Sunday, July 23, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

In 25 words or less: The Mariners had to go through an iffy start by Washburn, the Adam Jones Learning Experience, and a Putz blown save. They somehow won.

This one featured Jon Lester, Tacoma guy pitching in front of friends and family, going up against Jarrod Washburn. Jose Lopez was still out due to family matters, and Willie Bloomquist started at second base once again. The MLB.tv live feed was the Boston (NESN) feed, but that's not the important thing -- what was important was on-screen graphics and commercials. Them's good stuff. So is seeing replays that the broadcasters are referring to over the course of the telecast. MLB.tv can block out local commercials and I'd at least understand the motive, but to go with raw ballpark feed with no on-screen graphics does a disservice to anyone watching the game live and especially to anyone watching an archived game because rare is the day when I get through more than ten minutes of an archived game without having it stop on me, and then I have to go refresh the feed and try to find out where I was in the game before it cut out. That's freakin' hard without on-screen graphics. I know MLB.tv has the hop-to-an-inning feature now, but even that's bullcrap because every time I seem to use it, it jumps in three batters into the half-inning, which is no good. I jumped back into the bottom of the first in this game because my live feed cut out during the game, and I used the jump feature and two guys were already on base with Adrian Beltre at the plate. Come on. Anyway, my argument is that on-screen graphics are great for MLB.tv users whether they're writing too-detailed game posts or not.

Oh, and a win here would give the Mariners three wins in four games, easily their best stretch since late June, the last time you could have weird wacky dreams about them having meaningful baseball in September.

Kevin Youkilis popped the second pitch to Sexson at the first-base coaches' box. Mark Loretta got ahead 2-0 before walking on a high full-count pitch. David Ortiz whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and away. Manny Ramirez grounded hard to short, where Betancourt bobbled it but gathered for the toss to second to force out Loretta. During the at-bat, Ramirez had a problem with one of the calls by plate umpire Larry Poncino. As he hit the grounder to Betancourt, he flipped the bat back in the general direction of the plate and possibly Poncino. Washburn threw 17 pitches.

Ichiro slapped a single through the mound and into center. Willie Bloomquist was ahead 2-0 before splitting his bat and punching a grounder through the left side for a single to move Ichiro to second. Adrian Beltre got ahead 2-0 before drilling a 2-2 off the base of the wall in leftcenter in front of the Mariners' bullpen for a double, scoring Ichiro and Bloomquist.
Raul Ibañez dropped a 1-2 pitch down the leftfield line between Lowell, Gonzalez, and a sliding Ramirez for a double, moving Beltre to third. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 slow breaking ball, his 100th strikeout of the season. Eduardo Perez popped the first pitch to Kapler in shallow rightcenter, scoring Beltre.
Kenji Johjima took the first pitch, a cut fastball, off the back leg. Lester got a visit from the pitching coach. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded the second pitch to Lowell behind the bag at third. Lester threw 27 pitches.

Jason Varitek whiffed on a high 2-2 fastball. Mike Lowell flew out to right. Coco Crisp drove the second pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a double. Gabe Kapler flew out high to Ichiro on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 17 pitches and had 34 through two.

Adam Jones whiffed on a full-count fastball. Ichiro tapped an 0-2 pitch past the mound to Gonzalez moving from short. Bloomquist whiffed badly on a 2-2 breaking ball way outside. Lester threw 14 pitches and had 41 through two.

Alex Gonzalez was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 inner-half fastball. Youkilis grounded hard off Washburn's glove, which slowed it down, but Betancourt dove and threw from the seat of his pants anyway, though he had no chance to get Youkilis at first (single). Loretta drove the second pitch to left for a single (Ibañez cut it off at the track), moving Youkilis to third. Ortiz slapped a double to the leftfield wall in front of the manual scoreboard, scoring Youkilis and moving Loretta to third.
Ramirez fell behind 0-2 before chopping a 1-2 pitch to short, where Betancourt went to first for the out. Loretta scored and Ortiz held at second.
Varitek fell behind 0-2 before crushing a 2-2 pitch to the leftfield wall below the manual scoreboard, scoring Ortiz. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound.
Lowell popped high to Johjima in front of the plate. Washburn threw 28 pitches and had 62 through three.

Beltre was ahead 2-0 and rolled over an outside 2-2 pitch, grounding out to third. Ibañez roped a double high off the leftfield wall in front of the visitors' bullpen, snapping an 0-for-11 stretch. Sexson popped to Kapler just foul of the rightfield line next to the stands on a 1-2 pitch. Perez got ahead 3-0 before golfing a 3-1 pitch for a high-arcing moon shot into the visitors' bullpen in left. I have to admit, I didn't think that one was leaving.
Johjima slapped the second pitch to first for a groundout. Lester threw 20 pitches and had 61 through three.

Crisp grounded hard off of Beltre's glove, and it rolled slowly into foul territory toward the stands, enabling Crisp to stretch it to a double. Kapler failed to check a swing on an 0-2 fastball. Gonzalez whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Youkilis got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch outside as Crisp took third without a throw. Loretta rolled the second pitch to second for a 4-6 force on Youkilis. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 80 through four.

Betancourt lined out to center on the first pitch. Jones drilled a full-count pitch for a single into rightcenter. Ichiro looped a flyout to third. Bloomquist watched the 2-0 pitch as Jones easily stole second for Major League stolen base number two. Bloomquist walked on four pitches. Beltre got way under the second pitch, flying out to Youkilis in foul ground near the plate on the right side. Lester threw 17 pitches and had 78 through five.

Ortiz ripped a double into the rightfield corner. Ramirez dumped a 1-2 pitch along the rightfield line past Sexson and out of the reach of Bloomquist for a single, moving Ortiz to third. Varitek grounded the second pitch to third, where Beltre tried turning the double play but got only the out at second as Bloomquist was a tiny bit slow getting the ball out of his glove before the throw to first. Ortiz scored.
Lowell flew out to Jones in leftcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Crisp whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 98 through five.

Ibañez lined out to Ramirez in left. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Perez flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch. Lester threw 12 pitches and had 90 through five.

Kapler popped the second pitch to Sexson behind the mound. Gonzalez got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch down and in. Mike Hargrove came out to the mound for a visit, but it turns out he came with the hook too.

Julio Mateo, who really looks weird with the high socks, came in for Washburn. Youkilis popped an 0-2 pitch high to center, but lost the ball in the sun and it dropped to his left for a single, moving Gonzalez to second. Ichiro wasn't too far to Jones' left, which might be here or there. Loretta looped an 0-2 pitch into shallow center between three fielders for a single, scoring Gonzalez and moving Youkilis to second.
Ortiz lashed the second pitch into rightcenter for a single, scoring Youkilis easily and Jones got a glove on the ball and overran it (error), enabling Loretta to scoot to third.
Ramirez lined the first pitch right to Ibañez, who threw straight home as Loretta tagged and barely scored.
Varitek chopped to second. Mateo threw 13 pitches.

Washburn's line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 105 pitches (69 strikes)

Johjima lined the second pitch along the leftfield line for a single.

Craig Hansen came in for Lester. Betancourt broke his bat on an 0-2 pitch, slowly lining toward short where Gonzalez leaped high to snowcone the ball. Jones was ahead 3-0 and singled into rightcenter on a 3-1 pitch, moving Johjima to second. Ichiro grounded hard behind the bag at third, where Lowell bobbled it a tiny bit and dove straight for the third-base bag to force out Johjima as Jones moved to second. Bloomquist got ahead 3-0 before walking on a 3-1 pitch way inside, loading the bases. Hansen got a visit from Al Nipper. Beltre whiffed badly on a low 0-2 breaking ball (surprise).

Hansen's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 21 pitches (13 strikes)

Lowell grounded to short on a 1-2 pitch. Crisp flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter on the second pitch. Kapler reached for an outside second pitch and took Ibañez to the leftfield track.

Mateo's line: 1 2/3 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (18 strikes)

Manny Delcarmen came in for Hansen. Ibañez was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a belt-high 2-2 curve. Sexson kinda tomahawked a full-count pitch through the left side for a single (eighth pitch). Perez fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 curve. Johjima ripped a hit into leftcenter on which Ramirez slid to stop in and it merely redirected the ball toward center, though more slowly. Sexson scored and Johjima ended up on second with the double.
Betancourt smacked the first pitch into left for a single, scoring Johjima. I'll be.
Jones was ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 breaking ball for strike three.

Delcarmen's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 26 pitches (17 strikes)

Mark Lowe came in for Mateo. Gonzalez fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 slider in the dirt away. Youkilis was ahead 2-0 before walking on a full-count fastball outside. Loretta grounded a 2-0 pitch right to third, where Beltre started the incredibly timely 5-4-3 double play.

Lowe's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (7 strikes)

Mike Timlin came in for Delcarmen. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before chopping a 1-2 pitch high to Lowell, who leaped to spear the ball, then threw to first in time. Bloomquist drilled right into the glove of Gonzalez at short. Beltre walloped the first pitch deep to leftcenter, where Crisp didn't look like he saw the ball but he leaped against the wall, but the ball bounced off the wall behind him (toward center), where it bounced to Ramirez, who slapped the ball with his bare hand back toward Crisp so the latter could throw it in. Crisp relayed back to the infield, but Beltre came around third as a Crisp's throw bounced weakly toward third, and Beltre ended up scoring, amazingly, on a headfirst slide. Wow.
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball away. Timlin threw 13 pitches.

Mark Lowe came out to warm up, though it was pretty much a foregone conclusion and a plot to get JJ Putz some more warmup pitches in the bullpen since the Mariners took the lead so suddenly. That's probably the smartest move Hargrove's made all season.

JJ Putz came in for Lowe. Ortiz whiffed on a 1-2 moving fastball over the outer half. Ramirez fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 splitter in the dirt. Varitek crushed a thigh-high second-pitch slider off the windows of the Hit it Here Cafe in right. Boo. Just boo.
Lowell flew out to shallow right on a 3-1 pitch.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (11 strikes)

Sexson fell behind 0-2 and crushed a 1-2 pitch into the visitors' bullpen to spare the Mariners and their fans from what would have been the fourth extra-inning affair in their last eight games. Hooray! Jerry Remy noted that Jonathan Papelbon was warming up in the bullpen at the time of the homer.

Timlin's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 18 pitches (13 strikes)

Gameball: Richie Sexson.
He ended this game with a godsend of a homer as well as a .227 batting average, which sadly is the highest it's been since July 2nd, when it was also .227. He also was hitting .227 after the game on April 23rd. Basically any batting average I refer to before that is kinda hokey since it was the beginning of the season and he didn't have enough at-bats. Point is, if he just went 1-for-4 tomorrow, he'd effectively have a season high in batting average. Very technically, he'd have the highest average he's had since April 21st, or more than three months. Sexson hit .255 last month and is hitting .250 so far in July. He hit eight homers and drove in 26 runs in June. He has six longballs so far this month, so that pace is still going, but he's only driven in 11 runs in July. Why? Ichiro, Adrian Beltre, and Raul Ibañez hit .386, .324, and .326, respectively in June. In July, the same three guys are hitting .315, .264, and most damagingly, .224. Them's some big reasons. Sexson struck out 28 and 36 times in April and May, but heavily curtailed that pace with a 21-strikeout June. With seven games left in July, he has 16 strikeouts so far this month in 17 games. He'll probably break 21, but at least it won't be 28 and it sure won't be 36.

Goat: Jarrod Washburn.
I'd call this a bad start for him. The good thing, of course, is that he hasn't had too many of these lately. This was the first time since June 15th that he failed to get out of the sixth inning. He went six or more innings in five straight starts. Even with giving up the five runs in this game, he still has an ERA of 3.28 in four starts in the month of July. Still, he hasn't won a game since the 9th of June. Before this start, he'd given up four earned runs in his first three starts in July and gone 0-2. He gave up a single earned run in each of those two losses. By the same token, he had an ERA of 7.57 in the month of June over five starts, but went 1-2, not suffering more than the two losses. Go figure. I guess if there's one thing I see that sticks out in Washburn's game log, it's related to home runs. He gave up four round-trippers in April, five in May, and six in June. He has one start left this month, but he's only given up one July homer. Of course, all he has to do is have a day like Jamie Moyer did on Friday night and he can tie his own June mark. However, Washburn hasn't given up more than two homers in a game this season, so I think he has a good chance to finish with a low amount of homers given up this month.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 71-27 .724 -- W3
2002 60-38 .612 11 L2
2003 59-39 .602 12 L3
2000 58-40 .592 13 W1
2006 47-51 .480 24 W2
2005 43-55 .439 28 W1
2004 38-60 .388 33 L1

Janssen. Piñeiro. Tomorrow.

/ Click for main page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Sports and B's 

home page