Thursday, April 27, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Rejoice, for the Mariners accomplished a rare feat -- they had complete control of this game. If only every game were this quick.

This one featured Mark Buehrle going up against Ryan Franklin. Also, Ephratan/Everett schoolteacher/Husky grad Mike Muchlinski made his Major League plate umpire debut, though Washburn didn't much care at one point in the seventh. As pointed out by Dave Niehaus during the game, after today, the Mariners don't have an off-day in Seattle on the schedule until June.

Scott Podsednik bounced a full-count pitch to second to end the nine-pitch at-bat. Tadahito Iguchi whiffed on a high 2-2 fastball. Jim Thome fell behind 0-2 before taking a 1-2 breaker over the outside corner. Washburn threw 19 pitches.

Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch to Iguchi in the hole on the right side. Willie Bloomquist grounded the 2-2 pitch deep in the left-side hole to Uribe. Raul Ibañez popped the second pitch to Uribe in foul ground down the leftfield line. Buehrle threw 13 pitches.

Paul Konerko whiffed on an 0-2 belt-high fastball. Jermaine Dye took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner but wasn't sent to the dugout, but then lined a full-count pitch to Ichiro. Joe Crede got ahead 2-0 and popped the full-count pitch to Lopez moving into shallow rightfield. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 35 through two.

Richie Sexson smeared a single past a diving Konerko at first. Carl Everett lined the second pitch into rightfield for a single, moving Sexson to second. Kenji Johjima was drilled in the back leg by the 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Adrian Beltre chopped the second pitch to short, and luckily it was too slow for Uribe to turn the double play, though he could have had Sexson at the plate. In any event, Sexson scored and Everett and Johjima went to third and second.
Jose Lopez took a close 1-2 pitch low and away, reached on a 2-2 pitch up and six inches off the plate, then rammed the next 2-2 up-and-away pitch into the rightcenter gap for a single, scoring Everett and Johjima.
Yuniesky Betancourt Dye to the rightfield track on the second pitch, advancing Lopez to third. Ichiro fell behind 0-2, fouled off the next three pitches, and worked the count full before grounding out to first. Buehrle had 42 through two.

Juan Uribe fell behind 0-2 and rolled over a 2-2 pitch to third. Chris Widger drilled a single into centerfield for his first hit of the season. Brian Anderson flew out to left. Podsednik slapped a high second pitch for a flyout to left. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 49 through three.

Bloomquist dropped a single into shallow centerfield and was most of the way to second, but Anderson threw the ball in quickly to Iguchi, who completed the relay to first to nail Bloomquist trying to retreat. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and later chopped a ball up the middle and beat the off-balance throw by Iguchi. Sexson popped the second pitch high to center. Everett flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Buehrle threw 15 pitches and had 57 through three.

Iguchi popped an 0-2 pitch to Sexson in foul ground on the right side. Thome mashed a pitch right to Betancourt, playing to the other side of the second-base bag, who had the ball handcuff him and roll into centerfield for a single. Paul Konerko worked a 1-2 count for a walk, moving Thome to second. Dye got ahead 2-0 and later flew out high to center, shallow enough to hold Thome at second. Crede fell behind 0-2 before flying out to Betancourt in shallow center on the 1-2 pitch. Washburn threw 22 pitches and had 71 through four.

Johjima grounded a 3-1 pitch to Crede behind the bag at third. Beltre popped the 3-1 pitch into the rightfield corner. Lopez rolled out to short. Buehrle threw 14 pitches and had 71 through four.

Uribe grounded the first pitch deep in the hole on the left side where Betancourt got to the ball and threw low to first, but it was dug out nicely by Sexson. Widger popped high to Beltre on the infield grass. Anderson bounced the 1-2 pitch to third. Washburn threw only nine pitches and had 80 through five.

Betancourt shot the second pitch to third, where Anderson bobbled it completely but had enough time to stay with it and throw to first. Ichiro smoked a ball right into Konerko's glove. Bloomquist flew out to left on a 2-0 pitch. Buerhle threw only eight pitches and had 79 through five.

Podsednik got ahead 3-0 and bounced the 3-1 pitch to second. Iguchi popped the first pitch to Ichiro in the rightfield corner. Thome whiffed on a full-count offspeed pitch down and away. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 92 through six.

Ibañez laid the wood out on a 3-1 pitch low and away, putting it into the visitors' bullpen in leftfield.
Sexson flew out very high to center. Everett squirted the second pitch down the rightfield line into the corner for a double. Johjima popped the second pitch to Konerko behind the bag at first. Beltre took Anderson to fairly deep centerfield on the first pitch. Buehrle threw 14 pitches and had 93 through six.

Konerko was ahead 2-0 and wound up sending a single into shallow centerfield. Dye got the hitters' counts and laced the 3-1 pitch through the left-side hole for a single to move Konerko to second. Crede got ahead 2-0 and wound up hitting a sinking liner on which Bloomquist made a diving catch in rightcenter. Konerko tagged and went to third on the catch. Uribe bopped a 2-0 pitch to Bloomquist on the track in leftcenter, scoring Konerko and moving Dye to second.

Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Widger got ahead 3-0 and popped the 3-1 pitch to Betancourt just past the infield dirt. Soriano threw five pitches.

Washburn's line: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 108 pitches (66 strikes)

Lopez was foiled on a 1-2 pitch by a diving Crede at third, who threw to first and had it picked by Konerko. Betancourt flew out to center on the second pitch. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch to short, where Uribe had to hurry but made the play. Buehrle threw nine pitches and had 102 through seven.

Buehrle's line: 7 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 102 pitches (62 strikes)

Anderson fell behind 0-2 and flew out to Betancourt in shallow center on the 1-2 pitch. Podsednik took a 2-2 slider over the inside corner. Iguchi whiffed badly on a 1-2 breaking ball. Soriano threw 18 pitches and had 23 total.

Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 23 pitches (16 strikes)

Bobby Jenks came in for Buehrle. Bloomquist chopped the first pitch to a charging Iguchi. Ibañez grounded the second pitch up the middle where Uribe got to the ball at the edge of the outfield grass, but couldn't get a hold of it as it went for a single. Sexson stuck a 2-2 single into leftcenter, moving Ibañez to third. Everett popped the 1-2 pitch to Anderson in centerfield, and Ibañez scored without a relay home.
Johjima popped the second pitch to Dye in shallow right. Jenks threw 17 pitches.

Jenks' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (13 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Thome walked on a 3-0 pitch barely inside. Konerko dropped a second-pitch single into shallow center, moving Thome to second. Dye fell grounded an 0-2 pitch to the hole at short (solid play by Betancourt) to start a 6-4-3 double play as Thome advanced to third. Crede worked a 1-2 count for a walk on a full-count pitch high and away. Uribe fell behind 0-2 and fouled off the next five pitches including a mega-smash that didn't wind around the foul pole, then flew out to Bloomquist near the track in rightcenter.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (15 strikes)

Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
Two great starts in a row for Washburn. In the last one, Hargrove left him in much too long, but he got one out away from a complete game, though the Mariners of course had little offense in that game and Washburn lost. I've said it before, but if Washburn likes throwing letter-high fastballs to get hitters out, and if he can't top out over about 92 with it and does a lot of high 80s with it...how can he keep getting away with that? ESPNews showed me a crazy stat tonight that showed the home-road split in Jarrod Washburn's ERA. Let's just say he's using Safeco Field to his advantage. His road ERA is terrible. I know this is after just five starts, but who knows? If he carries this whole good-at-home thing too far, we'll end up having to compare him to 2005 Jamie Moyer. For those with the lefthanded Ryan Franklin comparison, I was glad that this game didn't go grossly long and went pretty quick. Not like Franklin/Buehrle from last year, but still nice and short. I was hoping for an hour and fifteen.

Goat: Kenji Johjima.
I guess you can't argue too much with the fingers he was throwing down in this game, but he only got on base in this game when he was hit by a pitch. That's how he scored one of the Mariners' five runs, but he was 0-for-3 otherwise. That's not really the point I'm making. Though he didn't start on Sunday or Monday (and didn't play at all on Monday) due to the thumb injury and/or Mike Hargrove's perception of said injury, Johjima has exactly one hit in his last six games, though to be fair, one of those games on the log had him as a defensive replacement. In any event, he has a hit in just one of his last five games in which he has an at-bat. Call it a mini-slump. I obviously expect him to get a hit here and there, sure, but I don't expect him to tear it up like he was earlier in the season. Hargrove had him batting sixth in this game between Everett and Beltre. I'd elaborate on the whole lineup thing except that when Bloomquist is in there at all, it clouds my thinking, and it does so even more when Bloomquist is batting second.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 19-4 .826 -- W8
2002 17-6 .739 2 L2
2003 15-8 .652 4 W5
2000 13-10 .565 6 L1
2005 12-11 .522 7 W2
2006 9-14 .391 10 W1
2004 8-15 .348 11 W1

Meche. Cabrera. Tomorrow.

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