Saturday, July 15, 2006
In 25 words or less: Pretty much one of those games where I'm sitting there in extra innings praying for it to end.
This one featured Jamie Moyer going up against Roy Halladay. Toronto came in with a 29-18 home record and were 49-40 overall. The Mariners hoped to make it a series win with a second win after the All-Star break. A loss in this game would make it their eighth in 11 games. By the way, the Mariners came into this game two games under .500. They have been at or above .500 after fourteen (not cumulative) games this season. Mariner fans have awoken the morning after eight different games and have found their team above .500. Needless to say, the Mariners needed two more wins to climb back to .500, and a win in this game would get them halfway there. I should also note that my MLB.tv feed blacked me out because of the Fox broadcasts, so most of this piece is radio-dependent, and there's no way in hell I'm going back through and watching four hours and twenty-three minutes of rip-roaring baseball action, especially when I already know the result and my team didn't win and there wasn't anything crazy like a perfect game or one of the Mariners driving in fourteen runs or something.
Ichiro popped the second pitch to Overbay on the infield. Adrian Beltre popped to Overbay near first as well. Jose Lopez stroked a single into leftfield. Raul Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball. Halladay threw 11 pitches.
Reed Johnson popped a pitch near a dugout and Jamie Moyer went into the dugout in pursuit but couldn't come up with it. Johnson was hit on the leg with an 0-2 pitch, leaving Moyer none too pleased. Aaron Hill popped high to right on a 2-2 pitch. Vernon Wells rode a 2-0 pitch for a long fly ball to the rightfield track. Troy Glaus had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch outside, moving Johnson to second. Lyle Overbay was down 0-2 and popped high to shallow center on a 2-2 pitch. Moyer threw 21 pitches.
Richie Sexson bounced the second pitch over the mound to Hill at second. Carl Everett rolled along the first-base line to Overbay, who took the ball to the bag. Kenji Johjima two-hopped an 0-2 pitch to third. Halladay threw nine pitches and had 20 through two.
Bengie Molina worked a 1-2 count full before popping up to right. Eric Hinske fell behind 0-2 and tapped a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Chad Mottola lined out to Ichiro on the first pitch. Moyer threw 14 pitches and had 35 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt popped the second pitch to Molina near the plate in foul ground. Adam Jones fouled off the second pitch and had his bat fly over the Toronto dugout. Jones ended up whiffing on an 0-2 slider down and away. Ichiro pulled out a bunt attempt on the first pitch, but had it go foul. Ichiro ended up hitting a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Halladay threw ten pitches and had 30 through three.
John McDonald flew out to right. Johnson dropped the second pitch into the gap in leftcenter for a double. Hill shot a grounder off of Moyer's glove and slowed it down as it ricocheted to Beltre behind the mound, who had no play, moving Johnson to third. Wells grounded the first pitch to third for a 5-4-3 double play as Moyer proved himself slippery. Moyer threw nine pitches and had 44 through three.
Beltre fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 1-2 fastball inside. Lopez thought he had a walk on the 3-0 pitch but blistered the 3-1 pitch into leftcenter for another single anyway. Ibañez crushed a 2-0 pitch into the second deck in rightfield, scoring Lopez. Raul's homers are old enough to drink since he's up to 21. That amount eclipses his total from last year, which was 20.
»» MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 0
Sexson rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single. Everett flew out to Glaus in foul ground on the left side on the first pitch. Johjima stroked the first pitch into leftcenter for a single, moving Sexson to second. Betancourt grounded the first pitch to short. Halladay threw 20 pitches and had 50 through four.
Glaus grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch. Overbay rode the first pitch and banged it off the centerfield wall for a double as Jones had turned twice to look for the ball instead of just sprinting back to the wall uninterrupted. Molina got the wood on a 2-2 pitch, homering to right to score Overbay.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 2
Hinske grounded to first on the first pitch. Mottola did just about the same thing as Overbay, ringing the second pitch for a double off the wall as Jones gave chase. McDonald creamed an 0-2 pitch out of the yard to rightfield, scoring Mottola. Moyer had just yielded his 17th homer of the season.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 2
Johnson lined the first pitch into right for what ended up being a double. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Hill foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Moyer threw 24 pitches and had 68 through four.
Jones rolled up the middle to short. Ichiro grounded a 2-2 pitch to second. Beltre crushed a 1-2 pitch off the wall in center, barely missing a homer but legging out a triple. Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibañez roped the second pitch into the rightcenter gap and it rolled to the wall for a triple, scoring Beltre and Lopez and somehow tying the game.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 4
Sexson took a 3-1 fastball down and in for a walk. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg came to the mound for a visit. Everett fell behind 0-2 and dinking a 1-2 pitch to center that was caught by Wells. Halladay threw 29 pitches and had 79 through five.
Wells whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Glaus fell behind 0-2 but clobbered a 2-2 pitch, sending it out of the yard to center.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 4
Overbay foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Molina rolled out to third. Moyer threw 20 pitches and had 88 through five.
Johjima grounded the second pitch hard to third, where Glaus had trouble coming up with the ball then threw wide to first as Johjima was credited with a single but couldn't advance further. Betancourt grounded an 0-2 pitch to short as Johjima was forced at second as Betancourt beat out the back end of the double play. Jones bounced the first pitch to first to start a 3-6-3 double play.
Halladay's line: 6 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 85 pitches (57 strikes)
Hinske took an 0-2 breaking ball over the outside corner, much to his chagrin. Mottola stroked a single into leftcenter. McDonald flew out to right on an 0-2 pitch. Johnson flew out to Ichiro on the second pitch. Moyer threw 12 pitches and had 100 through six.
Justin Speier came in for Halladay. Ichiro whiffed on an 0-2 pitch in the dirt that got away from Molina, but he was thrown out (2-3 putout). Beltre dumped a 2-2 pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single. Lopez flew out to McDonald in shallow center on the first pitch.
Scott Schoeneweis came in for Speier. Ibañez popped an 0-2 pitch to Johnson barely fair along the leftfield line.
Speier's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeouts, 9 pitches (7 strikes)
Schoeneweis' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Hill looped a single to right on a 2-2 pitch. Wells singled up the middle on the second pitch, moving Hill to second. Glaus rolled the first pitch into the hole on the left side, where Betancourt made a sliding attempt to stop the ball but came up empty, scoring Hill and moving Wells to second.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 4
Overbay broke his bat and tapped to the mound, and Moyer looked to second but threw to first for the out as Wells and Glaus moved to third and second.
Julio Mateo came in for Moyer. Molina popped the second pitch to Betancourt near the bag at second. Hinske was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mottola whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Mateo threw 11 pitches.
Moyer's line: 6 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 12 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 111 pitches (75 strikes)
Brandon League came in for Schoeneweis. Sexson put the barrel on a pitch, line driving a homer out to right.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 5
Everett worked a 1-2 count full and hit a fly ball that just kept carrying until it ended up over the wall in centerfield. Odd, this game.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 6
BJ Ryan came in for League. Johjima popped to Overbay in foul ground on the right side. Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch to short, where McDonald couldn't make the barehand-and-throw play. Jones popped an 0-2 pitch high to second. Ichiro watched as Betancourt was picked off of first (1-3-6-3 putout). Ryan threw 16 pitches.
League's line: 0 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
McDonald lined out to left on the first pitch. Johnson popped to Sexson backing into shallow right. Hill whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Mateo threw seven pitches and had 18 total.
Ichiro flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch. Beltre walked on four pitches. Lopez took the first pitch for a strike, fouled off the next three, then whiffed on the fifth pitch of the at-bat. Ibañez, 0-for-11 career against Ryan coming into the at-bat, grounded the second pitch to short.
Ryan's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 32 pitches (23 strikes)
Wells rode a 2-0 pitch to deep center. Glaus blistered a ball into the gap in leftcenter, but Jones was able to cut it off and hold Glaus to a single.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo. Overbay fell behind 0-2 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Beltre in foul ground on the left side.
Mark Lowe came in for Sherrill. Molina got ahead 2-0 and dumped a single into shallow center, moving Glaus to second. Hinske fell behind 0-2 and was spun around and hit the deck on the next pitch, which was up and in. Hinske ended up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch. Lowe threw nine pitches.
Mateo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (4 strikes)
Vinny Chulk came in for Ryan. Sexson dumped a single into shallow center. Everett slowly rolled the second pitch to the right side, where Hill had to move way to his right and got the out at first, moving Sexson to second. Willie Bloomquist was brought in to run for Sexson. Johjima air-bunted the second pitch to the left of the plate, where Molina easily caught it. Betancourt grounded the second pitch to Glaus behind the bag at third, who threw to first and the throw was picked by Overbay. Chulk threw ten pitches.
Bloomquist stayed in the game to play first. Frank Catalanotto, hitting for Mottola, flew out to center on the first pitch. McDonald fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch for strike three. Johnson grounded a 2-2 pitch to second. Lowe threw 12 pitches and had 21 total.
Greg Dobbs, hitting for Jones, popped a full-count pitch to Glaus. Ichiro popped the second pitch high to Jognson in leftcenter. Beltre was down 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 1-2 pitch.
Chulk's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
Bloomquist moved to center as Dobbs came in to play first. Hill got behind 0-2 before lining a 2-2 pitch into Beltre's glove in foul ground on the left side. Wells lined a 2-2 pitch to center for a single. Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Glaus grounded the second pitch right to short to start a 6-4-3 double play.
Lowe's line: 2 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
Brian Tallet came in for Chulk. Lopez grounded a 2-2 pitch to short. Ibañez two-hopped a 2-2 pitch to second. Bloomquist took a 1-2 pitch off his left hip. Everett (who isn't Eduardo Perez) watched with a 1-2 count as Tallet was called for a balk, moving Bloomquist to second. Everett popped to center on another 1-2 pitch.
Tallet's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Lowe. Overbay got ahead 2-0 and rolled out along the first-base line, where Soriano fielded it. Molina worked a 1-2 count full before flying out in front of the rightfield track. Hinske had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch down and in. Catalanotto got ahead 3-1, triggering a visit from Chaves. Catalanotto walked on the next pitch, moving Hinske to second. Gregg Zaun, hitting for McDonald, flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch with Ichiro making the running catch.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 30 pitches (15 strikes)
Shaun Marcum came in for Tallet, Hill moved to shortstop, and Russ Adams came in to play second. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and stroked a 1-2 pitch into leftcenter for a single. Betancourt missed a bunt on the first pitch as Johjima took off for second, but Molina's throw bounced past second and went into centerfield, which was good because Johjima would have been dead meat (he got credit for the stolen base). Betancourt nearly dumped a 2-2 pitch into right for a single, but Hinske made a diving catch to rob Betancourt. Dobbs lined the first pitch into shallow left, but Toronto came up with another freakin' diving catch, this one by Wells. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Beltre took a 3-1 pitch outside to load the bases. Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch slowly to short, but Hill made the play on the run and got the out at first.
Marcum's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 24 pitches (13 strikes)
Emiliano Fruto came in for Soriano. Johnson took an 0-2 pitch down the pipe. Hill grounded the second pitch right to Beltre at third. Wells took a full-count pitch over the inside corner. Fruto threw 11 pitches.
Scott Downs came in for Marcum. Ibañez was up 3-1 and grounded right to short on a full count. Bloomquist tapped the first pitch back to the mound. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Everett, grounded to third, but Glaus hurried the throw and threw over the head of Overbay at first, enabling Perez to reach but not advance. Johjima lined out to short.
Downs' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Glaus popped out to Dobbs in foul ground on the right side. Overbay dumped an 0-2 pitch along the leftfield line for a double. Molina got ahead 2-0 and Chaves visited the mound. Molina got ahead 3-0 and rolled a 3-1 pitch just fair inside the leftfield line for a single, scoring Overbay.
»» BLUE JAYS 7, MARINERS 6
Fruto's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (15 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
He went 3-for-4 with a solo shot and a walk. He didn't strike out at all. Mike Hargrove was a bit odd in the tenth inning when Sexson got his third hit of the game. Sexson was on second with one out, and Hargrove put in Willie Bloomquist to pinch-run for him. Okay, so you want him to score for sure on a base hit or maybe if there's a wild pitch he can get to third and who knows what might happen then, I can deal with that. Kenji Johjima, whose batting average was a mere .290 after the game, was sent up there to bunt? Why? To move Bloomquist over to third and put the onus on Yuniesky Betancourt to deliver a two-out hit? It wasn't just bad that the bunt backfired and Johjima didn't get to swing the bat, it was made much worse by the fact that Bloomquist stayed in the game and Sexson's old spot in the lineup came up again not just once, but twice. I seem to remember Mitch Hedberg's old joke about signing a one-year lease with a crappy roommate. He said it was like writing a bad joke and having to keep telling it for a year. Willie Bloomquist's insertion into the game was the gift that kept on giving, and the giving wasn't good.
He did get on base in this game, so I'll give him that. Of course, it was a 14-inning game and the only time he got on board, he walked. In a game the Mariners really should have won in spite of him, Ichiro went 0-for-6 with a strikeout. Ichiro had nine hitless games in his brutal April, four hitless games in his torrid May, three such games in his white-hot June, and five so far this month. Any notion that Ichiro isn't a huge part of the Seattle offense can be dispelled by this -- Ichiro has gone hitless in 21 games this season for the Mariners, and their record in those games is 4-17. Keep in mind this was a game where the second through fifth hitters in the Seattle lineup combined to go 9-for-22 with two triples, two homers, four walks, and five RBIs. In short, if Ichiro isn't hitting, a lot has to go right for the Mariners to win. By the way, I mentioned Ichiro has five hitless games so far this month -- the Mariners have only played ten games this so far in July, and Ichiro is hitting at a .244 clip (10-for-41). Though it means hardly anything, four of those ten hits are for extra bases.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 66-25 .725 -- W2
2002 57-34 .626 9 L1
2003 57-34 .626 9 W1
2000 53-38 .582 13 L1
2006 44-47 .484 22 L1
2005 41-50 .451 25 W2
2004 35-56 .385 31 W2
Hernandez. Burnett. Tomorrow.
In 25 words or less: Score early, hold on, and keep the evil version of Gil Meche from reappearing. That's a recipe for winning.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Casey Janssen. Meche hadn't lost since May 30th. Though the move was known over the break, it wasn't made official until today -- Luis Oliveros had his cup of coffee with the big club and was sent down to high-A Inland Empire, which sucks for him because they'd called him up from AA San Antonio. Shin-Soo Choo was sent back to AAA Tacoma. Coming back up to fill the spots were Greg Dobbs and Seattle's first pick in the 2003 draft, Adam Jones, who also plays a mean bass guitar for Tool but in this game would start in centerfield. Upon seeing him in batting practice, Toronto color man Pat Tabler said Jones' speed reminds him of Devon White. Originally listed on the Seattle roster as wearing uniform number 83, which really would be the ultimate initiation, Jones ended up with 25 on his back in Toronto. The Blue Jays came in with the league's highest batting average and was ranked third in the Majors in homers. Ichiro came in hitting .375 in his career against Toronto. The Mariners came in hitting .267 with runners in scoring position, only good for 10th in the American League.
Ichiro punched a 2-2 pitch through the middle for a single. Adrian Beltre dribbled a single through the mound and up the middle, moving Ichiro to second. Jose Lopez reached and scooped a single into shallow right to load the bases (Ichiro held at third). Blue Jay manager John Gibbons (yes, the manager) came to the mound for a visit. Raul Ibañez bounced the first pitch to second, where Adams threw to second for the out, scoring Ichiro and moving Beltre to third.
»» MARINERS 1, BLUE JAYS 0
Richie Sexson grounded the second pitch hard to short, where Hill bobbled the ball, then threw weirdly to Adams at second (error), scoring Beltre and moving Ibañez to third.
»» MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 0
Carl Everett dumped a single into shallow left to score Ibañez and move Sexson to second.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 0
Kenji Johjima fell behind 0-2 and ended with a dribbler to short on a 1-2 pitch, moving Sexson to third and Everett to second. Yuniesky Betancourt reached and bounced the second pitch to third. Janssen threw 25 pitches.
Frank Catalanotto popped the second pitch high to leftcenter, testing Jones right away. Gregg Zaun (a catcher hitting second) whiffed on a 2-2 nasty curve down and in. Vernon Wells fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch (I'll say tailing fastball) for strike three. Meche threw 13 pitches.
Adam Jones popped high on the first pitch to Adams backing into shallow right. Ichiro batted as a fire alarm went off at Rogers Centre, but the at-bat went on. The alarm was silenced and Ichiro got ahead 3-1 before rolling to second on a full count. Beltre shot an 0-2 pitch up the middle and almost for a single, but Adams got there in time and made the strong throw to first. Janssen threw 11 pitches and had 36 through two.
Troy Glaus looked like he got a lot of a 1-2 pitch, but flew out high to center. Lyle Overbay took two strikes and fouled the next three pitches before shooting a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single and Toronto's first hit of the game. Shea Hillenbrand lined out to Jones just to the right of center. Eric Hinske popped the first pitch to Betancourt moving back into shallow left. Meche threw 14 pitches and had 27 through two.
Lopez grounded hard to first. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count and walked on a full-count curve barely inside. Sexson bounced the second pitch slowly to the left side, but Glaus came up empty on a barehand attempt and everyone was safe (Ibañez moved to second). Everett was very unfortunately green-lit on 3-0 and flew out to left. Johjima was ahead 3-1 and watched as Zaun tried picking but ended up trying to pick Ibañez off of second, but nearly threw into centerfield. Johjima ended up lining out to left on a full count. Janssen threw 23 pitches and had 59 through three.
Aaron Hill had the hitters' counts and grounded a full-count pitch to Lopez at second, who had it bounce off his left wrist and to his right (error) as Hill got aboard. Russ Adams fell behind 0-2 and Meche threw past Sexson on a pickoff throw on a 1-2 count, enabling Hill to move to second though he probably should have had third on the play. Gibbons came out to argue that Sexson blocked Hill at first before going in pursuit of the errant throw in foul territory. Adams took a devil of a 2-2 curve that probably crossed the plate at the belt. Catalanotto got ahead 3-1 and ended up whiffing over a wicked full-count curve. Zaun got ahead 3-1 but whiffed on a full-count fastball up and away. Meche struck out the side, but needed 26 pitches. He'd thrown 53 through three.
Betancourt popped the second pitch high to Glaus next to the mound. Jones got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch inside. Ichiro watched during his at-bat as pitching coach Brad Arnsberg visited the mound. Ichiro bounced a 3-1 pitch to short as Hill charged, moving Jones to second. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and poked a 1-2 pitch that looked destined for a single into center, but Hill made a diving catch to rob the Mariners of a run.
Janssen's line: 4 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 5 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 75 pitches (43 strikes)
Wells grounded the first pitch to short, and Betancourt went to a knee and made a strong throw to first. Glaus got ahead 3-1 and took a full-count fastball way inside. Overbay grounded right to short on the second pitch, starting a 6-4-3 double play. Meche threw nine pitches and had 62 through four.
Brian Tallet came in for Janssen. popped high to third, but Glaus muffed the catch, having it go off the heel of his glove (error, Exhibit A of why you should use two hands to catch) as Lopez got all the way to second. Ibañez flew out deep to center on the second pitch, moving Lopez to third. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and was intentionally walked. Everett got ahead 2-0 and popped to shallow right on a full count, where Hinske was called to have caught the ball and then muffed it right before he threw it. Lopez saw the ball hit the ground and thought Hinske had dropped it, and he broke for the plate. Hinske gathered the ball and heeded the calls of teammates to get the ball back in, where a relay to third made it so Lopez was called out because he hadn't tagged up. Tallet threw 15 pitches.
Hillenbrand flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter. Hinske bounced a 2-2 pitch to second. Hill rode a long fly over Jones and off the track and wall in center for a double. Adams slapped a 1-2 high fastball (not a curve) just fair down the leftfield line for a double, scoring Hill.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 1
Catalanotto slapped an 0-2 pitch into shallow left for a single, but Ibañez gunned straight home and one-hopped a throw to Johjima, who tagged Adams trying to score from second. Meche threw 22 pitches and had 84 through five.
Lloyd Moseby joined Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler in the television booth. Johjima fell behind 0-2 and poked a 2-2 pitch into center for a single.
Shaun Marcum, previously scheduled to start for Toronto on Tuesday, came in for Tallet. Betancourt reached for an 0-2 pitch low and away and popped to first. Jones popped the first pitch to Wells in rightcenter. Ichiro slowly rolled a 2-0 pitch to third and legged out the single. Beltre creamed the second pitch to the LED-looking scoreboard thing in leftcenter to score Johjima and Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 5, BLUE JAYS 1
Lopez fell behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch back to the mound.
Tallet's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Marcum's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
Zaun got ahead 2-0 and two pitches later clobbered a fastball down and in for a homer into the second deck in right, just inside the foul pole.
»» MARINERS 5, BLUE JAYS 2
Wells blistered the first-pitch fastball away off a facade above the centerfield wall for yet another homer to make the game a little too interesting. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit.
»» MARINERS 5, BLUE JAYS 3
Glaus bailed out Meche by grounding to short on a 3-0 pitch, then came up limping on a foot to the dugout. Overbay lined out to Ibañez on the leftfield track on the first pitch. Hillenbrand popped to Sexson near first.
Meche's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 97 pitches (62 strikes)
Scott Schoeneweis came in for Marcum. Ibañez popped high to shallow right on the second pitch. Sexson popped a 2-2 pitch to Overbay on the foul side of the rightfield line. Everett chopped an 0-2 pitch back to the mound.
Schoeneweis' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
George Sherrill came in for Meche. Reed Johnson, hitting for Hinske, fell behind 0-2 and ended up smoking a hanging belt-high 1-2 curve into left for a single. Hill was up 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch, moving Johnson to second. Adams bunted the second pitch back to the mound and Sherrill might have had a play at third (the infield pulled the wheel), but he threw to first for the out as Johnson and Hill moved to third and second.
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Bengie Molina, hitting for Catalanotto, was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 high heat. Zaun rolled the second pitch to second. Soriano threw seven pitches.
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
Brandon League came in for Schoeneweis, Johnson stayed in to play left for Catalanotto, and Chad Mottola came in to play right for Hinske. Johjima worked a 1-2 count full but foul-tipped an outside pitch into Molina's glove behind the plate. Betancourt bounced a ball over the mound and it was fielded by Adams, who backhanded in front of the bag at second and threw to first, but Betancourt legged it out. Jones rolled an 0-2 pitch to second to force out Betancourt, but Jones had the throw to first beat and Overbay didn't cleanly field the ball at first. Ichiro watched the second pitch and saw Jones get gunned down at second on his first Major League stolen base attempt. League threw 16 pitches.
Wells got under the first pitch flew out to Jones in deep leftcenter, who called off Ibañez after Ibañez originally called him off. Glaus fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 curve over the outside corner. Overbay ripped a 1-2 pitch down the rightfield line for a double. Hillenbrand fouled off the first three pitches and whiffed on the fourth, a curve (too slow to be a slider) off the plate outside.
Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walk, 3 strikeouts, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
Ichiro bounced past the mound and to Adams, who charged and threw in time to first. Beltre grounded out to short. Lopez rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle that Hill ranged way over to get, but then he failed to plant his left foot on the throw and it hit the wall in front of the camera well in foul ground, but it bounced back out quickly and Molina backed up, so Lopez couldn't advance past first. Ibañez rolled the first pitch to second for a 4-6 force on Lopez.
League's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Johnson reached and broke his bat on the second pitch, popping to Lopez in shallow right. Hill was ahead 3-0 but ended up foul-tipping a full-count fastball into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Adams rolled along the first-base line, where Putz ran over to field it and threw to first.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Rafael Soriano.
He faced six hitters. He got five outs. Three of those were strikeouts. He seemed to be throwing more of a curve than a slider, but it was working just as well. Soriano sliced through the first through sixth hitters in the Toronto lineup, the first being a pinch-hitting Bengie Molina. He faced Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay, and Shea Hillenbrand in the eighth. All that came out of that was a two-out double by Overbay. Them's some results right there. Needless to say, all Mariner fans hope the shoulder soreness that threw the bullpen a bit out of whack from before the break doesn't resurface. Soriano has allowed runs in only eight of his 39 appearances this season. He's walked 13 hitters against 54 strikeouts. That's more than a four-to-one ratio for the strikeouts there. It's kinda weird to imagine this team without him, except you can just remember the Mariners' last two seasons and it'll quickly come to mind just how screwed this team was without Soriano in the back end of the bullpen. Taking into mind how well he's thrown this year, sometimes I forget that 2003 was his last (and first) full season in the Majors.
Goat: George Sherrill.
All the Mariner hitters that were hitless managed to get on base, so it turns out Sherrill has the greatest crap-per-time ratio in this game, but such a thing comes with the territory for the role in which Hargrove has placed him. He came out for the seventh and John Gibbons put in Reed Johnson (righty), who singled for Eric Hinske (lefty). Aaron Hill (righty) walked. Russ Adams was the only lefty Sherrill faced, and he bunted back to Sherrill. So Sherrill got the lefty out, but the situation was a little icky. But the good thing about the Mariner bullpen is that if Sherrill doesn't turn out so well, there's a guy like Soriano behind him to pick him up. Even with this outing, he still didn't give up any runs and now has a 3.38 ERA. He has given up runs in eight of his 39 appearances this season as well, the same amount as Soriano. Of course, Sherrill faces less hitters than Soriano, which is why his ERA is higher than that of the righthanded flamethrower. Still, Sherrill is part of the Mariners' inexpensive but formidable bullpen. It's amazing what you can do when you're not shelling out money to Eddie Guardado, Ron Villone, or Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Sure, I went back more than a year for that, but this used to be a bullpen that had a lot of money put into it.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 65-25 .722 -- W1
2002 57-33 .633 8 W3
2003 56-34 .622 9 L2
2000 53-37 .589 12 W1
2006 44-46 .489 21 W2
2005 40-50 .444 25 W1
2004 34-56 .378 31 W1
Moyer. Halladay. Today.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
No, I'm not talking about Anthrax.
But the 2005 Seattle Seahawks certainly "moshed" their way to a 13-3 record and a NFC Championship. On the surface, you can look at Shaun Alexander's MVP-season and say that he was the main reason why the 'Hawks went to the Super Bowl. In football, however, it's never about one guy.
See the 2005 Seahawks defense.
Lost in all the offensive shuffle is the defense of the 2005 Seahawks. Ray Rhodes suffers a stroke just prior to the season opener in Jacksonville and linebackers coach John Marshall takes over as interim defensive coordinator (he's now the full-time DC). A defense full of young talent and veteran leadership goes on to lead the NFL in sacks with 50 and allowed just 5 rushing touchdowns, best in the NFC.
Out of all the stats that were accumulated by the 2005 Seahawks, this was the most impressive one to me. The 2004 Seahawks allowed 17 rushing touchdowns, so for the 2005 team to allow just 5 was amazing. The incredible thing about this stat is that I didn't even realize it until a few days ago. That's how underrated the 2005 Seahawks defense was.
The 2005 schedule included the following running backs:
Fred Taylor (JAX), Warrick Dunn (ATL), Clinton Portis (WSH), Steven Jackson (STL), Tiki Barber (NYG), Edgerrin James (IND)
Those six running backs are considered to be in the NFL's Top 15. And how many of those backs scored against the Seahawks? Only Jackson was able to breakthrough into the end zone against the Seahawks defense.
2005 SEAHAWKS RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS ALLOWED (5)
Week 2 ATLANTA
(T.J. Duckett 1-yard run, 4th quarter 3:58)
Week 5 at St. Louis
(Steven Jackson 4-yard run, 3rd quarter 0:26)
Week 11 at San Francisco
(Maurice Hicks 1-yard run, 4th quarter 0:28)
Week 15 at Tennessee
(Jarrett Payton 3-yard run, 2nd quarter 6:05)
Week 17 at Green Bay
(Noah Herron 11-yard run, 2nd quarter 8:22)
Notice that just one of the five rushing touchdowns allowed by the Seahawks defense came at Qwest Field (Week 2, Atlanta). So, from September 25 (Week 3, Arizona) to January 22 (the day of the NFC Championship Game against Carolina), the Seahawks did not allow a rushing touchdown at home. In contrast, Alexander scored 15 touchdowns at Qwest Field during that span.
Yes, the Seahawks allowed 2 rushing touchdowns in the Super Bowl. But make no mistake, the Seahawks were as formidable against the run as any team in the National Football League. And to think, the Seahawks' run defense can only get better with the offseason acquisitions in LB Julian Peterson and DT Russell Davis.
Training camp is in two weeks. Time goes by so fast when I'm not posting nearly as much as I used to here. Heh.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: For the Mariners, July before the All-Star break ends up as a Spinal Tap-approved S#!+ Sandwich. Also, Operation:Melt Meche's Arm.
This one featured Nate Robertson going up against Gil Meche. Thursday's off day gave the Mariners flexibility to bump Felix Hernandez from the Sunday start in an effort to keep his innings down this season. There's a possibility that Meche may start the first game after the All-Star break as well. There were a couple of news bits after Saturday's game. One was that Kenji Johjima was going to be allowed to fly home a day early to Japan to see his newly-born third child. The other bit was that little-used lefty off the bench Roberto Petagine was designated for assignment and catcher Luis Oliveros from San Antonio would be called up in his place. On this day, however, the Mariners wore the uniforms of the Seattle Pilots and the Tigers wore uniforms that look slightly older than the ones they usually wear. Much like the Pilots, the Mariners after today will be gone for a while, only this time they'll play again on Friday as opposed to skipping town forever.
Curtis Granderson flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch. Placido Polanco flew out to Bloomquist in rightcenter. Vance Wilson bounced a 1-2 pitch to third. Meche threw 13 pitches.
Ichiro rolled the first pitch to second. Adrian Beltre bounced up the middle to Guillen. Jose Lopez took two strikes and whiffed for a third on an outside pitch. Robertson threw seven pitches.
Magglio Ordoñez flew out to Bloomquist in rightcenter on a 1-2 pitch. Carlos Guillen got ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a full count. Craig Monroe flew out high to left on a full count. Meche threw 17 pitches and had 30 through two.
Raul Ibañez rolled a 2-2 pitch to second. Richie Sexson took a 2-2 pitch for strike three. Eduardo Perez fell behind 0-2 before bouncing to Inge down the line at third on a 1-2 pitch, but that turned out to be foul. Perez bounced the next pitch for a swinging bunt along the third-base line, but Inge had far enough to run that Perez was safe with the single. Willie Bloomquist bounced the second pitch to first. Robertson threw 17 pitches and had 24 through two.
Alexis Gomez popped the second pitch to Betancourt in shallow left. Chris Shelton whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Brandon Inge worked an 0-2 count for a walk (nine pitches). Granderson fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to second. Meche threw 21 pitches and had 51 through three.
Rene Rivera got ahead 2-0 but ended up flying out to Granderson in leftcenter. Yuniesky Betancourt stung a 2-0 pitch over the mound and into center for a single. Ichiro rolled to Polanco plugging the right-side hole as Betancourt moved to second. Beltre popped very high to Wilson in front of the first-base dugout. Robertson threw 14 pitches and had 38 through three.
Polanco grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to a diving Sexson off of first, but Meche had trouble catching Sexson's toss to first and didn't get his foot on the bag in time (single). Wilson fell behind 0-2 and flew out to right on a 1-2 pitch. Ordoñez was down 0-2 and clubbed a thigh-high 1-2 pitch into the back of the Mariners' bullpen, scoring Polanco.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 0
Guillen rolled the second pitch to short. Monroe rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single. Gomez looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right for a single, moving Monroe to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Shelton was up 2-0 but whiffed on the next three pitches, the final one being a slider. Meche threw 28 pitches and had 79 through four.
Lopez flew out to center on a 2-0 pitch. Ibañez tapped an 0-2 pitch in front of the plate, fielded by Wilson. Sexson popped very high to right. Robertson threw nine pitches and had 47 through four.
Inge took a 2-2 fastball over the inside corner. Granderson took a 2-2 fastball over the inside corner. Polanco popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow right. Meche threw 12 pitches and had 91 through five.
Perez stroked the second pitch through the left side for a single. Bloomquist whiffed on the second pitch to muff the hit-and-run, and Perez was dead to rights between first and second. Bloomquist ended up bouncing a 1-2 pitch off the track and over the wall in center for a ground-rule double as Granderson didn't get the best jump on the ball. Rivera crushed the second pitch, depositing it into the Mariners' bullpen to score Bloomquist. Really.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 2
Betancourt flew out to center on the second pitch. Ichiro broke his bat and looped the second pitch to second. Robertson threw 12 pitches and had 59 through five.
Wilson flew out to right. Bill Schonely, voice of the Seattle Pilots and later voice of the Portland Trail Blazers, was in the booth for a visit. Ordoñez got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full count. Guillen bounced a 2-0 pitch to first, where Sexson threw to second for the force, but Guillen beat the back end of the double play. Chaves visited the mound. Monroe watched as Guillen was nearly picked off of first. Monroe ended up whiffing on a 2-2 slider away. Meche threw 19 pitches and had 110 through six. In an odd note, Felix Hernandez was seen warming up in the bullpen during this half inning.
Beltre popped to shallow center on a 1-2 pitch. Lopez popped the first pitch to first. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch for strike three. Robertson threw ten pitches and had 69 through six.
Gomez grounded a full-count pitch to Sexson behind the bag at first. Shelton was up 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch over the outer half. Inge fell behind 0-2 whiffed on a 2-2 inside pitch that got away from Rivera (2-3 putout).
Meche's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 126 pitches (80 strikes)
Sexson popped high to Granderson in rightcenter. Perez took a first-pitch strike followed by four straight balls. Bloomquist whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Rivera roped a single into left, moving Perez to second. Betancourt rolled the second pitch to the left side, where it got under the glove of Inge and it somehow got through Guillen as well, enabling Perez to score. Rivera went to third on the play, but Betancourt was nailed trying to get to second. Robertson threw 19 pitches and had 88 through seven.
»» MARINERS 3, TIGERS 2
Rafael Soriano came in for Meche. Granderson whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Polanco flew out to right on the second pitch. Wilson took a 2-2 slow slider over the outside corner.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 13 pitches (11 strikes)
Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle to a charging Polanco. Beltre slapped an 0-2 pitch along the rightfield line for a double, and it was a much easier double once Ordoñez misplayed it in the corner. Lopez looped the second pitch into left for a single, and for some reason Carlos Garcia sent Beltre all the way and Beltre was out by five feet on the relay from Gomez in left, though Wilson tagged Beltre as he went by as opposed to blocking the plate and creating a collision. Lopez went to second on the throw. Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball away.
Robertson's line: 8 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 101 pitches (71 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Ordoñez grounded hard to Beltre behind the bag at third, who stopped it and had it roll away before picking it up and making a strong throw from the third-base coaches' box in time to first. Guillen popped the second pitch high to Bloomquist in leftcenter. Monroe flew out to the rightfield track on the second pitch.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
Gameball: Rene Rivera.
With the day game coming after a night game, Rivera pretty much gets the start anyway even without Kenji Johjima flying back to Japan to see his newborn son. Still, rare is the game where Rivera goes 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. His efforts helped the 6-9 hitters in the Seattle lineup combine to go 7-for-11 to drive in and score all three of the Mariners' runs. The 2-for-3 day bumped Rivera's batting average all the way to .196. It's not just that, though. Rivera wasn't tagged for any passed balls, so that's good. Gil Meche worked in deep counts all day, which is what one can derive from his pitch count and the fact that he only walked two people, though he did strike out eight. Of course, Mike Hargrove was insane to bring him into the game for the seventh and even more so for letting Meche finish it. Rivera has started behind the plate for 14 of the Mariners' games this season, and the average line for a starting pitcher in those games is 7 innings, 2.6 runs (2.3 earned), 5.7 hits, 1.9 walks, 5.6 strikeouts, and 106 pitches (69 strikes).
Goat: Raul Ibañez.
The bad news for the Mariners was that the 1-5 hitters in the lineup combined to go 2-for-19. Ibañez chipped in with an 0-for-4 day, striking out twice. It's still been one hell of a first half for Ibañez. He goes into the break hitting .285 with an on-base mark of .352 and he's slugging .538. He's hit 20 homers and driven in 70 runs. His career high for homers is 24 (2002), which barring injury should be broken. Along with the homer mark, he has 73 games to collect 34 RBIs so he can break his career-high RBI mark from 2002 as well (103 RBIs). There were a lot of moves made in that offseason after the 2003 season that soured me on the Mariners, and when they came up empty with Miguel Tejada and threw a bunch of money at Ibañez, I was beside myself. I spent so long hoping that the Ibañez contract would blow up in the face of management, and while it still was too big of a contract at the time, one of the happier days I've had as a Mariner fan these last couple years was the day I admitted I was wrong about Raul Ibañez. This year, he's taken all of my Kansas City-was-a-hitters'-park arguments and shoved them right back into my face. Thanks, Raul. I couldn't be happier.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 64-25 .719 -- L1
2002 56-33 .629 8 W2
2003 56-33 .629 8 L1
2000 52-37 .584 12 L1
2006 43-46 .483 21 W1
2005 39-50 .438 25 L2
2004 33-56 .371 31 L2
LINEUP SINCE THE TWEAK (May 30th)
Ichiro 57-for-153 (.373), 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 17 walks, 14 strikeouts
Beltre 44-for-149 (.295), 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 21 RBIs, 13 walks, 26 strikeouts
Lopez 38-for-140 (.271), 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 18 RBIs, 7 walks, 20 strikeouts
Ibañez 42-for-132 (.318), 7 doubles, 1 triple, 12 homers, 38 RBIs, 16 walks, 25 strikeouts
Sexson 32-for-136 (.235), 5 doubles, 10 homers, 32 RBIs, 13 walks, 31 strikeouts
Everett 18-for-92 (.196), 1 double, 3 homers, 7 RBIs, 7 walks, 23 strikeouts
Johjima 35-for-113 (.310), 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Choo 1-for-11 (.091), 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Betancourt 36-for-124 (.290), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 10 RBIs, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Some Mariner pitcher. Some Blue Jay pitcher. Friday.
[initial partial post]
In 25 words or less: Can you really call it a pitchers' duel if neither of the starters get deep into the game?
This one featured Zach Miner going up against Jarrod Washburn. Possibly giving him a break for the All-Star Game, Ichiro was moved into the designated hitter slot. The bad thing about that was the accompanying move, since Hargrove started Carl Everett in rightfield instead. Absolute yuckdom. Willie Bloomquist made a start in centerfield, and there wasn't even a lefthander starting on the mound for Detroit. Someone needs to tell Hargrove that Washburn is a Mariner now and therefore Bloomquist can't hit well against him. The Mariners were trying to avoid losing their sixth straight game and their seventh of their last eight. I'd also like to bring up that the last time the Mariners won the first game of the month of July and lost all remaining games leading to the All-Star Game was only two years ago. Those mythical 2004 Mariners won the first game of July and lost the next nine up to the break. So far this July, the Mariners won the first game and have lost five straight since. They can only bottom out at seven straight losses heading into the break this season due to the All-Star Game being at an earlier date in the month. Also, the Mariners' opponents have gotten the first lead in six of the first seven games on this homestand. Finally, the news came that Gil Meche would start instead of Felix Hernandez on Sunday as a part of the whole keeping-his-innings-low thing for Felix. There are also rumblings that Meche may start the first game after the break as well.
Omar Infante bounced out to short. Placido Polanco chopped the second pitch to a charging Beltre at third. Ivan Rodriguez drilled a single over the glove of Betancourt at short. Magglio Ordoñez punched the second pitch for a single past a diving Lopez on the right side, moving Rodriguez to second. Carlos Guillen whiffed on a first-pitch breaking ball, but it got past Johjima behind the plate (passed ball) and Rodriguez and Ordoñez moved to third and second. Guillen chopped a 2-2 pitch high to short. Washburn threw 17 pitches.
Ichiro whiffed badly on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Adrian Beltre got ahead 2-0 and was jammed on a full-count and bounced to third. Jose Lopez rolled to the feet of Miner, who threw to first. Miner threw 13 pitches.
Craig Monroe grounded a 1-2 pitch hard behind the bag at third, but it ate up Beltre and went down the leftfield line for a double. Marcus Thames worked a 1-2 count full, fouled a ball off his left foot, then flew out to Bloomquist in leftcenter on the next pitch as the runners held. Chris Shelton nearly dropped a double down the rightfield line, but it went foul. Shelton ended up punching a 1-2 pitch into rightcenter for a single, scoring Monroe.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Brandon Inge foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Infante rolled to short for a 6-4 force on Shelton at second. Washburn threw 26 pitches and had 43 through two.
Raul Ibañez golfed the first pitch just over the wall inside the rightfield foul pole. That's a round 20 for Ibañez.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Richie Sexson fouled the first pitch and it went off of Rodriguez' left knee behind the plate, necessitating a visit from the trainer. Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing to Shelton on the right side (3-1 putout). Carl Everett got ahead 2-0 but was horribly fooled, whiffing on a slow curve down and away. Kenji Johjima fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Miner threw 19 pitches and had 32 through two.
Polanco lined out to left on the first pitch. Rodriguez took a 2-0 pitch and saw it fly to the backstop. Rodriguez walked on four pitches. Ordoñez grounded to short, but Betancourt bobbled it (error), but flipped to second thinking he'd get that out (looked like he did), but Rodriguez was called safe at second. Guillen shot the first pitch up the middle where Betancourt stopped it a bit, but it rolled into center for a single, scoring Rodriguez and moving Ordoñez to third.
«« TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Monroe grounded the second pitch deep into the hole on the right side, where Lopez threw to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Lopez had to make a pretty long throw to start the twin killing. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 54 through three.
Willie Bloomquist chopped to a charging Inge at third. Yuniesky Betancourt whiffed on a full-count pitch down and away. Ichiro worked a 1-2 count full and served a ball barely foul down the leftfield line that would have been a double. Ichiro walked on the next pitch, down and in. Beltre got ahead 3-1 but ended up foul-tipping a low pitch over the inside corner into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate. Miner threw 26 pitches and had 58 through three.
Thames bounced a 2-2 pitch to third. Shelton rode the first pitch to deep center, where it was apparent Bloomquist had trouble with it right away, turnning and getting too far to one side as the ball went off the end of his glove and off the track as Shelton ended up on third with a triple. There's no doubt in my mind that Jeremy Reed has that ball cleanly, but that'd be crying over spilled milk at this point. Inge fell behind 0-2 and ended up whiffing on a 2-2 fastball up and away. Infante popped the 0-2 pitch to Sexson in foul ground in front of the first-base dugout. Washburn threw 15 pitches and had 69 through four.
Lopez bounced an 0-2 pitch to the left side past Inge, but Guillen was backing up and made the backhand stop and hard throw to first to get Lopez. Ibañez roped a base hit into leftcenter that ended up being a double once Thames bobbled it, but it still went as a double. Sexson fouled off two pitches and whiffed on the third, a slider down and away that probably caught the corner. Everett whiffed on a 3-0 change before walking on the next pitch down and away. Johjima tapped a 3-1 pitch right back to the mound. Miner threw 19 pitches and had 77 through four.
Polanco got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch up and away and to the backstop. Rodriguez slapped the second pitch into rightfield for a single, mvoing Polanco to second. Ordoñez popped the second pitch high to center and Bloomquist threw to third to try to catch Polanco tagging and going to third, and Polanco did get his left foot to the bag barely in time. Hargrove came out and had some words with third-base umpire Tim Tschida. Guillen popped foul to Johjima in front of the first-base dugout. Monroe flew out to Everett near the rightfield corner on the first pitch. Washburn threw 14 pitches and had 83 through five.
Bloomquist worked an 0-2 count full before lining out to center, the first flyout recorded in the game by Miner. Betancourt dumped a 1-2 pitch into left for a single, but Thames, who at this point is a zoo with the glove, had it go past him and to the wall and Betancourt got to third (ruled a single and a two-base error). Ichiro whiffed badly on a low 1-2 breaking ball that Ichiro thought he fouled, and then Ichiro argued with plate umpire Ted Barrett. Hargrove came out to argue as well, and the umpiring crew ended up conferring, but the call stood and Hargrove walked back to the dugout. Ichiro stood and glared at Barrett for a while, and Barrett glared back until Ichiro finally walked back to the dugout, and I'm kinda surprised Barrett didn't run him from the game. Beltre walked on four pitches. Detroit manager Jim Leyland came to the mound for a visit. Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch to third for a 5-4 force at second on Beltre. Boos hailed down from the crowd.
Miner's line: 5 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 100 pitches (59 strikes)
Thames fell behind 0-2 count full before whiffing on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Shelton dumped a 1-2 pitch into shallow center, but Bloomquist dove headfirst and made the catch. Inge flew out to deep center on a 3-1 pitch.
Washburn's line: 6 inning, 2 runs (1 earned), 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 102 pitches (66 strikes)
Jamie Walker came in for Miner. Ibañez fell behind 0-2 and was ruled to have fouled a 2-2 breaking ball down and away into Rodriguez' glove as opposed to a checkswing, called ball, and a full count. Ibañez couldn't believe the call and Hargrove came out and was tossed in a close face-to-face argument with plate umpire Barrett. Not a bad ejection effort by Hargrove, probably the best thing he's done in months. Sexson popped the first pitch to Ordoñez in shallow right. Everett whiffed on a 2-2 pitch.
Walker's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Infante whiffed on a 1-2 slider. Polanco rode a highish 1-2 pitch to the wall in center for a double, but he tried to stretch it into a triple, and the relay to third beat him by a few feet. Rodriguez bounced the second pitch to short. Soriano threw ten pitches.
Jason Grilli came in for Walker, Alexis Gomez came in to play left for Thames, and Curtis Granderson came in to play center for Infante. Johjima bounced the first pitch to third. Bloomquist bounced out to second. Betancourt lined the second pitch into left for a single. Rodriguez came to the mound for a visit to stall, then Leyland came to the mound.
Wilfredo Ledezma came in for Grilli. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch through the middle for a single, snapping an 0-for-14 funk and moving Betancourt to second.
Fernando Rodney came in for Ledezma. Beltre threw a 1-2 pitch way outside and to the backstop, moving Betancourt and Ichiro to third and second. Beltre whiffed on the next pitch, a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Rodney threw five pitches.
Grilli's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (5 strikes)
Ledezma's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Ordoñez rolled the first pitch to short. Guillen singled through the right side. Monroe popped the second pitch high to Lopez behind second and in shallow center. Granderson had the hitters' counts and walked on the 3-1 pitch, moving Guillen to second.
JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Shelton bounced a 3-1 pitch up the middle to Lopez, who tagged Granderson as he went by. Putz threw five pitches.
Soriano's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 21 pitches (14 strikes)
Lopez ripped the first pitch into left for a single that was nicely cut off from the corner by Gomez. Ibañez reached a bit and popped the first pitch to right as Lopez held. Sexson popped to Polanco running just past the rightfield line. Everett popped the second pitch high to third.
Rodney's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
Inge tapped the second pitch back to the mound, where it hit Putz on the leg and bounced away, but Putz didn't find it right away. He found the ball between first base and the mound and quickly got to it and tossed barely in time to first. Gomez fouled off four straight 2-2 pitches before whiffing on the fifth, a low splitter. Polanco flew out to Everett in shallow right on the first pitch.
Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Todd Jones came in for Rodney. Johjima jumped on the second pitch, but didn't get enough of it and flew out to left. Roberto Petagine, hitting for Bloomquist, drove a 1-2 pitch to Granderson on the track in center. Betancourt got a bit too much under the second pitch, flying out high to Gomez on the track in left.
Jones' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
Gameball: JJ Putz.
It wasn't a save opportunity for him tonight, but this isn't just about giving him the gameball, it's about reflecting on what he's done this season. He has stepped in as the closer and done so well, it made it that much easier to give Eddie Guardado the change of scenery that he so badly needed. The highlight of his season so far has undoubtedly been the strikeout of Barry Bonds to end the game against the Giants at the Safe last month. My, how the splitter can split! About the only question that has arisen from Putz taking over the closer role is who takes over Putz' old role, the eighth inning. For now, I'll guess that's more Rafael Soriano than anyone else. Julio Mateo's faltering of late raises more questions about the middle relief situation of the bullpen as well. All in all, we're nearing the All-Star break and JJ Putz is the most stable member of the bullpen for your Seattle Mariners. The closer role is solid, but some of the younger arms are going to have to fit into some roles here. No doubt about it, it's a bullpen in transition.
Goat: Kenji Johjima.
Afterward I found that the Mariners were letting him leave for Japan a day early so he could see his third child that was just delivered, so congratulations to him. Still, I hate to see a good goat entry go to waste, so it proceeds as planned... The seatwarmer for Jeff Clement has been a pretty solid hitter for the Mariners this season. Like quite a few of the Mariner hitters, he had a great month of June. He hit .345 with eight doubles, a triple, five homers, and 16 RBIs. He had a .382 on-base percentage and slugged .643. With the team-wide collapse so far this month, Johjima's hitting has gone by the wayside as well. Johjima is 3-for-20 for the month, good for a .150 average. He has exactly zero extra-base hits among his three hits, and he hasn't driven in a run this month. Of course, the Mariners as a whole have only scored 20 runs this month while the opposition has scored 44. The Mariners have played seven games this month, so they're getting outscored by an average of about 6-3 every game. Referring to a stat in the very first paragraph, the Mariners' opposition has scored the first run in seven of the last eight games. That's not a good way to spur up the crowd during a homestand. I'm so hung up about the team's performance that I don't feel like hammering on Johjima for his eighth passed ball this year or how Felix Hernandez usually sucks with him behind the plate.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 64-24 .727 -- W2
2003 56-32 .636 8 W1
2002 55-33 .625 9 W1
2000 52-36 .591 12 W1
2006 42-46 .477 22 L6
2005 39-49 .443 25 L1
2004 33-55 .375 31 L1
LINEUP SINCE THE TWEAK (May 30th)
Ichiro 57-for-149 (.383), 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 17 walks, 14 strikeouts
Beltre 43-for-145 (.297), 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, 21 RBIs, 13 walks, 26 strikeouts
Lopez 37-for-136 (.272), 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 18 RBIs, 7 walks, 19 strikeouts
Ibañez 42-for-128 (.328), 7 doubles, 1 triple, 12 homers, 38 RBIs, 16 walks, 23 strikeouts
Sexson 32-for-133 (.241), 5 doubles, 10 homers, 32 RBIs, 13 walks, 30 strikeouts
Everett 18-for-92 (.196), 1 double, 3 homers, 7 RBIs, 7 walks, 23 strikeouts
Johjima 35-for-113 (.310), 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 16 RBIs, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Choo 1-for-11 (.091), 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Betancourt 34-for-121 (.281), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 9 RBIs, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Robertson. Meche. Today.