Saturday, August 26, 2006
In 25 words or less: Jamie Moyer gets traded off and now it's the Mariners who are dealing out the shutout(s). Go figure.
This one featured Curt Schilling going up against Jake Woods. It was Cougar Night at the ballpark, though it didn't involve John Olerud, and thankfully it didn't involve Aaron Sele. The only Cougar-related baseball anecdote I have is that at the baseball camp I went to just over eight years ago, we all got pointers from then-Cougar head coach Steve Farrington. In game news, Willie Bloomquist once again got another start at third due to the apparently persistent neck pain of Adrian Beltre. Manny Ramirez was not in the Boston lineup due to knee problems, hamstring problems, etc. At one point, Dave Niehaus remarked that Dustin Pedroia is "only five-foot-eight," prompting me to say "hey, that's not that short," but then I realized I'm like 5'7" and therefore a midget in any state not named Hawaii. See, we short people don't have to do that Tony Phillips thing at the plate and really crouch down. Our strike zones are automatically miniscule. My problem is that if I drew walks, I'd get out on the bases and run like an offensive tackle. I was a no-tool player, and what do no-tool players do? I don't know, but this one watches the Mariners every night and posts about it.
Coco Crisp was up 2-0 before popping out to Ichiro in leftcenter. Mark Loretta was up 2-0 before walking on a full count. David Ortiz was ahead 3-0 before shooting a 3-1 pitch through a diving Sexson and into right for a single, moving Loretta to second. Wily Mo Peña was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 sinker. Mike Lowell fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a breaking ball down and in. Woods threw 25 pitches.
Ichiro got just under the first pitch, taking Kapler barely short of the rightfield track. Chris Snelling stroked a single into shallow center. Jose Lopez popped the first pitch to Loretta on the right side near the plate. Raul Ibañez poked a 2-2 pitch past Loretta and into the rightfield corner for a double, and Snelling scored easily after Kapler had some issues with fielding the ball.
»» MARINERS 1, RED SOX 0
Richie Sexson grounded the second pitch hard to second. Schilling threw 12 pitches.
Gabe Kapler walked on a 3-1 pitch way off the plate outside. Doug Mirabelli had the hitters' counts before popping the 3-1 pitch to Sexson in front of the mound, who caught it over the more diminutive Bloomquist as minor contact was made between the two on the play. Dustin Pedroia drilled an 0-2 pitch into left for a single, moving Kapler to second. Alex Cora popped to Sexson beyond the first-base bag, just onto the outfield grass as the infield fly rule had been called. Crisp was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Woods threw 24 pitches and had 49 through two.
Ben Broussard fouled off three 0-2 pitches before whiffing on a fourth, a splitter in the dirt. Kenji Johjima punched the second pitch through the left side for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt flew out to right. Willie Bloomquist flew out to a running Kapler in shallow right near the line. Schilling threw 14 pitches and had 26 through two.
Loretta bounced the second pitch to Bloomquist, who charged an had the ball bounce up his left arm and away, but he got back to it and threw in time to first to get a slow-moving Loretta. Ortiz bounced a 2-0 pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who had been playing on the second-base side of the second-base bag. Peña foul-tipped an 0-2 high fastball into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Woods threw eight pitches and had 57 through three.
Ichiro bounced a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Snelling whiffed on a low 2-2 splitter. Lopez bounced back to the mound. Schilling threw 15 pitches and had 41 through three.
Lowell popped the first pitch to second. Kapler was down 0-2 and nubbed a 2-2 pitch to second. Mirabelli bounced a 1-2 pitch off the side of the mound and Lopez got to it and threw to first as he was involved in all three putouts in the inning. Woods threw ten pitches and had 67 through four.
Ibañez grounded the second pitch to second. Sexson couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 splitter in the dirt. Broussard fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Schilling threw 12 pitches and had 53 through four.
Pedroia was up 2-0 before popping to Sexson in the first-base coaches' box. Cora hit a 1-2 pitch for a soft liner that was nearly caught by a leaping Lopez, but he had it go off the end of his glove and into center for a single. Crisp walked on a low 3-1 pitch, moving Cora to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound. Loretta popped a 2-0 pitch to Lopez on the rightfield grass with the infield fly rule called. Ortiz bounced the second pitch to first as Woods averted disaster. Woods threw 21 pitches and had 88 through five.
Woods' line: 5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 88 pitches (50 strikes)
Johjima was down 0-2 before lining a 1-2 pitch to Lowell reaching up at third to prevent a double down the line. Betancourt stuck a belt-high second-pitch fastball through the left side for a single. Bloomquist was down 0-2 and lined a 2-2 pitch into shallow rightcenter that Crisp made a dive for and missed by about a foot, and it rolled all the way to the wall to score Betancourt and enable Bloomquist to wind up on third with a triple.
»» MARINERS 2, RED SOX 0
Ichiro tapped a horribly low 1-2 splitter to a drawn-in Pedroia on the right side coming in from second, who bobbled the ball a bit but still found it in time to get Ichiro at first as Bloomquist held at third. Snelling was up 3-0 before foul-tipping a vile full-count breaking ball into Mirabelli's glove behind the plate. Schilling threw 21 pitches and had 74 through five.
Julio Mateo came in for Woods. Peña popped a 1-2 pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter. Lowell flew out to left on a 2-0 pitch. Kapler got ahead 2-0 before flying out to Ibañez a few steps short of the leftfield track. Mateo threw 12 pitches.
Lopez hit a 2-2 pitch to center that Crisp could have easily had a sliding catch on, but he trapped and bobbled it away to give Lopez the single. Ibañez was down 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle, where Cora made a dive behind the bag at second and tried to shovel it to Pedroia covering the bag (trying to force out Lopez), but it went past, and Schilling backed up the play but threw past third (again trying to get Lopez), enabling Lopez to score and Ibañez to move to second.
»» MARINERS 3, RED SOX 0
Sexson was ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a full-count splitter down and away. Broussard laced the first pitch for a double near the rightfield corner to score Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 4, RED SOX 0
Johjima drilled a single into left to score Broussard, but Peña overran the ball, prompting Johjima to try to take second base, but the throw beat him to second.
»» MARINERS 5, RED SOX 0
Betancourt was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball off the plate away.
Schilling's line: 6 innings, 5 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 104 pitches (73 strikes)
Mirabelli rolled an 0-2 pitch to Betancourt in the hole on the left side. Pedroia popped the second pitch to Lopez on the outfield grass on the right side. Cora popped the second pitch high to first. Mateo threw seven pitches.
Bryan Corey came in for Schilling. Bloomquist reached and looped out to Pedroia moving into shallow right. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch back to the mound. Snelling knocked a liner into the gap and to the wall in rightcenter for a double. Lopez punched the second pitch for a single through the left side to score Snelling, who drew a short throw from Peña that let Lopez move to second.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 0
Ibañez watched as Lopez was nearly picked off of second by Mirabelli. Ibañez walked on a 3-1 breaking ball away. Sexson grounded a 2-2 pitch hard back to the mound.
Corey's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
Crisp lined out to center on the second pitch. Loretta dumped the first pitch into shallow center for a single.
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Mateo. Ortiz rolled a ball through the left side, but Lopez (shifted into shallow right) got it and threw back to Bloomquist at covering second (4-5 forceout). Eric Hinske, hitting for Peña, was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball. O'Flaherty threw nine pitches.
Mateo's line: 2 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)
Kason Gabbard came in for Corey and Hinske stayed in to play left. Broussard was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Johjima rolled a 2-2 pitch to third. Betancourt popped the first pitch to Loretta near the first-base coaches' box. Gabbard threw 11 pitches.
Gabbard's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Lowell popped a 2-2 pitch to center. Kapler dropped a 2-2 pitch beyond the third-base bag and toward the leftfield corner for a double. Mirabelli split his bat on the first pitch and popped out to right. Pedroia bounced out to short.
O'Flaherty's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
It's been a somewhat weird month for Lopez. He's sandwiched an icky middle of the month with a good week and the last four to six days. He had a couple of three-hit games to end July ran an eight-game hitting streak that ended with the middle game of the Tampa Bay sweep. In that span, he hit .472 (17-for-36) with three doubles and four RBIs (those were in July), striking out once along the way. Then he, like many of the Mariners, went cold during the losing streak, though Lopez was hitless through the last two games of the Tampa Bay series as well. From that span up until the Mariners ended the losing streak, Lopez hit .180 (9-for-50) with two doubles, zero RBIs, and five strikeouts. The Mariners right now have won three of four, and Lopez has a four-game hitting streak to correspond with the return of Mariner wins. In the last four games, he is 7-for-16 (.438) with four RBIs, no walks, and a strikeout. Even with that .180 stretch in there, Lopez is hitting .293 in August. He hasn't walked in the month, but we pretty much know Chris Snelling is the only hitter that draws walks for this team. Of course, there are two most concerning things about all of this. One is that the RBI he had in the middle game of the Yankee series was his first RBI in the entire month of August. The second is that he's without a homer in August. And July. And every game in June other than the first one. His power stroke is probably lying under some creepy abandoned railroad trestle somewhere.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. In other words, it's a pretty standard Richie Sexson goat game. Still, Sexson so far is having his best hitting month of the season, currently at .267. He's slugging .507 for the month after a .539 June and a .567 July. His .337 on-base percentage for the month is his highest for a month this season. He's played twenty games this month and has seven hitless games. Of the 13 other games, he has six multi-hit games (one three-hit game among those). He has struck out 22 times in the month with a little less than a week to go, so he'd need to fan just two more times to make it his highest strikeout month since his strikeout-happy May. For the sanity of everyone following this team, let's hope he doesn't pile up 15 strikeouts in the next six games to top his May mark of 36. In categories less infuriating, his high homer month was last month, when he hit nine (he has four so far in August). His high RBI month is June, when he drove in 26 runs (he has 15 so far this month). He's on pace to finish the season with 34 homers, which is pretty good considering the horrible first two months he had. He's also on pace to finish with 110 RBIs. His career highs in both categories are 45 homers and 125 RBIs.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 92-36 .719 -- W3
2002 77-51 .602 15 W2
2003 76-52 .594 16 L3
2000 70-58 .547 22 L3
2006 59-69 .461 33 W2
2005 54-74 .422 38 L2
2004 48-80 .375 44 W2
Wells. Meche. Tonight.