Sunday, June 25, 2006


AP photo -- Lenny Ignelzi

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: Where were you when Petco Park turned into a launching pad and Jamie Moyer won on the road on the same night?

This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Chan Ho Park. Moyer, as we know, is terrible on the road. However, Petco Park is considered more pitcher-friendly than the ol' ballyard in Seattle. The Mariners hoped to halt a two-game losing streak. If they did so, the current stretch would turn into fifteen wins in twenty-two tries. Coming into this game, Richie Sexson was the only Mariner with a multi-homer game this season.

Ichiro singled into left on a 2-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre took a 1-2 pitch that took his helmet off, moving Ichiro to second. Jose Lopez looped the first pitch for a flyout to left. Raul Ibañez foul-tipped a high 1-2 pitch into Piazza's glove. Richie Sexson rolled the first pitch to short. Park threw 16 pitches.

Mike Cameron lined out to third. Ben Johnson whiffed over a full-count change over the outer half. Brian Giles worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to a running Ichiro in rightcenter. Moyer threw 18 pitches.

Kenji Johjima flew out to center on the first pitch. Jeremy Reed fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Yuniesky Betancourt got up 2-0 before looping out to Giles in shallow right on a 2-2 pitch. Park threw ten pitches and had 26 through two.

Mike Piazza crushed the belt-high second pitch, reaching the third patio on the Western Supply Co. building just inside the leftfield foul pole. That homer tied himself with Duke Snider on the all-time list. It was measured at 401 feet, basically leaving Matt Vasgersian to scream blasphemy until being told by Mark Grant that the tape-measure numbers apply to where the ball touched anything and not where it would have landed assuming flat earth and no buildings.
Khalil Greene rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Adrian Gonzalez flew out to fairly deep center on a 3-1 pitch. Vinny Castilla drove a 1-2 pitch to a running Reed in rightcenter, who made the catch as Greene had to touch second and move back to first. Josh Barfield flew out to center on the second pitch. Moyer threw 19 pitches and had 37 through two.

Jamie Moyer bounced a 1-2 pitch to second as the Cox 4 team unveiled Sam the Cooking Guy, who brought some salmon into the booth. Ichiro bounced a 3-1 pitch to Barfield on the rightfield grass. Beltre worked a 1-2 count full before smashing a double off the track and wall in left. Lopez grounded the second pitch to a diving Greene in the hole at short, where he threw to first but Gonzalez couldn't pick it and it got through, moving Lopez to second as Beltre scored.
Ibañez popped out to Johnson near the stands along the leftfield line in the corner. Park threw 24 pitches and had 50 through three.

Chan Ho Park grounded hard to third on a 1-2 pitch. Cameron whiffed on a 2-2 change down and away. Johnson grounded the first pitch hard to third, where Beltre dug it out and threw to first. Moyer threw 12 pitches and had 49 through three.

Sexson fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to fairly deep center. Johjima blasted the belly-high first pitch into the upper deck of seats in left.
Reed walked on four pitches. Betancourt chopped the second pitch to a charging Greene at short, who threw to first as Reed moved to second. Moyer fell behind 0-2 before rolling a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single, scoring Reed from second.
Ichiro was up 3-0 and walked on an outside 3-1 pitch, moving Moyer to second. Beltre was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a neck-high 2-2 fastball. Park threw 26 pitches and had 76 through four.

Giles flew out to Ibañez in shallow left on a 3-1 pitch. Piazza popped the first pitch very high to Johjima, who caught the ball inside the first-base camera well railing. Greene had the hitters' counts before walking on a low 3-1 pitch. Gonzalez punched a first-pitch single into right, moving Greene to third. Castilla slowly nubbed a 2-2 pitch along the left side that was an out thanks only to Beltre's penchant for the charge-and-barehand-throw maneuver he's perfected. Moyer threw 17 pitches and had 66 through four.

Lopez popped a 2-2 pitch that Gonzalez caught in the first row of seats on the first-base side. Ibañez blistered the ball over the wall in leftcenter and into the Padre bullpen. Laser shot, that was.
Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a full-count low slider. Johjima blistered almost an identical first pitch as his last at-bat, homering this time somewhere near the first patio on the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
Reed whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.

Park's line: 5 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 7 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 96 pitches (58 strikes)

Barfield rolled a 2-0 pitch to short. Mark Bellhorn, hitting for Park, took an 0-2 fastball over the inside corner. Cameron whiffed on a 2-2 change down and away. Moyer threw 11 pitches and had 77 through five.

Brian Sikorski came in for Park. Betancourt bounced to second on the second pitch. Moyer whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Ichiro bounced a 2-0 pitch to Barfield on the rightfield grass, who threw to first for the out. Sikorski threw ten pitches.

Johnson unloaded on a pitch, rattling it off the first patio on the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
Giles fell behind 0-2 and flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Piazza bounced out to third. Greene was ahead 2-0 and rolled a 2-2 pitch along the right side and Moyer picked it up and threw to first. Moyer threw 16 pitches and had 93 through six.

Beltre whiffed on a high 1-2 fastball. Lopez looped the first pitch in front of a running Cameron, who had it hop off of him but it didn't get far and Lopez only got a single out of it. Ibañez watched as Sikorski picked Lopez off of first (he went into first base standing up). Ibañez then drilled the second pitch over the in-wall video board in rightcenter, which is quite a shot.
Sexson popped out to left.

Sikorski's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (13 strikes)

Gonzalez one-hopped the second pitch to second. Castilla lined out to third on a full count. Barfield drove the first pitch to Ibañez in left, who had an adventure getting to it but reached up and made the catch.

Moyer's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 102 pitches (62 strikes)

Scott Cassidy came in for Sikorski. Johjima was up 2-0 and dropped a full-count pitch in front of Johnson in left for a single. Reed air-bunted the second pitch to first. Betancourt stuck an 0-2 pitch into right for a single, moving Johjima to second. Carl Everett, hitting for Moyer, corkscrewed himself into the ground on the 2-0 pitch before rolling the next pitch up the middle, where Barfield got it, tagged second, and threw off-balance and in time to first for the double play.

Cassidy's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (10 strikes)

Eric Young, hitting for Cassidy, mashed the first pitch and hit the facade of the second patio/basket on the Western Metal Supply Co. building, just inside the foul pole.
Cameron covered a pitch, putting it somewhere beneath the first basket/patio in left.
Johnson rode a ball to Reed in leftcenter, who had a way to go to make the catch. Giles fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to right. Piazza was behind 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 pitch out in front, where Johjima pounced on it and threw to first.

Guardado's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

Brian Sweeney came in for Cassidy and Josh Bard came in for Piazza. Ichiro shot a single through Sweeney's legs and into center. Beltre was ahead 3-1 and rode a full-count pitch to Cameron on the centerfield track. Lopez smacked a single into left on a 2-2 pitch, moving Ichiro to second.

Alan Embree came in for Sweeney. Ibañez swung at a high second pitch and Ichiro stole third without a throw. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Sexson wrapped the first pitch into rightfield for a single, scoring Ichiro easily and moving Lopez to second.
Johjima drove the second pitch into the leftcenter gap just past Cameron for a double, scoring Lopez and even Sexson from first.
Reed grounded the second pitch hard to the left-side hole, but Greene plugged it and threw in time to first.

Sweeney's line: 1/3 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Embree's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (10 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Guardado. Greene spanked the second pitch just under Beltre for a single into left. Gonzalez slapped the first pitch into left for a single, moving Greene to second. Castilla dumped the second pitch for a single into shallow right along the foul line, loading the bases. Barfield lined the first pitch into leftcenter for a single, easily scoring Greene.
Bard worked a 1-2 count full before taking a full-count pitch over the inside corner on the lower edge of the zone and he didn't like it. Cameron whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Johnson fouled off a 1-2 pitch and Johjima took it hard, taking it off the left knee between the pads. Johnson ended up whiffing on the next pitch, a breaking ball down and away.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 24 pitches (18 strikes)

Gameball: Kenji Johjima.
When I pick a gameball, usually I try to give it to a non-obvious candidate. If more than one Mariner has a great day, then I have less trouble picking one. If everyone sucks, it's hard to pick one. Another qualifier is a truly surprising a stellar night by any certain Mariner that I'm not sure will be repeated anytime soon. This is where Johjima's night in San Diego fits. As great at the plate as he has been this season, he may never go 4-for-5, homer twice, and drive in four runs in any single game for the rest of the season. This was a hell of a night he had. He hit the ball hard on the first three pitches he saw, and he homered on the second and third pitches he saw. Of course, that does mean he swung at the first pitch in each of his first three at-bats. He worked the count a little more in his fourth at-bat and ended up with a single. He also doubled to drive in two more runs in the ninth. Just an incredible night for Johjima. If Felix Hernandez wouldn't suck when Johjima was catching for him, I would have absolutely no problem with Johjima.

Goat: Eddie Guardado.
Sigh... I don't know what possibly could be left to say, but I'll try to conjure up something. It's hard to know why it's all gone Jeff Cirillo/Rick Ankiel for Guardado on us. Okay, he doesn't seem like a complete headcase or anything, he's just doing brutal on the field. I guess the deja vu feeling I have is that I feel like they're losing Guardado in a way reminiscent of the tail-off of Shigetoshi Hasegawa. It's magnified more since Guardado was the closer, though, so it's worse now than it was with Hasegawa. It's sad what's happening here, though. I sit here every time Eddie goes out to the mound, and I just hope like hell that it goes smoothly. Then something happens like it did in this game, and I just wonder what could possibly be next. Where is this going? How will this end? Granted, I don't think there's any way in hell this team wins the division, but as long as they're close to .500 now and if they're within striking distance after the break, can they afford to keep Guardado on the roster and in the bullpen without giving up games in the standings? I guess I just don't see this getting better. I wish I did.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 56-20 .737 -- L1
2003 50-26 .658 6 L1
2002 47-29 .618 9 W1
2000 45-31 .592 11 W1
2006 37-39 .487 19 W1
2005 33-43 .434 23 L4
2004 31-45 .408 25 L1

Ichiro 45-for-102 (.441), 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 9 RBIs, 9 walks, 7 strikeouts
Beltre 30-for-98 (.306), 8 doubles, 5 homers, 17 RBIs, 9 walks, 18 strikeouts
Lopez 23-for-87 (.264), 8 doubles, 1 homer, 13 RBIs, 5 walks, 15 strikeouts
Ibañez 29-for-83 (.349), 6 doubles, 1 triple, 9 homers, 28 RBIs, 12 walks, 12 strikeouts
Sexson 19-for-86 (.221), 1 double, 6 homers, 21 RBIs, 11 walks, 21 strikeouts
Everett 14-for-62 (.226), 2 homers, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Johjima 26-for-79 (.329), 8 doubles, 3 homers, 9 RBIs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Reed 16-for-66 (.242), 2 doubles, 3 homers, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Betancourt 25-for-83 (.301), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

Piñeiro. Thompson. Today.

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