Friday, May 26, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: The 23806 people at the Safe were treated to a surprise appearance from Good Meche and an obligatory disappearance from the offense.

This one featured Rodrigo Lopez, paper drinking cup eater who hadn't won since Opening Day, going up against Gil Meche. Being away from the Northwest for a while and apparently not reading the right sections of my dailies from the ol' place, I have no idea what Jimmy Carter was doing at the game.

Brian Roberts hit a fly down the line in left for a double. Melvin Mora whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Miguel Tejada ripped a 1-2 pitch to the wall in left for a double, scoring Roberts.
Jay Gibbons checked his swing on a full-count pitch outside. Ramon Hernandez was ahead 2-0 before taking a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Javy Lopez popped a 2-2 pitch to right. Meche threw 27 pitches.

Ichiro bounced the first pitch to second. Jose Lopez flew out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Raul Ibañez hanging 2-2 curve into left for a single. Richie Sexson took a 2-2 at the knees over the inside corner. R Lopez threw 16 pitches.

Corey Patterson fell behind 0-2 then fouled off three 1-2 pitches before foul-tipping a fourth (breaking ball) into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Jeff Conine rode the first pitch to the rightfield track, where Ichiro came down with it. Nick Markakis took a 2-2 pitch for a highish third strike. Meche threw 13 pitches and had 40 through two.

Carl Everett grounded hard to first. Adrian Beltre popped the first pitch to Conine on the foul side of the first-base line near the bag. Jeremy Reed waved at a 1-2 pitch way outside. R Lopez threw ten pitches and had 26 through two.

Roberts shot a double down the rightfield line on the first pitch. Mora took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner for Meche's fifth strikeout. Tejada rolled a 2-2 pitch to second, moving Roberts to third. Gibbons was ahead 3-0 and slapped a full-count pitch into centerfield to score Roberts.
Hernandez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch up and in. Meche threw 20 pitches and had 60 through three.

Rene Rivera grounded the second pitch to short. Yuniesky Betancourt popped a 1-2 pitch to third. Ichiro tapped the second pitch to the mound. R Lopez threw nine pitches and had 35 through three.

Javy Lopez flew out high to shallow center on the first pitch. Patterson popped the second pitch to Betancourt on the outfield grass. Conine took a 2-2 pitch over the inner half. Meche threw nine pitches and had 69 through four.

Jose Lopez popped the second pitch to first. Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball over the outer half. Sexson rode the first pitch to fairly deep center for a flyout. R Lopez threw six pitches and had 41 through four.

Markakis bounced the second pitch to first. Roberts took an 0-2 pitch over Rivera and to the backstop and ended up whiffing over a 2-2 fastball inside. Mora flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch. Meche threw 14 pitches and had 83 through five.

Everett worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to Patterson short of the track in rightcenter. Beltre nearly doubled an 0-2 pitch into the rightfield corner, but it was foul. Beltre ended up whiffing on the next pitch, a change down and on the outside corner. Reed rolled the first pitch to first. R Lopez threw 11 pitches and had 52 through five.

Tejada was up 3-0 and ended up grounding a 3-1 pitch hard to Beltre behind the bag. Gibbons took a full-count curve over the outside corner. Hernandez was up 2-0 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Sexson foul along the rightfield line. Meche threw 16 pitches and had 99 through five.

Rivera was ahead 3-1 before grounding a full-count pitch to third. Betancourt lined out to Patterson in leftcenter on the second pitch. Ichiro grounded a 2-2 pitch to second. R Lopez threw 14 pitches and had 66 through six.

Javy Lopez walked on four pitches. Patterson worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a change over the outside corner. Conine rolled a 3-1 pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play.

Meche's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts, 115 pitches (70 strikes)

Jose Lopez grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to first. Ibañez flew out high to right on the second pitch. Sexson blistered the second pitch past the reach of Tejada and through the left side for a single, snapping the streak of 18 straight set down by R Lopez. Everett flew out to left on a 1-2 pitch. R Lopez threw 11 pitches and had 77 through seven.

Julio Mateo came in for Meche. Markakis lined out to Reed in rightcenter. Roberts whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt (2-3 putout). Mora fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 inside pitch.

Mateo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (12 strikes)

Beltre rode a 2-2 pitch just short of the track in left. Reed walked on a full-count pitch up and away.

Chris Ray came in for R Lopez. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Rivera, dumped the first pitch into shallow left but he was robbed by a diving Markakis catch. Betancourt fell behind 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Ray threw six pitches.

R Lopez' line: 7 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 88 pitches (63 strikes)

Eddie Guardado came in for Mateo. Kenji Johjima came in to catch. Tejada flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Gibbons flew out to Reed in shallow leftcenter. Hernandez grounded out to third.

Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (6 strikes)

Ichiro whiffed badly at an 0-2 fastball way up and outside. Jose Lopez flew out to Patterson in fairly deep center. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full before lining a pitch to deep center, but Patterson caught it on the run just short of the track.

Ray's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 20 pitches (13 strikes)

Gameball: Gil Meche.
This one definitely isn't on Meche. If anything, he was on this game. You know, the sad thing about Meche is that until he strings together a handful of good outings such as this, we're still left with more questions than answers. Joel Piñeiro had two great starts and was named Player of the Week, and we all know what's happened to him since. If the Mariners can get Meche turned around, that's a big deal. A very big deal. It's early, and he did scuffle in the first and third (yes, the innings where the Orioles scored), but he was able to stretch out to throw seven and get a tiny bit of rest for the bullpen, as Julio Mateo and Eddie Guardado pitched the remainder of the game. Still, Meche had some great stuff in this game. Sure, the Orioles aren't exactly a lineup full of nine Albert Pujolses, but Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada are still part of that lineup, so that's got to stand for something. In a usual Meche start, his walks would come around to score, he'd fall behind a ton of hitters, and all his mistakes would trail over the middle of the plate and get crushed. Not so in these last two Meche starts.

Goat: Adrian Beltre.
When Rodrigo freakin' Lopez throws 7 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout ball, one can pretty much pick anyone that didn't get a hit for the goat. And maybe Jeremy Reed, who drew the only walk for the Mariners. And maybe Ichiro, who I'm not going to bag on because he had an 18-game hitting streak going into this one. So, let's pile on Beltre some more. He's hitting .037 higher this month than last, but it's too bad that only gets him to .226. He drew ten walks and struck out 21 times last month. This month, the ratio's not as good, as he's walked a mere three times and struck out fifteen. He has two homers this year, and the last one occurred on the 12th in Anaheim. You know, if we knew Beltre would suck this bad at the plate, they should have just ponied up for David Bell instead of letting him loose. Bell hit .247 for the Mariners in 2000 and .260 in 2001. But a quick look at this says the Mariners traded him for Desi Relaford and cash, which will happen when you trade for Jeff Cirillo and expect him to actually hit. Answer yourself this -- have the Mariners gone to the playoffs since David Bell was traded?

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 37-12 .755 -- W5
2002 32-17 .653 5 W1
2003 31-18 .633 6 L2
2000 26-23 .531 11 L1
2006 22-27 .449 15 L1
2005 20-29 .408 17 W2
2004 18-31 .367 19 L1

Texas came back from a seven-run deficit to beat Oakland. Thus, the Mariners didn't lose ground on Oakland, but did on Texas. The Rangers are now three up on the Mariners and two up on Oakland.

Hernandez. Liriano. Tonight.

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