Wednesday, September 06, 2006


AP photo -- Duane Burleson

[posted in full Thu ~10:38p]

In 25 words or less: Not even rain and an extended delay due to it could wash away a Mariner victory.

This one featured Jake Woods going up against Jeremy Bonderman. In some Mike Hargrove lineup hijinks, Yuniesky Betancourt and Adrian Beltre were basically swapped as Beltre was bumped to eighth and Betancourt was moved up to third. With a win, the Mariners would have an outside shot at winning the series in Detroit. Of course, no matter what the result, if there's some sort of 83-minute rain delay during the course of the game, that would make everyone really displeased since there was an afternoon game the next day (getaway day). The Mariners were trying to avoid a loss, which would make it five in six games, and that's never good. It'd be just another valley in a season full of hills and valleys and really no plateaus. Right about now I was going to throw in some dorky math analogy involving the graphs of second- and third-order derivatives and concavity and stuff...don't ask how I was going to relate that, because now I can't finish my thought. Trust me, it would have been slightly good.

Ichiro pounded the first pitch up the middle for a single. Chris Snelling got ahead 2-0 before failing to check his swing on a 2-2 slider down and in. Yuniesky Betancourt banged the first pitch into right for a single to move Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and Jim Leyland took a trip to the mound. That worked, since Ibañez bounced the next pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Bonderman threw 10 pitches.

Curtis Granderson one-hopped a 2-0 pitch off the track and scoreboard in rightcenter for a triple. Craig Monroe lined the first pitch into rightfield for a single.
Marcus Thames worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Magglio Ordoñez flew out to right on the first pitch. Ivan Rodriguez drove a double into the rightcenter gap to score Monroe and Thames.
Sean Casey took the first pitch as Rodriguez stole third without a throw. Casey was up 3-1 and walked on a full-count curve up and in. Omar Infante was down 0-2 and whiffed over a 1-2 curve. Brandon Inge flew out to center on an 0-2 pitch. Woods threw 29 pitches.

Richie Sexson chopped the second pitch to third. Ben Broussard whiffed on an 0-2 low slider. Kenji Johjima looped an 0-2 pitch into Santiago's glove at short. Bonderman threw eight pitches and had 18 total.

Ramon Santiago grounded the first pitch to third. Granderson drove a fly ball that was caught by Ibañez on a running catch at the track in leftcenter. Monroe popped a 1-2 pitch to center. Woods threw eight pitches and had 37 total.

Rain began falling in Detroit. Beltre bounced the second pitch to second. Lopez chopped a 1-2 pitch that was nicely picked on the shorthop by Inge moving across from third. Ichiro, who had Tiger color man Rod Allen bring up the two RBIs in his last 172 at-bats stat, dumped a 2-2 pitch into center, where Granderson slid inward to try to make the catch, but he was well short and the ball bounced up and went off the side of his head aod got away, enabling Ichiro to go to second with a double. Snelling whiffed over a full-count slider. Bonderman threw 17 pitches and had 35 total.

Thames popped a 1-2 pitch to Beltre on the infield grass. Ordoñez rode the second pitch to the corner of the wall in very deep leftcenter for a double. Rodriguez bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle to a ranging Betancourt, who threw in time to first as Ordoñez moved to third. Casey tapped an 0-2 pitch to third. Woods threw 15 pitches and had 52 total.

Betancourt whiffed on a 1-2 slider down over the outer half. Ibañez laced a 2-0 pitch into right for a single. Sexson cranekd the second pitch, bouncing it over the wall in deep leftcenter for a double to move Ibañez to third. Broussard took a 3-1 slider inside to load the bases. Johjima looped a single into shallow left, scoring Ibañez and keeping the bases loaded. It was Johjima's first hit against Tiger pitching this year, and therefore for his career.
Beltre bounced to third, where Inge stopped the ball with his chest, but it got away and he couldn't get to the third-base bag in time to force out Broussard as Sexson scored and the bases remained loaded.
Lopez was jammed and bounced to first (3-1 putout) as everyone was starting to slip and slide on the infield.
Ichiro flew out to left on the second pitch.

Bonderman's line: 4 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 60 pitches (37 pitches)

Infante grounded the second pitch hard to a drawn-in Beltre. Inge hit a broken-bat bouncer on a 2-2 pitch, grounding out to third. Santiago slashed a 1-2 pitch just fair inside the first-base bag and down the line for a double. Granderson had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full-count change away. This is where the rains came and the tarps were put over the field.

Woods' line: 4 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 73 pitches (48 strikes)

An hour and 23 minutes later, the tarps were lifted and Andrew Miller came in for Bonderman. Snelling grounded the second pitch to the right side (3-1 putout). Betancourt took an 0-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Ibañez had the hitters' counts before punching a 3-1 pitch for a weak pop to short. Miller threw ten pitches.

Joel Piñeiro came in for Woods. Monroe popped the first pitch to Ichiro in fairly deep leftcenter. Thames was up 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Ordoñez bounced the first pitch to short. Piñeiro threw seven pitches.

Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Broussard walked on a 3-1 fastball away. Johjima slapped an 0-2 pitch down the rightfield line for a single to move Broussard to third. Beltre was jammed on a 1-2 pitch and nubbed to short, scoring Broussard and moving Johjima to second.
Lopez grounded to second on a 3-1 pitch.

Miller's line: 2 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 33 pitches (20 strikes)

Rodriguez took a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Casey grounded up the middle and ranged over in a hurry to make a leaping across-the-body throw to get the out, though Casey is slow. Infante couldn't check a swing on an 0-2 pitch in the dirt. Piñeiro threw ten pitches and had 17 total.

Jamie Walker came in for Miller. Ichiro popped to third. Snelling popped a 2-0 pitch to short. Betancourt scorched the first pitch into left for a single. Ibañez popped a 2-2 pitch to Infante behind the first-base bag.

Walker's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (7 strikes)

Inge grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to third, where Beltre knocked it down and threw to first. Santiago rolled a 2-2 pitch to first. Granderson rolled a 1-2 pitch along the third-base line, and Beltre did the patented charge-barehand-and-throw move. Piñeiro threw 15 pitches and had 32 total.

Zach Miner came in for Walker. Sexson broke his bat on a roller to third. Broussard foul-tipped a high 0-2 pitch into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate. Johjima had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch inside. Beltre bounced out to short. Miner threw 16 pitches.

Monroe took the second pitch to the leftfield track, but Ibañez came down with it. Thames whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Mike Hargrove came out with what eventually was the hook, and plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt appeared to come to the mound and break up the powwow, but he looked to be shooting a bit of breeze with the huddle of Hargrove, Johjima, and the infielders.

JJ Putz came in for Piñeiro. Ordoñez took an 0-2 fastball barely off the plate outside or high before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to short, and Betancourt airmailed Broussard, but Johjima backed up the play and threw to second, and Betancourt ran to the bag and received the throw and tagged Ordoñez sliding into second (Ordoñez' foot looked like it was barely in there, but he didn't bother to slide; it was ruled a single and a 2-6 putout). Jim Leyland did come out for a few words, but it didn't last long and he wasn't tossed. Putz threw five pitches.

Piñeiro's line: 3 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 37 pitches (28 strikes)

Lopez flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Ichiro looped the second pitch to foul ground down the leftfield line, and Inge made the catch over the shoulder while Santiago took him out at the shins. Snelling whiffed over a 2-2 pitch.

Miner's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 33 pitches (20 strikes)

Rodriguez shot a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Casey rolled the first pitch to Lopez, who took it to the second-base bag and threw to first for the double play, and threw was a bit of a low-speed collision between he and Betancourt at second, though there appeared to be no wounds. Infante popped a full-count pitch to Sexson in foul ground on the right side.

Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (13 strikes)

Gameball: Joel Piñeiro.
The MLB.tv feed for the game was of the Detroit persuasion, so it was a little dismaying to hear them say that Piñeiro pitched like he wanted his spot back in the rotation. Jake Woods and Cha Seung Baek don't exactly tickle my fancy when it comes to starting pitching for this team, but I really don't want to go back to Piñeiro every five days again. I can't go back to that. I don't expect him to throw 3 2/3 innings of no-hit ball every time out, and anyone would be stupid to do so. Usually I'd expect at least 3 2/3 runs if he were out there for 3 2/3 innings, and he'd probably throw 90 pitches usually in that outing. Not in this one, though, as after the rain delay, the Tiger bats for whatever reason couldn't touch him. Eleven hitters and eleven outs with Piñeiro pitching awakens thoughts of analogies that relate blind squirrels and nuts. A consistent reality of such a thing back in 2001 or 2002 wouldn't have been such a stretch to think about, but nowadays it is, and to the point where I nearly typed "suck" instead of "such" earlier in the sentence just thinking about it.

Goat: Chris Snelling.
This is only the second 0-fer he's hung up as a starter this season. After his first appearance of the season in the first game of the series in Anaheim last month, he strung together an eight-game hitting streak before hanging up an 0-for-4 against the Angels in Seattle. Still, what Snelling has given this team is the ability to get on base and hit line drives. If nothing else, his approach to where at-bats are really worth a damn is always nice. It's also good not to put too much stock into one game, because if you did, you'd be really worried that Snelling struck out three times when all you've heard about is how well he gets on base and everything. Keep in mind this is a guy who's played in a mere 39 games in the big leagues. I'm just enjoying the time while he's up because I know it can end at any time due to any sort of freakish injury. Still, here's to Snelling's health, and therefore his ability to gain more experience and even more baseball smarts. Although he struck out three times in this game, I'm giving three cheers to Snelling for staying healthy for three weeks.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 99-39 .717 -- W3
2002 81-57 .587 18 W2
2003 81-57 .587 18 W4
2000 75-63 .543 24 W1
2006 65-73 .471 34 W1
2005 60-78 .435 39 W2
2004 51-87 .370 48 L7

Meche. Rogers. Today.

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