Sunday, August 20, 2006


AP photo -- Ric Francis

[actual post ~7:22p]

In 25 words or less: They can't just leave it at nine and turn it up to ten. THIS TEAM GOES UP TO 11!

This one featured Jake Woods going up against Ervin Santana. Woods was making his first start in the Majors. The last time Woods threw was last Tuesday in Oakland, and he had a pretty shoddy outing, giving up a run and a hit and striking out three in 3 1/3 innings, but he walked four hitters. This is the 124th game of the season, and Woods is the first Mariner starting pitcher this year that isn't named Jamie Moyer, Gil Meche, Jarrod Washburn, Felix Hernandez, or Joel Piñeiro. Chris Snelling got the start in right as Ichiro (yes, Ichiro) got his fourth career start in center and first since 2002, which hopefully happens a lot more in the foreseeable future. Mike Scioscia was managing in the Angel dugout for the first time in the series after serving out his suspension following the thoroughly entertaining occurrence at the Brawlpark in Arlington. In other news, I thought I read this to be a 1:05pm start, and I fired up the MLB.tv at that time only to learn it was the bottom of the second. Boo. The Mariners hoped to not lose 11 straight, which again is the most since the 14-game franchise-record streak of 1992.

Ichiro looped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Jose Lopez couldn't hold a checkswing on an 0-2 breaking ball away. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 high breaking ball. Raul Ibañez had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch to move Ichiro to second. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-0 but whiffed on a full-count breaking ball away. Santana threw 25 pitches.

Chone Figgins tried push-bunting the second pitch to the right side but instead popped to Sexson at first. Howie Kendrick popped the second pitch near the rightfield line to Snelling, who made the catch on the run. Orlando Cabrera got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Vladimir Guerrero popped the first pitch high to right. Woods threw ten pitches.

Ben Broussard bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the second pitch to Cabrera in shallow left. Chris Snelling took a first-pitch strike and whiffed at the next two pitches. Santana threw eight pitches and had 33 through two.

Juan Rivera reached for an 0-2 pitch but hit a low liner right to Lopez moving into shallow center. Garret Anderson whiffed on an 0-2 curve in the dirt away. Robb Quinlan rolled the second pitch to short, but Betancourt's throw pulled Sexson off the bag and into the runner (error). Reggie Willits rolled the first pitch to short, where Betancourt tossed to the covering Lopez for the force on Quinlan. Woods threw nine pitches and had 19 through two.

Rene Rivera reached for an 0-2 pitch and popped to Figgins on the third-base dugout railing. Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch hard to Kendrick on the outfield grass in the right-side hole, who threw in time to first. Lopez lined the first pitch to J Rivera in right. Santana threw nine pitches and had 42 through three.

Jose Molina popped the first pitch to right. Figgins got ahead and later drove a pitch to deep leftcenter that got beyond the reach of a running and reaching Ichiro, and it dropped for a double. Kendrick bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Cabrera took an 0-2 ball as Figgins took third base uncontested. Cabrera ended up popping the next pitch to Ibañez in shallow left. Woods threw 15 pitches and had 34 through three.

Beltre was up 2-0 but drove a 2-2 pitch for a flyout to deep center. Ibañez was up 2-0 before smoking a single into center. Sexson cranked the second pitch just over the centerfield wall.
Broussard bounced the second pitch to first. Betancourt bounced a single through the left side. Snelling took a 1-2 pitch for a ball as Betancourt took off for second and kinda walked around the tag and came in standing up (very weird play). Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Pitching coach Bud Black came to the mound for a visit. R Rivera was ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a full-count fastball. Santana threw 29 pitches and had 71 through four.

Guerrero grounded the second pitch hard to short as Sexson picked Betancourt's high throw at first. J Rivera popped the second pitch to Ichiro in shallow center, who had to fend off the sun and fell to a knee as he made the catch. Anderson worked a 1-2 count full before rolling out to second. Woods threw ten pitches and had 44 through four.

Ichiro popped lazily to left. Lopez grounded a 3-1 pitch deep into the hole on the left side, where Cabrera planted on the outfield grass and made the long throw in time to first. Beltre bounced the second pitch to Figgins behind the bag at third, who had to have his low throw picked by Quinlan at first. Santana threw ten pitches and had 81 through five.

Quinlan was down 0-2 before throwing the barrel on an outside 1-2 pitch and poking a single into center. Willits lined out to center. Molina dumped the second pitch into shallow center, where Ichiro tried to pick it off the grass for a play at third, but he overran the ball as Quinlan went into third safely (Molina had the single). Figgins took an 0-2 fastball barely inside before whiffing on a 2-2 change away. Kendrick popped to center. Woods threw eight pitches and had 62 through five.

Ibañez popped the second pitch to Cabrera behind the second-base bag. Sexson worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Broussard fell behind 0-2 and nearly wrapped a 1-2 pitch around the rightfield foul pole. Broussard ended up whiffing on a 1-2 change up and away. Betancourt popped the second pitch into foul ground on the right side, and Figgins looked to camp under it, but the ball dropped. Betancourt ended up popping the second pitch to right. Santana threw 15 pitches and had 96 through six.

Cabrera doubled a 2-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for the first Angel runner in scoring position in the game. Guerrero dumped a ball into the rightfield corner that dropped in front of Snelling (he had him played to the gap) for a double to score Cabrera.
J Rivera tapped the first pitch back to the mound as Guerrero had to hold at second. Anderson bounced an 0-2 pitch to second.

Julio Mateo came in for Woods. Quinlan popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow right. Mateo threw two pitches.

Woods' line: 5 2/3 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 74 pitches (52 strikes)

Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a walk. R Rivera bunted an 0-2 breaking ball along the right side (3-4 putout) to move Snelling to second. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Lopez popped to Quinlan near the bag at first with the infield fly rule called. Beltre was down 0-2 and ended up getting just under a high 2-2 pitch, popping to the leftfield corner.

Santana's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts, 118 pitches (71 strikes)

Willits was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Molina popped the first pitch to a running Ichiro in shallow center. Figgins lined the second pitch right to Betancourt at short. Mateo threw eight pitches and had ten total.

Mateo's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 10 pitches (9 strikes)

JC Romero came in for Santana. Ibañez lined the second pitch into center for a single. Sexson was behind 0-2 and slowly bounced a 1-2 pitch to the left side for a 5-4 force on Ibañez at second as Sexson beat out the throw to first. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, was sent to the plate before Scioscia came to the mound with the hook.

Brendan Donnelly came in for Romero. Perez grounded the second pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Donnelly threw two pitches.

Romero's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (5 strikes)

Rafael Soriano came in for Mateo. Kendrick was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up and in. Cabrera was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 low slider. Guerrero lasered a 1-2 pitch past a diving Betancourt and through to left for a single to move Cabrera to second. J Rivera popped the first pitch to R Rivera behind the plate.

JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Anderson slapped a 2-0 pitch through the left side for a single to score Cabrera and move Guerrero to second. Still a bit mystified why Hargrove didn't pull the usual move and put Sherrill out there.
Quinlan whiffed on a 1-2 fastball away. Putz threw seven pitches.

Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (9 strikes)

Betancourt bounced the second pitch to third. Snelling slowly bounced an 0-2 pitch to short, but he beat the throw to first. Kenji Johjima, hitting for R Rivera, lined out to left. Ichiro lined out to center on an 0-2 pitch.

Donnelly's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (12 strikes)

Willits grounded a 1-2 pitch to first, where Sexson dove for the ball and had it roll off his glove, and Lopez backing up couldn't get his throw over to first in time. Molina bunted a 2-0 pitch out in front, where Putz threw to first, moving Willits to second. Figgins spanked the first pitch over Betancourt at short and into left, scoring Willits as Ibañez couldn't get gathered enough to make a good throw home.

Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

Gameball: Jake Woods.
For coming right out of the bullpen, he did incredibly well and should have had the win in this game until the usual Marinerality (formerly called "fate") stepped in and intervened. Still, Woods was extremely efficient against his former team, throwing only the 74 pitches and getting into the sixth. If his arm was stretched out to get deeper into games, Woods could have gotten into the eighth inning based solely on pitch count, though he was starting to struggle a tiny bit in the sixth, but I think he probably could have gotten through that inning. If he didn't get through it, would it have mattered anyway? He still would have had a better five-inning stretch 97% of the Mariner starting pitching we've seen the last three weeks. Now that we've seen Jamie Moyer shipped away and Mark Lowe put onto the disabled list, let's hope that Cha Seung Baek (I wish it were someone else) is put into the empty spot in the rotation instead of Joel Piñeiro. Basically, the Mariners just have to stay afloat bullpenwise until September rolls in and call-ups are made, and then it gets real fun.

Goat: Jose Lopez.
I guess I'll get to my standby Lopez material before I get to the other stuff. Lopez was moved into the third slot in the lineup on May 30th, changing the entire course of his season. Before Mike Hargrove moved Adrian Beltre to the second slot in the lineup and Lopez moved to the third, Lopez was 60-for-215 (.279) with ten doubles, five triples, eight homers, and 40 RBIs along with seven walks and 28 strikeouts over a span of 52 games. He also slugged .484 in that span. Lopez has played 63 games since (yes, I know he got moved back into the second hole, but that's not the point here) and in that span he is 70-for-264 (.265) with 15 doubles, two triples, one homer (way back on June 2nd), and 22 RBIs along with ten walks and 34 strikeouts. His slugging percentage obviously would be much more crappy with just the one homer, and it's .348 over the span. Adrian Beltre, on the other hand, was 42-for-190 (.221) with six doubles, a triple, two homers, and 14 RBIs along with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts. He also slugged .295 over his 52 games before the shakeup, and he also was 9-for-11 on steal attempts. In the 71 games since, Beltre is 86-for-293 (.294) with 27 doubles, three triples, 11 homers, and 42 RBIs along with 25 walks and 49 strikeouts. He doesn't steal as much now and is only 1-for-3 since, but the .519 slugging mark more than offsets that. I guess the team is getting more of what they paid for with Beltre but aren't getting the bang for the buck they had for the first two months with Lopez. Okay, I guess there is no other stuff other than that I hope Lopez can maintain a full consistent season at the plate next year.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 89-35 .718 -- W2
2002 75-49 .605 14 W1
2003 75-49 .605 14 W1
2000 69-55 .556 20 L8
2006 56-68 .452 33 L11
2005 53-71 .427 36 L2
2004 46-78 .371 43 L2

Wright. Meche. Tuesday.

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