Saturday, May 20, 2006


AP photo -- Elaine Thompson

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: It was a crappy day in the outer environs, but it led to a launch pad under the extended roof.

This one featured Chris Young going up against dead-armed Jarrod Washburn. Richie Sexson Bobblehead Night attracted 35338 fans. Set your over/under for Saturday night's crowd now. MLB.tv live feed was with the Mariners' crew, while the archived feed was the Mariners' crew with on-screen graphics.

Eric Young nubbed out to second. Mike Cameron was ahead 3-0 and laced the 3-1 pitch toward the leftfield corner for a double. Brian Giles popped a 3-1 pitch to left. Mike Piazza flew out to right on the second pitch. Washburn threw 15 pitches.

Ichiro shot a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single. Jose Lopez worked a 1-2 count for a walk, though Ichiro had stolen second base on the 2-2 pitch. Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 2-2 pitch to Barfield, who threw to second for the force as Ichiro moved to third. Richie Sexson whiffed on a high 0-2 pitch. Carl Everett had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch up and away to load the bases. Adrian Beltre took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. C Young threw 32 pitches.

Khalil Greene popped a 2-2 pitch high to shallow right. Mark Bellhorn whiffed on a full-count pitch down and in. Vinny Castilla grounded the first pitch to third. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 29 through two.

Kenji Johjima dropped the head down on a high 2-0 pitch, depositing it above the manual scoreboard in left.
Jeremy Reed flew out to right on a 2-0 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt was ahead 2-0 and later popped to Bard behind the plate. Ichiro slapped an 0-2 pitch to the left side for a groundout to third. C Young threw 13 pitches and had 45 through two.

Josh Barfield grounded hard to third on the second pitch. Josh Bard popped a 2-2 pitch foul down the rightfield line to Sexson, making the catch over his left shoulder. E Young flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 39 through three.

Lopez worked a 1-2 count full before hitting a fly ball to left that kept carrying until it landed in the visitors' bullpen just to the right of the manual scoreboard.
Ibañez waved over an 0-2 breaking ball down and in. Sexson took a 2-2 pitch the other way, and it carried into the second row of seats in rightfield.
Everett was ahead 2-0 before grounding a 2-2 pitch hard to Bellhorn at first, who made a diving stop and threw in time to C Young covering first. Beltre blistered a second-pitch single into shallow leftcenter. Johjima popped high to Cameron in shallow center. C Young threw 24 pitches and had 69 through three.

Cameron popped the second pitch to Reed short of the rightcenter track. Giles popped a 3-1 pitch high short of the track in center, much like Cameron before him. Piazza cranked a homer into the Mariner bullpen for his 402nd of his career.
Greene put a line drive over Ichiro's head in front of the rightfield wall, and he got a double out of it. Bellhorn rolled out to short. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 55 through four.

Reed fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball. Betancourt took a 1-2 pitch at the knees over the outside corner. Ichiro tapped the second pitch back to the mound. C Young threw 12 pitches and had 81 through four.

Castilla looped the first pitch into center for a single. Barfield shot a grounder under Beltre's glove and down the leftfield line for a double, moving Castilla to third. Bard popped to left, and Ibañez' throw home was over the cutoff man, enabling Castilla to score and Barfield to move to third.
E Young was ahead 2-0 and checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch before taking a full-count slider off his right kneecap. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Cameron was ahead 3-1 and took a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Giles popped a 2-0 pitch to Ichiro as Barfield broke home from third. Johjima caught the throw and braced for impact as Barfield bowled him over, and he held onto the ball. Washburn, who was bailed out in the inning, threw 24 pitches and had 79 through five.

Lopez was had the hitters' counts before popping to left on the 3-1 pitch. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full before lining right to Giles in rightfield. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and grounded the 1-2 pitch to third. C Young threw 17 pitches and had 98 through five.

Piazza worked an 0-2 count full before grounding to second. Greene was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a low 2-2 change. Bellhorn blasted a 2-0 pitch into the elevated bleachers in left, but it was foul. Bellhorn ended up walking on a 3-1 pitch. Castilla had a 1-1 count when Chaves came to visit the mound. Castilla was ahead 3-1 before whiffing on a full-count pitch up and way away. Washburn threw 23 pitches and had 102 through six.

Washburn's line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 102 pitches (55 strikes)

Everett poked a second-pitch single into right. Beltre popped a 2-2 pitch to the rightfield track as Everett held. Johjima popped high to Barfield on the right side. Reed took the second pitch low and Everett took off on a semi-delayed steal and was nearly out on the throw from Bard. Reed grounded hard to third. C Young threw 13 pitches and had 111 through six.

C Young's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 111 pitches (69 strikes)

Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Barfield rolled the second pitch up the line to Sexson, who tagged him out. Bard slapped a second-pitch fastball up and away over the manual scoreboard in left.
E Young flew out to Reed in rightcenter on the first pitch. Cameron was ahead 3-0 and took a high full-count pitch for a walk. Giles flew out to Reed in leftcenter on the first pitch. Soriano threw 12 pitches.

Scott Cassidy came in for C Young. Betancourt shot a 1-2 pitch past the reach of Barfield into center for a single. Ichiro took a 1-1 pitch for a strike on the outside corner, and Bard threw to second to try to get Betancourt, but it was late and skipped through, enabling Betancourt to move to third. Ichiro punched the next pitch to a drawn-in Greene at short, who knocked it down but had no play as Betancourt held and Ichiro had the single. Lopez slapped the 1-2 low and away pitch down the rightfield line and into the corner for a double to score Betancourt, though they held Ichiro up at third.

Alan Embree came in for Cassidy. Ibañez blistered a second-pitch single past a drawn-in infield into right to drive in Ichiro and move Lopez to third.
Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 low breaking ball. Everett whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and away. Beltre scorched a 1-2 pitch right at Giles in right. Embree threw 16 pitches.

Cassidy's line: 0 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
Embree's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (11 strikes)

Piazza bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Greene took a 1-2 highish offspeed pitch for strike three. Bellhorn was ahead 2-0 before bouncing a 2-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout). Soriano threw 14 pitches and had 26 total.

Soriano's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 26 pitches (17 strikes)

Jim Brower came in for Embree. Johjima slapped a 1-2 pitch into rightfield for a single. Reed smacked a triple on the second pitch over Bellhorn's head at first and into the rightfield corner to score Johjima, who had taken off with the pitch.
Betancourt popped out to left as Reed tagged up, but E Young dropped the ball as he tried to put it into his throwing hand. Needless to say, Reed scored on the sacrifice fly with the error.
Ichiro bounced a 2-2 pitch to third. Lopez was nicked on the jersey and took his base. Ibañez split his bat on a grounder to short. Brower threw 23 pitches.

Brower's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (12 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Castilla whiffed on a 1-2 splitter down and in. Barfield poked a 1-2 pitch over Betancourt's head and into left for a single. Bard shot the second pitch down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Barfield.
E Young couldn't check his swing on a low 1-2 splitter. Cameron whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 18 pitches (15 strikes)

Gameball: Kenji Johjima.
There's been minor turbulence at points this year with the imported Japanese catcher, but there have been very few of late. I remember earlier in the year complaining of a spate of passed balls. I haven't been complaining much about those lately (or at least don't remember it), so something good must be happening here. In seventeen games this month, Johjima has gone hitless only three times, and he started only one of those three games (other two as a late-inning replacement for Rene Rivera). This game here extended his hitting streak to seven games, and eleven straight games in which he was the starting catcher. During the hit streak, he's hit 9-for-25 (.360). Interestingly, the lowest Johjima's batting average has been after a game this season was at the end of April, when he was hitting .267. He didn't keep on the home run pace he was on the first two games of the season, of course, but he's quietly been hitting pretty well and pretty consistently. This of course is always good for the bottom third of the lineup, which has been the best in years for the Mariners, though the team is doing horrible.

Goat: Rafael Soriano.
He's been far from bad this year. No hitter went 0-fer in the lineup, so I had to go to somebody. Soriano came in with a 3-2 lead and gave up the incredibly untimely homer to Josh Bard to tie the game and take the win away from Jarrod Washburn. On the flip side, these were the first runs given up by Soriano since May 5th. This game swelled his ERA by 0.17, and it's now at 2.70. However, he has an ERA of 4.00 this month after having a miniscule 1.88 in the month of April. All in all, Soriano's done a solid job so far this year coming in around the seventh and/or sixth innings. Of course, with the whole Eddie Guardado situation, the whole thing has been a bit foggy as to what anyone's real role is in the bullpen except that JJ Putz has been closing. Who knows what role Soriano will have when Julio Mateo gets activated from the disabled list? Combine that with Eddie Guardado coming back into the closer's role, and it should be a tiny bit interesting to see who goes where. At least one of the minor-league callups will probably be gone, though.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 32-11 .744 -- W1
2002 29-14 .674 3 L2
2003 28-15 .651 4 W4
2000 23-20 .535 9 L2
2005 18-25 .419 14 W2
2006 18-25 .419 14 W1
2004 15-28 .349 17 W1

Hensley. Meche. Tonight.

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