Sunday, August 27, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

In 25 words or less: The team loses 11 straight, has the Yankees and Red Sox on the schedule, and wins five of six? Huh? What is this?

This one featured Kyle Snyder going up against Cha Seung Baek. Manny Ramirez was scratched from the Boston lineup for the second time in the series with patellar tendinitis and hamstring problems. Rene Rivera got his customary Sunday afternoon start behind the plate for the Mariners. After collecting his first big-league hit the night before, TJ Bohn was sent back to Tacoma and Mike Morse was called up in his place. The bad thing about that is that it's very possible that if a lefty starts against the Mariners, Mike Hargrove may put Morse in the lineup and play him in the field. Of course, if Hargrove really feels obligated to play Morse, I hope it's either in just a pinch-hitting role or he starts in left and Raul Ibañez moves over to right. That is the rule, isn't it? Move your worst defensive outfielder to left? In a related story, I played leftfield through most of my time in high school.

Coco Crisp worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Mark Loretta fell behind 0-2 and lined out to third on a 1-2 pitch, foiling a hit-and-run as Crisp was on the bag at second (5-3 double play). David Ortiz worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Kevin Youkilis was up 2-0 but flew out to Snelling on the rightfield track. Baek threw 20 pitches.

Ichiro was down 0-2 and hit a low liner right to Youkilis in left. Chris Snelling rolled a 1-2 pitch deep into the hole on the right side, where Pedroia made a dive, and his throw pulled Loretta off the bag at first, but Snelling might have beat it out anyway on a very close play (scored as a single). Adrian Beltre was ahead 3-0 before taking a 3-1 pitch outside for a walk. Raul Ibañez popped a 2-2 pitch to Youkilis near the leftfield corner. Richie Sexson grounded deep into the hole on the left side, where Cora was going to go to third with the ball, but it flew out of his hand as he revved up the throw, but he had a ways to go to get it anyway and more than likely everybody would have been safe (scored as a single). The bases were now loaded. Ben Broussard was down 0-2 and whiffed over a 2-2 curve. Snyder threw 30 pitches.

Mike Lowell popped out to right. Eric Hinske fell behind 0-2 before flying out high to short on a 1-2 pitch. Dustin Pedroia got ahead 3-1 and rolled to second on a full count. Baek threw 14 pitches and had 34 through two.

Yuniesky Betancourt lined the second pitch just over the reach of a leaping Youkilis and to the leftfield wall for a double. Rene Rivera took a 2-2 curve down the pipe. Willie Bloomquist popped a 3-1 pitch to left that Youkilis camped under and lost in the sun, where it dropped (error originally but later scored a double) to move Betancourt to third as Bloomquist got to second. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and was intentionally given balls three and four to load the bases. Snelling popped the second pitch to shallow center, where it was basket-caught by Crisp, who tried throwing to the plate, but his sore arm bounced it somewhere by the mound as Betancourt scored easily.
Beltre nearly fell backwards in the box hitting a hard line drive on an 0-2 pitch, but it went into the glove of Crisp in leftcenter. Snyder threw 21 pitches and had 51 through two.

Javy Lopez whiffed on a full-count curve over the outer half. Alex Cora walked on a full count. Crisp flew out to center on the second pitch. Loretta bounced an 0-2 pitch to third. Baek threw 20 pitches and had 54 through three.

Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full and bounced to second, where Pedroia tried to square up on a ball too far to his right, and it rolled into and out of his glove (error). Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a curve, and Ibañez was gunned down trying to steal second for the double play. Broussard whiffed over a 1-2 curve. Snyder threw 19 pitches and had 70 through three.

Ortiz popped the first pitch to Ichiro in shallow center. Youkilis whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Lowell smoked a hard line drive right into the glove of Broussard at first (hardest-hit ball by Boston to that point in the game). Baek threw eight pitches and had 62 through four.

Betancourt was up 2-0 before grounding hard to third. Rivera rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to right. Snyder threw 11 pitches and had 81 through four.

Hinske was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 fastball up and away. Pedroia took a first-pitch ball and Rivera visited the mound. Pedroia worked a 1-2 count for a 13-pitch walk (eight foul balls, seven fouls of 1-2 pitches). Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Lopez (who never showed bunt in the at-bat) took an 0-2 fastball over the inside corner. Cora foul-tipped an inside 0-2 breaking ball into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Crisp rolled an 0-2 pitch to first, where Broussard moved to get the ball, but threw well over the covering Baek at first (error), and Rivera was backing up that throw, leaving home plate unguarded as Hinske scored, but Rivera threw to Beltre to catch Pedroia between second and third. Baek threw 27 pitches and had 89 through five.

Ichiro nubbed a 1-2 pitch to the left side, where Cora had to make the play from deep in the hole, and Ichiro easily beat the throw for a single. Snelling nearly drag-bunted for a single on the first pitch, but it rolled foul along the first-base line. Snelling shot a grounder just fair past the first-base bag and off the angled stands behind the tarp in foul ground along the rightfield line for a double, moving Ichiro to third. Beltre walked on four pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Pitching coach Dave Wallace visited the mound. Ibañez turned on and blistered a 2-0 pitch roughly 12 rows into the rightfield seats just inside the foul pole, pushing his season RBI total to a career-high 102. Attaway, Raul. This slam isn't by Onyx.
Sexson fell behind 0-2 but stuck a 1-2 pitch into left for a single.

Julian Tavarez came in for Snyder. Broussard lined an 0-2 pitch to Youkilis in leftcenter. Betancourt shot the first pitch through the right side for a single, moving Sexson to second. Rivera punched the first pitch through the right side for a single as well, loading the bases once again. Bloomquist tapped the second pitch to first, where Loretta throw home for the force on Sexson, and Lopez tried to get the speedy Bloomquist at first but threw down the line (error), scoring Betancourt and moving Rivera to third. Bloomquist moved to second as a result of the throwing error.
Ichiro was up 2-0 and again got the next two balls intentionally, loading the bases for the third time in the inning. Snelling had a 3-0 count go full before whiffing on a fastball (eighth pitch of the at-bat). Tavarez threw 19 pitches.

Snyder's line: 4 innings, 6 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 100 pitches (57 strikes)

Loretta flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter on the second pitch. Ortiz turned on a 1-1 pitch and nearly homered down the rightfield line. Ortiz waited a little longer and six pitches later, he homered into the tenth row of rightfield seats. Away goes the no-hitter, which Baek had through 5 1/3 innings.
Youkilis hit a 1-2 pitch for a low fly ball to Ibañez in left. Lowell popped an 0-2 hanging breaking ball into the visitors' bullpen just to the right of the manual scoreboard in left.

Sean Green came in for Baek. Hinske foul-tipped a 2-2 breaking ball into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Green threw eight pitches.

Baek's line: 5 2/3 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts, 107 pitches (69 strikes)

Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 pitch that came from a Luis Tiant ripoff delivery from Tavarez. Ibañez had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch away. Sexson took an 0-2 inside fastball off the left thigh. Broussard swung on a 2-2 Tiant ripoff pitch (the delivery/fake pickoff juked Ibañez back to second) and the ball went to short, where Ibañez hung by the bag at second but forgot he was forced to run to third, and Cora tagged the bag at second and tagged Ibañez for the unassisted double play. Tavarez threw 17 pitches and had 36 total.

Tavarez' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 36 pitches (22 strikes)

Pedroia rolled the second pitch to short, where Betancourt made a wide throw to first, and Broussard came off the bag to make a tag on the sliding Pedroia (replays did not confirm the tag). Lopez splintered his bat and popped to Broussard in foul ground on the right side. Cora walked on a 3-1 outside pitch. Crisp was down 0-2 before rolling a 1-2 pitch to first.

Green's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (14 strikes)

Manny Delcarmen came in for Tavarez. Betancourt popped to second on the second pitch. Rivera lined the second pitch for what could have been a double down the line, but Hinske ranged over to make a fully-extending diving catch (very nice). Bloomquist chopped the second pitch over the mound to a charging Pedroia, who made the off-balance throw to first. Delcarmen threw six pitches.

Rafael Soriano came in for Green. Loretta flew out to left on an 0-2 pitch. Ortiz flew out to left as well, but on the first pitch. Youkilis worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Lowell popped to Broussard near the first-base coaches' box.

Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (8 strikes)

Ichiro bounced the first pitch to second. Snelling rolled out to second as well, but on the second pitch. Beltre flew out to fairly deep center on the first pitch.

Delcarmen's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (10 strikes)

JJ Putz came in for Soriano as the shadows crept to cover the area up to a foot or two in front of the plate. Hinske flew out to shallow center. Pedroia whiffed on a 2-2 fastball up and away. Lopez foul-tipped a 2-2 fastball into Rivera's glove behind the plate.

Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (10 strikes)

Gameball: Chris Snelling.
What's not to like? I know that for now, I'm enjoying this, and it's not just because the fact that he's in rightfield enables Ichiro to cover crazy-nuts ground in center. Snelling has survived through nine big-league games this season. His career high for games is 15, and that happened last season. So far this season, he's 10-for-24 (.417), and half of those hits have gone for extra bases (four doubles, one triple). He's struck out nine times and walked four, which isn't absurd or anything, but what's been immediately apparent is that Snelling is patient and is able to grind out quality at-bats, and that's been a much-needed breath of fresh air after seeing three-quarters of a season filled with everyone hacking early and the Mariners getting into opposing teams' bullpens much later in games than they should. By the way, opposing starting pitchers in games where the Mariners have been shut out (fourteen times) are Joe Blanton (eight innings), Barry Zito (six), Nate Robertson (seven), CC Sabathia (eight), Scott Kazmir (seven), Rodrigo Lopez (7 1/3), John Rheinecker (8 1/3), Blanton again (eight), Josh Fogg (complete game), Bartolo Colon (complete game), Jeremy Sowers (complete game), Rodrigo Lopez again (7 2/3), Dan Haren (six), and Jered Weaver (seven).

Goat: Ben Broussard.
I don't feel like talking about Cha Seung Baek taking a five-walker into the sixth inning. Instead, I'll again lament how very unsatisfying this Eduardo Perez/Broussard platoon has been. Hopefully in the near future the Mariners can have something more to hang their hats on regarding their designated hitter situation (though Broussard was playing first base today as Sexson DH'd) other than the simple fact that four at-bats every night aren't going to Carl Everett anymore. Broussard in this game went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and there's a number six in that left-on-base category in his boxscore line. The first (bases loaded), third, and sixth innings (Ibañez forgets the number of outs) ended on his at-bats, and he was the first out of the five-run fifth inning. It didn't stop on the offensive end for Broussard, who made what could have been a fatal error with two on and two out in the fifth, tossing the ball over Cha Seung Baek's head after fielding a grounder to first base. In 25 games with the Mariners, Broussard is 14-for-72 (.198) with two doubles, five homers, and 11 RBIs, walking only once while striking out 18 times. I guess the good thing is that half of his hits have gone for extra bases, but that's only great if he's getting a lot of hits, which he's not.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 94-36 .723 -- W5
2002 77-53 .592 17 L2
2003 76-54 .585 18 L5
2000 71-59 .546 23 L1
2006 61-69 .469 33 W4
2005 55-75 .423 39 L1
2004 50-80 .385 44 W4

Escobar. Hernandez. Tomorrow.

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