Saturday, August 26, 2006
In 25 words or less: Jamie Moyer gets traded off and now it's the Mariners who are dealing out the shutout(s). Go figure.
This one featured Curt Schilling going up against Jake Woods. It was Cougar Night at the ballpark, though it didn't involve John Olerud, and thankfully it didn't involve Aaron Sele. The only Cougar-related baseball anecdote I have is that at the baseball camp I went to just over eight years ago, we all got pointers from then-Cougar head coach Steve Farrington. In game news, Willie Bloomquist once again got another start at third due to the apparently persistent neck pain of Adrian Beltre. Manny Ramirez was not in the Boston lineup due to knee problems, hamstring problems, etc. At one point, Dave Niehaus remarked that Dustin Pedroia is "only five-foot-eight," prompting me to say "hey, that's not that short," but then I realized I'm like 5'7" and therefore a midget in any state not named Hawaii. See, we short people don't have to do that Tony Phillips thing at the plate and really crouch down. Our strike zones are automatically miniscule. My problem is that if I drew walks, I'd get out on the bases and run like an offensive tackle. I was a no-tool player, and what do no-tool players do? I don't know, but this one watches the Mariners every night and posts about it.
Coco Crisp was up 2-0 before popping out to Ichiro in leftcenter. Mark Loretta was up 2-0 before walking on a full count. David Ortiz was ahead 3-0 before shooting a 3-1 pitch through a diving Sexson and into right for a single, moving Loretta to second. Wily Mo Peña was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 sinker. Mike Lowell fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a breaking ball down and in. Woods threw 25 pitches.
Ichiro got just under the first pitch, taking Kapler barely short of the rightfield track. Chris Snelling stroked a single into shallow center. Jose Lopez popped the first pitch to Loretta on the right side near the plate. Raul Ibañez poked a 2-2 pitch past Loretta and into the rightfield corner for a double, and Snelling scored easily after Kapler had some issues with fielding the ball.
»» MARINERS 1, RED SOX 0
Richie Sexson grounded the second pitch hard to second. Schilling threw 12 pitches.
Gabe Kapler walked on a 3-1 pitch way off the plate outside. Doug Mirabelli had the hitters' counts before popping the 3-1 pitch to Sexson in front of the mound, who caught it over the more diminutive Bloomquist as minor contact was made between the two on the play. Dustin Pedroia drilled an 0-2 pitch into left for a single, moving Kapler to second. Alex Cora popped to Sexson beyond the first-base bag, just onto the outfield grass as the infield fly rule had been called. Crisp was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. Woods threw 24 pitches and had 49 through two.
Ben Broussard fouled off three 0-2 pitches before whiffing on a fourth, a splitter in the dirt. Kenji Johjima punched the second pitch through the left side for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt flew out to right. Willie Bloomquist flew out to a running Kapler in shallow right near the line. Schilling threw 14 pitches and had 26 through two.
Loretta bounced the second pitch to Bloomquist, who charged an had the ball bounce up his left arm and away, but he got back to it and threw in time to first to get a slow-moving Loretta. Ortiz bounced a 2-0 pitch up the middle to Betancourt, who had been playing on the second-base side of the second-base bag. Peña foul-tipped an 0-2 high fastball into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Woods threw eight pitches and had 57 through three.
Ichiro bounced a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Snelling whiffed on a low 2-2 splitter. Lopez bounced back to the mound. Schilling threw 15 pitches and had 41 through three.
Lowell popped the first pitch to second. Kapler was down 0-2 and nubbed a 2-2 pitch to second. Mirabelli bounced a 1-2 pitch off the side of the mound and Lopez got to it and threw to first as he was involved in all three putouts in the inning. Woods threw ten pitches and had 67 through four.
Ibañez grounded the second pitch to second. Sexson couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 splitter in the dirt. Broussard fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Schilling threw 12 pitches and had 53 through four.
Pedroia was up 2-0 before popping to Sexson in the first-base coaches' box. Cora hit a 1-2 pitch for a soft liner that was nearly caught by a leaping Lopez, but he had it go off the end of his glove and into center for a single. Crisp walked on a low 3-1 pitch, moving Cora to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound. Loretta popped a 2-0 pitch to Lopez on the rightfield grass with the infield fly rule called. Ortiz bounced the second pitch to first as Woods averted disaster. Woods threw 21 pitches and had 88 through five.
Woods' line: 5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 88 pitches (50 strikes)
Johjima was down 0-2 before lining a 1-2 pitch to Lowell reaching up at third to prevent a double down the line. Betancourt stuck a belt-high second-pitch fastball through the left side for a single. Bloomquist was down 0-2 and lined a 2-2 pitch into shallow rightcenter that Crisp made a dive for and missed by about a foot, and it rolled all the way to the wall to score Betancourt and enable Bloomquist to wind up on third with a triple.
»» MARINERS 2, RED SOX 0
Ichiro tapped a horribly low 1-2 splitter to a drawn-in Pedroia on the right side coming in from second, who bobbled the ball a bit but still found it in time to get Ichiro at first as Bloomquist held at third. Snelling was up 3-0 before foul-tipping a vile full-count breaking ball into Mirabelli's glove behind the plate. Schilling threw 21 pitches and had 74 through five.
Julio Mateo came in for Woods. Peña popped a 1-2 pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter. Lowell flew out to left on a 2-0 pitch. Kapler got ahead 2-0 before flying out to Ibañez a few steps short of the leftfield track. Mateo threw 12 pitches.
Lopez hit a 2-2 pitch to center that Crisp could have easily had a sliding catch on, but he trapped and bobbled it away to give Lopez the single. Ibañez was down 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch up the middle, where Cora made a dive behind the bag at second and tried to shovel it to Pedroia covering the bag (trying to force out Lopez), but it went past, and Schilling backed up the play but threw past third (again trying to get Lopez), enabling Lopez to score and Ibañez to move to second.
»» MARINERS 3, RED SOX 0
Sexson was ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a full-count splitter down and away. Broussard laced the first pitch for a double near the rightfield corner to score Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 4, RED SOX 0
Johjima drilled a single into left to score Broussard, but Peña overran the ball, prompting Johjima to try to take second base, but the throw beat him to second.
»» MARINERS 5, RED SOX 0
Betancourt was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball off the plate away.
Schilling's line: 6 innings, 5 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 104 pitches (73 strikes)
Mirabelli rolled an 0-2 pitch to Betancourt in the hole on the left side. Pedroia popped the second pitch to Lopez on the outfield grass on the right side. Cora popped the second pitch high to first. Mateo threw seven pitches.
Bryan Corey came in for Schilling. Bloomquist reached and looped out to Pedroia moving into shallow right. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch back to the mound. Snelling knocked a liner into the gap and to the wall in rightcenter for a double. Lopez punched the second pitch for a single through the left side to score Snelling, who drew a short throw from Peña that let Lopez move to second.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 0
Ibañez watched as Lopez was nearly picked off of second by Mirabelli. Ibañez walked on a 3-1 breaking ball away. Sexson grounded a 2-2 pitch hard back to the mound.
Corey's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
Crisp lined out to center on the second pitch. Loretta dumped the first pitch into shallow center for a single.
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Mateo. Ortiz rolled a ball through the left side, but Lopez (shifted into shallow right) got it and threw back to Bloomquist at covering second (4-5 forceout). Eric Hinske, hitting for Peña, was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball. O'Flaherty threw nine pitches.
Mateo's line: 2 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)
Kason Gabbard came in for Corey and Hinske stayed in to play left. Broussard was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Johjima rolled a 2-2 pitch to third. Betancourt popped the first pitch to Loretta near the first-base coaches' box. Gabbard threw 11 pitches.
Gabbard's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Lowell popped a 2-2 pitch to center. Kapler dropped a 2-2 pitch beyond the third-base bag and toward the leftfield corner for a double. Mirabelli split his bat on the first pitch and popped out to right. Pedroia bounced out to short.
O'Flaherty's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
It's been a somewhat weird month for Lopez. He's sandwiched an icky middle of the month with a good week and the last four to six days. He had a couple of three-hit games to end July ran an eight-game hitting streak that ended with the middle game of the Tampa Bay sweep. In that span, he hit .472 (17-for-36) with three doubles and four RBIs (those were in July), striking out once along the way. Then he, like many of the Mariners, went cold during the losing streak, though Lopez was hitless through the last two games of the Tampa Bay series as well. From that span up until the Mariners ended the losing streak, Lopez hit .180 (9-for-50) with two doubles, zero RBIs, and five strikeouts. The Mariners right now have won three of four, and Lopez has a four-game hitting streak to correspond with the return of Mariner wins. In the last four games, he is 7-for-16 (.438) with four RBIs, no walks, and a strikeout. Even with that .180 stretch in there, Lopez is hitting .293 in August. He hasn't walked in the month, but we pretty much know Chris Snelling is the only hitter that draws walks for this team. Of course, there are two most concerning things about all of this. One is that the RBI he had in the middle game of the Yankee series was his first RBI in the entire month of August. The second is that he's without a homer in August. And July. And every game in June other than the first one. His power stroke is probably lying under some creepy abandoned railroad trestle somewhere.
Goat: Richie Sexson.
He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. In other words, it's a pretty standard Richie Sexson goat game. Still, Sexson so far is having his best hitting month of the season, currently at .267. He's slugging .507 for the month after a .539 June and a .567 July. His .337 on-base percentage for the month is his highest for a month this season. He's played twenty games this month and has seven hitless games. Of the 13 other games, he has six multi-hit games (one three-hit game among those). He has struck out 22 times in the month with a little less than a week to go, so he'd need to fan just two more times to make it his highest strikeout month since his strikeout-happy May. For the sanity of everyone following this team, let's hope he doesn't pile up 15 strikeouts in the next six games to top his May mark of 36. In categories less infuriating, his high homer month was last month, when he hit nine (he has four so far in August). His high RBI month is June, when he drove in 26 runs (he has 15 so far this month). He's on pace to finish the season with 34 homers, which is pretty good considering the horrible first two months he had. He's also on pace to finish with 110 RBIs. His career highs in both categories are 45 homers and 125 RBIs.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 92-36 .719 -- W3
2002 77-51 .602 15 W2
2003 76-52 .594 16 L3
2000 70-58 .547 22 L3
2006 59-69 .461 33 W2
2005 54-74 .422 38 L2
2004 48-80 .375 44 W2
Wells. Meche. Tonight.
Friday, August 25, 2006
In 25 words or less: The first series win in two weeks isn't such a big deal until you consider that 11-game losing streak that happened as well.
This one featured Randy Johnson going up against Jarrod Washburn. Adrian Beltre hurt his neck breaking up the double play on Friday night, forcing Willie Bloomquist into the starting lineup at third. Translation: bunt to the third-base side. Also, TJ Bohn got his first Major League start, taking rightfield. Richie Sexson was the designated hitter on this night as Eduardo Perez played in the field at first. Kenji Johjima started behind the plate for the Mariners, who had penciled in Rene Rivera behind the plate on the three previous lineup cards. Alex Rodriguez missed the middle game of the series with some throat-related virus and didn't start in this game either. In the game post from the night before, I lamented that there was no way the Mariners would win this game. Of course, the last time I did such a thing, the Mariners won that game as well. Regardless of what happened in this game, the Mariners would face the Red Sox the next night with Curt Schilling on the mound. Yes, that's Johnson and Schilling on consecutive nights, except they won't be facing the Diamondbacks of the recent past.
Johnny Damon had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch low and away. Derek Jeter took a 2-2 fastball over the inside corner. Bobby Abreu took an 0-2 pitch barely off the outside corner but whiffed on a change on the next pitch. Jason Giambi rode a 2-2 pitch to deep leftcenter, but Ichiro ran it down. Intriguingly, the cameras caught Washburn talking with plate umpire Jeff Nelson before the commercial break. Washburn threw 19 pitches.
Ichiro was ahead 3-0 and one-hopped to the centerfield wall on a 3-1 pitch for a double. Willie Bloomquist popped the second pitch to rightcenter, and Ichiro tagged and went to third easily (Damon's arm). Jose Lopez lined an up-and-away second-pitch fastball into right for a single, scoring Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 1, YANKEES 0
Richie Sexson got jammed a bit, flying out to fairly deep center on the second pitch. Eduardo Perez was down 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to third. Johnson threw 16 pitches.
Jorge Posada took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Robinson Cano fell behind 0-2 and hit a low liner to Snelling in left on a 1-2 pitch. Melky Cabrera whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 32 through two.
Kenji Johjima nearly doubled down the leftfield line but ended up popping to Wilson on the infield on a 2-2 pitch. Yuniesky Betancourt busted his bat on the first pitch and bounced out to second. TJ Bohn whiffed on an 0-2 slider down and in. Johnson threw 11 pitches and had 27 through two.
Craig Wilson poked a 2-0 pitch over the mound and up the middle for a single. Nick Green waved at an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Damon drilled a hanging breaking ball into right for a single, moving Wilson to third. Jeter rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Wilson and moving Damon to second.
»» YANKEES 1, MARINERS 1
Abreu worked a 1-2 count full (supposedly checking his swing on a 2-2 pitch) before whiffing on a curve down and away. Giambi worked an 0-2 count full (taking a 2-2 curve barely off the inside corner) before whiffing on a breaking ball away. Washburn threw 26 pitches and had 58 through three.
Snelling poked the second pitch just inside the leftfield line for a double. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to second, moving Snelling to third. Bloomquist unleashed a swinging bunt on the first pitch, rolling it along the first-base line, where it never rolled foul and Snelling stayed at third on the single. Lopez did the same as his first at-bat, getting an 0-2 fastball away and sticking a single into right, scoring Snelling and moving Bloomquist to third.
»» MARINERS 2, YANKEES 1
Sexson nearly drilled the first pitch down the leftfield line for a double. Sexson didn't get all of an 0-2 slightly inside pitch, but nonetheless dumped it into the leftcenter gap, rolling it to the wall for a double to score Bloomquist and Cabrera. Pitching coach Ron Guidry visited the mound.
»» MARINERS 4, YANKEES 1
Perez took a full-count slider over the inner half. Johjima bounced the first pitch to second. Johnson threw 18 pitches and had 45 through three.
Posada took an 0-2 pitch just above the left hip, and Washburn was none too pleased about this, and neither was I. Cano smacked the second pitch past the reach of a diving Betancourt and into center for a single, moving Posada to second. Cabrera whiffed on a full-count slider, making it a season-high eight strikeouts for Washburn. Wilson took a low second pitch and Johjima caught Cano napping off of first, throwing over to Perez, who took the throw and laid down to block the bag as he tagged Cano for the out. Wilson walked on a 3-1 high curve. Green was hit by the second pitch, loading the bases. Damon hit a sinking liner to left on a 1-2 pitch, but it was caught on the run by Snelling heading toward the line. Washburn threw 22 pitches and had 80 through four.
Betancourt popped an 0-2 pitch to Damon in rightcenter. Bohn bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Snelling fell behind 0-2 and took a 2-2 pitch barely down and away before taking Abreu to the rightfield track on a full-count pitch. Johnson threw 17 pitches and had 62 through four.
Jeter bounced the first pitch just inside the rightfield line in the corner and into the stands in foul ground for a ground-rule double. Abreu drove the first pitch to Ichiro in leftcenter, who threw quickly to third to hold Jeter at second. Giambi got under one, flying out high to right. Posada was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away. Washburn threw nine pitches and had 89 through five.
Ichiro took a 1-2 fastball that apparently caught the outside corner. Bloomquist bounced a 2-2 pitch to second. Lopez popped the second pitch to first. Johnson threw 13 pitches and had 75 through five.
Cano was horribly jammed on the second pitch, punching a ground ball past the mound to Betancourt, who threw into the runner to pull Perez off the bag, but Perez came off and tagged Cano in the chest for Washburn's first infield out of the night. Cabrera flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Wilson was down 0-2 and bounced a soft grounder in front of the bag at second, where Betancourt negotiated the hop while charging, then he threw in time to first. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 100 through six.
Sexson grounded an 0-2 pitch to Green at third, who made a nice sliding stop and threw in time to first. Perez walked on a low full-count pitch. Johjima bounced a 1-2 pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Johnson threw 15 pitches and had 90 through six.
Green got behind 0-2 and rode a 2-2 pitch to deep centerfield, but it was nicely caught on the run by Ichiro reaching high above his head on the track. Damon quickly was the buzzkill, dropping the barrel on a first-pitch fastball, putting it into the second row of rightfield seats.
»» MARINERS 4, YANKEES 2
Julio Mateo came in for Washburn. Jeter rolled the first pitch softly to second. Abreu popped high to Betancourt backing into shallow leftcenter on a somewhat treacherous play as Snelling and Ichiro peeled away at the last second. Mateo threw four pitches.
Washburn's line: 6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, 108 pitches (68 strikes)
Mateo's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (3 strikes)
Betancourt reached on an up-and-away 0-2 pitch, popping to shallow center. Bohn fouled off a 3-0 pitch (they gave him the green light) before walking on a 3-1 pitch that was low. Snelling lined the first pitch to Abreu in front of the rightfield track on the first pitch and looked to lose the ball in the lights, though I think it was more likely he was trying to deke Bohn off of first. Ichiro bounced the first pitch through the right side for a single to move Bohn to second. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to Abreu in front of the rightfield track. Johnson threw 12 pitches and had 102 through seven.
George Sherrill came in for Mateo and Ben Broussard came in for Perez to play first. Giambi whiffed on a 2-2 fastball up and away. Posada was up 2-0 before flying out to right. Cano fell behind 0-2 and popped to Ichiro in leftcenter on a 1-2 count. Sherrill threw 14 pitches.
Sherrill's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (9 strikes)
Lopez just missed doubling the first pitch into the leftfield corner. Lopez looped an 0-2 pitch to Cano moving into the outfield grass on the right side. Sexson popped the first pitch very high to Damon in leftcenter. Broussard bounced along the first-base line to Wilson, who stepped on the bag. Johnson threw seven pitches and had 109 through eight.
Johnson's line: 8 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 109 pitches (80 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Cabrera fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to Broussard at first, who had it go off his glove and he booted it before gobbling it up and tossing to a covering Putz at the first-base bag. Bernie Williams, hitting for Wilson, shot a grounder to the mound that went off of the leg of Putz and ricocheted to Lopez at second, who threw in time to first. Trainer Rick Griffin came to the mound to make sure Putz was okay. Alex Rodriguez, hitting for Green, took an 0-2 pitch just off the outside corner before whiffing on a belt-high 2-2 fastball.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Jarrod Washburn.
Was this a world-beating start for Washburn? No. Was this his best start of the year? No again. When you consider the kind of starting pitching the Mariners have gotten lately out of their rotation, however, this start was exactly what the team needed. The team won the first game of the series on Tuesday night with five innings from Cha Seung Baek, which really doesn't do the bullpen many favors in terms of rest. Though the middle game of the series unquestionably was terrible for the Mariners, Joel Piñeiro gets minor credit for being able to finish off the game after Felix Hernandez was raked over the coals and couldn't get out of the fourth inning. The last two really decent Mariner starts before this game involved Jake Woods on Sunday making his first Major League start and Jamie Moyer making his final start as a Mariner last Thursday. Then again, Washburn somehow racked up nine strikeouts in this game, besting his previous season high by two. Given that, I guess this gameball fits in the "this may never happen again this season" category. How often is Washburn going to record more strikeouts in a game where Randy Johnson is on the mound for the opposing team?
Goat: Kenji Johjima.
In a pretty good team win, Johjima is merely the guy with the worst batting line. I already gave Washburn the gameball, the bullpen threw 2 2/3 perfect innings, and only Betancourt was the other 0-for-3. Johjima left two runners on base and Betancourt left none. The Mariner catcher also grounded into a double play. Still, Johjima snap-threw to nail Robinson Cano leading too far off of first, which was a key play considering the Yankees had two on and one out in the fourth with the Mariners trying to protect a 4-1 lead. That inning ended with the Chris Snelling running catch on the Johnny Damon fly ball. So far in the month of August, Johjima is hitting 20-for-63 (.317) with three doubles, a homer, and five RBIs, walking once and striking out five times. Johjima returned to the starting lineup in this game after Rene Rivera got three starts in succession, relegating Johjima to pinch-hitting duty. Still, the Mariners have a catcher that's hitting .292 to extend the meat of the order a little further down the lineup card.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 91-36 .717 -- W2
2002 76-51 .598 15 W1
2003 76-51 .598 15 L2
2000 70-57 .551 21 L2
2006 58-69 .457 33 W1
2005 54-73 .425 37 L1
2004 47-80 .370 44 W1
Schilling. Woods. Tonight.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
In 25 words or less: I know we've got to give him time to mature, but Felix has been really tough for me to watch this year.
This one featured Chien-Ming Wang going up against Felix Hernandez. The Mariners were trying to put together their first winning streak since the home sweep against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which ended on August 9th. Of course, a loss would send them to a futility string of 12 losses in 13 games. Worse yet, the pitching matchup for the third and final game of the series (the next night) was pitting Randy Johnson up against Jarrod Washburn, almost surely a loss. So, this game basically dictated whether the Mariners would come away from the series with a win. Of course, Wang has owned the Mariners in the past. Sinkerballers aren't friendly to the Mariner bats, though they usually end up in fairly quick losses, so they don't waste too much of your night when you're watching the sheer offensive incompetence of it all. Yes, it's back to business as usual in Marinerland. The results are mostly the same, but at least the personnel now are younger and hopefully can learn from their mistakes and come back next year and be youthfully grand. We as Mariner fans have to have dreams.
Johnny Damon rolled a 1-2 pitch to second. Derek Jeter rolled the first pitch to second. Bobby Abreu hit a hard grounder through the mound and into center on a 3-1 pitch. Jason Giambi was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch barely inside to move Abreu to second. Jorge Posada worked a 1-2 count for a walk to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit. Robinson Cano bounced a 2-2 low fastball up the middle, scoring Abreu and Giambi.
»» YANKEES 2, MARINERS 0
Melky Cabrera fell behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Hernandez threw 32 pitches.
Ichiro rolled the first pitch to second. Chris Snelling worked a 1-2 count full before shooting a grounder through the right side for a single. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Richie Sexson bounced the second pitch to short. Wang threw 15 pitches.
Craig Wilson whiffed on an 0-2 curve down and away. Nick Green lined the second pitch into center for a single. Damon was down 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch into right, where Snelling made a dive for it but was short and trapped it as Damon had the single and Green moved to second. Jeter bounced to short to start a 6-4-3 double play. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 45 through two.
Raul Ibañez worked an 0-2 count full before flying out near the leftfield corner. Jose Lopez bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Ben Broussard grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to second. Wang threw 13 pitches and had 28 through two.
Abreu drilled the second pitch off the side of the mound, but Lopez was able to field it from the outfield grass behind second base and throw in time to first. Giambi whiffed on a 2-2 curve. Posada took an 0-2 curve barely off the plate, but whiffed on the next pitch, an inside curve. Hernandez threw 11 pitches and had 56 through three.
Yuniesky Betancourt bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Rene Rivera got ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a 2-2 slider on the outside corner. Ichiro whiffed horribly on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Wang threw 14 pitches and had 42 through three.
Cano walked on four pitches. Cabrera broke his bat on the second pitch, lining a single into center to move Cano to second. Wilson whiffed on an 0-2 curve down and away. Green slapped a first-pitch breaking ball into right for a single to load the bases, though Snelling came up throwing and nearly got Cabrera at second, but Betancourt had his foot barely taken off the bag. Damon drilled the first pitch into right for a single to score Cano and Cabrera. Snelling's throw back to the infield one-hopped Beltre and got away, enabling Damon to move to second as Green had already taken third.
»» YANKEES 4, MARINERS 0
Jeter tapped the second pitch to short, where Betancourt threw straight home and Rivera blocked the plate on Green, who was tagged out as Damon moved to third. Abreu walked on four pitches to load the bases. Giambi spanked a 1-2 pitch down the rightfield line to score Damon and Jeter, then a fan just past the tarp in foul ground down the rightfield line grabbed it and play was called dead. Giambi had the ground-rule double.
»» YANKEES 6, MARINERS 0
Posada fell behind 0-2 and grounded a 1-2 pitch up the middle and off the glove of a diving Lopez for a single to score Abreu and move Giambi to third.
»» YANKEES 7, MARINERS 0
Joel Piñeiro came in for Hernandez. Cano grounded a 2-0 pitch to short. Piñeiro threw three pitches.
Hernandez' line: 3 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 9 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 82 pitches (48 strikes)
Snelling flew out to left. Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 pitch way down and away. Sexson drove the first pitch and bounced it off the track and wall in rightcenter. Ibañez poped high to shallow left. Wang threw 12 pitches and had 54 through four.
Cabrera rolled a 3-1 pitch to second. Wilson smoked a single into left. Green popped the second pitch high to left. Damon flew out to Snelling in rightcenter on a 1-2 pitch. Piñeiro threw 16 pitches and had 19 total.
Lopez chopped the first pitch up the middle to Jeter moving behind the bag at second, but Jeter had some trouble with the transfer and had no play. Broussard hit a hard grounder on the second pitch right to Jeter at short to start a 6-4-3 double play. Betancourt smacked the second pitch, sending a low liner right into the glove of Abreu in right. Wang threw five pitches and had 59 through five.
Jeter bounced the first pitch to short. Abreu was up 3-1 before walking on a full-count curve up and away. Giambi watched Rivera whiff with his glove on a pitch as it rolled to the backstop (passed ball), enabling Abreu to move to second. Giambi walked on a full-count curve down and in. Posada whiffed on a 1-2 low change. Cano bounced the first pitch to first (3-1 putout). Piñeiro threw 18 pitches and had 37 total.
Rivera bounced the second pitch to second. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to second as well. Snelling whiffed on a full-count sinker down and in. Wang threw ten pitches and had 69 through six.
Cabrera bounced the first pitch to second. Wilson popped to Betancourt in shallow center on the second pitch. Green lined the first pitch through the left side for a single. Damon popped a 3-1 pitch high to short. Piñeiro threw nine pitches and had 46 total.
Willie Bloomquist, hitting for Beltre for what hopefully isn't an injury, popped the second pitch to second. Sexson pounded a 2-2 pitch to Green at third, who made a nice backhand stop to a knee on the grounder, but hurried his throw to first and threw it into the runner and into foul ground (single and error), moving Sexson to second. Ibañez bounced a 2-0 pitch to Wilson behind the bag at first as Sexson moved to third. Lopez chopped a 2-0 pitch over the mound and Cano got the ball at the second-base bag and threw to first, and it looked to be in time, but the umpires gave the Mariners a break as Lopez was called safe and Sexson scored.
»» YANKEES 7, MARINERS 1
Broussard poked the second pitch into center for a single, moving Lopez to second. Betancourt dumped a single in front of a charging Damon in shallow center, scoring Lopez and moving Broussard to second. Pitching coach Ron Guidry visited the mound.
»» YANKEES 7, MARINERS 2
Kenji Johjima, hitting for Rivera, grounded the second pitch to Jeter in the left-side hole, who threw to second for the force on Betancourt. Wang threw 21 pitches and had 90 through seven.
Wang's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 90 pitches (57 strikes)
Johjima stayed in the game to catch and Bloomquist stayed in to play third. Jeter slapped the second pitch into right for a single. Abreu bounced a 1-2 pitch to the wall in right for a double, moving Jeter to third. Giambi was intentionally walked to load the bases. Posada popped an 0-2 pitch to Ibañez in left as Jeter tagged and scored. The Ibañez throw to third kept Abreu from advancing to third.
»» YANKEES 8, MARINERS 2
Cano slapped the second pitch into the leftfield corner for a double to score Abreu and move Giambi to third. Chaves visited the mound.
»» YANKEES 9, MARINERS 2
Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases. Wilson whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball down and away. Green fell behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 breaking ball over the inner half for strike three. Piñeiro threw 26 pitches and had 72 total.
Mike Myers came in for Wang. Ichiro bunted the second pitch just near the plate, where Posada pounced on it and threw from the righthanded batters' box to first as Ichiro stood bewildered thinking the ball was foul as plate umpire Tim Timmons called the ball fair immediately and did have a pretty good angle on the play. Mike Hargrove came out to plead a case, and Timmons conferred with his crewmates and the call was reversed (foul ball). Ichiro ended up whiffing on a 2-2 pitch away anyway, making the call reversal somewhat moot. TJ Bohn, hitting for Snelling, turned on a 1-2 pitch and cranked it foul into the upper deck down the leftfield line. He took another ball and whiffed on the next pitch. Bloomquist bounced softly to short on a 3-1 pitch.
Myers' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Damon was ahead 3-0 and popped to center on a full count. Jeter was down 0-2 and grounded hard to third on a 2-2 pitch. Abreu rolled an 0-2 pitch to second.
Piñeiro's line: 5 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 88 pitches (52 strikes)
Octavio Dotel came in for Myers. Sexson drove a 1-2 pitch for a fly ball to the rightfield track, just getting under it. Ibañez walked on a full count. Lopez whiffed on a 1-2 pitch away. Broussard whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball.
Dotel's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
Since the coming off of the bereavement list following the birth of his twins, Sexson has gone 8-for-23 (.348) with three doubles, two homers, and five RBIs, walking twice and striking out seven times. This span has raised his season batting average by six points, his on-base percentage by seven points, and his slugging mark by 14 points. He sits right now at a .235 season batting average, which is by no means earth-shattering. Any game where he goes 1-for-4 raises his average. Still, the don't-look-now statistic of the day is that Sexson is hitting .284 so far in the month of August. That mark would be his best hitting month of the season if it held up, and the .360 on-base for August would be his best month in that category as well. His .537 slugging mark so far this month would be second only to the .567 he put up last month. I guess if there is one thing helping his numbers for this month, it'd be the fact that there aren't 12 or so at-bats in there from the series in Oakland, since that's when he was tending to his wife and newborns.
Goat: Felix Hernandez.
Like I said in the open, it's been an ordeal watching Felix pitch, as much as I badly want him to succeed. I knew he'd have some growing pains this year. I know last season when he came up, he set the bar almost impossibly high, and I knew there would be no way he'd be able to keep last year's nuttiness up through all of this season. What I didn't anticipate happening, though, was for that crazy-good version of Felix to hardly ever show up this season. If someone would have walked up to me at the end of last season and told me that after 25 starts in the 2006 season, Felix would have double-digit strikeouts zero times, I would have told them they were on crack. Sure enough, though, that is the case. The number of starts where Felix hasn't walked anyone is one, though that'd be a demonstration of crazy control. The number of starts were Felix has given up two walks or less? Sixteen. In July and August (nine starts combined), Felix is averaging three walks per start, but that's alongside only about five strikeouts per start. Last year, we saw a pitcher with amazing control. I went into this year thinking this was a guy that could carry no-hit stuff out there every five days, and he was a main reason we were all looking forward to this season -- as a matter of fact, I thought he'd be the only worthwhile reason to watch this team. I guess he still might be, but I'm not seeing the dominance from him this season, not that the environment is helping either, what with all the losing going on.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 90-36 .714 -- W1
2003 76-50 .603 14 L1
2002 75-51 .595 15 L2
2000 70-56 .556 20 L1
2006 57-69 .452 33 L1
2005 54-72 .429 36 W1
2004 46-80 .365 44 L4
Johnson. Washburn. Tonight.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
[posted in full Thu ~2:12a]
In 25 words or less: Two things I don't miss -- losing and effective wildness.
This one featured Jeff Karstens going up against Cha Seung Baek as opposed to Jaret Wright and Gil Meche, who were slated on Sunday night to start this game, but things change. Jamie Moyer was making the start on this night for the Philadelphia Phillies in Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Karstens was making his Major League debut. Obviously, Baek was called up to fill Moyer's spot. In another move, Adam Jones was sent back to Tacoma to get some sorely needed playing time. Taking his place on the roster was TJ Bohn, who would be making his big-league debut as well whenever he gets into a game. Two standby references I always liked to make when Baek took the mound either referred to the song "Loser" by Beck or to "The John Report" on Almost Live! when John Keister first reported the Mariners had drafted Baek. Keister reported that in the next round, the Mariners drafted I Suk Baad (picture of Bobby Ayala shown). The Mariners returned home and were coming off an off day after having played games for 17 straight days and going 3-14. They hoped to snap an 11-game losing streak. News also came down that Gil Meche would be skipped in the rotation, supposedly due to some tendinitis. In the game on Sunday, Adrian Beltre had a 15-game hit streak as well as a 30-game on-base streak snapped. In an intriguing move, Richie Sexson and Raul Ibañez were swapped in the order, now batting fourth and fifth, respectively. Jose Lopez was bumped down to sixth.
In that Jamie Moyer post I put up on the off day, I found out that Moyer will not fit under the criteria to have his number retired at Safeco Field. Alex Rodriguez, however, will. When that happens, I don't want to hear anybody booing that day. That was five freakin' years ago that he left for Texas. I'm over it. So when number 3 goes to the rafters, remember that it's going up there because he did some great things for this franchise.
In other semi-related news, Karstens inevitably reminds me of late ESPN personality Adrian Karsten. Also, with all the travails that happened between Team Japan and Team (South) Korea in the World Baseball Classic, is there an aura of coldness whenever Ichiro and Baek walk past one another?
Johnny Damon fell behind 0-2 and lined a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Derek Jeter bounced the second pitch to Lopez, whose tag was dodged by Damon, and he threw barely in time to first as Damon took second. Bobby Abreu worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a change up and away. Somewhat suspiciously, pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound. Jason Giambi took a 1-2 fastball barely off the inside corner before fouling off six of the next seven pitches and grounding hard to first on a full count (12th pitch of the at-bat). Baek threw 25 pitches.
Ichiro popped a 1-2 pitch to left. Chris Snelling had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch away and in the dirt. Adrian Beltre tattooed a 1-2 fastball into the Mariner bullpen.
»» MARINERS 2, YANKEES 0
Richie Sexson fell behind 0-2 and popped a 1-2 pitch high to Abreu in rightcenter. Raul Ibañez slapped a double just inside the bag down the leftfield line, where the ballgirl nicely jumped out of the way. Jose Lopez was down 0-2 and popped a 1-2 pitch to Green in shallow right. Karstens threw 27 pitches.
Alex Rodriguez was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 change away. Jorge Posada flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter on the second pitch. Bernie Williams rolled to Sexson behind the bag and on the first-base line, who underhanded to Baek covering for the out. Baek threw 11 pitches and had 36 through two.
Ben Broussard got behind 0-2 and looped a 1-2 pitch to Jeter in shallow left. Yuniesky Betancourt ripped the second pitch near the leftfield corner for a double. Rene Rivera got ahead 3-0 and lined a full-count pitch into right for a single, moving Betancourt to third. Ichiro popped a 1-2 pitch to Posada in foul ground behind the plate. Snelling foul-tipped an 0-2 pitch into Posada's glove behind the plate. Karstens threw 21 pitches and had 48 through two.
Melky Cabrera was up 3-1 before popping to Lopez on the infield grass on a full count. Nick Green rolled an 0-2 pitch to third. Damon got behind 0-2 and reached to loop a 2-2 pitch past Ibañez and to the leftfield wall for a double. Jeter had the hitters' counts (including a mighty 2-0 whiff on a high fastball) and walked. Abreu rocked the first pitch into the mass of inebriation beyond the wall in leftcenter. That came right after Dave Niehaus mentioned Abreu's home run derby exploits at the All-Star Game in Detroit in the recent past.
»» YANKEES 3, MARINERS 2
Giambi whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and in. Baek threw 24 pitches and had 60 through three.
Beltre fell behind 0-2 and popped high to Jeter in shallow left on a 1-2 pitch. Sexson blasted a second-pitch hanging curve 440 feet from the plate to some guy in a bright orange shirt to the left of Jackie Robinson's retired number 42 in the elevated leftfield bleachers.
»» YANKEES 3, MARINERS 3
Ibañez popped the first pitch to left. Lopez grounded the second pitch hard to first, where Giambi made the backhand stop (3-1 putout). Karstens threw ten pitches and had 58 through three.
Rodriguez fell behind 0-2 and ended up taking a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Posada got behind 0-2 before foul-tipping a 1-2 breaking ball into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Williams bounced a 2-0 pitch to second. Baek threw 13 pitches and had 73 through four.
Broussard popped high to fairly deep right as general manager Bill Bavasi joined Dave Niehaus and Dave Valle in the television booth. Betancourt was down 0-2 before popping to shallow center on a 1-2 pitch. Rivera rolled to third. Karstens threw ten pitches and had 68 through four.
Cabrera worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a curve down and in. Green grounded hard to third on the second pitch. Damon was up 3-1 before walking on a full-count breaking ball up and away. Jeter worked a 1-2 count for a ten-pitch walk (ball four was barely inside), moving Damon to second. Chaves visisted the mound again. Abreu took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt inside and it went to the backstop, moving Damon and Jeter to third and second. Abreu checkswung but nubbed the next pitch back to the mound. Bavasi, Niehaus, and Valle spent most of the half-inning talking about the fallacies of the salary arbitration process.
Baek's line: 5 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 103 pitches (64 strikes)
Ichiro chopped high to the mound. Snelling foul-tipped a 2-2 up-and-away breaking ball into Posada's glove behind the plate. Beltre popped the first pitch to right. Karstens threw ten pitches and had 78 through five.
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Baek. Giambi dumped a single into shallow center. Rodriguez was behind 0-2 before completely pummeling a 1-2 low fastball into an aisleway in the elevated leftfield bleachers just inside the leftfield foul pole, an estimated 438 feet from the plate.
»» YANKEES 5, MARINERS 3
Posada rolled the first pitch up the middle for a single. Williams walked on a 3-1 pitch inside and in the dirt to move Posada to second. Cabrera popped a 1-2 pitch to Snelling in rightcenter. Green whiffed on an 0-2 low slider. Damon was behind 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to second.
O'Flaherty's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 27 pitches (19 strikes)
Sexson popped a 2-2 pitch to Abreu just short of the track in rightcenter. Ibañez was up 2-0 before flying out to center. Lopez rolled the second pitch up the middle for a single. Broussard took the second pitch in the dirt and to the backstop, moving Lopez to second. Broussard was up 2-0 after the wild pitch.
Mike Myers came in for Karstens. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, inherited Broussard's 2-0 count and was given two intentional balls to finish out the walk.
Jaret Wright came in for Myers. Betancourt popped the first pitch to Abreu in shallow right. Wright threw one pitch.
Karsten's line: 5 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 91 pitches (61 strikes)
Myers' line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 pitches (0 strikes)
Sean Green came in for O'Flaherty. Jeter bounced out to first. Abreu was ahead 3-0 and took a full-count curve that nearly hit him for a walk (eight pitches). Craig Wilson, hitting for Giambi, fell behind 0-2 before rolling a 1-2 pitch to a charging Beltre near the mound, who did the charge-and-barehand thing, but this time it was a tiny bit late since he was playing a bit too far back as Abreu moved to second. Rodriguez was ahead 2-0 before getting intentionally walked to load the bases. Chaves visited the mound. Posada bounced the first pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play.
Green's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
Rivera was down 0-2 and ended up reaching on a 1-2 pitch and rolling out to short. Ichiro bounced a single off the side of the mound and into center for a single. Snelling lined the first pitch near the rightfield line for a double, moving Ichiro to third. Beltre got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away (checkswing). Sexson chopped the second pitch to short, where Jeter tossed to Green covering at second for the force on Beltre, but Beltre started his slide quite late (i.e., right before he got the bag) and took out Green, who couldn't make a throw to first to get Sexson. Ichiro scored and Snelling moved to third.
»» YANKEES 5, MARINERS 4
Ron Villone came in for Wright. Ibañez got ahead 3-0 and poked a 3-1 pitch through the right side for a single, scoring Snelling and moving Sexson to second.
»» YANKEES 5, MARINERS 5
Lopez popped a 2-0 pitch to Abreu in shallow rightcenter. Villone threw eight pitches.
Wright's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (9 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Green. Williams walked on four pitches. Cabrera bunted too hard out in front, where Soriano pounced on the ball and threw in time to second to force out Williams and foil the Yankees' sacrifice prospects.
George Sherrill came in for Soriano. Robinson Cano, hitting for Green, popped a 2-0 pitch lazily to short. Damon had the count 1-2 when Sherrill snap-threw to first as Cabrera was caught taking off for second (1-3-6 putout). Sherrill threw six pitches.
Soriano's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (1 strike)
Perez had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 fastball away. Willie Bloomquist came in to run for Perez. Betancourt bunted the second pitch along the right side, where Villone threw to a covering Cano at first (1-4 putout) as Bloomquist moved to second. Kenji Johjima, hitting for Rivera, grounded the first pitch hard to third. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Yankee pitching coach Ron Guidry came to the mound with the infielders for a visit. TJ Bohn, hitting for Snelling and making his Major League debut, got ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 high fastball. Villone threw 17 pitches and had 25 total.
Bohn stayed in to play right. Damon popped the second pitch to Bohn a couple steps short of the rightfield track.
Julio Mateo came in for Sherrill. Jeter drilled a single into right, surpassing Lou Gehrig and Williams for the franchise lead in singles. Abreu was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 belt-high fastball. Aaron Guiel, hitting for Wilson, worked a 1-2 count for a walk (last pitch up and away) to move Jeter to second, with a Chaves visit to the mound sandwiched in there. Rodriguez whiffed on a 1-2 belt-high pitch.
Sherrill's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (4 strikes)
Mateo's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
Beltre killed a 1-2 high-and-away fastball, going off of the green metal fence in front of the first row of seats beyond the rightfield wall. You know, the fence that's got the metal-grate walkway for the seating hosts between it and the wall from the field of play.
»» MARINERS 6, YANKEES 5
Villone's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 29 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: George Sherrill.
Adrian Beltre would be the obvious and too-easy gameball choice, and since I barely ever do that here unless I think it'll never happen again, the gameball goes to Sherrill. Sure, he didn't come in against the meat of the order by any means, but three outs in the late innings in a tie game are three outs nonetheless. He only faced two batters, Robinson Cano, who was pinch-hitting for the starting number-nine hitter (Nick Green) and Johnny Damon. Of course, he did sandwich the outs of those two hitters with the pickoff of Melky Cabrera at first on the snap throw to end the eighth. Sherrill has an ERA of 3.12 this season, though it seems like it'd be a lot less, or at least that's the way I feel. Of course, I forget sometimes that Sherrill doesn't pitch a whole inning every time he's in the game. In his 56 appearances this season, he has given up runs in 11. Sherrill's been used a lot more than if he were Mike Hargrove's latter-day Paul Assenmacher, and thank goodness for that, but if Sherrill's sole job were to just get lefties out, well, they're hitting .111 against him.
Goat: Eric O'Flaherty.
Of course, using only Major League material, I don't have too much to work with when it comes to O'Flaherty here other than that he's got a nice curve, he's showed some degree of fearlessness on the mound, and his surname is very Irish. The main reason I have him as the goat here is because none of the starting hitters hung up and 0-for-3 or 0-for-4, and I thought he had the worst line out of all the pitchers (Baek gets a break due to it being his first big-league start against the season; I didn't expect him to eat up seven innings or anything). Of course, he can tell his kids one day that he gave up his first big-league homer to Alex Rodriguez, who absolutely pulverized that ball into the leftfield cheap(er) seats. I took one quick look at his minor-league numbers and the thing that stuck out to me was his nice strikeout-to-walk ratios. He struck out 33 and walked six at high-A Inland Empire (16 appearances), struck out 36 and walked 15 at AA San Antonio (25 games), and struck out four and walked one in two games at Tacoma. Needless to say, the San Antonio numbers are the most meaningful out of the bunch.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 89-36 .712 -- L1
2003 76-49 .608 13 W2
2002 75-50 .600 14 L1
2000 70-55 .560 19 W1
2006 57-68 .456 32 W1
2005 53-72 .424 36 L3
2004 46-79 .368 43 L3
Wang. Hernandez. Tonight.
Monday, August 21, 2006
[NOTE -- this is sort of stream-of-consciousness, sort of me riffing]
In a Mariner mailbag column from March 20th, Corey Brock was asked a question relating to retired numbers for the Mariners (at the time, an Edgar Martinez-related question). Basically, to be eligible, a player has to be enshrined in Cooperstown and have spent five years in a Mariner uniform or come close to having his day in Cooperstown and have been a Mariner for nearly his entire career. Also, eligibility won't start until six years post-retirement (eligible for Cooperstown).
Unfortunately, under those criteria (which are frankly way too strict for this franchise, if you ask me), Jamie Moyer's number 50 will not hang from the rafters at Safeco Field. That doesn't make his time in Seattle any less significant.
Jamie Moyer was traded by the Red Sox to Seattle for Darren Bragg on July 30th of 1996, as the Mariners used the trade deadline to bolster their rotation to try and make up 2 1/2 games on the Texas Rangers with 57 games remaining. Down the stretch in his age 33 season, Moyer did his part in the Mariners' efforts to defend their 1995 AL West division title by going 6-2 in 11 starts (70 2/3 innings) with a 3.31 ERA, but ultimately the Mariners fell 4 1/2 games short of the Rangers (that made the Mariners' recent series in Arlington all the more painful since the Rangers were celebrating the tenth anniversary of that division title, but I digress).
No matter, though. Moyer went 17-5 in 30 starts (188 2/3 innings) with a 3.86 ERA in the Mariners' drive toward their second AL West division title in three years. In Game 2 of the AL Division series against his former team, the Baltimore Orioles, he went 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs but had to leave the game with an elbow strain. Unfortunately, that meant he had to hand the game over to the bullpen, which despite being a bullpen for a division-champion team was light years worse than the 2006 bullpen is great. Moyer gave up three runs in that game, which ended up as a 9-3 Oriole win.
Moyer went a combined 29-17 in 66 starts (462 1/3 innings) over the 1998 and 1999 seasons, two of the ickiest (well, until now) seasons in post-1995 Mariner history. Moyer had to shoulder more of a load for the pitching staff once Randy Johnson was traded to Houston at the 1998 deadline ("that's a f#*$ing horsesh#* trade" --David Segui), and ate up innings to the tune of his highest and third-highest innings output he had with the team.
Though the 2000 season was my favorite of the post-1995 Mariner seasons, it was one of the more turbulent ones for Moyer. He went 13-10 in 26 starts and had a ghastly ERA of 5.49, much higher than even his ERAs from the Kingdome seasons. A moment I always remember from that season was a fateful day in Chicago (August 9th) when, after the bullpen had worked a combined seven innings in a doubleheader the day before, Lou Piniella left Moyer out there to rot. He was rocked so badly that day I felt sorry for him. Frank Thomas homered off of him in consecutive innings and Ray Durham made it three straight innings in which the White Sox homered. Five of the 13 hits Moyer gave up over his 3 2/3 innings that day went for extra bases. Sadly, Moyer started out 11-3 that season but ended the year on a 2-7 slide, with the game in Chicago being a key downturn. On a side note, it was magnified even worse five days later when he gave up 11 runs again (six earned this time) at home against Detroit.
The Mariners were eclipsed down the stretch by the white-hot Oakland Athletics, who won the AL West title in 2000 in the first of their many late-season tears. Still, the Mariners won the Wild Card that season and swept the White Sox in the Division Series, clinched by a Carlos Guillen squeeze bunt in the ninth inning of Game 3. In the ALCS, the Mariners were to face the Yankees, and were wholly ready to start Jamie Moyer in Game 4. Moyer struggled down the stretch, as noted, and he came down with shoulder tightness while the Mariners used Freddy Garcia, Paul Abbott, and Aaron Sele in the three games against Chicago. Trying to test out the shoulder again, Moyer was throwing a simulation game after the Chicago series was over when the unthinkable happened. Backup catcher and playoff-ineligible Chris Widger lined a one-hopper that fractured Moyer's knee and ended his season. Paul Abbott ended up having a not-too-good outing in Moyer's place in Game 4, though when you consider Roger Clemens threw a one-hitter, walked two, and struck out 15 in a complete-game shutout, it might not have mattered. Still, Moyer missed out on a chance for postseason glory.
Moyer rebounded from the 2000 slide by being a large part of the greatest regular-season team in Mariner history, the 2001 team that easily won the AL West title. Moyer started 33 games (209 2/3 innings) with a 3.43 ERA. He was 20-6 -- he won 20 games for the first time and did so at the age of 38. The Mariners needed all five games in the Division Series to knock out Charlie Manuel's Cleveland Indians, and they won the series after trailing two games to one. Moyer pitched in Game 2, evening up the series at a game apiece by giving up one run over six innings and getting his first postseason win thanks to homers by Mike Cameron, Edgar Martinez, and David Bell. Moyer got the ball once again in the series, getting the win in the clincher on three days' rest as he gave up one run over six innings of three-hit ball in Game 5, helped by a Mark McLemore bases-loaded single as well as an Edgar Martinez RBI single. Moyer got his third win of the postseason in Game 3 of the ALCS, throwing seven innings and giving up two runs on four hits in the Bronx as the offense waited out an extremely erratic El Duque. Another memory of mine is that earlier in that season, sports radio talk-show host JT the Brick, an unabashed Yankee fan, claimed that Jamie Moyer would be toast against the Yankee lineup. Not so. That's a personal anecdote of mine. The Mariners went on to lose Game 4, the second-worst loss in my lifetime as a Seattle sports fan. In Game 5, the Mariners started Aaron Sele.
In 2002 and 2003, the Mariners won 93 games both years and failed to make the playoffs, though Moyer's numbers were still there. The 2002 season saw a 13-8 record in 34 starts with a 3.32 ERA over 230 2/3 innings, his most as a Mariner. Read that again, though. He had as many no-decisions that year as he had wins, and with a 3.32 ERA, well, make your own conclusions. The Mariners started 51-29 that season and went 42-40 over the rest of it. In 2003, the Mariners started out 42-19 and went 51-50 over the rest of the season. Moyer seemed unfazed by this, however, going 21-7 with a 3.27 ERA over 33 starts and 215 innings. He won 20 games for the second time in his career, but this time did it at the age of 40, quite the feat.
In 2004, the whole team was terrible, though Moyer did start 5-0 (he went 2-13 the rest of the way).
In 2005, Moyer was more of himself again, starting 32 games and going 13-7 with a 4.28 ERA as Moyer and Gil Meche were the only pitchers with winning records in a rotation that also included Ryan Franklin (8-15), Joel Piñeiro (7-11), and Aaron Sele (6-12 before his release). On May 30th of that season, Moyer passed Randy Johnson as the winningest pitcher in franchise history. Moyer, now more than ever the elder statesman, served not just as a starting pitcher that took the mound every five days, but also as a guru and/or wise man that younger arms (that'd be all of them) on the staff could look to for information, whether it would be about certain hitters, setting hitters up, mixing pitchers, changing speeds, hitting corners, preparation, etc.
This year, Moyer was struggling a bit, having a 6-12 record with a 4.39 ERA in 25 starts. It didn't help that his run support was atrocious, punctuated by the Mariners getting shut out six times in his starts.
This takes me to the present. Moyer was traded on Saturday with cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for Class-A pitchers Andrew Barb and Andrew Baldwin. Being a 10-and-5 guy, Moyer had to waive his no-trade clause to complete this deal, and the fact that Philadelphia is close to his hometown helped, as did the fact that Pat Gillick is the general manager for the Phillies, a team still in the hunt for the NL Wild Card.
I guess the reason why I mentioned the retired numbers thing at the beginning of this post is because if I had my way, number 50 would eventually hang from the rafters at Safeco Field. We know who all the 1995 guys are. Randy Johnson (51), Ken Griffey, Jr. (24), and Edgar Martinez (11) are all locks to have their numbers retired in Seattle, and I'd give just about anything to be there in Safeco Field when all or part of that happens. Still, for all the importance that 1995 has, for all the fans that became fans because of it, and for all the times when Rick Rizzs gushes incessantly about it, you can't just pooh-pooh the eleven seasons that have taken place since (this season is effectively done).
So when I ask myself who was tied most into the Mariners post-1995 that weren't a big part of the 1995 team, since that was eleven years ago, who do I think of? For me, the answer is Alex Rodriguez and Jamie Moyer. Back to the criteria the Mariners have set for retiring numbers, Alex Rodriguez' number 3 will be alongside 51, 24, and 11 (as I think it should, but that's a debate for another day) while the 50 of Jamie Moyer will not. This tells us that either the requirements to have your number retired by the Mariners are too strict, like I said, or that it's just incredibly hard to do so since obviously the franchise leader in wins, starts, and innings won't be able to do it. Pat Gillick's propensity to not offer contracts of longer than three years during his tenure effectively ruined the chance of having any player brought in post-1999 ending up having their numbers retired in Safeco Field. That said, Jamie Moyer is an absolute lock for the Mariners Hall of Fame, and I'll venture to guess he goes into the Mariners Hall of Fame on the same day as Dan Wilson.
Jamie Moyer. Ageless wonder. Master of what some people call the Bugs Bunny changeup. A master of preparation. A sage for younger players for advice on all things baseball. An extremely upstanding gentleman both on and off the field, as evidenced by his winning the Hutch Award, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, and Roberto Clemente Award in 2003 as well as the Branch Rickey Award in 2004, and also with the establishments of the Moyer Foundation and the Gregory Fund.
He'll still make his home in Seattle, but his presence in a Mariner uniform, though we all knew its end was one day coming, will be missed.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
There are just two things that I'm asking for tonight.
1) No injuries.
2) A better effort than last week.
WALLACE! SORGI! THE NFL ON NBC!
(It's a shame NBC couldn't have rehired Dick Enberg. If there's one guy that can be identified as "the voice of the NFL on NBC", it's Enberg. Oh my!)
[actual post ~7:22p]
In 25 words or less: They can't just leave it at nine and turn it up to ten. THIS TEAM GOES UP TO 11!
This one featured Jake Woods going up against Ervin Santana. Woods was making his first start in the Majors. The last time Woods threw was last Tuesday in Oakland, and he had a pretty shoddy outing, giving up a run and a hit and striking out three in 3 1/3 innings, but he walked four hitters. This is the 124th game of the season, and Woods is the first Mariner starting pitcher this year that isn't named Jamie Moyer, Gil Meche, Jarrod Washburn, Felix Hernandez, or Joel Piñeiro. Chris Snelling got the start in right as Ichiro (yes, Ichiro) got his fourth career start in center and first since 2002, which hopefully happens a lot more in the foreseeable future. Mike Scioscia was managing in the Angel dugout for the first time in the series after serving out his suspension following the thoroughly entertaining occurrence at the Brawlpark in Arlington. In other news, I thought I read this to be a 1:05pm start, and I fired up the MLB.tv at that time only to learn it was the bottom of the second. Boo. The Mariners hoped to not lose 11 straight, which again is the most since the 14-game franchise-record streak of 1992.
Ichiro looped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Jose Lopez couldn't hold a checkswing on an 0-2 breaking ball away. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 high breaking ball. Raul Ibañez had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch to move Ichiro to second. Richie Sexson got ahead 3-0 but whiffed on a full-count breaking ball away. Santana threw 25 pitches.
Chone Figgins tried push-bunting the second pitch to the right side but instead popped to Sexson at first. Howie Kendrick popped the second pitch near the rightfield line to Snelling, who made the catch on the run. Orlando Cabrera got ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Vladimir Guerrero popped the first pitch high to right. Woods threw ten pitches.
Ben Broussard bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Yuniesky Betancourt popped the second pitch to Cabrera in shallow left. Chris Snelling took a first-pitch strike and whiffed at the next two pitches. Santana threw eight pitches and had 33 through two.
Juan Rivera reached for an 0-2 pitch but hit a low liner right to Lopez moving into shallow center. Garret Anderson whiffed on an 0-2 curve in the dirt away. Robb Quinlan rolled the second pitch to short, but Betancourt's throw pulled Sexson off the bag and into the runner (error). Reggie Willits rolled the first pitch to short, where Betancourt tossed to the covering Lopez for the force on Quinlan. Woods threw nine pitches and had 19 through two.
Rene Rivera reached for an 0-2 pitch and popped to Figgins on the third-base dugout railing. Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch hard to Kendrick on the outfield grass in the right-side hole, who threw in time to first. Lopez lined the first pitch to J Rivera in right. Santana threw nine pitches and had 42 through three.
Jose Molina popped the first pitch to right. Figgins got ahead and later drove a pitch to deep leftcenter that got beyond the reach of a running and reaching Ichiro, and it dropped for a double. Kendrick bounced a 2-2 pitch to short. Cabrera took an 0-2 ball as Figgins took third base uncontested. Cabrera ended up popping the next pitch to Ibañez in shallow left. Woods threw 15 pitches and had 34 through three.
Beltre was up 2-0 but drove a 2-2 pitch for a flyout to deep center. Ibañez was up 2-0 before smoking a single into center. Sexson cranked the second pitch just over the centerfield wall.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 0
Broussard bounced the second pitch to first. Betancourt bounced a single through the left side. Snelling took a 1-2 pitch for a ball as Betancourt took off for second and kinda walked around the tag and came in standing up (very weird play). Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Pitching coach Bud Black came to the mound for a visit. R Rivera was ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a full-count fastball. Santana threw 29 pitches and had 71 through four.
Guerrero grounded the second pitch hard to short as Sexson picked Betancourt's high throw at first. J Rivera popped the second pitch to Ichiro in shallow center, who had to fend off the sun and fell to a knee as he made the catch. Anderson worked a 1-2 count full before rolling out to second. Woods threw ten pitches and had 44 through four.
Ichiro popped lazily to left. Lopez grounded a 3-1 pitch deep into the hole on the left side, where Cabrera planted on the outfield grass and made the long throw in time to first. Beltre bounced the second pitch to Figgins behind the bag at third, who had to have his low throw picked by Quinlan at first. Santana threw ten pitches and had 81 through five.
Quinlan was down 0-2 before throwing the barrel on an outside 1-2 pitch and poking a single into center. Willits lined out to center. Molina dumped the second pitch into shallow center, where Ichiro tried to pick it off the grass for a play at third, but he overran the ball as Quinlan went into third safely (Molina had the single). Figgins took an 0-2 fastball barely inside before whiffing on a 2-2 change away. Kendrick popped to center. Woods threw eight pitches and had 62 through five.
Ibañez popped the second pitch to Cabrera behind the second-base bag. Sexson worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Broussard fell behind 0-2 and nearly wrapped a 1-2 pitch around the rightfield foul pole. Broussard ended up whiffing on a 1-2 change up and away. Betancourt popped the second pitch into foul ground on the right side, and Figgins looked to camp under it, but the ball dropped. Betancourt ended up popping the second pitch to right. Santana threw 15 pitches and had 96 through six.
Cabrera doubled a 2-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for the first Angel runner in scoring position in the game. Guerrero dumped a ball into the rightfield corner that dropped in front of Snelling (he had him played to the gap) for a double to score Cabrera.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 1
J Rivera tapped the first pitch back to the mound as Guerrero had to hold at second. Anderson bounced an 0-2 pitch to second.
Julio Mateo came in for Woods. Quinlan popped the second pitch to Lopez in shallow right. Mateo threw two pitches.
Woods' line: 5 2/3 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 74 pitches (52 strikes)
Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a walk. R Rivera bunted an 0-2 breaking ball along the right side (3-4 putout) to move Snelling to second. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Lopez popped to Quinlan near the bag at first with the infield fly rule called. Beltre was down 0-2 and ended up getting just under a high 2-2 pitch, popping to the leftfield corner.
Santana's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts, 118 pitches (71 strikes)
Willits was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Molina popped the first pitch to a running Ichiro in shallow center. Figgins lined the second pitch right to Betancourt at short. Mateo threw eight pitches and had ten total.
Mateo's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 10 pitches (9 strikes)
JC Romero came in for Santana. Ibañez lined the second pitch into center for a single. Sexson was behind 0-2 and slowly bounced a 1-2 pitch to the left side for a 5-4 force on Ibañez at second as Sexson beat out the throw to first. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, was sent to the plate before Scioscia came to the mound with the hook.
Brendan Donnelly came in for Romero. Perez grounded the second pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Donnelly threw two pitches.
Romero's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Mateo. Kendrick was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up and in. Cabrera was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 low slider. Guerrero lasered a 1-2 pitch past a diving Betancourt and through to left for a single to move Cabrera to second. J Rivera popped the first pitch to R Rivera behind the plate.
JJ Putz came in for Soriano. Anderson slapped a 2-0 pitch through the left side for a single to score Cabrera and move Guerrero to second. Still a bit mystified why Hargrove didn't pull the usual move and put Sherrill out there.
»» ANGELS 2, MARINERS 2
Quinlan whiffed on a 1-2 fastball away. Putz threw seven pitches.
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Betancourt bounced the second pitch to third. Snelling slowly bounced an 0-2 pitch to short, but he beat the throw to first. Kenji Johjima, hitting for R Rivera, lined out to left. Ichiro lined out to center on an 0-2 pitch.
Donnelly's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (12 strikes)
Willits grounded a 1-2 pitch to first, where Sexson dove for the ball and had it roll off his glove, and Lopez backing up couldn't get his throw over to first in time. Molina bunted a 2-0 pitch out in front, where Putz threw to first, moving Willits to second. Figgins spanked the first pitch over Betancourt at short and into left, scoring Willits as Ibañez couldn't get gathered enough to make a good throw home.
»» ANGELS 3, MARINERS 2
Putz' line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Jake Woods.
For coming right out of the bullpen, he did incredibly well and should have had the win in this game until the usual Marinerality (formerly called "fate") stepped in and intervened. Still, Woods was extremely efficient against his former team, throwing only the 74 pitches and getting into the sixth. If his arm was stretched out to get deeper into games, Woods could have gotten into the eighth inning based solely on pitch count, though he was starting to struggle a tiny bit in the sixth, but I think he probably could have gotten through that inning. If he didn't get through it, would it have mattered anyway? He still would have had a better five-inning stretch 97% of the Mariner starting pitching we've seen the last three weeks. Now that we've seen Jamie Moyer shipped away and Mark Lowe put onto the disabled list, let's hope that Cha Seung Baek (I wish it were someone else) is put into the empty spot in the rotation instead of Joel Piñeiro. Basically, the Mariners just have to stay afloat bullpenwise until September rolls in and call-ups are made, and then it gets real fun.
Goat: Jose Lopez.
I guess I'll get to my standby Lopez material before I get to the other stuff. Lopez was moved into the third slot in the lineup on May 30th, changing the entire course of his season. Before Mike Hargrove moved Adrian Beltre to the second slot in the lineup and Lopez moved to the third, Lopez was 60-for-215 (.279) with ten doubles, five triples, eight homers, and 40 RBIs along with seven walks and 28 strikeouts over a span of 52 games. He also slugged .484 in that span. Lopez has played 63 games since (yes, I know he got moved back into the second hole, but that's not the point here) and in that span he is 70-for-264 (.265) with 15 doubles, two triples, one homer (way back on June 2nd), and 22 RBIs along with ten walks and 34 strikeouts. His slugging percentage obviously would be much more crappy with just the one homer, and it's .348 over the span. Adrian Beltre, on the other hand, was 42-for-190 (.221) with six doubles, a triple, two homers, and 14 RBIs along with 13 walks and 40 strikeouts. He also slugged .295 over his 52 games before the shakeup, and he also was 9-for-11 on steal attempts. In the 71 games since, Beltre is 86-for-293 (.294) with 27 doubles, three triples, 11 homers, and 42 RBIs along with 25 walks and 49 strikeouts. He doesn't steal as much now and is only 1-for-3 since, but the .519 slugging mark more than offsets that. I guess the team is getting more of what they paid for with Beltre but aren't getting the bang for the buck they had for the first two months with Lopez. Okay, I guess there is no other stuff other than that I hope Lopez can maintain a full consistent season at the plate next year.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 89-35 .718 -- W2
2002 75-49 .605 14 W1
2003 75-49 .605 14 W1
2000 69-55 .556 20 L8
2006 56-68 .452 33 L11
2005 53-71 .427 36 L2
2004 46-78 .371 43 L2
Wright. Meche. Tuesday.
In 25 words or less: It just continues! My oh my!!! Party like it's 1992! Crank up something off of this list to put yourself in a time warp!
The Mariners hadn't lost ten straight since 1992. News came down during the game that Jamie Moyer, the team's all-time winningest pitcher with a record of 145-87, had waived his no-trade clause and had been traded to Philadelphia with cash for Andrew Barb and Andrew Baldwin, two class-A pitchers. Would the Mariners win one for Jamie? It would be kind of moot since he wasn't there for the game anyway. Apparently Willie Bloomquist was supposed to start once again in centerfield, but was out with a sore back. The obvious joke here would be to say he got it from striking out in all three of his at-bats on Friday night. Moyer reactions aside, however, the Mariners were trying to avoid being the double-digit losing streak. The aforementioned 1992 team did lose ten straight, sure, but their losing streak ran all the way to 14 before Tim Leary beat Bob Welch on September 19th of that season (log). That streak stopped with a win, but the futility stretched a bit as the Mariners lost three games after the one win to make it 17 losses in 18 games. By the way, with the loss on Friday night, the Mariners already had the Major League record for consecutive losses to teams within the division. Would they pad their record or snap two streaks in one night?
Ichiro was down 0-2 before reaching low and popping a 2-2 pitch to center. Jose Lopez spanked an 0-2 pitch into center for a single. Adrian Beltre reached on a low-and-away 1-2 pitch to Figgins in leftcenter. Raul Ibañez bounced the first pitch over the right side for a single to move Lopez to third. Richie Sexson was down 0-2 and whiffed on a low 1-2 breaking ball. Lackey threw 18 pitches.
Chone Figgins walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away. Maicer Izturis worked a 1-2 count full before poking an outside pitch past a diving Sexson for a single near the rightfield line, moving Figgins to third on the hit-and-run. Orlando Cabrera rolled the second pitch slowly to short, moving Izturis to third and scoring Figgins.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 0
Vladimir Guerrero was down 0-2 before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt in the hole at short, who threw to first in time as Izturis scored (they didn't walk Guerrero).
»» ANGELS 2, MARINERS 0
Juan Rivera took an 0-2 pitch across the outside corner. Washburn threw 21 pitches.
Kenji Johjima popped the second pitch lazily to right. Ben Broussard slapped the second pitch through the left side for a single. Yuniesky Betancourt was up 2-0 but ended up rolling hard to short to start an easy 6-4-3 double play. Lackey threw eight pitches and had 26 through two.
Garret Anderson looped the first pitch into center for a single. Robb Quinlan drilled the second pitch past the reach of Betancourt and through the left side for a single, moving Anderson to second. Howie Kendrick was jammed on an 0-2 pitch and tapped to the mound, moving Anderson and Quinlan to third and second. Mike Napoli grounded hard past Washburn and the mound, but Lopez raced in front of the bag to make a diving stop, and he threw from a knee to first in time as Quinlan moved to third and Anderson scored.
»» ANGELS 3, MARINERS 0
Figgins grounded hard to first on the first pitch. Washburn threw ten pitches and had 31 through three.
Adam Jones whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Ichiro popped an outside first pitch foul to Rivera just in front of the stands along the leftfield line. Lopez was up 2-0 before lining a single to left. Beltre rolled a 2-2 pitch slowly to the hole on the right side, where Kendrick eventually got to it, but it rolled off his glove and away, enabling Beltre to reach on the single (he wouldn't have been out anyway) and Lopez moved to third. Ibañez walked on a full-count fastball down and in. Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 curve. Lackey threw 30 pitches and had 56 through three.
Izturis bounced the second pitch to short. Cabrera popped the second pitch to Jones near the track in rightcenter. Guerrero took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Washburn threw nine pitches and had 40 through three.
Johjima got down 0-2 and whiffed horribly on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt away. Broussard was down 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Betancourt whiffed on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt away that got away from Napoli behind the plate, but there was a man on first, so he couldn't take first, but Broussard moved to second. Jones foul-tipped an 0-2 outside fastball into Napoli's glove behind the plate. Lackey threw 16 pitches and had 72 through four.
Rivera blistered a double to the wall near the leftfield corner. Anderson bounced a 1-2 pitch to Lopez in the right-side hole, moving Rivera to third. Quinlan popped the first pitch to Sexson near the bag at first. Kendrick stung the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a triple to easily score Rivera. Ichiro's throw was wide and probably late anyway.
»» ANGELS 4, MARINERS 0
Napoli tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Washburn threw 16 pitches and had 56 through four.
Ichiro dumped a single along the leftfield line. Lopez was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Beltre took a 2-0 pitch for a ball and Ichiro took off for second, and Napoli's throw airmailed into center (error), enabling Ichiro to go to third, breaking the Mariners' single-season record for consecutive stolen bases formerly held by Julio Cruz in 1981. Beltre lined a full-count pitch into left that one-hopped Rivera and bounced past him and to the wall, scoring Ichiro easily and moving Beltre to third (single and error).
»» ANGELS 4, MARINERS 1
Ibañez ripped an 0-2 pitch to the wall in leftcenter, scoring Beltre easily.
»» ANGELS 4, MARINERS 2
Sexson cranked the first pitch off the base of the wall in leftcenter for a double, scoring Ibañez.
»» ANGELS 4, MARINERS 3
Johjima grounded hard to third on a 1-2 pitch as Sexson held at second. Broussard cranked a 2-0 pitch a few rows into the seats just to the right of the centerfield hitters' backdrop. Huh? What's happening?!!?!
»» MARINERS 5, ANGELS 4
Betancourt got ahead 3-0 and ripped a 3-1 pitch into the leftfield corner for a double.
Hector Carrasco came in for Lackey. Jones popped a 2-0 pitch high to Quinlan near the first-base coaches' box. Carrasco threw three pitches.
Lackey's line: 4 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 12 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 105 pitches (72 strikes)
Figgins tapped the second pitch back to the mound. Izturis bounced the second pitch to third. Cabrera popped to center. Washburn threw seven pitches and had 63 through five.
Ichiro bunted the first pitch and threaded it between Quinlan and Carrasco on the right side, where it was pretty much a hit, but Quinlan grabbed the ball and threw past Carrasco and into foul ground (error on Quinlan) as Ichiro moved to second. Lopez bunted the first pitch to make sure Quinlan knew how to cover a bunt, and he did, making the 3-1 putout to move Ichiro to third. Beltre was up 2-0 and grounded a full-count pitch quite hard to third, nearly leading a diving Izturis to the third-base bag (he wouldn't have had Ichiro), but he threw high to first where Quinlan hopped off the bag when he caught the ball, but Beltre was called out anyway on a bullcrap call. Mike Hargrove came out shortly to argue to no avail. Said Rex Hudler on the Angel broadcast, "if I'm Hargrove, I get thrown out on that." Finally, something on which I agree with Hudler. Ibañez was ahead 3-1 but whiffed on a full-count breaking ball. Carrasco threw 16 pitches.
Guerrero reached outside on the first pitch and looped it just past Sexson and into the rightfield corner for a double. Rivera fouled the second pitch off plate umpire Rick Reed's mask. Rivera popped high to Sexson on the infield grass on the right side. Anderson reached on the first pitch and dumped a single into shallow right near the line, scoring Guerrero and pulling Lackey off the hook.
»» ANGELS 5, MARINERS 5
Quinlan popped the first pitch to the track in right (Hudler implied that Ichiro was tricking the crowd by slowing his trot, but having it all the way, though he did trick the cameraman). Kendrick bounced an 0-2 pitch to short, where Betancourt bobbled it (error), gathered himself and tried to throw back to second for the force on Anderson, but it was late. Sexson at this point called time and went to chat with Washburn, then he went to his position before Hargrove came out with the hook.
Mark Lowe came in for Washburn. Napoli ripped a 1-2 pitch to nearly take off Lowe's head, but it went into center for a single, scoring Anderson and moving Kendrick to second. Jones' throw to the plate bounced behind the mound and was way up the line, and Napoli went to second.
»» ANGELS 6, MARINERS 5
Figgins was up 2-0 and ended up popping to center. Lowe threw eight pitches.
Washburn's line: 5 2/3 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 72 pitches (51 strikes)
Sexson stuck the first pitch through the left side for a single. Johjima bounced the second pitch to second for a 4-6-3 double play. Broussard fouled a 2-1 pitch off the ground and of his bat a second time, a peculiar and rare happening. Broussard popped the full-count pitch to left. Carrasco threw 11 pitches and had 27 total.
Izturis hit a pop fly that bounced off the top of the scoreboard in rightcenter. Another first for Lowe, giving up his first homer.
»» ANGELS 7, MARINERS 5
Cabrera grounded the second pitch to Beltre near the bag at third. Guerrero bounced the second pitch slowly to the left side, where Beltre charged and did the barehand throw thing that he does to get Guerrero at first. Rivera took a first pitch that bounced in the other batters' box. Rivera had the hitters' counts before lining a full-count pitch over Beltre and toward the leftfield corner for a double.
George Sherrill came in for Lowe. Anderson rolled a double just inside the bag at first and into the rightfield corner for a double to score Rivera.
»» ANGELS 8, MARINERS 5
Rafael Soriano came in for Sherrill. Quinlan was down 0-2 but dumped a 2-2 pitch into the corner for a triple to score Anderson.
»» ANGELS 9, MARINERS 5
Kendrick popped a 3-0 pitch to Sexson just past the tarp in foul ground on the right side. Soriano threw 27 pitches.
Lowe's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 4 pitches (2 strikes)
Betancourt worked a 1-2 count full before popping to Figgins in shallow leftcenter on the tenth pitch of the at-bat. Chris Snelling, hitting for Jones, drove the second pitch that Guerrero had some trouble with at the rightfield wall, and it bounced off the wall and track for a triple. Ichiro got ahead 3-1 and took a full-count pitch in the dirt for a walk.
Scot Shields came in for Carrasco. Lopez bounced the first pitch right to Kendrick at second for a 4-6-3 double play. Shields threw one pitch.
Carrasco's line: 2 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Soriano, Snelling stayed in to play right, and (drum roll) Ichiro moved over to center for the first time since playing three games in center in 2003. Napoli was down 0-2 before popping a 2-2 pitch to rightcenter, where he leaped at the track and made the catch against the wall. Hilariously, Dave Niehaus' radio call was for a home run before he caught himself. Figgins whiffed on a 2-2 fastball on the outside corner. Izturis was up 3-1 and lined a full-count pitch into center for a single. Cabrera was down 0-2 and ripped a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single to move Izturis to second. Guerrero bounced up the middle to Lopez on the centerfield grass, who threw to first in time. Putz threw 25 pitches.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 25 pitches (16 strikes)
Beltre clubbed a neck-high 3-1 pitch into left for a single. Ibañez lined the second pitch into and out of Guerrero's glove in right (error), moving Beltre to second. Sexson couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 pitch up and in (anyone seeing the game may have winced if they remembered Sexson exploded his labrum on a checkswing back in 2004, and this one seemed particularly violent). Johjima lined the first pitch into center for a single to score Beltre and move Ibañez to third.
»» ANGELS 9, MARINERS 6
Francisco Rodriguez came in for Shields. Broussard roped a 2-2 slider on the outer half into the rightfield corner for a double, scoring Beltre and moving Ibañez to third.
»» ANGELS 9, MARINERS 7
Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and fouled off an up-and-in 1-2 pitch that went to the backstop (a run or two may have scored). Betancourt whiffed horribly on a 1-2 slider in the dirt away and it rolled behind Napoli a bit, who threw in time to first as Johjima held at third. Snelling took a 3-0 pitch that barely caught the outside corner, took the next pitch a bit further off the corner for a strike (I yelled "bullsh*$" at the television on this one), then took a full-count letter-high slider for strike three. Snelling and third-base coach Carlos Garcia jawed with plate umpire Rick Reed for a bit before heading for the clubhouse.
Shields' line: 1 inning, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
Rodriguez' line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Ben Broussard.
Again, another one of those this-may-never-happen-again gameballs. Other than the fact that my MLB.com Gameday worked through the whole game without interruption and a need to incessantly refresh the page, Broussard was the best thing going on this night. He went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs in what easily was his best game as a Mariner. Broussard is now 12-for-54 (.222) in a Mariner uniform with one double, five homers, and nine RBIs. He's hitting 12-for-54 (.222) as a Mariner with a double, five home runs, and nine RBIs. He's slugging .519 as well. Of course, those numbers are through eighteen games over what is about two-thirds of a month. I know I hoped Broussard wouldn't stay horrible, but I wish he could have been a little unhorrible when the Mariners were still remotely in the division race, because now they're beyond kaput. However, they do have Broussard under contract past this year, so they could still reap some dividends from him. He should be quite useful next year, I would think.
Goat: Mark Lowe.
On a night when the Mariners pound out 18 hits and benefit from four Angel errors, I'm not giving the goat to a hitter. As much as I hate to do it, I'm giving it to Lowe. He had his second straight bad outing. After giving up his first Major League run(s) on Thursday night, he gave up another two in this game, including his first Major League home run against. He went 13 appearances without giving up a run, though he let one of Jake Woods' runners across the plate in his final outing before resting his elbow. Another somewhat disturbing thing showing on the game log is his propensity to walk people. I know he's young and everything, but let's just hope he improves. He didn't walk a batter in his first five outings, but since has walked batters in all but three out of ten games. His two innings against Oakland were the first time he'd really struggled since his call-up, and after they shut him down, they brought him back and he was unhittable again. Then the Angels proved to be his undoing. It seems as though they are the only team so far that hasn't been wholly impressed with his stuff, and that's a bad thing when you have to put up with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler on your MLB.tv feed.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 88-35 .715 -- W1
2002 74-49 .602 14 L2
2003 74-49 .602 14 L1
2000 69-54 .561 19 L7
2006 56-67 .455 32 L10
2005 53-70 .431 35 L1
2004 46-77 .374 42 L1
Woods. Santana. Today.