Wednesday, August 16, 2006


AP photo -- Jeff Chiu

In 25 words or less: Piñeiro is still terrible, but the real surprise is Ichiro making the final out for the second straight night.

This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Kirk Saarloos. Dogs were allowed at the Coliseum in Oakland for this game, making it Dog Night as opposed to Dog Day since this was a night game. Dog Day would be appropriate for the month of August, however. There of course were more than three dogs in the stadium, so I can't go for that musical reference and have it be funny unless it were Three Hundred Dog Night or Three Thousand Dog Night. Piñeiro came in with an 0-4 record this season against Oakland. Signs pointed mostly to Piñeiro extending his futility to a handful of losses against Oakland. A loss would also make it a half-dozen's worth of a streak, which would tie for their longest losing streak of the season. They'd lost six straight twice this season coming into this game.

Ichiro popped to Payton in leftcenter on the first pitch. Jose Lopez tapped the second pitch to Saarloos in front of the mound. Adrian Beltre was ahead 2-0 before popping to right on a 2-2 pitch. Saarloos threw 11 pitches.

Jason Kendall fell behind 0-2 and rolled slowly to a charging Betancourt at short on a 1-2 pitch. Mark Kotsay dumped a single into the gap in rightcenter. Milton Bradley was down 0-2 but spanked a 2-2 pitch for a single through the left side to move Kotsay to second. Frank Thomas took a 2-0 pitch in the dirt that got away from Johjima and bounced toward the backstop, moving Kotsay and Bradley to third and second. Thomas walked on a ball in the dirt. Eric Chavez grounded hard to first to start a 3-6-1 double play. Piñeiro threw 23 pitches.

Raul Ibañez knocked the first pitch past the reach of Ellis and through the right side for a single. Ben Broussard bounced softly to the mound, where Saarloos threw to second for the out and Broussard beat out the back end of the double play. Kenji Johjima popped the first pitch high to left. Greg Dobbs got ahead 2-0 and later punched a single past a diving Ellis and into right for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced to short for the 6-4 force at second. Saarloos threw 12 pitches and had 23 through two.

Jay Payton poked the second pitch through the left side for a single. Nick Swisher pounded a 2-0 pitch past Ichiro to the rightfield wall, moving Payton to third. Marco Scutaro drilled the second pitch inside the bag at third and into the leftfield corner for a double, scoring Payton and Swisher.
Mark Ellis bounced out to short, moving Scutaro to third. Kendall poked a grounder to the left side that rolled up Beltre's arm and into left, scoring Scutaro. Beltre and Betancourt nearly collided on the play and there was probably some confusion between the two. Kendall was given a single on the play.
Kotsay bounced a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single, moving Kendall to second. Bradley bounced the second pitch to lead Betancourt to the second-base bag to start a 6-3 double play. Piñeiro threw 18 pitches and had 41 through two.

Willie Bloomquist bounced out to short. Ichiro chopped a 1-2 pitch to short, where Scutaro hurried his throw and threw into the runner and high (hit and error), enabling Ichiro to scoot to second. Lopez bounced the second pitch to third as Chavez played the short hop. Beltre bounced the first pitch to Chavez behind the bag at third. Saarloos threw 11 pitches and had 34 through three.

Thomas pulled a 2-2 pitch about ten feet foul of the leftfield foul pole. Thomas whiffed on the next pitch. Chavez walked on a low 3-1 pitch. Payton drilled the first pitch into left for a single to move Chavez to second. Swisher poked an 0-2 pitch through the right side for a single to score Payton, and Ichiro double-clutched and ended up throwing toward third.
Scutaro was down 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch through the mound to Lopez, who went to the bag at second and threw to first for the double play. Piñeiro threw 19 pitches and had 60 through three.

Ibañez grounded the second pitch back to the mound. Broussard stuck a single into rightfield. Johjima grounded a 1-2 pitch to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Saarloos threw nine pitches and had 43 through four.

Ellis slapped a 1-2 pitch into shallow right for a single. Kendall bounced a 1-2 pitch to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Kotsay walked on a full count. Bradley cranked a foul ball that had homer distance, but was ten to 15 feet foul. Bradley worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Thomas dumped an 0-2 pitch in front of Ichiro in right for a single to score Bradley. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound.
Chavez lined the first pitch over the head of Ibañez and to the leftfield wall for a double, scoring Bradley and moving Thomas to third.
Payton walked on four pitches.

Jake Woods came in for Piñeiro. Swisher blistered a 2-0 pitch over a leaping Beltre and into the leftfield corner for a double to clear the bases. I'll thank Woods now for burying Piñeiro's ERA after three pitches. That's golden.
Scutaro whiffed on a 2-2 change away. Woods threw eight pitches.

Piñeiro's line: 3 2/3 innings, 9 runs, 12 hits, 5 walks, 1 strikeout, 93 pitches (58 strikes)

Dobbs popped near Payton in foul ground along the leftfield line, and Payton was cushioned by Oakland bullpen personnel. Dobbs rolled to second on a 2-2 pitch. Betancourt was down 0-2 and clubbed a hanging 1-2 curve to the cameraman in front of the leftfield stairs.
Bloomquist bounced to third, but Chavez came up short on the dive as the ball went off his glove and into left for a single. Ichiro bounced the second pitch right to second to start an easy 4-6-3 double play. Saarloos threw 18 pitches and had 61 through five.

Ellis tapped the second pitch in front of the plate, where Johjima pounced on in and threw nicely in time to first. Kendall got down 0-2 and tapped the 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Kotsay tapped the second pitch to the mound. Woods threw nine pitches and had 17 total.

Lopez put a charge into an 0-2 pitch, doubling over Kotsay and off the centerfield wall. Beltre was up 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Kendall (wild pitch), moving Lopez to third. Beltre was jammed and broke his bat on a high full-count pitch, poking it into center for a single.
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball away. Broussard bounced right to second to nearly start a 4-6-3 double play, but Scutaro was very aware of Beltre's hard slide from the weekend before and Broussard beat the back end of the double play. Johjima was down 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Saarloos threw 21 pitches and had 82 through six.

Saarloos' line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 82 pitches (60 strikes)

Bradley worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Thomas walked on four pitches (Bradley went to second) and Antonio Perez came in to run for him. Chavez had his bat explode on a 2-0 pitch, and the bat barrel and the ball got to Lopez at roughly the same time, and the bat barrel actually changed the direction of the ball at one point before Lopez threw in time to first as Bradley and Perez moved to third and second. Payton was intentionally walked to load the bases. Swisher fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Scutaro worked an 0-2 count for a walk, forcing Bradley across the plate.
Ellis was down 0-2 but popped a 2-2 pitch (eighth pitch of the at-bat) to Broussard halfway in near the first-base line. Woods threw 36 pitches and had 53 total.

***Jay Witasick came in for Saarloos. Dobbs popped the second pitch to Scutaro in shallow left. Betancourt reached for a low-and-away pitch but dropped it in front of Payton in left for a single. Bloomquist walked on a full-count pitch that nearly hit him in the head. Ichiro whiffed on an 0-2 low breaking ball. Lopez whiffed on a breaking ball in the dirt way outside.

Witasick's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (12 strikes)

Kendall popped to Ichiro near the line in shallow right. Kotsay took a called strike three. Bradley bounced the first pitch to third.

Woods' line: 3 1/3 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 64 pitches (36 strikes)

Scott Sauerbeck came in for Witasick. Beltre bounced out to second. Mike Morse, hitting for Ibañez, knocked a single past the mound and through to center. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, popped to center. Johjima drilled a single off of Scutaro's glove and into left, moving Morse to second. Dobbs struck out.

Sauerbeck's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Woods. Adam Jones came in to play center, Bloomquist moved over to left, Morse stayed in to play third, and E Perez stayed in to play first. A Perez drove a fly to Ichiro on the track in rightcenter. D'Angelo Jimenez, hitting for Chavez, was down 0-2 before taking a fastball over the inside corner. Payton took the first pitch off the knob of the bat and he hit the deck. Payton ended up knocking a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Adam Melhuse, hitting for Swisher, was up 2-0 before walking. Chaves and Rick Griffin came to the mound for a visit as all Mariner fans feared the worst. Putz shook everyone off and stayed in the game. Scutaro bounced a ball to the left side that got past Morse and Betancourt never got a handle on it as Scutaro got the single and Payton scored.
Ellis was down 0-2 and popped to right.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 25 pitches (16 strikes)

Kiko Calero came in for Sauerbeck. Betancourt whiffed wildly on a 2-2 high fastball. Bloomquist bounced the second pitch to second. Ichiro whiffed on a second-pitch breaking ball that bounced in the dirt and into the midsection of plate umpire Bill Welke. Ichiro whiffed on an 0-2 evil breaking ball down and in.

Calero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 10 pitches (7 strikes)

Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.

Goat: Joel Piñeiro.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 86-33 .723 -- W3
2002 73-46 .613 13 W1
2003 72-47 .605 14 W1
2000 69-50 .580 17 L3
2006 56-63 .471 30 L6
2005 52-67 .437 34 W3
2004 45-74 .378 41 L1

Meche. Haren. Tonight.

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