Thursday, July 27, 2006
[posted in full Fri ~12:10a]
In 25 words or less: I get it now. Moyer has to be really shaky for the offense to back him up with some runs.
This one featured AJ Burnett going up against Jamie Moyer. In a move that I think probably should have been made a while ago, Jose Lopez was moved back into the second spot in the lineup, and Adrian Beltre was moved into the third spot. The big news, however, were the transactions that went down earlier in the day. Carl Everett was designated for assignment, Chris Snelling was called up from AAA Tacoma, and Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named later were traded to Cleveland for Ben Broussard and cash. I, for one, don't see how any of these moves hurt. Everett was Everett and I never saw that signing working in the first place just like I thought Scott Spiezio would never be able to start 140 games at third base in Seattle in 2004. I never saw Choo fitting in with the Mariners. Broussard has been good, and he can continue to be...if Mike Hargrove plays him and uses him correctly. For this game, however, a win would give the Mariners their fifth in seven games and bring them back to within three games of the .500 mark, where they haven't been since they were 42-42 after the game on July 3rd.
Reed Johnson flew out high to center on a 2-2 pitch. Aaron Hill dumped the second pitch barely out of Ichiro's reach in right for a single. Vernon Wells poked a 2-2 pitch through the right side for a single, moving Hill to second. Troy Glaus popped the second pitch high to Rivera on the dirt around home plate. Lyle Overbay bounced over the mound and past a diving Betancourt into center for a single, scoring Hill.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Bengie Molina fell behind 0-2 before flying out just short of the leftfield track on a 2-2 pitch. Moyer threw 26 pitches.
Ichiro bounced over Glaus and to McDonald at short, and the throw was in time, but Ichiro was called safe. Jose Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 low breaking ball (eighth pitch of the at-bat), but Ichiro took off with the pitch and stole second. Adrian Beltre popped the second pitch to Molina in front of the rotating sign behind the plate. Raul Ibañez slapped an up-and-away change down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Ichiro.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 1
Richie Sexson stuck a hard single through the left side on a 2-2 pitch past a diving McDonald for a single, scoring Ibañez. The relay throw from Mottola in leftfield got past Molina, who wasn't backed up on the play by Burnett, who nearly screened the throw. Sexson moved to second as a result. Burnett was charged with the error on the play.
»» MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 1
Greg Dobbs fell behind 0-2 but stroked a 2-2 pitch for a line drive into right for a single, scoring Sexson. Hooray for Dobbs. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg visited the mound.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 1
Yuniesky Betancourt flew out to fairly deep center. Burnett threw 31 pitches.
Chad Mottola was up 2-0 before flying out lazily to deepish center. Eric Hinske drove the second pitch nicely, but right to Ichiro in right. John McDonald lined a single into rightcenter. Johnson was down 0-2 and smacked a hanger of a 2-2 pitch (tenth pitch of the at-bat) off the base of the wall in the leftfield corner for a double, moving McDonald to third. Hill took a 2-2 fastball down over the inside corner. Moyer threw 25 pitches and had 51 through two.
Rene Rivera one-hopped to Glaus behind the bag at third on the second pitch. Adam Jones flew out right to Johnson in center on a 2-0 pitch. Ichiro slapped a second pitch to deep left that Mottola reached back and got a glove on (he should have had it), but it went off his glove and to the wall for a double. Lopez was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 sinking fastball. Burnett threw 12 pitches and had 43 through two.
Wells barely missed a homer on a 1-2 pitch down the leftfield line, but it went foul. Wells ended up whiffing on the next pitch, a change in the dirt. Glaus was down 0-2 but worked the count full and bounced a single up the middle on the eleventh pitch of the at-bat. Overbay got ahead 3-1 but whiffed on a full count, and Glaus was hung up between first and second trying to steal. Moyer threw 22 pitches and had 73 through three.
Beltre freakin' roped the second pitch into the visitors' bullpen in left for his first over-the-wall homer since June 20th at Dodger Stadium. That's more than a month, by the way.
»» MARINERS 4, BLUE JAYS 1
Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball in on the hands. Sexson grounded a 2-0 pitch to Glaus behind the bag at third. Dobbs spanked a 2-0 pitch up the middle for a single. Betancourt checked his swing on a 1-1 pitch, but Dobbs was gunned down trying to steal second. Burnett threw 17 pitches and had 60 through three.
Molina grounded right to third on the second pitch. Mottola flew out to center. Hinske bounced to short. Moyer threw eight pitches and had 81 through four.
Betancourt dumped a single into shallow center. Rivera took the first pitch which got away from Molina and went to the backstop, moving Betancourt to second. Rivera poked the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a double after a wide turn at second (a triple attempt would have been "pure suicide" according to Dave Niehaus). Betancourt scored on the play.
»» MARINERS 5, BLUE JAYS 1
Jones laced an 0-2 pitch toward the rightfield corner that one-hopped over the wall for a double, scoring Rivera, who didn't read the ball well and may have had baserunning issues if not for the ball bouncing over the wall.
»» MARINERS 6, BLUE JAYS 1
Ichiro bunted the first pitch along the right side, where Hill charged and scoop-threw the ball to first with his glove in time as Jones moved to third (though Ichiro bunted for a base hit, it went as a sacrifice). Lopez grounded right to a drawn-in McDonald at short, and Jones had to hold at third. Beltre was down 0-2 before grounding to third on a 2-2 pitch (ninth pitch of the at-bat). Burnett threw 22 pitches and had 82 through four.
Burnett's line: 4 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 10 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 82 pitches (55 strikes)
McDonald lined out to third on an 0-2 pitch. Johnson drove the second pitch toward the corner in left, but Ibañez made a fine running catch. Hill rolled out to third. Moyer threw 11 pitches and had 92 through five.
Scott Downs came in for Burnett. Ibañez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Sexson clubbed the second pitch so well it one-hopped off the hitters' backdrop beyond the centerfield wall.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 1
Eduardo Perez, hitting for Dobbs, grounded the first pitch to first. Betancourt rode a 2-0 pitch to Johnson a few steps short of the track in center.
Downs' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Wells reached down an served a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Glaus was up 3-0 before walking on a low 3-1 pitch, moving Wells to second. Overbay lasered the first pitch over the glove of a reaching Sexson at first and to the rightfield wall, scoring Wells and moving Glaus to third. The ball was hit so hard Overbay only got a single out of it.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 2
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Molina fell behind 0-2 and flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch, scoring Glaus from third.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 3
Frank Catalanotto, hitting for Mottola, dumped a single into shallow center, moving Overbay to second. Hinske grounded to first where Sexson started what should have been a 3-6-1 double play. The 3-6 part went fine, but Mateo had Betancourt's throw go off the tip of his glove and into foul territory (error), scoring Overbay.
»» MARINERS 7, BLUE JAYS 4
McDonald had the count 1-1 and plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth didn't signal time until Mateo had already delivered the pitch. McDonald shot the next pitch past Betancourt and into center for a single, moving Hinske to second. Johnson looped an 0-2 pitch near the rightfield line that was caught by a running Ichiro. Mateo threw 20 pitches.
Moyer's line: 5 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 103 pitches (71 strikes)
Brandon League came in for Downs, and Catalanotto stayed in to play left. Rivera took a 1-2 breaking ball for strike three. Jones stung a line drive right to a leaping Overbay at first. Ichiro popped a 1-2 pitch to Hill moving back into shallow right. League threw 11 pitches.
Hill whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Wells flew out a few steps short of the track in center on the second pitch. Glaus fell behind 0-2 and shot a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Overbay popped out to left. Sherrill threw four pitches.
Mateo's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 29 pitches (23 strikes)
Lopez was up 2-0 and hit a 2-2 pitch for a hard grounder to the mound, and League made the play to first. Beltre took an 0-2 highish slider for strike three. Ibañez grounded the second pitch hard to second, where Hill ranged to his right, backhanded the ball, dove, and threw to first in time. League threw ten pitches and had 21 total.
Molina ripped a single into center. Catalanotto whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and in. Hinske walked on a full-count fastball away, moving Molina to second.
Mark Lowe came in for Sherrill. McDonald walked on a 3-1 fastball inside, loading the bases. Johnson took a first-pitch strike and Russ Adams came in to pinch-run for Molina at third. Johnson took an 0-2 fastball barely outside before grounding a 1-2 pitch up the middle that led Lopez to the bag at second, where he stepped on the bag and threw to first for the double play.
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
Lowe's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (5 strikes)
Gregg Zaun came in to catch. Sexson one-hopped the second pitch back to the mound. Perez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed at a 2-2 fastball down and away. Betancourt shot a 2-0 pitch up the middle for a single. Rivera bounced the first pitch to third.
League's line: 3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 32 pitches (23 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Lowe. Hill fell behind 0-2 but knocked a 1-2 high splitter into center for a single. Wells punched the second pitch through the left side for a single, moving Hill to second. Glaus whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Overbay couldn't check his swing on a high 2-2 fastball. Zaun flew out near the leftfield corner on a 2-2 pitch.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 20 pitches (14 strikes)
I goated Ichiro after the first game of the series, a game where he went 0-for-4 and his July average sat at .299. In the final two games of the series, Ichiro hit a combined 5-for-8 with a double, an RBI, and two steals. In two days, Ichiro's July average went from .299 to .329. The .329 is better than Ichiro's April mark of .287, but far behind his .371 May and .386 June. I've finally remembered to talk about it, but I remember the last couple years I and quite a few other people would complain that Ichiro wasn't running enough on the basepaths. He stole 56 bases (70 attempts) way back in 2001, but his best mark since that season was in 2004, the crazy 262-hit season, in which he stole 36 bases (47 attempts). With 61 games left, Ichiro is on pace for the following (with rankings against his other season totals, of which this would be his sixth season): 593 at-bats (6th), 102 runs (5th), 205 hits (6th), 15 doubles (6th), 8 triples (t-2nd), 8 homers (t-3rd), 48 RBIs (6th), 261 total bases (6th), 48 walks (t-3rd), 58 strikeouts (fifth-most), 47 steals (2nd), and three times caught stealing (least). It's weird looking at those numbers, because in a lot of statistical categories, Ichiro is on pace for his worst year, yet to me it seems like he's having a great year.
Goat: Jose Lopez.
Lopez went 0-for-4 in this game out of the two-hole, his first game in the second slot in the lineup since May 29th. May 30th was the day Mike Hargrove finally shook up the lineup and moved Adrian Beltre up to second and batted Lopez third. From that day to July 25th, Lopez had the following numbers before being moved back out of the third slot: 44-for-163, ten doubles, two triples, one homer, 18 RBIs, 10 walks, 26 strikeouts, 1 stolen base, 61 total bases. That works out to a .270 batting average and a .374 slugging percentage. The weird dichotomy is that even as the Mariners got hot after Hargrove shuffled the lineup, they did their damage in June. If you ask me, Lopez got his ticket punched to the All-Star Game based on his month of May, before he was moved into the third slot. I thought originally that the move might not be fair to Lopez, and I think everyone was willing to turn the other cheek if it meant Beltre could finally heat up at the plate. Beltre did just that, but meanwhile Lopez struggled. I know he's not a home-run hitter, but just one homer when he was hitting third? Ouch. He had seven homers at the end of May.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 72-29 .713 -- L2
2002 61-40 .604 11 L1
2003 61-40 .604 11 L1
2000 58-43 .574 14 L3
2006 49-52 .485 23 W1
2005 44-57 .436 28 L1
2004 39-62 .386 33 W1
Hernandez. Sowers. Tomorrow.