over the brick wall in centerfield (461 feet, longest homer in Comerica Park history), scoring Polanco.
»» TIGERS 8, MARINERS 1
Monroe popped the second pitch to Betancourt in front of the second-base bag. Logan whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball.
Harris' line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Jason Karnuth came in for German. Jaime Bubela, hitting for Sexson, rolled a full-count pitch to short. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Beltre, popped a 2-2 pitch to Granderson in shallow leftfield near the line. Lopez rolled out to short. Ballgame.
Karnuth's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre .
Goat: Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 111-45 .712 -- W1
2002 90-66 .577 21 W2
2003 89-67 .571 22 L1
2000 87-69 .558 24 W1
2005 67-89 .429 44 L2
2004 60-96 .385 51 L1
Very short outing for Meche. Injured probably. Never figured out during the game.
With this 2-for-4 game, Ichiro has 196 hits on the season and sits with a .300 batting average. If he gets at-bats at the same pace he's been getting them for the season (654 at-bats in 156 games, 4.19 at-bats per game, which leaves him with about 25 at-bats)...
-- he needs 4 hits to reach 200 for the season; he'd need to hit .159 for the remainder of the season, and that'd leave him with a .294 season average.
-- he needs 8 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 22 hits to finish with a .320 (.321) average for the season; he'd need to hit .875 for the rest of the season, and he'd end up with 218 hits.
Loe. Hernandez. Tuesday.