Thursday, May 18, 2006


AP photo -- Jeff Chiu

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: With the Mariners, the fate of a game is never really in question.

This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Barry Zito. The Mariners hoped to still have a chance to win the series after coming out of Anaheim with a series win. On the downside though, Mark Kotsay was hitting 16-for-28 against Moyer coming into the game. Let's just say it ended up being a seamless transition from Hernandez the night before to Moyer in this one.

Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 curve down and away. Jose Lopez whiffed on a big 0-2 curve. Raul Ibañez pummeled the 2-0 pitch off the leftfield manual scoreboard for a double. Richie Sexson blistered a single through the left side on a 2-0 pitch, and Payton came up throwing as Ibañez broke for home. Ibañez was out by about five feet. Zito threw 15 pitches.

Mark Kotsay one-hopped the wall in rightcenter for a double on the first pitch. Jason Kendall rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Kotsay.
Eric Chavez worked an 0-2 count and with the count 1-2, Kendall broke on Moyer's first move and he was picked off. Chavez worked the count full before flying out to left. Frank Thomas was ahead 2-0 before flying out high to left. Moyer threw 13 pitches.

Carl Everett fell behind 0-2 before drilling a 2-2 hanger into left for a single. Adrian Beltre got under the second pitch, popping high to left. Kenji Johjima lined the first pitch right to Chavez behind the bag at third, who instantly threw to first to double off Everett. Zito threw eight pitches and had 23 through two.

Bobby Crosby drilled a 3-1 pitch to the wall in leftcenter for a double. Nick Swisher whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Jay Payton fell behind 0-2 before dumping a 1-2 pitch into right for a single to move Crosby to third. Bobby Kielty poked the second pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Crosby and moving Payton to second.
Marco Scutaro rolled the second pitch to Lopez, who had to negotiate the screen of the second-base umpire as the ball bounced through his legs and eventually off Lopez' glove into center (error, apparently), enabling Payton to come around and Kielty to move to third.
Kotsay popped the second pitch to center and Kotsay tagged and scored easily.
Kendall lined a 1-2 pitch into Beltre's glove at third. Moyer threw 24 pitches and had 37 through two.

Willie Bloomquist was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and watched as Bloomquist was picked off by Zito (1-3-6). Betancourt drove the 1-2 pitch just short of the track in center. Ichiro bounced a full-count pitch to first, where Swisher barely beat him to the bag with a slide. Zito threw 15 pitches and had 38 through three.

Chavez rolled the first pitch up the middle to Lopez, who tried to do the 4-6-3 putout thing, but the toss was very high and the single was inevitable. Thomas reached for a 2-2 pitch and flew out to center. Crosby worked a 1-2 count for a walk, moving Chavez to second. Swisher took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner and took umbrage with plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Payton singled a 1-2 pitch over the middle into shallow center, but Chavez was out at the plate on the throw from center by Bloomquist. Moyer threw 20 pitches and had 57 through three.

Lopez popped the second pitch to third. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing out to third. Sexson drove the second pitch to the wall in rightcenter for a double. Everett grounded out to third. Zito threw 15 pitches and had 53 through four.

Kielty whiffed on a 2-2 change. Scutaro lined a 3-1 pitch to fairly deep center. Kotsay whiffed on a 1-2 change outside. Moyer threw 14 pitches and had 71 through four.

Beltre popped to left. Johjima drove the first pitch to the base of the wall in left for a double. Bloomquist for some reason swung at a 3-0 pitch and popped out to short. Betancourt was ahead 2-0 before grounding to short on a full count. Zito threw 14 pitches and had 67 through five.

Kendall lined a single into left. Chavez bounced the second pitch to the left side, where Beltre nearly overthrew at second but got the out, but Chavez beat out Lopez' wide throw on the back end, which was stopped by a diving stab by Sexson. Thomas walked on a 3-1 pitch in the dirt, moving Chavez to second. Crosby walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away to load the bases. Swisher looped a single into shallow left, scoring Chavez and keeping the bases loaded.
Payton grounded to short where Betancourt threw to second for the force, then Lopez got under the throw and put it way over Sexson's head into the first-base dugout, enabling Thomas and Crosby to score. Swisher was the runner forced out on the play.
Kielty singled the second pitch into rightfield and looked like he stopped between first and second. Ichiro threw in to Sexson, who had Kielty hung up between first and second. Payton wandered a bit down the third-base line, and eventually the throw went over there and he was hung up and tagged by Beltre for the final out of the inning. Moyer threw 22 pitches and had 93 through five.

Ichiro laced a single through the left side and Payton bobbled it in left, enabling Ichiro to move to second. Lopez dropped a 2-2 pitch for a single into right, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez popped the second pitch high to Chavez in foul ground on the right side. Sexson worked an 0-2 count for a walk (amazing!), loading the bases. Everett whiffed on an 0-2 pitch up and away. Beltre tapped the first pitch back to the mound, where Zito threw home for the force. Zito threw 23 pitches and had 90 through six.

Scutaro fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch softly to a charging Betancourt near the mound. Kotsay lined a high first pitch into center for a single. Kendall had the hitters' counts before grounding into a 5-4-3 double play on a full count. Moyer threw 14 pitches and had 107 through six.

Moyer's line: 6 innings, 7 runs (5 earned), 11 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 107 pitches (62 strikes)

Johjima one-hopped a single to Kotsay, who had it bounce off himself and get away, enabling Johjima to get to second. Bloomquist was ahead 3-0 and looped a full-count soft liner to a diving Crosby in the left-side hole as Johjima held. Betancourt lined a 1-2 pitch to center and again Johjima had to hold. Ichiro bounced to third. Zito threw 15 pitches and had 105 through seven.

Zito's line: 7 innings, 0 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 105 pitches (63 strikes)

Emiliano Fruto came in for Moyer. Chavez took a full-count pitch barely outside on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Thomas walked on four pitches, moving Chavez to second. Antonio Perez came in to run for Thomas. Fruto had some company on the mound from the dugout. Crosby was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a full-count splitter over the outside corner. Swisher flew out short of the track to Ichiro in rightcenter, allowing Chavez to tag and go to third. Payton flew out to left. Fruto threw 25 pitches.

Fruto's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 25 pitches (11 strikes)

Chad Gaudin came in for Zito. Lopez drove a double off the track and wall in center. Ibañez walked on a 3-1 pitch. Sexson smacked a single into right to load the bases with nobody out, then the pitching coach visited the mound. Everett had the hitters' counts before popping out foul to Chavez on the left side. Jeremy Reed, hitting for Beltre (who later was revealed to have strained a hamstring...some were probably hoping it was a straight-across pinch-hit move), laced a single into right on an 0-2 pitch, scoring Lopez and keeping the bases loaded.

Kiko Calero came in for Gaudin. Johjima lined out to right on an 0-2 pitch, but Ibañez tagged and scored.
Bloomquist bounced the first pitch to third. Calero threw four pitches.

Gaudin's line: 1/3 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Calero's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (4 strikes)

George Sherrill came in for Fruto. Reed stayed in to play center while Bloomquist went to third. Kielty nubbed the first pitch along the first-base line, where Johjima pounced on it and threw in time to first. Scutaro was ahead 3-0 and wound up walking on a 3-1 pitch up and away. Kotsay grounded the first pitch for a 4-6-3 double play. Sherrill threw seven pitches.

Sherrill's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)

Huston Street came in for Calero. Betancourt singled into left on a hanging pitch inside. Ichiro grounded to second for a 4-6 force on Betancourt. Lopez took Payton just short of the leftfield track. Ibañez popped the first pitch to Scutaro in shallow right.

Street's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (7 strikes)

Gameball: Richie Sexson.
Would this be the obvious gameball of the night? Absolutely. How often does Richie Sexson go 3-for-3? Exactly. Though Sexson and the offense went homerless as usual, Sexson chipped in with two singles and a solid double. He even worked a walk from an 0-2 count, which is a victory in itself. Yes, Sexson managed to reach base every time he came to the plate. I'm glad there's usually a small silver lining to all of these Mariner losses, but someday I hope there's more lining than cloud. With this night alone, Sexson's numbers obviously have raised a bit. The batting average went up 16 points to .208, the highest it's been since May 2nd (.216). The on-base percentage went up 18 points to .283, the highest since May 6th (.289). The slugging percentage went up 20 points to .349, the highest since the 6th (.351). He's now hitting .200 in the month of May after a .213 month of April. I'm oddly encouraged by the walk Sexson drew tonight, for some reason. Frankly, I think this entire team needs to be more patient at the plate because it seems like they swing too early in the count too often, but that's a topic for another time.

Goat: Jamie Moyer.
As much as I wanted to put the goat on Willie Bloomquist for swinging on a 3-0 count with a runner on second and one out and the Mariners down by a tame 4-0 margin at that point (top of fifth), this one's on Moyer. For the second straight game, the Mariners had some shoddy defensive plays in the field, sure, but the Mariners probably won't win on many nights when they only score two runs anyway, bad pitching and/or defense be damned. Though not as explosively or demoralizing as what happened to Felix the night before, Jamie Moyer still got knocked around. With Hernandez, one could say that it's part of the growing pains and he'll learn from it. When the Mariners see the number-one guy in the rotation get taken to the woodshed the next night, though, it's depressing. Now they'll be depending on the rest of the rotation to stop a losing streak, and given the way the last turn through has gone, it doesn't look good. The last good start by the rotation was Moyer's 1-0 balk game five days ago. The other thing is that the A's are simply better than the Mariners, whereas the Padres are good. With Jamie though, he's the number-one guy in the rotation, so to see him get hit like this is a bit harrowing.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 31-10 .756 -- L1
2002 29-12 .707 2 W3
2003 26-15 .634 5 W2
2000 23-18 .561 8 W1
2006 17-24 .415 14 L2
2005 16-25 .390 15 L1
2004 14-27 .341 17 L1

Piñeiro. Saarloos. Today.

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