Tuesday, July 04, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: Why do I have the sinking feeling that the Mariners won't win another game for a week or so?

This one featured Jered Weaver going up against Felix Hernandez. When on the TV broadcast, Dave Niehaus mistakenly referred to Weaver as Jarrod Washburn at least once. I suppose it could be somewhat confusing since Washburn did wear number 56 for the Angels last year, much like Weaver does now. The Mariners called up Shin-Soo Choo (wearing number 17) to platoon with Willie Bloomquist in centerfield for the injured Jeremy Reed. Also, Sean Green left the Sunday night game with back spasms from hell, so Emiliano Fruto was called up in his place. Also, it was Singles Night at the ballyard. On the field, the Mariners only got five of those in this game. The Mariners hoped to avoid losing their third game in four tries after having won 11 of 14.

Chone Figgins was down 0-2 and flew out to Ibañez along the leftfield stands on the line in foul ground on a 1-2 pitch. Maicer Izturis one-hopped the second pitch to short. Orlando Cabrera hit a broken-bat slow nubber to short on an 0-2 pitch. Hernandez threw ten pitches.

Ichiro foul-tipped a 2-2 up-and-away fastball into Napoli's glove behind the plate. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Jose Lopez flew out to left on an 0-2 pitch. Weaver threw 14 pitches.

Vladimir Guerrero fouled the first pitch off his back knee before lining a single into left. Garret Anderson got ahead 2-0 and ended up bouncing up the middle to Betancourt to start a 6-5-3 double play (shift was on). Mike Napoli whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball away. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 23 through two.

Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch barely down and in before whiffing on a full-count breaking ball (eighth pitch). Richie Sexson lined a 2-2 pitch right to Anderson in left. Carl Everett nubbed the second pitch to second. Weaver threw 15 pitches and had 29 through two.

Juan Rivera dumped a single into shallow center. Kendry Morales chopped a 1-2 breaking ball high into the air, but Hernandez was able to get it and throw to first in time as Rivera moved to second. Adam Kennedy fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Figgins rolled the first pitch through the right side for a single, scoring Rivera as Ichiro had trouble getting the ball out of his glove for a throw.
Izturis got ahead 3-1 before whiffing on a fastball up over the outside corner. Hernandez threw 19 pitches and had 42 through three.

Kenji Johjima grounded the 1-2 pitch hard to third. Shin-Soo Choo roped the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a double. Yuniesky Betancourt nubbed a 2-2 ptich to first, where Morales had Betancourt run into his tag as Choo moved to third. Ichiro whiffed on a 2-2 change low and away. Weaver threw 16 pitches and had 45 through three.

Cabrera chopped the second pitch very high to short, but Betancourt picked it out of the air and gunned just in time to first. Guerrero bounced the first pitch to third. Anderson whiffed on a full-count curve. Hernandez threw ten pitches and had 52 through four.

Beltre fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Lopez rode the 3-1 pitch to the track in center. Ibañez slapped a 1-2 pitch to left for a single, as it shorthopped into Anderson's glove. Sexson had the hitters' counts before taking a full-count fastball over the inside corner. Weaver threw 20 pitches and had 65 through four.

Napoli got ahead 3-0 before popping high to third on a full count. Rivera walked on a 3-1 fastball down and away. Morales crushed the second pitch nine rows into the rightfield seats, scoring Rivera.
Kennedy popped the second pitch to Ichiro in shallow rightcenter. Figgins was up 2-0 but ended up taking a full-count curve for strike three. Hernandez threw 22 pitches and had 74 through five.

Everett was down 0-2 and ended up popping to Cabrera moving back into shallow left on a 2-2 pitch. Johjima blistered a single down the leftfield line. Choo lined the second pitch to Anderson on the leftfield track. Betancourt drove a full-count pitch foul that may have had home-run distance before taking the next pitch down and away, moving Johjima to second. Pitching coach Bud Black came to the mound for a visit. Ichiro laced the first pitch into center for a single, scoring Johjima and moving Betancourt to second.
Beltre rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Weaver threw 23 pitches and had 88 through five.

Izturis popped to Choo in center, his first fly ball of the call-up. Cabrera whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt away. Guerrero bounced the first pitch to third. Hernandez threw eight pitches and had 82 through six.

Lopez blistered the first pitch into left for a single. Ibañez got too much air under a fly ball that carried Figgins to the track in leftcenter. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball low and away. Everett chopped the second pitch to the mound. Weaver threw ten pitches and had 98 through six.

Anderson flew out to Choo in rightcenter. Napoli worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Rivera bounced to Beltre on the left side, who went to second for the out as Rivera beat out the back half of the double play. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Morales dumped the second pitch into shallow center for a single, moving Rivera to second. Kennedy took the first pitch inside and it got past Johjima and to the backstop, moving Rivera and Morales to third and second (passed ball). Kennedy took the next pitch over everything and to the backstop, making the count 2-0 as it banked back to Johjima. Two pitches later, Kennedy dropped a single along the leftfield line, scoring Rivera and Morales.

George Sherrill came in for Hernandez. Figgins took the 2-1 pitch for a strike, but Kennedy had second break stolen and had a huge jump. Figgins lined the next pitch to a running Choo in center. Sherrill threw five pitches.

Hernandez' line: 6 2/3 innings, 5 runs (4 earned), 6 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 101 pitches (63 strikes)

Johjima popped a ball near the leftfield line and stands, but a fan reached for the ball, though apparently not into the field of play or very close to it. Third-base umpire Phil Cuzzi ruled it as a foul ball (no interference) despite Scioscia's argument. Johjima ended up flying out to center on a full count. Choo whiffed on an 0-2 fastball. Betancourt took a 1-2 pitch for strike three.

Weaver's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 111 pitches (73 strikes)

Izturis popped foul to the right side, where Sexson made a basket catch near the tarp roll.

Emiliano Fruto came in for Sherrill. Cabrera plunked an 0-2 pitch into left for a single. Guerrero took the second pitch way inside and to the backstop, moving Cabrera to second. Guerrero lined out to second on the next pitch. Anderson was intentionally walked. Napoli had the hitters' counts before walking on a full count to load the bases. Rivera grounded hard to third, where Beltre bobbled it but gobbled it back up and threw in time to first. Fruto threw 18 pitches.

Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (5 strikes)

Scot Shields came in for Weaver. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to short. Beltre pounded an 0-2 pitch through the left side for a single. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and tapped the 1-2 pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play.

Shields' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (7 strikes)

Morales wedged the first pitch into right for a single. Kennedy dropped a single in front of Ichiro for a single, and Ichiro threw down to third unsuccessfully to get Morales, then Beltre threw back to second unsuccessfully to get Kennedy. Figgins poked a 3-1 pitch up the middle into center for a single to score Morales and Kennedy, the latter of whom beat the throw home by Choo, but Johjima was able to pick Figgins off of first.
Izturis foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove (eighth pitch). Cabrera walked on four pitches. Guerrero rolled a single into leftcenter, moving Cabrera to second. Tommy Murphy came in to run for Guerrero. Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Anderson fouled off five pitches with a full count before walking to load the bases (eleven pitches in the at-bat).

Joel Piñeiro came in for Fruto. Napoli fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a full-count breaking ball (ninth pitch).

Fruto's line: 1 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 1 strikeout, 51 pitches (28 strikes)
Piñeiro's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 9 pitches (6 strikes)

Hector Carrasco came in for Shields. Ibañez popped the second pitch high to center. Sexson walked on an outside 3-1 pitch. Everett popped an 0-2 pitch high to right. Johjima whiffed on an 0-2 pitch.

Carrasco's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (9 strikes)

Gameball: George Sherrill.
I've apparently developed such a sense of security with George Sherrill on the mound that it really doesn't seem like he had an ERA of 9.00 for the month of June. For the record, he had a 2.35 ERA in April and a 2.08 mark in May. He gave up two runs each in April and May, but gave up five in June. With the role Mike Hargrove has put him in, though, it's the nature of the beast for Sherrill. He has outings where he walks one hitter and gets yanked, he has outings where he gives up one hit and gets pulled, etc. He's started off the month of July with two scoreless appearances. He gave up runs in four of his 11 appearances in June. He gave up runs in two of 11 appearances in May and two of 13 appearances in April. Sherrill has walked 16 hitters to go with 24 strikeouts, which isn't quite the ratio we'd like out of him, but at least it's not the other way around. Wanna know of a semi-odd tidbit that hopefully doesn't curse Sherrill from this point forward? He still has yet to give up a home run this season.

Goat: Felix Hernandez.
Will we ever see the Felix we saw last year? Who is the real Felix? Is it the one that dazzled everyone in the Northwest last season, or is it the one that's been on the mound for most of this season? I know Felix is going to throw to a few catchers in his career, and he's going to have to get used to different catchers and everything. My thinking is that if the Mariners seriously think they have a chance in this division race, they should make Rene Rivera the personal catcher for Hernandez. Unfortunately it's small sample size mania considering Rene Rivera has caught for only three of the 17 starts by Felix this season. With Kenji Johjima behind the plate, the average Felix line is 6 innings, 4 runs (3.6 earned), 6.9 hits, 2 walks, 5.2 striekouts, and 100 pitches (63 strikes). With Rivera back there, his average line is 7 innings, 3 runs (2.3 earned), 5.7 hits, 1 walk, 8.3 strikeouts, and 96 pitches (66 strikes). Probably the best set of numbers I can dish out are that Felix has an ERA of 5.44 when throwing to Johjima and an ERA of 3.00 with Rivera back there. Small sample size, sure, but it's worth a shot.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 61-23 .726 -- L2
2003 54-30 .643 7 L1
2002 53-31 .631 8 W1
2000 49-35 .583 12 L2
2006 42-42 .500 19 L2
2005 36-48 .429 25 W1
2004 32-52 .381 29 L7

Ichiro 56-for-135 (.415), 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 14 walks, 11 strikeouts
Beltre 41-for-130 (.315), 12 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 20 RBIs, 12 walks, 24 strikeouts
Lopez 33-for-120 (.275), 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 17 RBIs, 7 walks, 16 strikeouts
Ibañez 37-for-113 (.327), 6 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers, 33 RBIs, 16 walks, 21 strikeouts
Sexson 30-for-118 (.254), 4 doubles, 9 homers, 31 RBIs, 13 walks, 28 strikeouts
Everett 16-for-80 (.200), 3 homers, 7 RBIs, 6 walks, 18 strikeouts
Johjima 34-for-100 (.340), 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Reed 21-for-97 (.216), 2 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers, 7 RBIs, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts
Choo 1-for-3 (.333), 1 double, 1 strikeout
Betancourt 29-for-108 (.269), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 9 RBIs, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts

Santana. Meche. Today.

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