Wednesday, June 07, 2006


AP photo -- Elaine Thompson

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: A short game turned long when Mike Hargrove nearly emptied out the bullpen in the eighth.

This one featured Francisco Liriano going up against Felix Hernandez. The Mariners came in having won four of five games, though three of those of course were against the hapless and hopeless Kansas City Royals. How would they fare against more competent competition? It'd come down to the young'uns on the mound starting for both teams.

Luis Castillo whiffed on an 0-2 pitch away. Jason Kubel fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 curve down and away. `Joe Mauer was ahead 3-0 and bounced a 3-1 pitch up the middle for a single. Torii Hunter shot the second pitch down the leftfield line for a double that went off the protruding area of the leftfield stands, moving Mauer to third. Mike Cuddyer walked on four pitches to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Justin Morneau rolled the first pitch to first. Hernandez threw 19 pitches.

Ichiro had the hitters' counts before chopping a full-count pitch over the mound to Castro coming in from short, whose best possible effort and throw was beaten to the bag at first by Ichiro. Adrian Beltre drilled a 1-2 pitch into left for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Jose Lopez popped high to Liriano near the mound. Raul Ibañez hit a checkswing chopper to third, moving Ichiro to third and Beltre to second. Richie Sexson knocked the second pitch to the mound and off Liriano's pitching hand (not hard though), and it went to Castillo at second, who threw in time to first. Liriano threw 20 pitches.

Rondell White was down 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to short. Tony Batista was ahead 2-0 and ended up bouncing a 2-2 pitch to second. Juan Castro tapped an 0-2 pitch back to the mound. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 32 through two.

Kenji Johjima lined the second pitch right to Cuddyer in right. Willie Bloomquist whiffed on a low full-count breaking ball. Mike Morse walked on four pitches. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled a 2-2 pitch to short for the force on Morse (6-4 putout). Liriano threw 17 pitches and had 37 through two.

Castillo rolled the first pitch to second. Kubel knocked a single through the right side. Mauer stroked a 1-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double, moving Kubel to third, where he was held up by the third-base coach. Hunter was ahead 2-0 and tapped a 2-2 pitch to the mound, where Hernandez threw to first as Kubel held at third. Cuddyer couldn't hold up on an 0-2 pitch down and away. Hernandez threw 18 pitches and had 50 through three.

Ichiro was down 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 slider through the left side for a single. Beltre popped the first pitch to a charging Cuddyer in shallow rightcenter on a hit-and-run. Lopez punched the first pitch to Morneau, who let Lopez run into his tag coming down the line as Ichiro moved to second. Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson rolled the first pitch to second. Liriano threw 13 pitches and had 50 through three.

Morneau grounded a 2-0 pitch to Betancourt in the hole at short. White grounded the first pitch to first. Batista bounced a 2-2 pitch gently down the third-base line, but Beltre got to it and did the quick plant and sidearmed throw thing. Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 59 through four.

Johjima punched an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Bloomquist hit a swinging bunt along the right side, where Mauer pounced on it and threw to first, moving Johjima to second. Morse cranked a high fly ball for which Hunter had to wait a while to come down, and it missed being a homer over the centerfield wall by a foot or so. Nonetheless, Morse had a double and Johjima scored.
Betancourt took the first pitch way inside and it went to the backstop, moving Morse to third. Betancourt ended up grounding the second pitch right to Batista at third, making Morse hold at third. Ichiro chopped a 1-2 pitch over the mound that Liriano jumped to reach, and his pitching hand blocked it, but he couldn't come up cleanly with the ball, allowing Morse to score on what went for a single. Castillo has a better chance at a play on the ball and maybe an out if Liriano let it go.
Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in, which wasn't down and away. Rare. Liriano threw 20 pitches and had 70 through four.

Castro had the hitters' counts and grounded behind the bag to Beltre, who threw from foul territory in time to first. Castillo punched a line drive right to Bloomquist in center. Kubel slapped the second pitch the other way (left) for a single. Mauer hit a fly ball that landed way left of Ibañez in left for a double, scoring Kubel.
Hunter was up 3-1 but whiffed on a full-count low breaking ball. Hernandez threw 21 pitches and had 80 through five.

Lopez popped the second pitch high to third. Ibañez bounced the second pitch to second. Sexson foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Mauer's glove behind the plate. Liriano threw nine pitches and had 79 through five.

Cuddyer rolled the first pitch to short. Morneau was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. White worked a 1-2 count full before taking a breaking ball for the third strike, and Johjima threw over to second, where Lopez put the tag on Morneau trying to steal, and Lopez was in a slow-speed bowl-over collision. Hernandez threw 12 pitches and had 92 through six.

Johjima bounced a high pitch onto the leftcenter warning track and bounced into the bullpen for a double. Bloomquist grounded the first pitch right to first, where Morneau threw over to third to catch Johjima, who at least mitigated the mistake by getting in a rundown of sufficient duration to move Bloomquist to second. Morse took the first pitch as Bloomquist nabbed third thanks to Mauer not coming up cleanly with the ball. Morse ended up chopping a 1-2 pitch to third, where Batista had to contort a bit to his left to get it, and threw straight home, where Bloomquist just got under the tag of Mauer at the plate. Morse reached to first.
Betancourt took the first pitch as Morse took off for second, but the pitch got away from Mauer and Morse had second without a throw. Liriano got a visit from his pitching coach. Betancourt ended up grounding the second pitch right to third as Morse held at second. Ichiro chopped the second pitch along the third-base line, where Batista got the ball in front of the bag and threw in time to first to beat Ichiro.

Liriano's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 91 pitches (59 strikes)

Batista nubbed an 0-2 pitch to the mound. Castro grounded the first pitch right to short. Castillo was behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to a charging Betancourt from short, who threw in time to first.

Hernandez' line: 7 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 100 pitches (60 strikes)

Matt Guerrier came in for Liriano. Beltre drove the first pitch to the track in center. Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch up and in. Ibañez drove a second-pitch breaking ball into the gap and to the wall in rightcenter for a double, scoring Lopez from first.
Sexson hit a liner into left but was robbed of a double by Kubel on a 3/4-extension diving catch. Johjima walked on four pitches. Bloomquist worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a highish fastball. Guerrier threw 23 pitches.

Guerrier's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeouts, 23 pitches (11 strikes)

Eddie Guardado came in for Hernandez. Kubel cranked a 2-0 pitch about eight rows back into the rightfield seats.
Mauer was ahead 3-1 and punched a full-count pitch through the right side.

Julio Mateo came in for Guardado. Hunter took off on a 1-1 pitch way low and away and Mauer nabbed second. Hunter whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Cuddyer bounced the second pitch through the left side for a single, moving Mauer to third.

George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Morneau was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.

JJ Putz came in for Mateo. Terry Tiffee, hitting for White, grounded the second pitch hard to third. Putz threw two pitches.

Guardado's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (4 strikes)
Mateo's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)

Jesse Crain came in for Guerrier. Carl Everett, hitting for Morse, fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to second. Betancourt shot a 1-2 grounder down the rightfield line for a single and Cuddyer cut it off before it could rattle in the corner. Ichiro grounded the first pitch through the right side for a single, moving Betancourt to second. Beltre grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch, where Batista threw to second for the force on Ichiro (5-4), and Betancourt went to third on the play. Lopez took a 1-2 belt-high fastball over the outside corner. Crain threw 20 pitches.

Crain's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (15 strikes)

Luis Rodriguez, hitting for Batista, fell behind 0-2 and flew out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Nick Punto, hitting for Castro, lined the second pitch into left, where Ibañez dove for the ball and was about three feet short of catching it, and it went into the leftfield corner for a double. Castillo bounced out to short, moving Punto to third. Kubel flew out to center on the second pitch.

Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)

Gameball: Kenji Johjima.

Goat: Richie Sexson.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 47-13 .783 -- L1
2003 41-19 .683 6 W1
2002 37-23 .617 10 L2
2000 33-27 .550 14 W3
2006 27-33 .450 20 W2
2005 26-34 .433 21 L2
2004 24-36 .400 23 W2

Bonser. Moyer. Tonight.

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