Thursday, August 10, 2006


AP photo -- Kevin P. Casey

In 25 words or less: The Mariners aren't the ones getting shut out this time. If they carry this into Texas, it'll be just dandy.

This one featured James Shields going up against Jarrod Washburn. The Devil Rays came in with a 1-11 road record after the All-Star break. The Mariners had a chance to sweep the Devil Rays, and to do it just three days after having been swept themselves. Though it would have helped them a lot more to sweep Oakland than to sweep Tampa Bay, three straight wins are three straight wins, and the Mariners would take that any time. A win in this game would also propel them back to where they were before the Oakland series, or at least that would be the case in terms of games below .500. A win would bring the Mariners to within a game of .500. The Mariners of course haven't been at or above .500 since early July, when the residue of the team's hot June was still apparent. The bullpen going into this game got a much-needed break (mostly) from Felix Hernandez the night before, who turned in a great start, the first in a while from the Mariners' starting rotation. Knowing what we know about Washburn, however, it appeared the bullpen might only get one day of not being overworked. Unless, of course, surprises might be in the works. Dave Niehaus on the radio broadcast raved about the weather on the Wednesday afternoon in Seattle and lamented the weather of the next series down in Arlington, where triple-digit heat is in the forecast.

Damon Hollins got ahead 2-0 before rolling to the hole on the right side, where Lopez made a sliding stop on one knee and threw in time to first. Carl Crawford was up 2-0 before walking on a full-count pitch low and away, the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Greg Norton bounced a 2-2 pitch to Beltre behind the bag at third, who threw to first after double-clutching a bit and losing the chance to go to second with a throw. Travis Lee popped out to Ibañez near the line in left. Washburn threw 21 pitches.

Ichiro chipped the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a leadoff double. Jose Lopez bunted the first pitch to the left side, moving Ichiro to third. Adrian Beltre lasered the second pitch through the left side for a single that scored Ichiro.
Raul Ibañez took an 0-2 pitch in the dirt that bounced over Paul behind the plate and to the backstop, moving Beltre to second. Ibañez grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to first (3-1 putout), moving Beltre to third. Richie Sexson whiffed on a full-count breaking ball. Shields threw 15 pitches.

BJ Upton popped out to right. Jonny Gomes had the hitters' counts before flying out to Jones in rightcenter on a full count. Josh Paul got ahead 2-0 but popped out to Rivera in front of the first-base dugout near the coaches' box. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 37 through two.

Ben Broussard popped the first pitch to Upton in foul ground near the leftfield line. Yuniesky Betancourt was down 0-2 before grounding a 1-2 pitch hard to third. Rene Rivera drove a fly ball to the track in center. Shields threw nine pitches and had 24 through two.

Ben Zobrist popped to Sexson in foul ground on the right side past the bag. Tomas Perez popped the first pitch to Lopez backing into shallow center. Hollins flew out to left. Washburn threw seven pitches and had 44 through three.

Adam Jones flew out to Norton in rightcenter. Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away. Lopez flew out to Lee in foul ground near the bag at first. Shields threw 11 pitches and had 35 through three.

Crawford flew out to Jones in deep leftcenter. Norton flew out to rightcenter (2-2 pitch), where Jones made a mildly nifty running catch. Lee failed to check a swing on an 0-2 breaking ball away. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 55 through four.

Beltre walloped the second pitch, reaching the hitters' backdrop on one hop beyond the centerfield fence. It's a lucky 13 homers for Beltre as well as a winner in the Taco Del Mar Home Run Inning. Yippee! Fish tacos! If you're into that.
Ibañez grounded a 1-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout). Sexson walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. Broussard popped an 0-2 pitch high to Hollins in shallow center. Betancourt was down 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to short. Shields threw 18 pitches and had 53 through four.

Upton was ahead 2-0 before flying out on a full count to Jones running toward the track in center. Gomes whiffed on a 2-2 letter-high fastball inside. Paul bounced the second pitch to second. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 71 through five.

Rivera was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch. Jones ripped the 3-1 pitch for a double down the leftfield line and off the angled wall in front of the stands in foul ground. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to first, moving Jones to third. Lopez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt away. Shields threw 14 pitches and had 67 through five.

Zobrist bunted the first pitch down the third-base line, where Beltre charged and tried to barehand it, but couldn't get a handle on it, and the Devil Rays had their first hit of the game as I didn't even realize Washburn had taken a no-hitter into the sixth. Perez worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a full-count fastball (tenth pitch of the at-bat). Hollins whiffed on a 2-2 low breaking ball. Crawford lined a 2-2 pitch to Ibañez in left. Washburn threw 21 pitches and had 92 through six.

Beltre was ahead 2-0 but reached and popped a 2-2 pitch to Perez backing into shallow center. Ibañez flew out high to right on a 3-1 pitch. Sexson fouled a 2-2 pitch hard off his foot and hobbled to the batters' box, getting some attention from Rick Griffin. Sexson punched the next pitch through the left side for a single. Broussard rolled the first pitch to second. Shields threw 17 pitches and had 84 through six.

Norton fell behind 0-2 and flew out to a running Ichiro in right on a 2-2 pitch. Lee dumped a single into rightcenter for Tampa Bay's second hit of the game. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Upton shot the second pitch past the reach of Betancourt and through the left side for a single to move Lee to second. Gomes popped to Jones in shallow center, who called off Ichiro and Lopez in the process.

Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Dioner Navarro, hitting for Paul, took a 2-2 up in the zone and over the outer half. Soriano threw five pitches.

Washburn's line: 6 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 106 pitches (69 strikes)

Betancourt bounced the second pitch to Upton on the left side, who made a Beltre-type spin-and-throw move to get the out at first. Rivera whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and away. Jones checkswung but made contact and rolled to second. Shields threw eight pitches and had 92 through seven.

Zobrist fell behind 0-2 but dumped a 1-2 pitch into shallow center for a single after Jones sprinted inward and whiffed on a diving catch attempt. Perez popped the first pitch to Betancourt on the outfield grass on the left side. Hollins walked on four pitches, moving Zobrist to second. Chaves visited the mound again. Crawford popped an inside 1-2 pitch to Lopez in shallow center. Norton bounced a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt up the middle.

Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (13 strikes)

Ichiro bounced the second pitch to second. Lopez popped a 1-2 pitch to Upton reaching over the rail of the third-base dugout. Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball in the dirt.

Shields' line: 8 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 103 pitches (70 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Lee tapped the second pitch to short. Upton was down 0-2 and waved at a 1-2 fastball. Gomes fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 10 pitches (9 strikes)

Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
This is kinda one of those gameballs where I give it out because I really don't know if he'll be worthy of another one anytime soon the way he's been going this year. He got the big contract last offseason of which we are all too aware. At least they only have him for a few more years, right? Now his record stands at 6-11. The eleven losses are his secondmost in a single season in his career. Not that Bill Bavasi saw any possible downturn in career numbers for the guy, given his age and everything. Still, his performance in this game isn't anything I can pick a bone with. Before Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night, the last solid start by a Mariner pitcher (in my opinion) was Washburn two starts before this one on July 29th. He went seven innings in his last start against Oakland, but I goated him anyway since I probably would have pulled him after the sixth, and I was probably miffed that in the half-inning after the Mariners tied the game, Washburn gave up two runs. That stuff usually makes me a tiny bit irate.

Goat: Ben Broussard.
This may be completely unfair, but I think I'm going to stick with it -- I'm going to goat Broussard for every game he starts until he gets a hit. He had two hits in the Oakland series, but all I'm asking for now is just a plain ol' hit because he went 0-for-10 against Tampa Bay pitching in this series. His main contribution was running to first to score the tying run in Tuesday's game after he whiffed on a ball in the dirt, then the overthrow followed and he ended up on second base. His numbers as a Mariner right now are 3-for-25 (.120) with the lone homer on which the lone RBI came in the first game at Cleveland. His Cleveland numbers this year? He played in 88 games and hit .321, hitting 14 doubles and 13 homers, and he drove in 46 runs. No, we as Mariner fans aren't reaping the benefits of this. Not beyond the one game, anyway. By making the Broussard goat stand, it's bad for me too because I have to think of different ways to fill this paragraph. I talked about the Eduardo Perez/Broussard platoon yesterday, and I don't know how much mileage I can get out of it.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 82-31 .726 -- W2
2002 69-44 .611 13 L2
2003 69-44 .611 13 L1
2000 67-46 .593 15 W5
2006 56-57 .496 26 W3
2005 49-64 .434 33 L1
2004 43-70 .381 39 W2

Piñeiro. Eaton. Tonight.

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