Wednesday, August 02, 2006


AP photo -- Gail Burton

[posted in full Sun 13 Aug ~4:24a]

In 25 words or less: The Mariners didn't save any runs from the day before, hanging Jamie Moyer out to dry once again.

This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Rodrigo Lopez. The temperature at game time in Baltimore was a mere 100 degrees. The Mariners hoped to climb to .500 with a win. Note that when the Mariners were getting warm in June, they got to within a game of .500 and lost the next two games before winning the following five to reach their high-water mark of the season at 41-39. Also, a win would have won the series in Baltimore for the Mariners, which is always nice. It also would have been nice to have a win heading into Wednesday's day game of Felix Hernandez against Erik Bedard, a game where hopefully Felix strikes out ten guys and gets into the eighth inning. The fact that I'm mentioning where the Mariners are recordwise and actually caring about it is that thanks to the division sucking and the Mariners not completely sucking, we as Mariner fans are seeing meaningful baseball in August for the first time in three years. O how I missed it so! Now let's hope it lasts into September. I almost can't bring myself to realize that one of these AL West teams is going to make it to the playoffs.

Ichiro tapped the second pitch back to the mound. Jose Lopez rolled the second pitch to short. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 fastball way outside. R Lopez threw eight pitches.

Brian Roberts spanked the first pitch into right for a single, and Ichiro muffed it for his second error of the season, moving Roberts to second. Melvin Mora watched the second pitch as Roberts easily stole third on a late throw from Johjima. Mora lined a 1-2 pitch into center just in front of Jones to score Roberts.
Miguel Tejada rolled a 2-0 pitch to second, where Lopez didn't get the ball out very quickly and started what still should have been a double play, but I think Mark Wegner blew the call at first. Jeff Conine grounded the second pitch hard to third to start what should have been another double play, though Beltre waited a fraction of a second before throwing, possibly to let Lopez to cover second as Conine reached. Javy Lopez grounded the second pitch to a diving Beltre at third. Moyer threw 13 pitches.

Raul Ibañez grounded to second on the second pitch. Richie Sexson popped a 2-0 pitch very high to Roberts moving back into shallow rightcenter. Ben Broussard took a 1-2 fastball down the pipe. R Lopez threw nine pitches and had 17 through two.

Kevin Millar popped to center on a 2-2 pitch. Corey Patterson popped to Beltre on the infield grass. Fernando Tatis missed a homer by about a foot in front of the bullpen in leftcenter on the first pitch, a hanger. Nick Markakis fell behind 0-2 before grounding to Lopez on the outfield grass on the right side (2-2 pitch). Moyer threw 16 pitches and had 29 through two.

Kenji Johjima flew out to Roberts in shallow right on a 2-0 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced the second pitch to third. Adam Jones whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. R Lopez threw 11 pitches and had 28 through three.

Roberts grounded out to third. Mora flew out lazily to right on the second pitch. Tejada stroked the second pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single, but he tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out easily by Jones. Moyer threw eight pitches and had 37 through three.

Ichiro lined out right to Mora at third. Jose Lopez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball way outside. Beltre bounced an 0-2 pitch over the mound and Roberts ranged over to try to make a play, but Roberts threw it way over everything and off the roof of the dugout (error, out of play), moving Beltre to second. Ibañez bounced to second on the second pitch. R Lopez threw 11 pitches and had 39 through four.

Conine worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Javy Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 change on the outer half. Millar flew out to Ibañez a few steps short of the leftfield track on the second pitch. Patterson grounded to first on the second pitch. Moyer threw 16 pitches and had 53 through four.

Sexson bounced the first pitch to short. Broussard flew out to left, a couple steps short of the track. Johjima fell behind 0-2 but ended up poking a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Betancourt chopped to third on an 0-2 pitch. R Lopez threw 13 pitches and had 52 through five.

Tatis grounded the first pitch to Betancourt in the hole at short, who made the strong throw to first. Markakis bounced to second on a 1-2 pitch. Roberts looped the first pitch for a flyout to shallow center. Moyer threw six pitches and had 59 through five.

Jones was down 0-2 and ended up foul-tipping a 1-2 fastball up and in. Ichiro popped to Patterson in rightcenter on the first pitch. Jose Lopez tried to hold back his swing but couldn't on a nubber that stuck and rolled on the chalk on the first-base line for a single. Beltre was up 3-0 before popping a 3-1 pitch into rightcenter that was caught on the run by Markakis. R Lopez threw 14 pitches and had 66 through six.

Mora was ahead 3-1 before popping to shallow center on a full count. Tejada was up 2-0 before walking on a low full-count pitch. Conine popped to Ichiro on the rightfield track on the second pitch, but Tejada tagged and moved to second despite Ichiro's arm. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Javy Lopez took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Moyer threw 19 pitches and had 78 through six.

Ibañez bounced an 0-2 pitch to short. Sexson bounced to a charging Mora at third. Broussard flew out just short of the rightfield track. R Lopez threw ten pitches and had 76 through seven.

Millar was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch (eighth pitch of at-bat). Patterson knocked the first pitch into right for a single. Tatis watched the second pitch go by and Patterson nabbed second as Johjima's throw one-hopped Betancourt in front of the bag at second, and Betancourt went hard after the runaway ball, keeping Patterson from advancing to second. Tatis was then intentionally walked. Markakis bounced a 2-0 pitch off the track and over the leftcenter wall for a double, scoring Patterson and moving Tatis to third.

George Sherrill came in for Moyer. Roberts popped the first pitch to Sexson in shallow right.

Julio Mateo came in for Sherrill. Mora flew out to right on a 2-0 pitch. Mateo threw three pitches.

Moyer's line: 6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 95 pitches (57 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 1 pitch (1 strike)

Johjima poked a single through the left side. Betancourt flew out to left on the first pitch. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Jones, lined the second pitch into rightcenter but was robbed on a diving catch by Markakis.

Tim Byrdak came in for R Lopez. Ichiro grounded a 2-0 pitch to Roberts in the hole on the right side.

R Lopez' line: 7 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 82 pitches (61 strikes)
Byrdak's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (1 strike)

Willie Bloomquist took over for Jones in centerfield, who was lifted for a pinch hitter. Tejada popped a 2-2 pitch to Betancourt in shallow center. Conine lined the first pitch into left for a single. Javy Lopez broke his bat and looped a weak pop to Jose Lopez on the first pitch. Millar flew out to Bloomquist in leftcenter on the second pitch.

Mateo's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)

Chris Ray came in for Byrdak, Conine moved to first, Ramon Hernandez came in to catch, and Brandon Fahey came in to play left. Jose Lopez grounded an 0-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout) and lost the footrace with Ray to the first-base bag. Beltre flew out to right on an 0-2 pitch. Ibañez lined out to center as Patterson ran inward to make the catch.

Ray's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (9 strikes)

Gameball: Julio Mateo.
This year, he's been a shadow of himself. The Mateo of years past had come to be a money guy in long relief. If a Mariner starting pitcher couldn't get out of the sixth or crapped the bed and had a terrible start, Mateo could be counted on to bridge the game to the setup guy. He'd mostly been a long-relief guy, though lately Mike Hargrove has had him trying to get outs here and there, and later in the game than usual. Given the way Mateo has performed this year, it seems it would make sense to have Mateo throw in less key situations than usual, but Hargrove has done the exact opposite, and not usually with good results. In this game, however, Mateo allowed a hit only to Jeff Conine while setting down Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, Javy Lopez, and Kevin Millar. It's amazing to think Mateo didn't allow a single run or a single hit in the month of May. He had five appearances that month, all in the latter third of the month after coming back from injury. His ERA by month: 7.11 in April, 4.32 in June, and 5.02 in July. If you look at his career starts, his ERA bounces back and forth from year to year. In even-numbered years, he has an icky ERA, whereas in odd-numbered years, he has an ERA in the low 3s. We are in 2006.

Goat: Ichiro.
In four games, he has dropped his season average from .347 to .339. He ended up hitting only .317 in July, though our expectations would have to be absolutely nuts to expect a repeat or anything close to the .386 nuttiness he exhibited in the month of June. I've said many times that it's tough for this team to win when Ichiro isn't setting the table for the rest of the offense, and this game was no exception as he went 0-for-4 and the Mariners lost. The team has a record of 6-18 when Ichiro hangs up an 0-fer in the boxscore. It's times like this where I wish Ichiro was a centerfielder and could really show off his range, because earlier in the year I would use that argument to justify while I liked Jeremy Reed playing center even while his bat was on the fritz. Now that Ichiro is cooled off, I wish I could see that footspeed and range used to hunt down balls in the gaps. With Ichiro stuck in rightfield, we see some treacherous catches toward the stands sometimes, some sliding catches coming in, sure, but nothing as thrilling as it could be if Ichiro was in center and ran two-thirds of the way across the field to make a diving catch.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 76-30 .717 -- L1
2002 64-42 .604 12 W1
2003 64-42 .604 12 W1
2000 62-44 .585 14 W1
2006 52-54 .491 24 L1
2005 46-60 .434 30 L1
2004 39-67 .368 37 L5

Hernandez. Bedard. Today.

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