Saturday, May 13, 2006
In 25 words or less: There's no better way to start the weekend than having last week's Player of the Week get systematically dismantled by a division rival.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Kelvim Escobar. Piñeiro was originally slated to square off with John Lackey, but the Angels had a game rained out in their previous series and elected to stay with the order of their rotation. A win in this game would give the Mariners four wins in six games. It's not a torrid stretch, but it'd be a start. The Mariners so far are 4-6 in the month of May, whereas after ten games last May, the Mariners were 1-9. Live feed was FSN West for me, but archived feed was FSN Northwest. A bit irritating.
Ichiro drove a 2-2 pitch to the wall in rightcenter and wound up at third with a triple. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 fastball down the pipe. Raul Ibañez grounded hard to second, and Kennedy went to first for the out as Ichiro scored.
»» MARINERS 1, ANGELS 0
Richie Sexson took a 2-2 offspeed pitch over the plate. Escobar threw 20 pitches.
Chone Figgins rolled to second. Orlando Cabrera had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch up and in. Vladimir Guerrero fell behind 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch to left. Garret Anderson popped high to Reed in shallow rightcenter. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches.
Carl Everett fell behind 0-2 before flying out to a charging Guerrero in shallow right on a 1-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre flew out to right on an 0-2 pitch. Kenji Johjima rode the 2-2 pitch to the track in center. Escobar threw 16 pitches and had 36 through two.
Tim Salmon was ahead 2-0 before walking on a low full-count pitch, the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Juan Rivera punched an 0-2 pitch barely over the glove of a leaping Betancourt at short, moving Salmon to second on the single. Dallas McPherson smoked a 1-2 single into rightfield, loading the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Mike Napoli lasered a 2-2 pitch off of a leaping Beltre's glove and it went high into the air. Betancourt came up with it soon after, but he had no play as Salmon scored and the bases remained loaded.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 1
Adam Kennedy slapped the second pitch into left for a single, scoring Rivera and leaving the bases loaded.
»» ANGELS 2, MARINERS 1
Figgins popped the first pitch down the leftfield line where Ibañez slid and made the catch in foul ground and gunned home for McPherson even though he had no chance. This enabled Napoli to move to third and Kennedy to move to second.
»» ANGELS 3, MARINERS 1
Cabrera took a 1-2 pitch barely off the outside corner before poking the next pitch past a drawn-in Lopez and into rightfield for a single. Ichiro gunned for home, but it wasn't in time to nail Kennedy, who was safe and Napoli had scored ahead of him. Cabrera went to second on the throw home.
»» ANGELS 5, MARINERS 1
Guerrero was intentionally walked. Anderson grounded to first to mercifully start a 3-6-1 double play. Piñeiro threw 38 pitches and had 54 through two.
Jeremy Reed rolled the second pitch to second. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the 1-2 pitch to left. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before singling into center on a 1-2 pitch. Lopez dumped a second-pitch single into center, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez creamed the second pitch right to second for a 4-6 fielder's choice. Escobar threw 15 pitches and had 51 through three.
Salmon crushed a homer into the bullpens in leftcenter.
»» ANGELS 6, MARINERS 1
Rivera rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. McPherson fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Napoli got ahead 3-1 before rolling to short on a full count. Piñeiro threw 20 pitches and had 74 through three.
Piñeiro's line: 3 innings, 6 runs, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 strikeout, 74 pitches (44 strikes)
Sexson singled the first pitch into leftcenter. Everett drilled a 2-0 pitch to right for a single, moving Sexson to second. Beltre rolled the second pitch to the left side, where Figgins made a diving stab and got the runner at second as Beltre beat out the double play. Sexson moved to third on the play. Johjima roped the first pitch off Figgins' glove and into leftfield (error), scoring Sexson. Beltre moved to second on the play.
»» ANGELS 6, MARINERS 2
Reed got ahead 2-0 before cranking a pitch in front of the hitters' backdrop just to the right of the rockery. Great time for Reed's first homer of the year. Confidence is good.
»» ANGELS 6, MARINERS 5
Betancourt rolled the second pitch to short, and Cabrera had a long way to go to get to it, and the throw was late, so that's a single. Ichiro watched the second pitch and Betancourt was gunned down trying to nab second. Ichiro got the hitters' counts before flying out to Kennedy in shallow center. Escobar threw 19 pitches and had 70 through four.
Bobby Livingston came in for Piñeiro. Kennedy was nicked on the jersey. Figgins whiffed on a high 0-2 pitch. Cabrera got the hitters' counts and walked on a high 3-1 pitch, moving Kennedy to second. Guerrero grounded the first pitch hard off Betancourt's glove in the hole on the left side but knocked it down, loading the bases and probably saving a run. Anderson walked on four pitches, scoring Kennedy as the bases remained loaded. Chaves visited the mound again.
»» ANGELS 7, MARINERS 5
Salmon walked on a full-count pitch off the plate outside, scoring Figgins as the bases remained loaded.
»» ANGELS 8, MARINERS 5
Rivera threw the barrel down on a letter-high 0-2 pitch, popping it just inside the leftfield foul pole. Slamarrific.
»» ANGELS 12, MARINERS 5
McPherson drilled a single into right.
Sean Green came in for Livingston. Napoli walked on a low full-count pitch, moving McPherson to second. Kennedy fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Figgins mercifully bounced to second. Green threw 16 pitches.
Livingston's line: 1/3 inning, 6 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 31 pitches (15 strikes)
Lopez nubbed the first pitch along the right side, where Escobar came off the mound to field it but Lopez beat the throw. Ibañez popped to Anderson in leftcenter as Lopez held at first. Sexson drilled the second pitch off Figgins' glove and heel, and the ball stayed near him, but he had no play as Lopez went to second. Everett took the second pitch in the dirt and it rolled away, enabling Lopez and Sexson to move to third and second. Everett later rolled out on a 1-2 pitch to third, scoring Lopez and moving Sexson to second.
»» ANGELS 12, MARINERS 6
Beltre popped the second pitch to left. Escobar threw 13 pitches and had 83 through five.
Cabrera popped to Reed in deep leftcenter. Guerrero fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch to third. Anderson got ahead 2-0 before drilling a single up the middle. Salmon popped high to left. Green threw 15 pitches and had 31 total.
Johjima drove a single into the rightcenter gap and thought about going for a double, but didn't. Reed poked a first-pitch single through the left side past a diving McPherson to move Johjima to second. Betancourt whiffed on an 0-2 pitch off the plate outside. Ichiro shot a hard grounder to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Yup. Escobar threw 11 pitches and had 94 through six.
Escobar's line: 6 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 11 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 94 pitches (64 strikes)
Rivera bounced to second. McPherson popped the 3-1 pitch quite high to Beltre, but he had it carry away on him and it dropped in shallow left (error) as McPherson went all the way to second. Napoli took a 2-2 pitch to the track in rightcenter where Reed leaped and made the catch at the wall, and McPherson scooted easily to third on the play. Kennedy got the hitters' counts before bouncing to second on a full count. Green threw 19 pitches and had 50 total.
Hector Carrasco came in for Escobar. Lopez bounced the second pitch to a charging Cabrera at short. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 before dumping a full-count single into shallow right. Sexson was ahead 2-0 before walking on a full-count pitch outside, which moved Lopez to second. Everett bounced to Figgins on the left side to start a 5-4-3 double play. Carrasco threw 18 pitches.
Figgins worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Cabrera grounded to second to start a quick 4-6-3 double play. Guerrero rolled over to short on a 1-2 pitch. Green threw 14 pitches and had 64 total.
Green's line: 3 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 64 pitches (37 strikes)
Beltre cranked the second pitch for a homer just right of the rock display in centerfield for his second homer of the season.
»» ANGELS 12, MARINERS 7
Johjima popped a 2-0 pitch high to Napoli on top of the plate. Reed slapped an 0-2 pitch for a flyout to left. Matt Lawton, hitting for Betancourt, whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball outside. Carrasco threw 14 pitches and had 32 total.
Jake Woods came in for Green. Willie Bloomquist came in to play short. Anderson rolled to Lopez in shallow right. Salmon took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Rivera worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Tommy Murphy ran for Rivera. Robb Quinlan, hitting for McPherson, fell behind 0-2 before taking a 2-2 breaking ball over the inner half. Woods threw 21 pitches.
Woods' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (10 strikes)
Murphy stayed in to play center, and Quinlan to play first. Ichiro grounded the second pitch hard to second. Lopez fell behind 0-2 before nubbing a 2-2 grounder to the left side, where Carrasco jumped from the mound to field it and threw the ball into foul ground down the rightfield line, and Lopez advanced to second. Lopez was credited for a single, but Carrasco still got the error. Ibañez popped the first pitch high to center. Sexson bounced to short. Carrasco threw 14 pitches.
Carrasco's line: 3 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 46 pitches (29 strikes)
Gameball: Jeremy Reed.
He needed a game like this in the absolute worst way. I hope he gets a big boost of confidence out of it and can parlay it into some playing time. I know I was rooting for that fly ball to keep carrying over the fence. It did, and at the time it got the Mariners to within one run at 6-5 after having been down 6-1. He also had another single with runners on base later in the game. Let's also not forget the leaping catch at the wall in the 6th on what would have been extra bases for Mike Napoli. I could say more things about the homer, but there's one main thing about it -- though it was Reed's first homer of the year, he's already got more homers this year than Willie Bloomquist. I've argued it a million times, so it goes without saying that I think the Mariners should roll with the punches when it comes to Jeremy Reed. Willie Bloomquist is not the future of this team. Jeremy Reed might not be either, but he's got to have more of a chance than Bloomquist. You don't just trade Freddy Garcia for crap, and I remember how great we all felt after we got Reed for him. I know it's been a while since that, but the talent is still there.
Goat: Joel Piñeiro.
The two starts last week were great, but what we saw in this game looked like it came from a Player of the Weak. He couldn't keep the ball down, and the Angels were just having a field day. No one with MLB.tv feed missed it, but Angel color guy Rex Hudler made a big point out of noticing that Piñeiro was leaving a bunch of 0-2 pitches up in the zone, or more importantly giving hitters something to hit on 0-2. This bailed the Angels out of a number of situtations. Piñeiro didn't throw the nail-in-the-coffin 0-2 pitch of the game (Bobby Livingston did), but that doesn't mean he was good in this game or something. He was quite the opposite. He just couldn't get his breaking balls down. Nothing broke right, and the Angels pounded him into submission. Or at least into the showers. To recap, Piñeiro faced 17 batters. He got nine outs. Six hitters got hits. He walked three and struck out one. Basically, over half the hitters he faced reached base safely. Not a winning recipe, of course. Far from it.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 28-9 .757 -- W5
2002 26-11 .703 2 L1
2003 23-14 .622 5 W1
2000 20-17 .541 8 W2
2005 15-22 .405 13 W1
2006 15-22 .405 13 L2
2004 13-24 .351 15 L1
Where do you start with a game like this? It would have been the same old story if Piñeiro gave up all those runs and the Mariners lost 9-1 or something. Instead, the Reed homer got the Mariners to within one run. Of course, a young Bobby Livingston pitched young, and the walks rained down. Two of his three walks forced runs across with the bases loaded. Those two runs were immediately followed by the game-destroying grand slam off the bat of Juan Rivera, on an 0-2 pitch. That was pretty devastating to any chance the Mariners had to win the game. So the bad things were definitely that Joel Piñeiro was a zoo, that Bobby Livingston was a zoo, and that the Mariners scored seven runs and outhit the Angels 14-10 and lost. It's crap that we see the anemic offense of this team, then they go and score seven runs and lose. Good times.
The bright spots of this game? I already went over Jeremy Reed, whose performance was much needed and much welcome. Adrian Beltre's solo shot doubled his 2006 home run output. It was good to know that he can indeed get a hold of a ball again. Of course, I hope he doesn't just end up overswinging the next couple days and trying to hit 20 homers in five days. I want him to, sure, but it won't happen. Two things that would have made Beltre's homer more fun would have been if the Mariners had runners on base and if the homer would have left the yard in rightcenter. At least this homer was closer to the center of the field than dead pull. The only other bright spot I saw in this game was the pitching of Sean Green. Sure, the game was gone by the time he got in, and he did walk the first guy he faced in what was already a treacherous inning, but this was a lot better of an outing for him than his last one, which was against Cleveland to the tune of three runs, two walks, and a hit in a third of an inning.
No Mariner in the starting lineup went hitless. Four Mariners had multi-hit games. Other than Reed (2-for-4), it was Ichiro (2-for-5), Jose Lopez (3-for-5), and Richie Sexson (2-for-4, which is big for him too) that had multi-hit games. If only the Mariners could go 14-for-39 as a team every night. In a bit of news, though he's gotten hits in the last two games, Raul Ibañez has seen his average drop below .300 for the first time since April 29th. He's now at .297 thanks in part to not having a multi-hit game in about a week. He's 4-for-24 (.167) over the past six games, which had a little 0-for-7 slide in there.
In terms of pure enjoyment, this game featured mild enjoyment after the Mariners' early 1-0 lead, then it went away, then it came back with Reed's homer, then it all came crashing down after the grand slam. If you're typing most of the game post during the game like I do, it was pretty much autopilot after the fourth inning. That of course opened more time for making dinner, taking out the trash, and doing laundry. I guess the only other odd and mildly entertaining thing would be the fact that Hector Carrasco got one of those size-of-lead-independent saves since he pitched three innings effectively in relief.
Washburn. Lackey. Tonight.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Remember the Justin Duchscherer walk-off balk from not too long ago? This one was just a game-deciding balk in the fifth. Rock the Kazmir.
This one featured Scott Kazmir going up against Jamie Moyer. A Mariner win here would mean a sweep and a three-game win streak and four wins in five games. Step one back to mediocrity is beating teams worse than you, right? Of course, won-loss record alone doesn't prove the Mariners are much better than Tampa Bay, and that's if they are at all. Afterward comes a weekend series in Anaheim after an off day.
Damon Hollins rode the second pitch to the wall in the leftcenter gap for a double. Carl Crawford bunted the second pitch in front of the plate and Rivera came from behind the plate to throw Crawford out at first as Hollins went to third. Jonny Gomes fell behind 0-2 and later whiffed on a 1-2 change low and away. Aubrey Huff got ahead 3-1 before bouncing for what was nearly a double, but Sexson got to it behind the bag at first (3-1 putout). Moyer threw 14 pitches.
Ichiro bounced the 1-2 pitch into the hole on the left side where Lugo couldn't make the play quickly enough to get Ichiro. Jose Lopez took a 2-2 pitch to the backstop as Ichiro moved to second. Kazmir made a later pickoff throw and had it hit off of Ichiro and right to Wigginton. Lopez whiffed on a fastball over the outer half. Raul Ibañez watcehd as Ichiro took third on the 2-0 pitch. Ibañez had a 3-0 count go full before succumbing to the whiff. Richie Sexson fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch quite low. Kazmir threw 23 pitches.
Ty Wigginton was ahead 2-0 before scorching a liner into the glove of Ibañez charging into shallow left. Toby Hall ripped a 1-2 pitch for a line drive deep into leftfield that Ibañez almost made a diving catch on, but it bounced past and to the wall, which wasn't far away. Hall got a double out of it. Travis Lee popped the second pitch to Ichiro. Tomas Perez popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow right. Moyer threw 12 pitches and had 26 through two.
Carl Everett rolled the second pitch to Perez at short, who stopped it, bobbled it, and threw late to first as Everett was safe. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Willie Bloomquist laid down a perfect bunt on the second pitch, dribbling it along the third-base line where Kazmir fielded it but had a long throw to make, and it was late as Everett moved to second. Rene Rivera was ahead 2-0 and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 high curve. Yuniesky Betancourt fouled off four 0-2 pitches before popping to fairly deep center. Kazmir threw 20 pitches and had 43 through two.
Joey Gathright fell behind 0-2 before waving late at a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Hollins popped to Lopez drifting back into shallow center on a 2-2 pitch. Crawford flew out to fairly deep center on a 1-2 pitch. Moyer threw 14 pitches and had 40 through three.
Ichiro bounced the second pitch to short. Lopez grounded hard to third, where Huff made a diving stab and threw over in time. Ibañez was ahead 2-0 before bouncing out to second. Kazmir threw eight pitches and had 51 through three.
Gomes didn't get enough under the first pitch, popping to left. Huff was ahead 2-0 before bouncing to first (3-1 putout). Wigginton fell behind 0-2 and popped to Bloomquist in rightcenter on a 2-2 count. Moyer threw 10 pitches and had 50 through four.
Sexson was ahead 2-0 before bouncing out to third. Everett fell behind 0-2 before bouncing a 2-2 pitch to third. Beltre fouled off three 2-2 pitches before whiffing on a fastball up and away. Kazmir threw 17 pitches and had 68 through four.
Hall worked a 1-2 count full before splitting his bat on a dinker of a single into centerfield. Lee punched the first pitch through the right side for a single, moving Hall to second. Perez popped the 2-2 pitch to Sexson in foul ground on the right side. Gathright bounced the first pitch to Sexson at first (3-1 putout) as Hall moved to third and Lee went to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Hollins had the count 1-1 when Moyer came set and looked like he wanted to step off, but he picked up the front foot first before trying to step off with the back one, which is a balk. Hall scored and Lee moved to third.
»» DEVIL RAYS 1, MARINERS 0
On the next pitch, Hollins popped to left. Moyer threw 17 pitches and had 67 through five.
Bloomquist bounced the 2-2 pitch to short. Rivera fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball inside. Betancourt grounded the second pitch to short. Kazmir threw 14 pitches and had 82 through five.
Crawford worked an 0-2 count full before bouncing to a charging Lopez, who had to make a quick throw to first to get the out. Gomes whiffed on a 2-2 change in the dirt. Huff bounced a 2-2 pitch to first. Moyer threw 16 pitches and had 83 through six.
Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Lopez took Gathright to the track in leftcenter on an 0-2 pitch. Ibañez took the second pitch to the leftfield track. Kazmir threw 10 pitches and had 92 through six.
Wigginton fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 change away, the eleventh pitch of the at-bat. By Rizzs' account, Wigginton shattered the bat in frustration against the concrete wall in the dugout immediately afterward. Hall fell behind 0-2 and tapped a 1-2 pitch to the mound. Lee whiffed on a 2-2 low change. Moyer threw 23 pitches and had 106 through seven.
Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and away. Everett bounced the first pitch high to second. Beltre walked on four pitches, snapping a streak of 16 straight retired Mariner hitters. Bloomquist was ahead 3-0 and drilled a 3-1 single into centerfield, moving Beltre to second. Johjima grounded to short. Kazmir threw 19 pitches.
Kazmir's line: 7 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 110 pitches (70 strikes)
Perez rolled up the middle to Betancourt, who ranged way over to throw in time to first (what a freakin' play). Gathright air-bunted the first pitch to Lopez behind the mound. Hollins grounded a full-count pitch to Beltre's glove side, where he made the nice sliding stop and threw over in time. Moyer threw eight pitches.
Moyer's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 114 pitches (78 strikes)
Ruddy Lugo came in for Kazmir. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Betancourt, popped the 1-2 pitch to Perez drifting back into shallow left. Ichiro bounced a 2-2 pitch up the middle, where R Lugo got a piece of it and Perez came up with it and threw barely in time to first. Lopez popped a 1-2 pitch to Hollins in foul ground near the rightfield line.
R Lugo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Moyer. Crawford bounced the first pitch up the middle, where Lopez ranged over, came up with the ball, jumped and threw over in time. Gomes had the hitters' counts before popping to Sexson at the first-base coaches' box. Huff popped the first pitch behind the plate to Johjima.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
Tyler Walker came in for R Lugo. Ibañez doubled over Gathright's head off the wall in leftcenter. Sexson failed to check his swing on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Everett whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball, slamming his bat against the bill of his helmet afterward in frustration. Beltre grounded hard to third.
Walker's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Jamie Moyer.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 27-9 .750 -- W4
2002 26-10 .722 1 W4
2003 22-14 .611 5 L1
2000 19-17 .528 8 W1
2006 15-21 .417 12 L1
2005 14-22 .389 13 L1
2004 13-23 .361 14 W1
Piñeiro. Escobar. Tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
In 25 words or less: The Mariners slayed a demon of the recent past, and all it required was a nice dose of the Ocho.
This one featured 2003 one-man Mariner wrecking crew Doug Waechter going up against Felix Hernandez. Some see Felix as the future of the starting rotation and a big part of this team's future fortune. Others see Felix as the only real reason they're watching the Mariners anymore. In sum, there are probably people out there only watching the Mariners every five days. He considers Freddy Garcia an idol, and if he warms up with the weather like Freddy did, this summer should be fun.
Julio Lugo got ahead 2-0, wasn't granted time and stepped out on the 2-0 pitch, then later walked on a low full-count pitch. Carl Crawford grounded the 3-1 pitch to the mound to Hernandez, who threw a bit low and too far to Betancourt's backhand for just the 1-6 forceout instead of a double play. Jonny Gomes got ahead 2-0 before taking a full-count pitch for strike three as Crawford took second. Aubrey Huff popped out to Beltre in foul ground near the leftfield line. Hernandez threw 19 pitches.
Ichiro grounded the first pitch hard to Lee at first. Jose Lopez nubbed a 2-2 pitch to short. Raul Ibañez got the hitters' counts before ripping a full-count grounder to short. Waechter threw 12 pitches.
Ty Wigginton drilled an 0-2 curve through the middle for a single. Toby Hall rolled the first pitch into the right-side hole but bobbled it and kicked it away (error). Travis Lee fell behind 0-2 before one-hopping a 1-2 pitch to short to start a 6-4-3 double play as Wigginton went to third. Russell Branyan was ahead 2-0 before whiffing over a 2-2 change. Hernandez threw 14 pitches and had 33 through two.
Richie Sexson stuck the first pitch into shallow leftcenter for a single. Carl Everett took a 3-1 pitch up and away for a walk, moving Sexson to second. Adrian Beltre drilled a second-pitch single through the left side to load the bases. Kenji Johjima rolled the first pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Sexson and Everett and moving Beltre to second. Pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound.
»» MARINERS 2, DEVIL RAYS 0
Jeremy Reed watched the second pitch go by as Beltre was nailed by ten feet at third. Reed was ahead 2-0 before grounding hard to third for what should have been a double play had Wigginton not had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. Nonetheless, Johjima was out at second. Yuniesky Betancourt stroked a hanging breaking ball into leftfield for a single, moving Reed to third on the hit-and-run. Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before flying out lazily to shallow center. Waechter threw 20 pitches and had 32 through two.
Joey Gathright bounced the second pitch up the middle that bounced high on Betancourt, who bobbled the transfer but probably wouldn't have had Gathright anyway (E6, later changed to a single). Lugo chopped the first pitch high to Beltre at third, who winged it over to second, but barely late (the throw nearly hit Gathright in the face). Crawford tapped the second pitch along the right side to Hernandez coming off the mound, who ran it to the bag as the runners advanced into scoring position. Gomes laced the first pitch to Ibañez in left, and Gathright tagged and scored easily.
»» MARINERS 2, DEVIL RAYS 1
Huff watched the second pitch as Lugo nabbed third without a throw. Huff later bounced out to first (3-1 putout). Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 42 through three.
Lopez popped the second pitch to shallow right. Ibañez grounded the 3-1 pitch hard to first. Sexson rolled the first pitch to third for what should have been a groundout, but Huff airmailed the throw and it reached the camera well as Sexson was awarded second. Everett was ahead 2-0 and wound up popping high to first on a full count. Waechter threw 14 pitches and had 46 through three.
Wigginton popped a 1-2 pitch high to third. Hall flew out to center on the second pitch. Lee shot the second pitch through the right side for a single. Branyan fell behind 0-2 and waved at a 2-2 curve. Hernandez threw 14 pitches and had 56 through four.
Beltre flew out high to left on the second pitch. Johjima worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Reed took a 2-2 pitch to deep center, just short of the track. Betancourt poked the first pitch past the reach of Lugo and into leftfield for a single, moving Johjima to second. Ichiro rolled the first pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Johjima and moving Betancourt to second.
»» MARINERS 3, DEVIL RAYS 1
Lopez rolled over the first pitch to short for a 6-4 forceout. Waechter threw 16 pitches and had 62 through four.
Gathright chopped to short to Betancourt, who threw hard to first and beat Gathright, but Sexson pulled his foot off the bag, and the error was given to Betancourt, which is total bull. Lugo lined the second pitch off the mound to Lopez, who started the 4-3 double play. Crawford fell behind 0-2 before taking a 1-2 pitch across the plate, belt high. Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 65 through five.
Ibañez popped the second pitch to left. Sexson fell behind 0-2 before rolling over an outside 1-2 pitch to short. Everett busted out the wedge on a 1-2 fly ball that kept carrying until it landed about eight rows back inside the rightfield foul pole.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 1
Beltre fell behind 0-2 and drove a 1-2 pitch that took Gathright to the track in centerfield, and he leaped to make the catch just short of the wall. Waechter threw 14 pitches and had 76 through five.
Gomes rolled up the middle to Lopez, who made the on-time off-balance throw to first. Huff popped the second pitch high to Betancourt in shallow left. Wigginton worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Hall grounded to short on the second pitch for a 6-4 forceout. Hernandez threw 14 pitches and had 79 through six.
Johjima looped the second pitch to shallow center where Gathright broke hard inward, but slowed up to a trot and caught it easily because he's gazelle-fast. Reed poked the first pitch up the middle for a single, which hopefully earned him more playing time than three at-bats over the next week. Betancourt flew out to Crawford near the leftfield corner on the second pitch. Ichiro watched the first pitch go by as Reed was gunned down trying to steal second. Waechter threw six pitches and had 82 through six.
Lee reached the wall in the gap in leftcenter on a 1-2 pitch for a double. Branyan whiffed on a 2-2 tailing fastball over the outer half. Gathright checked his swing on an 0-2 pitch, but couldn't quite do it on the next. Lugo bounced a 2-0 pitch to short. Hernandez threw 16 pitches and had 95 through seven.
Ichiro grounded an 0-2 pitch just past the reach of a diving Wigginton in the right-side hole. Lopez bunted the first pitch down the first-base line to move Ichiro to second. Ibañez popped the first pitch to center, but Ichiro held at second. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 belt-high fastball over the plate. Waechter threw ten pitches and had 92 through seven.
Crawford fouled off a few 2-2 pitches before taking a fastball that came back over the inside corner. Gomes fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 curve.
George Sherrill came in for Hernandez. Huff walked on four pitches.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill, a.k.a. Mike Hargrove's new Paul Assenmacher. Wigginton popped the first pitch to Reed in center. Soriano threw one pitch.
Hernandez' line: 7 2/3 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 108 pitches (68 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (0 strikes)
Everett lined the first pitch into centerfield and Gathright nearly came up with the diving grab but shorthopped it as Everett got the single. Beltre laced a single into left, moving Everett to second. Pitching coach Mike Butcher again visited the mound. Johjima took the first pitch to the body armor on the left elbow.
Brian Meadows came in for Waechter. Reed chopped an 0-2 pitch high to a drawn-in Lee, who threw straight home to force out Everett. Betancourt hit the second pitch for a shallow fly into centerfield that Gathright tried to dive for and he had it go just under his glove and past. Beltre scored and the bases remained loaded.
»» MARINERS 5, DEVIL RAYS 1
Ichiro got ahead 3-1 before lining a full-count single over a drawn-in infield and into rightfield to score Johjima and keep the bases loaded.
»» MARINERS 6, DEVIL RAYS 1
Lopez lined the first pitch into rightfield for a single, scoring Reed and Betancourt, who scored about ten feet apart. Ichiro moved to second.
»» MARINERS 8, DEVIL RAYS 1
Ibañez grounded the second pitch hard to short, where Lugo made a nice backhanded grab and started a 6-4-3 double play. Meadows threw 14 pitches.
Waechter's line: 7 innings, 7 runs, 11 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 98 pitches (62 strikes)
Meadows' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Hall hit a shallow fly to centerfield on which Reed made a 3/4-extension diving catch that hopefully buys him some more at-bats in the near future. Lee whiffed very late on a 1-2 pitch. Branyan grounded a 1-2 pitch to first.
Soriano's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
He didn't single to lead off the first, but he did three of the four times he got to the plate after that. He went 3-for-5 atop the Seattle lineup and drove in single runs in the fourth and eighth that made it 3-1 and 6-1, respectively. Even better about when Ichiro gets a bunch of hits is all the good it does to the hitters around him. Jose Lopez is leading the team with 26 RBIs for a reason, and that's because Ichiro lately has been Ichiro, but also because the bottom of the lineup has been a lot better than in recent years. In 2003 and before, the Mariners weren't getting a lot of 3-for-4s from the ninth spot in the lineup as they had with Yuniesky Betancourt in this game. The bottom third used to always be sure outs or at least non-hits -- Mike Cameron when he wasn't hitting second, Dan Wilson, and whoever was playing third, or Carlos Guillen before he learned how to hit at the Major League level. If this bottom-of-the-lineup hitting can become consistent, then I'll welcome it with open arms. Same with if the supposed big boppers in the lineup find their groove.
Goat: Raul Ibañez.
Not a hard choice here. When everyone in the Mariner lineup has a hit, but one person has the 0-for-5, chances are I'm going to the give the goat to the 0-for-5. In this game, it was Raul Ibañez, who failed to reach base on a night where the rest of the team pounded out fourteen hits and finally took Doug Waechter to the woodshed three years too late. Thusly, the black hole that usually follows Ibañez in the lineup was instead replaced with a 5-for-11 night from the 4-5-6 hitters in the Mariner lineup in the form of Richie Sexson, Carl Everett, and Adrian Beltre. Still, Ibañez has been so good at the plate that even an 0-for-5 night doesn't sink him below .300. He's now sitting at .302. Oddly, the last time Ibañez was below .300 wasn't that long ago. He was at .286 after the April 29th game in Baltimore, another 0-for-5 after he'd gone 0-for-4 the night before. Two games into this series against Tampa Bay, Ibañez is 0-for-7 (he went 0-for-2 in the first game). Ibañez apparently hasn't gotten the memo the rest of the lineup has -- you're facing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, so it's okay to hit baseballs and run the bases and stuff.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 26-9 .743 -- W3
2002 25-10 .714 1 W3
2003 22-13 .629 4 W1
2000 18-17 .514 8 L1
2006 15-20 .429 11 W2
2005 14-21 .400 12 W1
2004 12-23 .343 14 L6
After going through a stretch where they lost five of six, the Mariners have now won three of four. That's good stuff. They've opened up a three-game lead on the 2004 Mariners, which is good. You want to be as far away from that team as possible. They've got a one-game lead on last year's team, which is good. On the other hand, we all remember how brutal last year's team was in May. The amazing thing is that the 2000 team was only one game above .500 at this point. Of course, they reeled off five of the next six. They went 74-55 after the 17-16 start. So goes the completely unnecessary trip to the earlier reaches of the decade.
Of course, the other thing to talk about when it comes to this game is the second-best (some will argue best) start of the year turned in by Felix Hernandez. He didn't have the easiest time early on, but settled in and went deep into the game. As is usual with Mike Hargrove, he left Hernandez in for longer than I would have, since they're supposedly handling him with kid gloves and everything. Even if it would have only been one out and a couple more pitches, I was glad Hargrove didn't pull Hernandez any later than he did. I thought he was going to leave him in and was pleasantly surprised when I arose from cooking dinner and looked back to see Hernandez leave to an ovation from the raucous crowd of 19726. What got me about the start by Felix was that halfway through I looked at the in-game boxscore and saw he didn't have that many strikeouts. He eventually got the hook, and I looked at the boxscore again and was really surprised he'd struck out eight hitters. Sure, he's a strikeout pitcher, but I guess they must have become commonplace or something. When the Sonics play, some people say Ray Allen is the kind of player who does his thing during the game, then you look at the boxscore and see "whoa, he scored 35?" Felix had a quiet eight strikeouts in this game, or so I think.
Jeremy Reed managed to get into the lineup for the first time since April 30th. He singled in the sixth, which was good to see considering his plate woes so far this season. He got nailed at second, which wasn't good. The crown jewel of the night, though, was the diving catch to rob Toby Hall leading off the ninth. That was top-notch stuff. I know I've made it clear on other points here, but it makes me irate that playing time is being taken away from Jeremy Reed. You can't keep rolling with a guy hitting under .200, sure, but throw Lawton in there a game, put Reed in, maybe Bloomquist once in a while, but don't take a freakin' week of playing time and at-bats away from Jeremy Reed. At first it was just hitting against lefties, but now it's just hitting day to day -- how the hell is he going to learn how to deal with the ebbs and flows of baseball if he's not playing? What really chaps my hide is that Hargrove and the broadcast crew seem to have an elephant's memory when Willie Bloomquist does anything remotely good, then when Reed makes a diving catch or gets a nice hit, it's swept under the rug. In conclusion, I can't wait to see Reed hit again, but it'll probably be another week.
The Mariners have road series in Anaheim this weekend and Oakland in the middle of next week. Very oddly, the Mariners have tomorrow and Monday off. If only every series were sandwiched between off days. Of course, a 162-game schedule would take like over 300 days or something.
Kazmir. Moyer. Today.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Some perplexing starting pitching made way for a late-inning offensive surge and a win. They seem to like come-from-behind wins.
This one featured Casey Fossum going up against Gil Meche. The Mariners hoped to rebound somewhat after losing two of three against the Cleveland Indians and losing five of six overall. In 2005, the Mariners had a season-killing 9-18 record in the month of May. They came into this game with a 2-5 start in May. We need to take wagers on whether Barbaro takes the Triple Crown or Bill Bavasi and Mike Hargrove still hold their current positions with the Mariners at the All-Star break. All 16102 of you that went to the game say "hoooooooo!" You were part of Mariner history, the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.
Julio Lugo took a 1-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Carl Crawford drilled a single up the middle. Jonny Gomes watched as Crawford stole second on a wide throw. Gomes later walked on a full-count pitch barely outside. Aubrey Huff chopped a single through the middle that scored Crawford and sent Gomes to second.
»» DEVIL RAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Ty Wigginton was ahead 2-0 before grounding to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Meche threw 22 pitches.
Ichiro was ahead 2-0 before serving a single into leftfield. Jose Lopez gronded hard to third, where Huff bobbled it and tried to start a double play, but only got Ichiro on the front end as Lopez beat the throw to first. Raul Ibañez lined to Crawford a couple steps short of the track in leftfield. Richie Sexson lined out to a charging Branyan in right. Fossum threw 12 pitches.
Toby Hall flew out just short of the leftfield track to Ibañez. Greg Norton walked on a full-count pitch. Russell Branyan wedged a 2-2 single down the rightfield line, moving Norton to third. Damon Hollins popped out to Beltre near the stands in foul ground on the third-base side on a full count. Lugo took a 2-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Meche threw 30 pitches and had 52 through two.
Carl Everett popped a 1-2 pitch to center. Adrian Beltre roped the first pitch to a sliding Crawford in left on the first pitch. Kenji Johjima popped the second pitch to right. Fossum threw seven pitches and had 19 through two.
Crawford dribbled a ball to Beltre on the left side. Gomes cranked a homer, five rows back into the rightfield seats, somewhat of a rainmaker.
»» DEVIL RAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Huff popped the first pitch to Ibañez near the leftfield corner. Wigginton popped the second pitch to Bloomquist in shallow rightcenter. Meche threw nine pitches and had 61 through three.
Willie Bloomquist bounced an 0-2 pitch to short. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced to Lugo in the left-side hole. Ichiro dribbled a grounder near the first-base line on the infield and Fossum had to go for it but had no chance and Ichiro had the single. Lopez watched Ichiro nab second on the 2-0 pitch and later lined a single into rightfield, and Ichiro was able to beat the throw home as he slid around the tag.
»» DEVIL RAYS 2, MARINERS 1
Ibañez golfed a 3-0 pitch for a flyout to Branyan on the rightfield line. Fossum threw 19 pitches and had 38 through three.
Hall bounced the second pitch to short. Norton walked on four pitches. Branyan lined a 3-1 pitch down the rightfield line for a double, scoring Norton, who beat the throw home. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound.
»» DEVIL RAYS 3, MARINERS 1
Hollins whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Lugo tapped a 1-2 pitch to Meche. Meche threw 18 pitches and had 79 through four.
Sexson got just under a 2-0 pitch, flying out to Crawford a step or two short of the leftfield wall. Everett roped the first pitch to left, but it was caught by a sliding Crawford. Beltre lined a 2-0 pitch off Fossum's knee, and Lugo's off-balance throw pulled Norton off the bag at first. Johjima flew out to shallow right on the second pitch. Fossum threw nine pitches and had 47 through four.
Crawford grounded a double down the leftfield line toward the ballgirl. Gomes watched the 2-1 pitch go past and Johjima had Crawford nailed at third. Gomes ended up taking the full-count pitch down over the outside corner. Huff whiffed on an 0-2 dirtball (2-3 putout). Meche threw 12 pitches and had 91 through five.
Bloomquist worked a 1-2 pitch for a walk. Betancourt bounced a 2-2 pitch to third which nearly resulted in a 5-4-3 double play, but Betancourt beat out the back end of the play. Ichiro popped out softly to left. Lopez watched the second pitch as Betancourt stole second. Lopez lined an 0-2 pitch right to Norton at first. Fossum threw 17 pitches and had 63 through five.
Wigginton grounded a 2-0 pitch hard to third. Hall popped a 2-2 pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter. Norton whiffed on an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Meche threw 12 pitches and had 103 through six.
Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson took a first-pitch ball as pitching coach Mike Butcher came out to visit. Sexson was ahead 3-0 before rolling a full-count pitch in the left-side hole to Lugo, who started a 6-4-3 double play. Everett took a second-pitch curve off the knee. Beltre flew out to left on a 3-0 pitch, which leads to the question, who the hell green-lighted Beltre? Fossum threw 17 pitches and had 80 through six.
Branyan was ahead 3-0 before flying out to Ibañez in shallow leftcenter on a 3-1 pitch. Hollins chopped the second pitch high to third. Lugo grounded the second pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who of course made the play. Meche threw nine pitches and had 112 through seven.
Meche's line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 112 pitches (68 strikes)
Johjima stroked the second pitch into left for a single. Bloomquist split his bat on a second-pitch bloop single into shallow rightfield, moving Johjima to second.
Chad Orvella (of Sammamish and Eastlake High) came in for Fossum. Betancourt air-bunted in front of the plate, where Hall dove forward and avoided Orvella to make the catch. Ichiro took a full-count pitch for a walk, loading the bases. Lopez was ahead 2-0 and laced a single up the middle to score Johjima and Bloomquist and move Ichiro to second.
»» DEVIL RAYS 3, MARINERS 3
Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson popped the second pitch to Branyan in foul ground down the rightfield line which he probably should have let drop as Ichiro tagged and scored. Of course, Orvella needed some outs too.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 3
Everett grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Orvella threw 24 pitches.
Fossum's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 84 pitches (45 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Meche. Crawford fell behind 0-2 and foul-tipped an outside pitch into Johjima's glove. Gomes flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Huff took an 0-2 pitch barely outside before tapping in front of the plate to Johjima. Guardado threw 11 pitches.
Guardado's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Travis Lee came in to play first. Beltre chopped a 2-0 pitch down the third-base line to Huff behind the bag, but Beltre barely beat out the throw at first. Johjima popped a 2-2 pitch high and foul to Hall behind the plate. Bloomquist slapped a high-and-away first pitch through the right side for a single on a hit-and-run as Beltre scooted over to third.
Chad Harville came in for Orvella. Betancourt watched the second pitch fly well wide of Hall and to the backstop, enabling Beltre to score. Bloomquist took off with the pitch and ended up on second.
»» MARINERS 5, DEVIL RAYS 3
On the next pitch, Bloomquist took off again and Betancourt punched the 2-0 pitch through the hole on the left side to score Bloomquist. Knowing Rick Rizzs and Dave Henderson were on the TV feed, I nearly muted it at this point.
»» MARINERS 6, DEVIL RAYS 3
Ichiro watched the second pitch go by as Betancourt took second without a throw. On the next pitch, Ichiro lasered a ball right into Harville's glove, and he threw to second to force out Betancourt easily. Harville threw six pitches.
Orvella's line: 1 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 33 pitches (16 strikes)
Harville's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (3 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Guardado. Wigginton whiffed on a 2-2 splitter. Hall fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 low splitter. Lee popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow rightcenter.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Eddie Guardado
Probably not a popular choice since the Mariners scored five runs in their final two innings at the plate and four Mariners had two hits apiece. Eddie's still in the ease-in phase toward the closer role, sure. This we know. In his first post-demotion role, Guardado came in to pitch the ninth against Cleveland with the Mariners down 9-3. In this game, though, Guardado had been warming up after Meche had finished the seventh inning. Thus, Hargrove was at least prepared to put Guardado in with the Mariners at worst down by two runs (3-1). Of course, the funny thing happened when the Mariners somehow scratched together three runs. Nonetheless, Hargrove trotted Guardado out to the mound for the eighth, this time with a one-run lead and against the 2-3-4 hitters in the Tampa Bay lineup. Sure, it's the Tampa Bay lineup, but these still are Major League hitters. Sometimes people argue that the real save in a particular ballgame doesn't always come in the ninth inning. It didn't here, and though he doesn't get credit for a save, Guardado got it, and not just because JJ Putz got two more runs to work with in the ninth either.
Goat: Carl Everett.
He's hitting .225 and it's too bad that's not the lowest average in the lineup, but it's far from it since the small average belongs to the tallest dude right now, kind of like a reverse Napoleon complex or something. But hey, Sexson's not in this spot since he did get an RBI, though I think Russell Branyan probably shouldn't have caught the ball in foul territory with the game tied and Ichiro on third in the seventh. Chad Orvella didn't have a lot of control, sure, but I think the odds of throwing more pitches to Sexson and getting him out in some other way had to be pretty high. Sexson strikes out a lot, and if that would have happened, the inning would have been over with the game still tied, they might still be playing right now, etc. Notice how I haven't talked about Carl Everett at all in this paragraph? Yeah, I just don't feel like it. The designated hitter is designated to hit. When this player who is designated to hit is hitting all of .225, it's not good. If anything wakes Everett up, it's this -- his average is only .004 higher than that of Adrian Beltre. You may start hitting now, Carl Everett.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 25-9 .735 -- W2
2002 24-10 .706 1 W2
2003 21-13 .618 4 L2
2000 18-16 .529 7 W1
2006 14-20 .412 11 W1
2005 13-21 .382 12 L3
2004 12-22 .353 13 L5
Waechter. Hernandez. Tonight.
Monday, May 08, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Thanks to the quick work of the starting pitching, Mariner fans wasted only 2:18 of their Sunday afternoon watching this game.
This one featured CC Sabathia going up against Jarrod Washburn. This was Sabathia's second start after the minor-league rehab assignment after coming off the disabled list. He might have been on a pitch count, but things like this matter less since he'd be facing the Mariners, and though I have no numbers to prove it, it just seems like the Mariner hitters aren't being very patient this season.
Grady Sizemore bounced the 3-1 pitch to first (3-1 putout). Jason Michaels popped the 1-2 pitch to Lopez in shallow center. Jhonny Peralta got ahead 2-0 and later whiffed on a full-count sinker, the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Washburn threw 18 pitches.
Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and hit a low liner that Michaels dove for and had in his glove, but it leaked out as Ichiro had the single. Willie Bloomquist tried bunting for a base hit but got it in the air, but it went foul. Bloomquist popped the 0-2 pitch to Blake down the rightfield line and Blake nearly caught Ichiro napping off of first. Raul Ibañez watched as Ichiro easily nabbed second on a 2-0 pitch for his 200th steal in the Majors. Ibañez rolled the next pitch to short as Ichiro moved to third. Richie Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before taking the next pitch over the inside corner. Sabathia threw 17 pitches.
Travis Hafner worked a 1-2 count full and grounded to first. Victor Martinez flew out to Sexson along the stands on the first-base side. Eduardo Perez fell behind 0-2 before tapping the 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Washburn threw 17 pitches and had 35 through two.
Carl Everett flew out lazily to shallow left. Adrian Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 slider. Kenji Johjima flew out to Belliard on the rightfield grass on the first pitch. Sabathia threw seven pitches and had 24 through two.
Ronnie Belliard chopped very high to Beltre on the left side, who gunned over right away, but Belliard had it beat by a stride. Aaron Boone flew out to Betancourt on the infield grass on the second pitch. Casey Blake singled a 2-2 pitch up the middle, and Belliard alertly took third on the slowish ground ball fielded by Bloomquist. Sizemore flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter on the second pitch, scoring Belliard. Blake held at first.
»» INDIANS 1, MARINERS 0
Michaels flew out to Sexson on the infield dirt on the second pitch. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 50 through three.
Jose Lopez grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to third. Yuniesky Betancourt fell behind 0-2 before popping into the corner to Michaels, who didn't see it and let it drop, but it was called foul though replays showed it hit inside the line. Betancourt ended up popping to Sabathia on the front slope of the mound. Ichiro laced a 3-1 pitch through the right side for a single. Bloomquist fisted the first pitch right to short for a 6-4 forceout. Sabathia threw 14 pitches and had 38 through three.
Peralta got ahead 3-0 before popping the full-count pitch to Lopez on the edge of the outfield grass. Hafner flew out to Betancourt drifting back into shallow center as shadows from a cloud or plane moved across the field of play. Martinez rolled the first pitch to short. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 61 through four.
Ibañez got ahead 3-1 before whiffing on a full-count slider low and away. Sexson popped to Sizemore in shallow leftcenter. Everett served a 1-2 single into centerfield. Beltre bounced the 1-2 pitch to second. Sabathia threw 17 pitches and had 55 through four.
Perez fouled off three 1-2 pitches before flying out to right. Belliard took Ichiro to the track on the second pitch. Boone failed to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 75 through five.
Johjima punched the first pitch past the reach of Perez and into rightfield for a single. Lopez dumped the first pitch into shallow center for a single, and Johjima ran all the way to third, beating a wide throw. On the same play, Lopez was caught too far off of first and was tagged out. Betancourt whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Ichiro was ahead 2-0 but rolled to short. Sabathia threw 11 pitches and had 66 through five.
Blake rolled the first pitch to short. Sizemore rolled a 2-2 single just past a diving Lopez into rightfield. Michaels walked on four pitches, moving Sizemore to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Peralta grounded the second pitch to Beltre, who stepped on the bag at third to force out Sizemore, then threw off-balance and in time to first to complete the 5-3 double play. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 85 through six.
Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 and grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Ibañez singled the first pitch through the right side into rightfield. Sexson popped an 0-2 pitch to Blake along the rightfield line. Everett flew out to Michaels running into shallow left. Sabathia threw 15 pitches and had 81 through six.
Hafner was ahead 2-0 and wound up taking a full-count pitch very outside and to the backstop. Martinez worked a 1-2 count full before popping to Betancourt on the outfield grass. Perez popped high to Lopez past the infield dirt closer to the bag at first. Belliard roped a 2-2 pitch that skipped past Beltre's backhand side and down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Hafner.
»» INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0
Boone popped the first pitch to Lopez on the outfield grass. Washburn threw 24 pitches and had 109 through seven.
Washburn's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 109 pitches (66 strikes)
Beltre got ahead 3-0 before grounding the 3-1 pitch hard to third. Johjima rolled the second pitch to short. Lopez popped a low 0-2 fly to short. Sabathia threw ten pitches and had 91 through seven.
Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Blake walked on a full-count pitch way outside. Sizemore whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Michaels whiffed on the second pitch, but Blake took off for second and was out by a mile, but Betancourt had the throw go off his glove and into centerfield, enabling Blake to move to third (hometown scorer originally gave the error to Johjima, keeping Betancourt's errorless season alive, though only temporarily). Michaels whiffed on a full-count fastball over the outside corner. Peralta whiffed on an 0-2 pitch down over the outside corner. Soriano threw 20 pitches.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
Betancourt rolled out to short. Ichiro popped the second pitch to Boone in front of the third-base dugout. Bloomquist singled along the rightfield line. Ibañez lined to Sizemore on the track in leftcenter. Sabathia threw 14 pitches and had 105 through eight.
Sabathia's line: 8 innings, 0 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 105 pitches (75 strikes)
George Sherrill came in for Soriano. Hafner whiffed on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Martinez flew out to Ichiro on the first pitch. Perez got ahead 2-0 and one-hopped a 2-2 pitch to short. Sherrill threw 11 pitches.
Sherrill's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Bob Wickman came in for Sabathia. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to third. Everett lined a 2-0 pitch off the track and the wall, but it was hit too hard and Everett only got a single out of it. Beltre was ahead 2-0 before dropping a single into shallow center to move Everett to second. Johjima grounded up the middle to Peralta, who made a nice backhand flip to second to start a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Wickman's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 16 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
As good as I thought the offseason after the 2004 season was, I hated the offseason following the 2005 season. Namely, I wasn't a big fan of the Carl Everett signing and never will be. Also, I wasn't a big fan of all the money they threw at Jarrod Washburn. However, I knew there was a decent chance that he'd be okay in a few starts this year. When you're going up against one of the better offenses in the American League and hold them to two runs on four hits and walk two, what more can you ask for? He's thrown seven or more innings in four of his seven starts this year. He's given up two earned runs or less in five starts. He's walked eight hitters and struck out 23 (simple math says that's nearly 3/1 for a strikeout/walk ratio). Best of all, he's had four starts where he hasn't given up a homer, which should be a bit surprising given his flyball tendencies. Not so surprisingly, he's 0-3 on the road and 2-2 at home. I don't know what the lessons here might be other than that Washburn's only had one start so far where he's out-and-out sucked and that another one of those is due to pop up. So far, so good. In his five losses, he's given up six (9-5 loss), two (3-2 loss), two (2-1 loss), four (5-1 loss), and two (this 2-0 loss) earned runs. Even with the start where he got hit around, that's still an average of 1.8 runs the Mariners have put on the scoreboard in his losses. For all of the people that ballyhooed about Ryan Franklin not getting run support all those years and turned the other cheek when the offense would put up five runs and he'd give up seven, here's the better case. The Mariners scored six and five runs in his two wins, by the way. (quick math...20 runs scored by Mariners in his starts divided by seven starts equals 2.86 Mariner runs per start).
Goat: Richie Sexson.
Yes, it's dire. Everyone knows he has to turn it around so that the middle of the lineup can finally stop being the doughnut hole it's been all year. Not that he's one to get multi-hit games, but he has exactly three of those all season. Something else of which he only has three this season? Homers. Sick, isn't it? This is the same guy that homered twice in his first game as a Mariner. This year he homered in his second game and got his second homer in his ninth game. Third homer? Twenty-seventh game. Yikes. Rational people knew that a whole lot of things had to fall into place for the Mariners to have a chance at contention this season. Having Sexson going through a .125 month of May and having Adrian Beltre continue what he was doing last year are not part of that pipe dream. It's bad when you see Carl Everett and know he's done okay at times, but he's only hitting .231 himself. Jeff Pentland's basically gotta pull out two Sosa jobs in Beltre and Sexson for this team to get anywhere. Where is anywhere? At this pace, it might be more wins than they had last year. It's a race to 70 wins! Of course, that'd mean Bavasi and Hargrove are out and somehow the management hopefully keeps Bob Fontaine.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 24-9 .727 -- W1
2002 23-10 .697 1 W1
2003 21-12 .636 3 L1
2000 17-16 .515 7 L3
2005 13-20 .394 11 L2
2006 13-20 .394 11 L1
2004 12-21 .364 12 L4
Fossum. Meche. Tonight.