Sunday, May 14, 2006


AP photo -- Mark J. Terrill

In 25 words or less: Four hours and eleven minutes is way too long a time to spend watching this team, but at least they won.

This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against John Lackey. Washburn returned to the Big A for the first time as an opponent, and he was starting against one of his good friends, a point made roughly a billion times over the Anaheim feed (KCOP-13) which was the live MLB.tv feed. As it turned out, neither Washburn nor Lackey were involved in the final six innings of this game. An amazing shock factor for the Mariners -- three homers. From the hitters, that is. Mariner pitching didn't give up three homers, amazingly. The offense is responsible this time for the homers, but the bullpen was responsible for 7 1/3 innings of pure goodness.

Ichiro apparently didn't check his swing on an 0-2 low breaking ball off the plate inside. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to second. Raul Ibañez took an 0-2 tailing fastball over the inside corner. Lackey threw 11 pitches.

Chone Figgins fell behind 0-2 and bounced the 1-2 pitch to short. Orlando Cabrera flew out to right. Garret Anderson rolled a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Washburn threw 16 pitches.

Richie Sexson chopped an 0-2 pitch to short. Carl Everett fouled off a couple of 0-2 pitches before dropping a 1-2 single into right. Adrian Beltre popped the second pitch high to right. Kenji Johjima chopped to third. Lackey threw 17 pitches and had 28 through two.

Vladimir Guerrero crushed the first pitch into the bullpen in leftcenter.
Tim Salmon popped to Reed in fairly deep center. Juan Rivera was ahead 2-0 and later popped to right. Robb Quinlan poked a single up the middle. Jose Molina popped to Lopez in shallow center. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 29 through two.

Jeremy Reed popped the second pitch to Cabrera in shallow center. Yuniesky Betancourt got a hold of a pitch, putting it onto the green area over the wall in leftcenter, to the right of the stands.
Ichiro lined out to left on the first pitch. Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and in. Lackey threw 12 pitches and had 40 through three.

Howie Kendrick grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to first. Figgins popped the second pitch to Reed in shallow leftcenter. Cabrera dumped a 2-2 single into rightcenter. Anderson smacked an 0-2 pitch through the left-side hole for a single, moving Cabrera to second. Guerrero got ahead 3-1 before taking a pitch away in the dirt on a full count to load the bases, only Guerrero's third time he's reached a full count this season. Salmon fell behind 0-2 and eventually drilled a 1-2 pitch up the middle into centerfield, driving in Cabrera and Anderson, who slid under a late tag by Johjima on Reed's throw to the plate. Salmon broke past 1000 career RBIs on the hit.
Rivera poked the first pitch into centerfield for a single, easily scoring Guerrero and moving Salmon to second.
Quinlan grounded the second pitch hard to Beltre behind the bag at third, where he threw a bouncer to Sexson, who tagged Quinlan coming down the line. Washburn threw 30 pitches and had 59 through three.

Ibañez grounded out to first. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and poked a 2-2 single through the left-side hole. Everett drilled a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Molina and Lackey had a short mound conversation. Beltre watched the first pitch get away from Molina, enabling Sexson and Everett to move to third and second. Beltre had the hitters' counts and took a 3-1 pitch that bounced past Molina again, enabling Sexson to score and Everett to move to third.
Beltre grounded a full-count pitch hard to Figgins, who couldn't come up with it cleanly, and Beltre beat out the throw to first as Everett scored. Yes, that's a rare RBI for Beltre.
Johjima worked a 1-2 count for a walk, or so everyone thought, so Molina came up throwing anyway on what was thought to be something moot. It turned into a strikeout with Beltre being caught stealing at third. Weird stuff which of course didn't go Seattle's way. Lackey threw 27 pitches and had 67 through four.

Molina tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Kendrick rolled the second pitch to short, but Betancourt threw wide past a stretching Sexson, who tried to dive to keep the ball from going into the dugout to no avail. Kendrick was given second on the error on Betancourt. Figgins grounded hard to second as Kendrick went to third. Cabrera was ahead 2-0 and wound up flying out to right on a full count. Washburn threw 17 pitches and had 76 through four.

Reed crushed the second pitch for a homer into the rightcenter seats, seven rows above the scoreboard.
Betancourt popped just short of the leftfield track. Ichiro bounced what would have been a great bunt if he was bunting, rolling it along the first-base line where Lackey had no chance to get Ichiro with a throw (that's a single). Lopez waited through a pitchout and some pickoff attempts on Ichiro and whiffed on a full-count breaking ball as Ichiro easily nabbed second. Ibañez chopped past the mound, where Cabrera had to move way over from short to get it, but couldn't handle it as Ibañez was safe and Ichiro went to third. Sexson just barely got under one, popping a 1-2 pitch to Anderson on the leftfield track. Lackey threw 23 pitches and had 90 through five.

Anderson rolled an 0-2 pitch to Lopez in shallow right (shift) and barely beat out the long throw. Guerrero reached another rare full count, bouncing to third as Anderson moved to second. Salmon popped a 1-2 pitch to the leftfield track (whew). Rivera popped the second pitch to fairly deep center. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 94 through five.

Everett whiffed on a 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball away in the dirt (vintage Beltre). Johjima worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to Guerrero in rightcenter. Lackey threw 12 pitches and had 102 through six.

Quinlan lined the second pitch deep into centerfield right at Reed, but over his head and to the wall for a double. Molina bunted the second pitch in front of the mound to Sexson, who charged in from first and looked to third before throwing back to Lopez covering first as Quinlan moved to third. Kendrick grounded to a drawn-in Betancourt at short, who threw straight home to easily get Quinlan by about five feet. Figgins singled into left on a 1-2 pitch, moving Kendrick to second. Mike Hargrove came to the mound with the hook.

Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Cabrera got ahead 3-0 and watched the runners advance without a throw on a 3-1 strike. Cabrera inadvertently fouled off a full-count pitch way inside before taking a slider up to load the bases. Anderson popped the second pitch high to Betancourt in shallow center. Soriano threw nine pitches.

Washburn's line: 5 2/3 innings, 4 runs, 9 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 105 pitches (72 strikes)

Reed bounced a 1-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout). Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to third. Ichiro chopped a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Lackey threw 15 pitches and had 117 through seven.

Lackey's line: 7 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 117 pitches (80 strikes)

Guerrero fell behind 0-2, fouled off three 1-2 pitches, then flew out to Lopez on the infield. Salmon whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Rivera dumped a single into centerfield. Quinlan fell behind 0-2 before poking a 1-2 slow single through the left side toward a deep-playing Ibañez, moving Rivera all the way to third. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Adam Kennedy, hitting for Molina, rolled the second pitch into the left-side hole, where Lopez made the throw in time from the rightfield grass. Soriano threw 26 pitches and had 35 total.

Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 35 pitches (27 strikes)

Scot Shields came in for Lackey, Mike Napoli came in to catch, and Kennedy stayed in to play second. Lopez bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Ibañez chopped an 0-2 pitch high to first (3-1 putout). Sexson was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a full-count breaking ball. Shields threw 13 pitches.

Shields' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (9 strikes)

Eddie Guardado came in for Soriano. Napoli foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Johjima's glove. Figgins was ahead 3-1 before poking a single on a full count just past the reach of Betancourt through the hole on the left side. Cabrera fell behind 0-2 and popped high to Sexson near the first-base coaches' box. Anderson tapped the first pitch back to the mound. Guardado threw

Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)

Francisco Rodriguez came in for Shields. Everett fell behind 0-2 before popping the 1-2 pitch to center. Beltre rolled the second pitch to short. Johjima poked the second pitch just past the reach of a diving Cabrera at short and into center for a single. Reed reached outside to loop a single into leftcenter, moving Johjima to second. Pitching coach Bud Black visited the mound. Willie Bloomquist came in to run for Johjima. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, had the hitters' counts before grounding to second on a full count. Rodriguez threw 18 pitches.

JJ Putz came in for Guardado, Bloomquist stayed in to play short, and Rene Rivera came in to catch. Guerrero bounced the second pitch to short. Salmon worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a 94mph fastball over the outside corner. Rivera walked on four pitches. Quinlan popped the first pitch foul down the rightfield line but Ichiro couldn't quite get to it. Quinlan whiffed on an 0-2 pitch up and in. Putz threw 16 pitches.

Ichiro got ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a full-count fastball up in the zone and away. Lopez popped the second pitch to Guerrero in rightcenter. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to second. Rodriguez threw 12 pitches and had 30 total.

Rodriguez' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (21 strikes)

Kennedy whiffed on an 0-2 offspeed pitch low over the outside corner. Napoli rolled to short. Figgins fisted a 1-1 pitch into shallow center with Reed and both middle infielders going out in pursuit, and Lopez dove backward for it as Bloomquist tried to race back to second to receive a throw, but he didn't get back to second in time and Figgins was safe. Cabrera lined an 0-2 pitch right to Lopez at second. Putz threw 14 pitches and had 30 total.

Putz' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 30 pitches (21 strikes)

Brendan Donnelly came in for Rodriguez. Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a pitch down and in. Everett fell behind 0-2 before lacing a single through the right side on a 1-2 pitch. Beltre was ahead 2-0 before fouling a 2-2 pitch into the catcher's glove. Bloomquist took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Donnelly threw 21 pitches as he struck out the side.

Donnelly's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 21 pitches (14 strikes)

George Sherrill came in for Putz. Anderson popped out high to Ibañez in leftcenter. Guerrero whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Salmon whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up and away. Sherrill threw 14 pitches.

JC Romero came in for Donnelly. Reed got ahead 2-0 and later bounced to second. Rivera bounced the second pitch to first. Ichiro got ahead 3-1 before taking a full-count pitch very inside for a walk. Black visited the mound. Lopez rolled to second for a 4-6 putout of Ichiro. Romero threw 15 pitches.

Rivera dribbled a grounder to Lopez, except it went through his legs and under his glove into rightfield (error). Quinlan rolled a 1-2 pitch to short where Bloomquist stepped on second and threw to first, but Quinlan beat out the double play (Rivera was out). Kennedy walked on a high 3-1 pitch, moving Quinlan into scoring position at second as the winning run. Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Napoli got to the plate as my MLB.tv video froze, but the audio stayed on. From that point, I got stills for about a minute or so. Rivera had been nicked behind the plate on the first pitch and the trainers came out to ensure he could throw okay, and his first warmup toss hit Bloomquist on the thigh. Napoli popped to Reed in rightcenter on a 2-2 pitch, moving Quinlan to third. Figgins watched the first pitch as Kennedy inconsequentially stole second. Figgins wound up grounding a 2-2 pitch to Beltre on the left side, who threw in time to first to keep the game going. Whether that's good or not at this stage, it only is since I'm in Hawaii and the clock just struck 8pm. Sherrill threw 21 pitches and and had 35 total.

Sherrill's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 35 pitches (23 strikes)

Ibañez got bounced a 2-0 pitch to second as KCOP must have kicked to a studio or had some sort of interview or something that didn't make it to MLB.tv feed.

Kevin Gregg came in for Romero. Sexson crushed a 3-1 pitch in front of the rockery just over the wall in leftcenter for his fourth homer of the season. I think everyone needed that. If the Angels tie it and this game goes into the 14th, I might throw something.
Everett worked a 1-2 count full before popping high to Rivera in shallow leftcenter. Beltre took a 1-2 fastball at the knees over the outside corner. Gregg threw 18 pitches.

Romero's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (9 strikes)
Gregg's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (11 strikes)

Jake Woods came in for Sherrill. Cabrera got ahead 2-0 and fouled off four 2-2 pitches before whiffing on a breaking ball down and in. Anderson grounded a 3-1 pitch hard to Sexson diving hard away from the line, who jogged over to first for the out. Guerrero crushed a low first pitch about a foot from leaving the yard to rightcenter, and it went off the wall for a double. Salmon popped the second pitch to right.

Woods' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

Gameball: Carl Everett.
Whenever I end up picking Everett, it's kind of different since his only job is to hit, being the designated hitter and all. He went 3-for-6 in this game, raising his average from .230 to .242, the highest it's been since he opened the season 2-for-8 after two games. That's about a month and a half. I think if they had to put Everett in the field on defense for some reason, I'd tag him with a lot less gameballs because he'd more than likely be a zoo out there with the glove. Everett's biggest slump this year came in early- to mid-April, where he went hitless in the final four games of that Oakland series at home and followed it up by going 0-fer the first two games of the series in Cleveland. He has 16 hitless games on the season, compared to six multi-hit games. What I don't get is why they signed him in the first place, since in my opinion this isn't someone you add to the piece of the puzzle unless you're trying to win the World Series that year. With this set of Mariners, that would have required nobody getting injured, nobody screwing up, and a lot of people having career years. That's not this year.

Goat: Adrian Beltre.
So, this game went back to more of the same from our beleaguered high-paid third baseman who can defend the hell out of his position but can't hack it at the plate (or at least hack and get hits). All told, after this game on May 13th, he has 13 hits, which is only four less than his entire hit output for the month of April. He has four doubles so far in May, already three more than he had in all of April. He homered on Friday night, which matched his April output. His five May RBI are just one less than his April total. His 20 total bases in May are one less than his April total as well. To boil it down, he's hitting .265 this month (.189 in April), has an on-base percentage of .308 (.284), and is slugging at .408 (.233). Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's no reach to say Beltre can't be rebuilt in half a month either. Of course, he'll have to hide a game like this away where he was whiffing all day at the breaking ball off the plate outside. The only positive was that he did manage to make one out to rightfield. The bad thing is that as Everett was 3-for-6 in front of him, he was 0-for-6 and struck out for the hat trick.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 29-9 .763 -- W6
2002 26-12 .684 3 L2
2003 24-14 .632 5 W2
2000 21-17 .553 8 W3
2006 16-22 .421 13 W1
2005 15-23 .395 14 L1
2004 13-25 .342 16 L2

The Mariners scored five runs, sure, but where did the three homers come from? Jeremy Reed, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Richie Sexson homering in the same game may never happen for the rest of the season. Did anyone bet on the trifecta of 7-3-44 to homer? Their three solo shots drove in 60% of the runs, needless to say. Jeremy Reed had another good game, adding another homer and another multi-hit game. Reed's batting average has bumped up 28 points over the last two games to .220. The two games have upped his slugging percentage 90 points to .378. Basically, he's 6-for-18 this month, hitting and getting on base at a .333 clip and slugging at .722. Sexson was 2-for-6 with his game-winning shot (he nearly had a second one) and hadn't homered in nearly two weeks. Sadly, it was only his third extra-base hit of a month in which he's only hitting .178. He has as many May strikeouts as May total bases. Aside from the two homers, Sexson is unfortunately having a Beltre-like month. With Betancourt, any homer coming out of the ninth slot in the lineup is a bonus, especially considering his stellar defense even with the wide throw for his third error of the season. Luckily that fourth-inning error didn't figure into the final score.

Needless to say, after Washburn left, which wasn't exactly late (he pretty much had one bad inning, though not a Piñeiro-like debacle from the night before), this was largely a bullpen effort. The Mariners' pen combined for 7 1/3 innings of five-hit shutout ball. They walked three and struck out eight. In the roles they had today, before extra innings were actually had, it appeared that Rafael Soriano was pitching in a role similar to Julio Mateo's role and that Eddie Guardado and JJ Putz traded roles. There were probably two times in the game in which I could have imagined a healthy Mateo, and they were right after Washburn had left the game, and probably to start the 10th or 11th innings. Let's just say it's a good thing Monday is an off day because the Mariner bullpen has thrown a combined 12 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series. The good news is that the off day is Monday. The bad news is that Gil Meche is starting the game on Sunday. To say the team needs Meche to at least get into the seventh isn't a stretch at all, but I don't know if that's a realistic expectation for him. Yes, it'll be a great day for erraticness.

Meche. Weaver. Today.

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