Saturday, April 15, 2006
Canucks 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)
[initial partial post]
And so it ended. This game was completely meaningless in the standings as the Canucks had been eliminated from a playoff spot two nights earlier in San Jose. Thus, the speculation in Vancouver has already run rampant as to what happens in the offseason. There will be some big changes for sure, but it's a matter of who goes that's up for debate. One postgame caller said one of either coach Marc Crawford or Todd Bertuzzi has to go, and I think that's probably a popular point of view. Another feather in the cap for ousting Crawford came from CKNW postgame host Jeff Paterson, who nicely pointed out that Crawford never seems to give backup goalies a chance. This year, Alex Auld probably only got the time in net because Dan Cloutier was badly injured. After having 14 prior regular-season games of NHL experience, Auld started 56 of the final 60 games this season, which is crazier than Dustin Butler's run in the Portland Winter Hawks' net last season when Blake Grenier went down (that was 18 straight, by the way, for a kid in junior). The Canucks earlier this season traded for Maxime Ouellet and Crawford barely used him. They traded at the deadline for Mika Noronen and he didn't get off the bench that much. Before the lockout, Johan Hedberg got the shaft from Crawford despite being popular among teammates. Paterson also mentioned Martin Brochu and Peter Skudra among the names of backup netminders that fell by the wayside under Crawford. I particularly feel Hedberg got screwed, but that's just me.
As for my relatively short time following the Canucks, I've only been able to do so through internet radio telecast, and that's been done by me listening through the live feed at CKNW.com. This game was the last game to be aired on CKNW, as the team has decided to move the flagship and the games to Team 1040. Though color commentator Tom Larscheid got choked up after the game in addressing everyone who's been part of the broadcasts for the years as well as play-by-play guy John Shorthouse, Paterson said they'll both probably be together next year as well. I know it just wouldn't be the same for me if it were otherwise.
Oh yeah, the game. Let's just say it took until the 82nd game of the season for all three members of the Naslund/Morrison/Bertuzzi line to score goals in the same game. Oh, what might have been if that happened a little more often this season...
»» 1, COLORADO, Alex Tanguay 28 (Patrice Brisebois, Andrew Brunette) 19:46
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Todd Bertuzzi 25 (Ryan Kesler, Alexandre Burrows) 2:13
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Markus Naslund 32 (Ed Jovanovski, Brendan Morrison) 13:46
»» 4, COLORADO, Pierre Turgeon 16 (Brad Richardson, Brisebois) 8:22
»» 5, COLORADO, Tanguay 29 (Rob Blake, Ian Laperriere) 17:54
»» 6, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 33 (Henrik Sedin) 19:17
»» 7, VANCOUVER, Morrison 19 (unassisted) 4:23
Three stars -- (1) Morrison, (2) Colorado's Alex Tanguay, (3) Naslund
H Sedin 0-1-1
With their season done, the win gave the Canucks a final record of 42-32-8 (4-4 shootout, four overtime losses), good for 92 points, but not a playoff spot. The Canucks are one point short of eighth-place Edmonton, but that's moot. Edmonton has a game left, as does everyone seeded third through eighth. Detroit and Dallas have two games left. The Canucks, fourth in the Northwest Division, finished 25-10-6 at home, 17-22-2 on the road, and 15-12-5 within the Northwest Division. Division games killed the Canucks early on in the season. Of course, that's just one of many things that went wrong for the Canucks this season.
In 25 words or less: The game's result was a very unlikely one considering how it all started out.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Tim Wakefield. The Mariners had the chance to even out the series and keep their chances alive for a series win. They also had a chance to climb back to .500 and possibly lead the AL West depending on how the Angels fared later in the day. In other news, the Mariners were hoping some other things would go right, such as the fact that this is the game number 12 on the season and Adrian Beltre doesn't have a single RBI to his credit after 11.
Ichiro served a low liner into leftfield near the line, but it was caught by Ramirez. Jose Lopez grounded the 0-2 pitch behind the bag at third and Youkilis threw him out. Raul Ibañez lasered the first pitch right into the glove of the second baseman Cora. Wakefield threw a mere seven pitches.
Adam Stern bounced the second pitch to Sexson, who took it to the bag. Alex Cora bounced a 2-2 pitch to Sexson (3-1 putout). David Ortiz poked a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch. Manny Ramirez put a 1-2 fly ball high off the end of the bat into centerfield, but it appeared to cross up Reed, who slowly ran toward it but played it off the hop, allowing Ortiz to move to third. Kevin Youkilis mashed the second pitch, but it was foul down the leftfield line near the Monster. Youkilis got ahead 3-1 and grounded on a full count to Beltre on the left side, who threw to first in time. Piñeiro threw 23 pitches.
Richie Sexson popped the second pitch to a running Stern in centerfield. Beltre nubbed a 2-0 pitch along the third-base line and Bard came from behind the plate and pounced on it, throwing in time to first. Carl Everett singled off of Cora's glove and into centerfield. Jeremy Reed singled a 1-2 pitch under Snow's glove at first, allowing Everett to move to third since he took off with the pitch. Rene Rivera watched Reed steal second without a throw on the second pitch. Rivera later foul-tipped a way-outside 1-2 pitch into Bard's glove. Wakefield threw 17 pitches and had 24 through two.
JT Snow, wearing 84 in honor of his late father, worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Wily Mo Peña one-hopped a ball into the centerfield end of the Boston bullpen for a double, moving Snow to third. Josh Bard fell behind 0-2 and worked it for a walk, except it took 12 pitches. Alex Gonzalez fell behind 0-2 and watched the 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Stern was fooled on his way to an 0-2 count and whiffed badly on the next pitch in the dirt. Cora nubbed out to second. Piñeiro threw 30 pitches and was at 53 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt doubled down the leftfield line. Ichiro whiffed badly at a 1-2 pitch down and away, but it got past Bard, enabling both Ichiro and Betancourt to be safe at first and third. Lopez watched as Ichiro took second on the first pitch. Lopez' 0-2 pitch went off of Bard's glove and to the backstop, allowing Betancourt to score and Ichiro to move to third.
»» MARINERS 1, RED SOX 0
Lopez scorched the 1-2 pitch into a drawn-in Youkilis' glove at third. Ibañez lined the first pitch on one hop over the wall in rightfield, scoring Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 2, RED SOX 0
After Ibañez was nearly picked off of second, Sexson roped the 1-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for what ended up as a single, scoring Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 3, RED SOX 0
Beltre whiffed badly at a 1-2 knuckler. Everett dropped the second pitch into centerfield for a single, and Stern overran the ball (error), allowing Sexson to move to third, but Everett got too greedy and was nailed off the bag at first. Wakefield threw 23 pitches and had 47 through three.
Ortiz flew out to Reed just short of the centerfield track. Ramirez creamed a 2-0 pitch right to short. Youkilis worked an 0-2 count full before flying out lazily to right. Piñeiro threw 15 pitches and had 68 through three.
Reed tried bunting himself aboard, but Snow was able to get to the ball and toss to a covering Cora at first. Rivera flew out to right. Betancourt popped the first pitch to Youkilis on the infield grass. Wakefield threw only six pitches and had 53 through four.
Snow grounded the second pitch to second. Peña whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Bard singled on the first pitch the other way into leftfield. Gonzalez grounded the first pitch hard to Beltre, who stopped it and threw to first. Piñeiro threw nine pitches and had 77 through four.
Ichiro popped to left on a 1-2 pitch. Lopez waited on a 1-2 pitch and doubled off the wall in centerfield. Ibañez popped the first pitch to Stern in front of the monster. Sexson popped out behind the bag at third to Youkilis. Wakefield threw 13 pitches and had 66 through five.
Stern waved at a 2-2 change down and away. Cora hit the second pitch up the middle to a ranging Lopez, who went to the backhand and had enough time to take some steps and throw to first in time. Ortiz grounded the 2-2 pitch to Betancourt on the second-base side of the bag (shift). Piñeiro threw 12 pitches and had 89 through five.
Beltre grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Everett flew out to rightfield on the first pitch. Reed took an 0-2 floater over the outside corner. Wakefield threw nine pitches and had 75 through six.
Ramirez whiffed on a 2-2 breaker down and away. Youkilis shot the second pitch to the left side, where Beltre dove and threw in time to first on a quite-nice play. Snow hit a low sinking liner on the second pitch that was caught by a sliding Ibañez. Piñeiro threw 10 pitches and had 99 through six.
Rivera drove the second pitch high off the Monster inside the leftfield line for a double. Betancourt popped out to Gonzalez among a cluster of three Red Sox in shallow centerfield. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and fisted a 1-2 popup to Gonzalez near the second-base bag. Shortly after, Gonzalez was unsuccessful with the hidden ball trick. Lopez grounded the first pitch hard to Youkilis at third. Wakefield threw 10 pitches and had 85 through seven.
Peña shot a grounder past Lopez and into rightfield for a single. Bard flew out to Ibañez on the leftfield track. Gonzalez took a 2-2 pitch off his left wrist and stomach, moving Peña to second as Hargrove came out to say Gonzalez didn't make an attempt to get out of the way.
JJ Putz came in for Piñeiro. Stern whiffed at an 0-2 high fastball over the outside corner. Cora hit a shallow fly in center that Reed had to run a long way to get, but he did. Putz threw five pitches.
Piñeiro's line: 6 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 111 pitches (71 strikes)
Ibañez flew out to Stern in leftcenter on 0-2. Sexson flew out to center on the second pitch. Beltre flew out to Gonzalez in shallow centerfield on a 2-0 pitch. Wakefield threw nine pitches and had 94 through eight.
Ortiz whiffed on a belt-high 1-2 fastball. Ramirez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 offspeed pitch. Youkilis worked a 1-2 count full and finally whiffed on a dirtball on the 12th pitch of the at-bat (2-3 putout). Putz threw 22 pitches and had 27 total.
Putz' line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 27 pitches (20 strikes)
Everett fell behind 0-2 and swung and missed at a 1-2 dirtball (2-3 putout). Reed whiffed at a 1-2 dirtball as well (2-3 putout). Rivera popped another double, this one on the second pitch off the scoreboard in leftfield. Betancourt grounded the second pitch behind the bag at third to Youkilis.
Wakefield's line: 9 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 9 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, 108 pitches (81 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Mark Loretta, hitting for Snow, worked an 0-2 for a walk. Peña worked an 0-2 count full as well, but he popped to Sexson beside the Boston dugout for a huge out. Jason Varitek, hitting for Bard, flew out to Reed in fairly deep centerfield on a 2-2 count. Gonzalez fell behind 0-2 and later bounced the 1-2 pitch to short.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Rene Rivera.
Well, I'm performing a ritual that was performed quite a few times last year. If I don't give Rene Rivera a gameball after this game, he may never get one. His first game back up with the big club and he doubles off the Monster twice, which is good in itself because he's hitting as a catcher and also because he's in the eighth slot in the lineup. The other end of the Rivera story is that something happened in that second inning, and Rivera has to get credit for at least some of it. Piñeiro had loaded the bases with nobody out, and worse yet, Josh Bard had loaded the bases with his twelve-pitch walk. If I set up a scenario in my mind that involves Piñeiro loading the bases full of Red Sox with nobody out, I'm thinking three runs are going to cross the plate. Of course, the next three hitters to come to the plate were Alex Gonzalez, Adam Stern, and Alex Cora, who are hardly world-beaters. Still, weirder things have happened, and this is Joel Piñeiro we're dealing with here. In any event, though he wasn't the guy throwing the pitches, he was the guy throwing down the fingers (even if they might be from the dugout) and receiving the pitches thereafter that got Piñeiro and the Mariners out of the mother of all jams.
The Mariners have a leadoff hitter, a guy who has hit in the Majors before, we've all seen it. He went 0-for-4 today. The guy's hitting .200. Yes, I know it's twelve games into the season, and there are 150 to go. The bottom line is that this .200 stuff isn't really setting up the lineup well. In addition, with some of the decent nights the bottom of the lineup has been having lately, this team could be even better if Ichiro was joining the hit parade. The sixth through ninth hitters in the Mariner lineup were a combined 6-for-16 today with four strikeouts (knuckleballs, after all). Ichiro reached base today only because Josh Bard couldn't hold onto the knuckleball that struck him out. Ichiro got to first, and luckily he came around to score the first Mariner run of the game. I know he's busted out of that huge slump, which was a good thing, but there are low-scoring games like this one where the Mariners need Ichiro to get the rest of the lineup going. I could have chosed Adrian Beltre, but I think his defensive play today exempts him from goat status.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 9-3 .750 -- W2
2002 9-3 .750 -- W6
2000 8-4 .667 1 W3
2003 6-6 .500 3 W2
2005 6-6 .500 3 W1
2006 6-6 .500 3 W1
2004 4-8 .333 5 W2
Hey, look. Every Mariner team this decade won the 12th game of the season. Amazing.
Boy, did this game look dire for Joel Piñeiro. He needed 23 pitches to get out of the first, though some of that was partially due to Jeremy Reed having some sun trouble out in centerfield and letting a ball drop in front of him. Of course, what everyone is talking about is that second inning, that 30-pitch monstrosity. A walk, a double, and a 12-pitch walk (incredibly, his last walk of the game) set up the unlikely end. As I mentioned in the Rivera paragraph, the 9-1-2 hitters for Boston aren't exactly All-Stars, but in any situation like this, a lot has to go right for the offensive team not to score at least one run. Joel seemed like he flipped a switch or something and started getting his breaking stuff over and everything. The fact that Piñeiro was able to get into the seventh, let alone the fifth, is astounding. Sure, he doesn't have anywhere close to the pop on his fastball that he used to, but if he can just be a bit more consistent, the Mariners will be a lot better off for it. Sure, everyone would rather see eight shutout innings of two-hit ball or something, but we could be looking back on this months from now and we might say this was a turning point for Joel. I'm hoping so, anyway. Yes, Joel got his first win in four career starts at Fenway. Now if the same thing happens with Meche...
JJ Putz was on the top of his game again, which of course means they should trade him while his value's up. Okay, maybe not (haha). He mowed through the first five hitters in the Boston lineup in the seventh and eighth. Four of the five outs he recorded were via the strikeout, and he struck out the side in the eighth. It wasn't just that he struck out the side, it was that the parties who struck out were David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis. Not small beans by any means. The heat and the splitter were working real well. The great thing is that we might be able to say JJ has put the rough appearances behind him from the series against the Angels. He hasn't allowed a run since, and that covers four appearances and 5 2/3 innings. He's allowed three hits, walked none, and struck out 11 hitters over that span. Sure, when he runs into trouble later this year, we're going to refer right back to those appearances against the Angels, but JJ Putz has developed into a solid late-inning reliever. I can't say I thought that when he first came up with the Mariners, but I'm happy to be wrong here.
Adrian Beltre's a damned good defensive third baseman. He made a diving stop today and made a nice stop on another. This is in addition to the nice play he made last night on the safety squeeze bunt. What this pretty much amounts to is that if he doesn't hit soon, people in the more stat-inclined community will have to dig up defensive stats if Beltre's going to look like he's proved any of his worth as a Mariner. We're twelve games into the season and Beltre doesn't have a single RBI. Yeah, Sexson's been doing decent in front of him, but he's not homering every time, so there have definitely been some ducks on the pond, though a lot of them for a stretch there weren't named Ichiro. Still, after how good he looked in the World Baseball Classic, seeing Beltre flounder again like this is a little unnerving. Every single day of this marks one day closer to me tagging him as Jeff Cirillo redux, and that's not a good thought. They need this guy's bat to come around, and fast. Maybe they need to mess his foot up again or whatever his lingering injury during 2004 was that he got fixed. Maybe it made him mechanically correct or something.
The Mariners could still get a series win out of this mess. Of course, that means they have to end up with wins in games where pitchers like Jarrod Washburn and Gil Meche are starting on the mound. That can be quite adventourous, yes. If somehow the Mariners manage to win this series, they'll be 8-6 at the end of it and they'll be over .500. With the way the AL West is going, that might put them in sole possession of first place or something crazy like that. Perish the thought.
Washburn. Beckett. Tomorrow.
[second partial post]
In 25 words or less: 'Twas a pitchers' duel after Jamie Moyer stopped his shakiness. Of course, Schilling was himself.
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Curt Schilling.
Ichiro popped the second pitch to Youkilis in foul ground on the right side. Jose Lopez reached and grounded out to second on a full count to finish a nine-pitch at-bat. Raul Ibañez nubbed a grounder up the middle, but Gonzalez moved over to scoop and throw. Schilling threw 16 pitches.
Kevin Youkilis doubled a 1-2 pitch into the leftfield corner. Mark Loretta was ahead 3-0 and walked on the fifth pitch. David Ortiz whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball low and away. Manny Ramirez popped high to rightfield on the first pitch as the runners held. Jason Varitek lifted a shallow 0-2 fly ball to rightfield. Moyer threw 19 pitches.
Richie Sexson whiffed on an 0-2 offspeed pitch. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 heater over the outside corner. Carl Everett drew some boos and fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch under his arms over the inside corner. Schilling struck out the side on 14 pitches and had 30 through two.
Mike Lowell grounded an 0-2 pitch up the middle and Lopez ranged over to make a sliding stab behind the bag and threw out Lowell on a very nice play. Dustan Mohr put a 3-1 single into leftfield. Wily Mo Peña popped a 2-2 pitch high to third. Alex Gonzalez one-hopped the wall just inside the leftfield foul pole for a double, moving Mohr to third. Youkilis took a 2-2 pitch that plate umpire Tim Tschida thought was a ball off the inside corner (it's a Moyer pitch though) before he fouled off four pitches with a full count before walking on the tenth pitch of the at-bat. Loretta flew out to rightfield. Moyer threw 32 pitches and had 51 pitches.
Kenji Johjima sent the first pitch through the mound and into centerfield for a single. Jeremy Reed popped the second pitch to shallow rightfield. Yuniesky Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and wound up grounding the 1-2 pitch right to Lowell at third to start the 5-4-3 double play. Schilling threw seven pitches and had 37 through three.
Ortiz creamed the first pitch quite foul on the right side, fell behind 0-2, and later popped the 2-2 pitch to Lopez in shallow rightfield. Ramirez was ahead 2-0 but finished with a whiff of a 2-2 breaking ball over the outer half. Varitek popped the second pitch high to leftfield. Moyer threw 12 pitches and had 63 through three.
Ichiro nubbed the second pitch back to the mound, and Schilling threw his bare hand behind him and caught the ball, then threw to first for the out. Lopez popped the 2-2 pitch to Youkilis near the tarp on the right side. Ibañez grounded the first pitch behind the first-base bag to a diving Youkilis, who underhanded to a racing Schilling just in time. Schilling threw eight pitches and had 45 through four.
Lowell spanked the first pitch into rightfield for a single. Mohr doubled the second pitch off the base of the wall in the leftfield corner to move Lowell to third. Peña took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Gonzalez got ahead 2-0 and ripped a double high off the Monster just left of centerfield to score Lowell and Mohr.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 0
Youkilis took the first pitch low and it got away from Johjima and went to the backstop (charged as a wild pitch), allowing Gonzalez to scoot to third. Youkilis ended up walking on four pitches. Loretta safety-squeezed on the first pitch, bunting down the third-base line, but Beltre barehanded the ball, held it, and Gonzalez retreated back toward third and was unsuccessful since Beltre (alert) threw to a covering Betancourt, who tagged Gonzalez out. Youkilis scurried to second on the play. Ortiz took umbrage to a 1-1 yakker over the outside corner, and later he grounded the 2-2 pitch hard to Sexson (3-1 putout). Moyer threw 23 pitches and had 86 through four.
Sexson smacked the second pitch just inside the bag at third and into the corner for a double. Beltre tapped to short on a full count, moving Sexson to third. Everett bounced the first pitch to a charging Lowell at third, who had a moment of indecision before he went to first base for the sure out, but Sexson was able to score.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 1
Johjima fouled off three pitches with a full count but couldn't make contact with the fourth on a checkswing that was not a checkswing after all on a pitch that fooled Johjima. Schilling threw 19 pitches and had 64 through five.
Ramirez fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 belt-high cutter over the inside corner. Varitek got ahead 2-0 but wound up popping out to third. Rain started to fall at Fenway. Lowell doubled down the leftfield line. Mohr fell behind 0-2 and his at-bat ended with a 1-2 foul-tip into Johjima's glove. Moyer threw 16 pitches and had 102 through five.
Reed bounced an 0-2 pitch down the line past Youkilis at first and beat Peña's throw to second. Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and ended up shoveling a ball up the middle which was picked by the shortstop as Reed went to third. Ichiro whiffed on a 2-2 splitter low and away. Lopez took what he thought was a questionable strike on a 1-1 pitch and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 fastball outside. Schilling threw 19 pitches and had 83 through six.
Peña whiffed through an 0-2 change outside. Gonzalez dumped the first pitch for a single into leftfield. Youkilis took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Loretta whiffed on a 2-2 pitch off the plate outside as Moyer had struck out the side on 13 pitches.
Moyer's line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, 114 pitches (70 strikes)
Ibañez popped the second pitch to Ramirez in front of the scoreboard in left. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and eventually bounced out to short. Beltre flew out to the rightfield corner near the Pesky pole. Schilling threw nine pitches and had 92 through seven.
George Sherrill came in for Moyer. Ortiz rolled out to Betancourt on the first-base side of second (shift). Ramirez got ahead 2-0 and ended up walking on a high full-count pitch. Rafael Soriano started warming in the bullpen. Varitek punched a 2-2 single through the left side to move Ramirez to second.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Lowell bounced the first pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Soriano threw one pitch.
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
Everett fell behind 0-2 and wound up flew out to center on 2-2. Johjima whiffed on a 1-2 pitch over the outer half. Reed grounded right to a drawn-in Lowell at third. Schilling threw 12 pitches.
Schilling's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 104 pitches (73 strikes)
Mohr fell behind 0-2 and was caught looking on a breaking ball over the outside corner. Peña rang a second-pitch double past Sexson and to the rightfield corner, and Adam Stern ran for him. Gonzalez whiffed on some high 1-2 heat. Youkilis took Ibañez just short of the leftfield track for a flyout.
Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (13 strikes)
Jonathan Papelbon came in for Schilling. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, popped a 1-2 pitch to Gonzalez in shallow leftfield. Ichiro whiffed on some 2-2 high stuff. Lopez lined a double off the scoreboard in left, but it came off pretty hard, so he only got a single out of it. Ibañez bounced out to second.
Papelbon's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Rafael Soriano.
Goat: Raul Ibañez.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 8-3 .727 -- W1
2002 8-3 .727 -- W5
2000 7-4 .636 1 W2
2003 5-6 .455 3 W1
2005 5-6 .455 3 L2
2006 5-6 .455 3 L1
2004 3-8 .273 5 W1
Piñeiro. Wakefield. Today.
Friday, April 14, 2006
[second partial post -- everybody do your taxes if you haven't already]
In 25 words or less: Felix pitches young again, but the Mariners manage a series win and a vault back to .500.
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Jason Johnson.
Ichiro rolled a 1-2 pitch to short. Jose Lopez got ahead 2-0 and whiffed at a 2-2 curveball in the dirt (2-3 putout). Raul Ibañez whiffed with a 3-0 green light, then whiffed over the next pitch before chopping out to second. Johnson threw 15 pitches.
Grady Sizemore mashed a single past a diving Sexson at first. Jason Michaels put the second pitch through the right side for a single, moving Sizemore to second. Jhonny Peralta slapped a 2-0 single the other way to score Sizemore. Ichiro threw home even though he didn't have much of a thought, but Johjima came out and fielded the throw to nail Michaels at third as Peralta moved to second.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 0
Travis Hafner watched an 0-2 pitch go off of Johjima's glove and to the backstop for a passed ball, allowing Peralta to move to third. Hafner ended up working the count full before whiffing on a big curve. Victor Martinez whiffed on a 1-2 fastball just off the plate outside. Hernandez threw 18 pitches.
Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 fastball over the inner half. Adrian Beltre grounded the second pitch hard to third. Carl Everett bounced to first on the second pitch. Johnson threw nine pitches and had 24 through two.
Ben Broussard walloped the second pitch inside the foul pole down the rightfield line -- a rope.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0
Ron Belliard fell behind 0-2 and worked the count until he rolled out to short. Aaron Boone lined the second pitch right into Beltre's glove at third. Casey Blake worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Sizemore lasered the first pitch (fastball that wasn't that fast) into rightfield for a single that moved Blake to second. Michaels grounded to Beltre cutting across the left side of the infield. Hernandez threw 23 pitches and had 41 through two.
Kenji Johjima was jammed on the second pitch, which he nubbed to short. Jeremy Reed chopped a 2-2 pitch up the middle and into centerfield for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded the first pitch toward the right-side hole, where Belliard took the ball and tried to turn the double play and got Reed at second, but Reed's slide appeared to have altered Peralta's throw to first a bit, enabling Betancourt to take first. Ichiro watched as Betancourt stole second on a high 0-2 pitch. Ichiro whiffed badly on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt (2-3 putout). Johnson threw 13 pitches and had 37 through three.
Peralta worked an 0-2 count full before grounding hard back to the mound. Hafner fell behind 0-2 and wound up bouncing a 2-2 pitch to second. Martinez fell behind 0-2 and flew out to leftfield on a 1-2 pitch. Hernandez threw 16 pitches and had 57 through three.
Lopez got ahead 2-0 and smacked a single past Boone on the left side on a full count for a single. Ibañez grounded the first pitch right to Broussard at first, who tried to start a 3-6-3 double play, but the throw back was late (Lopez was out). Sexson watched an 0-2 outside dirtball get away from Martinez behind the plate (wild pitch) and Ibañez scooted to second. Sexson ended up whiffing on a fastball inside at the knees. Beltre took an 0-2 breaking ball barely outside and ended up reaching low and away and grounding a 2-2 pitch to a charging Boone at third. Johnson threw 18 pitches and had 55 through four.
Broussard laced a single into centerfield. Belliard got ahead 2-0 and ended up unloading on a 2-2 letter-high hanger, deposited it roughly 12 rows or so above the leftfield scoreboard, a 420-foot shot.
»» INDIANS 4, MARINERS 0
Boone bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Blake worked a 1-2 count for a walk on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, a checkswing on a curve down and away. Sizemore whiffed on an 0-2 curve that broke like a mutha. Michaels grounded hard to Beltre, who knocked it down and stayed with it and threw into the runner at first, but Sexson came down with the tag. Hernandez threw 27 pitches and had 84 through four.
Everett roped a ball into fairly deep rightfield that looked catchable for Blake, who reached up and had it, but dropped it as Everett stood on second with a double. Johjima bounced a 2-0 pitch to short as Everett moved to third. Reed lined the first pitch for a fly ball to rightfield which Blake caught and threw straight home, but the throw was way off and Everett scored.
»» INDIANS 4, MARINERS 1
Betancourt doubled into the leftfield corner on the fly. Ichiro thumped the first pitch, a highish one that ended up over the wall in rightcenter.
»» INDIANS 4, MARINERS 3
Lopez drove the second pitch to fairly deep centerfield, but it was a flyout. Johnson threw 15 pitches and had 70 through six.
Broussard walked on five pitches and moved Hafner to second.
Julio Mateo came in for Hernandez. Belliard reached down and away for an 0-2 pitch and dunked it into centerfield for a single to score Hafner and move Broussard to second.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 3
Boone popped the second pitch high to Betancourt on the leftfield grass.
Hernandez' line: 4 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 102 pitches (59 strikes)
Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to Broussard coming off of first, but he made the 3-1 putout. Sexson grounded the first pitch to short. Beltre walked on four pitches. Everett watched Beltre nab second base (high throw) on the first pitch, then ended up walking on four pitches as well. Johjima whiffed on a 3-1 low breaking ball before walking on a full-count breaking ball low and away to load the bases.
Rafael Betancourt came in for Johnson. Jeremy Reed whiffed on a full-count fastball high and outside. Betancourt threw seven pitches.
Johnson's line: 5 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 90 pitches (51 strikes)
Blake doubled a 3-1 pitch off the track and wall in leftfield. Sizemore bounced right to Sexson as Blake moved to third. Michaels worked an 0-2 count full but scorched a full-count line drive right to Beltre at third, who gloved it and walked to the bag to double off Blake for the double play. Mateo threw 15 pitches.
Y Betancourt walked on four pitches in the first-ever Betancourt clash. Ichiro one-hopped to short, but Y Betancourt had taken off with the pitch and got to second safely. Lopez cranked a 1-2 pitch about nine rows back above a tunnel over the wall in leftfield to score Betancourt and himself.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 5
Scott Sauerbeck, Cleveland's new Paul Assenmacher, came in for R Betancourt. Ibañez shot a second-pitch grounder past Broussard at first.
Guillermo Mota came in for Sauerbeck. Sexson lined the first pitch down the leftfield line for a double into the corner, moving Ibañez to third. Beltre was intentionally walked to load the bases. Everett needed eight pitches (the last one down and in) to draw a walk, forcing in the go-ahead run in Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 6, INDIANS 5
Johjima grounded right to Boone at third, whose throw home pulled Martinez off the plate, allowing Sexson to score and the bases to remain loaded.
»» MARINERS 7, INDIANS 5
Reed popped the first pitch to Peralta in shallow leftfield as the infield fly rule was called. Y Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and ended up reaching out to nub out to second.
R Betancourt's line: 2/3 inning, 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Sauerbeck's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 pitches (1 strike)
Mota's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run (unearned), 1 hit, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (12 strikes)
Peralta popped the second pitch up to Sexson on the bag at first.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Hafner fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the outer half. Victor Martinez blistered a 1-2 double off the top of the wall in leftcenter, and for some reason Reed went all the way up to the wall and banged against it. Broussard was caught gawking at an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner.
Mateo's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 11 pitches (9 strikes)
Fernando Cabrera came in for Mota. Ichiro walked on four pitches. Lopez watched as Ichiro nabbed second by a mile on the first pitch. Lopez watched as Ichiro went on first move with an 0-2 count, but Cabrera step-threw to Peralta at short and Ichiro was hung up between third and second. Lopez ended up whiffing at a 1-2 pitch in the dirt (2-3 putout). Ibañez lined right to Belliard at second. Cabrera threw 12 pitches.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Belliard had the hitters' counts and ended with a full-count bouncer deep into the hole on the right side where Lopez made the slide but the ball went past him as Belliard had the single. Boone grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to third, where Beltre charged and threw off-balance to second for the out on the lead runner. Blake whiffed on a 1-2 low splitter. Sizemore sprayed a second-pitch single past Y Betancourt through the left-side hole for a single to move Boone to second. Michaels did some sightseeing on a 1-2 belt-high fastball over the outer half. Putz threw 20 pitches.
Sexson worked an 0-2 count for a seven-pitch walk. Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 dirtball low and away (surprise). Everett worked an 0-2 count for a walk, moving Sexson to second. Joe Borchard came in to run for Everett. Johjima drilled the second pitch off the base of the wall left of the scoreboard for a double, scoring Sexson and Borchard.
»» MARINERS 9, INDIANS 5
Reed pounded the second pitch that one-hopped and nailed Cabrera's planted right foot, though he picked up the ball and threw to first. Cabrera had to come out of the game.
Danny Graves came in for Cabrera. Y Betancourt reached and rolled a groundout to short.
Cabrera's line: 1 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 1 hit, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 33 pitches (15 strikes)
Graves' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Peralta was ahead 2-0 and later whiffed on a 2-2 low splitter. Hafner grounded to second. Martinez golfed the first pitch for a flyout to leftfield.
Putz' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 30 pitches (21 strikes)
Gameball: JJ Putz.
Goat: Felix Hernandez.
Blasphemy, I know.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 7-3 .700 -- L1
2002 7-3 .700 -- W4
2000 6-4 .600 1 W1
2005 5-5 .500 2 L1
2006 5-5 .500 2 W2
2003 4-6 .400 3 L3
2004 2-8 .200 5 L1
Moyer. Schilling. Tonight.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Sharks 5, Canucks 3
[initial partial post]
It's all over. The Canucks needed one point to keep themselves alive for a playoff spot, and they couldn't get it. Edmonton came in one point ahead coming into the night, and both teams had two games to play. Thus, the Canucks needed to come out with one more point than Edmonton and would have had the tiebreaker based on more wins. But really, the Canucks came up short, much like the entire slate of games they played after New Year's Eve.
In an odd testament to the season, the big line of Naslund/Morrison/Bertuzzi showed up tonight when they hadn't most of the season, whereas the season-long nightly show of D Sedin/H Sedin/Carter didn't score a point. Quite odd, but so was the entire season.
After the Canucks lost Game 7 of the first round to Calgary during the last hockey season, immediate speculation was that the core of the team would be shaken up and that GM Brian Burke would possibly be gone. What ended up happening was that Burke was fired not long after that series ended and after the lockout the entire core of the team stayed intact. But now, it's got to be shaken up. I know that the radio crew had that sort of "end of an era" tone to their voices after the game. I don't think Marc Crawford is the problem as coach -- I just think some of the group of guys got too comfortable with each other or something. Too comfortable or not comfortable enough to criticize each other. Everyone over the last how many months has wondered where the leadership was in that dressing room and where the jump has been in the team, and it really didn't come on that much until the last week or week and a half.
In short, this was like watching the 2003 Mariners, except with a ton more injuries.
Here's to a better next season and so long to a very weird season.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Ed Jovanovski (Todd Bertuzzi) 4:42
»» 2, SAN JOSE, powerplay, Nils Ekman 20 (Matt Carle, Jonathan Cheechoo) 4:42
»» 3, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Brendan Morrison 18 (Bertuzzi, Markus Naslund) 4:57
»» 4, SAN JOSE, powerplay, Cheechoo 52 (Tom Preissing, Joe Thornton) 10:32
»» 5, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Bertuzzi 24 (Jovanovski, Naslund) 17:48
»» 6, SAN JOSE, Ville Nieminen 8 (Marcel Goc, Kyle McLaren) 4:36
»» 7, SAN JOSE, powerplay, Matt Carle 3 (J Thornton, Evgeni Nabokov) 11:24
»» 8, SAN JOSE, emptynet, Cheechoo 53 (J Thornton) 19:43
Three stars -- (1) San Jose's Joe Thornton, (2) San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo, (3) San Jose's Matt Carle
The last meaningful game of the season left the Canucks at 90 points with a 41-32-8 record (4-4 shootout, four overtime losses). What follows next is a completely meaningless home game on Saturday against Colorado, which also functions as Fan Appreciation Night and jersey-off-our-backs night. Though it'll be nice for whatever fans end up with the players' sweaters, I'm sure the fans would appreciate more if this team made the playoffs. It won't happen now. In a way, I'm almost glad this is over because of how schizophrenic this team was over the span of the season. They didn't deserve to be in the playoffs, and if they did get in, it would have been patchwork city anyway. Of course, they didn't deserve two of their top four defensemen leaving last offseason and three of the remaining defensemen to miss significant time during the season either.
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: If the Mariners were going to snap a four-game skid and a Cleveland six-game tear, they'd have to withstand the Gil Meche Adventure.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Paul Byrd.
Ichiro popped the first pitch to Boone in foul territory between third and home. Jose Lopez ripped an 0-2 pitch past a diving Michaels and to the leftfield wall for a double. Raul Ibañez roped the first pitch into rightfield for a single to score Lopez.
»» MARINERS 1, INDIANS 0
Richie Sexson nubbed slowly to first as Ibañez moved to second. Adrian Beltre bashed the second pitch right to Byrd, who caught the line drive. Byrd threw 10 pitches.
Grady Sizemore flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Jason Michaels walked on a full-count pitch low and away. Jhonny Peralta laced a 2-2 pitch into rightfield for a single that moved Michaels to second. Travis Hafner took a decent curve on a 2-1 pitch (only notable because it was a nice pitch) and later watched with a full count as Meche had Michaels hung up off of second, and he was tagged out, then on the same play Peralta was caught between first and second. Amazing. Meche threw 25 pitches.
Carl Everett got ahead 3-0 before flying out to Michaels on the rightfield track. Kenji Johjima whiffed on a full-count pitch in on the hands. Jeremy Reed stroked the second pitch high and nearly for a homer in rightcenter as Blake didn't quite get to it on the track and collided with the wall as Reed strolled into third with a triple. Yuniesky Betancourt reached out for a 2-2 pitch and grounded out to short. Byrd threw 18 pitches and had 28 through two.
Travis Hafner walked on four pitches. Victor Martinez tapped the first pitch up the middle which was a sure double-play ball but Meche gave it some glove, and the ball went to Lopez, who went to second for the force-out and Martinez beat out the double play. Ben Broussard stuck a single up the middle to move Martinez to second. Ron Belliard took a 1-1 pitch way inside, so much so that he was drilled in the left bicep/shoulder. Aaron Boone grounded the first pitch to the left side, and Beltre threw home instead of to second, and the force was made on Martinez as the bases remained loaded. Blake saw Meche uncork an 0-1 wild pitch in the dirt outside that got away from Johjima and rolled to the backstop (probably should have been a passed ball), allowing Broussard to cross the plate and the other runners to move up 90 feet.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 1
Blake still had the rest of the at-bat to go, and nearly was plunked with offspeed on the next pitch, but he drilled the next pitch into centerfield for a single to score Belliard and Boone.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 1
Sizemore walked on four pitches, moving Blake to second. Michaels fell behind 0-2 and wound up grounding a hard 1-2 pitch to Beltre behind the bag at third, and he stepped on the bag for the forceout. Meche threw 24 pitches and had 49 through two.
Ichiro walked on four pitches. Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch outside, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez rolled a grounder up the middle for a single, scoring Ichiro and moving Lopez to third. This drew a visit to the mound by Cleveland pitching coach Carl Willis.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 2
Sexson took the first pitch off the plate for a strike, then couldn't connect on a hanging breaking ball, fouling it off for an 0-2 count. He later whiffed on a 1-2 slider inside and waist high. Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 low slider. Everett worked a 1-2 count for a walk, moving Ibañez to second to load the bases. Johjima whacked his second 0-2 pitch off the top of the leftfield wall to clear the bases, and the throw got past Martinez behind the plate, but Johjima didn't advance past second. This got Danny Graves up and warming in the Cleveland bullpen.
»» MARINERS 5, INDIANS 3
Reed cranked a putch to nearly the same spot he hit the triple in his first at-bat, but Blake came down with the catch this time. Byrd threw 36 pitches and had 64 through three.
Peralta grounded a 1-2 pitch to third. Hafner popped the second pitch to Reed in shallow centerfield. Martinez hit a 1-2 pitch toward the leftcenter gap, but it landed in the glove of Reed, who moved over to make the catch. Meche threw 10 pitches and had 59 through three.
Betancourt popped the first pitch to Broussard, who made the catch at the mound. Ichiro smacked an outside pitch into leftfield for a single to snap an 0-for-19 slump. Lopez watched as Ichiro took off on the first pitch and Martinez' throw was a bit short and bounced past, so the bag was stolen. Lopez put the next pitch into fairly deep leftfield, where it was caught by Michaels (Ichiro held). Ibañez spanked the ball down the rightfield line to score Ichiro for a sure double, but he was waved around second by third-base coach Carlos Garcia, who waved him on for the triple.
»» MARINERS 6, INDIANS 3
Danny Graves came in for Byrd. Sexson bounced the second pitch to third. Graves threw two pitches.
Byrd's line: 3 2/3 innings, 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 75 pitches (45 strikes)
Broussard ripped a base hit through the right side. Belliard poked the second pitch into rightfield for a single, and Ichiro nearly gunned down Broussard at third, but he was called safe. Boone fell behind 0-2 and wound up popping a 1-2 pitch high to Beltre, who'd moved over to the backside of the mound to make the catch. Blake laid the bat on a ball low and away and singled into rightfield to score Brossard and move Belliard to third. Jake Woods was warming up in the bullpen.
»» MARINERS 6, INDIANS 4
Sizemore ripped the second pitch off the first-base umpire Tim McClellan, and the ball rolled toward Lopez as Broussard scored and Belliard moved to third.
»» MARINERS 6, INDIANS 5
Michaels got the hitters' counts and took 3-1 pitch low and away. Peralta whiffed on a 2-2 curve down the pipe and low. Meche threw 25 pitches and had 84 through four.
Meche's line: 4 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 4 walks, 1 strikeout, 84 pitches (47 strikes)
Beltre got ahead 2-0 and wound up with a blistering single into leftfield. Everett popped the second pitch to Sizemore a few steps from the centerfield track as Beltre held at first. Johjima watched as Beltre took second on the 1-1 pitch without drawing a throw. Johjima whiffed on a 3-1 pitch down and away before walking on a pitch down and away. Reed grounded very hard to Broussard at first, who reacted quickly and turned the 3-6-3 double play. Graves threw 15 pitches and had 17 total.
Jake Woods came in for Meche. Hafner grounded to Sexson behind the bag at first. Martinez flew out to right. Broussard hooked a hanging pitch foul down the rightfield line, not quite with homerun distance. Broussard ended up taking a full-count pitch over the outer half. Woods threw 14 pitches.
Betancourt looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow centerfield that dropped between Peralta and Belliard, who suffered a communication breakdown that allowed Betancourt to be on first. Ichiro lasered a second-pitch single through the right side, moving Betancourt to second. Lopez blew a couple of bunt attempts, then watched an 0-2 pitch hit the dirt and get past Martinez, allowing Betancourt and Ichiro to move up 90 feet. Lopez ended up tapping the 1-2 pitch back to the mound as the runners held. Ibañez was walked intentionally to load the bases. Sexson blasted the first pitch over the scoreboard in leftfield.
»» MARINERS 10, INDIANS 5
Beltre whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball low and away. Everett flew out to Michaels in leftcenter. Graves threw 24 pitches and had 41 total.
Graves' line: 2 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 41 pitches (24 strikes)
Belliard grounded an 0-2 pitch into the hole on the left side, and Betancourt ranged over to his right and threw against his own momentum in time to first. It was a pretty good play. Boone bounced out to third. Blake whiffed on a 1-2 pitch up and in. Woods threw 11 pitches.
Jason Davis came in for Graves. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a breaking ball inside. Reed bounced out to second. Betancourt rolled out to second. Davis threw 12 pitches.
Sizemore grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to second. Michaels got ahead 2-0 (Johjima followed through on a throw back to Woods and was hit in the hand by Michaels' bat) and later flew out to a running Ichiro in the rightcenter gap on a full count. Peralta dumped the second pitch into leftfield for a single, snapping Woods' streak of eight straight retired hitters. Hafner crushed a 2-0 pitch about 15 rows back into the rightfield seats with a lot of arc.
»» MARINERS 10, INDIANS 7
Martinez worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Broussard grounded a 2-2 pitch deep up the middle, where Betancourt plugged the hole and threw in time to first for another nice play. Woods threw 27 pitches and had 38 total.
Ichiro stung the first pitch up the middle for a single. Lopez bounced up the middle off of Davis' leg, and he threw in time to first, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez rolled a double into the rightfield corner to score Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 11, INDIANS 7
Sexson whiffed on an 0-2 pitch way down and away. Beltre grounded the first pitch hard to third. Davis threw nine pitches.
Davis' line: 2 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (16 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Woods. Belliard dropped the second pitch for a single into the gap in leftcenter. Boone lined out to Ibañez in leftfield on the second pitch as Belliard held. Blake on the second pitch clubbed a double to the wall in leftcenter, scoring Belliard.
»» MARINERS 11, INDIANS 8
Sizemore fell behind 0-2 and nearly flew out in the rightfield corner to Ichiro, who didn't come up with it. Sizemore took a slider inside on the next pitch that went all the way to the backstop, pushing Blake to third. On the next pitch, Sizemore flew out to Betancourt in shallow leftfield as Blake held. Michaels fouled an 0-2 pitch up and in into Johjima's glove as he fell to the deck.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
Scott Sauerbeck came in for Davis. Everett grounded the first pitch hard to third. Johjima hit a hard chopper that Sauerbeck leapt to spear, throwing to first afterward. Reed flew out to centerfield.
Sauerbeck's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Soriano. Peralta tagged a line drive right into the glove of a diving Beltre at third. Hafner punched a single past Lopez into centerfield. Martinez fell behind 0-2 and wound up doubling off the base of the wall in rightfield, except Ichiro threw straight into second and Martinez only got a single out of it because he thought it was gone and Hafner was on third. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, popped the first pitch foul near some prime seats and reached over a railing and got a glove on it as the railing got dangerously close to a certain shoulder. Perez hit a ball hard that went off Lopez' glove and into centerfield, scoring Hafner and moving Martinez to second. It would have been a sure double-play ball to end the game (originally charged as an error to Lopez, it was overruled the day after). Todd Hollandsworth ran for Perez.
»» MARINERS 11, INDIANS 9
Belliard fouled off four straight 1-2 pitches before whiffing at the fifth, a fastball up and away. Boone for some reason swung at the first pitch and flew out to Lopez at second.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
Goat: Gil Meche.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 7-2 .778 -- W3
2002 6-3 .667 1 W3
2000 5-4 .556 2 L1
2005 5-4 .556 2 W3
2003 4-5 .444 3 L2
2006 4-5 .444 3 W1
2004 2-7 .222 5 W1
Hernandez. Johnson. Tonight.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Sharks 5, Canucks 4 (OT)
[initial partial post]
By virtue of the Oilers getting shut out against the Red Wings the night before, the Canucks held their destiny in their hands and could run the table over their last three games and earn a playoff spot and not need help. Would this be motivation enough for a win?
»» 1, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Mattias Ohlund 13 (Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin) 6:25
»» 2, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Markus Naslund 31 (D Sedin, Ed Jovanovski) 10:44
»» 3, SAN JOSE, Grant Stevenson 10 (Joe Thornton, Vesa Toskala) 17:21
»» 4, SAN JOSE, powerplay, Nils Ekman 19 (Thornton, Scott Hannan) 18:57
»» 5, SAN JOSE, Milan Michalek 17 (Steve Bernier, Patrick Marleau) 7:52
»» 6, VANCOUVER, powerplay, D Sedin 22 (H Sedin, Nolan Baumgartner) 13:22
»» 7, VANCOUVER, Bryan Allen 7 (Baumgartner) 6:14
»» 8, SAN JOSE, Hannan 6 (Thornton, Tom Preissing) 15:57
»» 9, SAN JOSE, Christian Ehrhoff 5 (Thornton, Preissing) 0:34
Three stars -- (1) D Sedin, (2) San Jose's Joe Thornton, (3) San Jose's Christian Ehrhoff
D Sedin 1-2-3
H Sedin 0-2-2
With this quite possibly being the last nail in the coffin, the overtime loss put the Canucks' record at 41-31-8 (4-4 shootout, four overtime losses), good for 90 points. If they get into the playoffs, the only seed they can get is the eighth. The only matchup they would have is Detroit. Of course, they still have to get there first, and they have to win once or lose in overtime twice to even have a chance. They can't have Edmonton win their final two games. Edmonton lies one point ahead with two to play. Vancouver also has two left to play, one in San Jose and one hosting Colorado.
In 25 words or less: Who would you take in a matchup between a team that had lost three straight and a team that had won five straight?
This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against Cliff Lee.
First off, you gotta love the archived MLB.tv Mariners' feed cutting in as the Indians took the field. I wonder how that bowling match turned out, since it was pre-empted by the ballgame and everything. Also, since the Mariners had lost three straight, there's nothing like facing a team that's won five straight and might be the best team in baseball right now, and to do so at their ballyard. Also, this was Richie Sexson's 1000th career game, in the park of the team he came up with. The first broadcast crew on the tube today was Dave Niehaus and Dave Valle. Hooooo-ray.
Ichiro fell behind 1-2, took a pitch barely off the plate outside, and ended up with the walk. Jose Lopez flew out high to leftfield. Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-1 and ended up roping a full-count fly ball right to Michaels at the wall in leftcenter. Quite the shot, but not enough trajectory. Lee threw 23 pitches.
Grady Sizemore poked the first pitch off of Washburn's foot, and the ball rolled to Lopez, who threw in time to first. Jason Michaels rolled the second pitch to short, and Sexson threw over Betancourt during the around-the-horn toss after the play. Jhonny Peralta popped the second pitch to center. Washburn threw a mere six pitches.
PRONUNCIATION ALERT -- Dave Niehaus tells us that Kenji Johjima prefers his name be pronounced with no stressed syllables (that's what I got from Niehaus' explanation). In other words, the word Johjima has the same linguistic cadence as the word Nagano. Adrian Beltre popped the 2-0 pitch foul and it was caught over the railing of the Mariners' first-base dugout by Perez, who is wearing number 33, which I can't believe hasn't been retired in Cleveland yet (Eddie Murray). Carl Everett worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a high fastball. Kenji Johjima took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Lee threw 15 pitches and had 38 through two.
Travis Hafner hit a hard grounder to second on the second pitch. Victor Martinez drilled the first pitch into shallow centerfield for a single. Eduardo Perez bounced the first pitch to Lopez up the middle to start a 4-6-3 double play. Washburn threw only four pitches and had 10 through two.
Joe Borchard fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 high fastball. Yuniesky Betancourt smacked the second pitch for a liner up the middle, but it was caught on the backhand by Belliard. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 change. Lee threw 12 pitches and had 50 through three.
Ron Belliard lined the second pitch right to Belliard in center. Aaron Boone cranked a double high off the scoreboard in leftcenter. Casey Blake reached down on the second pitch and flew out to Borchard, who took a few steps back and had to race forward to catch it. Sizemore slapped the second pitch for a single into leftfield which shorthopped Ibañez, enabling Boone to score from second on the play.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 0
Michaels flew out to Ichiro in shallow right on the second pitch. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 22 through three.
Lopez lined out right to Michaels in leftfield. Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 pitch knee-high over the outside corner. Sexson smoked a 2-2 pitch right to Blake in rightfield on a rope. Lee threw 10 pitches and had 60 through four.
Peralta stuck a single into leftfield which hopped over Ibañez and to the wall (error), enabling Peralta to get to second. Hafner pounded the first pitch for a single to centerfield, moving Peralta to third. Martinez ripped the first pitch off the track and off the wall, scoring Peralta and moving Hafner to third.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0
Perez grounded the 2-2 pitch to Beltre, who went toward the hole to make the play and went to first instead of home as Hafner scored and Martinez held at second.
»» INDIANS 3, MARINERS 0
Belliard popped the first pitch to Lopez on the rightfield grass. Boone took a 2-2 pitch that was high and away but plain went off of Johjima's glove for a passed ball, moving Martinez to third. Boone flew out high to Johjima behind the plate on a full count. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 40 through four.
Beltre cranked the first pitch foul down the leftfield line and never made contact for the rest of the at-bat as he got down 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 1-2 change off the plate outside and low. Everett whiffed on the same 1-2 change low and off the plate that got Beltre. Johjima doubled off the far right of the scoreboard wall in leftcenter. Borchard fell behind 0-2 and later flew out high to fairly deep centerfield. Lee threw 19 pitches and had 79 through five.
Blake fell behind 0-2 but later poked a grounder down the leftfield line and off the sidewall past the tarp for a double. Sizemore bounced the second pitch right to Sexson, who ran to the first-base bag as Blake held at second. Michaels grounded the first pitch right to Betancourt, who threw to first as Blake held once again. Peralta lined a ball over the big scoreboard wall in leftfield.
»» INDIANS 5, MARINERS 0
Hafner fell behind 0-2 but it didn't matter since he blasted the next pitch over the 405ft marker in dead-centerfield. It was a blatantly hanging breaking ball, by the way.
»» INDIANS 6, MARINERS 0
Martinez took a first-pitch strike followed by four balls. Perez lasered the 2-2 pitch right into the glove of a charging Ichiro. Washburn threw 27 pitches.
Washburn's line: 5 innings, 6 runs, 9 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 67 pitches (43 strikes)
Betancourt hit a hard grounder past Boone at third and into leftfield and he beat the throw to second for a double. Ichiro served a 1-2 pitch for a flyout to left. Lopez jumped on the first pitch, homering over the scoreboard in leftfield.
»» INDIANS 6, MARINERS 2
Ibañez drilled the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Lee got a visit from his pitching coach and his catcher. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch up the middle that Belliard charged, and he made the play to first as Ibañez moved to second. Beltre bounced a ball to the left side, and Boone had the ball go off the heel of his glove and past him for an error, moving Ibañez to third. Everett smeared the first pitch right to Belliard, who caught the ball on his knees. Lee threw 17 pitches.
Lee's line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 96 pitches (68 strikes)
Jeff Harris came in for Washburn. Belliard bounced the second pitch to short. Boone fell behind 0-2 and wound up hitting a high 1-2 pitch to Borchard in center for a flyout. Blake took an 0-2 belt-high fastball over the outside corner for strike three. Harris threw nine pitches.
Fernando Cabrera came in for Lee. Johjima spanked the first pitch into leftfield for a single. Borchard, hitting lefty this time, whiffed on a 1-2 splitter in the dirt. Betancourt got the hitters' counts and smacked a 3-1 pitch high off the leftfield wall for a double, scoring Johjima. A bad throw in from leftfield helped matters concerning the scoring of Johjima.
»» INDIANS 6, MARINERS 3
Ichiro dumped an 0-2 pitch into shallow leftfield that Michaels charged and caught on the play. Lopez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball down and outside.
Cabrera's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (12 strikes)
Sizemore bounced the second pitch to Lopez in the hole, who plugged it and made the play at first. Michaels scooped the second pitch into leftfield for a single. Peralta bashed the second pitch off the leftfield wall for a double, moving Michaels to third.
George Sherrill came in for Harris. Hafner got ahead 3-1 and they gave him the intentional fourth ball. Martinez pumped a second-pitch single into leftfield, scoring Michaels and moving Peralta and Hafner to third and second.
»» INDIANS 7, MARINERS 3
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, fell back 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a 1-2 high fastball over the inner half. Belliard smoked the first pitch up the middle for a single to score Peralta and Hafner, but the throw from Borchard in toward the plate was cut off by Sexson at the mound, who threw to Beltre at third as Martinez was blatantly out.
»» INDIANS 9, MARINERS 3
Harris' line: 1 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (2 strikes)
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
Scott Sauerbeck came in for Cabrera. Ibañez hooked a 3-1 pitch for possibly home-run distance but hooked it foul. He ended up with a walk on a low pitch.
Matt Miller, whose motion looks like he's barely trying to throw, came in for Sauerbeck. Sexson walked on a high 3-1 pitch. Beltre was plunked in the left elbow and/or back with the first pitch, loading the bases and drawing another visit from Carl Willis, Cleveland pitching coach. Everett bounced the first pitch up the middle for a clutch 4-6-3 double play, scoring Ibañez. The only remaining runner was Sexson, who stood at third.
»» INDIANS 9, MARINERS 4
Johjima grounded right to Boone at third.
Sauerbeck's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Miller's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (4 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Putz. Boone lined the first pitch into leftfield, where Ibañez had some judgment difficulty and stepped back and reached up and back to mae the catch. Blake took a full-count pitch down the pipe at the knees. Sizemore flew out to left on a high 0-2 pitch.
Mateo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
Rafael Betancourt came in for Miller. Borchard fell behind 0-2 but worked the count full before blistering a single through the right side. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Y Betancourt, nearly homered to leftfield on an 0-2 count, instead going off the wall for a double, moving Borchard to third. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch to short as Petagine held and Borchard scored.
»» INDIANS 9, MARINERS 5
Lopez laced a first-pitch flyout to Sizemore in leftcenter. Ibañez took Michaels to the leftfield track for the final flyout.
R Betancourt's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
He doubled to lead off the sixth and doubled in the seventh as well, the latter to score Kenji Johjima with the third Mariner run of the game. The double in the seventh brought the Mariners to within three runs of the Indians at 6-3. Betancourt finished the game with a boxscore line of 2-for-3 with an RBI and the two doubles, with a run scored. He also helped turn a double play. But more importantly, this 2-for-3 day with two doubles came from the ninth slot in the batting order. That's good stuff right there. Joe Borchard, though he didn't have a stellar day, came up with a 1-for-4 day, and Kenji Johjima came up with a 2-for-4 day. Put 'em all together, and the bottom third of the lineup went 5-for-11. Throw in Roberto Petagine's pinch-hit appearance, and it's 6-for-12, easily the most productive part of the Mariner lineup. If you look at the boxscore, it'd be shaped weird if you drew a graph or something where zero represented a vertical line and one hit or two hits was represented by lines deviating in both directions from zero. Basically, I'm just saying all this crap so I can use the AC/DC reference. If you remember the song "Whole Lotta Rosie," Bon Scott refers to the numbers "42-39-56." In this game, the bottom third of the lineup was the 56. You could say they got a lot. The worst part is when the lineup would roll over and Ichiro hangs up an 0-for-4. More on that later.
Goat: Carl Everett.
Dinosaurically bad. I know they paid him a lot of money and everything, but I'm still trying to come to grips with the fact that they're trotting him out there hitting righthanded. As has been noted, his results will be almost wholly proven at the plate since he's the designated hitter and everything. Think...after all those years of fearing interleague play because we knew Edgar Martinez wouldn't be playing much for a span of two weeks or so, now we actually get to look forward to it so that we don't have to see Carl Everett out there. Better yet, since they'll be trotting pitchers out there to hit, the net difference might be zero, considering the way he's hitting (or not hitting) right now. What's ticking me off is this -- if you don't have an Edgar Martinez or someone that's an incredible hitter, then the DH should be used to get playing time or spot starts for good hitters or something, or to give a guy like Richie Sexson a day off from the field. If you ask me, the expensive Carl Everett is sucking up playing time that could be used for the Joe Borchards and the Roberto Petagines of the world.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 6-2 .750 -- W2
2000 5-3 .625 1 W1
2002 5-3 .625 1 W2
2003 4-4 .500 2 L1
2005 4-4 .500 2 W2
2006 3-5 .375 3 L4
2004 1-7 .125 5 L1
I talked about the bottom of the lineup doing great in the Betancourt gameball entry, and I talked about the lineup rolling over to Ichiro. For all intents and purposes (didn't grammatically mess that one up this time!) lately, the lineup has literally been rolling over when it gets to Ichiro. This latest stretch he's on right now is an 0-for-18 stretch which started with his last at-bat in the April 6th game against Oakland, where he lined into a double play. The Mariners won that game. Ironically, the Mariners have lost four straight, and Ichiro has zero hits in those games. Coincidence? Yes and no, since some of the pitching's been crappy, the middle of the lineup hasn't been doing too well either, etc. Still, that middle of the lineup thing could be a feeding-off-Ichiro thing too, and when Ichir's not thriving, you know how it goes. Ichiro's not a Richie Sexson or an Adrian Beltre, for whom I'd use the phrase "this team will go as far as ______ will take them," but Ichiro definitely is a big part of any success this team might or might not have.
Another big part of any success this team might or might not have depends on Jarrod Washburn. I can't tell whether he was actually good the first three innings or if the Indians were just teasing him. It was clear early on what the Indians' game plan was, and it was to be aggressive and swing early in the count. If Washburn was going to leave this game, it wouldn't be because he was tired, it'd be because the Indians would have lit him up. That's exactly what they did. To me, it was almost like the Indians had Washburn solved before either team even stepped onto the field today. They had a gameplan which was clear as day early in the game, and even though Washburn threw a measly ten pitches after two, they kept sticking with it, and before you knew it, Washburn was giving up back-to-back homers to double up on a 3-0 deficit. Balls were getting hit hard by the Indians. I don't think I'd go as far as to say the hitters knew exactly what was coming, but they sure knew what they were doing. Fans of the Washburn signing got what they wanted in his first start of the season, while those who hated the signing and think Washburn is a lefthanded Ryan Franklin got a feather in their caps after this game.
The Mariners got a lot of line drives early off of Cliff Lee, but it wasn't meant to be. Really, it wouldn't be the same for the Mariners if they didn't have someone in the American League that completely dominates them. Pedro Martinez is firmly entrenched in the National League now, so the Mariners won't be facing him as often, obviously. Someone has to take his place, and now I have the feeling thy name is Cliff Lee. Lee is a grand 5-0 against these Seattle Mariners. The one guy in the rotation that could probably beat him is Washburn. Why? Well, it was Franklin that beat Pedro last year, right? It makes no sense, which is why it makes absolute sense. Of course, over the last few games, it's not just an exclusive-to-Cliff Lee thing, it's spread out among the arms of Joe Blanton, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, and Lee. You know, as crappy as this four-game stretch has been, probably the only positive you can draw out of it is that the Mariners have been losing to guys like Joe Blanton, Barry Zito, Barry Zito, and Cliff Lee. The A's and the Indians are pretty good teams, and those pitchers are by no means chop liver. Of course, if the Mariners ever hope to contend for the playoffs or the division title, they need to eventually get it together against pitchers like these. That obviously won't happen with the team in its current state. They'll improve, yes, but just how much is open to speculation.
As for Jeremy Reed sitting once again while a lefty starts on the mound for the opposition, I've already said I'm tired of it. In this game, however, I'm glad he was benched for Joe Borchard instead of Willie Bloomquist. I'll leave it at that.
Meche. Byrd. Tonight.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Mighty Ducks 4, Canucks 2
[initial partial post]
Guess who just lost control of their own destiny? The Canucks could run the table in their final three games and not make the playoffs. Their hopes aren't that great. Among the possible scenarios include Dwayne Roloson continuing to be shaky in net for Edmonton. Of course, there have been nights over the past week where the out-of-town scoreboard has turned against the Canucks in every direction.
But in this game, their fate landed at the hands of a team run by ex-Vancouver GM Brian Burke. Oh, the sick irony. In Burke's words, the problem with Vancouver is that they lost two of their top four defensemen in the offseason, and if you did that to any team, they wouldn't be that great. Top that off with a period shortly after the Olympic break where the Canucks had Nolan Baumgartner out with an injury for a short time that already added to Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo, and Ed Jovanovski on the shelf, and it was pure carnage on the blueline for the Canucks. In that aspect, you might say it's a minor miracle the Canucks are even in this position. However, if you've followed this team game to game, you know they haven't been playing anywhere close to their potential since the calendar turned over to 2006.
Again, the Canucks ran into a problem they've had so much -- failing to play 60 minutes of good hockey.
»» 1, ANAHEIM, Scott Niedermayer 13 (Andy McDonald) 0:35
»» 2, ANAHEIM, Rob Niedermayer 15 (Corey Perry, Todd Marchant) 10:34
»» 3, ANAHEIM, powerplay, McDonald 31 (Teemu Selanne, S Niedermayer) 14:10
»» 4, ANAHEIM, Selanne 39 (Chris Kunitz, McDonald) 7:47
»» 5, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Ryan Kesler 10 (Todd Bertuzzi, Markus Naslund) 13:41
»» 6, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Anson Carter 32 (Nolan Baumgartner, Daniel Sedin) 6:14
Three stars -- (1) Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere, (2) Carter, (3) Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer
D Sedin 0-1-1
The loss dropped the Canucks to 41-31-7 (4-4 shootout, three overtime losses), good for 89 points with three games to go. They are still ninth in the Western Conference, two points back of Edmonton, who is currently eighth. The Canucks have a back-to-back against San Jose and end the season with Colorado. The Canucks are three points back of Colorado, who is seventh in the West with a game in hand. Vancouver is four back of San Jose, who is sixth with a game in hand. Those are the teams left that the Canucks could possibly catch. If they were to make the playoffs, they would be no higher than a sixth seed. But hey, this is a sport where eighth seeds have beaten one seeds, so anything can happen. They just have to get in, though, and everything has to fall into place.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
In 25 words or less: A perfect game, a chance to tie the series, and the scoreless innings streak all went by the wayside in this game.
This one featured Victoria, BC's own Rich Harden going up against Joel Piñeiro. The Mariners were trying to avoid going under .500, which conversely means they were trying to get back above .500 as well. The Mariners had just come off back-to-back dominations at the hands of Joe Blanton and Barry Zito with Harden taking the mound today. I certainly know I was prepared for a third dose of futility from the Mariner offense.
Mark Ellis was plunked* in the back leg on the first pitch. Mark Kotsay grounded a 2-2 pitch deep into the hole on the right side, where Lopez still threw to Betancourt at second and got the lead runner Ellis just in time (neighborhood). Bobby Crosby grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle that led Betancourt to the second base bag, which he tagged, then threw to first to complete the double play. Piñeiro threw 10 pitches.
[*Edit Mon ~7:34p -- thanks to reader Terry for pointing out that getting beaned specifically implies the head or helmet.]
Ichiro grounded the first pitch hard right to Nick Swisher at first. Jose Lopez was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch down over the inner half. Raul Ibañez hit a hard grounder back to the mound. Harden threw nine pitches and the Mariners were up to 21 innings without scoring.
Eric Chavez got ahead 2-0 and flew out to leftfield on a 2-2 pitch. Frank Thomas took an 0-2 pitch knee-high over the inside corner, never swinging in three pitches. Milton Bradley worked a 1-2 count full before taking strike three. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 26 through two.
Richie Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 splitter down and away. Carl Everett took Bradley to the rightfield track on the 1-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre bounced the first pitch to Crosby, who bobbled it but still had enough time to make the out. Harden threw 13 pitches and had 22 through two.
Jay Payton drilled a single into leftfield. Jason Kendall singled on a hit-and-run, but it was to centerfield, so Payton had to hold at second. Nick Swisher popped high to leftfield and the runners held. Ellis singled the second pitch into rightfield, and Ichiro's throw home to get Payton was pretty late, enabling Kendall to get to third.
»» ATHLETICS 1, MARINERS 0
Kotsay flew out on the first pitch to Reed, who threw over the cutoff man, allowing Ellis to move to second. Crosby took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Piñeiro threw 15 pitches and had 41 through three.
Jeremy Reed whiffed on a 2-2 change low over the outer half. Yuniesky Betancourt rolled out to short. Guillermo Quiroz whiffed on a 97mph fastball up and out to finish a nine-pitch at-bat. Harden threw 17 pitches and had 39 through three.
Chavez grounded the second pitch to second. Frank Thomas had a 3-1 count and ended up rolling to short on a full count. Bradley took a 1-2 pitch on the outside corner for strike three, again leaving Bradley perturbed. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches and had 53 through four.
Ichiro popped to Crosby drifting into shallow leftfield. Lopez hit the second pitch for a high lazy fly ball to leftfield. Ibañez whiffed on full-count heat. Harden threw 11 pitches and had 50 through four.
Payton was down 0-2 and tomahawked a 2-2 pitch for a groundout to short. Kendall got ahead 2-0 and stuck the 2-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. Swisher stroked the second pitch to the wall in rightfield for a single (luckily not more), allowing Kendall to move to third. Ellis slapped the second pitch for a slow-rolling double near the leftfield line, scoring Kendall and moving Swisher to third.
»» ATHLETICS 2, MARINERS 0
Kotsay got ahead 3-0 before taking the fourth ball intentionally to load the bases. Crosby crushed the 2-0 pitch right to Beltre, who had the ball go off his chest and up in the air as all the runners advanced 90 feet on the error.
»» ATHLETICS 3, MARINERS 0
Chavez popped an 0-2 pitch to leftfield, where Ibañez caught the ball and tried to nail Ellis coming home, but the play wasn't that close and the leftover runners moved into scoring position.
»» ATHLETICS 4, MARINERS 0
Thomas popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow rightcenter. Piñeiro threw 27 pitches and had 80 through five.
Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Everett popped the first pitch right to Payton in left. Beltre pounded a 2-2 single into shallow centerfield, ending the perfect game. Reed lazily lined the second pitch right to Crosby at short. Harden threw 13 pitches and had 63 through five.
Bradley was ahead 2-0 and later grounded to Sexson for a 3-1 putout. Payton bounced a ball off the centerfield track and wall for a double. Kendall got ahead 2-0, then Piñeiro slipped during the at-bat, then Quiroz checked on him. Kendall had a 3-1 count as well and ended up rolling to short as Payton held at second. Swisher was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Piñeiro threw 19 pitches and had 99 through six.
Betancourt grounded the second pitch hard to third. Quiroz whiffed on a 2-2 splitter outside and in the dirt. Ichiro grounded to Swisher near the bag at first. Harden threw 11 pitches and had 74 through six.
Ellis grounded deep into the hole at short, and Betancourt tried to make the backhand play and throw, but he was way too deep and Ellis took the single. Kotsay grounded the second pitch to Lopez to start a 4-6-3 double play. Crosby pounded a hard single into leftfield. Chavez was ahead 2-0 and wound up popping a homer just over the rightfield fence. High-larious.
»» ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 0
Thomas popped to Ichiro near the rightfield line. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 115 through seven.
Piñeiro's line: 7 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 10 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 115 pitches (70 strikes)
Lopez popped the second pitch to Kotsay in leftcenter. Ibañez smoked a 2-2 pitch right into Swisher's glove at first. Sexson was ahead 3-1 and wound up poking (jammed) a single into deep centerfield that Kotsay didn't dive for and took off the hop as Sexson took second with a double for the Mariners' second hit. Everett waved over an 0-2 pitch and ran to first anyway even though Kendall didn't drop the ball. Harden threw 17 pitches and had 91 through seven.
Jeff Harris came in for Piñeiro. Bradley got ahead 2-0 and nubbed out to short. Payton slapped an 0-2 pitch into rightfield for a single. Kendall grounded an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a 6-4-3 double play.
Beltre worked a 1-2 count for a walk (what?!). Reed smacked a single the other way through the left-side hole for a single, moving Beltre to second.
Justin Duchscherer came in for Harden. Joe Borchard, hitting for Betancourt, grounded the first pitch to Ellis, who bobbled the ball and missed the chance at the double play, getting only Borchard at first as the runners moved to second and third. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Quiroz, drew a full-count walk to load the bases. Ichiro took a 2-1 pitch for a strike that was a bit off the plate, and later popped to Chavez near the third-base bag in foul ground on a full count. Lopez fell behind 0-2, fouling two pitches off the ground and himself, and ended up taking a 1-2 pitch off his left bicep to force Beltre across. Thus ended the Mariners' streak of scoreless innings at 27.
»» ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 1
Joe Kennedy came in for Duchscherer. Ibañez somehow got out of the way of a 2-2 pitch (but should probably have gotten beaned), then whiffed on the next pitch (full count).
Duchscherer's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (11 strikes)
Kennedy's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 6 pitches (3 strikes)
Jake Woods came in for Harris. Defensively, Willie Bloomquist came in at short and Kenji Johjima came in to catch. Swisher flew out to Ichiro on a 2-0 pitch. Ellis popped the second pitch to Ichiro. Kotsay dumped a 2-0 pitch along the leftfield line that Beltre was going for, but Bloomquist took him out with a low block as the ball went off Beltre's glove into foul territory and Kotsay stood on first with a single. Crosby took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner.
Woods' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Kirk Saarloos came in for Kennedy. Sexson took an 0-2 pitch over the outer half at the knees. Everett had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch. Beltre got ahead 3-0 and took the 3-1 offering up and in for a walk, moving Everett to second. Saarloos drew a visit from pitching coach Curt Young as Huston Street warmed in the bullpen. Reed watched his second pitch get by Kendall and to the backstop as Everett and Beltre moved to third and second, leaving Reed with a 2-0 count. Reed grounded to first for a groundout as Everett scored and Beltre moved to third.
»» ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 2
Kenji Johjima took a 2-1 pitch down and in for a strike (iffy), then smacked a 2-2 hard grounder that ate up Chavez at third and went into leftfield for a single.
»» ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 3
Huston Street came in for Saarloos. Willie Bloomquist watched as Johjima took second on the second pitch on catcher's indifference. Bloomquist later spanked a single into leftfield and Johjima hit the brakes at third since Payton got to the ball right away. Ichiro ripped the 0-1 pitch barely foul in front of the third-base bag. Bloomquist took second on indifference on Ichiro's 0-2 pitch. Ichiro chopped the 1-2 pitch high, but Street speared it, then underhanded it so high that Swisher had to leap for it. With a minor collision, Ichiro was safe at first as Johjima scored and Bloomquist moved to third. On the play, Ichiro turned toward second after the contact with Swisher, after which Swisher could have conceivably tagged Ichiro out but didn't. Street was charged with an error on the play.
»» ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 4
Lopez grounded the second pitch to short. Thus ended the feeble attempt at a comeback.
Saarloos' line: 2/3 inning, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 23 pitches (11 strikes)
Street's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Jake Woods.
Again, it was another tough day when it came to selecting someone worthy of a gameball. Offensively, Adrian Beltre had the best line on the team, getting the base hit that broke up Rich Harden's perfect game and drawing two walks to go along with it. He scored two of the Mariners' four runs. Of course, this is all tempered by the error charged to him in the fifth. The ball got up on him and it should have been an inning-ending double play if all went right. Instead, a runner scored on that play, then Eric Chavez was the next guy to come to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly. That's two runs that could be attributed to the error. The Mariners ended up losing by two runs. This brings us to Jake Woods. After his first appearance of the season on Thursday night was horrid (seven outs and three walks), it was either Woods or Jeff Harris that was going to get the gameball from me for this game, and by virtue of striking out one more batter, Woods gets it. Also, he held Oakland at bay in the ninth and kept the Mariners within five runs so that the bottom half of the inning was slightly interesting.
He went 0-for-5 today. He went 2-for-5 in the first game of the series, then went 0-for-13 combined in the final three games of the series. He had a stolen base today, but that came after he got aboard on Huston Street's underhand skyscraping throw that pulled Nick Swisher off the bag in the ninth. Ichiro has started out the season with a 6-for-30 (.200) mark after seven games. Granted, the Mariner bats were completely dominated by the likes of Joe Blanton, Barry Zito, and Rich Harden, but there are some times where it has to start at the top. If Ichiro can't get it going and can't get on the basepaths and wreak havoc, it makes it that much harder for the rest of the lineup to get good pitches or have ducks on the pond or have something else on the pitcher's mind other than the hitter. Ichiro knows this team depends on him and he knows there are a lot of expectations heaped on him. I'm sure he knows that if the rest of the team isn't doing much, he's got to help pick up the slack. Going 0-for-13 in the final three games of a series against a division rival isn't a good way of doing such.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 5-2 .714 -- W1
2000 4-3 .571 1 L1
2002 4-3 .571 1 W1
2003 4-3 .571 1 W2
2005 3-4 .429 2 W1
2006 3-4 .429 2 L3
2004 1-6 .143 4 L1
When it became apparent early on that the Mariner bats weren't going to do anything against Rich Harden, I rooted for the perfect game. As opposed to earlier situations in which the Mariners could have used Beltre's hits in this young season, he decided to hit a single to break up Rich Harden's perfect game with a mere 13 outs to go. I figured if the bats are going to suck, why not root for history? When Beltre hit that single, I was glad Beltre got a hit, sure, but I had a lot less to look forward to for the afternoon until the Oakland arms started self-destructing in the eighth and ninth innings. Other than that, Rich Harden was absolutely mowing the Mariner bats down, which was surprising. By surprising, of course, I mean that I completely expected it. It may be eight days after April Fools' Day, but I can still play opposites, and the Mariners can follow a 3-1 start by being the complete opposite of a good team. They did a great job of that over the weekend.
One bone of contention to pick in this game regarded the tenure of Joel Piñeiro. He got caught in the merry-go-round in the fifth and a 1-0 game became a 4-0 Oakland lead in an inning where he threw 27 pitches. He allowed a one-out double to Jay Payton in the sixth, but got away unscathed in the inning despite consistenly falling behind in the count. After six innings, Piñeiro's pitch count was at 99 with the top of the Oakland lineup due in the seventh. I was surprised to see him trotting out to the mound for the seventh, though I guess it's not all too hair-brained since Mike Hargrove is the manager of the team. My rationale for pulling him is that even though he's the #2 starter in the rotation, it's still early in the season, and you can't have him burn out later in the season. Of course, I know full well that Julio Mateo's horrendous outing on Friday night burned him for the rest of the series and that Rafael Soriano threw the night before, so the sources of long relief were limited to names like Jake Woods and Jeff Harris. On the other hand, the Mariners were slated for an off-day after this game.
In other words, a inning or two of Jeff Harris in the seventh and/or eighth might not have been so bad with the Mariners down 4-0. Instead, Piñeiro came out for the seventh and Mark Ellis hit a well-placed grounder deep in the hole on the left side to get aboard. If I hadn't already pulled Piñeiro, I pull him right here before Mark Kotsay comes up, and you can even use the righty-lefty rationale to pull him if you want Woods facing Kotsay or something. I'm even saying this in hindsight fully knowing that Kotsay hit into a double play. Piñeiro faced Bobby Crosby with two out and the bases empty, but Crosby drilled a single into leftfield. Hargrove could have sent another pitcher out there to start the seventh, and he had three chances in the seventh to pull Piñeiro, and he never did. Piñeiro didn't help himself out by starting Chavez out 2-0. He got a strike across before Chavez lofted one over the rightfield fence that effectively put the game out of doubt. The greatest part of all this was hearing Dave Henderson on the TV broadcast saying when Piñeiro came out for the seventh that these were the types of competitive things that get pitchers to 200 innings and save the bullpen and make you a durable starter and everything. The guy had 99 pitches after six innings in his second start of the season. Pull him, for goodness' sake.
It doesn't mean as much since the Mariners had an off day coming afterward, but Piñeiro did get through seven innings and therefore save the bullpen a bit. It was the first time since Jarrod Washburn's start on Wednesday that a Mariner starting pitcher had gotten out of the sixth inning. Julio Mateo should be fresh for Tuesday's game, as should Rafael Soriano, who were probably the two most burned arms in the bullpen. Mateo will more than likely be needed in the second game in Cleveland on Wednesday when Gil Meche starts.
As for all those runs in the eighth and ninth, it wasn't the Mariners that did that. It was Oakland starting to walk people, make errors, etc. The game was over for all intensive purposes in the eighth when Raul Ibañez evaded a beanball on a 2-2 count with the bases loaded and the Mariners down 6-1 with two out. If he takes it in the backside, the Mariners trail 6-2 with two out and Richie Sexson at the plate. Instead, Sexson led off the ninth inning, which wasn't as optimal.
But hey, there's no better team to face to snap a three-game losing streak than the Cleveland Indians, who've won five straight. It's one day off and then a trip to the Jake. I figure there will be two games in the series in which a team will score ten runs or more. Hopefully it isn't Cleveland both times. Watch out for falling spherical debris emanating from the bat of Travis Hafner.
Washburn. Lee. Tuesday.