Monday, May 29, 2006


AP photo -- Linda Kaye

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: Everyone facing the Mariners should just bring up their AAA rotations before the series because I swear the Mariners would go 0-162 if that happened.

This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against John Rheinecker. Rheinecker, who turned 27 today, is lefthanded, therefore no Jeremy Reed in the starting lineup, therefore I hate Mike Hargrove all the more. Hargrove is basing his decision on the fact that Jeremy Reed is 0-for-11 with a walk and two strikeouts against lefties this season. Yes, that's right. Reed's gotten all of 11 at-bats against lefthanded pitchers this season. Huge sample size, that. The Mariners were trying to erase a four-game losing streak. A stretch that saw the Mariners win five of six morphed into a stretch where they lost five of six. So now I guess it's kind of win-win...either the Mariners do good and stay in the race, or they keep losing and some people start getting canned. I just hope they go extremely one way or the other in the next two weeks. Washburn came into the game with an 0-3 record and a 6.08 ERA on the road this season. Obviously I don't care what Willie Bloomquist hits against lefties because it's stunting Jeremy Reed's development, he's from South Kitsap, and this team's not built to win now anyway, so Hargrove shouldn't pull this platoon crap like they're going somewhere. Under no circumstances should Bloomquist start in centerfield on consecutive days unless I hear that Reed's wrist needs some rest.

Ichiro flew out to left on a 1-2 pitch. Jose Lopez was up 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch to second. Raul Ibañez walked on a full-count pitch down and away on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Rheinecker threw 25 pitches.

Gary Matthews, Jr. had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full count. Michael Young worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing a single through the right side. Mark Teixeira scorched the second pitch right to Betancourt at short. Hank Blalock fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball outside. Washburn threw 20 pitches.

Carl Everett was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 curve away. Adrian Beltre chopped the first pitch along the right side, where Kinsler charged in from second and Beltre legged out the single. Kenji Johjima was ahead 3-0 and ended up nubbing a 3-1 pitch back to the mound, moving Beltre to second. Willie Bloomquist grounded right to third. Rheinecker threw 13 pitches and had 38 through two.

Phil Nevin flew out to center on the first pitch. Kevin Mench popped to right on an 0-2 pitch. Mark DeRosa grounded hard to a diving Beltre at third on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw nine pitches and had 29 through two.

Betancourt popped the second pitch to center. Ichiro bounced out to second on the second pitch. Lopez bounced the second pitch to short. Rheinecker threw six pitches and had 44 through three.

Rod Barajas flew out very high to short on a 2-0 pitch. Ian Kinsler split his bat on a 2-2 grounder to short. Matthews looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow center for a single. Young fell behind 0-2 and Johjima took Young's follow-through to the left wrist on the second pitch. Young ended up grounded a 2-2 pitch hard to Betancourt at short, who went to his knees to stop the grounder, then backhanded a bit wide to Lopez covering second, who caught it with a barehanded to complete the 6-4 fielder's choice. Washburn threw 19 pitches and had 48 through three.

Ibañez was down 0-2 and eventually tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Sexson tapped the first pitch in front of the plate, where Barajas pounced on it and threw to first. Sexson came up limping a bit after the play. Everett flew out to right. Rheinecher threw 13 pitches and had 57 through four.

Teixeira lined a 2-0 pitch into left for a single. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and grounded a 1-2 pitch to first to start a 3-6-3 double play. Nevin was ahead 2-0 and crushed a 2-2 pitch foul with homerun distance down the leftfield line before whiffing on a high fastball on the next pitch. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 62 through four.

Beltre rolled the first pitch to short. Johjima whiffed on a 2-2 fastball in the dirt. Bloomquist nubbed out softly to third. Rheinecker threw nine pitches and had 66 through five.

Mench grounded an 0-2 pitch to second. DeRosa lined out to a leaping and backpedaling Ibañez on the second pitch. Barajas grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 72 through five.

Betancourt lined the second pitch into center for a single, the Mariners' second hit of the game. Ichiro wedged a 2-2 pitch to center for a flyout. Lopez grounded a full-count pitch up the middle right to Young near the second-base bag, who fielded the ball and stuck his foot to the bag before throwing to first to complete the double play. Rheinecker threw 15 pitches and had 81 through six.

Kinsler was ahead 3-1 before failing to check his swing on a full-count pitch up and away after an appeal to first. Matthews punched a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Young popped high to Ichiro near the rightfield line. Teixeira lined the first pitch just over the scoreboard in left.
Blalock grounded hard to third on the first pitch. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 87 through six.

Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Barajas (2-3 putout). Sexson was up 2-0 before grounding to second. Everett foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Barajas' glove. Rheinecker threw 14 pitches and had 95 through seven.

Nevin grounded the first pitch to short. Mench rolled a full-count pitch deep into the hole at short, where Betancourt couldn't come up with it and it would have been a tough play anyway. DeRosa took a 2-2 pitch belly high over the outside corner. Barajas was up 2-0 before flying out to Ichiro in rightcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 105 through seven.

Washburn's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 105 pitches (69 strikes)

Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Johjima grounded the first pitch to first. Bloomquist rolled the first pitch through the left side for a single. Betancourt nubbed to Rheinecker coming off the mound. Rheinecker threw nine pitches and had 104 through eight.

JJ Putz came in for Washburn. Kinsler grounded hard through the mound off of Putz, and it slowed down for Lopez, who threw in time to first. Matthews was down 0-2 before flying out high to Beltre in foul ground near the third-base line. Young rolled to second.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)

Ichiro was nailed near the right hip on an 0-2 pitch. Lopez popped the first pitch to Matthews in shallow leftcenter. Ibañez lined the first pitch into center for a single, moving Ichiro to second.

Rick Bauer came in for Rheinecker. Sexson rolled to the hole at short for a 6-4 fielder's choice to force Ibañez out as Ichiro went to third. Jeremy Reed came in to run for Sexson. Everett rode the first pitch to the rightfield track, where DeRosa came down with it.

Rheinecker's line: 8 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 110 pitches (74 strikes)
Bauer's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (3 strikes)

Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
You can't ask for much more out of Washburn. Much like Piñeiro's line yesterday, one look at Washburn's line for today and you'd take that every time out. Of course, if he did do that, he'd have an ERA of 2.57. Needless to say, that'll never happen. Still, Washburn made probably one bad pitch today, and the only two runs of the game scored on it. Still, look at that line, and you'd take it every time, especially taking into consideration the Launch Pad in Arlington. He's probably lucky he didn't just go out there and give up seven homers. Luckily for Joel Piñeiro, his next turn in the rotation won't come until after the Mariners leave Texas, or he'd probably give up two homers each to Kevin Mench, Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock, Phil Nevin, et al. Anyway, Washburn is now 0-4 on the road this season, but that 6.08 road ERA is now down to a slightly more pedestrian 5.28. A bit more encouraging is that Washburn didn't walk a single Texas hitter in this game. Of course, no Mariner starting pitcher is a true Mariner starting pitcher until he gets beat by a no-name pitcher, and his name today was John Rheinecker.

Goat: Carl Everett.
The best thing he did all game was take the final out to the warning track in rightfield. The designated hitter, whose job is to hit, hence the title "designated hitter," went 0-for-4 and struck out twice as he lay waste to Texas pitching. Did I say Texas pitching? I meant Mariner offense. Granted, Everett wasn't the only one who didn't recognize John Rheinecker's name and therefore decided to suck. The Mariners couldn't have done it without hitless days from Ichiro, Jose Lopez, Richie Sexson, and Kenji Johjima as well. The five hitless Mariners in the lineup combined to go 0-for-18 with four strikeouts. Yes, it was a fine day at the ballyard for the guys in gray. Weird thing about Everett is that he isn't hitting too badly -- he's hitting .276. In April, he was hitting a torrid .220. If you want to think about yesterday's game again, you can't blame Roberto Petagine, Jeremy Reed, Johjima, and Everett, who were all the Mariners' position players that didn't get off the bench. Still, the fact that Everett has more homers than Adrian Beltre, well, that's bad, and we know that.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 41-12 .774 -- W9
2003 35-18 .660 6 W4
2002 34-19 .642 7 L1
2000 28-25 .528 13 W1
2005 22-31 .415 19 L1
2006 22-31 .415 19 L5
2004 19-34 .358 22 L3

Meche. Millwood. Tomorrow.

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