Saturday, July 08, 2006


AP photo -- Ted S. Warren

[initial partial post]

In 25 words or less: The pride of Pasco outperformed the normally more putrid Piñeiro, and it only took two hours and twenty-four minutes.

This one featured Jeremy Bonderman going up against Joel Piñeiro. On the local TV broadcast, Kevin Calabro took over the play-by-play duties with Dave Niehaus on vacation. Mark Lowe was called up from AA San Antonio to take the vacant spot on the roster left by the trade of Eddie Guardado to the Cincinnati Reds. Lowe sported jersey number 57. Piñeiro came into the game undefeated in his career against the Tigers. Bonderman came into the game undefeated on the road this season. In the grand scope of things this season, the Mariners where hoping to lessen their hobble going into the All-Star break. The Mariners hoped to keep from losing their fifth straight, and that would also be their sixth loss in seven games. Who else misses interleague play? Who misses winning series? The Mariners would still have a chance to win this series with Detroit even with a loss in this one, but the Tigers this year are quite good.

Curtis Granderson walked on a high 3-1 pitch. Placido Polanco watched as Granderson took second without a throw on the second pitch. Polanco flew out just short of the leftfield track on a 1-2 pitch as Granderson held at second. Ivan Rodriguez was ahead 2-0 but ended up whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball in the dirt and way outside. Magglio Ordoñez bounced the first pitch through the left side for a single to score Granderson.
Carlos Guillen grounded the second pitch to Lopez covering the right-side hole. Piñeiro threw 18 pitches.

Ichiro bounced out to first. Adrian Beltre bounced a 1-2 pitch to Inge behind the bag at third. Jose Lopez bounced the second pitch hard to third. Bonderman threw nine pitches.

Marcus Thames pounced on a hanging 0-2 pitch and one-hopped off the leftfield wall near the manual scoreboard for a double. Craig Monroe popped the first pitch high to Choo in leftcenter. Chris Shelton hit a line drive right to Ibañez in left. Brandon Inge bounced the second pitch hard to Beltre at third, who went to a knee to gobble it up and throw to first. Piñeiro threw nine pitches and had 27 through two.

Raul Ibañez rode the second pitch to Thames on the leftfield track, barely getting under it. Richie Sexson fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch hard to short. Carl Everett fell behind 0-2 and got a hold of a 1-2 pitch, bouncing it off the track and wall in rightcenter, and Ordoñez muffed the barehand attempt when he played it off the wall as Everett ended up on third (double with an error). Kenji Johjima bounced out to short. Bonderman threw 13 pitches and had 22 through two.

Granderson popped an 0-2 pitch to center. Polanco looped a single into shallow center. Rodriguez grounded the second pitch hard to third for a 5-4-3 double play. Piñeiro threw eight pitches and had 35 through three.

Shin-Soo Choo lined out to center. Yuniesky Betancourt chopped a full-count pitch to short. Ichiro sliced for a flyout to left. Bonderman threw 13 pitches and had 35 through three.

Ordoñez lined into shallow center and Choo's diving attempt was barely short as he trapped it. Guillen took the first pitch in the dirt and past Johjima, moving Ordoñez to second. Guillen rolled a 2-0 pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who went to first for the out as Ordoñez moved to third. Thames walked on four pitches. Monroe worked an 0-2 count full before lining out to right, and Ichiro gunned home on target and would have had Ordoñez beat by about eight feet, but Ordoñez tried a different technique and avoided the play altogether, running behind the plate and out of the baseline. Piñeiro threw 17 pitches and had 52 through four.

Beltre fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to Inge behind the bag at third, who threw on the run to first, and Shelton backed a step into foul territory to take the throw and avoid a collision with Beltre, so nice play there. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball away. Ibañez flew out to shallow right. Bonderman threw 15 pitches and had 50 through four.

Shelton looped a single into shallow center. Inge stole watched the second pitch as Shelton stole second (the throw was a bit late and Lopez had the ball fall out of his glove anyway). Inge rolled slowly to short, moving Shelton to third. Granderson got ahead 2-0 and flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch, but Choo got off a hard throw, but it was up the line and one-hopped Johjima, who didn't come up with the ball as Shelton scored.
Polanco bounced the first pitch to short. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches and had 64 through five.

Sexson blistered a down-and-in first pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. Everett was jammed on the first pitch and rolled out to third as Sexson held at second. Johjima rolled over on an outside 1-2 pitch, rolling to short, but Guillen bobbled it and enabled Sexson to safely move to third (might have been out otherwise), but Guillen got the out on Johjima at first anyway. Choo fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 tailing fastball over the inside corner. Bonderman threw 12 pitches and had 62 through five.

Rodriguez fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Ordoñez lined an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Guillen had the hitters' counts before flying out high to center. Piñeiro threw 13 pitches and had 77 through six.

Betancourt worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a breaking ball down and away. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and ended up flying out to Granderson in leftcenter. Beltre fouled the first pitch hard off his left shin and grounded the next pitch hard to short. Bonderman threw 14 pitches and had 76 through six.

Thames flew out to Betancourt moving into shallow leftcenter on the first pitch. Monroe ripped a 2-0 pitch foul but cranked the next pitch, depositing it four rows back into the bleachers above the Jackie Robinson 42 sign.
Shelton tapped the second pitch back to the mound off Piñeiro's foot, but Joel was able to stay with the play and get the out at first. Inge bounced the second pitch to third. Piñeiro threw nine pitches and had 86 through seven.

Lopez worked a 1-2 count full before rolling a ball through the left side for a single. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to short to start a 6-4-3 double play. Sexson lined an 0-2 pitch right to Ordoñez on the track in rightfield. Bonderman threw 15 pitches and had 91 through seven.

Granderson popped a 2-2 pitch high to center. Polanco smacked a single the other way into rightfield. Rodriguez shot the second pitch through Piñeiro's feet and into center for a single, moving Polanco to second. Ordoñez flew out to fairly deep center as Polanco held at second. Guillen blistered a 2-0 pitch to the rightfield wall for a double, easily scoring Polanco and moving Rodriguez to third.

Julio Mateo came in for Piñeiro. Thames laid the barrel forth and sprayed a double into the leftfield corner, scoring Rodriguez and Guillen and doing even more damage to Piñeiro's ERA, but it's not like it was good to begin with. Alexis Gomez came in to run for Thames.
Monroe flew out high to Beltre in front of the third-base camera well on a 2-2 pitch.

Piñeiro's line: 7 2/3 innings, 6 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 103 pitches (68 strikes)
Mateo's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (7 strikes)

Gomez stayed in to play left for Thames. Everett popped the second pitch to Guillen in shallow center. Johjima rode the first pitch to deep center in front of the inebriation, but Granderson made a nice running catch just in front of the wall. Choo whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball. Bonderman threw six pitches and had 97 through eight.

Mark Lowe came in for Mateo to make his Major League debut. Shelton bounced the second pitch up the middle and Betancourt had the ball go off his glove into center for a single (hard play). Inge fell behind 0-2 and bounced the 1-2 pitch off the track in rightcenter and into the crowd for a ground-rule double, moving Shelton to third. It's possible a centerfielder faster than Choo makes a flyout out of that, but alas, we have Choo. Granderson took an 0-2 pitch to the right tricep to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Polanco worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a nice low slider. Rodriguez bounced the first pitch to the right side, where Lowe picked it up near the line and threw home a bit off-balance to force out Shelton and keep the bases loaded. Ordoñez whiffed on a 2-2 low slider.

Lowe's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 25 pitches (18 strikes)

Betancourt stung an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Ichiro flew out high to left on the first pitch. Beltre bounced an 0-2 pitch way behind the bag at third, where Inge gunned over to second to force out Betancourt. Lopez lined an 0-2 pitch into left for a single, moving Beltre to second. Ibañez dumped an 0-2 pitch into shallow center, scoring Beltre and moving Lopez to second.

Joel Zumaya came in for Bonderman. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 megafastball.

Bonderman's line: 8 2/3 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 110 pitches (83 strikes)
Zumaya's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)

Gameball: Mark Lowe.
I say why not? Joel Piñeiro got pretty deep into the game and actually threw a lot better than I've seen for most of the season, but he still gave up ten hits. When Mike Hargrove brought Julio Mateo in from the bullpen, Piñeiro was pretty much screwed and his runners were probably going to score anyway. Still, Piñeiro's line looks a lot better if you take two runs out of it, which might be possible with someone other than Mateo being the first guy out of the bullpen in that scenario. Bill Bavasi found a way to cut bait with Eddie Guardado, and he deserves some credit for that, but if he were able to deal Mateo away as well, it'd be great. Anyway, Mark Lowe made his Major League debut and really was the only reason the crowd at the Safe had any reason to cheer as he got out of his own jam in the ninth. Lowe kinda short-arms the ball during his delivery, which reminds me of another pitcher who wore 57 that whose name I can't place right now. Lowe's also got some nice zip on his fastball and has a nice little slider. I hope he can stick for a while.

Goat: Ichiro.
For Ichiro, it's a slump. He's hitless in his last three games and hasn't gotten a hit in 12 at-bats dating back to the first game of the series against the Angels. It's a good way to sink a season batting average from .358 to .347. Of course, it's also a good way to stall the Mariners' offense as well. When he doesn't produce, the Mariners almost have to not be themselves in order to win a game. If Ichiro's not on base wreaking havoc and whatnot, they either have to depend on others to get on base, which for them is hard to do, hope their starting pitcher absolutely shuts down the other team (also rare), or hope that somehow the offense gets homer-happy that day. If you want any more proof, the Mariners have a record of 3-16 this season when Ichiro hangs up a doughnut in the hit column. Think about that for a second -- that's thirteen games under .500. Granted, the Mariners are in a crappy stretch right now (not just due to Ichiro struggling), but they're ten games over .500 when Ichiro manages to get a hit.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 63-24 .724 -- W1
2003 55-32 .632 8 L1
2002 54-33 .621 9 L2
2000 51-36 .586 12 L1
2006 42-45 .483 21 L5
2005 39-48 .448 24 W4
2004 33-54 .379 30 W1

Ichiro 56-for-146 (.384), 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 15 walks, 12 strikeouts
Beltre 43-for-142 (.303), 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 21 RBIs, 12 walks, 24 strikeouts
Lopez 36-for-132 (.273), 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 18 RBIs, 7 walks, 19 strikeouts
Ibañez 40-for-124 (.323), 6 doubles, 1 triple, 11 homers, 37 RBIs, 16 walks, 22 strikeouts
Sexson 32-for-129 (.248), 5 doubles, 10 homers, 32 RBIs, 13 walks, 29 strikeouts
Everett 18-for-89 (.202), 1 double, 3 homers, 7 RBIs, 6 walks, 21 strikeouts
Johjima 35-for-109 (.321), 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-11 (.091), 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Betancourt 32-for-117 (.274), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 9 RBIs, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts

Miner. Washburn. Tonight.

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