Saturday, September 09, 2006
In 25 words or less: There were no Mariner hits until the fifth, but that's when the game quickly turned in their favor.
This one featured Kevin Millwood going up against Cha Seung Baek. Willie Bloomquist got the start at third because Adrian Beltre's wife was in labor, so he flew to Los Angeles. I would have been completely content with Beltre being benched because of his offensive ineptitude of late, but the birth of a newborn son will do as well. Also, the September call-ups were on hand for the Mariners. They are Travis Chick, Francisco Cruceta, Ryan Feierabend, Cesar Jimenez, Greg Dobbs, Oswaldo Navarro, TJ Bohn, and Adam Jones. I have updated the Mariners By the Numbers post to reflect such changes, though I had to go to Yahoo's Mariner roster to get the right numbers. I usually went to the Mariner roster at MLB.com, but I know it can't possibly be right since there's no way Oswaldo Navarro and TJ Bohn are both wearing number 17. This isn't a college football team, this is baseball, so two guys don't need to wear the same number. Anyway, the Mariners were trying to win their third straight game and 11th of 16.
Gary Matthews, Jr. popped the second pitch into shallow rightcenter, where Snelling made a diving catch and got up without any sign of injury. Michael Young took a 2-2 slider over the outside corner. Mark Teixeira fell behind 0-2 and reached on a 1-2 pitch, flying out to Snelling near the rightfield corner. Baek threw 12 pitches.
Ichiro rolled to second on the second pitch. Chris Snelling took a 2-2 slider over the outside corner (the FSNNW Tracer said it was off the corner). Yuniesky Betancourt flew out to Matthews in fairly deep rightcenter on a 2-0 pitch. Millwood threw ten pitches.
Carlos Lee bounced the second pitch to a charging Bloomquist at third. Hank Blalock flew out to Ibañez in deep leftcenter. Mark DeRosa was up 3-1 and poked a full-count pitch barely over the reach of a leaping Lopez and into right for a single. Ian Kinsler was up 3-1 but would whiff on a full-count pitch down and away. Baek threw 18 pitches and had 30 through two.
Raul Ibañez walked on a full-count pitch away. Richie Sexson chopped a 2-0 pitch to Blalock charging in from third as Ibañez moved to second. Ben Broussard took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Kenji Johjima looped a weak pop to the feet of Kinsler at second, who made the shoestring catch. Millwood threw 21 pitches and had 31 through two.
Gerald Laird grounded the second pitch to Bloomquist behind the bag at third. Nelson Cruz knocekd a full-count pitch through the left side for a single. Matthews drove the second pitch to the track in leftcenter, and Ibañez ran roughly a mile and got it on the fly as Cruz retreated back to first after having rounded second. Young nubbed the first pitch to short. Baek threw 11 pitches and had 41 through three.
Jose Lopez whiffed brutally at a 1-2 slow curve way off the plate outside. Willie Bloomquist got ahead 2-0 and tapped a 2-2 pitch just foul down the rightfield line and Teixeira pursued the play but first-base umpire Brian Knight set a pick. Teixeira tried holding onto Knight and taking him down as well, but Knight stayed upright and Teixeira badly rolled his left ankle, but he stayed in the game. Bloomquist whiffed on a 2-2 inside fastball. Ichiro whiffed on a high full-count pitch. Millwood struck out the side on 19 pitches and had 50 through three.
Teixeira looped a 2-2 pitch to Ichiro in shallow center. Lee was jammed and lined out to third. Blalock bounced behind the bag to Sexson, who bobbled it and made a toss of high arc to a covering Baek at first, but it was still in time. Baek threw nine pitches and had 50 through four.
Snelling took a 2-2 fastball over the inside corner. Betancourt bounced to short, stopping Millwood's strikeout streak at four hitters. Ibañez flew out to DeRosa in leftcenter on a 1-2 pitch. Millwood threw 14 pitches and had 64 through four.
DeRosa rolled to second on the second pitch and had his bat explode as well as the barrel went past the mound and was avoided by Baek. Kinsler lined out to Ibañez in leftcenter. Laird fell behind 0-2 before rolling over to a ranging Betancourt (throwing on the run, of course) on the left side on a 1-2 pitch. Baek threw ten pitches and had 60 through five.
Sexson waited on a breaking ball and punched it under a diving Blalock and into left for a single and the first Mariner hit of the game. Broussard dumped a 1-2 pitch into center for a single to move Sexson to second. Johjima lined the first pitch near the mounds in the visitors' bullpen beyond the wall in leftcenter.
»» MARINERS 3, RANGERS 0
Lopez chopped a 3-1 pitch high to third, and Blalock couldn't gather himself too well to make a throw, though he made a wild one, but Lopez was safe. Pitching coach Mark Connor visited the mound. Bloomquist popped the first pitch to Cruz near the rightfield line. Ichiro shot the second pitch along the third-base line, but Blalock got to it in front of the bag and threw in time to first as Lopez moved to second. Snelling took a 2-2 pitch over the inside corner. Millwood threw 21 pitches and had 85 through five.
Cruz worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a pitch off the plate outside. Matthews flew out to Ichiro a couple steps short of the track in center. Young fell behind 0-2 and laced a 2-2 pitch into right for a single. Teixeira barely missed doubling a 2-0 pitch into the rightfield corner. Teixeira had the hitters' counts before bouncing to first on a full count (3-1 putout). Baek threw 24 pitches and had 84 through six.
Betancourt bounced the second pitch to short. Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full before tapping back to the mound. Sexson hit a nice line drive right to Cruz in right on a 2-2 pitch.
Millwood's line: 6 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 102 pitches (65 strikes)
Lee served a single into shallow center. Blalock popped very high to right. DeRosa grounded right to third to start a 5-4-3 double play.
Baek's line: 7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 93 pitches (60 strikes)
Joaquin Benoit came in for Millwood. Broussard flew out to left on the first pitch. Johjima was up 3-1 and nubbed to first on a full count. Lopez chopped the first pitch to third.
Benoit's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
Joel Piñeiro came in for Baek and TJ Bohn came in to play right for Snelling. Kinsler popped the second pitch high to center. Laird was up 3-0 and popped a 3-1 pitch to Johjima behind the plate. Cruz fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches.
Frank Francisco came in for Benoit. Bloomquist grounded out to short. Ichiro rolled a 1-2 pitch slowly to second but was still thrown out. Bohn worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Connor and Laird visited the mound. Betancourt grounded deep into the hole on the left side on a 1-2 pitch, but Young had too far to run, and his throw to get Bohn at second was late.
John Rheinecker came in for Francisco. Ibañez got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full count to load the bases.
Rick Bauer came in for Rheinecker. Sexson was somewhat miffed at a low-looking second pitch that was called a strike. Sexson crushed the baseball, homering to the greenery in front of the hitters' backdrop beyond the centerfield wall. That's a slam.
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 0
Broussard lined a double to the wall in rightfield. Johjima had the hitters' counts before bouncing a 3-1 pitch to third. Bauer threw 13 pitches.
Francisco's line: 2/3 inning, 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
Rheinecker's line: 0 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (2 strikes)
Bauer's line: 1/3 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (6 strikes)
Matthews slapped a 2-2 pitch into left for a single. Young flew out to Ichiro in fairly deep leftcenter. Teixeira obliterated the second pitch, but he didn't get under it enough as it one-hopped over the wall and off something in the stands and back into the field of play (ground-rule double) as Matthews moved to third. Lee dropped a single into shallow center, scoring Matthews and Teixeira with a little help from Ichiro bobbling the ball (single and error), the throw getting past Betancourt, and Sexson bobbling the ball as well.
»» MARINERS 7, RANGERS 2
Blalock bounced up the middle, where Betancourt fully extended on a dive, and backhand tossed to Betancourt covering second for the out (5-6 fielder's choice on the shift). DeRosa was down 0-2 and flew out to Ibañez in leftcenter on a 1-2 pitch.
Piñeiro's line: 2 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 awlks, 1 strikeout, 32 pitches (22 strikes)
Gameball: Cha Seung Baek.
I'm going to try the reverse Ben Broussard here. Baek will get gameballs every time he goes out there if he keeps doing this. Seven shutout innings of four-hit ball? Against this lineup? He doesn't have great speed, so he's having to do it with some decent junk and some great command. It's the command in his last two starts that has improved leaps and bounds. He took a no-hitter much too long into his start against Boston. He walked five hitters in that start. In his first big-league start of the season, Baek walked three. In these last two starts combined, Baek has walked one hitter, and it wasn't in this game. Baek wasn't a strikeout machine -- he only collected three strikeouts in the game. He walked no one and gave up four hits. He got nine outs via the ground and another nine via the air. No grossly one-sided ratio there. Normally I'd pooh-pooh a performance like this from a late-season call-up because it's September and call-ups get playing time, but there weren't any call-ups in that Texas lineup.
Goat: Chris Snelling.
Kevin Millwood absolutely handled Snelling in this game. All three times he came to the plate, he was caught looking by Millwood, though the handy FSNNW tracer said the 2-2 pitch he took for strike three in the first inning was actually off the plate outside. I think his speed, aggressiveness, line-drive swing, etc., more than make up for what I think is the only negative byproduct of being so patient -- that 2-2 pitch off the corner isn't a ball to everyone or every umpire. I think it's not a stretch to say Snelling might strike out looking more than the normal hitter. Even still, patient hitting, even if it means a called strike three every once in a while after a six-pitch at-bat, is a breath of fresh air compared to the hack-a-thon we've been seeing for most of the 2006 Mariner season. I'd like to know if this whole aggressiveness thing was Jeff Pentland's idea or Mike Hargrove's idea or Bill Bavasi's idea or Ron Hassey's idea or what. I hope it's not organization-wide or anything crazy like that. Like Edgar Martinez once said, patience plays.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 100-40 .714 -- W1
2002 82-58 .586 18 W1
2003 81-59 .579 19 L2
2000 76-64 .543 24 W1
2006 67-73 .479 33 W3
2005 61-79 .436 39 W1
2004 52-88 .371 48 L1
Tejeda. Washburn. Tonight.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
[posted in full Fri ~12:06a]
In 25 words or less: It seems rain might be the Mariners' road-field advantage. They probably didn't bank on 3:09 of delay on getaway day, of course.
This one featured Gil Meche going up against Kenny Rogers. Meche was two days away from his 28th birthday. This was one of the all-time best games to watch on MLB.tv. Since neither team had television coverage of the game, the video feed for the game was a semi-fixed overhead camera on the first-base side. The bad thing about it was that it wasn't necessarily on the pitcher and home plate for every pitch. That said, anything I've typed below about pitch location is kinda gleaned off the Tigers' radio crew. Speaking of which, although he's a blatant homer and I abhor his ability to sugarcoat any Mariner-related negativity that may happen on the baseball diamond, one thing I can give to Rick Rizzs is this -- he doesn't use words or phrases like "we," "us," or "our guys" to describe anything Mariner during the course of the game. The Tiger radio crew of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price kicks out a litany of such words, and it's an admitted pet peeve of mine (and Jeremy's) that makes the broadcast nearly unlistenable. One odd thing about the game: Dmitri Young was released afterward. For the second straight game, Yuniesky Betancourt hit third in the lineup, and Adrian Beltre hit eighth. Willie Bloomquist got the obligatory start against the lefthanded starting pitcher. Also, the road-field advantage I mentioned in the 25 Words doesn't include the fly ball where Ichiro slipped and fell. I was just taking the final outcome into account. Two rain delayed games, two wins.
Also, big congrats to Jon Huber on his first win in the bigs.
Ichiro got ahead 2-0 before chopping high to Infante charging in from second. Jose Lopez fell behind 0-2 before grounding a 1-2 pitch to Inge behind the bag at third. Yuniesky Betancourt nubbed out to second. Rogers threw 12 pitches.
Curtis Granderson couldn't check his swing on a 1-2 high fastball. Neifi Perez tapped a 2-0 pitch, grounding to a charging Betancourt. Dmitri Young whiffed on a high 0-2 pitch. Meche threw ten pitches.
Raul Ibañez popped to Inge in foul ground on the third-base side, who had to negotiate the wind and had to dart a bit for the ball. Richie Sexson had the hitters' counts and stroked a 3-1 pitch to the leftfield wall for a double. Eduardo Perez dropped the second pitch into center for a single to score Sexson.
»» MARINERS 1, TIGERS 0
Kenji Johjima chopped the second pitch high and into left for a single to move Perez to second. Adrian Beltre bounced to third, where Inge tagged Perez trying to get to third (Johjima got to second). Willie Bloomquist broke his bat on an 0-2 pitch, bouncing to the left side, where Inge cut the ball off and threw in time to first. Rogers threw 20 pitches and had 32 through two.
Magglio Ordoñez knocked a full-count pitch into right for a single. Craig Monroe grounded the first pitch right to Betancourt to start a 6-4-3 double play. Sean Casey was down 0-2 before flying out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Meche threw 13 pitches and had 23 through two.
Ichiro bounced a 1-2 pitch back to the mound. Lopez bounced the second pitch hard to second. Betancourt tapped to second on the second pitch. Rogers threw nine pitches and had 41 through three.
Omar Infante flew out to Bloomquist near the rightfield corner. Vance Wilson smacked a 2-2 pitch into the second row of seats beyond the rightfield fence.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 1
Brandon Inge poked the first pitch along the rightfield line for a double. Johjima came to the mound for a visit. Granderson got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch up and away. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. N Perez worked a 1-2 count for a walk to load the bases. Young popped a 2-0 pitch to Betancourt in shallow center with the infield fly rule called. Ordoñez popped to Sexson in foul ground on the right side. Meche threw 31 pitches and had 54 through three.
Ibañez rung the second pitch into right for a single. Sexson popped the second pitch high to left. E Perez popped the second pitch to shallow center. Johjima bounced right to N Perez at short, who threw to second for a 6-4 force on Ibañez. Rogers threw seven pitches and had 48 through four.
Monroe walked on four pitches. Casey flew out high to Ibañez in shallow center on the second pitch. Infante drove the second pitch into rightcenter, where Bloomquist ran it down. Wilson popped an 0-2 pitch to Bloomquist in shallow right. Meche threw 12 pitches and had 66 through four.
Beltre flew out to right on a 2-0 pitch. Jim Leyland and Tiger trainers attended to a neck tweak on Rogers or something. Bloomquist foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch into Wilson's glove behind the plate. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to second. Rogers threw nine pitches and had 57 through five.
Inge dumped a second-pitch breaking ball into leftcenter for a single. Granderson broke his bat and scorched the first pitch right into Sexson's glove, then Sexson stepped on first for the out on Inge. N Perez air-bunted the first pitch to the right side, and Sexson charged and made a diving catch and what might have been an infield hit without the catch. A bolt of lightning struck after the inning ended. Meche threw four pitches and had 70 through five.
Lopez knocked the first pitch into right for a single. Betancourt lined the first pitch into center for a single to move Lopez to second. Ibañez banged the second pitch for a long fly to left that went off of Monroe's glove at the wall for a double, scoring Lopez and Betancourt.
»» MARINERS 3, TIGERS 1
Sexson walked on a full count, but ball four bounced away from Wilson and bounced to his right, moving Ibañez to third. Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez visited the mound as rain started to fall in a hard fashion (it continued in an intermittent fashion). E Perez took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt that got away to Wilson's left, but that moved Sexson to second, though Ibañez had to hold at third. E Perez rolled the next pitch (2-2) to short as Ibañez scored and Sexson held at second.
»» MARINERS 4, TIGERS 1
Johjima was down 0-2 and ended up bouncing a 2-2 pitch into the left-side hole, and N Perez made the play to first. Beltre popped high to Casey in foul ground on the right side. Rogers threw 23 pitches and had 80 through six.
Young whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball. Ordoñez nubbed a 1-2 pitch to the left of the mound, where Meche made the play to first. Monroe popped high to Betancourt just past the infield dirt in shallow center. Meche threw 14 pitches and had 84 through six.
Bloomquist bunted the second pitch in front of the plate, where Wilson pounced on it and threw in time to first. Ichiro bounced out to second. Lopez bopped one into rightcenter, where the ball got down and went to the track for a triple. Betancourt got ahead 3-0 and grounded to third on a 3-1 pitch.
Rogers' line: 7 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 93 pitches (55 strikes)
Casey popped the second pitch to Beltre in foul ground near the leftfield line. Infante grounded to short on a 2-2 pitch as thunder rolled through the area. Wilson bounced the second pitch to a charging Betancourt, who threw low to first, where it was dug out by Sexson. Meche threw nine pitches and had 93 through seven.
Jason Grilli came in for Rogers. Ibañez bounced to first (3-1 putout). Sexson shot a ball just inside the third-base bag and into foul ground for a double that was one of the ground-rule variety after a fan got to the ball and gobbled it up. E Perez flew out to Ordoñez near the rightfield corner on a 1-2 pitch as Sexson tagged and went to third. Johjima bounced the second pitch to third.
Grilli's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Inge was ahead 2-0 before cranking a line drive just above the rightfield wall.
»» MARINERS 4, TIGERS 2
George Sherrill came in for Meche. Ivan Rodriguez, hitting for Granderson, dumped a 1-2 pitch into shallow center for a single. N Perez looped the first pitch in front of Ibañez, who was futile on an attempt for a sliding catch as N Perez had the single and Rodriguez moved to second. The rain at this point was coming down very hard.
Sean Green came in for Sherrill as the rain came down hard. Kevin Hooper, hitting for Young, bunted the first pitch in front of the plate to move Rodriguez and N Perez to third and second, and Beltre had a great play to make to get Hooper at first. Ordoñez flew out to Bloomquist in right on the first pitch as Rodriguez held at third. Monroe was up as the rain poured down. Monroe hit a line drive to center, and Ichiro stumbled while coming in and slipped on the wet grass and fell down as the ball rolled to the wall for a double to score Rodriguez and N Perez and tie the game. Mariner trainers attended to Green, who was later revealed to have pulled a lat muscle. Earlier in the season, he had monster back spasms after a game.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 4
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Green as rain and moisture had fogged up the camera as an onslaught of precipitation visited Comerica Park. Three hours and nine minutes later, play resumed. Casey popped the second pitch to Bloomquist on the rightfield track.
Meche's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 97 pitches (63 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
Green's line: 2/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (5 strikes)
O'Flaherty's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 pitches (2 strikes)
Joel Zumaya came in for Grilli and Brent Clevlen came in to play center. Beltre popped the first pitch to Wilson behind the plate near the screen. Bloomquist waved on an 0-2 fastball. Ichiro sprayed a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Lopez slapped the second pitch into right for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Betancourt grounded the second pitch to second, where Infante went to second for the force on Lopez. Zumaya threw 12 pitches.
Jon Huber came in for O'Flaherty. Infante broke his bat and bounced the second pitch to third (along with the barrel) that he tried to block with his body, but it bounced away (error) to snap his long errorless streak. Wilson bunted the second pitch in front, where Huber came off the mound to field it and throw to first (Lopez covering), moving Infante to second. Inge was intentionally walked. Clevlen whiffed on a 1-2 slider. N Perez chopped to first (3-1 putout).
Huber's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (8 strikes)
Ibañez worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Sexson ripped a single up the middle and into center to move Ibañez to second. Ben Broussard, hitting for E Perez, broke his bat on a single that was dumped into shallow right to load the bases. Johjima looped the second pitch into rightcenter between Clevlen and Ordoñez for a single that scored Ibañez and kept the bases loaded.
»» MARINERS 4, TIGERS 3
Beltre was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball off the plate away. Chris Snelling, hitting for Bloomquist, foul-tipped an 0-2 fastball into Wilson's glove behind the plate. Ichiro popped a 1-2 pitch near the leftfield corner.
Zumaya's line: 2 innings, 1 run, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 39 pitches (28 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Huber. Marcus Thames, hitting for Hooper, was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 pitch. Ordoñez ripped the first pitch into center for a single. Alexis Gomez came in to run for Ordoñez. Monroe walked on a full-count pitch to move Gomez to second. Casey grounded the first pitch to third to start a 5-4-3 double play.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Gameball: Jose Lopez.
One quick look at his game log seems to say that he's warmed up in every category not involving extra-base hits. He had a triple in this game, his first extra-base hit since he doubled on August 15 in Oakland. The familiar stat is that he hasn't homered since June 2nd. That aside, this is supposed to be a gameball paragraph, not one that's meant to rain on the parade of Lopez. He's a fairly torrid 9-for-20 (.450) with three multi-hit games in the month. Aside from the pinch-hit strikeout, he has one hitless game, one two-hit game, and two three-hit games. He's walked twice and struck out twice, so there's no gross disparity to the strikeout side. In one of my favorite standby stats of the season, Lopez was hitting .279 and slugging .484 before Mike Hargrove moved him into the third slot in the lineup on May 30th. At that point, he had hit eight homers and driven in 40 runs. He's hit .280 but has slugged .357 since. That grossly lower slugging mark is due to Lopez hitting one homer since. He's also driven in only 29 runs since that point, 15 of which were in June. Okay, so it didn't evolve into much of a true gameball paragraph. I'll feel better about this if Lopez hits 11 homers and drives in 31 runs for the rest of September because then he'd have a 20-homer 100-RBI season. Until then, all the Robinson Cano lovers have more ammunition against the Lopez backers in the debate for who the best young second baseman in the American League is.
Goat: Adrian Beltre.
He had a solid August. He hit .277 for the month, second only to his fiery .324 June, as were his .342 (.387) on-base and .554 (.611) slugging marks. He hit seven homers in August, his high for any month this year. A rosy picture. He's 2-for-28 (.071) where we stand right now, six games into September. He has four RBIs for the month, and two occurred in the middle game of this series without the help of a hit. He's drawn zero walks, which isn't hard to believe since he's been swinging at everything (eight strikeouts). He has zero extra-base hits in September. If one wants to make the numbers a little more shocking, the final game of August can be used to further pepper the numbers of suck because Beltre was 0-for-4 with a couple of strikeouts in the last game of the home series against Anaheim. Put it all together and in the last seven games, you get 2-for-32 (.063) with no extra-base hits, no walks, four RBIs, and ten strikeouts. I think the most distressing thing at first appearance is that the two hits Beltre had in the last seven games were both in the same game. He's hitless in six of the last seven games.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 99-40 .712 -- L1
2002 81-58 .583 18 L1
2003 81-58 .583 18 L1
2000 75-64 .540 24 L1
2006 66-73 .475 33 W2
2005 60-79 .432 39 L1
2004 52-87 .374 47 W1
Millwood. Baek. Tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
[posted in full Thu ~10:38p]
In 25 words or less: Not even rain and an extended delay due to it could wash away a Mariner victory.
This one featured Jake Woods going up against Jeremy Bonderman. In some Mike Hargrove lineup hijinks, Yuniesky Betancourt and Adrian Beltre were basically swapped as Beltre was bumped to eighth and Betancourt was moved up to third. With a win, the Mariners would have an outside shot at winning the series in Detroit. Of course, no matter what the result, if there's some sort of 83-minute rain delay during the course of the game, that would make everyone really displeased since there was an afternoon game the next day (getaway day). The Mariners were trying to avoid a loss, which would make it five in six games, and that's never good. It'd be just another valley in a season full of hills and valleys and really no plateaus. Right about now I was going to throw in some dorky math analogy involving the graphs of second- and third-order derivatives and concavity and stuff...don't ask how I was going to relate that, because now I can't finish my thought. Trust me, it would have been slightly good.
Ichiro pounded the first pitch up the middle for a single. Chris Snelling got ahead 2-0 before failing to check his swing on a 2-2 slider down and in. Yuniesky Betancourt banged the first pitch into right for a single to move Ichiro to second. Raul Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and Jim Leyland took a trip to the mound. That worked, since Ibañez bounced the next pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play. Bonderman threw 10 pitches.
Curtis Granderson one-hopped a 2-0 pitch off the track and scoreboard in rightcenter for a triple. Craig Monroe lined the first pitch into rightfield for a single.
»» TIGERS 1, MARINERS 0
Marcus Thames worked an 0-2 count for a walk. Magglio Ordoñez flew out to right on the first pitch. Ivan Rodriguez drove a double into the rightcenter gap to score Monroe and Thames.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 0
Sean Casey took the first pitch as Rodriguez stole third without a throw. Casey was up 3-1 and walked on a full-count curve up and in. Omar Infante was down 0-2 and whiffed over a 1-2 curve. Brandon Inge flew out to center on an 0-2 pitch. Woods threw 29 pitches.
Richie Sexson chopped the second pitch to third. Ben Broussard whiffed on an 0-2 low slider. Kenji Johjima looped an 0-2 pitch into Santiago's glove at short. Bonderman threw eight pitches and had 18 total.
Ramon Santiago grounded the first pitch to third. Granderson drove a fly ball that was caught by Ibañez on a running catch at the track in leftcenter. Monroe popped a 1-2 pitch to center. Woods threw eight pitches and had 37 total.
Rain began falling in Detroit. Beltre bounced the second pitch to second. Lopez chopped a 1-2 pitch that was nicely picked on the shorthop by Inge moving across from third. Ichiro, who had Tiger color man Rod Allen bring up the two RBIs in his last 172 at-bats stat, dumped a 2-2 pitch into center, where Granderson slid inward to try to make the catch, but he was well short and the ball bounced up and went off the side of his head aod got away, enabling Ichiro to go to second with a double. Snelling whiffed over a full-count slider. Bonderman threw 17 pitches and had 35 total.
Thames popped a 1-2 pitch to Beltre on the infield grass. Ordoñez rode the second pitch to the corner of the wall in very deep leftcenter for a double. Rodriguez bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle to a ranging Betancourt, who threw in time to first as Ordoñez moved to third. Casey tapped an 0-2 pitch to third. Woods threw 15 pitches and had 52 total.
Betancourt whiffed on a 1-2 slider down over the outer half. Ibañez laced a 2-0 pitch into right for a single. Sexson cranekd the second pitch, bouncing it over the wall in deep leftcenter for a double to move Ibañez to third. Broussard took a 3-1 slider inside to load the bases. Johjima looped a single into shallow left, scoring Ibañez and keeping the bases loaded. It was Johjima's first hit against Tiger pitching this year, and therefore for his career.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 1
Beltre bounced to third, where Inge stopped the ball with his chest, but it got away and he couldn't get to the third-base bag in time to force out Broussard as Sexson scored and the bases remained loaded.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 2
Lopez was jammed and bounced to first (3-1 putout) as everyone was starting to slip and slide on the infield.
»» TIGERS 3, MARINERS 3
Ichiro flew out to left on the second pitch.
Bonderman's line: 4 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 60 pitches (37 pitches)
Infante grounded the second pitch hard to a drawn-in Beltre. Inge hit a broken-bat bouncer on a 2-2 pitch, grounding out to third. Santiago slashed a 1-2 pitch just fair inside the first-base bag and down the line for a double. Granderson had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full-count change away. This is where the rains came and the tarps were put over the field.
Woods' line: 4 innings, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 73 pitches (48 strikes)
An hour and 23 minutes later, the tarps were lifted and Andrew Miller came in for Bonderman. Snelling grounded the second pitch to the right side (3-1 putout). Betancourt took an 0-2 breaking ball over the outside corner. Ibañez had the hitters' counts before punching a 3-1 pitch for a weak pop to short. Miller threw ten pitches.
Joel Piñeiro came in for Woods. Monroe popped the first pitch to Ichiro in fairly deep leftcenter. Thames was up 2-0 and whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Ordoñez bounced the first pitch to short. Piñeiro threw seven pitches.
Sexson whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Broussard walked on a 3-1 fastball away. Johjima slapped an 0-2 pitch down the rightfield line for a single to move Broussard to third. Beltre was jammed on a 1-2 pitch and nubbed to short, scoring Broussard and moving Johjima to second.
»» MARINERS 4, TIGERS 3
Lopez grounded to second on a 3-1 pitch.
Miller's line: 2 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 33 pitches (20 strikes)
Rodriguez took a 1-2 fastball over the outside corner. Casey grounded up the middle and ranged over in a hurry to make a leaping across-the-body throw to get the out, though Casey is slow. Infante couldn't check a swing on an 0-2 pitch in the dirt. Piñeiro threw ten pitches and had 17 total.
Jamie Walker came in for Miller. Ichiro popped to third. Snelling popped a 2-0 pitch to short. Betancourt scorched the first pitch into left for a single. Ibañez popped a 2-2 pitch to Infante behind the first-base bag.
Walker's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Inge grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to third, where Beltre knocked it down and threw to first. Santiago rolled a 2-2 pitch to first. Granderson rolled a 1-2 pitch along the third-base line, and Beltre did the patented charge-barehand-and-throw move. Piñeiro threw 15 pitches and had 32 total.
Zach Miner came in for Walker. Sexson broke his bat on a roller to third. Broussard foul-tipped a high 0-2 pitch into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate. Johjima had the hitters' counts before walking on a full-count pitch inside. Beltre bounced out to short. Miner threw 16 pitches.
Monroe took the second pitch to the leftfield track, but Ibañez came down with it. Thames whiffed on an 0-2 pitch. Mike Hargrove came out with what eventually was the hook, and plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt appeared to come to the mound and break up the powwow, but he looked to be shooting a bit of breeze with the huddle of Hargrove, Johjima, and the infielders.
JJ Putz came in for Piñeiro. Ordoñez took an 0-2 fastball barely off the plate outside or high before bouncing a 1-2 pitch to short, and Betancourt airmailed Broussard, but Johjima backed up the play and threw to second, and Betancourt ran to the bag and received the throw and tagged Ordoñez sliding into second (Ordoñez' foot looked like it was barely in there, but he didn't bother to slide; it was ruled a single and a 2-6 putout). Jim Leyland did come out for a few words, but it didn't last long and he wasn't tossed. Putz threw five pitches.
Piñeiro's line: 3 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 37 pitches (28 strikes)
Lopez flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Ichiro looped the second pitch to foul ground down the leftfield line, and Inge made the catch over the shoulder while Santiago took him out at the shins. Snelling whiffed over a 2-2 pitch.
Miner's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 33 pitches (20 strikes)
Rodriguez shot a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single. Casey rolled the first pitch to Lopez, who took it to the second-base bag and threw to first for the double play, and threw was a bit of a low-speed collision between he and Betancourt at second, though there appeared to be no wounds. Infante popped a full-count pitch to Sexson in foul ground on the right side.
Putz' line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
Gameball: Joel Piñeiro.
The MLB.tv feed for the game was of the Detroit persuasion, so it was a little dismaying to hear them say that Piñeiro pitched like he wanted his spot back in the rotation. Jake Woods and Cha Seung Baek don't exactly tickle my fancy when it comes to starting pitching for this team, but I really don't want to go back to Piñeiro every five days again. I can't go back to that. I don't expect him to throw 3 2/3 innings of no-hit ball every time out, and anyone would be stupid to do so. Usually I'd expect at least 3 2/3 runs if he were out there for 3 2/3 innings, and he'd probably throw 90 pitches usually in that outing. Not in this one, though, as after the rain delay, the Tiger bats for whatever reason couldn't touch him. Eleven hitters and eleven outs with Piñeiro pitching awakens thoughts of analogies that relate blind squirrels and nuts. A consistent reality of such a thing back in 2001 or 2002 wouldn't have been such a stretch to think about, but nowadays it is, and to the point where I nearly typed "suck" instead of "such" earlier in the sentence just thinking about it.
Goat: Chris Snelling.
This is only the second 0-fer he's hung up as a starter this season. After his first appearance of the season in the first game of the series in Anaheim last month, he strung together an eight-game hitting streak before hanging up an 0-for-4 against the Angels in Seattle. Still, what Snelling has given this team is the ability to get on base and hit line drives. If nothing else, his approach to where at-bats are really worth a damn is always nice. It's also good not to put too much stock into one game, because if you did, you'd be really worried that Snelling struck out three times when all you've heard about is how well he gets on base and everything. Keep in mind this is a guy who's played in a mere 39 games in the big leagues. I'm just enjoying the time while he's up because I know it can end at any time due to any sort of freakish injury. Still, here's to Snelling's health, and therefore his ability to gain more experience and even more baseball smarts. Although he struck out three times in this game, I'm giving three cheers to Snelling for staying healthy for three weeks.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 99-39 .717 -- W3
2002 81-57 .587 18 W2
2003 81-57 .587 18 W4
2000 75-63 .543 24 W1
2006 65-73 .471 34 W1
2005 60-78 .435 39 W2
2004 51-87 .370 48 L7
Meche. Rogers. Today.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
In 25 words or less: For the second straight day, the Mariners got starting pitching that was both good and bad at the same time. Also, the bats disappeared.
This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against Nate Robertson. The Mariners hoped to end their losing streak at a single game. A loss in this one would make it a stretch of four losses in five games for the Mariners, something that would definitely flag the momentum of that six-game winning streak and seven wins in eight tries. It would harken back more to that whole 11-game losing streak and 12 of 13 span that happened not too long ago. What a team this has been. They've been one of maddening inconsistency, one of incredible teasing, one that follows displays of great baseball with some incredibly bad baseball. It's like there's never any in-between with this team. They're always in a stretch, it seems like. They do everything in bunches. This isn't your regular team that might have a streak here and there and have a couple weeks where they win or lose in ones or twos -- it's always one extreme or the other for this team. Just weird.
Ichiro rolled a 2-2 pitch to first. Jose Lopez was up 3-0 and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Adrian Beltre whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. Raul Ibañez was down 0-2 and watched as Lopez took second on a delayed steal as Santiago came over too late from short to cover. Ibañez poked a 1-2 pitch over the head of Santiago for a single to score Lopez.
»» MARINERS 1, TIGERS 0
Richie Sexson smacked the second pitch to right for a single, moving Ibañez to second. Eduardo Perez took a 3-1 pitch down and away, loading the bases. Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez visited the mound. Kenji Johjima grounded a 1-2 pitch to third, where Inge went to the bag for the force on Sexson. Robertson threw 29 pitches.
Curtis Granderson flew out to center on a 2-2 pitch. Craig Monroe shot a 2-0 pitch past Beltre and through to left for a single. Marcus Thames nubbed the second pitch to first, where Sexson somewhat gingerly stepped on the bag as Granderson moved to second. Magglio Ordoñez smacked the second pitch, putting it off the top of the old leftfield wall, but over the current one. There goes that lead.
»» TIGERS 2, MARINERS 1
Ivan Rodriguez flew out to very deep center. Washburn threw 15 pitches.
Yuniesky Betancourt punched an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Willie Bloomquist flew out to fairly deep right on the first pitch. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to the right side, where Shelton ranged over from first but muffed it as he thought about going to second and Bloomquist and Ichiro was safe (error). Lopez bounced the second pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Robertson threw nine pitches and had 38 through two.
Omar Infante bounced the second pitch up the middle, where Lopez moved over and had the ball bounce off his knee (error). Brandon Inge whiffed on the second pitch up and away, and Infante was gunned down horribly at second by Johjima on a failed hit-and-run. Inge whiffed on the next pitch, an 0-2 high fastball. Chris Shelton flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter on a 2-2 pitch. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 26 through two.
Beltre whiffed badly on a 1-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Ibañez was behind 0-2 and chopped a 1-2 pitch to second. Sexson was down 0-2 and smoked a 1-2 pitch that reached the rightcenter scoreboard on one hop for a double. Perez bounced the second pitch to short, and Sexson tried to kinda screen it and hop over it, but Santiago was still able to field it cleanly and throw in time to first. Robertson threw 15 pitches and had 53 through three.
Ramon Santiago popped the first pitch lazily to center. Granderson took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Monroe flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter on the second pitch. Washburn threw eight pitches and had 34 through three.
Johjima bounced a second-pitch change to Inge behind the bag at third. Betancourt weakly lined out to third on a shoestring catch by Inge, but the umpire didn't call a catch, so Inge made a lnog off-balance throw from somewhere behind the coaches' box that would have gotten Betancourt anyway. Betancourt worked a 1-2 count full and flew out to Ordoñez near the rightfield corner. Robertson threw ten pitches and had 63 through four.
Thames was down 0-2 and foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Johjima's glove behind the plate. Ordoñez lined the first pitch right to Ichiro in center. Rodriguez one-hopped the second pitch to second. Washburn threw eight pitches and had 42 through four.
Ichiro grounded out to second. Lopez nubbed up the first-base line, and Rodriguez came out from behind the plate to barehand it and throw to first, but Lopez barely beat the throw for a single. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 low breaking ball. Ibañez lined the second pitch into the rightcenter gap for a single, moving Lopez to third, though he came hard around third, fell down, and crawled/slid back. Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before grounding out to third. Robertson threw 19 pitches and had 82 through five.
Infante popped to right on the second pitch. Inge popped the second pitch to Bloomquist in shallow rightcenter. Shelton worked an 0-2 count full before popping to Ichiro in shallow center. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 54 through five.
Perez rolled the first pitch to short. Johjima bounced the second pitch up the middle to Infante. Betancourt slashed a 2-0 pitch into center for a single. Bloomquist tapped the first pitch to second. Robertson threw seven pitches and had 89 through six.
Santiago lined out to left, where Ibañez came in and made a running catch. Granderson worked a 1-2 count full before popping high to Ibañez on the foul side of the leftfield line, and he slowed up before he could be taken out by the thigh-high fence separating the stands from the field of play. Monroe popped out to Sexson in front of the first-base dugout railing. Washburn threw 12 pitches and had 66 through six.
Ichiro popped the first pitch to Granderson on the run in center. Lopez lined the second pitch into center for a single. Beltre was down 0-2 and foul-tipped a head-high 1-2 pitch into Rodriguez' glove behind the plate (that's four). Ibañez fisted a 1-2 pitch to shallow right, where Ordoñez lumbered inward and made a sliding catch.
Robertson's line: 7 innings, 1 run, 8 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 101 pitches (70 strikes)
Thames pounded the first pitch into the leftcenter gap and to the wall for a double. Ordoñez bounced out to first, moving Thames to third. Rodriguez was intentionally walked. Infante worked a 1-2 count full before doubling toward the leftfield corner on the ninth pitch, scoring Thames and Infante. Yup. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound.
»» TIGERS 4, MARINERS 1
Inge flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter on a 2-0 pitch. Shelton took a 3-1 pitch away for a walk. Santiago punched the first pitch through the left side for a single to score Infante and move Shelton to second. No throw from Ibañez, but who really cares at this point?
»» TIGERS 5, MARINERS 1
Granderson knocked the second pitch through the right side for a single to score Shelton, who beat the throw home from Bloomquist and move Santiago to third, who beat a throw to third from Johjima.
»» TIGERS 6, MARINERS 1
Sean Green came in for Washburn. Monroe popped the first pitch to Bloomquist a step short of the rightfield track. Green threw one pitch.
Washburn's line: 6 2/3 innings, 6 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 95 pitches (56 strikes)
Jason Grilli came in for Robertson. Sexson popped very high to Santiago behind the mound. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, reached for an outside 1-2 pitch and lined out to second. Johjima flew out to fairly deep center. Grilli threw 11 pitches.
Thames whiffed on a low 1-2 pitch. Alexis Gomez, hitting for Ordoñez, was up 3-1 before rolling a full-count pitch to short. Rodriguez looped the first pitch into center for a single. Infante tapped the first pitch to second, where Lopez tossed over to Betancourt for the force.
Green's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
Betancourt bounced an 0-2 pitch to short. Chris Snelling, hitting for Bloomquist, was ahead 2-0 and popped a 2-2 pitch to Santiago in shallow left. Ichiro looped a single into leftcenter. Lopez took the first pitch and Ichiro took second without a throw (catcher's indifference). Lopez rolled a single through the left side to score Ichiro.
»» TIGERS 6, MARINERS 2
Todd Jones came in for Grilli. Beltre popped the first pitch to left.
Grilli's line: 1 2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
Jones' line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 1 pitch (1 strike)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
He's having a pretty good road trip. Through four games, he's 5-for-13 (.385) with two doubles, a homer, and two RBIs. He has a modest three-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in each of the last two games. He's walked three times and struck out only twice, though everyone knows the strikeouts will eventually come out on top by a large margin before the end of the month and season. Lost in the screwiness of August, what with the 11-game losing streak and Ichiro hitting .233 for the month was that Sexson hit a very surprising .304, besting his June by 49 points. He was also on base at a .379 clip, 60 points better than his June mark. However, he slugged .511, which is behind both July (.567) and June (.539). For the record, Sexson's best career month is August with a .290 average, .376 on-base percentage, and .550 slugging mark. His Septembers tend to be those of the .273 average, .359 on-base, and .542 slugging variety. Now for some randoms. Fifteen of his 28 homers this season have been solo shots. Twenty-six of his 90 RBIs have come with runners in scoring position and two outs. Sexson hasn't homered on any 0-2 pitches all season, which isn't surprising, but he hasn't homered on any 2-0 pitches either (proof), and that is.
Goat: Adrian Beltre.
Ichiro fisted a single into centerfield in his final at-bat of this game, sparing him of further goatness because he would have been hitless in 14 at-bats, but he snapped that string at 13. Jarrod Washburn got what in a way was a similar fate that Felix Hernandez got the day before in terms of having a pretty decent pitching performance overall but ending up buried in the game and especially the boxscore -- he set down 14 straight Detroit hitters at one point, but bookended that with shakiness, and he fell off in the seventh. For Beltre, however, this is the worst we've seen out of him at the plate for quite a while. He looked like he couldn't see anything at the plate and he was just swinging at everything. He struck out for a golden sombrero in this one (four times) and the only time he didn't strike out was when Todd Jones was brought in for his easiest relief appearance ever and got Beltre to pop out on the first pitch to end the game. Head-high pitches, breaking balls in the dirt low and away, it was a litany of wild swings at bad pitches. When he got the second strike in an at-bat in this game, he was able to prolong the at-bat only twice without striking out. By prolonging, I mean taking a ball or fouling off a pitch.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 98-39 .715 -- W2
2002 80-57 .584 18 W1
2003 80-57 .584 18 W3
2000 74-63 .540 24 L1
2006 64-73 .467 34 L2
2005 59-78 .431 39 W1
2004 51-86 .372 47 L6
Woods. Bonderman. Tonight.
Monday, September 04, 2006
In 25 words or less: Yeah, this was a bullsh#* game. Felix pitches great but gets bitten bigtime by the long ball.
This one featured Felix Hernandez going up against Brian Stokes, who was making his big-league debut. After using the previous homestand to win six straight and seven of eight, the Mariners hoped to win and take the series in Tampa Bay before meeting their fate in Detroit for the first half of the week. A loss in this game would flag the momentum of that seven-of-eight stretch, reversing that talk into something where you'd refer instead to losing three of four games. That's not an enviable position in which to be when you have Jarrod Washburn going the next day. This wouldn't be so worrisome a few years ago before they moved the fences inward at Comerica Park, but then they moved the fences inward at Comerica Park. I'll place the over-under on Washburn's earned runs on Labor Day at six. At least Washburn only has three years left on his deal, since I'm sure there's no chance I'll go insane watching him pitch out the contract. No chance at all. Really.
Ichiro fell behind 0-2 and bounced to second on a 1-2 pitch. Chris Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a walk, pushing Ichiro to second. Adrian Beltre foul-tipped a letter-high 0-2 fastball into Paul's glove behind the plate. Raul Ibañez took a 1-2 pitch and Snelling barely beat a throw to second on a delayed steal (it's possible Zobrist put the tag down just next to Snelling's arm, though the Tampa Bay crew wasn't going to admit that). Ibañez blistered a full-count pitch past a diving Cantu and into right for a single, scoring Snelling, who beat an off-line throw home (Ibañez beat a subsequent throw to second).
»» MARINERS 1, DEVIL RAYS 0
Richie Sexson was up 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch up and away. Pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound. Ben Broussard popped the first pitch to Upton near the stands on the third-base side in foul ground. Stokes threw 30 pitches.
Ben Zobrist slapped the first pitch into left for a single. Delmon Young lined out to center on the first pitch. Carl Crawford bounced into the right-side hole, where Bloomquist was pretty far to the first-base side, but threw to second and got the force on Zobrist. Greg Norton got ahead 2-0 and took off for second on a 2-1 count (strike), and Rivera airmailed the throw to second as it went off Betancourt's glove and rolled away, enabling Crawford to scoot to third. Norton whiffed on the next pitch, a 2-2 curve down and in. Hernandez threw 11 pitches.
Yuniesky Betancourt took a high second pitch and rolled it up the middle for a single. Rene Rivera popped the second pitch high to Upton beside the mound. Willie Bloomquist had a 1-0 count when Stokes made a pickoff move to first, but Witt tried making a tag before he had the ball, and it went off the glove and bounced away, moving Betancourt to second. Bloomquist dumped the second pitch into shallow center, where Young barely missed on a running catch, moving Betancourt to third. Ichiro popped the first pitch to Paul near the screen behind the plate on the third-base side. Snelling got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch barely down and in, loading the bases. Beltre took Young to the centerfield track on the second pitch. Stokes threw 15 pitches and had 45 through two.
Ty Wigginton was up 3-0 and doubled into the leftfield corner on a full count. Kevin Witt bounced an 0-2 pitch to second, moving Wigginton to third. Jorge Cantu shot a chopper behind the bag at third, and Beltre's momentum took him into foul ground, where he made the long throw in time to first. BJ Upton fell behind 0-2 and whiffed at a brutal 1-2 curve down and away. Hernandez threw 16 pitches and had 27 through two.
Ibañez popped lazily to center. Sexson popped the first pitch into the second row of rightfield seats.
»» MARINERS 2, DEVIL RAYS 0
Broussard spanked a ball past a sliding Witt at first and into right for a single. Betancourt flew out to shallow right on the second pitch. Rivera bounced to second on the second pitch. Stokes threw 11 pitches and had 56 through three.
Josh Paul grounded a 1-2 pitch to second. Zobrist grounded the second pitch to the right side, where Broussard made a dive and stopped the ball, then underhanded to Hernandez running over to cover on a very quick play. Young grounded the second pitch to third. Hernandez threw eight pitches and had 35 through three.
Bloomquist worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing a ball along the third-base line, where Upton tried to pull a Beltre move but threw the ball a bit into the home-plate side of the first-base bag, pulling Witt away (single). Ichiro was behind 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch to second, where Cantu went to second for the force. Snelling lined the second pitch off the wall in the rightfield corner, just under the screen of the foul pole and under the yellow line of the wall for a double that moved Ichiro to third. Beltre smoked the second pitch right into the glove of a drawn-in Zobrist. Ibañez bounced the first pitch to second.
Stokes' line: 4 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 72 pitches (45 strikes)
Crawford chopped a 1-2 pitch behind the mound, where Betancourt ranged over and made the throw on the run and in time to first. Norton smacked the second pitch through the right side for a single. Wigginton crushed a too-high 2-0 fastball eight rows into the leftfield seats as I cursed at my computer.
»» DEVIL RAYS 2, MARINERS 2
Witt grounded an 0-2 pitch to Broussard behind the bag at first (3-1 putout). Cantu chopped the first pitch to short. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 48 through four.
Chad Orvella came in for Stokes. Sexson worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Broussard was ahead 2-0 and hit a long fly ball on a 2-2 pitch that ended up two rows into the seats in rightcenter.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 2
Betancourt crushed a hanging second pitch about eight rows into the leftfield seats.
»» MARINERS 5, DEVIL RAYS 2
Rivera rolled an 0-2 pitch to third, where Upton came up too quick and had the ball roll through the wickets. Bloomquist took a pitchout on the first pitch, then Rivera stole second (really) without a throw (really) on the next pitch. Bloomquist nubbed a 2-2 pitch off of Orvella's right knee and Cantu backing up couldn't make a throw in time to first as Rivera moved to third.
Ruddy Lugo came in for Orvella. Ichiro had the hitters' counts before popping to Cantu behind the mound on a full count. Snelling broke his bat on the first pitch, dumping it into shallow center for a single, scoring Rivera and moving Bloomquist to second.
»» MARINERS 6, DEVIL RAYS 2
Beltre watched a first-pitch strike as Bloomquist stole third on a high throw. Beltre popped a 3-1 pitch very high to second. Ibañez was up 3-0 but grounded a 3-1 pitch to first. Lugo threw 17 pitches.
Orvella's line: 0 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
Upton grounded out to second on the second pitch. Paul took an 0-2 curve over the inside corner. Zobrist bounced the second pitch to first (3-1 putout). Hernandez threw seven pitches and had 55 through five.
Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before rolling up the middle to Cantu. Broussard hit a weak pop to Cantu moving into shallow right. Betancourt flew out to left on a 2-2 pitch.
Lugo's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 32 pitches (17 strikes)
Young took an 0-2 fastball over the outside corner. Crawford drove a ball just over the head of Ichiro, who couldn't quite account for the ball slicing behind him as he went back and it fell for a double. Norton was down 0-2 and watched with a 1-2 count as Crawford was nearly picked off at second on a daylight play. Norton watched a 1-2 outside pitch that juked Rivera, who had the ball go in and out of his glove, but not far enough to move Crawford. Rivera came to the mound to hash out the signs with Hernandez. Nonetheless, Norton popped a 2-2 pitch that carried and carried into the third row of rightfield seats. Rivera and pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit.
»» MARINERS 6, DEVIL RAYS 4
Wigginton whiffed on a 2-2 curve in the dirt away. Witt bounced the first pitch to second. Hernandez threw 20 pitches and had 75 through six.
Brian Meadows came in for Lugo. Rivera flew out to right on the second pitch. Bloomquist was down 0-2 and bounced a 1-2 pitch deep into the hole at short, where Zobrist threw to first, but it was late as Bloomquist collected the single. Ichiro grounded an 0-2 pitch hard to Cantu on the right side, who went to second for the force on Bloomquist, and Zobrist's throw to first was barely beaten by Ichiro. Snelling watched an 0-2 pitch as Ichiro stole second for his 32nd straight without being caught. Snelling flew out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Meadows threw 14 pitches.
Cantu whiffed on a 2-2 curve down and in. Upton rolled the first pitch through the left side for a single. Paul popped the first pitch to Bloomquist moving toward the rightfield line. Zobrist whiffed on a 1-2 fastball away. Hernandez threw 13 pitches and had 88 through seven.
Beltre flew out to right on a 2-2 pitch. Ibañez took a 1-2 curve down over the inside corner. Sexson doubled off the base of the wall in center, somewhat crossing up Young, though Sexson didn't advance. Broussard was intentionally walked. Betancourt flew out to Young in rightcenter on the second pitch. Meadows threw 19 pitches and had 33 total.
Meadows' line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 33 pitches (22 strikes)
Young punched the first pitch over Bloomquist and into right for a single. Crawford chopped a 1-2 pitch over the mound to Betancourt, who had to dodge an umpire to make the throw in time to first as Young moved to second. Norton rolled the second pitch to short. Wigginton took a first-pitch curve in the dirt that got by Rivera and rolled to the backstop, moving Young to third. Wigginton worked a 1-2 count for a walk. Chaves visited the mound. Witt blasted the first pitch two rows into the leftfield seats. That really really sucked.
»» DEVIL RAYS 7, MARINERS 6
Cantu bounced the first pitch over the mound and into center for a single.
Sean Green came in for Hernandez. Upton worked a 1-2 count full before chopping out to short.
Hernandez' line: 7 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 103 pitches (74 strikes)
Green's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 6 pitches (3 strikes)
Seth McClung came in for Meadows, Damon Hollins came in to play left, Rocco Baldelli came in to play center, Young moved to center, and Wigginton moved in to play first. Jose Lopez, hitting for Rivera, worked an 0-2 count full but whiffed on a high fastball. Bloomquist was up 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch away. Ichiro flew out to left. Snelling took the first pitch and Bloomquist took off for second and was called safe, and it looked like Zobrist either whiffed on the tag or was late, though manager Joe Maddon popped out of the dugout to have some words with the umpire. Snelling whiffed on an 0-2 fastball.
McClung's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
Gameball: Willie Bloomquist.
See how messed up this game was? For as much as I bag on Bloomquist here for being from South Kitsap and being a guy the broadcast crew (Dave Niehaus to the lowest extent, the color guys in the middle, and Rick Rizzs to the very highest) horribly overrates, I'm not going to bag on him when he goes 4-for-4, gets on base all five times he comes to the plate, and steals two bases. Now messes around and hits for the cycle in his next start, that would either be simultaneous with the four horsemen or the placing of a 20-foot bronze statue of Bloomquist outside Buck A&W Restaurant on Mile Hill Road, a place that serves darned good strawberry shakes, which I try to use to distract from all the South Kitsap sports paraphernalia they have hanging on the walls in there. In the meaningless fun that can only come when we're two games into September, Bloomquist is a perfect 1.000 in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage for the month. For his season numbers, this game bumped his average and on-base numbers up by 15 points and bumped his slugging by 13 points. His slugging percentage is 14 points lower than the on-ase mark, but that's because he barely gets any extra-base hits, but we know that.
Before I go on about how horrid Ichiro's performance is, I have to make a small case for why Felix Hernandez doesn't belong here despite giving up seven runs on ten hits. He had pitched very efficiently. He had thrown 88 pitches coming into the eighth inning. I guess my first threshold of freak-outness would have been when he allowed a single on the first pitch of the eighth. That might have been a time where I would have yanked him. He got outs from Carl Crawford and Greg Norton, so he was almost out of it. Ty Wigginton took one of many curves in the dirt that moved Delmon Young to move to third. Felic tried to throw all these curves to get Wigginton to whiff, but he didn't bite. Rafael Chaves went out to the mound at this point, and knowing Mike Hargrove, I thought this was a stall tactic to get Sean Green a few seconds more to warm up until Hargrove came out with the hook immediately after Chaves headed back to the dugout. Imagine my surprise when this wasn't the case. The pitch that Kevin Witt got was a 95mph fastball over the outside corner, and he just went with it. One could argue Hargrove released his inner Grady Little with this move. Greg Norton's homer was on a thigh-high 2-2 curve and basically seemed like a high fly ball that barely got over the wall. Ty Wigginton's homer was the only one that was truly crushed, and I think the only one that you can really pin on Felix because it was belt-high and over the plate. Also, Felix struck out seven hitters and got 14 of his 16 other outs on ground balls, so it's not like he had any other real close calls with deep fly balls. Oh yeah, Ichiro. The fact that this team almost won with him going 0-for-6 is nuts. The team has a record of 8-24 this season when he goes hitless, though since I last referred to this stat, he came off the bench to go hitless in one at-bat in Anaheim, so that's a bit screwy. What's really screwy, though, is Ichiro hitting .233 in the month of August. Huh? Tampa Bay's crew referred to Ichiro's numbers against the Devil Rays -- he hits .278 against them but hits .309 or higher against every other American League team. Back to this game, when you see a number seven under the LOB column, you know that's not good, and considering it's a cold day in hell whenever Willie Bloomquist is getting on base five times in a game, it's really not good. In a related story, Ichiro hits .332 with nobody on, .282 with runners on, and .204 with runners in scoring position. How does this make sense?
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 97-39 .713 -- W1
2002 79-57 .581 18 L2
2003 79-57 .581 18 W2
2000 74-62 .544 23 W2
2006 64-72 .471 33 L1
2005 58-78 .426 39 L1
2004 51-85 .375 46 L5
Washburn. Robertson. Today.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
In 25 words or less: How often do the Mariners win when they have a triple play turned on them and their bullpen gives up more runs than the starter?
This one featured Cha Seung Baek going up against JP Howell. Though it was probably the case last night (I don't know since my MLB.tv feed was Tampa Bay's), and since they're in his neck of the woods, the Mariner television crew had Darnell Coles along with them for some color commentary. The 4:15p Pacific start time also allowed for a longer-than-usual pregame segment, featuring a short chat with Bill Bavasi, who fielded some of Dave Niehaus' questions about the present and the remainder of the season. Somewhat surprisingly, I didn't hear any Rafael Soriano questions, but maybe he's doing that well recovering from the concussion. It was Mascot Night at Tropicana Field as well as Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane Dual Talking Bobblehead Night (they're the television crew for the Devil Rays). Unfortunately, with a lefty on the mound for Tampa Bay, and with all the work Chris Snelling has been getting, Mike Morse got the start in rightfield. In a related story, the ray tank at the Trop is probably the coolest thing in there.
Ichiro chopped a 2-2 pitch over the mound and legged it out for a single despite the best efforts of a charging Cantu. Jose Lopez walked on a 3-1 pitch up and away. Adrian Beltre reached away and stuck an 0-2 pitch into the rightcenter gap for a single, scoring Ichiro and moving Lopez to third.
»» MARINERS 1, DEVIL RAYS 0
Raul Ibañez was ahead 3-1 before taking a full-count pitch for strike three, then Navarro threw to second as Beltre was hung up between first and second and quickly tagged out by Zobrist, who then threw home to get Lopez trying to score from third. Yes, that's your standard 2-6-2 triple play, the second in Devil Ray history. Howell threw 19 pitches.
Rocco Baldelli drove the second pitch, a high fastball (Baek-fast), over the centerfield wall.
»» DEVIL RAYS 1, MARINERS 1
Delmon Young bounced to third on the first pitch. Carl Crawford bounced a 2-2 pitch to first, where Sexson made a nice diving stop and underhanded to a covering Baek, who was a bit late to first, but Crawford is also incredibly fast and had the single. Greg Norton took a second-pitch ball that Crawford took second base on, though Johjima's throw definitely had him beat, but Crawford barely slid around Betancourt's tag on what was actually a pretty good call. Even MLB.com's Gameday was juked, flashing a "Caught Stealing" graphic. Mike Hargrove came out to argue and I kinda wish he would have gotten tossed, but he didn't. Norton got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Ty Wigginton watched a second-pitch ball and Tampa Bay put on the double steal. Johjima gunned down Norton at second as Crawford had a monster jump and easily had third anyway. Wigginton was ahead 3-0 and nearly doubled down the leftfield line on a 3-1 pitch (just foul). Wigginton whiffed on a full-count breaking ball. Baek threw 25 pitches.
Richie Sexson whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Eduardo Perez got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in. Kenji Johjima popped the second pitch high to Baldelli a couple steps short of the centerfield track. Mike Morse whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt. Howell threw 14 pitches and had 33 through two.
Dioner Navarro bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Jorge Cantu turned on a 2-0 pitch but ripped it foul. Cantu took the next pitch inside off his jersey. BJ Upton punched a 3-0 pitch through the left side for a single, moving Cantu to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Ben Zobrist hit a sharp line drive that Morse made an attempt for a sliding catch, but he trapped it and threw to the cutoff man Lopez, who threw in time to third to nail Cantu, who was suddenly forced to run to third (9-4-5). Baldelli popped the second pitch to Ichiro in shallow leftcenter. Baek threw 16 pitches and had 41 through two.
Yuniesky Betancourt popped high to shallow center. Ichiro fisted the first pitch into leftcenter for a single. Lopez lined a 2-0 pitch into center for a single to move Ichiro to second. Beltre watched the first pitch as Ichiro stole third, just barely sliding under the tag of Upton. Beltre ripped a too-high change through the left side for a single to score Ichiro and moving Lopez to second.
»» MARINERS 2, DEVIL RAYS 1
Ibañez walked on a full-count pitch, loading the bases. Pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound. Sexson popped the second pitch to Baldelli a few steps short of the track in center, scoring Lopez from third.
»» MARINERS 3, DEVIL RAYS 1
Perez nubbed out to second. Howell threw 23 pitches and had 56 through three.
Young tapped a 1-2 pitch back to the mound that went off Baek's glove and changed direction, but Betancourtg still ranged over and adjusted to make the play. Crawford tapped the first pitch to Lopez charging in, who threw quickly to first to barely get Crawford. Joe Maddon came out to argue the call, though not as vociferously as Hargrove's argument from earlier. Norton stroked the second pitch for a single past a diving Lopez and into right. Wigginton lined out to left on the second pitch. Baek threw ten pitches and had 51 through three.
Johjima bounced to third on the first pitch. Morse popped the second pitch lazily to left. Betancourt doubled off the leftfield track and wall on a 2-0 pitch. Ichiro tapped the second pitch to second. Howell threw eight pitches and had 64 through four.
Navarro got ahead 3-0 and popped a full-count pitch in foul ground to Ibañez making a running catch. Cantu bounced the first pitch to the left-side hole, where it went off the heel of Betancourt's glove and Cantu was safe with a single. Upton fell behind 0-2 before looping a 2-2 pitch to Loprz in shallow right. Zobrist bounced out to second. Baek threw 16 pitches and had 67 through four.
Lopez popped the first pitch high to left. Beltre lined out to left on a 1-2 pitch. Ibañez bounced out to second. Howell threw nine pitches and had 73 through five.
Baldelli flew out to fairly deep center. Young bounced out to first (3-1 putout). Crawford hit a can o'corn to center on the first pitch. Baek threw seven pitches and had 74 through five.
Sexson was down 0-2 and whiffed badly on a slow and low 2-2 change. Perez mightily swung at the second pitch and only got part of it, but rolled it past Zobrist at short and into left for a single. Johjima bounced the second pitch to Upton behind the bag at third, who threw to second, but Cantu airmailed Wigginton at first, and Navarro backing up the play threw to second, but Johjima beat it. Morse smoked a line drive destined for the leftfield corner until Upton climbed the ladder at third and speared it. Howell threw 12 pitches and had 85 through six.
Norton was up 2-0 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball. Wigginton split his bat on the first pitch, grounding out to third as Beltre correctly fielded the ball instead of the bat barrel and made the play to first. Navarro bounced a 2-2 pitch to second. Baek threw 13 pitches and had 87 through six.
Betancourt waved at a breaking ball in the dirt to make it 0-2 and whiffed on the next pitch as well, nearly identical, but with a 2-3 putout involved. Ichiro bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Lopez lined the second pitch into right for a single.
Shawn Camp came in for Howell. Beltre bounced a 2-0 pitch to a charging Upton at third, who threw high to pull Wigginton off the bag as Beltre was safe at first, but Wigginton threw quickly to second to catch Lopez leaning too far off the bag (4-6).
Howell's line: 6 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, 93 pitches (59 strikes)
Camp's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (1 strike)
Cantu fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 fastball. Upton was down 0-2 and took a 1-2 fastball down over the inside corner. Zobrist doubled into the rightfield corner on a 2-0 pitch, snapping a string of ten straight retired hitters for Baek.
Joel Piñeiro came in for Baek. Baldelli fouled a 1-2 pitch that took a bite out of Johjima. Baldelli ended up popping a 2-2 pitch to Beltre near the third-base bag. Piñeiro threw seven pitches.
Baek's line: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 102 pitches (68 strikes)
Ruddy Lugo came in for Camp. Ibañez spanked a single into right. Sexson stuck a single just past Cantu at second and into right for a single to move Ibañez to second. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, lined a full-count pitch right into the glove of Wigginton at first, who threw straight to second, but Ibañez got back to the bag in time. Johjima slapped a single into shallow right to load the bases. Morse popped a 2-0 pitch just short of the rightfield track to score Ibañez and move Sexson to third.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 1
Betancourt rolled a 2-0 pitch to short.
Lugo's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 3 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 25 pitches (12 strikes)
Willie Bloomquist came in to play rightfield for Morse. Young popped a 1-2 hanging breaking ball into the second row of rightfield seats.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 2
George Sherrill came in for Piñeiro. Crawford reached for a low-and-away pitch, looping it into shallow center for a single. Norton had the hitters' counts before dumping a full-count pitch into shallow right on which Bloomquist was short on his dive (single), though he had a mile to go and Lopez was nowhere close to the play since Crawford had taken off for second with the pitch.
JJ Putz came in for Sherrill. Wigginton bounced the second pitch hard up the middle to Betancourt, who underhanded to Lopez to start the 6-4-3 double play that moved Crawford to third. Navarro popped the second pitch to Betancourt behind the bag at second. Putz threw four pitches.
Piñeiro's line: 1/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 0 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
Jon Switzer came in for Lugo. Ichiro reached and bounced an 0-2 pitch to second. Lopez took the second pitch inside and it hit him just above his right kneecap. Lopez stayed in after some attention from trainer Rick Griffin. Beltre got just under the second pitch, flying out to fairly deep center. Ibañez popped a 2-2 pitch to Crawford on the leftfield track.
Switzer's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
Cantu took an 0-2 fastball just off the outside corner, then whiffed on a high 1-2 fastball. Upton bounced to third, where Beltre barehanded the ball and threw in time to first. Zobrist had the hitters' counts before clubbing a 3-1 too-high fastball eight rows into the rightfield seats. It's been a while since Putz has done that.
»» MARINERS 4, DEVIL RAYS 3
Baldelli flew out to Ichiro a few steps short of the track in center on the first pitch.
Putz' line: 2 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Cha Seung Baek.
I originally had Jose Lopez pegged for this due to his 2-for-3 day with one walk and his modest three-game hitting streak. Ultimately, though, the weight of this-may-never-happen-againness tipped the scales in favor of Baek. Considering how he was throwing in the early going, there was no way he should have gotten into the seventh inning. I didn't think he'd make it out of the sixth, and that was if he threw fairly well. Instead, he threw incredibly well, and/or Tampa Bay just couldn't do anything with him. The beginning part of the game seemed like usual Baek from what I could tell (usual for big-league Baek, anyway), then he really settled into a groove. Not all of his starts are going to be like this one, sure, but if he has more of these for the rest of the season, it can only help him going forward. Frankly, I'd rather not have him be on this team next season, and definitely not as a top-three starter if he does happen to leak into the 2007 rotation. Frankly, ever since I first saw him break the big leagues in 2004, I've been wholly unimpressed with Baek. I've never seen him throw with enough command to help make up for the fact that he doesn't throw hard at all.
Goat: Joel Piñeiro.
He got Rocco Baldelli out with the score 3-1 with two out and a runner on second, so that was good. Then Delmon Young led off the eighth with a homer to chase Piñeiro from the game. Through the great wonders of small sample size and our outright desire to know how bad Piñeiro is so that he doesn't pitch for this team next year, Piñeiro has an ERA of 27.00 for the month of September. In a more realistic assessment of his suckitude, Piñeiro has had an ERA over 5.00 for almost three months (since June 8th). He's had an ERA over 6.00 for about two and a half weeks (since August 15th). In a way, you could argue that the swap of him and Jake Woods was a straight-across one since Piñeiro has been appearing about as often as Woods did earlier in the season. Obviously Piñeiro appeared every five days as a starter, but since his move to the bullpen, he's appeared three times. He appeared eight days after his last start and didn't appear again for another week. However, he did have two days of rest before his appearance in this game. Again, let's just hope he's not with this team next year.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 96-39 .711 -- L1
2002 79-56 .585 17 L1
2003 78-57 .578 18 W1
2000 73-62 .541 23 W1
2006 64-71 .474 32 W1
2005 58-77 .430 38 W1
2004 51-84 .378 45 L4
Hernandez. Stokes. Today.