Thursday, September 14, 2006


Reuters photo -- Robert Sorbo

[posted in full Sun ~3:16a]

In 25 words or less: Baek es un perdodor, enabling the Mariners look into the future with some garbage time for the young'uns.

This one featured AJ Burnett going up against Cha Seung Baek. Jose Lopez and Kenji Johjima got the day off, and Willie Bloomquist and Rene Rivera started in their respective places. In a move that kinda seems shady (in terms of timing, anyway), the Mariners informed bench coach Ron Hassey his contract wouldn't be renewed, so he left, and administrative assistant Dan Rohn was fired immediately on gameday. Thus, Mike Goff took the spot of bench coach, Carlos Garcia moved across the diamond to coach third, and San Antonio manager Daren Brown came up, donned a number 73 jersey, and went to the first-base coaches' box. San Antonio pitching coach Scott Budner also joined the big group o' coaches for the rest of the season. The Mariners were trying to establish another winning streak after having lost the last two. A four-game winning streak came immediately before the dropping of the two. A loss here would make it three in four games. This just isn't a year where the Mariners win one, then lose one. Last year around this time, the Mariners had a stretch of over a week where they had the back-and-forth going on.

Reed Johnson blistered the second pitch, but lined it right to Beltre at third with catlike reflexes to his right. Frank Catalanotto flew out to a running Ichiro in leftcenter. Vernon Wells smacked the second pitch back to the mound. Baek threw seven pitches.

Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 curveball near his feet. Adrian Beltre stung the second pitch down the leftfield line and toward the angled wall in front of the stands, where a fan touched it with a glove (ground-rule double). Yuniesky Betancourt bounced softly to first to move Beltre to third. Raul Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 low curve. Burnett threw 13 pitches.

Lyle Overbay got ahead 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch to second. Gregg Zaun drove the first pitch seven rows into the seats in rightfield.
Adam Lind got ahead 3-0 before punching a full-count pitch through the right side for a single. Aaron Hill popped the first pitch to center, quashing the hit-and-run that was put on. John Hattig worked an 0-2 count for a nine-pitch walk, moving Lind to second (Lind was nearly picked off of first by Rivera earlier in the at-bat). Russ Adams lined the second pitch into left, where Ibañez gunned straight home to Rivera, who got the ball and blocked the plate and tagged out Lind. Baek threw 25 pitches and had 32 through two.

Richie Sexson was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 fastball up and in. Ben Broussard popped to short on the first pitch. Chris Snelling walked on four pitches. Rene Rivera whiffed on a 1-1 pitch as Snelling stole second. Rivera ended up whiffing on a 2-2 belt-high fastball. Burnett threw 14 pitches and had 27 through two.

Johnson knocked the second pitch through the left side for a single. Catalanotto bounced the second pitch to first, where it led Sexson to the bag for the force, but his throw to second to get Johnson was a tad bit late. Wells popped the first pitch near the tarp and wall on the right side, where Sexson looked to have a basket catch in the making, but it went off his glove and into the stands. Wells ended up taking a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Overbay worked a 1-2 count full before flying out high to center. Baek threw 15 pitches and had 47 through three.

Willie Bloomquist dumped the first pitch into shallow center just in front of Wells for a single. Ichiro hadn't gotten a pitch thrown to him when Burnett picked him off of first. Ichiro whiffed on a 2-2 curve down and in. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and ended up bouncing off of Burnett's bottom, and it bounced away to short, where Hill threw in time to first. Burnett threw 11 pitches and had 38 through three.

Zaun walked on four pitches. Lind stroked the first pitch into right for a single to move Zaun to second. Hill got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Hattig bounced the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a double that cleared the bases and chalked up the first three RBIs for a big-league player from Guam.
Adams tapped the second pitch near the left of the mound, where Beltre charged and threw in time to first, and Hattig moved to third as a result. Johnson dumped an 0-2 pitch just in front of Ibañez in left, scoring Hattig.

Cesar Jimenez came in for Baek. Catalanotto got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch up high, moving Johnson to second. Wells walked on a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Chaves visited the mound. Overbay got ahead 2-0 and watched as Rivera nearly picked Johnson off of third. Overbay ended up taking a full-count pitch low and away, forcing Johnson across.
Zaun popped the second pitch just over the wall near the rightfield corner, and it was slamariffic, giving him homers in the game from both sides of the plate.
Lind looped an 0-2 pitch to Betancourt backing into shallow left. Hill flew out to center on the second pitch.

Baek's line: 3 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 66 pitches (42 strikes)
Jimenez' line: 2/3 inning, 4 runs, 1 hit, 3 walks, 0 strikeouts, 27 pitches (14 strikes)

Betancourt flew out just in front of the rightfield track on a 2-0 pitch. Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 curve over the inner half. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and ended up punching a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Broussard whiffed on a 2-2 curve inside at his feet (2-3 putout). Burnett threw 18 pitches and had 56 through four.

Travis Chick, making his big-league debut, came in for Jimenez. Hattig fell behind 0-2 immediately before working an 11-pitch walk. Adams flew out to deep center on the first pitch. Johnson rolled a 3-1 pitch softly to short, moving Hattig to second. Catalanotto got ahead 2-0 but took a 2-2 pitch down over the inner half. Chick threw 22 pitches.

Snelling stroked a single into right. Rivera lined a 1-2 pitch right to Johnson near the rightfield corner as Snelling had to hold. Bloomquist walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. Ichiro flew out to Hattig near the mound on the first pitch. Beltre flew out to Johnson near the rightfield line. Burnett threw 17 pitches and had 73 through five.

Adam Jones came in to play center, Mike Morse came in to play third, and Greg Dobbs came in to play first. Wells one-hopped a 1-2 pitch to second. Overbay spanked a 1-2 pitch over the reach of Betancourt and into left for a single. Zaun popped the second pitch to Jones in shallow center. Lind doubled a low-and-away 0-2 pitch into the leftfield corner that bounced back up into the crowd, moving Overbay to third. Hill flew out on a full count to Snelling just short of the rightfield track. Chick threw 21 pitches and had 43 total.

Betancourt popped out to Adams moving into shallow center. Ibañez bounced out to first. Dobbs was nicked by a first-pitch fastball just above the right kneecap. Broussard rolled the first pitch to second. Burnett threw nine pitches and had 82 through six.

Oswaldo Navarro came in to play short and TJ Bohn came in to play left. Hattig laced the second pitch into right for a single. Adams punched a 2-2 pitch through the right side for a single to move Hattig to second. Johnson rolled the second pitch up the middle, where Navarro made a nifty toss to second to start a 6-4-3 double play. Catalanotto was down 0-2 and tapped a 1-2 pitch to third.

Chick's line: 3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 58 pitches (41 strikes)

Kevin Barker came in to play first. Snelling poked the first pitch past the reach of Barker and down the rightfield line for a double. Rivera whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt (2-3 putout). Bloomquist bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Jones popped the second pitch to Barker in foul ground on the right side. Burnett threw ten pitches and had 92 through seven.

Ryan Feierabend, making his big-league debut, came in for Chick. Wells flew out to right on the first pitch. Barker took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Zaun grounded out to short. Feierabend threw ten pitches.

Morse was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt and outside. Navarro blistered the first pitch into rightfield for a single, his first big-league hit. Bohn took an 0-2 curve that caught the inside corner. Dobbs whiffed on an 0-2 low curve.

Burnett's line: 8 innings, 0 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts, 103 pitches (68 strikes)

Jason Phillips, hitting for Lind, hit a normal fly ball to leftcenter that Bohn had go off the thumb of his glove (error) as Phillips reached first. Hill was down 0-2 and grounded a 1-2 pitch to Morse at third, who started a 5-4-3 double play. Hattig whiffed on a 1-2 letter-high fastball.

Feierabend's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)

Justin Speier came in for Burnett. Broussard fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Snelling got under the first pitch just a bit too much and flew out high to Rios on the rightfield track. Rivera singled into leftcenter on the second pitch. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to Adams backing into shallow right.

Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (9 strikes)

Gameball: Ryan Feierabend.
That was quite an impressive little debut we just saw. In San Antonio this season, he was 9-12 with a 4.28 ERA in 153 2/3 innings. He gave up 16 homers and 55 walks, but struck out 127 for a nice little ratio. He leans slightly toward the flyball side of the groundball/flyball debate. He is a mere 21 years old, making me feel old. But none of this matters because Feierabend now has a big-league ERA of 0.00. A possible nickname for him would be Fire, except he doesn't have a rocket fastball. Thusly, Mark Lowe and Feierabend should trade surnames. Then we could see a Feierabend throwing fire, and a Lowe throwing low-90s. Since I'm not a bullpen coach or anything, I have no idea how his bullpen sessions might go, but if they improve, how about they get Feierabend stretched out a little? Maybe they could give him longer and longer outings before the season is over. Why is this all great? Because there are three things I don't want to see next year -- Jake Woods, Cha Seung Baek, and Joel Piñeiro in the starting rotation. The closer the Mariners can get to that, the better off they'll be.

Goat: Cha Seung Baek.
I'll give him the two starts before this one. I can't say much bad about it because Baek combined to throw 13 2/3 innings, giving up only one run on ten hits, walking one and striking out seven. The fact that there was only one walk is impressive. Those two starts worked out to a miniscule 0.66 ERA. His first two starts worked out to a 4.22 ERA, which might not seem too bad at face value, but they were shaky. He walked a total of eight hitters in those starts. In the game against Boston, he had that no-hitter going, but it was one of the crappy kinds since he walked five in the game and didn't get out of the sixth. In any event, he had two bad starts, two good starts, and now this, unquestionably the worst start out of the five. Four groundouts, four flyouts, one strikeout. He recorded ten outs but gave up seven hits and six runs in the process. Not to mention the three walks. So, which is the real Baek? One thing's for sure -- if he doesn't have the command and control, he has way less of a margin of error than say a Mark Lowe, Gil Meche, or a Felix Hernandez would have on the mound.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 105-40 .724 -- W6
2002 84-61 .579 21 L3
2003 83-62 .572 22 W1
2000 79-66 .545 26 W1
2006 69-76 .476 36 L1
2005 64-81 .441 41 W3
2004 55-90 .379 50 W2

Washburn. Perez. Tonight.

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