Thursday, June 08, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: Carl Everett led a power barrage that bailed out Mariner pitching in a game that lasted much too long.

This one featured Boof Bonser going up against Jamie Moyer. A win would lead the Mariners to their third straight and sixth in seven games, which would be their best stretch of the season. The Mariners had a power surge of sorts on a night with the roof open, the wind blowing out, and on the same night where Richie Sexson used a metal bat during batting practice and parked a ball onto Royal Brougham. Also, the Beltre play on the Castillo grounder in the fourth inning was the number-one Web Gem on Baseball Tonight, and rightfully so considering what the other four plays in the top five were, and they weren't even close.

I feel like doing something a bit different for the start here, so I'll put down the Mariners' streaks this season: L1, W3, L4, W2, L1, W1, L3, W1, L4, W1, L1, W1, L1, W3, L4, W1, L1, W2, L2, W2, L3, W4, L1, W1, L6, W3, L1, W3 (current).

Winning streaks (quantity)...
one game (6)
two games (3)
three games (4)
four games (1)

Losing streaks (quantity)...
one game (7)
two games (1)
three games (2)
four games (3)
six games (1)

To the much-too-long game...

Luis Castillo worked an 0-2 count full before walking on the seventh pitch. Lew Ford reached for a pitch down and away and lined it to left, where it got Ibañez twisted around and it went over him to the wall for a double, moving Castillo to third. Joe Mauer hit a second-pitch slow roller to the left of the mound to a charging Beltre, who bobbled the transfer and tried to recover and catch Castillo off of third. Torii Hunter flew out to Reed in leftcenter on a 2-0 pitch, scoring Castillo.
Mike Cuddyer watched with a 1-1 count as Moyer picked Ford off of second. Cuddyer belted a 2-2 pitch foul into the elevated leftfield bleachers, and bounced the next pitch off the leftcenter track and into the mass of inebriation beyond the wall, scoring Mauer.
Jason Kubel rolled the second pitch to second. Moyer threw 23 pitches.

Ichiro roped the first pitch into the fourth row of rightfield seats.
Adrian Beltre fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 curve over the inside corner, clearly baffled as he turned from the ball. Jose Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch. Raul Ibañez was down 0-2 before whiffing on a full-count pitch, but Lopez took second thanks to Castillo trying to make the tag before catching the ball, and he dropped it. Richie Sexson hit a second-pitch rope five rows above the manual scoreboard in left.
Carl Everett fisted a 2-2 pitch to short where Castro had to make an off-balance throw that didn't have a lot on it, but it would have beat Everett if Cuddyer didn't drop it. Kenji Johjima took a first-pitch ball and Bonser got a mound visit from Mauer and his pitching coach, Rick Anderson. Johjima had the hitters' counts before grounding hard to third. Bonser threw 28 pitches.

Mike Redmond shot the second pitch through the right side for a single. Terry Tiffee lined a pitch into left that one-hopped Ibañez, who stopped it on a slide as Redmond moved to second. Juan Castro flew out to Lopez near the rightfield line on a 2-0 pitch. Castillo was up 3-1 and popped a full-count pitch to Ibañez in shallow left. Ford flew out high to Ichiro short of the rightfield track. Moyer threw 19 pitches and had 42 through two.

Jeremy Reed had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a hanging 1-2 inside curve, pulling it barely inside the leftfield foul pole, scoring Reed and himself on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
Ichiro looped an 0-2 pitch into left for a flyout. Beltre flew out to Cuddyer in foul ground on the right side. Lopez was up 2-0 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to second. Bonser threw 23 pitches and had 51 through two.

Mauer was down 0-2 and dropped a 1-2 pitch into left near the line for a double. Hunter hit a long fly to center that was just past the reach of Reed going back to the track, and Hunter had a double that moved Mauer to third, where he held. Cuddyer was up 3-1 and took a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Kubel was down 0-2, eventually whiffing on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away. Redmond lined the first pitch into left for a single, scoring Mauer, but Hunter ran through the stop sign and was dead meat on Johjima's tag (throw from Ibañez). Cuddyer went to second on the play.
Tiffee rolled out to second on a 2-2 pitch. Moyer threw 23 pitches and had 65 through three.

Ibañez popped a high fly ball that Kubel caught in the leftfield corner. Sexson flew out very high to Ford in rightcenter on the second pitch. Everett whiffed on a 2-2 pitch that got away from Mauer, who threw to first. Bonser threw 12 pitches and had 63 through three.

Castro grounded the first pitch to second. Castillo grounded to Beltre, who made a diving stop at the line, and the ball rolled away a bit before he got it and threw from his knees to first, where Sexson stretched for the pick and fell over, but the out was made on a crazy-good play. Ford doubled to the extremely annoying Nikon advertisement in leftcenter. Mauer was down 0-2 before dumping a 2-2 pitch into center for a single, scoring Ford.
Hunter dumped the second-pitch into shallow left for a 'tweener single behind Betancourt and in front of Ibañez, moving Mauer to third. Cuddyer flew out to Lopez on the infield grass. Moyer threw 17 pitches and had 82 through four.

Johjima rolled the first pitch to short. Reed flew out to Hunter in leftcenter. Betancourt lined the second pitch into center for a single. Ichiro punched a 3-1 pitch into the hole on the right side, where Castillo ranged over and made a diving stop and threw to first, but Ichiro beat it out as Betancourt went to third on the hit-and-run. Beltre had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch low and away. Bonser got a visit again from Anderson. Lopez split his bat on a 2-2 pitch, rolling it up the middle, where it led Castro to the second-base bag, which he stepped on before Beltre got there. Bonser threw 21 pitches and had 84 through four.

Kubel was jammed and popped the second pitch to short. Redmond popped the second pitch to shallow center. Tiffee lined out to third. Moyer threw seven pitches and had 89 through five.

Moyer's line: 5 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 10 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 89 pitches (53 strikes)

Ibañez scorched a 1-2 pitch right to Castro at short (lineout). Sexson roped the first pitch off the Pepsi ad on the leftfield wall in front of the visitors' bullpen canopy for a double. Everett was down 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch to second to start a 4-6 fielder's choice to force Sexson since Everett beat the double play on the back end. Johjima was up 2-0 and later flew out to left on a full count.

Bonser's line: 5 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 102 pitches (58 strikes)

Sean Green came in for Moyer. Castro took an 0-2 pitch over the outside corner. Castillo took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Ford stuck a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Mauer was up 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Hunter chopped high to third, where Beltre jumped to spear it and throw to second for the force on Mauer. Green threw 21 pitches.

Willie Eyre came in for Bonser. Reed tapped a 2-0 pitch back to the mound. Betancourt rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Ichiro was up 2-0 and dumped a 2-2 pitch into shallow center for a single for his 2500th professional hit, Japan and the Majors combined. Beltre was down 0-2 and drove a 1-2 pitch to the wall in rightcenter for a double, scoring Ichiro from first.
Lopez took a 2-2 pitch to the left tricep, luring trainer Rick Griffin to the field.

Dennys Reyes came in for Eyre. Ibañez ripped a rope on the second pitch, reaching the sixth row or so in the rightfield seats, scoring Lopez and Beltre.
Sexson blistered a 2-2 pitch past Tiffee and down the leftfield line for a double, putting him a triple from the cycle. Everett bounced a one-hopper to third on the second pitch. Reyes threw nine pitches.

Eyre's line: 2/3 inning, 3 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (13 strikes)

Cuddyer grounded back to the mound. Kubel took a 1-2 pitch over the inner half. Redmond bounced the first pitch to short. Green threw nine pitches and had 30 total.

Johjima rolled the first pitch to second. Reed bounced the second pitch to first. Betancourt ripped the second pitch through the mound and into center for a single. Ichiro bounced out to third on the second pitch. Reyes threw eight pitches and had 17 total.

Reyes' line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

Tiffee worked a 1-2 count full before taking strike three over the inside corner. Castro lined the first pitch into the corner in rightfield for a double. Castillo worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Ford rolled the first pitch into right for a single, loading the bases.

George Sherrill came in for Green. Mauer had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away, forcing Castro in from third and keeping the bases loaded.

Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Hunter popped the second pitch to Lopez on the edge of the outfield grass. Cuddyer took an 0-2 slider barely off the outside corner before getting a hold of the next pitch, putting the hanging slider over the plate into the leftfield seats above the manual scoreboard, next to the visitors' bullpen in left. Onyx!
Kubel took a 2-2 slider for strike three. Soriano threw 14 pitches.

Green's line: 2 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 46 pitches (29 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches (1 strike)

Juan Rincon came in for Reyes. Beltre popped the second pitch to Ford in deep rightcenter, who collided with Hunter in a low-speed meeting and had a shoe come loose. Lopez flew out to Ford in shallow right. Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 pitch up and away. Rincon threw seven pitches.

Redmond worked a 1-2 count full and rolled a single past a diving Betancourt into center. Luis Rodriguez, hitting for Tiffee, bunted in front to a charging Sexson, who looked to second, but had to go to first. Castrol flew out to center on the first pitch. Castillo was up 2-0 and popped to Beltre in foul ground on the left side. Soriano threw 14 pitches and had 28 total.

Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 28 pitches (19 strikes)

Rodriguez stayed in to play third. Sexson popped the second pitch to Cuddyer in foul territory near the bag at first. Everett lined the first pitch right to third. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and cranked a 2-2 pitch down the leftfield line, but it was foul in the upper deck. Johjima ended up whiffing on the next pitch, a breaking ball down and away.

Rincon's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (17 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Ford grounded a 2-0 pitch to third. Mauer flew out to right on a full count. Hunter was down 0-2 and chopped the 1-2 pitch off the plate and incredibly high, giving Hunter enough time to get to first as Betancourt finally gloved it. Cuddyer was up 3-0 but ended up whiffing on a full-count low splitter.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (11 strikes)

Jesse Crain came in for Rincon. Reed bunted down the first-pitch down the first-base line, where Crain raced off the mound, bobbled the ball a bit, but backhand flipped over to first in time. Betancourt shot a single past the reach of Rodriguez at third and into left. Ichiro chopped a 2-2 pitch slowly to the left of the mound, where Castro charged to field it, but didn't throw to first and tried to catch Betancourt at second to no avail. Beltre was down 0-2 and whiffed on a low 2-2 fastball. Lopez chopped the first pitch high to third, but Rodriguez was able to come up with it and throw over to first in time. Crain threw 19 pitches.

Julio Mateo came in for Putz. Kubel singled through the right side on the second pitch, then Nick Punto came in to run for him. Redmond bunted the first pitch in front, where Mateo fielded it and threw to first as Punto had taken off with the pitch. Rodriguez was intentionally walked. Justin Morneau, hitting for Castro, grounded the first pitch to first, where Sexson started a 3-6-1 double play. Betancourt double-clutched the throw to first as he waited for Mateo to cover first, and one could argue that Morneau may have been safe.

Mateo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (3 strikes)

Punto stayed in to play short, Morneau stayed in to play first, Cuddyer moved to right, and Ford moved to left. Ibañez grounded right to short. Sexson popped a 2-2 pitch very high behind the plate, but Mauer had the ball go off the tip of his glove. Sexson ended up whiffing on a full-count slider down over the outside corner, the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Everett cranked a 2-0 pitch for a rope into the far reaches of the lower deck in rightfield.

Crain's line: 1 2/3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 34 pitches (22 strikes)

Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
How often is Betancourt going to go 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs? I'd probably throw him the gameball every time that happens, though with all the other homers being hit in this game, it makes it less obvious of a gameball, and that's what I try to do here. Anyway, Betancourt's hot-hitting night bumped his batting average up by .013 and it now sits at .288, eclipsed in the starting lineup by the currently white-hot Ichiro (.358). This was the first four-hit game for Betancourt this season. His homer was barely inside the leftfield foul pole, but he did a great job getting to that pitch, a letter-high curve over the inner half on which he got around. Couple this with his usual defense, and it's a good thing. Do I expect Betancourt to finish the year hitting .288? Probably not. Maybe a little lower. But if he did his usual things on defense and hit .288 coming out of the bottom third of the lineup, I'll take that anytime. When he gets on base with Ichiro at the plate when the lineup turns over, it does a lot for this team. Ichiro's a hitter to begin with, but Ichiro with a runner on base puts the pitcher at even more of a disadvantage.

Goat: Jamie Moyer.
The best thing he did was not get completely blown up. If not for the Twins' big inning in the eighth, Moyer pretty much has the win. Instead, Sean Green loads the bases, George Sherrill walks in a run, then Lew Ford cranks one to tie it. Between Boof Bonser and Moyer, the starting pitching in this game was very shaky, and in the fifth inning the game was already approaching the two-hour mark, a stark contrast to Moyer's last start, the two-hit shutout of the Royals. This time, Moyer just didn't have it. He got hit around pretty well, giving up seemingly everything but a homer. He gave up ten hits, which is enough for any outing, and way more than enough for a mere five innings. Consider that five of those hits were doubles, and that's doubly bad, and it spurs me to make really bad puns. All told, Moyer's the number-one guy in this rotation, and although he's 43 years old, the team still needs quality starts out of him, and they definitely got one the last time through. Still, five innings out of Moyer just magnifies itself when you know you have Joel Piñeiro, Gil Meche, and Felix Hernandez also in the rotation and mostly shaky so far this season.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 48-13 .787 -- W1
2003 42-19 .689 6 W2
2002 38-23 .623 10 W1
2000 34-27 .557 14 W4
2006 28-33 .459 20 W3
2005 26-35 .426 22 L3
2004 25-36 .410 23 W3

Santana. Piñeiro. Today.

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