Sunday, September 24, 2006


AP photo -- Jeff Roberson

[posted in full Sun 8 Oct ~12:45a]

In 25 words or less: The White Sox didn't have to face Felix Hernandez after the rain delay and got the win. Now they'll just worry about Jermaine Dye's health.

This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Mark Buehrle. This was to be the final start of the season for Hernandez. Mike Morse got the start in rightfield against the lefthanded Buehrle. I woke up in the middle of this game when it really happened, but due to Fox blackout rules, I didn't see it on local television and MLB.tv wasn't showing it. I figured I'd wait until it was over, then the archived feed would show up later in the day. The archived feed didn't show up until a few days later. I didn't actually see this game until Thursday night. The time of the game for this one was two hours and 31 minutes. The rain delay after the bottom of the fifth came out to an hour and 57 minutes. The umpires waited much too long to call the tarps onto the field after the fifth, but for some reason the game resumed with the field in much-too-muddy conditions, but they decided to trudge on anyway, safety be damned. The White Sox, slim as their playoff hopes were, got a scare when Jermaine Dye had issues getting out of the batters' box at one point.

Ichiro was down 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Adrian Beltre drove a 2-2 pitch just over the rightfield wall.
Jose Lopez was down 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch over Crede at third and toward the leftfield corner for a double. Raul Ibañez bounced to second on the second pitch, moving Lopez to second. Richie Sexson walked on four pitches. Eduardo Perez looped a single into shallow center, scoring Lopez and moving Sexson to second.
Mike Morse popped the second pitch to center. Buehrle threw 26 pitches.

Ross Gload flew out to left on an 0-2 pitch. Juan Uribe bounced the second pitch to third. Jermaine Dye parachuted the second pitch over Lopez and into shallow rightcenter for a single. Jim Thome got ahead 3-0 and put the barrel on a 3-1 fastball, depositing it just over the wall in left.
Paul Konerko flew out to Morse near the rightfield line on the second pitch. Hernandez threw 14 pitches.

Rene Rivera worked an 0-2 count for a ten-pitch walk. Willie Bloomquist had a 2-0 count and watched as Buehrle caught Rivera redhanded leaning off of first. Bloomquist lined out to left on a 3-1 pitch. Ichiro foul-tipped a 2-2 breaking ball into Pierzynski's glove. Buehrle threw 20 pitches and had 46 through two.

AJ Pierzynski grounded the second pitch hard to first. Joe Crede flew out to a running Morse in rightcenter on the second pitch. Alex Cintron took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Hernandez threw eight pitches and had 22 through two.

Beltre flew out high to Anderson in leftcenter on an 0-2 pitch. Lopez grounded hard to first on a 1-2 pitch. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 before one-hopping a double to the wall in rightcenter. Sexson got ahead 2-0 before popping a hanging breaking ball into the Chicago bullpen in left.
Perez got ahead 3-0 and hit a weak liner into Uribe's glove at short. Buehrle threw 21 pitches and had 67 through three.

Brian Anderson whiffed on an 0-2 curve inside. Gload took a second-pitch strike, though Rivera had the ball go off his glove and take a piece out of plate umpire Eric Cooper. Gload fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 wicked curve. Uribe popped the second pitch in front of the first-base dugout, where Rivera moved over but had the ball bounce in and out of his glove. Uribe ended up popping to Lopez in shallow right. Hernandez threw 12 pitches and had 34 through three.

Morse popped the second pitch high to Konerko in front of the mound. Rivera fell behind 0-2 and flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Bloomquist popped high to Crede on the left side. Buehrle threw ten pitches and had 77 through four.

Dye flew out to a running Morse near the rightfield corner on a 1-2 pitch. Thome worked an 0-2 count full (Hernandez might have twisted an ankle on the 0-2 pitch, and the trainers came out) and whiffed on a curve over the outside corner. Konerko worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing over a low curve. Hernandez threw 19 pitches and had 53 through four.

Ichiro was ahead 2-0 before bouncing out to first. Beltre bounced the first pitch just past a diving Crede and toward the leftfield corner for a double. Lopez got ahead 3-1 and foul-tipped a low full-count change into Pierzynski's glove. Ibañez lined a 1-2 pitch into deep right for a single that scored Beltre and it got past Dye and bounced to the wall (error), enabling Ibañez to move to second.
Sexson was intentionally walked. Perez lined the first pitch into left for a single, scoring Ibañez and moving Sexson to second.
Morse fisted a 2-2 pitch, dumping it into shallow center just over Uribe for a single, scoring Sexson and moving Perez to third on what could have been an error on Uribe.

Charlie Haeger came in for Buehrle. Rivera rolled slowly to second on the first pitch. Haeger threw one pitch.

Buehrle's line: 4 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 9 hits, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 102 pitches (60 strikes)

The rain was really picking up in Chicago. Pierzynski roped a double off the base of the wall in leftcenter and was nearly thrown out at second by Ichiro. Crede lined out to a running Morse in right on a 2-2 pitch. Cintron flew out to center on the first pitch. Anderson whiffed on a 2-2 curve away. The rain was falling very hard at this point, and both the Fox crew and the Mariner radio crew thought the umpires waited way too long to cover up the field with the tarp.

Hernandez' line: 5 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, 67 pitches (49 strikes)

After a rain delay of one hour and 57 minutes and tons of diamond dry, play resumed with the infield still quite muddy. Bloomquist was ahead 3-1 and popped to Cintron near the rightfield line on a full count. Ichiro whiffed on an 0-2 high knuckleball. Oswaldo Navarro, hitting for Beltre, whiffed over a 2-2 highish knuckleball. Haeger threw 14 pitches and had 15 total.

Eric O'Flaherty came in for Hernandez, Navarro stayed in to play short, and Bloomquist moved to third. Gload rode a fly ball to leftcenter that Ichiro jogged over and caught. Uribe grounded hard to first on a 2-0 pitch. Dye grounded to short, where Navarro knocked it down, then airmailed it over and wide of Sexson and into foul ground (error), enabling Dye to move to second. Thome dumped the first pitch near the leftfield corner, where Ibañez tried making a diving catch but was barely short, enabling Dye to score and Thome to pull in with the double.
Konerko singled into shallow center, scoring Thome.
Pierzynski slapped an 0-2 pitch through the left side, moving Konerko to second. Chaves visited the mound. Crede knocked the second pitch up the middle for a single to load the bases. Cintron looped to shallow right, where Lopez ranged back and had the ball in his glove, but it bounced out, scoring Konerko and Pierzynski and moving Crede to third. Cintron fell over after tripping over the bag at first, another sign of the horribly deteriorated field conditions. Ozzie Guillen requested some additional tidying up around the bag at first after Cintron tripped over the bag at first.

Jon Huber came in for O'Flaherty. Anderson whiffed over a 1-2 slider low and off the plate outside. Huber threw four pitches.

O'Flaherty's line: 2/3 inning, 4 runs (unearned), 5 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (15 strikes)

Lopez tapped an 0-2 pitch to second. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed over a high 2-2 knuckler. Sexson took a 1-2 knuckler over the inner half. Haeger threw 13 pitches and had 17 total.

Gload rolled to second on the second pitch. Uribe cranked a line drive that Ibañez trotted back and nearly caught it in front of the wall, but it went off his glove (yes, he should have had it) and went off the wall for a double. Dye rolled the second pitch to short, where Navarro threw to third for a tag play on Uribe, then Bloomquist threw to first for the out on Dye. This was no normal play since Dye stumbled and fell to his hands and knees and didn't get back up until the play was over. He did not return to the game.

Huber's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (9 strikes)

Ryan Sweeney came in to play rightfield for Dye. Perez was down 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch lined softly to first. Morse tapped the first pitch back to the mound. Rivera was ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a 2-2 knuckler away.

Haeger's line: 3 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 39 pitches (28 strikes)

George Sherrill came in for Huber. Thome worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Jerry Owens came in to run for Thome.

Joel Piñeiro came in for Sherrill. Konerko bashed a hanging down-the-pipe 1-2 curve into the fifth row of seats in leftcenter.
Pierzynski walked on four pitches. Crede got ahead 2-0 and got a visit from Chaves. Crede got to 3-0 and took a low 3-1 pitch, moving Pierzynski to second. Cintron bunted the first pitch foul, but got the next one, rolling it slowly to third to move Pierzynski and Crede to third and second. Rob Mackowiak, hitting for Anderson, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Gload grounded hard to first, where Sexson hesitated a tiny bit, then threw home for the force on Pierzynski, then Rivera threw back to first, but it wasn't in time as the bases stayed loaded. Uribe slapped the second pitch off the top of the first-base bag, and Sexson ran into first-base umpire Gerry Davis, but he had no play as Crede scored and the bases remained loaded.
Sweeney chipped the second pitch into center for a single and Ichiro threw to third to hang up Uribe between third and second. Uribe ran back to second, which Sweeney occupied, so Sweeney went into the book as the runner called out. Still, Mackowiak and Gload scored ahead of all the rundown stuff.

Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Piñeiro's line: 1 inning, 4 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 0 strikeouts, 25 pitches (11 strikes)

Bobby Jenks came in for Haeger, Sweeney moved over to center, and Mackowiak stayed in to play rightfield. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Bloomquist, poked the second pitch near the leftfield line for a single. Ichiro rolled the first pitch slowly to second, moving Dobbs to second. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, whiffed over an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Lopez whiffed over an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt away.

Jenks' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 11 pitches (11 strikes)

Gameball: Richie Sexson.
He just continues to have a torrid second half. He went only 1-for-2, but the one hit was a homer, which is good for the ol' slugging percentage, and he walked twice, which is good for the ol' on-base percentage. This is a guy who was hitting .221 when everyone went to sleep on the night of August 5th. Now he's hitting .259. His on-base percentage went from .289 to .336, and his slugging percentage went from .445 to .494. I like to use the date of August 2nd as the last edge of suck from Sexson, as it was the last time he'd gone hitless in consecutive games. Since, he's 57-for-164 (.348) with 17 doubles, nine homers, and 31 RBIs. He's also walked 25 times and struck out 39 times in that span. The slugging mark since the last set of consecutive hitless games comes out to a fairly impressive .616. Though it's no secret that Sexson would prefer not to have the first half of the season that he had (including a .213 April and a .198 May), it's great that he's cranking it up now. Sure, one would prefer that he did it when the games still sort of mattered, but oh well.

Goat: Joel Piñeiro.
I don't know what more to bring to the table when it comes to Piñeiro. Granted, the fact that this game wasn't called final after five innings (and the Mariners given the win) was complete crap, it doesn't take away from the fact that Piñeiro gave up four runs on three hits in one inning, and he walked three guys to boot. I can't claim to know everything about sports or the Mariners or anything I write on this weblog, but what I do know is that if the Mariners for some reason Piñeiro ends up on the Opening Day roster next season, they should just sell this team and move it because it just wouldn't be worth it. I'm just beside myself that this is the guy the Mariners were basically calling untouchable when other teams came to them with trade offers a few years ago. Now all hope is shredded. On the list of things more gratifying to watch than a Piñeiro appearance: watching rock being blasted to drill a tunnel through the Alps on Extreme Engineering on the Science Channel. They blast that rock almost as badly as other teams blow up Piñeiro when he's on the mound.

Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 110-45 .710 -- L1
2002 89-66 .574 21 W1
2003 89-66 .574 21 W2
2000 86-69 .555 24 L3
2006 75-80 .484 35 L1
2005 67-88 .432 43 L1
2004 60-95 .387 50 W1

Feierabend. Garcia. Today.

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