Sunday, September 10, 2006


AP photo -- John Froschauer

[actual post ~6:37p]

In 25 words or less: Thirteen innings the night before the Seahawks play an early game? That's inopportune, but at least it was a win.

This one featured Robinson Tejeda going up against Jarrod Washburn. Interestingly, the live MLB.tv feed was with the Seattle crew, but the archived feed was the Texas feed. Adrian Beltre was out for the second straight game, related to his wife giving birth to their son. In a season of streaks, the Mariners looked to make it four straight wins with a win in this game. The latest good stretch would be five of seven and 12 of 17. The Mariners entered this game three wins away from 70 for the season. They would have to go 3-19 over the remainder of the season to finish with a better record than last year's 69-93 mark. By comparison, a 14-7 record would end the Mariners' season at 82-80, i.e., their first finish over .500 since 2003. Of course, that would only happen if they were able to maintain what would possibly be the most meaningless five-week tear in club history at 26 wins in 38 games to end the season. Dreams can come true, but how often do pipe dreams come true?

Also, congratulations to Emiliano Fruto on his first big-league win as well as the first win in the Major Leagues by a Colombian-born pitcher.

Gary Matthews, Jr. took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Michael Young slapped a 2-0 pitch along the rightfield line toward the angled stands for a double. Mark Teixeira had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch inside. Carlos Lee popped out weakly to Lopez near the second-base bag on a 2-2 pitch (infield fly rule was called). Mark DeRosa bounced a 1-2 pitch to short to force Teixeira out at second (6-4 fielder's choice). Washburn threw 23 pitches.

Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to short. Chris Snelling foul-tipped a 2-2 fastball into Barajas' glove behind the plate. Yuniesky Betancourt took Cruz to the rightfield track with the second pitch. Tejeda threw ten pitches.

Hank Blalock whiffed on a 1-2 offspeed pitch off the plate outside. Ian Kinsler flew out high to left. Rod Barajas flew out to Ibañez in fairly deep left. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 33 through two.

Raul Ibañez flew out high to Lee on the foul side of the leftfield line. Richie Sexson worked an 0-2 count full but foul-tipped a knee-high fastball into Barajas' glove. Ben Broussard flew out to left on the second pitch. Tejeda threw 12 pitches and had 22 through two.

Nelson Cruz flew out to right on the first pitch. Matthews had a 3-0 count go full before walking on a high full-count fastball. Young lined out to right on the first pitch. Teixeira whiffed on a 2-2 high fastball. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 48 through three.

Kenji Johjima whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball in the dirt away. Jose Lopez smashed a hard grounder to third that was stopped on a dive by DeRosa, who stood back up and threw in time to first. Willie Bloomquist foul-tipped an 0-2 belt-high fastball into Barajas' glove behind the plate. Tejeda threw 11 pitches and had 33 through three.

Lee tapped the second pitch back to the mound as the talk on the Texas broadcast crew veered to whitewater rafting. DeRosa was down 0-2 before slapping a high 1-2 pitch into shallow left for a single. Blalock fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 breaking ball off the plate away. Kinsler chopped a 1-2 pitch out in front, where Washburn came off the mound to get it and throw in time to first. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 64 through four.

Ichiro bounced a 2-0 pitch over the mound and off Tejeda's glove, and Kinsler backed up the ball but had no play. Snelling was up 3-0 before popping a full-count pitch to a running Lee in shallow left. Betancourt shot a single through the right side to move Ichiro to second. Ibañez lined out to left on the first pitch. Sexson whiffed on an 0-2 belt-high fastball. Tejeda threw 17 pitches and had 50 through four.

Barajas flew out to Ichiro in deep leftcenter on a full count. Cruz punched a single through the right side past a rolling Sexson. Matthews smoked a 3-1 pitch into center for a single to move Cruz to second. Young flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Teixeira took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Washburn threw 25 pitches and had 89 through five.

Broussard flew out to left. Johjima popped the second pitch to Teixeira in foul ground past the coaches' box. Lopez bounced a 2-0 pitch to third. Tejeda threw eight pitches and had 67 through five.

Lee grounded the second pitch behind the bag at third, and Bloomquist's long throw was a bit low, and Sexson couldn't quite pick the shorthop (single). DeRosa drove the first pitch off the base of the wall in leftcenter, and the relay home through Lopez was a tiny bit late to get Lee, and DeRosa had himself an RBI double.
Blalock lined out to left on the second pitch. Kinsler reached to hit a low liner on a 2-2 pitch, but Snelling charged inward and made a diving catch. Barajas got ahead 3-1 before flying out to Ichiro in rightcenter on a full count.

Washburn's line: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 105 pitches (66 strikes)

Bloomquist worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Ichiro looped an 0-2 pitch just over the reach of DeRosa moving back into left, and the single moved Bloomquist to second. Snelling, after fouling off his first bunt attempt, chopped a bunt in front of the plate, where Tejeda had a low-speed collision with Barajas trying to get the ball, and then threw it past first base and down the rightfield line to score Bloomquist and move Ichiro to third.
Betancourt grounded out to short to start a 6-4-3 double play that scored Ichiro.
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball. Tejeda threw 16 pitches and had 75 through six.

Jon Huber came in for Washburn. Cruz took an 0-2 pitch over the outside corner. Matthews whiffed on a 2-2 fastball down and away. Young rolled slowly to short on the second pitch. Huber threw ten pitches.

Sexson checkswung on a 1-2 pitch way up and in, and he stayed in the box until plate umpire Brian Knight told him a few seconds later that he was out. Broussard worked a 1-2 count full before chopping along the first-base line, where Tejeda moved over to get to the ball and dodge Broussard coming down the line, then had to toss around Broussard and did so somewhat highly to Teixeira, but the out was made. Johjima reached down and bounced a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single. Lopez took an 0-2 pitch up and in, and Johjima took off on a delayed steal. Barajas had to wait a couple seconds for someone to race over and cover second, but the throw got into centerfield (error) and Johjima got all the way to third. Lopez worked the 0-2 count for a walk.

Wes Littleton came in for Tejeda. Bloomquist grounded the first pitch right to short for the force on Lopez (6-4 fielder's choice). Littleton threw one pitch.

Tejeda's line: 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 101 pitches (68 strikes)

TJ Bohn came in to play right. Teixeira had the hitters' counts before taking a full-count slider over the outside corner. Lee served the second pitch into right for a single. DeRosa walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away to move Lee to second.

George Sherrill came in for Huber. Blalock worked a 1-2 count full before foul-tipping a low breaking ball away into Johjima's glove.

JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Kinsler flew out to Bohn in the rightfield corner on a 2-2 pitch. Putz threw six pitches.

Huber's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 8 pitches (5 strikes)

Ichiro slashed a single through the left side. Bohn fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a low 1-2 pitch. Betancourt grounded a 2-0 pitch to short to start a 6-4-3 double play.

Littleton's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)

Barajas whiffed on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Cruz fell behind 0-2 and foul-tipped a 1-2 fastball into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Matthews was up 3-1 and drilled a full-count pitch into the first row of seats in rightfield.
Young fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch.

Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 28 pitches (18 strikes)

CJ Wilson came in for Littleton. Ibañez had the hitters' counts (dumping a 2-0 pitch for a double down the leftfield line that was barely foul) before breaking his bat and rolling out to second.

Joaquin Benoit came in for Wilson. Sexson cranked a 1-2 pitch, barely missing a walk-off homer as it went off the number 8 on the 385-foot marking. Broussard was intentionally walked. Johjima popped the second pitch to Lee on the foul side of the leftfield line. Lopez bounced out to second. Benoit threw 14 pitches.

Wilson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (3 strikes)

Joel Piñeiro came in for Putz and Eduardo Perez came in to play first. Teixeira fell behind 0-2 before grounding out to first (3-1 putout). Lee took a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. DeRosa was up 2-0 before grounding a 2-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout).

Piñeiro's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)

Bloomquist bounced the second pitch high and past DeRosa, and Young's throw to first was a bit late (single). Ichiro popped high to right on a 3-1 pitch. Greg Dobbs came to the plate.

Ron Mahay came in for Benoit. Mike Morse, hitting for Dobbs, got ahead 3-0 but whiffed on a full-count fastball belly-high and away. Betancourt watched a 1-1 pitch as Bloomquist stole second. Betancourt popped a 2-2 pitch to Teixeira near the tarp down the rightfield line. Mahay threw 11 pitches.

Benoit's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (10 strikes)

Eric O'Flaherty came in for Piñeiro and Morse stayed in to play right. Blalock lined out to second.

Emiliano Fruto came in for O'Flaherty. Kinsler flew out to Ibañez on the first pitch, who got turned around and caught the ball on the track. Barajas whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball. Fruto threw five pitches.

O'Flaherty's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)

Ibañez was up 3-1 and flew out to Lee in leftcenter on a full count. Perez was ahead 3-0 and walked on a high full-count pitch. Broussard worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a fastball down over the outside corner.

Rick Bauer came in for Mahay. Johjima took the second pitch off the letter O in his last name on his back to move Perez to second. Lopez bounced to third on the second pitch for a force on Johjima (5-4 fielder's choice). Bauer threw four pitches.

Mahay's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 30 pitches (15 strikes)

Cruz flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter. Matthews grounded to second, but Lopez threw high (error) and pulled Perez off the bag at first, though replays showed Matthews was out (Hargrove came out to argue). Young hit a line/pop to Betancourt, who caught the fly. Teixeira grounded out to second. Fruto threw 13 pitches and had 18 total.

Bloomquist bounced a full-count pitch through the left side for a single. Ichiro popped the second pitch to shallow center. Morse took a 2-1 pitch and watched Bloomquist steal second on a throw that was very wide and high. Morse was up 3-1 before bouncing out to second on a full count to move Bloomquist to third. Betancourt chopped the second pitch to short.

Bauer's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (9 strikes)

Lee was up 3-1 and dumped a full-count fly ball into shallow leftcenter that Ichiro was short of on his dive, though it was between he and Betancourt. Jerry Hairston, Jr. came in to run for Lee. DeRosa bounced the second pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Blalock flew out to fairly deep left.

Fruto's line: 2 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 29 pitches (19 strikes)

John Rheinecker came in for Bauer and Hairston stayed in to play left. Ibañez walked on a full-count breaking ball barely outside. Perez was up 3-0 before walking on a 3-1 pitch apparently off the plate outside (looked like a strike). Oswaldo Navarro was set to pinch-hit for Broussard.

Josh Rupe came in for Rheinecker. Navarro, making his big-league debut, bunted a 2-0 pitch out in front which was fielded by Barajas to move Ibañez and Perez to third and second. Johjima took a first-pitch breaking ball in the dirt away that got away from Barajas, but not far enough to score Ibañez. Johjima worked a 1-2 count for a ten-pitch walk (six foul balls) to load the bases. Lopez got ahead 2-0 and one-hopped off the track and wall in leftcenter for a single that scored Ibañez easily.

Rheinecker's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (3 strikes)
Rupe's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (9 strikes)

Gameball: Emiliano Fruto.
He was in the minors for the entire month of August. He's one of the September call-ups, and the innings he threw in this game were not chop liver. Fruto faced all nine hitters in the Texas lineup and got outs from eight of them, and all of this was done in extra innings and a tie game. The only thing that's more encouraging than the fact that he didn't give up a run was that Fruto didn't walk any hitters. This is a guy who walked and struck out the same amount of hitters in the month of August (nine). Wild Fruto wasn't the one that showed up in this game, though, and that was instrumental in helping the Mariners get their fourth straight win. Also, this was his longest big-league relief stint in terms of innings since his Major League debut back on May 14th, when he threw 3 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball in Anaheim. As for next year, he might have a shot next year at a righthanded long relief role. Of course, that might depend on whether Mike Hargrove is still the manager or not, i.e., whether the Mariners carry a 12-man pitching staff or an 11-man pitching staff like most sensible teams do.

Goat: Raul Ibañez.
An 0-for-5 night isn't exactly the most advantageous night one can have in an extra-inning game. However, Ibañez did draw a walk in the 13th and ended up scoring the winning run, so I have to give him that. However, he is 7-for-31 (.226) for the month with a double, no homers, and four RBIs. The slugging mark is at .258. He's walked five times and struck out five times. Really, even though Ibañez hit .296 in August, he only had eight extra-base hits, his lowest for any month this season. So, five doubles and four homers since August 1st doesn't exactly set the world on fire. He had 20 homers and 70 RBIs in 88 games at the break. He has six homers and 38 RBIs since (51 games). While I'm sure many people will agree that there was no way Ibañez was going to maintain the pace he was on going into the break, I'm quite surprised at how far he's fallen off in terms of power. The only thing that's more mystifying than how badly the power of Ibañez has fallen off is the complete disappearance of the power bat of Jose Lopez.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 101-40 .716 -- W2
2002 83-58 .589 18 W2
2003 82-59 .582 19 W1
2000 76-65 .539 25 L1
2006 68-73 .482 33 W4
2005 61-80 .433 40 L1
2004 52-89 .369 49 L2

Eaton. Hernandez. Sunday afternoon.

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