Saturday, April 22, 2006
In 25 words or less: There's pitchers out there capable of throwing a no-hitter every night. I feel every night the Mariners are capable of being no-hit.
This one featured Nate Robertson going up against Gil Meche. A night after a 2-1 loss, I looked up some stuff and found that the Mariners are 0-6 in one-run games. The Mariners and the Yankees are the only two teams this season without a one-run win so far. The Yankees are winless in four tries. An interesting pregame fact courtesy of FSN Detroit was Brandon Inge's career average against Gil Meche, which was .429 coming into the game. Also courtesy of FSN Detroit, they still run their show out of Bellevue, and I hope the people of Detroit know this. It's Bellevue, Washington, not Bellevue between Lansing and Battle Creek, Michigan. I'm just glad we're not the only ones that have to put up with Cameron Wong.
Curtis Granderson broke his bat on a 1-2 roller to second. Placido Polanco bounced out to second, keeping Lopez busy. Ivan Rodriguez, who Rod Allen tells me swings a 34-inch, 34-ounce bat, poked an 0-2 single through the left side, and Allen noted that Rodriguez wasn't running very well. Magglio Ordoñez drove the second pitch into the gap and to the wall in leftcenter for a double, scoring Rodriguez from first.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Alexis Gomez bounced the 2-2 pitch to second. Meche threw 22 pitches.
Ichiro popped softly to short. Jose Lopez rolled over a 1-2 pitch and bounced out to third. Raul Ibañez nubbed an 0-2 pitch back to the mound. Robertson threw 10 pitches.
Chris Shelton barely missed a high 1-2 pitch, cranking a ball that had home-run distance but was barely foul. Shelton lined a 2-2 pitch off of Meche's left calf, and he knocked it down and threw to first. Carlos Guillen fell behind 0-2 and laid the bat on a 2-2 pitch, fishing it out to leftfield for a single. Craig Monroe got ahead 2-0 and later walked on a full-count pitch up and in to move Guillen to second. Brandon Inge got the hitters' counts and whiffed on a full-count two-seamer down. Granderson took a full-count pitch over the inside corner. Meche threw 30 pitches and had 52 through two.
Richie Sexson popped high to Gomez on the rightfield track near the line. Kenji Johjima bounced out to second. Carl Everett had a 3-0 count go full before flying out to Gomez in shallow rightcenter. Robertson threw 13 pitches and had 23 through two.
Polanco laced an 0-2 pitch for a single into centerfield. Rodriguez popped a 2-2 pitch to Lopez in foul ground down the rightfield line, but it popped off of his right hand (ruled a no play and not an error). Rodriguez ended up flying out to centerfield on the next pitch. Ordoñez smoked the second pitch down the rightfield line and into the corner and Polanco was sent home, but the relay from Ichiro and Lopez and the Johjima tag and block had Polanco by about seven feet (Ordoñez went to second on the throw). Gomez whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball. Meche threw 14 pitches and had 66 through three.
Adrian Beltre checkswung a roller to first on the second pitch (3-1 putout), and Allen remarked that Beltre didn't even look good taking batting practice before the game. Jeremy Reed whiffed on a low 0-2 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt chopped the 1-2 pitch to third. Robertson threw nine pitches and had 32 through three.
Shelton got ahead 3-1 and wound up walking on a full-count pitch outside. Guillen got the hitters' counts and walked on the 3-1 pitch outside, moving Shelton to second and bringing Rafael Chaves to the mound. Monroe whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Inge got ahead 3-0 and wound up whiffing on a full-count fastball. Granderson whiffed on a low full-count pitch. Meche threw 29 pitches and had 95 through four.
Ichiro chopped an 0-2 pitch along the first-base line to a charging Shelton, who tried to shovel it over, but Ichiro's too fast and that was the first Mariner hit of the day. Lopez fouled a 1-2 pitch off the back of his front foot and went down in a heap. He got back up and later slapped a pitch right to Shelton on a line, who went to the bag to force out Ichiro. Ibañez foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Rodriguez' glove. Robertson threw 11 pitches and had 43 through four.
Polanco bounced the second pitch to third. Rodriguez lasered a single into leftfield. Ordoñez put a ball toward the rightcenter gap on the second pitch, but Reed ran a long way and caught it, holding Rodriguez at first. Gomez grounded the second pitch hard to Sexson, who went right to the bag. Meche threw 10 pitches and had 105 through five.
Sexson worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Johjima watched a 1-1 pitch as Sexson took off for second and was gunned down by Rodriguez (someone tell me why they sent him?). Johjima ended up taking a 2-2 pitch across the outside corner. Everett had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away. Beltre drove the second pitch the other way, but it only took Gomez to the rightfield track (darn!). Robertson threw 18 pitches and had 61 through five.
Shelton got ahead 2-0 and popped the 2-2 pitch very high to Reed in shallow centerfield. Guillen got ahead 3-1 and later took Ichiro to the track in rightcenter on a full count. (I'm surprised he's thrown that many strikes" --Allen) Monroe was called out on a 1-2 checkswing on a low pitch. Meche threw 16 pitches and had 121 through six.
Meche's line: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts, 121 pitches (74 strikes)
Reed bounced a 2-2 pitch to second. Betancourt rolled the second pitch to short. Ichiro poked the second pitch right back to the mound. Robertson threw ten pitches and had 71 through six.
Julio Mateo came in for Meche. Inge popped the high second pitch down the leftfield line near the corner that Ibañez took off the hop and let roll past him to the wall for a double. Granderson bunted the first pitch down the third-base line that was perfect, and he beat Johjima's throw to first as Inge moved to third. Polanco lined the second pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter, who threw straight home and Inge was called out even though it appeared Johjima never tagged him (bonus points to Johjima for showing the ball and not reaching back to Inge as if he didn't tag him originally). The plate umpire didn't have the best angle on the play either, but Jim Leyland did from the third-base dugout and came out to argue, though it was futile. Rodriguez bounced the 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a single to move Granderson to third. Ordoñez got the hitters' counts and took the 3-1 pitch up and away for a walk to load the bases. People got so bored at the Safe that the Wave was going. Gomez fell behind 0-2 and wound up fouling the high and away 0-2 pitch into Johjima's glove. Mateo threw 20 pitches.
Lopez chopped a 1-2 pitch very high to the left side, and nobody had a play on the ball as Lopez reached first without drawing a throw. Ibañez took the first pitch between the numbers, moving Lopez to second. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch barely low over the outside corner before taking the full-count fastball possibly lower than the pitch before and down the pipe. Johjima bounced over the mound right to Polanco at the second-base bag, who stepped on the pillow and threw to first for the double play (aaarrrrggghh!!). Robertson threw 14 pitches and had 85 through seven.
Robertson's line: 7 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 85 pitches (54 strikes)
Shelton popped the first pitch to left. Guillen flew out high to centerfield. Monroe popped a high and away 1-2 pitch to rightfield that carried four rows into the seats.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Inge popped high to Lopez on the infield dirt. Mateo threw 11 pitches and had 31 total.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 32 pitches (21 strikes)
Jamie Walker came in for Robertson. Everett whiffed on an 0-2 changeup down and away. Beltre bounced the second pitch to short. Reed split his bat in half on an 0-2 roller to second.
Walker's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeouts, 8 pitches (7 strikes)
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Granderson bounced a 2-2 pitch to second.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Polanco worked a 1-2 count full before popping out to Betancourt in shallow leftfield. Rodriguez took an 0-2 pitch off the outsidr corner for strike three.
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Fernando Rodney came in for Walker. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, whiffed on an 0-2 change down the pipe. Ichiro golfed a full-count pitch to Granderson in shallow centerfield. Lopez waved at a 1-2 change on the ground outside.
Rodney's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
In a game where the Mariners got two-hit, I have to go elsewhere to find a gameball-worthy candidate, and here I have to go obvious. Usually I hate doing that, but I have no choice here. Ichiro had half of the Mariners' hits by going 1-for-4. The only reason the game was within reach in the later innings was because of Ichiro's arm. That right arm took Detroit runs off the scoreboard in the third and seventh innings. Would it have mattered if they had scored? In the end, no. But at the time, those runs would have figured big if, say, the Mariners had some kind of game where they came back from being down 6-1 and scoring the next eight runs in the ballgame. That usually doesn't happen, though, and since it looks like just about anyone can two-hit this team nowadays, I've learned not to keep my hopes very high. Low expectations are the name of the Mariners' game today, people. Not good times. Playoff baseball, I hardly knew ye. Sigh...
Goat: Richie Sexson.
Again, this is kinda by default, though it's kinda the same thing as the previous game. He failed to come up with anything in a key situation. I could have gone with Jeremy Reed here for the goat because of his 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but he's up against lefties and he's eighth in the lineup. I could have gone with Kenji Johjima here for his 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but he figured in the two plays at the plate and helped keep two runs off the scoreboard via his plate-blocking skill and/or psychological/deception tactics. I know some people might have reached back for Brandon Inge after he slid past the tag, but Johjima just showed the ball and the plate umpire called Inge out. That was pretty brilliant. You don't want to act like you didn't get him, after all. The plate umpire really ended up with a bad angle on that call though. Not that it would have made a difference though, since the Mariner offense was busy going nowhere. Oh yeah, this was about Sexson. He had two on and nobody out in the seventh with the go-ahead run on first and a 2-0 count. My only gripe was that if the 2-2 pitch wasn't a strike, there's no way the full-count pitch was a strike. In any event, I wish Sexson could have at least put the ball in play there.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 15-4 .789 -- W4
2002 15-4 .789 -- W2
2000 12-7 .632 3 W1
2003 11-8 .579 4 W1
2005 9-10 .474 6 W1
2006 7-12 .368 8 L3
2004 6-13 .316 9 L5
You know, the best thing about the record blip above is that the 2004 Mariners won the 20th game of their schedule. If the Mariners lose the Sunday game, they'll not only have been swept, they'll have also tied the 2004 Mariners' record after 20 games. Tell me that's progress. At least last year's team was .500 at the end of April.
I don't know what to say about the Gil Meche outing today. It was some of the most infuriating starting pitching I've seen. I'd almost wished he'd been tagged so I didn't have to watch him pitch anymore. Somehow, though, he kept wriggling out of every mess he got into other than the one in the first inning. The amount of full counts and three-ball counts he got into was staggering. I'm surprised he got through six innings, since I would have yanked him after five and everything. It's like one of those starts where it looks like he's never comfortable out there and every pitch is an adventure. Add to that the Johjima/Meche communication factor, if there is one. I hope that's going okay so that I can blame the shakiness solely on Meche and not Johjima. Other than the pitch count, Meche's line reads okay, but it's mainly because the Tigers were letting him get off scot-free every time. Since we know Meche isn't the most consistent pitcher, we know he can't get away with this every time. I'll be glad if/when he throws seven shutout innings one of these days.
This Meche outing leads me to something. I have the idea to swap the roles of Julio Mateo and Gil Meche. This is if you want to react to the Mateo situation already rather than let himself work out of it. If I felt like it, I'd move Mateo into the rotation (he did once last year) and make Gil Meche the long man out of the bullpen. Of course, at this point it'd be more of a thing for Meche rather than for Mateo. I think Julio Mateo can work out of his struggles in the bullpen. I'm not so sure that Gil Meche can be an effective starter in the near future. Sure, he got through six innings today, but that was only because Mike Hargrove for some reason trotted Meche out to the mound for the sixth with 105 pitches already under his belt. I liked the Hargrove hire originally, but it's things like this that make me think otherwise. It's freakin' April and Meche is the fourth starter. Pull him after the fifth, for goodness' sake. Throw Jake Woods out there even if he blows up, who cares?
As for the offense today, yuck. Like I said in the 25 Words, I feel like the Mariners can be on the wrong end of a no-hitter every night. Jorge Sosa, Doug Waechter, et al., were one thing back in 2003, but now the Mariners are being taken to the woodshed by Nate Robertson giving up two hits in seven innings of shutout ball. Ridiculous. There's some times this season where the offense has shown some fight and some brilliance, but most of the time it's like I don't even expect them to do anything, and a great deal of the time I'm right about it. Some games just feel like they're on the bag for an L, and you know the Mariners won't be scoring any runs. It's like the only positive thing I can come up with is that Hargrove has started Jeremy Reed against two lefthanders in a row. The last starting lefthander he didn't face was the Cy Young Award-winning John Koronka. Sure, I'm being sarcastic, but Jeremy Reed starting against and learning to hit lefties is something that's been long, long overdue.
Verlander. Hernandez. Tomorrow.
In 25 words or less: A third straight game with the Mariners scoring in the late innings? At least if they're losing it's going to the wire.
This one featured Mike Maroth going up against Jarrod Washburn. Going into the game, the Mariners were a mere one game ahead of the pace of the infamous 2004 Mariners. They were also a game behind the pace of last year's team. Folks, if this team is sandwiched between the 2005 and 2004 paces, you're looking at a 66-win team. That would not be nice.
Anyway, the Mariners hoped to start off a weekend series with a win. In addition, this was Ichiro bobblehead night at the ball yard, so the decent crowd was guaranteed. Would they see a Mariner win?
Placido Polanco bounced out to short. Craig Monroe hooked a long foul down the leftfield line and ended up whiffing on a letter-high fastball on a full count. Ivan Rodriguez spanked the second pitch through the hole on the left side for a single. Magglio Ordoñez took Reed to the track in centerfield. Washburn threw 15 pitches.
Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch hard to first. Jose Lopez squirted the second pitch through the left side for a single. Raul Ibañez whiffed on a fastball up and in. Richie Sexson grounded hard to third for a 5-4 forceout. Maroth threw 13 pitches.
Marcus Thames fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Chris Shelton popped the second pitch to Johjima in front of the Mariner dugout. Carlos Guillen popped the second pitch to Ichiro, who leaped at the track unnecessarily and came down with it. Washburn threw eight pitches and had 23 pitches through two.
Kenji Johjima got ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch on the left calf, protected by the shin guard. Carl Everett fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch off the plate outside. Adrian Beltre dropped the second pitch for a single into shallow centerfield, but Johjima came around too wide at second and the throw back to second had him beat. Willie Bloomquist poked a single into leftfield, moving Beltre to second. Jeremy Reed fell behind 0-2 but worked a walk out of it to load the bases. Ichiro worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing near the plate, and Wilson came from behind the plate to get Ichiro at first. Maroth threw 28 pitches and had 41 through two.
Brandon Inge broke his bat on a full-count soft liner to short. Vance Wilson bounced the second pitch to third. Polanco bounced past Beltre but Bloomquist backed him up and made a throw that needed the height of Sexson to get the out. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 36 through three.
Lopez rolled over a 2-2 pitch, grounding out to third. Ibañez lined right to Guillen at short. Sexson bounced the first pitch to Maroth coming off the mound, who threw to first. Maroth threw 11 pitches and had 52 through three.
Monroe smoked the first pitch to Beltre, who stopped it and threw to first. Rodriguez got ahead 2-0 and grounded out to short. Ordoñez got ahead 3-1 and flew out high to shallow centerfield on a full count. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 48 through four.
Johjima bounced out to third. Everett bounced to first. Beltre walked on a 3-1 pitch. Bloomquist took the first pitch and it crossed up Wilson behind the plate, who had the ball go off his glove and to the backstop, enabling Beltre to scoot to second. Bloomquist ended up flying the second pitch to Monroe, who ran back and reached up to make the catch. Maroth threw 15 pitches and had 67 through four.
Thames fell behind 0-2 and was plunked in the back foot. Shelton chopped a 2-2 pitch past the mound to Bloomquist, who started the 6-4-3 double play. Guillen bounced an 0-2 pitch to Beltre down the third-base line, who threw to first. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 60 through five.
Reed bounced to second. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and wound up with a 2-2 single into leftfield. Lopez bounced out to short, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez walked on a high 3-1 pitch. Sexson watched the 2-0 pitch go by, but Ibañez was gunned down at second. Maroth threw 21 pitches and had 88 through five.
Inge popped a ball in front of the rightfield foul pole for a double. Wilson rolled the tenth pitch to second on a full count to move Inge to third. Polanco popped the first pitch to left, and Inge tagged and scored.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Monroe got ahead 2-0 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to third. Washburn threw 20 pitches and had 80 through six.
Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before popping to Shelton near the plate. Johjima bounced the second pitch to second. Everett fell behind 0-2 and bounced to Wilson in front of the plate on the 1-2 pitch. Maroth threw 15 pitches and had 103 through six.
Maroth's line: 6 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 103 pitches (56 strikes)
Rodriguez fell behind 0-2 and nubbed to Washburn in front of the plate. Ordoñez chopped to the mound on the first pitch. Thames popped the first pitch to Ibañez on the leftfield track. Washburn threw only five pitches and had 85 through seven.
Joel Zumaya came in for Maroth. Beltre couldn't hold a swing on an 0-2 fastball inside. Bloomquist got ahead 2-0 and bounced the 2-2 pitch to short. Reed got ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 heater over the outside corner. Zumaya threw 14 pitches.
Shelton worked a 1-2 full and rolled out to short. Guillen poked the second pitch over Bloomquist into leftfield for a single. Inge lined the second pitch right to Ibañez as Guillen held. Wilson bounced to third for a 6-4 forceout. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 100 pitches.
Ichiro bounced the first pitch deep in the hole on the right side, where Polanco got to it but Ichiro was too fast and legged out the single. Lopez whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball outside. Ibañez got ahead 3-1 and bounced a full-count pitch to short. Sexson fell behind 0-2, fouled one off, then took the next pitch at the knees and down the pipe. Zumaya threw 17 pitches.
Zumaya's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 31 pitches (23 strikes)
Polanco was ahead 2-0 and flew out to Ichiro a few strides short of the rightfield track. Monroe got the hitters' counts before popping to Reed at the centerfield track. Rodriguez made Reed run backward as well, but it just kept carrying and traveled out in front of the hitters' backdrop.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Ordoñez fell behind 0-2 and ended up bouncing a 1-2 single into the hole at short, where Bloomquist ran far and had no play.
JJ Putz came in for Washburn. Curtis Granderson, hitting for Thames, whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball.
Washburn's line: 8 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 120 pitches (84 strikes)
Putz' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Todd Jones came in for Zumaya. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and later bounced the 2-2 pitch to third. Everett fisted a 1-2 pitch up and in for a single into shallow rightcenter. Matt Lawton ran for Everett. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and drilled a 1-2 pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Lawton to second. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Bloomquist, worked an 0-2 count full before walking on a high pitch, the seventh of the at-bat, loading the bases. Joe Borchard ran for Petagine. Reed popped the second pitch to centerfield and Lawton tagged and scored.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Ichiro bounced out to second.
Jones' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 28 pitches (19 strikes)
Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
I'm sure not expecting Jarrod Washburn to get 26 outs every time out. In fact, I would have pulled him after eight innings and let someone else have the ninth. I'm kinda surprised Mike Hargrove didn't pull Washburn before Ivan Rodriguez came up with two out, given the career numbers for Rodriguez against Washburn. In any event, Rodriguez blasted off, going a few feet better than the previous hitter, Craig Monroe. Thus, the Detroit lead doubled in what was a 1-0 game. One pitch later, one more run was on the board, and it turned out to be the difference in the game. Well, that and the whole thing where the Mariner hitters couldn't get anything going. I don't know how he gets by on high fastballs that aren't that fast other than a deceptive motion, but you can only get away with that so many times before balls start flying out of the yard. Of course, the homer pitch to Rodriguez was at a decent height; if anything, it got too much of the plate. Anyway, not all of Washburn's starts are going to be like this, but when he does perform like this, he'll be gameball-worthy.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
This is just as much for the 0-for-4 and a strikeout as it is the fact that the strikeout was a looker with Ichiro (tying run) on second base with two out in the eighth. Of course, every time he got to the plate, there were never less than two out. The one time there were less than two out, he was leading off because he was up the previous inning (fifth) with two out when Raul Ibañez got nailed on the back end of a double steal. Bottom line is that there were runners on base in all but one (two if you count the fifth) time in which he came to the plate. In a close low-scoring game such as this, you're hoping the big-money RBI guys can produce. I couldn't even pick Adrian Beltre for the goat in this situation because he went 2-for-3 and walked once. It wasn't a good day all around for the 3-4-5 hitters, who combined to go 0-for-10 with a walk and two strikeouts. Anyway, though Beltre's been grabbing the headlines due to his bouts with teh suck so far this season, Sexson is now down to .229, which isn't drastically below what is expected of him, though it is still below. He's just 20 or 30 points below what we're expecting as opposed to 100 below with Beltre.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 14-4 .778 -- W3
2002 14-4 .778 -- W1
2000 11-7 .611 3 L1
2003 10-8 .556 4 L1
2005 8-10 .444 6 L3
2006 7-11 .389 7 L2
2004 6-12 .333 8 L4
Robertson. Meche. Tonight.
Friday, April 21, 2006
No Jerome Bettis lifetime achievement cover?
No Ben Roethlisberger?
What Steeler fan in their right mind would buy this game?
By the way, we're eight days away from the draft, which is now a much more happy time for Seahawk fans.
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: What team am I watching with all this late-inning scoring? The result is a familiar one, but is this the same team?
This one featured Vicente Padilla going up against Joel Piñeiro. Padilla was one start departed from yielding homers on three consecutive pitches in Oakland. The Mariners themselves were coming off the crazy late-inning win from the night before. This team's never supposed to score five runs in the ninth. These aren't the non-playoff Mariners I know. Who is this team?
Gary Matthews, Jr. got ahead 2-0 and poked a single past Betancourt at short. Michael Young got ahead 2-0 and wound up grounding hard off the mound, but Lopez was able to corral it and start a 4-6-3 double play. Mark Teixeira worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Phil Nevin bounced a 2-2 pitch to short for a 6-4 forceout. Piñeiro threw 20 pitches.
Ichiro lined a single into rightcenter. Jose Lopez got the hitters' counts and grounded the full-count pitch right to Teixeira with Ichiro taking off, so only Lopez was out as Ichiro got to second. Raul Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a fastball up and over the outside corner. Richie Sexson also fell behind 0-2 and whiffed at some high gas on a full count. Padilla threw 22 pitches.
Hank Blalock broke his bat on a full-count bouncer to second. Kevin Mench popped the first pitch high to Lopez. Brad Wilkerson whiffed on a full-count change. Piñeiro threw 13 pitches and had 33 through two.
Kenji Johjima popped the second pitch to shallow right. Carl Everett took a 3-1 pitch off the plate low and away for a walk. Adrian Beltre bounced the second pitch to third for a 5-4-3 double play. Padilla had nine pitches and had 31 through two.
Rod Barajas popped the second pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter. D'Angelo Jimenez bounced an 0-2 pitch to Sexson for a 3-1 putout. Matthews bounced out to third. Piñeiro threw eight pitches and had 41 through three.
Jeremy Reed took a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Yuniesky Betancourt beat out a nubber along the third-base line that Padilla fielded, but couldn't get the throw to first quickly enough. Ichiro popped to Matthews on the second pitch. Lopez was ahead 3-1 and bounced out to third. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 47 through three.
Young doubled the first pitch past Beltre down the leftfield line. Teixeira whiffed on a 2-2 change away. Nevin got ahead 3-1 and took a full-count pitch low and away for a walk. Blalock bounced the second pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play. Piñeiro threw 15 pitches and had 56 through four.
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Sexson whiffed on a full-count pitch up and in. Johjima looped the second pitch to a charging Wilkerson for a flyout. Padilla threw 13 pitches and had 60 through four.
Mench was ahead 2-0 and flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Wilkerson took a 1-2 pitch right over the outside corner that wasn't called a strike. Later, Wilkerson popped a full-count pitch, the ninth of the at-bat, and Ibañez came up with it, sliding to make the catch in foul territory, ending up in front of the padded wall along the stands down the leftfield line. Barajas worked a 1-2 count full and whiffed on a dirt slider on the ninth pitch. Piñeiro threw 23 pitches and had 79 through five.
Everett was ahead 3-1 and ended up walking. Beltre bounced to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Reed took Matthews to the centerfield track, over the shoulder. Padilla threw 14 pitches and had 74 through five.
Jimenez bounced a full-count pitch to second. Matthews got ahead 2-0 and two pitches later lined a ball into the fourth row of rightfield seats.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Young drilled the second pitch past Betancourt's reach into leftfield for a single. Teixeira watched the second pitch as Young stole second on a wide throw. Teixeira was ahead 2-0 and was intentionally walked. Nevin got ahead 3-1 and ended up walking on a low and away full-count pitch to load the bases.
George Sherrill came in for Piñeiro. Blalock whiffed on a full-count fastball up and away. Mench popped a 1-2 pitch off the track in leftfield for a double (Ibañez looked like he might have had trouble with it), scoring Young and Teixeira and moving Nevin to third.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 0
Wilkerson whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner.
Piñeiro's line: 5 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 103 pitches (58 strikes)
Betancourt took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Ichiro popped the second pitch lazily to centerfield. Lopez popped the first pitch to Mench. Padilla threw 10 pitches and had 84 through six.
Barajas popped the first pitch to Lopez in shallow rightfield. Jimenez popped a full-count pitch to Ichiro. Matthews stroked a double into the gap in leftcenter that didn't get to the wall. Matthews took umbrage to the tag Lopez put on him, and some pleasantries were exchanged, and the bullpens and benches cleared though no punches were thrown.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Young walked on four pitches. Teixeira whiffed on an 0-2 pitch high.
Sherrill's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 32 pitches (21 strikes)
Ibañez blasted the second pitch well into the back rows of seats in rightfield.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Sexson fell behind 0-2 and took the 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Johjima took Mench to the rightfield track on the first pitch. Everett walked on four pitches. Beltre popped the second pitch to Young in foul ground along the leftfield line. Padilla threw 14 pitches and had 98 through seven.
Padilla's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts, 98 pitches (59 strikes)
Nevin fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Blalock fell behind 0-2 but reached down to serve a 1-2 pitch into leftfield for a single. Mench was ahead 2-0 but couldn't hold his swing on a 2-2 slider. Wilkerson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 27 pitches (17 strikes)
Joaquin Benoit came in for Padilla. Adrian Brown came in for Matthews in rightfield. Reed grounded hard to Blalock at third, who tried to throw quick to first, but it one-hopped off Teixeira's glove and Reed was safe at first. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, popped a 2-2 pitch foul that Blalock couldn't quite get. With a shower passing through, Petagine ended by whiffing on the next pitch, a breaking ball on the inside corner. Ichiro walked on a full-count pitch inside to move Reed to second. Lopez hit a low liner to Matthews in rightfield, who trapped the ball as Reed scored, but Ichiro was hung up on the play, and Brown threw to second for the force.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Brian Shouse came in for Benoit. Ibañez roped the second pitch into the gap in rightcenter, doubling to the wall to score Lopez.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 3
Rick Bauer came in for Shouse. Sexson bounced hard to third, where Blalock stopped the ball to his backhand and threw in time to first.
Benoit's line: 2/3 inning, 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 20 pitches (10 strikes)
Shouse's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 pitches (1 strike)
Bauer's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Barajas got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full count. Gerald Laird ran for Barajas. Jimenez bunted to Sexson along the first-base line and was tagged on his way down. Matthews worked an 0-2 count for a walk, taking a pitch down and in on a full count. Young worked a 1-2 count full and walked on a pitch up and away to load the bases. Teixeira took a 1-2 pitch down and in for a huge out. Nevin got ahead 3-0 and wound up talking the 3-1 pitch outside to force in Laird.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 3
Blalock failed to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch out of the zone.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 0 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikes, 38 pitches (19 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Bauer. Laird stayed in to catch. Johjima bounced out to short. Everett worked a 1-2 count full and popped out to Jimenez in foul ground along the rightfield line. Beltre bounced out to Blalock, who made a great stab in the hole on the left side.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Gameball: Rafael Soriano.
One walk, sure. One hit, yeah. Four outs, though, all via the strikeout. Soriano has given up a run in only one of his eight appearances. With this appearance, his ERA dropped below 1.00, and he's now sitting with an ERA of 0.87. It's microscopical, I say! It's weird to think about what our greatest memories of Soriano are, and they probably go to 2003, when he threw in 40 games. Of course, the most popular moment of his during that season involved the three-pitch strikeout of Nomar Garciaparra on a sunny afternoon at Safeco Field. My, what a time it was. The team was even in contention at that point and everything. Rafael Soriano is a reminder of winning baseball in Seattle. He's not quite a reminder of playoff baseball, but winning baseball? Yes. Another thing to think about is that since Soriano's doing so well lately and Julio Mateo's struggling so far this season...could we see a role-reversal? I kinda doubt it myself. Mateo will probably be trusted to work his way out of his struggles. Soriano and Putz, however, will work as a solid road to Guardado.
Goat: Eddie Guardado.
Well, there's nowhere to go but up from this appearance. That might have been his worst outing as a Seattle Mariner. I don't think anything's wrong with him, of course, but it was a bit unnerving to see the Mariners tie the game in the late innings, considering how little that's happened over the last couple years, then they hand a tie game over to Guardado and he does this. Of course, I think this is something that's been in the water at the Safe since Kazuhiro Sasaki was in town. It seemed like every time Sasaki was in a non-save situation, he'd stink it up. This wasn't a save situation for Eddie Guardado. Not that it should make a difference or anything, since the job is the same -- get three outs. In any event, though, Guardado was unhittable, but that's more the fact that all his pitches weren't in the strike zone rather than the Rangers not being able to catch up to his stuff. Guardado was all over the place, and the game left his grasp tonight. What hurts the most about this is that he almost wriggled his way out of it. He'll dust himself off and be right back up there the next time the Mariners need him. I'm not worried about Eddie Guardado.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 13-4 .765 -- W2
2002 13-4 .765 -- L1
2000 11-6 .625 2 W3
2003 10-7 .588 3 W2
2005 8-9 .471 5 L2
2006 7-10 .412 6 L1
2004 6-11 .353 7 L3
Maroth. Washburn. Tonight.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: This team was starting to get boring and looked listless for two-thirds of this game. Yay for the final three innings.
This one featured Kevin Millwood going up against Jamie Moyer, staff ace against staff ace. Needless to say, the Mariners would have to buck up against Millwood to win this one, or -- not advised -- they could sit back and wait for something crazy and completely unforeseen and unexpected to happen. Whatever floats your boat.
Gary Matthews, Jr. ripped a single into leftfield.
Michael Young nubbed a ball to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Mark Teixeira rolled a ball up the first-base line that went to Sexson at the bag.
Ichiro punched the first pitch under Jimenez' glove for a single. Jose Lopez bunted the second pitch in front of the plate, where Millwood picked up and threw to first to move Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez reached on an 0-2 pitch and poked a single over Young's glove at short and into leftfield to score Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Richie Sexson pummeled the second pitch right to the leftfielder Wilkerson. Kenji Johjima popped the second pitch to center.
Phil Nevin fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Hank Blalock fell behind 0-2 and dribbled a grounder to the right-side hole that Lopez couldn't handle (error). Kevin Mench popped a ball into shallow leftfield for a single, moving Blalock to second. Brad Wilkerson popped to Reed in centerfield, who reached down but couldn't come up with the ball, loading the bases. Gerald Laird took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner and didn't like it. Jimenez walked on four pitches to force Wilkerson across.
»» RANGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Matthews bounced to Beltre, who went to second for the force.
Carl Everett took a full-count pitch over the outside corner. Adrian Beltre grounded an 0-2 pitch to third. Jeremy Reed popped the first pitch to the leftfield track.
Young fell behind 0-2 and ended up popped a 2-2 pitch to the rightcenter track and Reed got to it. Teixeira popped out to Betancourt on the infield. Nevin worked an 0-2 count full before bouncing to a charging Betancourt.
Yuniesky Betancourt popped to the rightfield corner. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle which Jimenez got to, but Ichiro easily got the single. Lopez popped out high to center on the first pitch. Ibañez watched the first pitch go by and watched Ichiro get gunned down at second.
Blalock looped a 1-2 pitch into rightfield for a single. Mench hit the second pitch past Betancourt at short to move Blalock to second. Wilkerson walked on a full count to load the bases. Laird popped the first pitch to Beltre on the infield. Jimenez grounded to a Betancourt, who tossed to Lopez for the out at second, but Lopez got taken out on his throw, allowing Blalock to score.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Matthews grounded the second pitch to Beltre, who threw to second for the out.
Ibañez foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Laird's glove. Sexson whiffed on a 3-1 pitch before taking a full-count fastball down the pipe. Johjima drilled the second pitch over Wilkerson and off the wall in leftfield, and Wilkerson made a hard throw to second that had Johjima beat, but Johjima slid around the tag. Everett smoked the second pitch on a rope into Teixeira's glove at first.
Young laced down the leftfield line for a double that went off the jut of the leftfield stands. Teixeira cracked the second pitch for a double to leftfield as well, scoring Young.
»» RANGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Nevin took Ibañez to the track in leftfield, barely missing a homer. Blalock ripped a single into leftfield, scoring Teixeira.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 1
Mench bounced to Beltre near the third-base bag, moving Blalock to second. Wilkerson was ahead 3-0 and and popped a 3-1 pitch to Reed in leftcenter.
Beltre bounced to Teixeira at first. Reed lined out to third. Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Ichiro served an 0-2 pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Betancourt to second. Lopez bounced up the middle, but Jimenez couldn't make a play on it. With the bases loaded, Ibañez popped a full-count fly to Jimenez on the edge of the outfield grass.
Laird bounced out to third. Jimenez worked a 1-2 count full before grounding hard to Beltre at third. Matthews fell behind 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 pitch in front of the plate, which Johjima pounced on and threw to first.
Moyer's line: 6 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 8 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 106 pitches (66 strikes)
Sexson popped the second pitch a mile high to Teixeira in foul ground on the right side. Johjima lined the first pitch hard to Wilkerson on the track in leftfield. Everett fell behind 0-2 and popped the 1-2 pitch lazily to Young.
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Young fell behind 0-2 and poked a 2-2 single into centerfield. Teixeira lined a second-pitch single into centerfield to move Young to third. Nevin grounded to third, and Beltre had hung up Young between third and home, and after a bunch of throws, Beltre ran Young back to the third-base bag, which was occupied by Teixeira, who would be called out. Nevin went to second on the play.
»» RANGERS 5, MARINERS 1
Blalock fisted a single past a drawn-in infield to score Young.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 1
Mench whiffed on a 1-2 pitch.
Beltre whiffed on a 0-2 pitch high and out of the zone. Reed dumped the first pitch into centerfield for a single. Betancourt poked an 0-2 pitch into leftfield for a single, moving Reed to second. Ichiro dropped a single into shallow rightcenter to score Reed.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 2
Lopez bounced to the mound for a 1-6-3 double play.
Wilkerson whiffed on an 0-2 high pitch. Laird flew out to centerfield on the second pitch. Jimenez popped to Ibañez short of the leftfield track.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 22 pitches (18 strikes)
Ibañez smoked a full-count pitch to the leftcenter wall with a double. Sexson grounded deep into the hole on the left side, and Young had no play as it went past him, and Ibañez went to third.
Antonio Alfonseca came in for Millwood. Johjima bounced the first pitch up the middle to Jimenez for a 4-6-3 double play that scored Ibañez.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 3
Everett doubled the first pitch off the track in rightfield. Beltre was ahead 2-0 and smacked a lined drive to the base of the wall in rightfield (good sign), driving in Everett for his first RBI of the year, and sliding into second for a double.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 4
Reed was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch.
Akinori Otsuka came in for Alfonseca. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, bounced right back to the mound.
Millwood's line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 12 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikes, 96 pitches (70 strikes)
Alfonseca's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 walks, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
Otsuka's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (2 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Mateo, and Willie Bloomquist came in to play short. Matthews got the hitters' counts and gapped the full-count pitch to rightcenter for a double. Young took an 0-2 pitch over the outside corner. Teixeira whiffed on an 0-1 pitch and Matthews took third without a throw since Johjima had the ball come out of his glove. Teixeira worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a pitch outside. Nevin walked on a 3-1 pitch. Blalock bounced to Putz on the mound, who turned and threw to first.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 23 pitches (13 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Otsuka. Adrian Brown came in to play rightfield. Ichiro turned toward a pitch, but it went off his front foot, and knowing Ichiro's hitting stance, he can't get out of the way of that. Lopez doubled the first pitch off the leftfield wall, moving Ichiro to third. Ibañez barely missed a homer, getting to the track in rightfield for a flyout that scored Ichiro.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 5
Sexson was brushed back way up and in for ball two and a 2-0 count. Sexson singled through the left side of a drawn-in infield to score Ichiro and tie the game. Matt Lawton ran for Sexson.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 6
Johjima singled up the middle to move Lawton to second.
CJ Wilson came in for Cordero. Everett crushed a ball off the KOMO 1000 News ad on the facing of the upper deck inside the foul pole above the leftfield scoreboard for a three-run shot.
»» MARINERS 9, RANGERS 6
Cordero's line: 1/3 inning, 4 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Wilson's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
I think we were all waiting for a day like this to come from Ichiro. He reached base every time he went to the plate. He singled four times, as is his forté, but it was his getting nailed in the foot by Francisco Cordero that got the wheel rolling in the ninth. They scored five runs in the ninth, sure, but they needed two to tie and three to win. With Ichiro on first, that brought the tying run to the plate thereafter. This team gets a billion times more fun to watch when Ichiro gets on and does his thing on the basepaths while the hitters behind him get better pitches to hit thanks to Ichiro's basepath hijinks. I won't say it has a direct correlation, but the top third of the lineup went 8-for-12 in this game. Of course, you could carry that one further and see in the boxscore that only Adrian Beltre and Jeremy Reed in the starting lineup got less than two hits in the game. Everyone else other than Ichiro had two hits apiece. This was Ichiro's first multi-hit game since the middle game of the series in Cleveland. With this 4-for-4 night in this game, he bumped a .177 average from after the first game of this series and now he's sitting on .227. It's a start, but if Ichiro consistently can hit and find the holes, we're in for some summer staff.
Goat: Julio Mateo.
I'm still not worried about this guy, but I wonder when it'll be time to worry. He's had six appearances so far this season and has given up runs in half of them. He's currently the owner of a sparkling 8.64 ERA. This isn't the Julio Mateo we've come to know and love in past seasons. This isn't the guy from whom you knew you were going to get an automatic inning or two of shutout middle relief in a close game. Mateo looks like he's still finding himself this season. Sure, the L gets tacked onto Moyer if weirder things don't happen in this game, but in any event, Mateo threw some fuel onto the fire in this game. The Mariners and Mateo were able to get away from that this time, but nine times out of ten, I don't see the Mariners being down 6-1 at the seventh-inning stretch and coming back to win. If it turns out this particular Mariner team develops a knack for late-inning comebacks, I'm all for it, though. I'm not expecting it, but I surely do like surprises.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2002 13-3 .813 -- W10
2001 12-4 .750 1 W1
2000 10-6 .625 3 W2
2003 9-7 .563 4 W1
2005 8-8 .500 5 L1
2006 7-9 .438 6 W1
2004 6-10 .375 7 L2
Padilla. Piñeiro. Tonight.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: This one was over early. At least for the Mariners, there weren't many people there to see the ineptitude.
This one featured John Koronka going up against Felix Hernandez. In his third start, hopefully we would all see some improvement out of Felix, maybe more consistency and more moments where he looked like the big reason why all of us gave a crap about Mariner baseball for the last half of the 2005 season. Of course, the Mariners had the built-in excuse to lose this game because they'd never faced Paul Koronka before. People seem to forget that in these situations, the pitcher has never faced the hitters before, but damned if you ever hear that on the broadcasts. Add to this the fact that Mike Hargrove wants to stunt Jeremy Reed's growth at the plate by not starting him against lefties, which Koronka is. He started Willie Bloomquist in his place. I don't care what anybody says, Jeremy Reed needs to play every day. Bloomquist? He can spot start once a week, be a late-inning defensive replacement or a pinch-hitter. Reed had a hitting streak of how long and now Hargrove sits him two straight games? That's absolute crap.
Gary Matthews, Jr. whiffed on a 0-2 curve in the dirt. Michael Young ripped a 2-2 through the mound and into centerfield for a single. Mark Teixeira popped a 1-2 pitch high to centerfield. Phil Nevin was ahead 3-0 and golfed a 3-1 pitch that went off someone's hands in the first row behind Ichiro for a homer. Boo.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Hank Blalock bounced a 1-2 pitch to third. Hernandez threw 21 pitches.
Ichiro walked on four pitches. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 and waved at a 1-2 change outside. Raul Ibañez popped a 1-2 pitch high to centerfield. Richie Sexson had the count 1-0 when Koronka tried to pick off Ichiro and was called for a balk, advancing Ichiro to second. Sexson was ahead 3-1 before taking a full-count pitch in the dirt for a walk. Kenji Johjima took a 1-1 pitch and Ichiro took third without a throw. Johjima whiffed on a 3-1 pitch out and away before taking a full-count pitch for a walk. Carl Everett bounced the second pitch to second. Koronka threw 27 pitches.
D'Angelo Jimenez was ahead 2-0 and later poked a single into centerfield. Brad Wilkerson cranked a 3-1 pitch about eight rows back into the rightfield seats.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 0
Rod Barajas whiffed on a 1-2 pitch in on the hands. Laynce Nix took a 2-2 curve over the inside corner. Matthews got ahead 2-0 and whiffed and lost his bat on a full count. Hernandez threw 29 pitches and had 50 through two.
Adrian Beltre scorched the first pitch right to Jimenez at second on a line drive. Willie Bloomquist whiffed on a low 1-2 change. Yuniesky Betancourt stroked a 2-0 pitch into leftfield for a single. Ichiro blistered a 1-2 pitch right to a leaping Teixeira at first. Koronka threw 12 pitches and had 39 through two.
Young popped the first pitch to fairly deep centerfield. Teixeira drilled a full-count pitch into the rightcenter gap for a double on the eighth pitch. Nevin hit a hard 1-2 pitch to Bloomquist and threw home right away. Teixeira held at third, but Nevin runs too slow and couldn't take second base on that throw all the way home. If it's anyone else running, that's an ill-advised throw to airmail it like that. Blalock whiffed at a 1-2 curve on the inside corner. Jimenez got the hitters' counts and went full before taking a full-count change low. Wilkerson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on 1-2 high cheese. Hernandez threw 29 pitches and had 79 through three.
Lopez fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle and Jimenez had a way to go to get it, it went off his glove, and Lopez would have had the single anyway. Ibañez looped a fly ball to shallow centerfield and Nix ran in and caught it, then Lopez was caught too far off of first and was gunned down by Nix. Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a low full-count pitch and slamming down his helmet in disgust immediately after. Koronka threw 16 pitches and had 55 through three.
Barajas popped the second pitch to the track in centerfield. Nix whiffed on a 1-2 change away. Matthews fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 2-2 curve. Hernandez had 12 pitches and had 91 through four.
Johjima grounded the second pitch hard to short. Everett dumped the second pitch into centerfield for a single. Beltre walked on four pitches to move Everett to second. Bloomquist put the 1-1 pitch down the line but foul. Bloomquist dumped a 2-2 pitch into leftfield for a single, scoring Everett and moving Beltre to second.
»» RANGERS 4, MARINERS 1
Yuniesky Betancourt watched as Beltre and Bloomquist pulled a double steal successfully on the second pitch. Betancourt popped a 3-1 pitch high to Teixeira along the first base line on the infield. Ichiro weakly popped to the gap in rightcenter. Koronka had 23 pitches and had 78 pitches through four.
Young hit the second pitch hard to third. Teixeira whiffed on a 1-2 curve. Nevin popped out to right. Hernandez threw eight pitches and had 99 through five.
Hernandez' line: 5 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 100 pitches (65 strikes)
Lopez bounced a 1-2 pitch just fair in the rightfield corner and it bounced into the stands for a double. Ibañez bounced the second pitch right to first, moving Lopez to third. Sexson took an 0-2 pitch across the outside corner. Johjima popped high to Nix in shallow centerfield. Koronka threw 14 pitches and had 92 through five.
Koronka's line: 5 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 92 pitches (52 strikes)
Jake Woods came in for Hernandez. Blalock walked on four pitches. Jimenez walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away, moving Blalock to second. Wilkerson was ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch just below the elbow to load the bases. Barajas fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch down and in. Teixeira grounded the first pitch past the backhand glove of Sexson, allowing Blalock and Jimenez to score.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 1
Matthews flew out to rightfield on the second pitch, allowing Wilkerson to score.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 1
Young walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away. Teixeira whiffed on a 2-2 pitch and lost his bat. At least the inning was over. Woods threw 33 pitches.
Rick Bauer came in for Koronka. Everett worked an 0-2 count full before doubling onto the track in leftcenter on the tenth pitch. Beltre worked a 1-2 count full before singling into rightfield to move Everett to third. Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 and flew out to fairly deep rightfield to score Everett.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 2
Betancourt hit a 1-2 pitch down the rightfield line that Matthews had some trouble with, and Betancourt ended up on third as Beltre scored.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 3
Ichiro bounced the first pitch to third, and the throw went to first, but Betancourt somehow took off for home and got away with it.
»» RANGERS 7, MARINERS 4
Lopez grounded the first pitch to third. Bauer threw 28 pitches.
Bauer's line: 1 inning, 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 28 pitches (21 strikes)
Nevin got the hitters' counts and whiffed on a full-count pitch low and away. Blalock poked the 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Jimenez walked on four pitches, meaning Woods was still human. Wilkerson waited a few seconds before Hargrove came out.
George Sherrill came in for Woods. Wilkerson grounded the 0-2 pitch right to Sexson at first.
Woods' line: 1 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 1 hit, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 49 pitches (20 strikes)
Antonio Alfonseca came in for Bauer. Ibañez split his bat on a 3-1 pitch, grounding right to second. Sexson mashed a 2-0 pitch off of Blalock at third and into leftfield for a single. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 floater over the outside corner. Everett fell behind 0-2 and shot a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single, moving Sexson to second though Everett had lost his bat and thrown in into the crowd. Beltre whiffed on a low 0-2 pitch, looking a bit too aggressive.
Alfonseca's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Barajas got ahead 3-0 and popped to Lopez on the rightfield grass on a full count. Nix whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball way outside. Matthews whiffed on an inside 1-2 pitch.
Sherrill's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
Akinori Otsuka came in for Alfonseca. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to Teixeira in foul ground on the right side. Betancourt took a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Ichiro popped the first pitch to shallow rightfield.
Otsuka's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Young walked on a full count. Teixeira fell behind 0-2 and lined the 2-2 pitch right to Lopez. Nevin bounced the 2-2 pitch to short to start the 6-4-3 double play.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Francisco Cordero came in for Otsuka. Lopez grounded the 0-2 pitch to short. Ibañez was ahead 3-1 and was jammed reaching down on a pitch, popping it to Teixeira near the first-base coaches' box. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch low and away.
Cordero's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
I thought about giving Carl Everett the gameball here since I more than likely won't be giving to him that often. While Everett did have a three-hit game, I don't feel like giving him the gameball even though his only job is to be the designated hitter, and when he hits, he's doing his job. However, Betancourt is now 2-for-4, and to do that in the ninth slot of the lineup is great. He helped the bottom third of the lineup go 4-for-10 with three RBI. The triple he hit just got away from Matthews in rightfield, but he had the speed to make that double a triple. Couple this with Betancourt's usual defense, and it works like gangbusters. Betancourt is sitting on a .250 average. He doesn't have to hit .290 or hit 30 homers, but a few days like this here and there make Betancourt all the more valuable thanks to his crazy defensive prowess.
Goat: Jake Woods.
He face eleven batters. He struck out three. He gave up one hit. The crowning achievement was the five walks. It was almost a shame since Woods hadn't done too badly in the early going, but today he was just atrocious. In a way, Mike Hargrove knew exactly what I was thinking after the sixth. With Hernandez out after five, and with Woods coming in having thrown an inning, you didn't send Woods out there to suck, you sent him out there to eat some innings. I looked at it in a couple of ways. First, I'm probably not going to want to use Woods too much in the rest of the series. Secondly, I don't think this team is going anywhere this year, so Hargrove was right -- leave Woods out there to rot, and let him lie in the bed he made with all those walks and everything. Whenever you come out of the bullpen and get five outs but walk five guys along the way, well, that's bad. If you're Jake Woods, though, that was a day at the office. Barrels o' baserunners.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2002 12-3 .800 -- W9
2001 11-4 .733 1 L1
2000 9-6 .600 3 W1
2003 8-7 .533 4 L1
2005 8-7 .533 4 W2
2004 6-9 .400 6 L1
2006 6-9 .400 6 L3
Millwood. Moyer. Tonight.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: This game started very early, and though the early bird gets the worm, this game wasn't decided until late.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Lenny DiNardo. Jeremy Reed had his first 0-fer game of the season on Sunday, which of course means Willie Bloomquist starts in centerfield in place of him. Total bull. I don't care if DiNardo is a lefty. Jeremy Reed's gotta hit lefties one of these days. Other news of note had Kenji Johjima batting fifth and Adrian Beltre batting seventh.
Ichiro doubled the second pitch off the track and the leftfield scoreboard. Jose Lopez chopped the second pitch high to the mound, and DiNardo looked to third, but ended up throwing to first as Ichiro went to third. Raul Ibañez was ahead 2-0 and later flew out to a charging Ramirez, who made a good throw, but Ichiro reached around the blocking left leg of Varitek to swipe the plate.
»» MARINERS 1, RED SOX 0
Richie Sexson was down 1-2 and reached down to double into the gap in leftcenter on a full count. Kenji Johjima one-hopped a 2-2 pitch to short. DiNardo threw 21 pitches.
Kevin Youkilis whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Mark Loretta bounced the second pitch to second. David Ortiz was ahead 3-1 and launched a full-count pitch that barely over the hitters' backdrop in centerfield.
»» RED SOX 1, MARINERS 1
Manny Ramirez got ahead 3-1 and whiffed on a full count.
Carl Everett bounced out to a charging Lowell at third. Adrian Beltre got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch up and away for a walk. Willie Bloomquist popped the second pitch to Stern just short of the track in centerfield. Yuniesky Betancourt stroked a double to the wall in centerfield, scoring Beltre all the way from first.
»» MARINERS 2, RED SOX 1
Ichiro slapped a ball to Cora at short, but Betancourt ran in front of the play and got hung up between third and second to end the inning.
Trot Nixon fell behind 0-2 and lined a 2-2 single into rightfield. Jason Varitek bounced the second pitch to Lopez, who couldn't come up cleanly and missed a shot at the double play, getting only Varitek at first. Mike Lowell fell behind 0-2 and grounded the 1-2 pitch to short. Alex Cora dribbled a full-count single up the middle to score Nixon. On the same play, Bloomquist was a bit slow to come up with the ball but no one was covering, and Cora took second.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 2
Adam Stern hit a floating liner up the middle into Lopez' glove on a 3-1 pitch.
Lopez smoked a liner right to Lowell's glove. Ibañez laced a single into rightfield. Sexson watched planes fly over with a full count, but didn't watch the next pitch, bouncing it to third for a 5-4-3 double play.
Youkilis got the hitters' counts and flew out just short of the centerfield track. Loretta popped out high to Beltre behind the mound. Ortiz fouled off a couple of full-count pitches before failing to check his swing at a ball in the dirt.
Johjima rolled a single up the middle. Everett, hitting lefty against the lefty, grounded hard right to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Beltre rocked a 1-2 pitch off the leftfield scoreboard, but it ricocheted right to Ramirez, so he could only get a single to snap the slump. Bloomquist grounded the 2-0 pitch hard to first.
Ramirez fell behind 0-2 and drilled the 1-2 pitch off the base of the scoreboard in left for a single. Nixon popped the second pitch to shallow left. Varitek bounced the 1-2 pitch to Betancourt at short, who gobbled it up, stepped on second, and threw to first for the double play.
Betancourt popped an 0-2 pitch to rightfield. Ichiro bounced a full-count pitch to Cora. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed at a full-count pitch inside.
DiNardo's line: 5 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 81 pitches (47 strikes)
Lowell was ahead 2-0 and dribbled the 2-2 pitch up the middle to Lopez, who made a one-hop throw that Sexson picked. Cora popped high to Beltre in on the infield grass. Stern tried to bunt his way aboard, but Beltre snuffed it out and threw to first.
Rudy Seanez came in for DiNardo. Ibañez whiffed on a 1-2 fastball high and out. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed at a 1-2 breaking ball down the plate. Johjima dumped a 2-2 single into shallow centerfield. Everett was ahead 3-0 but lashed a ball that rattled the Pesky Pole on a full count.
»» MARINERS 4, RED SOX 2
Beltre took Stern to the track in centerfield.
Seanez' line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 25 pitches (17 strikes)
Youkilis roped the first pitch past Beltre at third for a single. Loretta golfed an 0-2 pitch to centerfield as his throw to the infield got away a bit. Ortiz fell behind 0-2, then Meche grooved a ball down and in that Ortiz simply pummeled well over the bullpen in rightfield.
»» RED SOX 4, MARINERS 4
Ramirez drilled the first pitch high off the Monster to just miss a homer, and got a long quick single instead. Nixon one-hopped over the rightfield wall in the corner for a double, moving Ramirez to third. Varitek was intentionally walked to load the bases. Lowell grounded a 2-0 pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play.
Meche's line: 6 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 102 pitches (63 strikes)
Julian Tavarez came in for Seanez. Bloomquist lined the second pitch through Cora's glove (error) and into leftfield. Betancourt bunted the second pitch down the right side for Tavarez (1-3 putout) to move Bloomquist to second. Ichiro watched as Bloomquist got a huge jump and took third on the 1-0 pitch. Ichiro ended up bouncing the 3-0 pitch to a drawn-in Loretta, who couldn't go home and threw to first for the out.
»» MARINERS 5, RED SOX 4
Lopez was ahead 2-0 and grounded to third on a full count.
Tavarez' line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
Jake Woods came in for Meche. Cora took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Mohr popped the second pitch high to Ichiro in shallow rightfield. Youkilis walked on four pitches. Loretta worked a 1-2 count full before lining to Bloomquist, who stumbled to a knee to make the catch.
Keith Foulke came in for Tavarez. Ibañez popped to Lowell in foul ground on the left side. Sexson bounced out to short. Johjima took an 0-2 pitch across the outside corner.
Ortiz had a 3-0 count go full before lifting a pitch to the rightfield track, where Ichiro came down with it.
JJ Putz came in for Woods. Ramirez rolled the second pitch to short. Nixon had an 0-2 count go full before doubling into the rightfield corner. Varitek bounced a 2-2 pitch just past a diving Lopez for a single to score Nixon.
»» RED SOX 5, MARINERS 5
Lowell bounced the second pitch to short, where Betancourt underhanded to Lopez at the second-base bag.
Woods' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 24 pitches (11 strikes)
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Everett popped to leftfield and Ramirez made a semi-shoestring catch. Beltre worked an 0-2 count full before poking a single into leftfield. Bloomquist poked a single up the middle on the second pitch, and with the hit-and-run going, Beltre moved to third.
Mike Timlin came in for Foulke. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, bounced to a diving Loretta in the hole, whose only play was to first as Beltre scored on the play and Bloomquist moved to second.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 5
Ichiro was intentionally walked for the first time in what seems like forever. Lopez fouled off the first three pitches before whiffing at the fourth in the dirt.
Foulke's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Timlin's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Putz. Jeremy Reed came in to play centerfield and Bloomquist moved in to short. Wily Mo Peña, hitting for Cora, foul-tipped a full-count pitch into Johjima's glove. Mohr took a 1-2 fastball down over the outside corner. Youkilis fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 1-2 pitch up the middle to a diving Lopez, who threw back to first and Youkilis just barely beat it. Loretta got a 2-0 pitch and put it over the Monster.
»» RED SOX 7, MARINERS 6
Guardado's line: 2/3 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
Goat: Jose Lopez.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 11-3 .786 -- W4
2002 11-3 .786 -- W8
2000 8-6 .571 3 L2
2003 8-6 .571 3 W4
2005 7-7 .500 4 W1
2004 6-8 .429 5 W4
2006 6-8 .429 5 L2
Koronka. Hernandez. Today.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
[posted in full Mon ~2:01a]
In 25 words or less: First the Mariners have to actually get to the World Series in order to be Seahawk'd, but they did get jobbed in this one.
This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against Josh Beckett. The Mariners stood with a chance to still win the series in Boston and to vault over .500 for the first time since they were busy losing four straight after the 3-1 start. Also, the home plate umpire was Laz Diaz, but he wasn't even the umpire that would figure into this game the most.
Ichiro shoveled an 0-2 pitch for a flyout to left. Jose Lopez popped a full-count pitch to Ramirez on the track near the leftfield corner. Raul Ibañez was robbed on the second pitch by a diving Youkilis at first (3-1 putout). Beckett threw 12 pitches.
Kevin Youkilis took a 3-1 pitch up and away for a walk. Mark Loretta smacked the second pitch off the base of the scoreboard in leftfield for a double, moving Youkilis to third. David Ortiz popped a 2-2 pitch high to Beltre all alone on the left side (shift). Manny Ramirez bounced the 2-2 pitch to Sexson at first, but Youkilis scored.
»» RED SOX 1, MARINERS 0
Jason Varitek bounced a 3-1 pitch to Beltre behind the bag at third, who made a long throw that pulled Sexson away, but Sexson tagged Varitek in time. One problem -- the umpire didn't call Varitek out. Thus, Loretta scored. Screwjob.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 0
Mike Lowell watched as Varitek took off for second on the first pitch (first move too). Lowell bounced the second pitch to Beltre. Washburn threw 24 pitches.
Richie Sexson blistered a first-pitch single to left. Adrian Beltre fell behind 0-2 and popped the 1-2 offering to Youkilis at first. Matt Lawton hit a sinking liner on the first pitch for an out to centerfield. Kenji Johjima ripped the first pitch past Gonzalez at short for a single. Jeremy Reed was blown down by an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Beckett threw ten pitches and had 22 through two.
Dustan Mohr took a 1-2 pitch over the inside corner. Wily Mo Peña bounced the 2-0 pitch to Lopez at second, who bobbled it but still had time to recover and throw barely in time to first. Alex Gonzalez fouled off three straight 1-2 pitches before grounding to Beltre, who played the ball to the side and had it eat him up for what was charged as his second error of the day (bad hop). Youkilis grounded the 0-2 pitch behind the bag at third, and Beltre threw to Lopez at second for the force. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 42 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt tapped the second pitch back to the mound. Ichiro bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle that Loretta had a bit of trouble handling (kinda played it in front of him), and Ichiro was safe at first on the error. Lopez watched as Youkilis saved a one-hop pickoff throw from Beckett. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch that hopped past Peña in rightfield and into the corner, scoring Ichiro. Lopez ended up on third with a triple.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 1
Ibañez popped the first pitch behind the shortstop as three Red Sox converged on the ball and Ibañez ended up on first as Lopez scored.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 2
Sexson got ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Beltre watched the second pitch in the dirt, but Ibañez tried the delayed steal thing and he was gunned down by about seven feet at second. Beckett threw 18 pitches and had 40 through three.
Loretta bounced to Betancourt in the left-side hole, who made the off-balance throw in time to first. Ortiz took a 1-2 pitch high up and over the outside corner. Ramirez checkswung and nubbed the second pitch back to the Washburn coming off the mound (1-3 putout). Washburn threw only nine pitches and had 51 through three.
Beltre whiffed at a 2-2 fastball high and off the plate outside. Lawton was ahead 2-0 and took a full-count pitch inside for a walk on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Johjima grounded a 2-0 pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Beckett threw 17 pitches and had 57 through four.
Varitek reached on the second pitch and singled just past the reach of Betancourt in the left-side hole. Lowell whiffed late on a 1-2 high fastball. Mohr took an 0-2 pitch just off the outside corner, took a 2-2 dirtball to the backstop (Varitek went to second), and ended up walking on a high full-count pitch. Peña was plunked on the left side on the first pitch, loading the bases. Gonzalez dumped an 0-2 pitch that was knocked down by the wind and it dropped in front of Reed, who had to let it drop for a single as Varitek scored and the bases remained loaded.
»» RED SOX 3, MARINERS 2
Youkilis was ahead 3-1 and wound up popping to Betancourt on a full count on the left side as infield fly rule was called. Loretta was ahead 2-0 and golfed a flyout to Ibañez short of the track in front of the scoreboard. Washburn threw 27 pitches and had 78 through four.
Reed chopped the 1-2 pitch to Gonzalez up the middle. Betancourt hit a sinking liner to Mohr for the out. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and rolled the 1-2 pitch to short. Beckett threw 11 pitches and had 68 through five.
Ortiz took a full-count pitch outside. Ramirez got ahead 3-0 and took a 3-1 pitch outside for a walk, moving Ortiz to second. Julio Mateo warmed up in the bullpen due to Washburn's bouts with suck. Varitek grounded the second pitch hard to Beltre, who dove to his backhand side, stepped on third, then threw in time to Sexson near first, who did get the umpire to see the tag this time (Ramirez went to second). Lowell took an 0-2 pitch off of Johjima's glove and to the backstop (passed ball, then charged a wild pitch afterward), allowing Ramirez to scoot to third. Lowell ended up flying out high to Lopez on the rightfield grass. Washburn threw 20 pitches and had 98 through five.
Lopez grounded the first pitch hard to third. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and later hit a 1-2 pitch down the rightfield line that rattled into the corner and Ibañez was able to move to third with the triple as Peña bobbled it a bit, though somewhat inconsequentially (originally scored an error but rescinded), except for the boos. Sexson whiffed on a full-count breaking ball. Beltre fouled off a very high 2-2 pitch and ended with a whiff on an inside corner heater. Beckett threw 19 pitches and had 87 through six.
Mohr whiffed on a 1-2 low change. Mateo was warming once again. Peña chopped the first pitch to third. Gonzalez worked an 0-2 count full before taking a full-count fastball over the outside corner on the eighth pitch. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 111 through six.
Washburn's line: 6 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 3 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, 111 pitches (68 strikes)
Lawton was ahead 2-0 and popped out to Gonzalez in shallow leftfield on a 2-2 pitch. Johjima drilled a 2-0 single up the middle. Reed took the first pitch off Varitek's glove and to the backstop as Johjima moved to second on the passed ball. Reed later flew out to left. Betancourt got ahead 2-0 and later bounced out to third. Beckett threw 14 pitches and had 101 through seven.
Beckett's line: 7 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 101 pitches (66 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Washburn. Mike Timlin warmed in the Boston bullpen. Youkilis was ahead 3-0 and wound up flying out to Ibañez on the 3-1 pitch. Loretta punched a 1-2 single through the left side.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Ortiz waved at a 2-1 pitch down and away and later whiffed on a full-count breaking ball for a huge out.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Ramirez took the first pitch off Johjima's glove and to the backstop (passed ball) and Loretta moved to second. Ramirez blistered the second pitch to Beltre, who had it go high off his glove as Loretta was safe at third and Ramirez reached first (probably saving a run). Varitek lined the 2-0 pitch right into Sexson's glove. Soriano threw five pitches.
Mateo's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
Mike Timlin came in for Beckett. Ichiro slashed the first pitch near the Monster, and Ramirez had some issues with it and jumped back in front of the scoreboard to make the catch. Lopez chopped a single into rightfield as the crowd sarcastically cheered Peña fielding the ball without incident. Ibañez flew out to left on a sinking liner that Ramirez had to reach for. Sexson bounced the first pitch to third.
Timlin's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
Lowell was ahead 2-0 and wound up walking on a full count. Mohr whiffed on an 0-2 high fastball. Peña scorched the 3-1 pitch right to Sexson, who knocked it down and took a second to find it, but got it and tagged the oncoming Peña coming down the line as Lowell went to second. Gonzalez couldn't check his swing on an 0-2 slider low and away.
Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
Jonathan Papelbon came in for Timlin. Beltre lined a 1-2 pitch to rightfield, but Mohr was out there instead of Peña, and the ball was caught. Lawton flew out to Adam Stern in centerfield on the 2-2 pitch. Johjima bounced the 3-1 pitch to third.
Papelbon's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
The .185 hitter that leads off for the Mariners is immediately followed by a .294 hitter. It's true. Lopez has had four multi-hit games so far this season. In this one, he went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI, and he scored once. I know in past years when Lopez has come up, I'd wondered to myself whether Lopez would actually be able to hit on a consistent basis in the Majors. I saw he had some flashes of brilliance, but I had my doubts. This season, so far, so good. He's 8-for-26 on the road trip, which is better than the road trip of the guy hitting in front of him. Of course, when they bat Lopez second, he has the meat of the order behind him and so he'll be seeing some nice pitches. Since I'm the guy who gets ticked off whenever Jeremy Reed gets benched against a lefthanded pitcher with any competence, I can't help but wonder what might happen if Reed batted second again. Might he be swinging the bat just as well as Lopez? However, if there's one thing we know about Mike Hargrove, it's that we've gotta have the lefty-righty-lefty thing in the lineup, no questions asked except between Sexson and Beltre. Throw Reed into the two-hole, and it's three lefties before you get to Sexson unless you change everything else. Dare to dream...
Goat: Jarrod Washburn.
Three hits in six innings. Not so bad, you say? Add four walks and a hit batter to that. I might be able to deal with a walk or two, sure. Four and a hit batsman is pretty brutal. A mitigating factor would be that it's the third start of the season and he was in Boston. For the other side, he's the #3 guy in the rotation, he got a much-too-hefty contract in the offseason, and Gil Meche and Felix Hernandez are throwing behind him in the rotation. It's pretty simple -- the front-end rotation guys eat up the innings and save the bullpen so there's a margin for error when the back end of the rotation comes around. Thus, guys like Washburn should be looked upon to get deep into games. On the other hand, you need these guys to last late into the season as well, and I'm not sure Washburn should be out there throwing 111 pitches in his third start. I'd have pulled him somewhere in the sixth. He had 98 after five innings. Still, it takes some control on Washburn's part, and it does take at least sixteen pitches to walk four batters, and it took way more than that in this game.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 10-3 .769 -- W3
2002 10-3 .769 -- W7
2000 8-5 .615 2 L1
2003 7-6 .538 3 W3
2005 6-7 .462 4 L1
2006 6-7 .462 4 L1
2004 5-8 .333 5 W3
I know it was only the thirteenth game of the season and it wasn't a playoff game or anything like that, but even if first-base umpire Rick Reed did have the best angle on that play in the first, it would have been nice to have one of those multi-umpire conferences where they try to get it right and stuff. Of course, these were the Mariners and they were playing in Boston, which is on the east coast, so fat chance in hell if they get a call or something. Adrian Beltre threw wide, yes, but Richie Sexson made that tag, and everyone in the stadium probably knew it. Everyone on the field other than Rick Reed probably knew it. A run scored on that play, and though I certainly didn't like Jarrod Washburn and his pinpoint control today (pinpoint as in scattershot), this game turned out to be a one-run game, and well, it was the difference (or part thereof) in the game. This wasn't a game I expected the Mariners to win, but I'd have liked it to be just because Washburn walked a bunch of guys or because a runner on third with one out stayed there with Sexson and Beltre coming to the plate. An umpire's call -- that's rough.
Should I do some sort of daily Ichiro rant until his batting average gets back above .250? After his 0-for-19 streak earlier this month, he's put together another nice one, sitting at 0-for-13 and counting. He hasn't gotten a hit since his 1-for-4 outing in the final game of the Cleveland series, and that hit was a homer. In even better news, Ichiro has amassed ten hits this so far in the young season along with nine strikeouts. He's walked five times. I don't know where I was going with the walks necessarily since that's not his thing, but he's definitely not supposed to have almost as many strikeouts as hits. Then again, the Mariners haven't been facing chop liver in terms of opposing arms, what with Blanton, Zito, Harden, Schilling, and Beckett all throwing against the Mariners lately. But what does it say if the only pitchers you can hit are the ones that are chop liver? If this team ever wants to be good again, it's going to have to get some players to step up in these situations.
Though it didn't seem like it, congratulations to Jeremy Reed on a good start to the season at the plate. His season-opening hitting streak was finally snapped today with an 0-for-3 day with a strikeout. His hit streak totaled ten games. Maybe Hargrove was sitting him against those lefties so that the streak would keep going. It's a blessing then, I guess. Let the man hit against lefties, I say!
The final thing is the unclutchness. You know, Raul Ibañez rattles a one-out triple into the rightfield corner in the sixth, and then Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre can't make contact. Sexson's actually done some stuff this year, and he's a guy that does strike out often, so I can only bust on him so much because I know in some of these situations, he'll get a hold of one. In this one, he didn't. Then when you've got Adrian Beltre in his current state behind him, and with two out, there's no way in hell Ibañez is crossing that plate. In other words, after Sexson struck out, the final outcome of the inning was already in the bag, as sad as that is. I don't know how often I have to ask myself this question, but when will it be too late with Beltre? He still doesn't have any RBI this season (13 games). The last time he got a hit was in his third at-bat of the middle game of the Cleveland series. He and Ichiro are in a slump race, and Beltre's current dry spell is at 0-for-16. Good times, good times!
Also, if you're paying attention to the race against Mariner teams of this decade, the current Mariners have the same record after thirteen games that last year's team did, and they're a mere one game better than the 2004 team at this point in the season. Tell me that isn't scary. Granted, I don't think this team will drop off like the 2004 team, but weirder things have happened, have they not? Also, the 2005 Mariners never had an over-.500 month. Every month was below .500 except for their .500 April where they were 12-12.
Meche. DiNardo. Tomorrow.