Thursday, May 25, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: The big inning was friendly this time and I can't think of a snappy Anna Benson one-liner to go here.

This one featured Kris Benson going up against Jarrod Washburn. On the live MLB.tv feed, I was blessed with the rarity of on-screen graphics and commercials on the FSNNW feed! Yayyyy!!! I get the thrill of seeing a portion of the commercials for the first time, so I won't be sick of them like I'm sure most in the Northwest are. One commercial I could stand to see more, though, is the Lotto commercial where the one guy bets the other guy that he can't vault (gymnastically) a parked car.

Brian Roberts started 3-0 before flying out to right on a 3-1 pitch. Melvin Mora foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Miguel Tejada rolled the second pitch to second. Washburn threw 13 pitches.

Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 2-2 pitch to second. Jose Lopez was up 2-0 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to a charging Tejada, who charged and quickly threw to first, but Millar didn't come up with it and was charged with the error. Raul Ibañez whiffed over a 2-2 pitch and Jose Lopez took second on the pitch. Richie Sexson shot the second pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Jose Lopez.
Carl Everett flew out high to center on the second pitch. Benson threw 19 pitches.

Javy Lopez dropped the second pitch in front of Reed in center for a single. Ramon Hernandez had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch down and in, the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Kevin Millar popped high to left as the runners held. Jeff Conine worked an 0-2 count for a walk (ugh!) loading the bases. Corey Patterson popped an 0-2 pitch to Beltre in front of the camera well on the left side. Luis Matos checkswung but made contact and grounded to first. Washburn threw 28 pitches and had 41 through two.

Adrian Beltre bounced an 0-2 pitch to first. Kenji Johjima walked on four pitches. Jeremy Reed bunted the first pitch off the lip of the infield grass along the third-base line, and it careened over the line foul and came back fair and stayed fair. Johjima went to second and Reed reached on the incredible bunt. Yuniesky Betancourt blistered an 0-2 pitch at Conine, who looked to have lined up a nice sliding catch, but it went past him and to the wall, and the double scored Johjima and Reed. It might have gotten caught up in the lights.
Ichiro bounced a 2-0 pitch off the warning track and into the stands in rightcenter to extend his hitting streak to 18 games and score Betancourt.
Jose Lopez waved over a 1-2 pitch. Ibañez was ahead 3-1 before walking on a full-count pitch inside. Sexson took a 2-2 pitch that bounced over Javy Lopez and to the backstop, enabling Ichiro and Ibañez to move to third and second. Sexson blistered a full-count pitch into the leftfield corner for a double, scoring Ichiro and Ibañez.
Everett dumped a single into shallow centerfield, scoring Sexson.
Beltre took an outside first pitch and one-hopped Matos in rightfield for a single (!!!!!), moving Everett to second. Johjima whiffed on a 2-2 pitch down and away. Benson threw 41 pitches and had 60 through two.

Benson's line: 2 innings, 7 runs (6 earned), 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 60 pitches (35 strikes)

Roberts worked a 1-2 count for a walk, though it took nine pitches. Mora drove a 2-0 pitch and bounced it off of the roof of the field entry in the visitors' bullpen. Ibañez made a surprisingly good attempt to catch the ball.
Tejada tapped the first pitch back to the mound. Javy Lopez rolled the second pitch to second. Hernandez walked on four pitches. Millar grounded hard to third. Washburn threw 22 pitches and had 63 through three.

Kurt Birkins came in for Benson. Reed grounded hard to first. Betancourt popped high to center. Ichiro took a 2-2 pitch across the outside corner. Birkins threw 14 pitches.

Conine poked a single into shallow right. Patterson flew out to center. Matos fell behind 0-2 and flew out to center on the 1-2 pitch. Roberts worked an 0-2 count full before flying out to right. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 81 through four.

Jose Lopez dumped a ball toward rightfield but was robbed by Matos, who made a shoestring catch before hitting the turf. Ibañez popped a 2-0 pitch high to Patterson in rightcenter. Sexson was up 3-1 before walking on a full-count pitch outside. Everett popped the first pitch high to Matos in rightcenter. Birkins threw 12 pitches and had 26 total.

Mora lined the second pitch into right for a single. Tejada flew out high to right. Javy Lopez blasted a thigh-high over-the-plate 0-2 pitch to the seats under the leftfield bleachers.
Hernandez foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch into the catcher's glove. Millar grounded out to second. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 97 through five.

Beltre bounced the second pitch to third. Johjima grounded the first pitch to short. Reed popped a 2-2 pitch foul which Mora nearly got to in the seats on the third-base side. Reed ended up rolling to short. Birkins threw 11 pitches and had 37 total.

Conine popped the second pitch to center. Patterson rolled the second pitch through the right side for a single. Matos flew out to left on a 3-1 pitch. Roberts lasered a single to left on the second pitch, moving Patterson to second.

Sean Green came in for Washburn. Mora had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full-count pitch down and in. Green threw six pitches.

Washburn's line: 5 2/3 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 108 pitches (62 strikes)

Betancourt rolled out to short. Ichiro wasn't granted time on the first pitch and took it for a strike. He took an 0-2 pitch barely outside before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch very up and in. Jose Lopez walked on four pitches. Ibañez was up 2-0 and Hernandez and pitching coach Leo Mazzone visited Birkins on the mound. Ibañez ended up bouncing the next pitch to second. Birkins threw 15 pitches and had 52 total.

Birkins' line: 4 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 52 pitches (27 strikes)

Tejada grounded the second pitch to third. Javy Lopez bounced softly to short, and was thrown out by a charging Betancourt. Hernandez was ahead 3-0 before and was sawed off on a 3-1 pitch, popping it to second. Green threw 11 pitches and had 17 total.

Chris Britton came in for Birkins. Sexson rolled the second pitch to short. Everett stroked an 0-2 pitch into leftcenter for a single. Beltre lined out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Johjima watched the second pitch go by as Everett took off on a delayed steal and was out by about five feet. Britton threw 12 pitches.

Millar was up 2-0 before flying out to Jose Lopez in shallow rightcenter on a full count. Conine was ahead 3-0 and bounced the 3-1 pitch to short. Patterson was ahead 2-0 before bouncing to first. Green threw 18 pitches and had 35 total.

Green's line: 2 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 35 pitches (18 strikes)

Johjima popped a 2-2 pitch to right. Reed fell behind 0-2 before rolling a 2-2 pitch softly to a charging Roberts. Betancourt bounced the second pitch softly to short. Britton threw 13 pitches and had 25 total.

Britton's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 25 pitches (17 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Green. Nick Markakis, hitting for Matos, whiffed on a 2-2 splitter down and away. Roberts was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Mora whiffed on a 2-2 fastball.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 17 pitches (10 strikes)

Gameball: Sean Green.
You know, this is just about the only time that Mike Hargrove looks good for carrying a twelve-man pitching staff. With no Mariner starting pitcher having gotten into the seventh since Gil Meche's last turn (yipe!), the Mariner bullpen has been taxed heavily in the last four games. After letting an 8-2 Mariner lead shrink quite a bit two nights earlier, Green came in and did a very good job in a role where we'd usually see Julio Mateo, except Mateo had thrown 1 2/3 innings the night before and 1/3 of an inning the night before that, and those were his first two appearances since coming off the disabled list. Anyway, the Mariners needed a good start out of Jarrod Washburn, which they didn't get, and they needed the bullpen to get some rest, which mostly happened thanks to Green, before he turned over to Everyday JJ Putz, who has pitched in five of the last six games. I guess this is what the twelfth pitcher in the bullpen is for -- long relief when the rest of the bullpen is burnt since the starting pitching sucked for nearly a full turn through the rotation.

Goat: Raul Ibañez.
He's tailed off a bit. He's not in a full-fledged slump, I don't think, but it's a bit of a negative ebb. He's 0-for his last 11, with his last hit being a homer in the big inning against Chan Ho Park to close the San Diego series. That mini-slump covers part of that last San Diego game and the first three games of this Baltimore series. The statistical oddity in the stretch is the first game of the current series, where Ibañez was 0-for-1 and walked three times. However, maybe it really is a slump. After a .301 month of April, Ibañez is hitting a grand .244 in the month of May with a week to go. He slugged .505 last month and is doing so at a .419 clip this month. But hey, his strikeouts appear down this month. He's struck out ten times this month and had 21 last month. Anyway, with as well as Ibañez was hitting for most of April and part of May, we had to expect him to tail off a little bit, and it appears for a bit like that's what is happening. So, that's when a night like this comes and Richie Sexson drives in three runs behind him. Now if the starting pitching would give the bullpen some rest, the team would be better off in the next few days.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 36-12 .750 -- W4
2002 31-17 .646 5 L1
2003 31-17 .646 5 L1
2000 26-22 .542 10 W1
2006 22-26 .458 14 W1
2005 19-29 .396 17 W1
2004 18-30 .375 18 W1

Hey, looks like the Rangers and Oakland both lost. Thus, your Seattle Mariners are two games out of first-place Texas (who is at .500) and one back of Oakland for second.

R Lopez. Meche. Tonight.

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