Saturday, June 03, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: The Mariners had no book on Bobby Keppel, and it took a while for them to solve him.
This one featured Bobby Keppel going up against Jamie Moyer. Keppel was making his first Major League start. The Mariners, however horrible, are generally better than the lowly Kansas City Royals, once a proud franchise. This one didn't take long, and that would be a good thing.
David DeJesus popped out to Betancourt on the leftfield line. Mark Grudzielanek tapped the second pitch back to the mound. Reggie Sanders bounced out to short. Moyer threw nine pitches.
Ichiro was down 0-2 and tapped the 1-2 pitch in front to Keppel, who pounced on the ball and threw to first on a nice play. Adrian Beltre failed to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch way outside. Jose Lopez popped a 3-1 pitch to Mientkiewicz in foul ground on the right side. Keppel threw 13 pitches.
Emil Brown bounced out to second. Tony Graffanino nubbed along the first-base line, where Johjima got to it and threw in time to first. Esteban German worked a 1-2 count full before grounding to short. Moyer threw 13 pitches and had 22 through two.
Ibañez dropped a full-count pitch along the leftfield line that hit the jutting part of the stands for a double. Richie Sexson bounced out to third as Ibañez held at second. Carl Everett flew out high to center on the first pitch. Kenji Johjima couldn't check a swing on a 1-2 breaking ball low and away. Keppel threw 12 pitches and had 25 through two.
Doug Mientkiewicz was hit in the right thigh with an 0-2 pitch. Angel Berroa grounded hard to Betancourt, who was knocked to his seat, but still started the 6-4-3 double play. John Buck rolled out to short. Moyer threw ten pitches and had 32 through three.
Jeremy Reed grounded a full-count pitch hard to first. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the first pitch to left. Ichiro whiffed on a 2-2 pitch up and away. Keppel had 38 through three.
DeJesus popped the second pitch to Betancourt in shallow left. Grudzielanek was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 change. Sanders popped the first pitch high to Sexson near the mound. Moyer threw eight pitches and had 40 through four.
Beltre rolled over on a full-count pitch and grounded to third. Lopez took a 2-2 slider over the outer half. Ibañez was up 3-0 and ended up taking a full-count pitch down and in for a walk. Sexson bounced to short for an easy 6-4 force of Ibañez at second. Keppel threw 22 pitches and had 60 through four.
Brown rolled the first pitch up the middle for a single, the first Kansas City baserunner of the game. Graffanino bounced a 1-2 pitch to Beltre on the left side, who threw to second to start a double play, except Graffanino beat out the throw on the back end. German grounded to short, where Betancourt tried to shovel to Lopez at second, but he misfired and it went into rightfield (error) and Graffanino reached second. Mientkiewicz nubbed the second pitch back to the mound, and Moyer didn't have time to go to second, and threw to first as Graffanino and German advanced to third and second. Berroa rolled the second pitch to short. Moyer threw 12 pitches and had 52 through five.
Everett fell behind 0-2 and tapped the 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Johjima grounded hard to first on the first pitch, and Graffanino played the high hop and threw to first in time. Reed grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to Mientkiewicz behind the bag at first. Keppel threw 11 pitches and had 71 through five.
Buck rolled the first pitch to short. DeJesus took a low full-count pitch for a walk. Grudzielanek was down 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 pitch right back to the mound to start a 1-6-3 double play. Moyer threw 13 pitches and had 65 through six.
Betancourt rolled the second pitch to second. Ichiro dug down to knock the second pitch for a single into leftcenter. Beltre tapped a 2-2 pitch right back to the mound to start a 1-4-3 double play. Keppel threw ten pitches and had 81 through six.
Sanders was down 0-2 and ended up flying out to Ibañez just short of the leftfield track on a 2-2 pitch. Brown took an 0-2 pitch over the inner half. Graffanino broke his bat on the second pitch, rolling the ball along the first-base line right to Sexson, who stepped on the bag. Moyer threw ten pitches and had 75 through seven.
Lopez cranked the first pitch about twelve rows back into the leftfield seats above the manual scoreboard.
»» MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
Ibañez drilled the first pitch on a rope, putting it just over the yellow line on the rightfield fence. Keppel got a visit from the pitching coach.
»» MARINERS 2, ROYALS 0
Sexson clubbed a 2-0 pitch off the manual scoreboard in left, but he was out by a mile trying to stretch it into a double. Everett grounded the second pitch to second. Johjima drilled a 2-2 pitch off the tip of the glove of a leaping Grudzielanek into right for a single.
Jeremy Affeldt came in for Keppel. Reed took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Affeldt threw five pitches.
Keppel's line: 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 94 pitches (57 strikes)
German grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to a diving Beltre, who threw from a knee to make the out at first. Mientkiewicz smoked a line drive just over the glove of a leaping Lopez into right for a single. Berroa grounded the first pitch right to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Moyer threw nine pitches and had 84 through eight.
Betancourt popped short of the rightfield track on the first pitch. Ichiro knocked a 2-0 pitch through the mound and into center for a single. Beltre singled through the left side on the second pitch, moving Ichiro to second. Lopez drove a 3-1 pitch into the leftfield corner and to the wall to score Ichiro and Beltre and Lopez coasted in with a double.
»» MARINERS 4, ROYALS 0
Ibañez lined a 2-2 pitch right to DeJesus in center.
Joel Peralta came in for Affeldt. Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch way outside. Peralta threw four pitches.
Affeldt's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (12 strikes)
Peralta's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Buck grounded the second pitch into the hole at short, where Betancourt made the strong throw in time to first. DeJesus was ahead 3-0 and popped to Betancourt in shallow center on a 3-1 pitch. Grudzielanek lined the second pitch right to Ichiro.
Moyer's line: 9 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 93 pitches (57 strikes)
Gameball: Jamie Moyer.
Goat: Yuniesky Betancourt.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 44-12 .786 -- W12
2003 38-18 .679 6 W7
2002 36-20 .643 8 W2
2000 30-26 .536 14 L1
2005 25-31 .446 19 W3
2006 24-32 .429 20 W2
2004 22-34 .393 22 W3
Etherton. Piñeiro. Tonight.
Friday, June 02, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: No lucky sevens in this one as the Mariners declare themselves the Kings of Koronka.
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against John Koronka. The Mariners were attempting to snap a six-game losing streak. Of course, for those rooting for some heads to roll in Marinerville, they were hoping for maybe a 13-game skid to run everyone out of town. Adrian Beltre, in his second straight game hitting second in the lineup, came in 7-for-50 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-21 with a runner on third.
Ichiro served an 0-2 pitch into shallow center for a single. Adrian Beltre was down 0-2 and ended up drilling a ball off the leftfield wall left of the scoreboard to advance Ichiro to third, but the one-hop throw from Wilkerson in left beat Beltre to second, though Beltre's hands just might have gotten in there. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 and tapped to the right side on a 1-2 pitch, where Koronka came off the mound and threw to first. Raul Ibañez was up 3-1 before dumping a full-count pitch into shallow left to score Ichiro from third on a single.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Richie Sexson was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a full-count pitch over the outside corner. Koronka threw 23 pitches.
Gary Matthews, Jr. knocked a single the other way into left. Michael Young bounced the second pitch to short to start a 6-4-3 double play. Mark Teixeira flew out to Bloomquist in deep leftcenter on a 2-0 pitch. Hernandez threw eight pitches.
Kenji Johjima was up 2-0 before taking a full-count fastball over the outside corner. Willie Bloomquist was behind 0-2 and ended up bouncing a 2-2 pitch to short. Mike Morse flew out to left on a 1-2 pitch. Koronka threw 15 pitches and had 38 through two.
Hank Blalock grounded to Lopez backed into shallow right on a 1-2 pitch. Kevin Mench whiffed on an 0-2 fastball inside. Brad Wilkerson flew out to Bloomquist in front of the wall in leftcenter. Hernandez threw 12 pitches and had 20 through two.
TOP 3RD 37
Yuniesky Betancourt got ahead 2-0 and grounded up the middle to a ranging Jimenez, who threw off-balance and barely in time to first. Ichiro bounced a 1-2 pitch to the left-side hole, where Young ranged to his backhand side, but put it in his back pocket as Ichiro had the single. Beltre fouled the second pitch off and it was called foul, though Buck Showalter thought the ball went off Beltre as he made an attempt to run and not while he was in the batters' box. Beltre ended up dumping a 2-2 pitch into shallow center, moving Ichiro to third. Lopez punched the first pitch through the left side for a single, scoting Ichiro and moving Beltre to second.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 0
Ibañez cranked the first pitch barely over the wall in rightcenter.
»» MARINERS 5, RANGERS 0
Sexson whiffed on a 1-2 pitch very low and away. Johjima slapped the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Bloomquist poked the second pitch up the middle and off Koronka into centerfield for a single, moving Johjima to second. Morse poked a 1-2 pitch through the left side for a single, scoring Johjima and moving Bloomquist to second.
»» MARINERS 6, RANGERS 0
Betancourt bounced a single through the left side to score Bloomquist and move Morse to second.
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 0
Joaquin Benoit came in for Koronka. Ichiro grounded the second pitch behind the bag at first (3-1 putout). Benoit threw two pitches.
Koronka's line: 2 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 11 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 69 pitches (44 strikes)
Mark DeRosa knocked the second pitch off of Hernandez' throwing arm, and it bounced over to short, where Betancourt threw wide to first, but Morse made the tag on DeRosa coming down the line. D'Angelo Jimenez rolled the second pitch to second. Rod Barajas was down 0-2 before flying out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 29 through three.
Beltre bounced the first pitch to a charging Young at short. Lopez flew out to Matthews in deep leftcenter. Ibañez worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Sexson flew out to Matthews in deep leftcenter on the second pitch. Benoit threw 13 pitches and had 15 total.
Matthews singled to left on the second pitch. Young grounded a 2-0 pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who ranged over, backhand tossed to Lopez at second, and Lopez barehanded the Betancourt throw and threw in time to first on an incredible play. Teixeira fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffed on a 1-2 curve that got away from Johjima, who caught up to it at the backstop and threw in time (so the umpre called) to first. Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 38 through four.
Johjima flew out to Wilkerson on the leftfield track drifting back. Bloomquist took a 1-2 pitch over the outer half. Morse singled the second pitch into rightfield. Betancourt had the hitters' counts and ended up popping out to Teixeira, who made an over-the-shoulder catch in front of the rolled-up tarp in foul ground on the right side. Benoit threw 17 pitches and had 32 total.
Blalock got ahead 2-0 before flying out to Beltre foul near the third-base bag. Mench golfed the second pitch off the leftfield wall/scoreboard for a double. Wilkerson worked an 0-2 count for a walk. DeRosa knocked a full-count pitch through the right side for a single to load the bases. Jimenez dropped a single into rightfield in front of Ichiro, scoring Mench and keeping the bases loaded.
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 1
Barajas fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 deathly curve over the outer half (30). Matthews had the hitters' counts before cranking a belt-high fastball five rows into the upper deck in rightfield. Slammed! Can we pin this one on Johjima?
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 5
Young grounded the first pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who ranged over and made the play. Hernandez threw 35 pitches and had 73 through five.
Ichiro looped a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Beltre whiffed at a 2-2 fastball and Ichiro stole second on the pitch. Lopez popped a 2-0 pitch to DeRosa in foul ground on the left side, who made the basket catch for the out. Ibañez was intentionally walked. Sexson grounded right to short, but it ate up Young at short (still scored a hit) and went into center, scoring Ichiro as well as Ibañez from first.
»» MARINERS 9, RANGERS 5
Johjima flew out to DeRosa near the third-base camera well on the second pitch. Benoit threw 22 pitches and had 54 total.
Benoit's line: 3 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 54 pitches (29 strikes)
Teixeira grounded a full-count pitch to Lopez in shallow right. Blalock grounded a full-count pitch to Beltre, moved over to short on the shift. Mench punched the first pitch through the left side for a single. Wilkerson fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a full-count fastball.
Hernandez' line: 6 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 95 pitches (58 strikes)
Rick Bauer came in for Benoit. Bloomquist rolled an 0-2 pitch to Jimenez at second, who bobbled the ball a bit (error), and Bloomquist beat out the throw. Morse took an 0-2 pitchout where the Rangers easily snuffed out a Bloomquist steal attempt of second. Morse worked the 0-2 count for a walk in a ten-pitch at-bat. Betancourt chopped a 2-0 pitch through the left side for a single, moving Morse to second. Ichiro worked an 0-2 count for a walk (the second such walk issued by Bauer), loading the bases and spurring a visit from the Ranger pitching coach. Beltre drilled the first pitch through the mound and up the middle for a single, scoring Morse and Betancourt and moving Ichiro to third.
»» MARINERS 11, RANGERS 5
Lopez was up 2-0 and ended up flying out to Wilkerson in deep leftcenter, scoring Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 12, RANGERS 5
CJ Wilson came in for Bauer. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and eventually whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball low and away. Wilson threw six pitches.
Bauer's line: 2/3 inning, 3 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
Julio Mateo came in for Hernandez. DeRosa rolled a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt, who had the ball go under his glove and off his foot (error), and he threw to first, but DeRosa beat it out. Jimenez whiffed on a highish 1-2 breaking ball. Barajas nearly homered down the leftfield line on the first pitch, but it went foul. On the next pitch, Barajas flew out to Beltre in foul territory shallow on the left side. Matthews flew out to Ichiro on the second pitch. Mateo threw 15 pitches.
Sexson walked on four pitches. Johjima flew out to right. Bloomquist worked a 1-2 count for a walk, moving Sexson to second. Morse singled on a full count into center, scoring Sexson and moving Bloomquist to third.
»» MARINERS 13, RANGERS 5
Betancourt chopped an 0-2 pitch to third, scoring Bloomquist and moving Morse to second.
»» MARINERS 14, RANGERS 5
Ichiro was ahead 2-0 and tapped a 2-2 pitch near the mound, where Wilson threw to first. Wilson threw 31 pitches and had 37 total.
Young flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter. Teixeira whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Blalock was down 0-2 and lined out to center on a 2-2 pitch.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 31 pitches (23 strikes)
Jason Botts came in to play left, Gerald Laird came in to catch, Wilkerson moved to center, DeRosa moved to short, Jimenez moved to third, and Barajas moved to first. Beltre flew out to left on the first pitch. Lopez dumped a 3-1 pitch into shallow right for a single. Ibañez grounded to new first baseman Barajas on the right side, who went to second for the force on Lopez. Sexson was up 2-0 and flew out to right.
Wilson's line: 2 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 50 pitches (27 strikes)
Sean Green came in for Mateo, Jeremy Reed came in to play center, and Bloomquist moved over to right. Mench rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Wilkerson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. DeRosa singled into centerfield, moving Mench to second. Jimenez was ahead 3-1 and eventually walked on a full count to load the bases. Barajas whiffed on a 2-2 sinker. Botts had the hitters' counts before grounding down the first-base line to Morse, who made a nice snag and went to the bag.
Green's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
Gameball: Adrian Beltre.
Goat: Kenji Johjima.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 43-12 .782 -- W11
2003 37-18 .673 6 W6
2002 35-20 .636 8 W1
2000 30-25 .545 13 W3
2005 24-31 .436 19 W2
2006 23-32 .418 20 W1
2004 21-34 .382 22 W2
Keppel. Moyer. Friday.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Noooooowwwww we get a tweak in the lineup? Also, Meche didn't turn the corner and world-class human beings can get ejected.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Kevin Millwood. Ichiro came in 5-for-12 against Millwood. This game also marked the one-third point of the season. It doesn't seem like that long, but I guess it has been. Richie Sexson did not start today on account of a bad heel bruise. Meche came in with a 7.88 ERA in Texas and had given up 11 homers in the confines of the Ballpark. Hank Blalock came in hitting 11-for-27 with three homers against Meche.
Ichiro looped a 2-0 pitch into center for a single. Adrian Beltre drilled the second pitch through the left side for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Jose Lopez tapped an 0-2 pitch to the right of the mound, and Millwood threw to first as Ichiro and Beltre moved to third and second. Raul Ibañez was ahead 3-0 and ended up taking a full-count pitch that was below the front knee for strike three, and he threw his helmet down at the plate, jawed at home plate umpire Paul Nauert for a few seconds, and walked to the dugout. Carl Everett fouled off the first pitch and Ibañez came out of the dugout and was fiercely angry and was tossed from the game by Nauert. Ibañez came to get his money's worth and was held back by others and Hargrove. Hargrove came out for probably just a formality to have some words with Nauert and wasn't tossed. Everett took the next pitch and it went off of Laird's glove behind the plate (passed ball) and got away as Ichiro scored standing up, and Lopez went to third.
»» MARINERS 1, RANGERS 0
Everett singled the next pitch through the right side for a single, plating Lopez.
»» MARINERS 2, RANGERS 0
Roberto Petagine took an 0-2 pitch down over the inside corner for strike three, though not quite as low as the Ibañez pitch. Millwood threw 22 pitches.
Willie Bloomquist came in to play leftfield. Gary Matthews, Jr. popped a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt in shallow left. Michael Young drove a 2-0 pitch deep to centerfield where Reed had a beat and leaped backward, but had the ball go off his glove behind him near the wall as Young got to second with the double. Mark Teixeira fell behind 0-2 and wound up whiffing on a 2-2 change down and away. Hank Blalock walked on four pitches. Mark DeRosa lined the second pitch right to Ichiro. Meche threw 18 pitches.
Kenji Johjima lined the second pitch into right for a single. Jeremy Reed chopped the first pitch off the plate and high over the mound, and Reed beat out the nice throw by Young as Johjima moved to second. Yuniesky Betancourt, a .277 hitter after the game, air-bunted on the first pitch, though it got down foul. After his next pitch was wasted on a bunt attempt as well, Betancourt ended up flying out to Matthews in rightcenter on a 1-2 pitch. The relay throw back to the infield on the Betancourt play got past Blalock at third but Millwood backed up like any good pitcher should, and the runners held. Ichiro was ahead 2-0 and ended up walking on a full-count breaking ball away to load the bases. Beltre ripped the second pitch and grounded hard to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Clockwork, I tell ya! Millwood threw 17 pitches and had 39 through two.
Brad Wilkerson fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 letter-high fastball. Gerald Laird popped the first pitch to Petagine in foul ground near the stands on the right side. Jason Botts fell behind 0-2 and ended up taking a 1-2 pitch over the outside corner. Meche threw nine pitches and had 27 through two.
Lopez popped the first pitch to fairly deep center. Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. Everett took the first pitch that got away from Laird (wild pitch) enabling Bloomquist to move to third, then Laird's throw to third instead went off the top of Everett's helmet and into leftfield, enabling Bloomquist to score.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 0
Everett had the hitters' counts before lining a full-count pitch into centerfield, and the ball one-hopped Matthews and got past him as Everett got to second. It went for a single and an error. Petagine couldn't check his swing on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt, but Petagine at this point was probably leery of the Ibañez pitch and the strike three he took earlier in the game. Johjima took a 2-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Laird again, and Everett scooted to third. Johjima fouled off three pitches with a full count (nearly doubling down the leftfield line on one pitch) before flying out to left. Millwood threw 25 pitches and had 64 through three.
Ian Kinsler ripped a ball off of the inside of a diving Beltre's glove at third, and it deadened the speed enough as the ball rolled into left and Kinsler got to second with a double as Bloomquist had to run in and get the ball. Matthews grounded an 0-2 pitch right to first (3-1 putout). Young lined a thigh-high second pitch on the outer half into the Ranger bullpen in rightcenter.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 2
Teixeira singled a 2-0 pitch over a sidesaddling and backpedaling Petagine's glove at first and into right for a single (fundamentally, yeah, he should have squared that up). Blalock singled a full-count pitch through the right side for a single, moving Teixeira to second. DeRosa worked a 1-2 count for a walk (Meche might have been squeezed on the 2-2 pitch, and the full-count pitch was very much outside) to load the bases. Wilkerson fell behind 0-2 before golfing a 2-2 hanger into the second row in rightfield. Slamma-lamma ding-dong!
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 3
Johjima had a word with Meche at the mound. Laird was down 0-2 before drilling a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Botts took the first pitch, which Johjima dropped as he was preparing to throw to second to get Laird, who stole second easily. Botts had the hitters' counts and flew out to center on a 3-1 pitch, and Laird tagged and went to third. Kinsler was ahead 3-0 before walking on a 3-1 pitch. Matthews got ahead 2-0 before grounded to short to finally end the inning. Meche threw 49 pitches and had 75 through three.
Reed was ahead 2-0 before grounding the 2-2 pitch to short. Betancourt rolled the second pitch to a charging Young at short, who released a very quick throw to first in time. Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Millwood threw 12 pitches and had 76 through four.
Young popped to Reed on the track in leftcenter. Teixeira grounded the second pitch to Petagine behind the bag at first. Blalock fell behind 0-2 before grounding a 2-2 pitch into Betancourt on the shift once again. Meche threw 12 pitches and had 87 through four.
Beltre fouled an 0-2 pitch barely foul of the rightfield foul pole before bouncing out to second on the next pitch. Lopez flew out to left. Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 breaking ball. Millwood threw 12 pitches and had 88 through five.
DeRosa singled the second pitch into center. Wilkerson rolled to first for a 3-6 double play (tag on the back end). Laird walked on four pitches. Johjima visited the mound. Botts was ahead 2-0 but ended up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch. Meche threw 16 pitches and had 103 through five.
Everett fisted a single into leftfield. Petagine fell behind 0-2 and ended up flying to a running DeRosa in rightcenter. Johjima looped the second pitch for a 'tweener single in shallow left between Wilkerson and Young. Reed fell behind 0-2 before flying out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Betancourt rolled a 2-2 pitch to second, where Kinsler turned to throw to second, but threw wide of Young into leftfield, allowing Everett to score. Johjima moved to third and Betancourt got to second on the play.
»» RANGERS 6, MARINERS 4
Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch along the right side to Millwood, who quickly dished off to first.
Millwood's line: 6 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 9 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 116 pitches (80 strikes)
Kinsler popped the second pitch to Lopez along the rightfield line. Matthews walked on a 3-1 pitch way up and away. Young was down 0-2 before nubbing a 1-2 pitch along the left side where Beltre had to charge, barehand, and throw, and he threw wide of the bag as everyone was safe.
George Sherrill came in for Meche. Teixeira grounded hard to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Sherrill threw four pitches.
Meche's line: 5 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 9 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts, 114 pitches (63 strikes)
Scott Feldman came in for Millwood. Beltre was up 3-1 before walking on a full-count pitch down and in. Lopez was ahead 2-0 before tapping a 2-2 pitch in front of the mound, where Feldman muffed the play and everyone was safe. Bloomquist lined the first pitch right to an almost-leaping Matthews in center as the runners held.
Ron Mahay came in for Feldman. Everett popped to Kinsler in shallow right on what was listed in MLB.com Gameday as an infield fly rule call, though that wasn't mentioned on the FSNNW telecast.
Francisco Cordero came in for Mahay. Richie Sexson, hitting for Petagine, took the first pitch for strike and whiffed at the next two. Cordero threw three pitches.
Feldman's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
Mahay's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches (2 strikes)
Richie Sexson stayed in to play first. Blalock grounded to Betancourt, stationed on the other side of second base on the shift. DeRosa whiffed on a 1-2 pitch up and away. Wilkerson was behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch for strike three. Sherrill had 13 total.
Sherrill's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
Johjima bounced the first pitch left of the mound to Blalock. Reed slapped a high 1-2 change into center for a single. Betancourt took a 1-1 pitch for a strike and Reed was gunned down on an absolutely perfect throw to second by Laird. Betancourt bounced the next pitch (1-2) to short. Cordero threw nine pitches and had 12 total.
Cordero's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Laird flew out to Lopez in shallow right on the second pitch. Botts split his bat on the second pitch but looped a single into shallow center nonetheless. Kinsler flew out high to left on a full count. Matthews lined the second pitch to center. Soriano threw 14 pitches.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Akinori Otsuka came in for Cordero. Ichiro slapped a 2-2 pitch into leftcenter for a single. Beltre ripped a 1-1 pitch barely foul down the leftfield line and tapped the next pitch near the mound, where Otsuka threw wide to first and Nevin dove to the side for it and first-base umpire Charlie Reliford thought Nevin kept the right foot on the bag, which he did. Hargrove came out to argue and did not get tossed. Lopez fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 slider down and away. Bloomquist had the hitters' counts and walked on a full-count pitch away. Everett took a 2-2 backdoor slider over the outside corner.
Otsuka's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 24 pitches (14 strikes)
Gameball: George Sherrill.
Goat: Gil Meche.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 42-12 .778 -- W10
2003 36-18 .667 6 W5
2002 34-20 .630 8 L2
2000 29-25 .537 13 W2
2005 23-31 .426 19 W1
2006 22-32 .407 20 L6
2004 20-34 .370 22 W1
Hernandez. Koronka. Tonight.
Monday, May 29, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Everyone facing the Mariners should just bring up their AAA rotations before the series because I swear the Mariners would go 0-162 if that happened.
This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against John Rheinecker. Rheinecker, who turned 27 today, is lefthanded, therefore no Jeremy Reed in the starting lineup, therefore I hate Mike Hargrove all the more. Hargrove is basing his decision on the fact that Jeremy Reed is 0-for-11 with a walk and two strikeouts against lefties this season. Yes, that's right. Reed's gotten all of 11 at-bats against lefthanded pitchers this season. Huge sample size, that. The Mariners were trying to erase a four-game losing streak. A stretch that saw the Mariners win five of six morphed into a stretch where they lost five of six. So now I guess it's kind of win-win...either the Mariners do good and stay in the race, or they keep losing and some people start getting canned. I just hope they go extremely one way or the other in the next two weeks. Washburn came into the game with an 0-3 record and a 6.08 ERA on the road this season. Obviously I don't care what Willie Bloomquist hits against lefties because it's stunting Jeremy Reed's development, he's from South Kitsap, and this team's not built to win now anyway, so Hargrove shouldn't pull this platoon crap like they're going somewhere. Under no circumstances should Bloomquist start in centerfield on consecutive days unless I hear that Reed's wrist needs some rest.
Ichiro flew out to left on a 1-2 pitch. Jose Lopez was up 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch to second. Raul Ibañez walked on a full-count pitch down and away on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Richie Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Rheinecker threw 25 pitches.
Gary Matthews, Jr. had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full count. Michael Young worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing a single through the right side. Mark Teixeira scorched the second pitch right to Betancourt at short. Hank Blalock fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball outside. Washburn threw 20 pitches.
Carl Everett was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 curve away. Adrian Beltre chopped the first pitch along the right side, where Kinsler charged in from second and Beltre legged out the single. Kenji Johjima was ahead 3-0 and ended up nubbing a 3-1 pitch back to the mound, moving Beltre to second. Willie Bloomquist grounded right to third. Rheinecker threw 13 pitches and had 38 through two.
Phil Nevin flew out to center on the first pitch. Kevin Mench popped to right on an 0-2 pitch. Mark DeRosa grounded hard to a diving Beltre at third on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw nine pitches and had 29 through two.
Betancourt popped the second pitch to center. Ichiro bounced out to second on the second pitch. Lopez bounced the second pitch to short. Rheinecker threw six pitches and had 44 through three.
Rod Barajas flew out very high to short on a 2-0 pitch. Ian Kinsler split his bat on a 2-2 grounder to short. Matthews looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow center for a single. Young fell behind 0-2 and Johjima took Young's follow-through to the left wrist on the second pitch. Young ended up grounded a 2-2 pitch hard to Betancourt at short, who went to his knees to stop the grounder, then backhanded a bit wide to Lopez covering second, who caught it with a barehanded to complete the 6-4 fielder's choice. Washburn threw 19 pitches and had 48 through three.
Ibañez was down 0-2 and eventually tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Sexson tapped the first pitch in front of the plate, where Barajas pounced on it and threw to first. Sexson came up limping a bit after the play. Everett flew out to right. Rheinecher threw 13 pitches and had 57 through four.
Teixeira lined a 2-0 pitch into left for a single. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and grounded a 1-2 pitch to first to start a 3-6-3 double play. Nevin was ahead 2-0 and crushed a 2-2 pitch foul with homerun distance down the leftfield line before whiffing on a high fastball on the next pitch. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 62 through four.
Beltre rolled the first pitch to short. Johjima whiffed on a 2-2 fastball in the dirt. Bloomquist nubbed out softly to third. Rheinecker threw nine pitches and had 66 through five.
Mench grounded an 0-2 pitch to second. DeRosa lined out to a leaping and backpedaling Ibañez on the second pitch. Barajas grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 72 through five.
Betancourt lined the second pitch into center for a single, the Mariners' second hit of the game. Ichiro wedged a 2-2 pitch to center for a flyout. Lopez grounded a full-count pitch up the middle right to Young near the second-base bag, who fielded the ball and stuck his foot to the bag before throwing to first to complete the double play. Rheinecker threw 15 pitches and had 81 through six.
Kinsler was ahead 3-1 before failing to check his swing on a full-count pitch up and away after an appeal to first. Matthews punched a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Young popped high to Ichiro near the rightfield line. Teixeira lined the first pitch just over the scoreboard in left.
»» RANGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Blalock grounded hard to third on the first pitch. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 87 through six.
Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Barajas (2-3 putout). Sexson was up 2-0 before grounding to second. Everett foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Barajas' glove. Rheinecker threw 14 pitches and had 95 through seven.
Nevin grounded the first pitch to short. Mench rolled a full-count pitch deep into the hole at short, where Betancourt couldn't come up with it and it would have been a tough play anyway. DeRosa took a 2-2 pitch belly high over the outside corner. Barajas was up 2-0 before flying out to Ichiro in rightcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 105 through seven.
Washburn's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 105 pitches (69 strikes)
Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Johjima grounded the first pitch to first. Bloomquist rolled the first pitch through the left side for a single. Betancourt nubbed to Rheinecker coming off the mound. Rheinecker threw nine pitches and had 104 through eight.
JJ Putz came in for Washburn. Kinsler grounded hard through the mound off of Putz, and it slowed down for Lopez, who threw in time to first. Matthews was down 0-2 before flying out high to Beltre in foul ground near the third-base line. Young rolled to second.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Ichiro was nailed near the right hip on an 0-2 pitch. Lopez popped the first pitch to Matthews in shallow leftcenter. Ibañez lined the first pitch into center for a single, moving Ichiro to second.
Rick Bauer came in for Rheinecker. Sexson rolled to the hole at short for a 6-4 fielder's choice to force Ibañez out as Ichiro went to third. Jeremy Reed came in to run for Sexson. Everett rode the first pitch to the rightfield track, where DeRosa came down with it.
Rheinecker's line: 8 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 110 pitches (74 strikes)
Bauer's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
You can't ask for much more out of Washburn. Much like Piñeiro's line yesterday, one look at Washburn's line for today and you'd take that every time out. Of course, if he did do that, he'd have an ERA of 2.57. Needless to say, that'll never happen. Still, Washburn made probably one bad pitch today, and the only two runs of the game scored on it. Still, look at that line, and you'd take it every time, especially taking into consideration the Launch Pad in Arlington. He's probably lucky he didn't just go out there and give up seven homers. Luckily for Joel Piñeiro, his next turn in the rotation won't come until after the Mariners leave Texas, or he'd probably give up two homers each to Kevin Mench, Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock, Phil Nevin, et al. Anyway, Washburn is now 0-4 on the road this season, but that 6.08 road ERA is now down to a slightly more pedestrian 5.28. A bit more encouraging is that Washburn didn't walk a single Texas hitter in this game. Of course, no Mariner starting pitcher is a true Mariner starting pitcher until he gets beat by a no-name pitcher, and his name today was John Rheinecker.
Goat: Carl Everett.
The best thing he did all game was take the final out to the warning track in rightfield. The designated hitter, whose job is to hit, hence the title "designated hitter," went 0-for-4 and struck out twice as he lay waste to Texas pitching. Did I say Texas pitching? I meant Mariner offense. Granted, Everett wasn't the only one who didn't recognize John Rheinecker's name and therefore decided to suck. The Mariners couldn't have done it without hitless days from Ichiro, Jose Lopez, Richie Sexson, and Kenji Johjima as well. The five hitless Mariners in the lineup combined to go 0-for-18 with four strikeouts. Yes, it was a fine day at the ballyard for the guys in gray. Weird thing about Everett is that he isn't hitting too badly -- he's hitting .276. In April, he was hitting a torrid .220. If you want to think about yesterday's game again, you can't blame Roberto Petagine, Jeremy Reed, Johjima, and Everett, who were all the Mariners' position players that didn't get off the bench. Still, the fact that Everett has more homers than Adrian Beltre, well, that's bad, and we know that.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 41-12 .774 -- W9
2003 35-18 .660 6 W4
2002 34-19 .642 7 L1
2000 28-25 .528 13 W1
2005 22-31 .415 19 L1
2006 22-31 .415 19 L5
2004 19-34 .358 22 L3
Meche. Millwood. Tomorrow.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
In 25 words or less: The Mariners couldn't win in spite of themselves. How much more unwatchable baseball will this team have to play before people start getting fired?
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Johan Santana. The good? Mike Hargrove finally decided to have somebody else DH. The bad? It's still part of a plan to rob Jeremy Reed of at-bats. Of course, Santana's a lefty, and Hargrove's never going to have Reed hit against lefties. Still, someone other than Carl Everett was in the lineup to DH today, and he just made Beltre the DH, started Willie Bloomquist in centerfield, and put Mike Morse at third. In other words, it was a day to pray no one hit anything to third. I'll give you a hint...if you didn't get enough of baserunning errors and lack of hitting with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series, you're in for even more of a treat for this game.
Scroll down a post or click here to see Jeremy's immediate postgame reaction.
Ichiro drilled a 1-2 pitch past Santana and into center for a single. Jose Lopez shot a line drive barely over the leftfield wall.
»» MARINERS 2, TWINS 0
Raul Ibañez grounded the first pitch to second. Richie Sexson whiffed at three straight fastballs, the last above the belt. Adrian Beltre grounded a 2-0 pitch to short. Santana threw 16 pitches.
Lew Ford grounded to short. Luis Castillo bounced the first pitch near the mound and Rivera pounced and threw to first, but Laz Diaz called it foul. Castillo ended up flying out to a drifting Bloomquist in leftcenter. Joe Mauer smoked the second pitch into rightfield for a single. Torii Hunter bounced a 1-2 pitch to short for a 6-4 fielder's choice. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches.
Mike Morse whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Willie Bloomquist tapped the first pitch along the first-base line, where Santana ran over to get it and tag Bloomquist coming down the line. Rene Rivera fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball away in the dirt. Santana threw eight pitches and had 24 through two.
Michael Cuddyer chopped high to Morse behind the bag at third. Justin Morneau was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 count. Mike Redmond flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Luis Rodriguez grounded an 0-2 pitch and had it stopped by Lopez diving to his right, who gathered himself and threw to Betancourt covering second for the force. Piñeiro threw 14 pitches and had 26 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt shot the second pitch down the leftfield line for a double. Ichiro was up 2-0 and ended up air-bunting to Morneau halfway down the first-base line. Lopez walked on four pitches. Ibañez chopped the second pitch to the right side, where Morneau had a way to go and threw to a covering Santana at first, who stepped on the bag just in time. The runners moved up a base each on the play. Sexson popped a 2-0 pitch to Punto in shallow left. Santana threw 15 pitches and had 39 through three.
Nick Punto bounced out to second. Ford took a full-count breaking ball over the inside corner. Castillo took a 2-2 offspeed pitch over the inside corner. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 42 through three.
Beltre fell behind 0-2 and drove a 2-2 pitch into the leftcenter gap for a double on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Morse chopped a 1-2 pitch to the left side near the mound where Punto barehanded and threw in time to first as Beltre held at second. Bloomquist chopped the first pitch to second, moving Beltre to third. Rivera whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Santana threw 17 pitches and had 56 through four.
Mauer slapped a 2-2 pitch into left for a single. Hunter rolled the first pitch to short where Betancourt ran it to second and threw to first for the double play. Cuddyer grounded hard past Morse into left for a single. Morneau drove the first pitch five rows into the leftfield seats.
»» TWINS 2, MARINERS 2
Redmond poked the first pitch into center for a single. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Rodriguez flew out high to Betancourt in shallow center on a 2-2 pitch. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 58 through four.
Betancourt grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to third, where Rodriguez made a very nice diving stop and threw from his knees to first, but Morneau had the one-hop throw bounce off the heel of his glove as Betancourt reached with the single. Ichiro chopped a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single, moving Betancourt to second. Lopez bunted nicely down the third-base line, moving the runners to third and second. Ibañez popped the second pitch sufficiently deep to left to score Betancourt.
»» MARINERS 3, TWINS 2
Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 change. Santana threw 22 pitches and had 78 through five.
Punto bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Ford was down 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to second. Castillo rolled to short, but Betancourt couldn't get a good grip on the ball on an odd play. Mauer took a 1-2 pitch for a strike and a pitchout helped nail Castillo at second. Piñeiro threw 14 pitches and had 72 through five.
Beltre popped a 2-2 pitch to shallow right, where it was caught over the shoulder by Castillo. Morse grounded to third, where Rodriguez made the stop and threw in time to first. Bloomquist slapped a single into center on the second pitch. Rivera flew out to left on the first pitch. Santana threw 11 pitches and had 89 through six.
Mauer bashed a high 0-2 pitch that one-hopped over the centerfield wall for a double. Hunter bounced the first pitch to first (3-1 putout), moving Mauer to third. Cuddyer grounded hard to third, where Morse made the nice stop and checked Mauer back to third, but didn't gather himself enough to throw to first. Morneau walked on four pitches to load the bases. Redmond flew out to deep center, scoring Mauer and moving Cuddyer to third.
»» TWINS 3, MARINERS 3
Rodriguez lined a 2-2 pitch right to Ichiro. Piñeiro threw 19 pitches and had 91 through six.
Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch to short. Ichiro smacked a letter-high 2-0 fastball to the wall in rightcenter for an amazingly easy-looking triple. Lopez air-bunted on a squeeze attempt, popping to Santana, and of course Ichiro had gone with the pitch, so Santana threw easily to third to complete the double play. Santana threw ten pitches and had 99 through seven.
Santana's line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 99 pitches (66 strikes)
Punto flew out to left on a 1-2 pitch. Ford flew out to right on the second pitch. Castillo grounded hard off Piñeiro's glove on an 0-2 pitch, and Castillo barely beat Betancourt's recovery throw.
George Sherrill came in for Piñeiro. Mauer got ahead 2-0 and watched with a 2-2 count as Sherrill picked Castillo off of first (scored 1-3-6) on the sixth pickoff attempt, though Sexson had to catch Sherrill's high pickoff throw before the play was made. Sherrill threw four pitches.
Piñeiro's line: 6 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 100 pitches (65 strikes)
Matt Guerrier came in for Santana. Ibañez grounded out to second. Sexson had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch up and in. Beltre mashed an 0-2 pitch deep and foul before whiffing under a breaking ball on the next pitch. Morse failed to check his swing on an 0-2 breaking ball outside. Guerrier threw 15 pitches.
Mauer fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 fastball over the inner half.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Hunter was down 0-2 and foul-tipped a 1-2 fastball into Rivera's glove. Cuddyer flew out to left on the second pitch. Soriano threw six pitches.
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
Bloomquist was down 0-2 and poked a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Rivera bunted the first pitch along the right side to advance Bloomquist to second. Betancourt grounded a 2-0 pitch to short, and Bloomquist took off for third anyway with the grounder in front of him and was thrown out on a 6-5 fielder's choice. Ichiro watched as Betancourt tried to steal second and was gunned down by Redmond. Guerrier threw 11 pitches and had 26 total.
Guerrier's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
Morneau foul-tipped an 0-2 fastball into Rivera's glove. Redmond fell behind 0-2 as well, ending with a hard grounder to first on a 1-2 pitch. Rodriguez walked on four pitches. Punto whiffed on a high 1-2 pitch. Soriano threw 18 pitches and had 24 total.
Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 24 pitches (17 strikes)
Joe Nathan came in for Guerrier. Ichiro bounced a grounder up the middle to Castillo, who ranged to his right and threw to first quickly, but Ichiro barely beat it out. Lopez missed on two bunt attempts before singling a 2-2 pitch past a diving Castillo and into center, moving Ichiro to second. Ibañez popped a bunt foul (it landed) as Redmond went to the mound for a visit. Ibañez ended up smoking a full-count pitch (after Hargrove has him try to bunt twice) right to a running Cuddyer on the rightfield track, and Ichiro froze on the line drive, holding at second. Sexson got ahead 3-1 before flying out to the track in center, and no runners advanced, even with Hunter crashing into the wall and falling down, but for some reason Ichiro hung about 20 feet from second on the play and had to retreat on what wasn't exactly a line drive. Rick Rizzs and Dave Valle didn't even bother questioning the play, which I found out when I replayed it hours later for clarification purposes (live feed was FSN North/Minnesota feed). Beltre flew out to Hunter in leftcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Nathan threw 27 pitches.
Nathan's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
Eddie Guardado came in for Soriano. Ford fell behind 0-2 and cranked a hanging 1-2 breaking ball on the outer half over the baggie in center.
»» TWINS 4, MARINERS 3
Guardado's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Rafael Soriano.
Other than walking Luis Rodriguez on four pitches with two out in the ninth, Soriano did his thing and did it well. He finished off the eighth and struck out three of the six batters he faced and did so in explosive fashion. He was a bit more dominating in April than he has been this month, but he's still been solid. In April he had a 1.88 ERA and gave up three runs on nine hits in 14 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out 16. With three games left in May, he has a 3.29 ERA this month, giving up five runs and nine hits in 12 innings, walking five and striking out 13. He's also given up three homers this month after not getting taken yard in April. All told, Soriano and JJ Putz are anchoring this bullpen right now while Julio Mateo tries to come back from injury and Eddie Guardado tries to come back from crappiness. The greatest thing about Soriano today was that he didn't fail at the plate in a clutch situation and he didn't make any sort of baserunning error. That's refreshing. Yay for pitchers.
Goat: Mike Morse.
Let me just say there's any number of goat possibilities to pick for this game, what with the baserunning zoo. With the score 3-2 for the Mariners in the bottom of the sixth, the Twins had a runner on third with one out. Like I said at the top of the post, I found it nice that Mike Hargrove was giving some DH at-bats to someone else. What Hargrove for some reason didn't realize was this -- if you don't have Adrian Beltre in the game on defense, what the hell is he worth right now? Likewise, it's a precipitous drop in defensive goodness when you go from the slick-fielding Beltre to the iron-gloved Morse. So, if Morse gets any playing time with this team, it should be as a DH. Anyway, with the runner on third and one out, Morse made the nice stop and checked the runner, Joe Mauer, back to third, but couldn't muster a throw to first. Joel Piñeiro walked Justin Morneau on four pitches (sort of intentional) and then Mike Redmond hit the sacrifice fly to score Mauer, and that pretty much broke the game. Of course, also figuring into the goat selection is that Morse went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. No glove, no stick, no use. Unless he's going to be a pinch-hitter off the bench, there's absolutely no role for him on the team.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 40-12 .769 -- W8
2002 34-18 .654 6 W2
2003 34-18 .654 6 W3
2000 27-25 .519 13 L1
2005 22-30 .423 18 W1
2006 22-30 .423 18 L4
2004 19-33 .365 21 L2
Let's start with what little good there is, shall we? Joel Piñeiro was actually pretty good. I expected the Mariners to get completely crushed in this game with Johan Santana starting for the Twins. I figured Piñeiro would give up roughly double the runs he gave up, and I figured Santana would strike out double the Mariner hitters that he struck out. He got ten groundouts to seven flyouts, for what that whole groundball transformation is or might be worth. He left a couple of pitches up, but when he can do that and only give up three runs, that's a good thing. I'll take Piñeiro's line from today and gladly take it every time he goes out to the mound. There's a ton of other Mariners you can go to if you want to pin this loss on someone, but Piñeiro's not it. He walked two guys and nine hits is a few more than I'd like to see, but he was remarkably efficient, throwing 100 pitches in his outing. Needless to say, it was his best start since he was named Player of the Week, and that seems like eons ago. His three starts prior to this saw him give up 16 runs (15 earned) in 14 innings, good for a 9.64 ERA. He gave up 23 hits, three homers, eight walks, and he struck out four. Sadly, this outing only knocked 0.12 off his ERA, lowering him to 5.13.
Amidst all the patheticness of this game, it was easy to look over the pure boxscore stats, which is small consolation. Ichiro was 4-for-5 with a triple, though there's the whole tagging up thing and he air-bunted the one time. Jose Lopez was 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk, though apparently the homer wasn't enough for Hargrove to consider letting him swing away the rest of the game. Willie Bloomquist went 2-for-4, but the last time I saw someone take off from second with a ground ball right in front of them, it was me back in high school. Okay, it was probably a Mariner back in the 2004 season, but still, that's an elementary baserunning mistake. Yuniesky Betancourt went 2-for-4, and about the only bad thing he did was not get a grip on the one grounder. The badness boxscorewise were 0-for-4s out of Raul Ibañez, Richie Sexson, and Morse. Rene Rivera chipped in with an 0-for-3, though he bunted successfully and probably was the only guy that had a legitimate reason to be up there bunting.
But since everyone still following the team on a day-to-day basis at this point is masochistic (not that other way you might be thinking of), let's get down to the nitty gritty...
List of badness...
-- top 3rd: Betancourt hits a leadoff double, Ichiro air-bunts. Lopez walks on four pitches, the runners get moved over but not driven in by Ibañez. Sexson pops out.
-- top 4th: Beltre leads off with a double, Morse hits a ball in front of him and he holds. Bloomquist moves Beltre to third, but he never scores as Rivera finishes the inning.
-- top 5th: With Betancourt and Ichiro aboard and nobody out, Mike Hargrove has Jose Lopez, leading RBI man on the team, bunt the runners over, which he does. Ibañez drives Betancourt in from third with a fly ball, but Sexson strikes out.
-- bottom 5th: With two out, Betancourt fields a Luis Castillo grounder cleanly, but can't get a grip on the ball and doesn't get off a throw. The play turns out to be inconsequential.
-- bottom 6th: The Morse play, covered in the Goat section. Everyone knows Beltre gets the out at first on that ball. Instead of a runner on third and two out, it's first and third with one out. Piñeiro walked Morneau, then Cuddyer hit the game-tying fly ball. Anyway, Hargrove looks like an idiot once again, and it wasn't the last time that happened in this game.
-- top 7th: Ichiro leads off with a triple and Hargrove has his leading RBI man try to bunt again, this time with a squeeze. Lopez air-bunts it, and Ichiro is doubled off.
-- top 9th: Bloomquist leads off with a single and is bunted to second by Rivera, who is the number eight hitter in the lineup and is terrible, therefore making him a good candidate to bunt. Betancourt grounds to short, and Bloomquist takes off for third with the ball hit right in front of him. Easy 5-6 putout. Betancourt getting gunned down at second with Ichiro at the plate was more of a merciful end to the inning.
-- top 10th: Ichiro legs out a grounder for a single, and Hargrove has Lopez try to bunt again. Luckily Lopez bunts all but his third strike foul, and singles on a 2-2 pitch. Ibañez, after Hargrove inexplicably puts the bunt sign on a couple more times, lines out near the track in right, and not even Ichiro advances, though the ball is hit hard, so it's somewhat passable (Cuddyer's momentum was taking him the other way, however). Sexson takes Torii Hunter to the track in center with his fly ball, but Ichiro hangs about 20 feet away from the second-base bag on the fly ball, which isn't exactly a line drive, and has to retreat back to second on the flyout. If you ask me, it was more than deep enough for him to tag up, and Hunter fell down after he caught it, aaaaaaand Ichiro's more than fast enough to get to third safely as only a miracle relay could have beat him to third. I don't know if that's on Carlos Garcia coaching third or what, but I don't think it is, since Ichiro is Ichiro. Beltre flies out to end it.
The Mariners were three games back of the division lead after winning the fourth game of their four-game winning streak. After the second win in the Baltimore series, the Mariners were two back of the division lead. Thanks to this four-game losing streak, the Mariners are now five back of the division lead in a virtual tie with the Angels for the cellar spot in the division. Seattle is in third by percentage points.
Washburn. Rheinecker. Tomorrow.
I'm tired of Jose Lopez bunting when he's proven to be the best hitter on this team this season.
I'm tired of 12-man pitching staffs.
I'm tired of the "oh well, he won with Cleveland in the mid-1990's" argument.
I'm tired of retread managers.
I'm tired of having to explain to my friends that I root for a team with a manager that makes Grady Little look like Tony LaRussa.
I'm tired of rain delays.
I'm tired of giving away outs.
Basically, I'm tired of Mike Hargrove. To most people, the middle finger is the middle finger. To me, the bunt is the middle finger, thanks to Hargrove.
I reserve the right to take the towel back if the M's pull off a 2003 Marlins run (when they fired Jeff Torborg and hired Jack McKeon), but chances are, I don't think that's going to happen.
So, Sports And B's readers, this is the 2006 debut of the Towel from Jeremy himself. I can't believe it's taken me this long to use it, but I digress.