Saturday, September 02, 2006
[posted in full Sat ~1:12p]
In 25 words or less: Nothing like throwing a good starting pitching performance out the window and losing to another no-name.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against James Shields. The MLB.tv archived feed was the Tampa Bay feed, and they're pretty excited over two things. One thing is the young and fast outfield of Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and Delmon Young. The other is Saturday's bobblehead giveaway, but the bobbleheads aren't of players, no, they're of television play-by-play crew Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane. Their sideline reporter said the giveaway was to the first 11000 fans, and that he was sure they'd sold more tickets than that, and he advised those wanting bobbleheads to get there early. This made me think of some old days in the Kingdome. I remember listening to the games and then seeing the boxscores in the paper the next day and being surprised if the Mariners drew over 10000 fans. Folks, I know it's a bit rough right now, but back then it was rough and no one gave a crap. Although the Mariners haven't done much in the past three years, the franchise has still come a long way.
Ichiro drilled the first pitch into rightfield for a single. Chris Snelling punched an 0-2 pitch through the right side for a single, and Young threw the ball instead of a bat, firing a rope that one-hopped to Upton at third, who barely had to move the glove as he tagged Ichiro's foot before it got the bag at third. Adrian Beltre had the hitters' counts before lining out to left on a 3-1 pitch. Raul Ibañez took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt and to the backstop to move Snelling to second. Ibañez had worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a change down and in. Shields threw 15 pitches.
Rocco Baldelli bounced the second pitch to first (3-1 putout). Delmon Young took a 1-2 devil of a curve over the outer half. Carl Crawford popped the second pitch high to left. Meche threw eight pitches.
Richie Sexson bounced a 2-0 pitch to short, where Zobrist bobbled it, put picked it back up and threw in time to first. Ben Broussard was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 low change. Kenji Johjima blasted the second pitch about 12 rows into the seats in leftcenter. What was hilarious is that on the broadcast, you could hear someone (probably Shields) saying "F$*#" after the ball made contact with the bat.
»» MARINERS 1, DEVIL RAYS 0
Jose Lopez lined the first pitch off of Shields, who had the ball go off his foot and into foul ground on the left side as Lopez had the single. Shields shook off attention from the training staff. Yuniesky Betancourt popped high to Zobrist at the second-base bag. Shields threw 14 pitches and had 29 through two.
Greg Norton bounced the first pitch to first. Dioner Navarro was ahead 2-0, broke his bat at the handle while fouling off a full-count pitch, then took Ichiro a few steps short of the track two pitches later. Jorge Cantu worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to foul ground along the rightfield side as Snelling tripped over the bullpen mound making the catch, thankfully avoiding injury. Meche threw 16 pitches and had 24 through two.
Ichiro chopped the second pitch to short, where Zobrist made the quick throw in time to beat the speedy Ichiro. Snelling popped the second pitch high to Zobrist along the leftfield line on the fair side. Beltre had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a breaking ball down and away. Shields threw ten pitches and had 39 through three.
Kevin Witt was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. BJ Upton bounced to short, and Betancourt had to make a strong throw to get Upton at first. Ben Zobrist grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Meche threw 16 pitches and had 40 through three.
Ibañez grounded a 2-0 pitch hard to first, where it got past Witt and went into right (error), allowing Ibañez to reach. Sexson was up 3-0 before walking on a 3-1 pitch off the plate away, moving Ibañez to second. Broussard drove the second pitch to Crawford on the leftcenter track, moving Ibañez and Sexson to third and second. Johjima lined the first pitch into Upton's glove at third, then Upton dove to the third-base bag to beat Ichiro for the unassisted double play. Shields threw 11 pitches and had 50 through four.
Baldelli chopped over the mound and into center, good for a single. Young whiffed on three straight pitches, the last being a curve over the outside corner. Crawford whiffed on a 1-2 nasty curve down and in. Norton took the first pitch for a ball as Baldelli took second without a throw. Norton was beaned on the left (back) foot with an 0-2 curve, then Baldelli came around to score on the play, except not since play was dead once the ball hit Norton, so Baldelli went back to second. Navarro failed to check a swing on a 2-2 curve in the dirt. Meche threw 18 pitches and had 58 through four.
Lopez whiffed on a 1-2 low offspeed pitch. Betancourt stroked the second pitch into center for a single. Ichiro popped a 2-0 pitch to shallow left. Snelling nubbed an 0-2 pitch to second. Shields threw 12 pitches and had 62 through five.
Cantu whiffed on a 2-2 slow curve. Witt flew out to Ichiro in shallow center, who called off the usual Betancourt moving way back. Upton was ahead 2-0 and ended up lining a single into center on a full count for Tampa Bay's second hit of the afternoon. Zobrist watched as Upton was nearly picked off of first (he drew a ton of throws in this at-bat), then he took a 2-1 pitch for a ball as Upton took off for second and had it successfully. Zobrist had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 slider down and in. Baldelli poked the first pitch past the mound and into center for a single to score Upton and move Zobrist to second.
»» DEVIL RAYS 1, MARINERS 1
Young got ahead 2-0 before drilling a 2-2 curve right into the glove of Lopez. Meche threw 27 pitches and had 85 through five.
Beltre was ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a full-count breaking ball down and in. Ibañez reached a bit on a 2-2 pitch and grounded out to second. Sexson reached and bounced out to third, though Witt had to pick Upton's shorthopping throw. Shields threw 19 pitches and had 81 through six.
Crawford rolled the second pitch to Lopez in the hole on the right side. Norton swung at a highish slow 0-2 curve and bounced out to first. Navarro flew out to center on the first pitch. Meche threw six pitches and had 91 through six.
Broussard flew out to center on the second pitch. Johjima hit a low liner to right that was caught on the run by Young. Lopez was down 0-2 and grounded a 2-2 pitch to third, where Upton made a shorthop throw to first (error), but Witt couldn't dig it out at first. Betancourt bounced the first pitch to short, and Zobrist went to Cantu at second for the force on Lopez.
Shields' line: 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 94 pitches (59 strikes)
Cantu fell behind 0-2 and foul-tipped a 1-2 fastball into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Witt was ahead 3-0 but whiffed on a full-count curve. Upton bounced the first pitch to short. Meche threw 13 pitches and had 104 through seven.
Dan Miceli came in for Shields and Travis Lee came in to play first. Ichiro shot a 3-1 pitch hard to second, where Cantu knocked it down and threw in time to first. Snelling worked a 1-2 count full before flying out to center. Beltre flew out to center on the second pitch.
Miceli's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Zobrist drove a fly ball toward the leftcenter gap that Ichiro successfully ran down. Baldelli nubbed to the right side, where Meche thought he might go after it, but he gave way for the charging, planting (one foot), and throwing Beltre, who of course got the out on his patented play. Young grounded to second on the second pitch.
Meche's line: 8 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 111 pitches (73 strikes)
Seth McClung came in for Miceli. Ibañez worked an 0-2 count full, but didn't end up whiffing for the strikeout until the tenth pitch of the at-bat, a high fastball. Sexson got ahead 2-0 and ended up popping a full-count pitch high to Navarro near the screen behind the plate. Broussard walked on a 3-1 pitch away. Johjima bounced an 0-2 pitch to short, and Zobrist went to Cantu at second for the force.
McClung's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 24 pitches (14 strikes)
George Sherrill came in for Meche. Crawford whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Norton popped the second pitch high to Lopez on the outfield turf. Navarro worked an 0-2 count for a walk, needing nine pitches to do so.
Jon Huber came in for Sherrill. Cantu stroked a base hit over a leaping Lopez and into right to move Navarro to third.
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Huber. Josh Paul came in to run for Navarro. Ty Wigginton, fresh off the disabled list and hitting for Lee, lined a single into left, moving Cantu to second but easily scoring Paul.
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Huber's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
O'Flaherty's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Gameball: Gil Meche.
This was his second great start in a row. Jumble the two starts together (the other was in the Soriano game) and Meche has a line of 15 innings, 3 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 15 strikeouts, and 218 pitches (148 strikes). More importantly, that leads to an ERA of 1.80. It might be the case that two months after it left us, Good Gil Meche might be reappearing to finish out the season. This might be good in that we might see watchable and enjoyable baseball when he takes the mound, but the double-edged sword might include the Mariners thinking they should hold onto him for next season, which would just not be good. What would be nice, though, is if it served as a showcase for potential suitors. Unlike Joel Piñeiro, who will never be the guy the Mariners were refusing to let go via trades when the team was good, I think Meche can be fairly good again, but I don't think it can happen in Seattle. I think that's due to a combination of his health, the fact that he's turning 28 in about a week, and because sometimes on the mound, he just gets mentally shaken more than the average pitcher, or at least that's what shows up as a result. I know I certainly remember a couple times when Meche has faltered after an error in the field.
Goat: Raul Ibañez.
I guess you could say he's in a bit of a mini-slump. Ibañez is 0-for-10 going back to his homer in the third inning of the middle game of the series against the Angels (the Soriano game). He has struck out in four of those at-bats. He finished with a .296 average for the month of August, his third-best month in those terms behind April (.301) and June (.326). His .378 August on-base percentage is second to only his June number (.414). Somewhat surprisingly, though, his .459 slugging percentage is the lowest of any month this season not named May (.421). He hit six doubles and five homers in that month. He hit four doubles and four homers in August. He had 16 less at-bats in August than May, accounting for some of the mathematical difference in the slugging numbers. Everyone knew Ibañez wouldn't continue the torrid pace he had leading up to the All-Star break. He was at 20 homers going into the break and has hit only six since. He hasn't been too consistent of a slugger, but in terms of plain batting average, he's still been the most consistent hitter as he's hovered in the .270s and .280s for most of the season.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 96-38 .716 -- W2
2002 79-55 .590 17 W1
2003 77-57 .575 19 L2
2000 72-62 .537 24 L2
2006 63-71 .470 33 L2
2005 57-77 .425 39 L1
2004 51-83 .381 45 L3
Baek. Howell. Tonight.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
It's the last exhibition game.
Pray that nobody gets hurt.
I'm more interested in the Nov. 6 Monday Night matchup between these two teams. You are as well. Of course you are.
Jeff George is back in the NFL. Excuse me while I laugh really hard...
In 25 words or less: Hey, it was still a 7-2 homestand. Coming off an 11-game losing*** streak, all I wanted was watchable baseball.
[***yes, that used to say "winning," which of course is horribly incorrect.]
This one featured John Lackey going up against Jake Woods. The Mariners were riding their six-game winning streak, their longest since 2003. The Mariners got news that Rafael Soriano sustained a concussion but nothing more, and he was released from Harborview Medical Center. The Mariners, meanwhile, hoped to ice an 8-1 homestand after that whole thing where they lost 11 straight games. Woods doesn't have a lot of big-league starts under his belt, but out to the mound he went in this one to go up against the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series.
Maicer Izturis broke his bat on a roller to Lopez in the hole on the right side. Orlando Cabrera walked on four pitches. Vladimir Guerrero worked a 1-2 count full before shooting a hard roller through the left side for a single, moving Cabrera to second. Juan Rivera popped the first pitch to Ichiro on the centerfield track as Cabrera held at second. Garret Anderson flew out to center. Woods threw 18 pitches.
Ichiro bounced back to the mound. Chris Snelling took the second pitch just above his right elbow as he tried to turn away. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 fastball off the plate outside. Raul Ibañez had the hitters' counts before popping a full-count pitch to Izturis just in front of the stands in foul ground on the left side. Lackey threw 15 pitches.
Robb Quinlan bounced the second pitch deep into the hole on the right side, and pretty close to third base, but Betancourt ranged over and made the incredibly long throw in time to first. Tim Salmon fisted the second pitch over the reach of a leaping Lopez at second and into right for a single. Howie Kendrick took a 1-2 pitch up and away that went into and out of Johjima's glove, but it didn't go far away to advance Salmon. Kendrick worked a 1-2 count full before lining out to Ichiro, who ran in to make the catch. Mike Napoli fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away. Woods threw 14 pitches and had 32 through two.
Richie Sexson fell behind 0-2 before rolling a 2-2 pitch hard to short. Ben Broussard popped a 2-2 pitch high to right. Kenji Johjima fell behind 0-2 before reaching to lift a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Jose Lopez took an 0-2 pitch for a ball, and Johjima stole second on the pitch. Lopez took a 2-2 breaking ball in the dirt away that bounced to the backstop to move Johjima to third. Lopez worked an 0-2 count full before bouncing out to second. Lackey threw 22 pitches and had 37 through two.
Izturis popped to Ichiro in leftcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Cabrera was ahead 3-0 before grounding a full-count pitch to third, where Beltre went to both knees to make the stop and then stood back up to throw to first. Guerrero drilled the second pitch to deep left, where Ibañez moved back to the track and made a running and leaping catch at the wall and had a resultant low-speed collision with the wall. Woods threw 14 pitches and had 46 through three.
Betancourt lined a ball into the rightcenter gap that got past Guerrero and went to the wall as Betancourt slid in with a triple. Ichiro popped a 3-1 pitch weakly to second. Snelling took the first pitch way inside and past Napoli, but not far enough to score Betancourt from third. Snelling was ahead 2-0 before squeeze-bunting to the right side (not an easy one to bunt) to score Betancourt, and Snelling was thrown out at first. Replays showed that Snelling bunted the ball off his foot, but the ball was never declared dead (Snelling would have been out), and Mike Scioscia argued this to no avail.
»» MARINERS 1, ANGELS 0
Beltre fell behind 0-2 when plate umpire Jerry Crawford stopped play to quell some verbal fire from the Angel dugout. Beltre fouled off four straight 0-2 pitches at one point and later popped a 1-2 pitch very high to shallow center. Lackey threw 21 pitches and had 58 through three.
Rivera was down 0-2 but singled into center on a 1-2 pitch. Anderson had the hitters' counts before ripping a full-count pitch off the base of the rightfield wall, but it banked right back to Snelling, who threw quickly to the infield to hold Anderson to a single as Rivera moved to third. Quinlan got behind 0-2 and rolled up the middle to Lopez, who started the 4-6-3 double play that scored Rivera.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 1
Salmon dropped a ball just fair down the rightfield line and toward the angled stands for a double. Kendrick ripped the first pitch off the leftfield wall for a double, easily scoring Salmon, depleted knee and all.
»» ANGELS 2, MARINERS 1
Napoli whiffed over a 2-2 breaking ball. Woods threw 26 pitches and had 72 through four.
Ibañez one-hopped a 2-0 pitch right to Cabrera at short. Sexson took a 1-2 pitch inside and off the overhanging part of his jersey, good for first base. Broussard was down 0-2 before chopping a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single, moving a lumbering Sexson to third. Johjima stroked the first pitch into the leftcenter gap for a double that scored Sexson and moved Broussard to third.
»» ANGELS 2, MARINERS 2
Lopez softly lined the second pitch in front of Guerrero, who threw straight home and had Broussard dead to rights, but Broussard slid and knocked the ball loose from Napoli's glove. The ball went behind the plate toward the first-base side, and Napoli went to retrieve it. Johjima tried scoring too, but Napoli threw to a covering Lackey for the out. Lopez ended up on second after all the madness.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 2
Betancourt took the second pitch in the dirt and to the backstop to move Lopez to third. Betancourt ended up lining out to shallow center on a 2-0 pitch. Lackey threw 17 pitches and had 75 through four.
Izturis bounced an 0-2 pitch into the left-side hole, where Betancourt made yet another difficult play look easy as he ranged, planted, and threw in time to first as per usual. Cabrera bounced the second pitch gently to short. Guerrero walked on a full-count pitch down and away. Rivera popped the second pitch very high to shallow left. Woods threw 13 pitches and had 85 through five.
Ichiro weakly popped to Kendrick moving back into shallow right. Snelling spanked a single into shallow rightcenter. Beltre went to a knee to foul off an 0-2 breaking ball before whiffing horribly on the next pitch, a breaker in the dirt away. Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Lackey threw 15 pitches and had 90 through five.
Anderson got ahead 3-0 and just plain golfed a meaty up-in-the-zone fastball into the fourth row of rightfield seats.
»» ANGELS 3, MARINERS 3
Quinlan was ahead 3-0 before dumping a 3-1 pitch into the gap in rightcenter that Ichiro couldn't quite get to, and though he gunned straight to second to try to get Quinlan, the throw was a bit late as Quinlan stood on second with a double.
Joel Piñeiro came in for Woods. Adam Kennedy, hitting for Salmon, whiffed badly on a 1-2 fastball way up and away. Kendrick smacked a double into the leftfield corner to score Quinlan.
»» ANGELS 4, MARINERS 3
Napoli whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Izturis bounced the second pitch to first (3-1 putout). Piñeiro threw 15 pitches.
Woods' line: 5 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 95 pitches (58 strikes)
Sexson stuck the first pitch into leftcenter for a single. Broussard whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball down and in. Johjima dumped a single just past Cabrera trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch, and Johjima got the single out of it, but Sexson made an ill-advised attempt to take third and was gunned down by Rivera from center (Johjima moved to second on that throw). Lopez looped the second pitch along the rightfield line, where Guerrero made the running catch. Lackey threw nine pitches and had 99 through six.
Cabrera popped an 0-2 pitch high to short. Guerrero blistered the first pitch over the reach of the glove of Ibañez and off the wall for a double. Rivera bounced the first pitch off the side of the mound and into center to score Guerrero, who drew a throw from Ichiro that wasn't exactly that great, and it enabled Rivera to move to second.
»» ANGELS 5, MARINERS 3
Anderson was intentionally walked. Quinlan bounced the first pitch to Sexson behind the bag at first (3-1 putout) to move Rivera to third. Kennedy was also intentionally walked, loading the bases. Kendrick fell behind 0-2 before flying out to Ichiro in center on a 1-2 pitch. Piñeiro threw 18 pitches and had 33 total.
Betancourt popped the second pitch to Guerrero along the rightfield line, much like Lopez did to end the sixth. Ichiro looped the first pitch into shallow left for a single.
Scot Shields came in for Lackey. Snelling whiffed on a pitch and Ichiro stole second on it. Snelling inadvertently checkswung and bounced a 2-2 pitch along the third-base line, where Napoli came from behind the plate and threw to first for the out as Ichiro moved to third. Mike Hargrove came out to have a word with the plate umpire Crawford. However, Napoli reacted as if he would have picked up the ball in foul ground, but when no call was made, Napoli threw to first for the out. Beltre bounced the second pitch to short. Shields threw seven pitches.
Lackey's line: 6 1/3 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 102 pitches (67 strikes)
Napoli flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter. Izturis whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball away. Cabrera rolled the second pitch through the mound and into center for a single. Guerrero flew out to Ichiro in center on the first pitch.
Piñeiro's line: 3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 42 pitches (27 strikes)
Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Sexson was ahead 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 breaking ball away and just above the dirt. Broussard grounded the second pitch hard to first (3-1 putout).
Shields' line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Piñeiro. Reggie Willits, hitting for Rivera, walked on a 3-1 pitch. Andesron grounded the second pitch to second to move Willits to second. Quinlan was intentionally walked. Kennedy got ahead 2-0 before flying out to center on a full count.
Jon Huber, making his Major League debut, came in for O'Flaherty. Kendrick whiffed on an 0-2 slider low and away. Huber threw three pitches.
O'Flaherty's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (7 strikes)
Francisco Rodriguez came in for Shields. Johjima took an inside pitch that barely got the belly of his jersey, much less of a nick than what Sexson took earlier in the game. Willie Bloomquist came in to run for Johjima. Lopez rolled right to short to start an easy 6-4-3 double play. Betancourt got ahead 3-0, took a 3-1 pitch that barely caught the inside corner, then rolled to short.
Rodriguez' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
Gameball: Kenji Johjima.
So ends the month of August for Kenji Johjima, who went 27-for-81 (.333) over the 25 games he played, though there was a short stretch where Rene Rivera inexplicably started a few consecutive days behind the plate. His only better hitting month this season unsurprisingly was June, when he hit .345 with an on-base mark of .382 and a slug mark of .643. The latter is thanks to the eight doubles, a triple, and five homers he hit in June. In August, Johjima was on base at a .349 clip and slugged .420, considerably lower than the June numbers, though still fairly good. His extra-base hitting was way off in comparison with the June numbers. He hit only four doubles and one homer in August. Johjima was 3-for-3 with an RBI, making it his seventh three-hit game of the season, one of which was a four-hit game. In odd news, Johjima has the highest number of his hits with an 0-1 count (22-for-49, .449). He's 25-for-68 (.368) on the first pitch, 9-for-30 (.300) on an 0-2 count, 12-for-41 (.293) on a 1-2 count, 11-for-48 (.229) on 2-2, and 4-for-28 (.143) on a full count. The worst thing about all these numbers is that the ball has to be put in play, of course. Unfortunately, MLB.com or Yahoo doesn't have readily available stats on how often someone like Richie Sexson will foul off a 3-1 fastball that was grooved.
Goat: Adrian Beltre.
Beltre went 0-for-4 with a couple of strikeouts in this game, and unlike the night before, all the defensive glitz from the left side of the infield went to Yuniesky Betancourt instead. Like Johjima, Beltre had his second-best month across the board, falling behind only his month of June. He hit 28-for-101 (.277) in August (.324 in June). He got on base at a .342 clip and slugged .554 thanks to seven doubles and seven homers. By comparison, he had an on-base mark of .387 and slugged .611 in that crazy June. A slightly odd fact is that Beltre has never had his number of strikeouts increase from month to month. Every month, he strikes out the same number of times or less than he did the month before. With a month to go, Beltre is hitting .265 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs. He's on base at a .330 average and slugs .444. His homers should top his marks from last year, and so should all those percentage numbers. The RBIs will more than likely be down because of his horrendous start this season and also the fact that went he was crazy-nuts in June, he was hitting second in the lineup.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 95-38 .714 -- W1
2002 78-55 .586 17 L2
2003 77-56 .579 18 L1
2000 72-61 .541 23 L1
2006 63-70 .474 32 L1
2005 57-76 .429 38 W1
2004 51-82 .383 44 L2
Meche. Shields. Tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
In 25 words or less: It's a win, but ouch. What Rafael Soriano took to the head reminded me of Brad Holman and Norm Charlton all over again.
This one featured Jered Weaver going up against Jarrod Washburn. Jose Lopez again was hitting eighth. Willie Bloomquist did not start. Dave Niehaus said the gametime temperature was 59 degrees, and though I know you all aren't looking forward to it in the Northwest, I miss having four seasons. You don't get four seasons in Hawaii. It seems like it's been mid-80s to low-90s forever here. Playing angsty music while driving just doesn't do the same job for me if it isn't cold and gray outside. Oh yeah, a little over two hours after Felix Hernandez twirled his masterpiece, a 3.7-magnitude earthquake shook the area. The quake was shallow and about 40 miles away. Let me also say that I wish the Mariners television crew would stop using the Rex Hudler interview clips from their pregame show because, well, he's annoying. God forbid I could be scrolling through the channels here and watching Vin Scully do a Dodger game on FSN Prime Ticket, and then press the down-channel button and being subject to Steve Physioc and Hudler. Orlando Cabrera had a sore throwing hand, possibly aiding in any defensive throwing mishap that came about. Can I get something off my chest? Robb Quinlan has an ugly swing. Can I get something else off my chest? I thought Cal Ripken, Jr.'s swing was very ugly as well.
Yeah, I decided to keep it somewhat happy and pick a non-Rafael Soriano photo to pull off the wire.
Chone Figgins worked an 0-2 count full before failing to hold a checkswing on a fastball that nearly hit him in the legs. Maicer Izturis broke his bat and fisted a one-hopper to first. Orlando Cabrera lined a double to the wall in rightcenter. Vladimir Guerrero singled into right, where Snelling gunned straight home, and Johjima took his eye off the ball and had it go off his glove. If Johjima fields the ball cleanly, Cabrera is out by ten feet. Guerrero went to second on the play. Later in the game, it was announced that Guerrero was getting an RBI on the play in what apparently was a scoring change.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 0
Juan Rivera whiffed on an 0-2 fastball. Washburn threw 17 pitches.
Ichiro got a hold of the second pitch, hitting a fly ball that just kept carrying until it left the yard near the equipment tunnel in rightcenter.
»» ANGELS 1, MARINERS 1
Chris Snelling f#*$ing lasered a line drive that went eight rows deep into the rightfield seats. This was his first homer of the season and third of his career.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 1
Adrian Beltre ripped a 1-2 pitch off the top of the wall (yellow line) in front of the visitors' bullpen for a double. Raul Ibañez took the first pitch in the dirt, and it got away from Napoli behind the plate, moving Beltre to third. Ibañez ended up shooting a base hit into the gap in rightcenter for a double, scoring Beltre. Pitching coach Bud Black quickly came out to the mound.
»» MARINERS 3, ANGELS 1
Richie Sexson nubbed a 1-2 pitch along the left side, where Weaver came off the mound and threw to first, moving Ibañez to third. Ben Broussard lined a ball just foul into the rightfield corner that would have been a double. Broussard whiffed on a 2-2 high fastball. Kenji Johjima popped high to Napoli a few feet behind the plate. Weaver threw 24 pitches.
Garret Anderson foul-tipped a 1-2 outside breaking ball into Johjima's glove. Robb Quinlan fouled off three 1-2 pitches before flying out to fairly deep center. Howie Kendrick two-hopped the second pitch to Beltre on the left side. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 30 through two.
Jose Lopez got a nice 3-1 pitch to hit, but merely flew out to left. Yuniesky Betancourt had the hitters' counts and took a slider away for a walk, and Mike Scioscia, Black, and a trainer came out to see what was up with Weaver's pitching hand, which apparently had a cut on the right thumb (on the knuckle, above the nail). Weaver stayed in the game. Ichiro was down 0-2 and reached way down for a 1-2 pitch, dumping it into shallow right for a single to move Betancourt to second. Snelling whiffed on a 1-2 fastball up and away. Beltre popped a first-pitch low breaking ball into the glove of Cabrera on the left side. Weaver threw 20 pitches and had 44 through two.
Mike Napoli popped the second pitch to right. Figgins bounced to Lopez moving into shallow center. Izturis was down 0-2 and slapped a 1-2 pitch into right for a single. Cabrera grounded to Lopez in the hole on the right side. Washburn threw 13 pitches and had 43 through three.
Ibañez turned on a pitch, hitting a very high fly ball that kept carrying and landed ten rows into the rightfield seats. That's good for 104 RBIs on the year, a new career high for Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1
Sexson popped the second pitch to left. Broussard put the barrel down on a 1-2 pitch, singling into center and probably saving him from a goat for the night. Johjima shot the second pitch off the glove of Izturis at third and into foul ground down the leftfield line, and Broussard made a big turn at third before hurrying back as he would have been out by a long shot (in addition, he had taken off with the pitch). Johjima also went to second on that play. Lopez bounced a 2-0 pitch right to Kendrick, who threw straight home, and Broussard was hung up between third and home as Johjima went to third on the play. Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and flew out to right on a 1-2 pitch. Weaver threw 19 pitches and had 63 through three.
Guerrero bounced hard to third on the first pitch. Rivera bounced an 0-2 pitch to Sexson in the hole on the left side, where he made the backhand play and tossed to the covering Washburn. Anderson shot a ball up the middle that was caught on a dive by Betancourt, who got back up and threw in time to first on a very nice play. Washburn threw nine pitches and had 52 through four.
Ichiro popped up weakly to second on the first pitch. Snelling reached down on a second-pitch sinker and lined it into the third row of seats beyond the rightfield wall.
»» MARINERS 5, ANGELS 1
Beltre lined out to left on the second pitch. Ibañez walked on four pitches. Sexson took a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner on a call he didn't particularly like. Weaver threw 13 pitches and had 76 through four.
Quinlan rolled the second pitch deep into the hole at short, where it came up Betancourt's arm, though Quinlan might have been safe anyway on what was ruled a single. Kendrick popped a 2-0 pitch to Ichiro in rightcenter. Napoli walked on a full-count high fastball. Figgins worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a fastball. Izturis rolled right to short for a 6-4 force on Napoli. Washburn threw 22 pitches and had 74 through five.
Broussard rolled the first pitch to a charging Cabrera, who had to throw quickly to try to get Broussard, but couldn't as his throw got away from Quinlan, but not far enough for Broussard to advance (single). Johjima whiffed on a 1-1 breaking ball in the dirt away as Broussard stole second (first of the season). Johjima bounced a 2-2 pitch to short that Cabrera bobbled twice (error) and had no play. Lopez bunted the first pitch along the left side, where Napoli came out from behind the plate and threw in time to first, moving Broussard and Johjima to third and second. Betancourt bounced right to short (drawn-in infield), where Broussard took off on contact and again was hung up between third and second, but Broussard stayed in it long enough for Betancourt to move to second as Johjima was camped on third while Broussard was getting tagged out.
JC Romero came in for Weaver. Ichiro was intentionally walked to load the bases. Snelling bounced a 3-1 pitch to Kendrick in the hole on the right side.
Weaver's line: 4 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 86 pitches (55 strikes)
Romero's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (2 strikes)
Cabrera popped the first pitch to right. Guerrero got ahead 2-0 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Sexson in foul ground near the first-base line. Rivera grounded the first pitch hard near the third-base bag, where Beltre slid to a knee on his backhand side and made the long throw to first in time. Washburn threw seven pitches and had 81 through six.
Hector Carrasco came in for Romero. Beltre whipped the first pitch over a leaping Cabrera at short and into left for a single. Ibañez bounced a 2-2 pitch back to the mound, where Carrasco threw to second for an out (1-6), but Ibañez beat the back end of the double play. Sexson drilled the second pitch into left for a single to move Ibañez to second. Broussard got ahead 3-1 and drove a full-count pitch to deep center, taking Figgins to the track. Johjima bounced an 0-2 pitch to third, where Izturis threw a one-hopper to first that was a bit wide and got past Quinlan, enabling Ibañez to barely beat a subsequent throw home by a recovering Quinlan.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 1
Lopez had the hitters' counts before rolling a 3-1 pitch to short, where Cabrera made a casual backhand flip to second for the out on Johjima. Carrasco threw 23 pitches.
Anderson got a meaty fastball up over the inner half and golfed it about twelve rows into the rightfield seats.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 2
Quinlan drilled an 0-2 pitch into the visitors' bullpen, off the staircase.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 3
Kendrick looped a second pitch into shallow center that was caught on the run by Ichiro. Napoli walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit, along with a couple on infielders in what apparently wasn't a stall tactic since Mike Hargrove didn't come immediately afterward with the hook (Rafael Soriano was warming in the pen). Figgins flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter on the second pitch. Izturis rolled the second pitch to short for an easy 6-4 force on Napoli at second. Washburn threw
Washburn's line: 7 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 100 pitches (65 strikes)
Betancourt popped the second pitch to Figgins, who had to run straight back to catch the ball hit over his head. Ichiro was down 0-2 and nubbed a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Snelling had the hitters' counts before grounding a full-count pitch to Kendrick in the hole on the right side.
Carrasco's line: 2 innings, 1 run (unearned), 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 37 pitches (23 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Washburn. Cabrera fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 fastball on the outside corner. Guerrero crushed the first pitch off the right side of Soriano's head (particularly, his ear), and it ricocheted into foul ground on the left side for a single. Soriano fell to the ground immediately and was attended was met with a mad dash of trainers after play was called dead. As you may imagine, the entire ballpark fell silent. Fortunately, Soriano appeared to be conscious the whole time (I inferred this from the live feed, but this was later confirmed by the broadcast crew). Soriano was put onto a gurney by the on-site EMTs, wheeled off the field of play on a football injury-style cart, and subsequently to Harborview Medical Center. Later in the night, I heard on SportsCenter that Soriano was also able to speak afterward. [late night edit -- Soriano was hit behind the right ear and suffered a concussion.]
Sean Green came in for Soriano. Rivera was up 3-1 before rolling a full-count pitch through the left side for a single to move Guerrero to third.
George Sherrill came in for Green. Anderson dropped a double along the rightfield line, scoring Guerrero and moving Rivera to third.
»» MARINERS 6, ANGELS 4
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Quinlan whiffed on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Kendrick nearly dumped a double into the rightfield corner, but it went into the seats in foul ground. Kendrick popped a 1-2 pitch to Ichiro a few steps short of the track. Putz threw 12 pitches.
Soriano's line: 1/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
Green's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (3 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 pitches (2 strikes)
Brendan Donnelly came in for Carrasco. Beltre lined out to Figgins running back toward the track in center. Ibañez popped a full-count pitch to Izturis in foul ground along the leftfield line. Sexson smacked the second pitch into left for a single. Broussard fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch down and in.
Donnelly's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeouts, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
Napoli flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter. Figgins took a 2-2 pitch barely inside before popping a full-count pitch to Johjima, who reached above the dugout railing and Beltre's glove to make the catch. Izturis flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter on a 1-2 pitch.
Putz' line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 28 pitches (19 strikes)
Gameball: JJ Putz.
I'm seriously pushing it here. I'm going with a pitcher on a night where four of the 12 Mariner hits were homers and the first six hitters in the Mariner lineup got two hits apiece. Yes, the first two-thirds of the Seattle lineup combined to go 12-for-28 with all the extra-base hits (two doubles, four homers). Still, I'm going with Putz. Rafael Soriano didn't leave a mess out there, he got Orlando Cabrera before the horror occurred. Sean Green got a ground ball that got through the left side, then George Sherrill had Garret Anderson drop a double along the rightfield line. With the Mariners up 6-4, Mike Hargrove called on Putz to get five out to end the game. The situation Putz had to work with was one with runners on second and third with one out and the seventh hitter of the lineup due to the plate (Robb Quinlan). Let's not forget he along with Green and Sherrill before him had to somehow ready themselves mentally just minutes after seeing one of their bullpen mates get carted off the field and sent to a hospital. The situation was different, but once again Putz came through. The Mariners have depended on Putz so much this year, and it's been great to see how well he's responded. Of course, if this is about three weeks ago, I think Mark Lowe either starts or finishes that eighth inning, but that's neither here nor there.
Goat: Kenji Johjima.
Ben Broussard rescued himself from my ultimatum from yesterday by going 2-for-5, though he struck out twice. While the Mariners' middle infielders were 0-fer at the bottom of the Mariner lineup, the hitter just before them was 0-for-4 as well. Still, Yuniesky Betancourt was his usual defensive self and Jose Lopez didn't muff anything and chipped in with that bunt (how far has he fallen in three months?). Since there was a lot going on in this game, it's easy to forget that Johjima failed to catch the ball on a throw home from Chris Snelling in rightfield, who was trying to gun down Orlando Cabrera. Perhaps Johjima was tripped out by the fact that it wasn't Ichiro out there in rightfield throwing the ball home, but that put an uneasy feeling into the game (it'd be uneasy in a whole different way a couple hours later) that lasted for just a few minutes until Ichiro and Snelling opened up with their barrage of homers to start the bottom half of the inning. Still, the Mariners have a catcher that's hitting .291 out of the seven hole and who is enabling the organization to let Jeff Clement grow in the minors.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 94-38 .712 -- L2
2002 78-54 .591 16 L1
2003 77-55 .583 17 W1
2000 72-60 .545 22 W1
2006 63-69 .477 31 W6
2005 56-76 .424 38 L1
2004 51-81 .386 43 L1
Lackey. Woods. Tomorrow.
In 25 words or less: Division losing streak no more. The streak is bookended with complete-game wins by Felix Hernandez against the Angels.
This one featured Kelvim Escobar going up against Felix Hernandez. Yuniesky Betancourt was given the night off, and Mike Hargrove put Willie Bloomquist in his place at short. News also came down of Julio Mateo having broken the fourth metacarpal in his left (non-throwing) hand in the weight room. Mateo was placed on the 60-day disabled list and is now out for the year, and Jon Huber was called up in his place. Huber is about 4 1/2 months older than me, making me feel slightly less old than a call-up of say, an Eric O'Flaherty. As almost an acknowledgement of how far he's fallen since late May, Jose Lopez was hitting eighth in the lineup in this game. The Mariners were trying to put a halt to their ugly 20-game losing streak to AL West teams, and they were trying to extend their overall winning streak to five games. The fun fact is that the Red Sox and Angels started at the same time as this game and were warming up for the bottom of the fifth when this one was over. This was the shortest game in Safeco Field history. In another fun note, the manual scoreboard in Oakland had the winning Mariner pitcher as number 59, which would have been current last year. Some number-savvy A's fan out there might think that Eric O'Flaherty threw a complete-game shutout against the Angels.
Chone Figgins bounced out to short. Maicer Izturis slapped the second pitch into left for a single. Orlando Cabrera chopped the first pitch very high to Beltre, who barehanded the ball out of the air and threw just in time to first. Vladimir Guerrero was ahead 2-0 and chopped a 2-2 pitch to short, where Bloomquist's throw was high and Sexson apparently didn't get the tag on Guerrero going by, but Sexson alertly threw straight home, where Johjima got the tag on Izturis trying to score. Hernandez threw 11 pitches.
Ichiro lined out to left. Chris Snelling whiffed on a 1-2 change down and away. Adrian Beltre bounced the first pitch to second. Escobar threw eight pitches.
Garret Anderson rolled to Lopez in shallow right (shift) for the out. Juan Rivera split his bat on a 2-0 pitch, grounding out to first. Howie Kendrick nubbed the second pitch back to the mound. Hernandez threw seven pitches and had 18 through two.
Raul Ibañez took Rivera to the track in left. Richie Sexson rolled to second on the first pitch. Ben Broussard popped high to Figgins in shallow rightcenter. Escobar threw ten pitches and had 18 through two.
Adam Kennedy lined a 2-2 pitch into the glove of a leaping Beltre at third. Jose Molina knocked the first pitch through the mound and up the middle for a single. Figgins bounced the second pitch into the right-side hole, where Lopez tried turning two, but he shorthopped Bloomquist at second (fielder's choice, error) and no outs were recorded. Izturis bounced the second pitch off of Hernandez' glove, and the ball chopped to Lopez, who had Bloomquist run across before stepping on the second-base bag to force out Figgins on a weird play as Molina went to third. Cabrera rolled the second pitch to short, where Bloomquist threw to second ofr the force on Izturis. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 31 through three.
Kenji Johjima had a 3-0 count go full before slapping a single over Kennedy and into right. Jose Lopez bounced the first pitch to Cabrera in the left-side hole, who made the leaping and spinning throw to second to force out Johjima, but Lopez beat out the back end of the double play attempt. Willie Bloomquist was up 3-1 after two pitchouts and ended up whiffing on a breaking ball down and away. Ichiro took a second strike, and Molina muffed a snap-throw attempt as the ball got away, but Lopez didn't try to advance. Ichiro checked his swing on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt before whiffing horribly on the next pitch, which was another breaking ball in the dirt (2-3 putout). Escobar threw 19 pitches and had 37 through three.
Guerrero rolled the first pitch to short. Anderson looped a broken-bat single into shallow center that Bloomquist couldn't run from the rightfield side of second base to get. Rivera bounced up the middle to Lopez, who did a glove-flip to a surprised looking Bloomquist covering second, who nonetheless completed the double play without incident. Hernandez threw seven pitches and had 38 through four.
Snelling popped the first pitch high to Figgins in leftcenter. Beltre rolled a 1-2 pitch deep into the hole at short, where Cabrera showed his range and made the backhand stop, but he nearly airmailed Kendrick at first and the throw was late as Beltre had the single. Ibañez was down 0-2 and reached and laid the barrel on a 1-2 pitch, semi-dumping it into shallow rightcenter for a single to move Beltre to third. Sexson blistered the first pitch off the Pepsi ad on the leftfield wall in front of the visitors' bullpen, and the double scored Beltre easily and Ibañez got to third even though the ball banked back to Rivera quickly.
»» MARINERS 1, ANGELS 0
Broussard whiffed on a 2-2 change down and away. Johjima was up 2-0 before nubbing a chopper to short, where Cabrera charged it, but the ball spun wickedly and Cabrera whiffed on a barehand attempt as Ibañez scored and Sexson moved to third on the single.
»» MARINERS 2, ANGELS 0
Lopez took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Escobar threw 25 pitches and had 62 through four.
Kendrick bounced hard to second on the second pitch. Kennedy popped the second pitch to Beltre just in front of the railing in the third-base dugout. Rivera bounced out to second. Hernandez threw seven pitches and had 45 through five.
Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 low breaking ball. Ichiro punched a low-and-away second pitch just fair down the leftfield line, but it ricocheted back to Rivera, who gunned quickly to second to nail Ichiro, who tried to slide to avoid rather than get to the bag immediately, which may have cost him. Snelling popped to short on a 2-2 pitch. Escobar threw 11 pitches and had 73 through five.
Figgins was up 3-1 before popping to Ichiro in fairly deep center on a full count. Izturis popped the second pitch to very shallow rightcenter as Ichiro called off Snelling, who backed off at the last moment as Ichiro made the catch. Cabrera singled up the middle on the first pitch. Guerrero fouled off an 0-2 pitch before whiffing on the next pitch, pure 100mph heat. Amazingly, that was the first strikeout of the game for Felix. Hernandez threw 14 pitches and had 59 through six.
Beltre got under the second pitch, flying out high to center. Ibañez rolled out to second. Sexson blistered another ball, this time a single to left. Broussard took an 0-2 fastball down the pipe. Escobar threw 12 pitches and had 85 through six.
Anderson lined the first pitch to center. Rivera bounced a 2-0 pitch into the hole on the left side, where Bloomquist made the backhand stop and made the long throw in time to first, and while Bloomquist does deserve credit for making that play, Rivera must also be kinda slow. Kendrick was down 0-2 and whiffed over a 1-2 curve. Hernandez threw nine pitches and had 68 through seven.
Johjima grounded the second pitch to third. Lopez whiffed badly on an 0-2 fastball. Bloomquist was down 0-2 and popped a 1-2 pitch high to shallow right. Escobar threw nine pitches and had 94 through seven.
Kennedy whiffed on a 2-2 inside curve in the dirt that got away from Johjima (2-3 putout). Molina whiffed on a 2-2 curve down and away. Figgins one-hopped a 2-0 pitch right to Sexson at first. Hernandez threw 15 pitches and had 83 through eight.
Ichiro popped the first pitch to Molina in foul ground about four feet from where Ichiro was standing. Snelling worked a 1-2 count full before whiffing on a fastball down and away. Beltre lined an outside 2-2 pitch to Guerrero in right.
Escobar's line: 8 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts, 106 pitches (71 strikes)
Yuniesky Betancourt came in to play short. Izturis bounced a 2-2 pitch to a charging Betancourt at short. Cabrera grounded a 1-2 pitch to short. Guerrero drove a fly ball to deep center.
Hernandez' line: 9 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 95 pitches (70 strikes)
Gameball: Felix Hernandez.
Admit it. Felix needed this. The team needed this. The fans needed this. I definitely know I needed this, and not just because I got 34.5 fantasy points out of him from this game. The Felix we all saw in the latter months of the 2005 season has rarely shown up this season. Felix has spent most of the 2006 season struggling, taking his lumps, and sometimes just plain losing control. In his last start, the Yankees tattooed him, though if you ask Dave Niehaus, he thought Felix had great stuff that day and the Yankees were so good you might have to wonder if they were stealing signs or something. This may not be the best start of his career, though it's definitely in the top three or five. Not that Felix is Freddy Garcia or anything -- his potential is for something much greater -- but Garcia reached another level in his career after he realized he didn't have to strike everyone out to be effective. Somewhere along the way, Garcia operated with his changeup as his best pitch rather than trying to blow 94mph fastballs past everybody (I seem to remember a lot of overthrowing). Felix is already the best starting strikeout pitcher the Mariners have had since Randy Johnson. Do they need him to be? In this game, he proved dominance doesn't necessarily have to be measured by racking up double digits in strikeouts (he only struck out four). It can be measured via an absurd 16 groundball outs and no walks. I knew once his pitch count was low after the third and fourth that we might get a chance to see something that was pretty great, and I'm glad the Angels kept hacking.
Goat: Ben Broussard.
Willie Bloomquist was 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts, but he made a nice play on that long throw from the hole. Jose Lopez was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts as well (black hole in the final two spots in the lineup tonight), but he had the nifty glove-flip move on the ball up the middle to start a double play. Chris Snelling went 0-for-4 and struck out twice, but not only is he Chris Snelling, he didn't leave any runners on base. Broussard was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and he left three runners aboard. Thus, I'm afraid I have to take this step again, since it worked last time -- Broussard is getting the goat in every game he plays until he gets a hit. Hopefully this shouldn't last long. Of course, seeing as to how I'm the one writing these posts, I do reserve the right to give the goat to someone else if they stink it up way more than Broussard does that night. Hopefully this won't last too long, or Broussard will be getting more goat meat than the Luvahs that Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch played on Saturday Night Live.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 94-37 .718 -- L1
2002 78-53 .595 16 W1
2003 76-55 .580 18 L6
2000 71-60 .542 23 L2
2006 62-69 .473 32 W5
2005 56-75 .427 38 W1
2004 51-80 .389 43 W5
Weaver. Washburn. Tonight.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
In 25 words or less: The team loses 11 straight, has the Yankees and Red Sox on the schedule, and wins five of six? Huh? What is this?
This one featured Kyle Snyder going up against Cha Seung Baek. Manny Ramirez was scratched from the Boston lineup for the second time in the series with patellar tendinitis and hamstring problems. Rene Rivera got his customary Sunday afternoon start behind the plate for the Mariners. After collecting his first big-league hit the night before, TJ Bohn was sent back to Tacoma and Mike Morse was called up in his place. The bad thing about that is that it's very possible that if a lefty starts against the Mariners, Mike Hargrove may put Morse in the lineup and play him in the field. Of course, if Hargrove really feels obligated to play Morse, I hope it's either in just a pinch-hitting role or he starts in left and Raul Ibañez moves over to right. That is the rule, isn't it? Move your worst defensive outfielder to left? In a related story, I played leftfield through most of my time in high school.
Coco Crisp worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Mark Loretta fell behind 0-2 and lined out to third on a 1-2 pitch, foiling a hit-and-run as Crisp was on the bag at second (5-3 double play). David Ortiz worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Kevin Youkilis was up 2-0 but flew out to Snelling on the rightfield track. Baek threw 20 pitches.
Ichiro was down 0-2 and hit a low liner right to Youkilis in left. Chris Snelling rolled a 1-2 pitch deep into the hole on the right side, where Pedroia made a dive, and his throw pulled Loretta off the bag at first, but Snelling might have beat it out anyway on a very close play (scored as a single). Adrian Beltre was ahead 3-0 before taking a 3-1 pitch outside for a walk. Raul Ibañez popped a 2-2 pitch to Youkilis near the leftfield corner. Richie Sexson grounded deep into the hole on the left side, where Cora was going to go to third with the ball, but it flew out of his hand as he revved up the throw, but he had a ways to go to get it anyway and more than likely everybody would have been safe (scored as a single). The bases were now loaded. Ben Broussard was down 0-2 and whiffed over a 2-2 curve. Snyder threw 30 pitches.
Mike Lowell popped out to right. Eric Hinske fell behind 0-2 before flying out high to short on a 1-2 pitch. Dustin Pedroia got ahead 3-1 and rolled to second on a full count. Baek threw 14 pitches and had 34 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt lined the second pitch just over the reach of a leaping Youkilis and to the leftfield wall for a double. Rene Rivera took a 2-2 curve down the pipe. Willie Bloomquist popped a 3-1 pitch to left that Youkilis camped under and lost in the sun, where it dropped (error originally but later scored a double) to move Betancourt to third as Bloomquist got to second. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and was intentionally given balls three and four to load the bases. Snelling popped the second pitch to shallow center, where it was basket-caught by Crisp, who tried throwing to the plate, but his sore arm bounced it somewhere by the mound as Betancourt scored easily.
»» MARINERS 1, RED SOX 0
Beltre nearly fell backwards in the box hitting a hard line drive on an 0-2 pitch, but it went into the glove of Crisp in leftcenter. Snyder threw 21 pitches and had 51 through two.
Javy Lopez whiffed on a full-count curve over the outer half. Alex Cora walked on a full count. Crisp flew out to center on the second pitch. Loretta bounced an 0-2 pitch to third. Baek threw 20 pitches and had 54 through three.
Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full and bounced to second, where Pedroia tried to square up on a ball too far to his right, and it rolled into and out of his glove (error). Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a curve, and Ibañez was gunned down trying to steal second for the double play. Broussard whiffed over a 1-2 curve. Snyder threw 19 pitches and had 70 through three.
Ortiz popped the first pitch to Ichiro in shallow center. Youkilis whiffed on a 1-2 fastball. Lowell smoked a hard line drive right into the glove of Broussard at first (hardest-hit ball by Boston to that point in the game). Baek threw eight pitches and had 62 through four.
Betancourt was up 2-0 before grounding hard to third. Rivera rolled a 2-2 pitch to short. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to right. Snyder threw 11 pitches and had 81 through four.
Hinske was ahead 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 fastball up and away. Pedroia took a first-pitch ball and Rivera visited the mound. Pedroia worked a 1-2 count for a 13-pitch walk (eight foul balls, seven fouls of 1-2 pitches). Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Lopez (who never showed bunt in the at-bat) took an 0-2 fastball over the inside corner. Cora foul-tipped an inside 0-2 breaking ball into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Crisp rolled an 0-2 pitch to first, where Broussard moved to get the ball, but threw well over the covering Baek at first (error), and Rivera was backing up that throw, leaving home plate unguarded as Hinske scored, but Rivera threw to Beltre to catch Pedroia between second and third. Baek threw 27 pitches and had 89 through five.
»» RED SOX 1, MARINERS 1
Ichiro nubbed a 1-2 pitch to the left side, where Cora had to make the play from deep in the hole, and Ichiro easily beat the throw for a single. Snelling nearly drag-bunted for a single on the first pitch, but it rolled foul along the first-base line. Snelling shot a grounder just fair past the first-base bag and off the angled stands behind the tarp in foul ground along the rightfield line for a double, moving Ichiro to third. Beltre walked on four pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Pitching coach Dave Wallace visited the mound. Ibañez turned on and blistered a 2-0 pitch roughly 12 rows into the rightfield seats just inside the foul pole, pushing his season RBI total to a career-high 102. Attaway, Raul. This slam isn't by Onyx.
»» MARINERS 5, RED SOX 1
Sexson fell behind 0-2 but stuck a 1-2 pitch into left for a single.
Julian Tavarez came in for Snyder. Broussard lined an 0-2 pitch to Youkilis in leftcenter. Betancourt shot the first pitch through the right side for a single, moving Sexson to second. Rivera punched the first pitch through the right side for a single as well, loading the bases once again. Bloomquist tapped the second pitch to first, where Loretta throw home for the force on Sexson, and Lopez tried to get the speedy Bloomquist at first but threw down the line (error), scoring Betancourt and moving Rivera to third. Bloomquist moved to second as a result of the throwing error.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 1
Ichiro was up 2-0 and again got the next two balls intentionally, loading the bases for the third time in the inning. Snelling had a 3-0 count go full before whiffing on a fastball (eighth pitch of the at-bat). Tavarez threw 19 pitches.
Snyder's line: 4 innings, 6 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 100 pitches (57 strikes)
Loretta flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter on the second pitch. Ortiz turned on a 1-1 pitch and nearly homered down the rightfield line. Ortiz waited a little longer and six pitches later, he homered into the tenth row of rightfield seats. Away goes the no-hitter, which Baek had through 5 1/3 innings.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 2
Youkilis hit a 1-2 pitch for a low fly ball to Ibañez in left. Lowell popped an 0-2 hanging breaking ball into the visitors' bullpen just to the right of the manual scoreboard in left.
»» MARINERS 6, RED SOX 3
Sean Green came in for Baek. Hinske foul-tipped a 2-2 breaking ball into Rivera's glove behind the plate. Green threw eight pitches.
Baek's line: 5 2/3 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts, 107 pitches (69 strikes)
Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 pitch that came from a Luis Tiant ripoff delivery from Tavarez. Ibañez had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch away. Sexson took an 0-2 inside fastball off the left thigh. Broussard swung on a 2-2 Tiant ripoff pitch (the delivery/fake pickoff juked Ibañez back to second) and the ball went to short, where Ibañez hung by the bag at second but forgot he was forced to run to third, and Cora tagged the bag at second and tagged Ibañez for the unassisted double play. Tavarez threw 17 pitches and had 36 total.
Tavarez' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
Pedroia rolled the second pitch to short, where Betancourt made a wide throw to first, and Broussard came off the bag to make a tag on the sliding Pedroia (replays did not confirm the tag). Lopez splintered his bat and popped to Broussard in foul ground on the right side. Cora walked on a 3-1 outside pitch. Crisp was down 0-2 before rolling a 1-2 pitch to first.
Green's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Manny Delcarmen came in for Tavarez. Betancourt popped to second on the second pitch. Rivera lined the second pitch for what could have been a double down the line, but Hinske ranged over to make a fully-extending diving catch (very nice). Bloomquist chopped the second pitch over the mound to a charging Pedroia, who made the off-balance throw to first. Delcarmen threw six pitches.
Rafael Soriano came in for Green. Loretta flew out to left on an 0-2 pitch. Ortiz flew out to left as well, but on the first pitch. Youkilis worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Lowell popped to Broussard near the first-base coaches' box.
Soriano's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
Ichiro bounced the first pitch to second. Snelling rolled out to second as well, but on the second pitch. Beltre flew out to fairly deep center on the first pitch.
Delcarmen's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 10 pitches (10 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Soriano as the shadows crept to cover the area up to a foot or two in front of the plate. Hinske flew out to shallow center. Pedroia whiffed on a 2-2 fastball up and away. Lopez foul-tipped a 2-2 fastball into Rivera's glove behind the plate.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
Gameball: Chris Snelling.
What's not to like? I know that for now, I'm enjoying this, and it's not just because the fact that he's in rightfield enables Ichiro to cover crazy-nuts ground in center. Snelling has survived through nine big-league games this season. His career high for games is 15, and that happened last season. So far this season, he's 10-for-24 (.417), and half of those hits have gone for extra bases (four doubles, one triple). He's struck out nine times and walked four, which isn't absurd or anything, but what's been immediately apparent is that Snelling is patient and is able to grind out quality at-bats, and that's been a much-needed breath of fresh air after seeing three-quarters of a season filled with everyone hacking early and the Mariners getting into opposing teams' bullpens much later in games than they should. By the way, opposing starting pitchers in games where the Mariners have been shut out (fourteen times) are Joe Blanton (eight innings), Barry Zito (six), Nate Robertson (seven), CC Sabathia (eight), Scott Kazmir (seven), Rodrigo Lopez (7 1/3), John Rheinecker (8 1/3), Blanton again (eight), Josh Fogg (complete game), Bartolo Colon (complete game), Jeremy Sowers (complete game), Rodrigo Lopez again (7 2/3), Dan Haren (six), and Jered Weaver (seven).
Goat: Ben Broussard.
I don't feel like talking about Cha Seung Baek taking a five-walker into the sixth inning. Instead, I'll again lament how very unsatisfying this Eduardo Perez/Broussard platoon has been. Hopefully in the near future the Mariners can have something more to hang their hats on regarding their designated hitter situation (though Broussard was playing first base today as Sexson DH'd) other than the simple fact that four at-bats every night aren't going to Carl Everett anymore. Broussard in this game went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and there's a number six in that left-on-base category in his boxscore line. The first (bases loaded), third, and sixth innings (Ibañez forgets the number of outs) ended on his at-bats, and he was the first out of the five-run fifth inning. It didn't stop on the offensive end for Broussard, who made what could have been a fatal error with two on and two out in the fifth, tossing the ball over Cha Seung Baek's head after fielding a grounder to first base. In 25 games with the Mariners, Broussard is 14-for-72 (.198) with two doubles, five homers, and 11 RBIs, walking only once while striking out 18 times. I guess the good thing is that half of his hits have gone for extra bases, but that's only great if he's getting a lot of hits, which he's not.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 94-36 .723 -- W5
2002 77-53 .592 17 L2
2003 76-54 .585 18 L5
2000 71-59 .546 23 L1
2006 61-69 .469 33 W4
2005 55-75 .423 39 L1
2004 50-80 .385 44 W4
Escobar. Hernandez. Tomorrow.
In 25 words or less: There have been more than enough lows this season, so enjoy the highs like this one and hope they are more plentiful next season.
This one featured David Wells going up against Gil Meche. The Mariners were trying to extend their winning streak to three games, which would be their first such streak since the sweep against Tampa Bay earlier this month. More impressively, the Mariners dealt losses in consecutive games to the likes of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. If the Mariners were to add David Wells to the mix, that's quite an achievement. Those are three pretty good pitchers of the 1990s right there. Manny Ramirez returned to the Boston lineup and Adrian Beltre returned to the Seattle lineup. It was Seattle Times' Mariner beat writer Bob Finnigan's final game. In the ultimate semi-pipe dream, if the Mariners won this game, they would not only win the series against the Red Sox, but might have a chance for a sweep. I know it's probably bad to be dreaming of a sweep against Boston in a season that's otherwise been mostly crap, but I'm used to it by now since the team hasn't been good in about three and a half seasons.
Coco Crisp bounced the second pitch to Meche in front of the mound. Mark Loretta was down 0-2 before watching a beautiful 1-2 curve over the outside corner. David Ortiz whiffed over a wicked 2-2 curve down over the inside corner. Meche threw 11 pitches.
Ichiro lofted a curve to Crisp a couple steps short of the centerfield track. Jose Lopez rolled a 1-2 curve to short. Adrian Beltre rolled the second pitch to short. Wells threw nine pitches.
Manny Ramirez whiffed on a 2-2 slider over the outside corner at the knees. Mike Lowell knocked a single into center. Eric Hinske whiffed over a 2-2 low change. Javy Lopez whiffed at a 1-2 fastball. Meche threw 19 pitches and had 30 through two.
Raul Ibañez was down 0-2 and couldn't check a swing on a 1-2 fastball up and in. Richie Sexson rolled a 2-0 pitch to short. Eduardo Perez was up 3-1 before taking a full-count fastball down over the outside corner. Wells threw 13 pitches and had 22 through two.
Alex Cora hit an 0-2 pitch to Beltre, who made the backhand play at third and threw in time to first. Gabe Kapler grounded the second pitch for a hard one-hopper to second. Crisp lined a 1-2 inside-corner fastball (target was outside) into the first row of seats beyond the rightfield fence.
»» RED SOX 1, MARINERS 0
Loretta one-hopped the second pitch to third. Meche threw 13 pitches and had 43 through three.
Kenji Johjima grounded the first pitch to short. Yuniesky Betancourt got behind 0-2 before rolling a 1-2 curve to short, where Cora charged and threw on the run to first, but Hinske whiffed on the catch (error), though Betancourt advanced no further. TJ Bohn nearly doubled down the leftfield line (foul) en route to working a 1-2 count full before splitting his bat on a grounder to a charging Cora at short, who quickly threw to Loretta at second for the force on Betancourt, though replays sort of showed that Betancourt was safe. Ichiro grounded the second pitch very hard to first. Wells threw 17 pitches and had 39 through three.
Ortiz popped a 2-0 pitch high to Beltre backing into shallow left. Ramirez bulleted a 2-2 pitch off of Meche's heel, which knocked it down and Meche grabbed it and threw to first. Lowell shot a 2-2 outside curve past a diving Beltre and into the leftfield corner for a double. At this point, Dave Henderson was wondering aloud why Meche was moving away from the hard heat he was throwing through the first trip through the lineup that worked well. Hinske couldn't check his swing on a low 2-2 curve. Meche threw 19 pitches and had 62 through four.
Jose Lopez reached to ground the first pitch to third. Beltre drilled a base hit into rightcenter that Kapler took a weird route to, and it rolled to the wall for a double as Beltre hit the brakes. Ibañez stroked the first pitch up the middle for a single that brought Beltre around third, and Crisp didn't contest Beltre at the plate with a throw, though he could have. Beltre scored.
»» RED SOX 1, MARINERS 1
Sexson popped an 0-2 pitch to deep center and Ibañez tagged and advanced to second. Perez grounded out to third. Wells threw 12 pitches and had 51 through four.
Javy Lopez was down 0-2 and chopped a 2-2 pitch to third. Cora popped a 1-2 pitch to Betancourt in shallow left. Kapler grounded an 0-2 pitch into center past a diving Lopez for a single. Crisp walked on a 3-1 pitch, moving Kapler to second. Loretta looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow center on which Ichiro was just a couple inches short on a sliding catch attempt as Kapler scored and Crisp moved to third.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 1
Ortiz popped to Sexson in foul ground on the warning track on the right side. Meche threw 26 pitches and had 88 through five.
Johjima poked a 2-2 pitch off of the leg of Wells, and it went in front of the mound but was picked up by Wells, who threw to first. Betancourt shot a ball into the rightcenter gap, where it rolled to the wall and Crisp and Kapler had some issues coming up with the ball (Crisp booted it away at one point) and Betancourt hit the brakes at third with a triple. Bohn worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a low curve. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to short. Wells threw 17 pitches and had 68 through five.
Ramirez chopped to third on the second pitch. Lowell popped the first pitch to Betancourt in shallow center. Hinske tapped to the right side, where Meche came off the mound to field it and toss to first. Meche threw eight pitches and had 96 through six.
Jose Lopez rolled an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Beltre grounded the first pitch hard to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Ibañez lined a single into center. Sexson walked on four pitches to move Ibañez to second. Perez was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 curve low and away. Wells threw 16 pitches and had 84 through six.
Javy Lopez was down 0-2 and took a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Cora smoked the first pitch right into the glove of Lopez at second. Kapler grounded a 3-1 pitch up the middle, where Betancourt had to reach and bend to get the ball and made the throw to first in time on a very nice play. Meche threw 11 pitches and had 107 through seven.
Meche's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 107 pitches (75 strikes)
Johjima rolled out to first. Betancourt laid the barrel on a second-pitch inside-corner fastball, putting it into the first row over the manual scoreboard in left.
»» RED SOX 2, MARINERS 2
Bohn served an 0-2 curve into left for a single, his first Major League hit. Ichiro dumped the second pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single, moving Bohn to second. Jose Lopez bounced the second pitch right to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Wells threw 13 pitches and had 97 through seven.
Wells' line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 97 pitches (67 strikes)
Rafael Soriano came in for Meche. Crisp was down 0-2 and rolled a 1-2 pitch to short. Loretta popped to deep left on the first pitch.
George Sherrill came in for Soriano. Ortiz bunted the first pitch foul to the left side, trying to combat the shift. Ortiz poked an 0-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for a double, probably past where Beltre would have been on a normal hitter. Ramirez was intentionally walked.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Lowell had the hitters' counts before dumping a single into shallow leftcenter, scoring Ortiz. The throw back to third looked to have Ramirez beat, though Beltre laid the tag on the shoulder of Ramirez, but the ball came out. Nonetheless, third-base umpire Ron Kulpa called Ramirez out. Terry Francona was none too pleased about this and came out to argue. Putz threw six pitches.
»» RED SOX 3, MARINERS 2
Soriano's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (5 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
Mike Timlin came in for Wells. Beltre lashed an 0-2 pitch off the outside corner, putting it into the fourth row of seats past the rightfield wall.
»» RED SOX 3, MARINERS 3
Ibañez poked a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single. Sexson stuck an outside first pitch into right for a single to move Ibañez to third. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, drove a fly ball that took Crisp nearly to the track in leftcenter (in front of the mass of inebriation), and Ibañez tagged from third and scored.
»» MARINERS 4, RED SOX 3
Johjima lined out to right on the first pitch, and Sexson was called safe, not because he beat Kapler's throw back to first, but because the throw pulled Hinske's foot barely off the bag. Betancourt flew out to Kapler in deep rightcenter.
Timlin's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 14 pitches (11 strikes)
Hinske took a 2-2 blazing fastball down the pipe. Javy Lopez was down 0-2 after fouling off a second pitch that took a bite out of Johjima behind the plate, who needed a couple minutes to get his wits. Javy Lopez whiffed on the next pitch, a fastball above the letters. Cora whiffed on a high 1-2 fastball.
Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 21 pitches (15 strikes)
Gameball: Yuniesky Betancourt.
He was 2-for-4, and the hits were a triple and a homer. Needless to say, that's a good way to boost your slugging percentage by 13 points in late August. A more surprising note is that the one-out triple in the fifth was his first triple since June 17th against the Giants, a game where the Mariners tagged Jason Schmidt for two homers, six runs, and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings en route to an 8-1 win. Betancourt went 56 games (quick count with the look at the log) without hitting a triple, and that triple in mid-June was his fourth of the season. We know he's terrible at stealing bases for someone with his speed, but I think it's pretty surprising that last year, his first big-league hit was a triple, and he finished with five over the length of that late-season call-up. This game here was his 127th of the season, and he just now got his fifth triple. Would I trade that fact for 43 more points on his batting average, though? Absolutely. More important than the triple in this game, however, was the homer, which tied the game in the seventh and gave the Mariners and the fans some hope, because it all seemed like a bummer at that point. I certainly thought the game was almost in the bag for Boston at that point. Who expects a clutch homer from their eighth hitter? Certainly not anyone who has watched eighth hitters of the Mariners in years past.
Goat: Eduardo Perez.
The other half of the Broussard/Perez platoon drove in what held up as the game-winning run, and that was a very good thing. What's bad is that Perez went 0-for-3 and struck out twice before that happened. Perez has appeared in 26 games as a Mariner and is 10-for-53 (.189) with a double, a homer, and six RBIs, walking nine times and striking out 15 times. I would suppose it's harder for Perez to break out of a slump than it would be for Broussard since the playing time for Perez is heavily dependent on the opposing pitcher being lefthanded. Playing time for Perez is therefore pretty scattered. His last hit was a double in Oakland on the 16th. He's gone hitless since, but has only played in four games. He did have a four-game hit streak from July 31st to August 6th, but followed that up with a four-game hitless streak. It goes without saying that everyone would like to see the Mariners reap dividends from the moves that brought Perez and Broussard over to Seattle. I think those dividends might come, but it'll more likely be from what Broussard does next year.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 93-36 .721 -- W4
2002 77-52 .597 16 L1
2003 76-53 .589 17 L4
2000 71-58 .550 22 W1
2006 60-69 .465 33 W3
2005 55-74 .426 38 W1
2004 49-80 .380 44 W3
Snyder. Baek. Today.