Saturday, September 16, 2006
In 25 words or less: Two Mariner pitchers threw four innings each in this game. The wrong one got the start.
This one featured Joel Piñeiro going up against Mark Redman. MLB.tv didn't join in for this one until one pitch into Raul Ibañez' at-bat in the first inning (17 pitches into the game), which is right up there with the Gameday-associated Flash add-on that crashes and subsequently does so to my browsers every so often. Amazingly, this was Piñeiro's first time ever pitching in Kansas City. In another Piñeiro-related note, someone in the Mariner hierarchy thought something of Piñeiro's last few relief appearances and handed him a rotation spot for the rest of the season, which I'm hoping is to showcase him so someone else will pick him up and get him out of Seattle. They just brought up a bunch of young guys and they've got way more upside that Piñeiro (who has way more downside), yet they give the innings to Piñeiro. Go figure. Mike Morse (as opposed to TJ Bohn) got the obligatory start in rightfield against the lefthanded starting pitcher. The Mariners looked to have their first winning streak since their four-gamer about a week before. Similarly, they hoped to avoid losing five of seven, which would happen with a loss in this one.
Ichiro singled into center on a 3-1 pitch. Adrian Beltre was up 3-1 before grounding a full-count pitch to third, moving Ichiro to second. Kenji Johjima laced a double over the reach of German at third and toward the leftfield corner for a single that scored Ichiro.
»» MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
Raul Ibañez grounded a 1-2 pitch to the hole on the right side, where Grudzielanek started what would have been a 4-6-3 double play had Ibañez not been safe at first. Richie Sexson grounded hard to third on the second pitch, and German threw to second for the out on Ibañez. Redman threw 21 pitches.
David DeJesus worked a 1-2 count full before smacking a single into shallow center. Esteban German failed to check his swing on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away. Mark Grudzielanek grounded the second pitch to Lopez in the right-side hole, who started a 4-6-3 double play. Piñeiro threw 14 pitches.
Eduardo Perez bounced the second pitch back up the middle for a single. Jose Lopez bounced the second pitch to short to start what was almost a 6-4-3 double play, but Lopez barely beat out the throw to first. Mike Morse rolled an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single to move Perez to second. Willie Bloomquist bounced the second pitch to third to start a 5-4-3 double play, though Bloomquist looked like he might have been more safe than Lopez was on his near-double play, but this goes in the books as a double play. Redman threw nine pitches and had 30 through two.
Mike Sweeney split his bat on the second pitch, bouncing past the mound to Lopez racing to the other side of second base, who threw in time to first. Ryan Shealy flew out to Morse jogging toward the rightfield corner on a 1-2 pitch. Shane Costa bounced to second on a 1-2 pitch. Piñeiro threw ten pitches and had 24 through two.
Ichiro served the second pitch into left for a single, his 200th hit of the season. Beltre watched as a pickoff throw to first went wide and into foul territory, moving Ichiro to second. Beltre fouled off a 2-2 pitch on which Ichiro looked to have had third base stolen. Beltre ended up taking a full-count breaking ball to the thigh. Johjima was ahead 2-0 and whiffed on a full-count pitch, and a high throw went to third to try to get Ichiro, but the ball came loose and Ichiro had his 40th straight successful stolen base to break Willie Wilson's American League record (Beltre also took second). Ibañez hacked on a 3-0 count and flew out to center, deep enough to score Ichiro from third. This was Ichiro's 100th run scored for the season.
»» MARINERS 2, ROYALS 0
Sexson bounced the second pitch to German behind the bag at third. Redman threw 22 pitches and had 52 through three.
Paul Bako grounded the first pitch off of Piñeiro's glove, slowing it down, but Lopez behind it made the play to first. Angel Berroa was up 2-0 before walking on a full-count pitch up and in. Joey Gathright laid the wood on an outside-corner first pitch, lofting it over the wall in leftcenter for his first big-league homer. He didn't have a homer in his Tampa Bay days, and that's news to me.
»» ROYALS 2, MARINERS 2
DeJesus tapped the second pitch back to the mound. German rolled the first pitch to short. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches and had 36 through three.
Perez fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 pitch. Lopez walked on a low 3-1 pitch. Morse bounced a 1-2 pitch right to short for an easy 6-4-3 double play. Redman threw 15 pitches and had 67 through four.
Grudzielanek bounced the second pitch off the mound into center for a single. Sweeney poked a 2-2 pitch to Lopez, who ran at Grudzielanek on his way to second, then tried throwing to first to get Sweeney, but that part of it was late (he could have gone to Bloomquist for the double play, and Sweeney is slow). Shealy was down 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch off his elbow, moving Sweeney to second. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Costa shot the first pitch through toward the rightfield corner and it rolled slowly for a triple to score both Sweeney and Shealy (the latter from first).
»» ROYALS 4, MARINERS 2
Bako whiffed on a 2-2 slider down and in. Berroa slapped an 0-2 pitch into right for a single to score Costa.
»» ROYALS 5, MARINERS 2
Gathright fell behind 0-2 and had a swinging bunt out in front on a 1-2 pitch and beat it out for a single, moving Berroa to second. DeJesus drilled the second pitch off the track and wall near the rightfield corner, scoring both Berroa and Gathright, the latter of whom beat the relay throw home that put DeJesus on third (scored a double).
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 2
German grounded the second pitch off the front of the mound, and Lopez made a nice charge-and-throw play on the run to get the out at first. Piñeiro threw 28 pitches and had 64 through four.
Piñeiro's line: 4 innings, 7 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 64 pitches (44 strikes)
Bloomquist hit the second pitch for a sinking liner to left that was caught by a diving DeJesus. Ichiro popped the second pitch to the track in center. Beltre skipped the first pitch off the mound, and Grudzielanek made a diving backhanded stop and valitant effort to throw to first, but it was late (single). Johjima bounced the second pitch to short for a 6-4 force of Beltre at second. Redman threw seven pitches and had 74 through five.
Ryan Feierabend came in for Piñeiro. Grudzielanek smoked a 2-0 pitch right into Feierabend's glove. Sweeney was up 3-1 and flew out to Ichiro a few steps in front of the centerfield track on a full count. Shealy had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 breaking ball down and in. Costa watched as Shealy was nearly picked off of first, but Sexson had moved away from the bag and had to reach bag for a tag attempt. Shealy stroked a 1-2 pitch, but flew out to Morse in rightcenter. Feierabend threw 18 pitches.
Ibañez flew out high to Gathright a few steps short of the centerfield track. Sexson on a 2-2 pitch flew out to Gathright in deep center. Perez drove the second pitch to a busy Gathright a few steps short of the centerfield track. Redman threw ten pitches and had 84 through six.
Bako tapped a 2-2 pitch back to Feierabend. Berroa whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in that bounced away, though Berroa thought he'd fouled it off and stood in the batters' box as Johjima ran down the ball, walked over, and tagged him. Gathright lined the first pitch to Lopez, who caught it near his shoes. Feierabend threw 15 pitches and had 33 total.
Lopez whiffed on a 2-2 change. Morse grounded the first pitch hard behind the bag at third, and it ate up German, going off his glove for a single. Bloomquist bunted (for a hit, I hope) the first pitch along the left side, but Bako got to the ball and threw to first as Morse went to second. Ichiro flew out to left on the second pitch. Redman threw nine pitches and had 93 through seven.
DeJesus bounced a 2-2 pitch behind the bag at first, where Sexson got to it and had his momentum going away from the play, then lobbed it over (could have put more juice on it) to a covering Feierabend, who stepped on the bag barely in time. German was down 0-2 and rolled a 2-2 pitch slowly up the middle and Lopez got to it and made a leaping throw to first that was way over Sexson, but German didn't advance and would have had the single anyway. Grudzielanek lined the first pitch to right, and Morse was gunshy about throwing to first to double off German. Sweeney grounded the second pitch to short, where Bloomquist tossed to Lopez at second for the force on German. Feierabend threw 14 pitches and had 47 total.
Beltre rolled the second pitch to second, but Grudzielanek bobbled it (error) and Beltre legged it out. Johjima walked on four pitches, moving Beltre to second. Ibañez bounced the second pitch to second to start a 4-6-3 double play that moved Beltre to third. Sexson popped the first pitch near the tarp down the rightfield line, and it bounced near Shealy, who had overrun the ball and was over there in time. Sexson whiffed on a low full-count breaking ball that got away from Bako (2-3 putout). Redman threw 15 pitches and had 108 through eight.
Shealy took an 0-2 fastball over the inside corner. Costa popped the second pitch to left. Bako rolled an easy grounder to Lopez, who sat behind it and took his glove up too quickly as the ball rolled through his legs (error) into rightfield. Berroa scorched an 0-2 pitch right into Beltre's glove.
Feierabend's line: 4 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 58 pitches (38 strikes)
Perez looped a foul pop toward the first-base coaches' box, where Shealy made a diving catch. Lopez bounced an 0-2 pitch deep in the left-side hole, where Berroa backhanded it and threw, but Lopez beat it out for a single. Morse rocked a 2-2 pitch, doubling to the centerfield wall to score Lopez. Pitching coach Bob McClure visited the mound.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 3
Bloomquist popped to Shealy behind the bag at first. Ichiro reached and slapped a 1-2 pitch toward the leftfield corner for a single to score Morse. Manager Buddy Bell came to the mound and drew the ire of the Kansas City crowd. Redman got the ovation.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 4
Joe Nelson came in for Redman. Beltre whiffed on an 0-2 fastball.
Redman's line: 8 2/3 innings, 4 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 126 pitches (78 strikes)
Nelson's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 3 pitches (3 strikes)
Gameball: Ryan Feierabend.
This season, we've been introduced to the Mark Lowe slider, the Jon Huber slider, and now the Feierabend vulcan-grip breaking ball. Whereas fellow call-up Francisco Cruceta has gotten lit up in his two big-league appearances this season, Feierabend has done the complete opposite. He's given up one hit and walked one hitter in six innings of work. He's struck out four and gotten six groundouts and eight flyouts. His first big-league appearance consisted of two perfect innings (the eighth and ninth) in the final game of the Toronto series three days earlier. Of course, that was a 10-0 Mariner loss where no runs were scored after the fourth inning. His outing today was very solid, though for the pitching staff as a whole, it was the second straight game where there was a reliever in very long relief (Jake Woods went six innings in the second game of the series). The last time a Mariner starting pitcher got past the fifth inning was Gil Meche on Tuesday in Toronto. The last time a Mariner starter got through six was Jarrod Washburn, who went six in the 13-inning game in Arlington last Saturday. Even with an expanded roster, that'll do a number on a bullpen.
Goat: Joel Piñeiro.
I certainly don't need to see any more out of the guy. My mind's already made up. Apparently the Mariners were swayed by his relief appearances. His last start was on August 15th in Oakland. In his seven relief appearances since, he gave up six runs and 13 hits in 16 1/3 innings (3.31 ERA). In the same span, he walked six hitters (all six in August, oddly) and struck out 14. He got 17 groundouts and 18 flyouts and gave up one homer. Still, his season ERA sits at 6.02. It was on July 27th of 2004 when Piñeiro was put onto the disabled list with a strained flexor bundle in his right elbow that has given his career a complete 180-degree turn. I don't see him throwing a 94mph fastball ever again, and since he'd learned how to get hitters out over the years and had that fastball dialed down several miles per hour when he came back, it took one tool out of his arsenal. He might be trying to reinvent himself as a sinkerballer, but with how much he's being paid (a cool $6.8 million this season) and the youth movement of arms that is waiting in the wings, this team better not end up with him in uniform next season. His career isn't completely out of the realm of salvation, but I'd say his career in Seattle is.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-42 .716 -- L2
2003 86-62 .581 20 W4
2002 84-64 .568 22 L6
2000 82-66 .554 24 W4
2006 70-78 .473 36 L1
2005 64-84 .432 42 L3
2004 56-92 .378 50 L1
Meche. Hernandez. Tomorrow.
[posted in full Sat ~8:16p]
In 25 words or less: The Mariners show some uncharacteristic late-inning moxie for a comeback win.
This one featured Francisco Cruceta going up against Luke Hudson. Cruceta was making his starting pitching debut for the Mariners and he was throwing in place of Felix Hernandez, who was missing the start to keep his innings down. The number-three hitter du jour was Kenji Johjima as Yuniesky Betancourt was bumped back down to familiar territory in the lower reaches of the batting order. The Mariners had sandwiched a four-game winning streak with dual stretches of four losses in five games. The most important thing, however, would be that a Mariner win in this game would be their 70th of the season. Seventy wins would be their most since 2003, when they won 93 for the second straight season and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Importantly for me, the Mariners had to go 8-8 in their remaining 16 games for my prediction of 77 wins to come true. If that happens, I can surely say that I think the Mariners are one year behind schedule, since I pinned last year's team for 77 wins. Still, I went into this year saying 77 wins would be good for the Mariners, but a .500 season was a realistic goal. Considering some of the good stretches of baseball this team had this year, it's maddening that they haven't been close, but then you consider the valleys this season. Maddeningly inconsistent and streaky, these guys.
Ichiro was up 3-0 but bounced to first, where Shealy nicely shoveled with the glove to Hudson running over to cover on a close play. Adrian Beltre chopped an 0-2 pitch to third. Kenji Johjima was down 0-2 and popped a 1-2 slider to Grudzielanek in shallow right. Hudson threw 13 pitches.
David DeJesus popped the second pitch to Sexson near the front slope of the mound. Esteban German fouled off three 1-2 pitches before bouncing a single through the left side. Mark Grudzielanek bounced a single through where Betancourt would have been had the hit-and-run not been on, and German went to third on the single. Emil Brown had the hitters' counts and roped a 3-1 pitch just foul into the leftfield corner before walking on a full count. Ryan Shealy crushed the second pitch to the grass beyond the wall in leftcenter. That be a slam.
»» ROYALS 4, MARINERS 0
Shane Costa reached down and rocked a 1-2 pitch, doubling off the base of the wall in rightfield. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. John Buck took a 2-1 pitch in the dirt that got away from Johjima (wild pitch) and moved Costa to third. Buck had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 low pitch. Joey Gathright flew out to left, and the throw from Ibañez wsa about a third of the way up the third-base line, so Costa scored easily.
»» ROYALS 5, MARINERS 0
Andres Blanco grounded the second pitch into the left-side hole, where Betancourt made the backhand snag and off-balance throw in time to first.
Cruceta's line: 1 inning, 5 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 35 pitches (22 strikes)
Raul Ibañez rolled a single through the left side. Richie Sexson took an 0-2 pitch over the inside corner. Ben Broussard lined the second pitch for a hard grounder to the feet of Blanco at short, who shorthopped it and started the 6-4-3 double play. Hudson threw nine pitches and had 22 through two.
Jake Woods came in for Cruceta. DeJesus spanked a full-count pitch toward the rightfield corner that was a double after he barely beat out a throw from Snelling. German was down 0-2 and slapped a 1-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double to score DeJesus.
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 0
Grudzielanek lined the first pitch to a running Ichiro in center. Brown grounded the second pitch to Betancourt in the hole on the left side. Shealy took an intentional 3-1 ball. Costa flew out to fairly deep right on the first pitch. Woods threw 19 pitches.
Yuniesky Betancourt grounded to short. Chris Snelling worked a 1-2 count for a nine-pitch walk. Jose Lopez just missed homering (foul) down the leftfield line and was ahead 3-1 before walking on a full-count pitch inside to move Snelling to second. Ichiro grounded to first on the first pitch, moving Snelling and Lopez to third and second. Beltre looped a 2-2 pitch to Grudzielanek running back into center, who looked to have caught the ball, but it rolled out (ruled a single), scoring Snelling and Lopez.
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 2
Johjima whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball outside. Hudson threw 31 pitches and had 53 through three.
Buck had the hitters' counts before walking on a 3-1 pitch up and in. Gathright grounded the first pitch to a drawn-in Beltre, who threw to second for the out on Buck, but the speedy Gathright beat the back end of what would have been a double play. Blanco flew out to Snelling near the rightfield line on an 0-2 pitch. DeJesus flew out to Snelling in rightcenter on a 2-0 pitch. Woods threw 12 pitches and had 31 total.
Ibañez flew out to shallow center. Sexson had the hitters' counts and walked on a 3-1 pitch. Broussard popped the second pitch to shallow right. Betancourt grounded hard behind the bag at third, where German made a nice play, backhanding and throwing all the way to second for the out on Sexson (5-4). Hudson threw 12 pitches and had 65 through four.
German flew out to Lopez just on the grass in shallow right on a 1-2 pitch. Grudzielanek bounced the second pitch behind the mound, and it was easy work for Betancourt, who charged and threw on the run. Brown bounced a 1-2 pitch to Beltre behind the bag at third. Woods threw ten pitches and had 41 total.
Snelling got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full count. Lopez rolled the first pitch to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Ichiro slashed an 0-2 pitch through the left-side hole for a single. Beltre roped the second pitch off the track and wall in leftcenter for a double, scoring Ichiro easily.
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 3
Johjima rocked one to nearly the same spot as Beltre for a double to leftcenter that scored Beltre. Pitching coach Bob McClure visited the mound.
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 4
Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball inside. Hudson threw 18 pitches and had 83 through five.
Shealy flew out to Ibañez in fairly deep leftcenter. Costa hit a liner on a full count to Ichiro at the centerfield track, who leaped a bit and reached up to make the catch. Buck worked an 0-2 count full before smoking a double into the rightfield corner. Gathright tapped the first pitch to second. Woods threw 18 pitches and had 59 total.
Paul Bako came in to catch. Sexson stuck a single into left.
Andrew Sisco came in for Hudson. Broussard took the first pitch up and in and it went off Bako's glove, enabling Sexson to move to second. Broussard hit a slow bouncer to short that was charged by Blanco, but the throw pulled Shealy off the bag as Sexson took third on a ground ball in front of him. Betancourt rolled up the middle to start a 6-4-3 double play, though Sexson scored.
»» ROYALS 6, MARINERS 5
Snelling whiffed on a full-count fastball on the outside corner.
Hudson's line: 5 innings, 5 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 86 pitches (53 strikes)
Sisco's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
Blanco bunted the first pitch along the third-base line, where Beltre charged and never planted or got off a throw, and his right elbow hit the ground hard on a slide. Hargrove and some trainers came out, but Beltre stayed in the game. DeJesus bounced to second for a 4-6 force of Blanco at second as DeJesus reached. German had the second pitch get under Johjima and roll to the backstop (ruled a wild pitch), moving DeJesus to second. German was up 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single to score DeJesus.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 5
Grudzielanek popped the second pitch to Johjima in front of the first-base dugout. Brown got ahead 2-0 and took a full-count pitch down and in, moving German to second. Chaves visited the mound. Shealy worked a 1-2 count full before bouncing slow to a charging Lopez, who barehanded and threw to first. Woods attempted to field the ball, but fell down on the mound. Woods threw 22 pitches and had 81 total.
Ryan Braun came in for Sisco. Lopez grounded a full-count pitch to German behind the bag at third, who threw wide of first into foul territory. Lopez tried to get to second on the play, but the ball banked right bank to Grudzielanek backing up the play, who threw to Blanco covering second, and Lopez was called out, though he looked like he beat the tag (play ruled a single and 4-6 putout). Ichiro drove a 2-2 pitch off the track and wall near the rightfield corner for a double. Beltre crushed a 2-1 pitch into the visitors' bullpen in leftcenter.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 7
Johjima flew out to center on a 1-2 pitch. Ibañez walked a 3-1 pitch barely off the plate down and away.
Ambiorix Burgos came in for Braun. Sexson drove the first pitch over Gathright and off the wall for a double, scoring Ibañez.
»» MARINERS 8, ROYALS 7
Broussard worked an 0-2 count full but whiffed on a breaking ball down and well off the plate away. Burgos threw seven pitches.
Braun's line: 2/3 inning, 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
Costa grounded the second pitch to second. Bako popped the first pitch to Ibañez in shallow left. Gathright whiffed on a full count. Woods threw nine pitches and had 90 total.
Woods' line: 6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 90 pitches (50 strikes)
Betancourt chopped the first pitch to a charging Blanco at short. Snelling grounded a 2-2 pitch to the mound. Lopez lined the second pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. Ichiro was intentionally walked. Beltre worked a 1-2 count full and took a barely low breaking ball to load the bases. McClure visited the mound. Johjima took the second pitch off Bako's glove, but Lopez didn't have a good view of how far the ball got away to score. Johjima bounced an 0-2 pitch off the glove of a charging Blanco, who ended up with no play (error) as Lopez scored and the bases remained loaded.
»» MARINERS 9, ROYALS 7
Jimmy Gobble came in for Burgos. Ibañez was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball over the inner half.
Burgos' line: 1 inning, 1 run (unearned), 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 29 pitches (16 strikes)
Jon Huber came in for Woods and TJ Bohn came in to play rightfield. Blanco was ahead 2-0 and bounced a full-count pitch to first (3-1 putout). DeJesus popped an 0-2 pitch to Sexson near the tarp down the rightfield line. German flew out to Ibañez in fairly deep left.
Huber's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Sexson laced the first pitch for a hard grounder to second, where Grudzielanek had the ball go off his glove and he had no play (ruled a single). Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, watched a couple of pickoff throws to first, but that was a stall tactic, as was Bell coming to the mound and camping out for a while.
Scott Dohmann came in for Gobble. Perez whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball down and in. Betancourt lined out to right. Bohn blasted the second pitch, one-hopping to JJ Putz warming up in the visitors' bullpen in leftcenter. That's his second big-league hit and first big-league homer.
»» MARINERS 11, ROYALS 7
Lopez was down 0-2 before grounding a 1-2 pitch to short. Dohmann threw 13 pitches.
Gobble's line: 1/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 7 pitches (4 strikes)
Dohmann's line: 1 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Huber. Grudzielanek grounded up the middle to Lopez, who backhanded it and had to gather himself a bit before throwing to first. Brown was down 2-0 before bouncing a single through the left side. Shealy took the first pitch as Brown took second on defensive indifference. Shealy was ahead 3-1 and flew out to right on a full count. Costa rolled a single through the left side to score Brown.
»» MARINERS 11, ROYALS 8
Bako watched the first pitch as Costa took second on defensive indifference once again. Bako popped the second pitch to Ibañez in leftcenter.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Gameball: Richie Sexson.
It's weird to say, but except for homers (sort of the whole reason the Mariners brought him to Seattle), he's having a great month. He's 19-for-50 (.380) for the month with seven walks and 11 strikeouts. He's hitless in only two of 14 games. He has only two homers, which is bad, but his slugging mark is at .660, which would be his highest for a month this season if it held up. With only the two homers, that .660 mark exists largely due to eight of his 19 hits being doubles, as well as the two homers. Thusly, ten of his 19 hits are for extra bases. Though he only has eight RBIs for the month at this point, if he keeps that pace, he'll have his usual monthly RBI total for this season. That would also put him at 104 RBIs, which is well above his low for a full season, which was 91 in 2000, when he was traded midseason from Cleveland to Milwaukee. It would also be higher than his 102 RBIs in 2002 with Milwaukee, a season in which he had his career full-season low for homers, which was 29. Sexson is currently sitting on 29 homers for 2006.
Goat: Francisco Cruceta.
While the things we've heard about him have been positive, he's appeared twice with the Mariners this season and hasn't done well at all. Sure, he's only thrown a total of 68 pitches at the big-league level in two appearances this year, all within the last week, but he hasn't shown the best command of his stuff. Of course, if you ask me whether I'd rather have Cruceta or Joel Piñeiro starting games, I'd choose Cruceta every time. Cruceta has upside and Piñeiro's career in Seattle at this point is well beyond the point of possible salvage. The fun thing about Cruceta's season line at this point is the fun that comes with the small sample size -- he has an ERA of 23.14. Still, it was a bit upsetting to see the Mariners trot Cruceta out there for a start against the Royals and have this happen to him. Hopefully his confidence isn't shot by this outing, but if it is, they need to get him some garbage-time appearances to build up his confidence. His only other appearance was five days earlier when he relieved Felix Hernandez and inherited a 1-0 Mariner deficit. Not exactly a soft landing.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-41 .721 -- L1
2003 85-62 .578 21 W3
2002 84-63 .571 22 L5
2000 81-66 .551 25 W3
2006 70-77 .476 36 W1
2005 64-83 .435 42 L2
2004 56-91 .381 50 W1
Piñeiro. Redman. Tonight.
Friday, September 15, 2006
[posted in full Sun ~3:55a]
In 25 words or less: Bad starting pitching prevents the winningest Mariner season since 2003 despite fifteen hits from the offense.
This one featured Jarrod Washburn going up against Odalis Perez. Eduardo Perez got the obligatory start against the lefthanded starting pitcher. On the Mariner telecast, Ron Fairly made a rare appearance as the color man. Dave Henderson and Dave Valle must not be too fond of Kansas City barbecue or something. Or maybe they're avoiding it for health reasons. If Rizzs and Valle were paired in this series and barbecue came up in the conversation, there would be no looking back. In related news, I'm not a big fan of barbecue sauce and most things barbecue, but you can bet that if I had a chance to munch on some authentic Kansas City barbecue, I'd do it. In a related note, I had some crab cakes when I was in Virginia last winter, and unless the crab meat is just there for texture when you top it off with some sauce or something, I'm not much of a fan of it. You don't have to top Ivar's clam chowder. By the way, Zippy's chili is to Hawaii what Ivar's clam chowder or anything from Dick's is to western Washington.
Ichiro laced the second pitch into right for a single. Adrian Beltre blistered the second pitch into center for a single, moving Ichiro to second. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded hard to third, leading Keppinger to the bag at third, who then threw to Grudzielanek for the second out, and Beltre took out Grudzielanek with his slide (5-4) to stop any triple play chance. Raul Ibañez was up 2-0 before drilling a 2-2 pitch into right for a single to move Betancourt to second. Richie Sexson looped the second pitch into left for a single that scored Betancourt and moved Ibañez to second.
»» MARINERS 1, ROYALS 0
Eduardo Perez couldn't check his swing on a 2-2 slider down and in. O Perez threw 18 pitches.
David DeJesus tapped a comebacker that Washburn reached up to glove, but it went out of his glove and slowed down too much for Lopez to make a play at first (single). Esteban German lined out to left. Mark Grudzielanek went the other way and singled into right on the second pitch to move DeJesus to third. Emil Brown whiffed on an 0-2 fastball. Ryan Shealy flew out to center. Washburn threw 16 pitches.
Kenji Johjima lined the first pitch into right for a single. Jose Lopez singled just in front of Costa in rightfield on a 2-2 pitch, moving Johjima to third. Willie Bloomquist grounded to third, and Johjima was hung up between third and home and was eventually tagged (5-2-5), though Lopez reached third and Bloomquist snuck over to second ont he play. Ichiro bounced the second pitch to Shealy near the bag at first, but Perez didn't come over to cover the bag (nor did Shealy run over to first to get the attainable out), so Lopez scored and Bloomquist moved to second. Ichiro had his third RBI in his last 112 at-bats.
»» MARINERS 2, ROYALS 0
Beltre lined out to right on an 0-2 pitch, though Bloomquist was able to tag and score.
»» MARINERS 3, ROYALS 0
Betancourt tagged an 0-2 pitch near the leftfield corner for a double (largely thanks to Brown not running over too quickly for the ball) to move Ichiro to third. Ibañez flew out to Costa just short of the rightfield track on the first pitch. O Perez threw 18 pitches and had 36 through two.
John Buck had the hitters' counts before flying out to Bloomquist on the track in rightcenter. Shane Costa fell behind 0-2 but ripped a hanging breaking ball toward the rightfield corner on which Costa was able to leg out a double on a late throw from Bloomquist. Jeff Keppinger bounced an 0-2 pitch to third, where Beltre backed up, gloved the ball, and did a spin move before throwing to first as Costa moved to third. Angel Berroa was down 0-2 and popped a hanging 2-2 breaking ball to Bloomquist near the rightfield line. Washburn threw 18 pitches and had 34 through two.
Sexson popped a 2-0 pitch very high to second. E Perez got ahead 3-1 before bouncing to Keppinger behind the bag at third. Johjima flew out to shallow center. O Perez threw 12 pitches and had 48 through three.
DeJesus fisted the first pitch for a roller to second. German knocked a single past the reach of Betancourt and into center. Grudzielanek stung a double into the leftfield corner, but the relay came back home quickly to get German by about eight feet (7-6-2). Brown singled into rightfield on the first pitch past a diving Sexson, and Bloomquist threw all the way home (late), enabling Brown to scoot to second. Ron Fairly at this point said that in some cases, you have to give the other team what they earned, alluding to Bloomquist's throw letting Brown move to second.
»» MARINERS 3, ROYALS 1
Shealy rode a 2-0 pitch that took Ichiro further and further back until he had no room and the ball hit the grass beyond the centerfield wall.
»» ROYALS 3, MARINERS 3
Buck was down 0-2 and tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound as Buck was not only out, he appeared to trip coming out of the box, possibly over his bat. Washburn threw 17 pitches and had 51 through three.
Lopez was ahead 3-1 and flew out to shallow center on a full count. Bloomquist was ahead 2-0 and tapped a 2-2 pitch back to the mound that got to O Perez, but it went off his ankles and was booted (error) as he tried without success to field the ball and Bloomquist reached first. Ichiro drove a 1-2 hanging inside breaking ball and wrapped it around the rightfield foul pole about eight rows deep for a homer.
»» MARINERS 5, ROYALS 3
Beltre worked a 1-2 count full before popping to Grudzielanek backing into shallow right. Betancourt reached on the second pitch, hitting a low liner into the glove of Grudzielanek at second. O Perez threw 25 pitches and had 73 through four.
Costa roped a 3-1 pitch into center for a single. Keppinger was jammed and grounded the second pitch to third, where Beltre threw in time to second, but the throw back to first was a bit in the dirt as Keppinger reached base at first. Berroa grounded hard to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Washburn threw 11 pitches and had 62 through four.
Ibañez whiffed on a low 0-2 breaking ball. Sexson worked an 0-2 count full before whiffing on a knee-high fastball. E Perez flew out to DeJesus at the centerfield track. O Perez threw 14 pitches and had 87 through five.
DeJesus smacked a high 1-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double. German worked a 1-2 count full before driving a ball to the centerfield track that rolled to the wall for a double to score DeJesus. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound.
»» MARINERS 5, ROYALS 4
Grudzielanek bounced the second pitch to second, moving German to third. Brown walked on a 3-1 neck-high fastball.
Emiliano Fruto came in for Washburn. Shealy lined a homer six rows into the leftfield seats next to the visitors' bullpen.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 5
Buck grounded hard to third on the second pitch. Costa whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball. Fruto threw ten pitches.
Washburn's line: 4 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 10 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 79 pitches (47 strikes)
Johjima drilled a 2-2 pitch into left for a single.
Scott Dohmann came in for O Perez. Lopez worked an 0-2 count for a walk to move Johjima to second. Bloomquist bunted along the right side, where Dohmann came off the mound to throw to first as Johjima and Lopez moved to third and second. Ichiro was intentionally walked to load the bases. Beltre smoked an 0-2 pitch to left to score Johjima, and the cutoff throw came in, and Ichiro was hung up between second and third, but that rundown was stopped when Lopez broke home and Grudizelanek threw home and nailed Lopez trying to score. Ichiro and Beltre were on third and second at the end of the play.
»» ROYALS 7, MARINERS 6
Betancourt whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball.
O Perez' line: 5 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 10 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 92 pitches (59 strikes)
Dohmann's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, 21 pitches (12 strikes)
Keppinger bounced the first pitch to third. Berroa whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball down and in. DeJesus took a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner. Fruto threw 12 pitches and had 22 total.
Ibañez slapped the second pitch for a liner that fell in front of Brown in leftfield for a single. Sexson flew out to right on a 1-2 pitch. E Perez blistered the second pitch off Keppinger's glove at third and into left for a single to move Ibañez to second.
Joel Peralta came in for Gobble. Johjima grounded the second pitch hard to third to start a 5-4-3 double play. Peralta threw two pitches.
Gobble's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
German lined a 3-1 pitch to fairly deep right. Grudzielanek bounced deep into the hole on the left side, where Betancourt ranged way over and threw across his body, but it pulled Sexson off the bag a bit (ruled as error). Brown popped a 1-2 pitch to Johjima behind the plate and to the left side. Shealy was up 2-0 before popping out to Ichiro in shallow center.
Fruto's line: 2 2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 38 pitches (23 strikes)
Joey Gathright came in to play center and DeJesus moved over to right. Lopez flew out to right on the first pitch. Chris Snelling, hitting for Bloomquist, had the hitters' counts before whiffing on a full-count fastball down the pipe. Ichiro had a 3-0 count go full before grounding to Shealy behind the bag at first.
Peralta's line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Fruto and Snelling stayed in to play rightfield. Buck poked a 2-2 pitch through the right side for a single, and Paul Phillips came in to run for him. Costa bunted the first pitch back toward the mound, and O'Flaherty came off to throw to first as Phillips moved to second. Keppinger took the second pitch in the dirt and to the backstop, moving Phillips to third. Keppinger took one more ball before being intentionally walked.
Jon Huber came in for O'Flaherty. Berroa squeeze-bunted a 1-1 pitch back to the mound and Phillips scored as Johjima had no play afterward.
»» ROYALS 8, MARINERS 6
DeJesus chopped the second pitch high to first (3-1 putout) as Keppinger and Berroa went to third and second. German lofted a ball into the rightcenter gap for a triple that scored Keppinger and Berroa.
»» ROYALS 10, MARINERS 6
Grudzielanek bounced out to second.
O'Flaherty's line: 1/3 inning, 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
Huber's line: 2/3 inning, 1 run, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
Joe Nelson came in for Peralta and Phillips stayed in to catch. Beltre fell behind 0-2 and golfed a 2-2 pitch that just kept carrying until it was two rows into the seats just inside the leftfield foul pole.
»» ROYALS 10, MARINERS 7
Betancourt walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 and Nelson drew a visit from pitching coach McClure. Ibañez popped a 3-1 pitch to Berroa moving into shallow left. Sexson watched the second pitch as Betancourt took second on catcher's indifference. Sexson flew out to center on a full count. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, dumped a 1-2 pitch into rightcenter for a single to score Betancourt.
»» ROYALS 10, MARINERS 8
Johjima whiffed on the second pitch as Broussard took second on catcher's indifference. Johjima was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 2-2 breaking ball.
Nelson's line: 1 inning, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
He helped anchor the top of the Mariner lineup in this one. The top four wearing Seattle uniforms combined to go 9-for-17 with four runs scored, two homers, six RBIs, two walks, and two strikeouts. That's quite a day that those top four rarely have in the same game. That's what makes it all the more unnerving when the team cranks out 15 hits and ends up losing 10-8. All told, Ichiro had his best day in quite a while, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a homer and driving in three runs. The homer and walk were his first since August 29th, a bit over two weeks. This was his second three-hit game in five days. Before that, his last three-hit game was on July 25th, but that happens when you have a .233 month like Ichiro did in August, a month which cut 22 points off his season batting average, 25 points off his on-base percentage, and 29 points off his slugging percentage. So far in September, Ichiro is 16-for-61 (.262) with a homer, two doubles, and three RBIs. He's struck out seven times and hasn't walked at all, not even intentionally. Why would someone want to intentionally walk Ichiro right now?
Goat: Jarrod Washburn.
Yes, it's the second time in three starts in which Washburn has given up six runs. He gave up six runs on ten hits in this one and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. Interestingly, he got seven groundouts and four flyouts when he was in, which flies in the face of his usual flyout-happy routine. Though he's had some of the more decent starts the rotation has had this season, he's always liable to have a game like this pop up. It's pretty apparent to everyone that the Washburn signing was a mistake in itself and that the contract was an ever bigger mistake. The only reason everyone's penciling Washburn in as a starting pitcher next season is due to the fact no one else is stupid enough to take on that deal. If it weren't for the deal, however, I nuke the rotation next spring of everyone not named Felix Hernandez. One interesting thing about Washburn, however, is that while most players on the team were having their best individual months in June, Washburn had an ERA of 7.57 in the month, giving up seven, one, six, five, and four runs in his five starts.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 106-40 .726 -- W7
2002 84-62 .575 22 L4
2003 84-62 .575 22 W2
2000 80-66 .548 26 W2
2006 69-77 .473 37 L2
2005 64-82 .438 42 L1
2004 55-91 .377 51 L1
Cruceta. Hudson. Tonight.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
[posted in full Sun ~3:16a]
In 25 words or less: Baek es un perdodor, enabling the Mariners look into the future with some garbage time for the young'uns.
This one featured AJ Burnett going up against Cha Seung Baek. Jose Lopez and Kenji Johjima got the day off, and Willie Bloomquist and Rene Rivera started in their respective places. In a move that kinda seems shady (in terms of timing, anyway), the Mariners informed bench coach Ron Hassey his contract wouldn't be renewed, so he left, and administrative assistant Dan Rohn was fired immediately on gameday. Thus, Mike Goff took the spot of bench coach, Carlos Garcia moved across the diamond to coach third, and San Antonio manager Daren Brown came up, donned a number 73 jersey, and went to the first-base coaches' box. San Antonio pitching coach Scott Budner also joined the big group o' coaches for the rest of the season. The Mariners were trying to establish another winning streak after having lost the last two. A four-game winning streak came immediately before the dropping of the two. A loss here would make it three in four games. This just isn't a year where the Mariners win one, then lose one. Last year around this time, the Mariners had a stretch of over a week where they had the back-and-forth going on.
Reed Johnson blistered the second pitch, but lined it right to Beltre at third with catlike reflexes to his right. Frank Catalanotto flew out to a running Ichiro in leftcenter. Vernon Wells smacked the second pitch back to the mound. Baek threw seven pitches.
Ichiro fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 curveball near his feet. Adrian Beltre stung the second pitch down the leftfield line and toward the angled wall in front of the stands, where a fan touched it with a glove (ground-rule double). Yuniesky Betancourt bounced softly to first to move Beltre to third. Raul Ibañez whiffed on an 0-2 low curve. Burnett threw 13 pitches.
Lyle Overbay got ahead 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch to second. Gregg Zaun drove the first pitch seven rows into the seats in rightfield.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Adam Lind got ahead 3-0 before punching a full-count pitch through the right side for a single. Aaron Hill popped the first pitch to center, quashing the hit-and-run that was put on. John Hattig worked an 0-2 count for a nine-pitch walk, moving Lind to second (Lind was nearly picked off of first by Rivera earlier in the at-bat). Russ Adams lined the second pitch into left, where Ibañez gunned straight home to Rivera, who got the ball and blocked the plate and tagged out Lind. Baek threw 25 pitches and had 32 through two.
Richie Sexson was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 fastball up and in. Ben Broussard popped to short on the first pitch. Chris Snelling walked on four pitches. Rene Rivera whiffed on a 1-1 pitch as Snelling stole second. Rivera ended up whiffing on a 2-2 belt-high fastball. Burnett threw 14 pitches and had 27 through two.
Johnson knocked the second pitch through the left side for a single. Catalanotto bounced the second pitch to first, where it led Sexson to the bag for the force, but his throw to second to get Johnson was a tad bit late. Wells popped the first pitch near the tarp and wall on the right side, where Sexson looked to have a basket catch in the making, but it went off his glove and into the stands. Wells ended up taking a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Overbay worked a 1-2 count full before flying out high to center. Baek threw 15 pitches and had 47 through three.
Willie Bloomquist dumped the first pitch into shallow center just in front of Wells for a single. Ichiro hadn't gotten a pitch thrown to him when Burnett picked him off of first. Ichiro whiffed on a 2-2 curve down and in. Beltre got ahead 2-0 and ended up bouncing off of Burnett's bottom, and it bounced away to short, where Hill threw in time to first. Burnett threw 11 pitches and had 38 through three.
Zaun walked on four pitches. Lind stroked the first pitch into right for a single to move Zaun to second. Hill got ahead 3-0 and walked on a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves visited the mound. Hattig bounced the second pitch into the rightfield corner for a double that cleared the bases and chalked up the first three RBIs for a big-league player from Guam.
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 0
Adams tapped the second pitch near the left of the mound, where Beltre charged and threw in time to first, and Hattig moved to third as a result. Johnson dumped an 0-2 pitch just in front of Ibañez in left, scoring Hattig.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 0
Cesar Jimenez came in for Baek. Catalanotto got ahead 2-0 and walked on a full-count pitch up high, moving Johnson to second. Wells walked on a full-count pitch down and in to load the bases. Chaves visited the mound. Overbay got ahead 2-0 and watched as Rivera nearly picked Johnson off of third. Overbay ended up taking a full-count pitch low and away, forcing Johnson across.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 0
Zaun popped the second pitch just over the wall near the rightfield corner, and it was slamariffic, giving him homers in the game from both sides of the plate.
»» BLUE JAYS 10, MARINERS 0
Lind looped an 0-2 pitch to Betancourt backing into shallow left. Hill flew out to center on the second pitch.
Baek's line: 3 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, 66 pitches (42 strikes)
Jimenez' line: 2/3 inning, 4 runs, 1 hit, 3 walks, 0 strikeouts, 27 pitches (14 strikes)
Betancourt flew out just in front of the rightfield track on a 2-0 pitch. Ibañez whiffed on a 2-2 curve over the inner half. Sexson fell behind 0-2 and ended up punching a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Broussard whiffed on a 2-2 curve inside at his feet (2-3 putout). Burnett threw 18 pitches and had 56 through four.
Travis Chick, making his big-league debut, came in for Jimenez. Hattig fell behind 0-2 immediately before working an 11-pitch walk. Adams flew out to deep center on the first pitch. Johnson rolled a 3-1 pitch softly to short, moving Hattig to second. Catalanotto got ahead 2-0 but took a 2-2 pitch down over the inner half. Chick threw 22 pitches.
Snelling stroked a single into right. Rivera lined a 1-2 pitch right to Johnson near the rightfield corner as Snelling had to hold. Bloomquist walked on a 3-1 pitch down and away. Ichiro flew out to Hattig near the mound on the first pitch. Beltre flew out to Johnson near the rightfield line. Burnett threw 17 pitches and had 73 through five.
Adam Jones came in to play center, Mike Morse came in to play third, and Greg Dobbs came in to play first. Wells one-hopped a 1-2 pitch to second. Overbay spanked a 1-2 pitch over the reach of Betancourt and into left for a single. Zaun popped the second pitch to Jones in shallow center. Lind doubled a low-and-away 0-2 pitch into the leftfield corner that bounced back up into the crowd, moving Overbay to third. Hill flew out on a full count to Snelling just short of the rightfield track. Chick threw 21 pitches and had 43 total.
Betancourt popped out to Adams moving into shallow center. Ibañez bounced out to first. Dobbs was nicked by a first-pitch fastball just above the right kneecap. Broussard rolled the first pitch to second. Burnett threw nine pitches and had 82 through six.
Oswaldo Navarro came in to play short and TJ Bohn came in to play left. Hattig laced the second pitch into right for a single. Adams punched a 2-2 pitch through the right side for a single to move Hattig to second. Johnson rolled the second pitch up the middle, where Navarro made a nifty toss to second to start a 6-4-3 double play. Catalanotto was down 0-2 and tapped a 1-2 pitch to third.
Chick's line: 3 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 58 pitches (41 strikes)
Kevin Barker came in to play first. Snelling poked the first pitch past the reach of Barker and down the rightfield line for a double. Rivera whiffed on an 0-2 breaking ball in the dirt (2-3 putout). Bloomquist bounced a 1-2 pitch to second. Jones popped the second pitch to Barker in foul ground on the right side. Burnett threw ten pitches and had 92 through seven.
Ryan Feierabend, making his big-league debut, came in for Chick. Wells flew out to right on the first pitch. Barker took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Zaun grounded out to short. Feierabend threw ten pitches.
Morse was down 0-2 before whiffing on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt and outside. Navarro blistered the first pitch into rightfield for a single, his first big-league hit. Bohn took an 0-2 curve that caught the inside corner. Dobbs whiffed on an 0-2 low curve.
Burnett's line: 8 innings, 0 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts, 103 pitches (68 strikes)
Jason Phillips, hitting for Lind, hit a normal fly ball to leftcenter that Bohn had go off the thumb of his glove (error) as Phillips reached first. Hill was down 0-2 and grounded a 1-2 pitch to Morse at third, who started a 5-4-3 double play. Hattig whiffed on a 1-2 letter-high fastball.
Feierabend's line: 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 22 pitches (16 strikes)
Justin Speier came in for Burnett. Broussard fell behind 0-2 before whiffing on a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Snelling got under the first pitch just a bit too much and flew out high to Rios on the rightfield track. Rivera singled into leftcenter on the second pitch. Bloomquist popped the second pitch to Adams backing into shallow right.
Speier's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
Gameball: Ryan Feierabend.
That was quite an impressive little debut we just saw. In San Antonio this season, he was 9-12 with a 4.28 ERA in 153 2/3 innings. He gave up 16 homers and 55 walks, but struck out 127 for a nice little ratio. He leans slightly toward the flyball side of the groundball/flyball debate. He is a mere 21 years old, making me feel old. But none of this matters because Feierabend now has a big-league ERA of 0.00. A possible nickname for him would be Fire, except he doesn't have a rocket fastball. Thusly, Mark Lowe and Feierabend should trade surnames. Then we could see a Feierabend throwing fire, and a Lowe throwing low-90s. Since I'm not a bullpen coach or anything, I have no idea how his bullpen sessions might go, but if they improve, how about they get Feierabend stretched out a little? Maybe they could give him longer and longer outings before the season is over. Why is this all great? Because there are three things I don't want to see next year -- Jake Woods, Cha Seung Baek, and Joel Piñeiro in the starting rotation. The closer the Mariners can get to that, the better off they'll be.
Goat: Cha Seung Baek.
I'll give him the two starts before this one. I can't say much bad about it because Baek combined to throw 13 2/3 innings, giving up only one run on ten hits, walking one and striking out seven. The fact that there was only one walk is impressive. Those two starts worked out to a miniscule 0.66 ERA. His first two starts worked out to a 4.22 ERA, which might not seem too bad at face value, but they were shaky. He walked a total of eight hitters in those starts. In the game against Boston, he had that no-hitter going, but it was one of the crappy kinds since he walked five in the game and didn't get out of the sixth. In any event, he had two bad starts, two good starts, and now this, unquestionably the worst start out of the five. Four groundouts, four flyouts, one strikeout. He recorded ten outs but gave up seven hits and six runs in the process. Not to mention the three walks. So, which is the real Baek? One thing's for sure -- if he doesn't have the command and control, he has way less of a margin of error than say a Mark Lowe, Gil Meche, or a Felix Hernandez would have on the mound.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 105-40 .724 -- W6
2002 84-61 .579 21 L3
2003 83-62 .572 22 W1
2000 79-66 .545 26 W1
2006 69-76 .476 36 L1
2005 64-81 .441 41 W3
2004 55-90 .379 50 W2
Washburn. Perez. Tonight.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
[posted in full Sun ~1:54a]
In 25 words or less: The Mariners linescore looks like scattered singles since they didn't score runs in bunches. Whatever works, as long as it's a win.
This one featured Shaun Marcum going up against Gil Meche. Meche hadn't won a game since July 14th in Toronto. The Mariners looked to win the middle game of the series and have a chance win the series if they won the next day as well, a getaway day game before the Mariners go on an 11-game road trip through Kansas City, Texas, and Chicago. The Mariners were trying to stop a two-game losing streak. Doing so would be good to regain some of the momentum they got from the four-game winning streak. A three-game streak the other way to follow that would be highly inopportune. In addition, a win in this game would guarantee the Mariners would finish the season with a record no worse than that of last season. In 2005, the Mariners finished 69-93. With a win here, the Mariners could have their 69th win with 18 games left to play. Only time will tell what it'll look like after 162 games, but first the Mariners had to play out this one.
Frank Catalanotto fell behind 0-2 and flew out to Ichiro in rightcenter on a 1-2 pitch. Aaron Hill took an 0-2 curve that just caught the outside corner. Vernon Wells was down 0-2 before taking a 2-2 huge curve for strike three (ninth pitch of at-bat). Meche threw 18 pitches.
Ichiro got too much under a 1-2 pitch, flying out to Catalanotto in the rightfield corner. Adrian Beltre crushed the first pitch, reaching the mounds in the Mariner bullpen in leftcenter.
»» MARINERS 1, BLUE JAYS 0
Yuniesky Betancourt fell behind 0-2 and put a jolt into a 2-2 pitch, nearly homering and nearly flying out to the leftfield corner, but Lind had the ball go off his glove and ran into the wall, giving Betancourt a double. Raul Ibañez worked a 1-2 count full before popping to Wells in shallow rightcenter. Richie Sexson was ahead 2-0 before rolling over a 2-2 pitch and grounding out to third. Marcum threw 22 pitches.
Lyle Overbay walked on four pitches. Troy Glaus scorched the first pitch into the glove of a running Ibañez in left. Bengie Molina bounced a 1-2 breaking ball to third, where Beltre looked to second and threw to first as Overbay got to second. Adam Lind whiffed over an 0-2 curve down and in. Meche threw 13 pitches and had 31 through two.
Ben Broussard had the hitters' counts before flying out to Wells in leftcenter on a full count. Kenji Johjima smacked a single near the leftfield line. Jose Lopez got ahead 2-0 and later stuck a single into right on a perfectly executed hit-and-run, moving Johjima to third. Chris Snelling punched a soft liner over the outstretched glove of Hill at second and into right for a single to score Johjima and move Lopez to second.
»» MARINERS 2, BLUE JAYS 0
Ichiro spanked an 0-2 pitch into left for a single to load the bases. Beltre popped an 0-2 pitch to Catalanotto in shallow right. Betancourt popped the first pitch to Hill in shallow right near the line, navigating his way between Overbay and Catalanotto. Marcum threw 23 pitches and had 47 through two.
Kevin Barker took a 2-2 curve over the inside corner. John McDonald was down 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 curve down and away. Catalanotto one-hopped to the right side (3-1 putout). Meche threw ten pitches and had 41 through three.
Ibañez camped out on his back foot and walloped a first-pitch breaking ball, putting it into the fourth row of seats in centerfield, to the right of the hitters' backdrop.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 0
Sexson had the hitters' counts before grounding out to third. Broussard dumped the first pitch into rightcenter for a single. Johjima poked an 0-2 pitch through the mound and into center for a single to move Broussard to second. Lopez looped a 2-2 pitch for a low popout to second, and Hill threw to second trying to double off Broussard, but it went past and enabled Broussard to scoot to third and Johjima to get to second.
Davis Romero came in for Marcum. Snelling was ahead 2-0 and grounded a 2-2 pitch to first. Romero threw five pitches.
Marcum's line: 2 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 62 pitches (40 strikes)
Hill rolled a 2-2 pitch through the left side to break up Meche's miniature no-hitter. Wells unloaded on a second-pitch hanging curve, depositing it into the visitors' bullpen in left.
»» MARINERS 3, BLUE JAYS 2
Overbay popped a 2-0 pitch to Ibañez near the leftfield line. Glaus flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter. Molina flew out to a running Snelling near the rightfield corner. Meche threw 17 pitches and had 58 through four.
Ichiro popped an 0-2 pitch to left. Dave Niehaus and Dave Valle had an interesting conversation about home runs back in the day before long foul poles, where you couldn't wrap one around the pole and instead the homer depended on where the ball bounced on the ground. Beltre whiffed on a high 0-2 fastball. Betancourt walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibañez grounded a 1-2 pitch to short for an easy 6-4 force on Betancourt. Romero threw 15 pitches and had 20 total.
Lind served a 2-2 pitch into the rightfield corner for a double. During that at-bat, Niehaus and Valle talked about who could get to the World Series this season, and Valle mentioned the Yankees and Mets, though both on-air personalities agreed they didn't want to see that series again. Niehaus called it "a boring series." I 100% agree. Barker whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and in. McDonald got behind 0-2 and took a 1-2 pitch in the dirt (wild pitch) that Johjima blocked, but Lind took off on a delayed steal and barely beat Johjima's throw. McDonald worked the 0-2 count full, popped a ball nearly foul down the leftfield line, then walked on a fastball up and in. Catalanotto popped the second pitch high to second and violently beat his bat head into the ground in frustration. Hill took a second-pitch fastball off the left tricep, loading the bases. Wells bounced the second pitch back to the mound. Meche threw 26 pitches and had 84 through five.
Sexson worked a 1-2 count full before doubling into the leftfield corner. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg visited the mound again. Broussard laced a 1-2 pitch through the right side for a single, moving Sexson to third. On the same play, Catalanotto threw home, and the throw one-hopped through Molina, allowing Broussard to scoot to second though Sexson held at third.
Jason Frasor came in for Romero. Johjima popped the first pitch to Wells running into shallow center as the runners held. Lopez bounced high to the left side, and by the time Frasor got the ball, he had no play as Sexson took off on contact and scored as Broussard went to third.
»» MARINERS 4, BLUE JAYS 2
Snelling whiffed on an 0-2 inside fastball. Ichiro foul-tipped a 2-2 fastball into Molina's glove behind the plate. Frasor threw 15 pitches.
Romero's line: 1 1/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 30 pitches (19 strikes)
Overbay drilled the first pitch into center for a single. Glaus took a 2-2 curve over the outside corner. Molina lined the first pitch into shallow center for a single to move Overbay to second.
Eric O'Flaherty came in for Meche. Lind flew out to Ibañez near the leftfield corner on a ball that carried a bit toward the foul line. Gregg Zaun was set to pinch-hit for Barker.
Jon Huber came in for O'Flaherty. Zaun took a full-count breaking ball in the dirt to load the bases. Beltre visited the mound. Russ Adams, hitting for McDonald, whiffed on a 1-2 slider. Huber threw 11 pitches.
Meche's line: 5 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 91 pitches (63 strikes)
O'Flaherty's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
Adams stayed in the game to play second and Hill moved to short. Beltre fouled off three 2-2 pitches before whiffing on a pitch down and away, out of the strike zone. Betancourt grounded to the left side, where the ball got a piece of Glaus' glove and went through (error) to Hill, whose throw to first was barely beaten by Betancourt.
Scott Downs came in for Frasor. Ibañez was up 3-1 but took a full-count breaking ball for strike three. Sexson worked an 0-2 count full and nearly popped a double into the rightfield corner before checking his swing on a breaking ball in the dirt for a walk, moving Betancourt to second. Eduardo Perez, hitting for Broussard, fell behind 0-2 and hit a low liner to Wells in center on a 1-2 pitch. Downs threw 17 pitches.
Frasor's line: 1 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
Catalanotto grounded out to second. Hill was down 0-2 and tapped a 1-2 pitch in front, where Huber came off the mound and made the play to first. Wells smoked the first pitch up the middle for a single.
George Sherrill came in for Huber. Overbay popped the first pitch to Betancourt backing into shallow center. Sherrill threw one pitch.
Huber's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
Sherrill's line: 1/3 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 1 pitch (1 strike)
Johjima was up 2-0 but whiffed on a full-count fastball. Lopez was down 0-2 and bounced a 2-2 pitch to third that took a wicked hop on Glaus, who still fielded it and threw in time to first. Snelling took a 2-1 pitch off the hand, and TJ Bohn came in to run for him. Ichiro whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and away.
Downs' line: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 37 pitches (20 strikes)
Joel Piñeiro came in for Sherrill and Bohn stayed in to play rightfield. Glaus flung his bat downward in frustration as he popped out to center. Molina whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball down and off the plate away. Lind whiffed on a low 2-2 breaking ball. Piñeiro threw 12 pitches.
Piñeiro's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Jeremy Accardo came in for Downs. Beltre whipped the first pitch, but didn't get enough of it as he lined out to Lind a couple steps short of the leftfield track. Betancourt worked an 0-2 count full before chopping to short. Ibañez got ahead 2-0 but popped a 2-2 pitch to right.
Accardo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
JJ Putz came in for Piñeiro. Zaun bounced a 1-2 pitch to first (3-1 putout). Adams laced the second pitch past Putz' glove and past a diving Lopez into center for a single. Catalanotto grounded the second pitch to first, where Sexson threw a bit low to second and Betancourt sort of slid into the bag for the out and managed to get off a throw that nearly beat Catalanotto at first. Hill fell behind 0-2 and stung a 2-2 outside-corner fastball into right for a single to move Catalanotto to second. Wells didn't quite get all of a first-pitch fastball, flying out to deep center.
Putz' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
Gameball: Ben Broussard.
Guess who's 10-for-28 for the month? Yes, it's true. Broussard had a terrible August as a Mariner, hitting .200 in his first full month wearing Mariner duds. Sadly, four of his 16 hits in August came in the same game, a 4-for-5 doozy in Anaheim. Fast-forward to this month, and he's slugging .607 after a .375 August. One can't help but wonder how Broussard will do over the final 18 games of the season. I'll just be happy if his post-trade line ends up being somewhat respectable, especially given the way he started out as a Mariner. More intriguingly, I'm wondering how he fits into next year's plans for the Mariners, not on offense, but how many times he might spell Richie Sexson at first base or make a spot start in left or rightfield. The homer he hit two nights earlier was his 20th, the most he's hit in a season. I'm wondering what a full season in Seattle would look like for Broussard, since it seems he's no slouch. Twenty-homer pop is something the Mariners can always use in the latter half of their batting order.
In the chase for 200 hits, Ichiro got his 193rd of the season with a single in this game. He has 18 games to get seven hits and accomplish what his annual goal. If you assume he gets four at-bats a game, he'll end up with 72 at-bats. So he just has to go 7-for-72 (.097) the rest of the way to get to 200 hits. I think he should be okay for that. Still, what is a realistic goal for Ichiro? Say he gets four at-bats a game for a full 162 games. That totals out to 648 at-bats. Ichiro would only have to hit .309 to get to 200 hits. Over the first five years of his career, Ichiro has averaged about 680 at-bats. If he does that, Ichiro would only have to hit .294 to get 200 hits. However, when you consider that Ichiro was a .332 hitter over his first five years combined, then shouldn't the bar be higher than 200 hits? In a typical season of at-bats for Ichiro and a typical season of batting average, he would get 226 hits. Here's a goal for him: 300 total bases. He's only had it happen in 2001 (316) and 2004 (320), obviously his craziest seasons. With his average number of at-bats, 300 total bases would lead him to a slugging mark of .441 for a season. That'd be behind 2001 and 2004. He has 243 total bases so far in 2006.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 104-40 .722 -- W5
2002 84-60 .583 20 L2
2003 82-62 .569 22 L3
2000 78-66 .542 26 L1
2006 69-75 .479 35 W1
2005 63-81 .438 41 W2
2004 54-90 .375 50 W1
Burnett. Baek. Today.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
[posted in full Sun ~12:21a]
In 25 words or less: I'm no expert on baseball or anything, but usually if you spot the opposing team a five-run lead through four innings, you don't win.
This one featured Ted Lilly going up against Jake Woods. Pregame ceremonies took place in remembrance for the fifth anniversary of September 11th, 2001. Adrian Beltre returned to the lineup after tending to his wife and newborn son. Mike Morse got the start in rightfield against the lefthanded starting pitcher. Needless to say, a lefty on the mound also meant Eduardo Perez in the DH slot. Chants of "let's go, Blue Jays" and "go Jays go" were heard among the masses at Safeco Field during the game. Late in the game, some of the Blue Jay chants were interwoven with the chants of Mariner fans. It's far from a rivalry, but there's a whole different feeling over at the ballpark when the Blue Jays come in and the fans come down from Canada. Of course, the feeling was more prevalent when the Mariners were terrible and the Blue Jays were on top of the baseball world. I swear sometimes the Kingdome seemed like it was full with a majority of Blue Jay fans in those days. I was at the ballpark the day Rickey Henderson was traded to Toronto for Steve Karsay, and it was my first taste of the rich-get-richer trade deadline semi-surprise feeling.
Reed Johnson took an 0-2 breaking ball off his back (right) foot. Frank Catalanotto bunted the first pitch, but it eventually rolled foul. Catalanotto bunted the next pitch to the left side, where Beltre made the charge-plant-and-throw move that's patented by him, and the bunt moved Johnson to second. Vernon Wells worked a 1-2 count full and tagged a single through the left side that easily scored Johnson.
»» BLUE JAYS 1, MARINERS 0
Troy Glaus whiffed on a full-count pitch and Wells stole second thanks to a Johjima throw that was very wide into the runner, and Wells took third on the throw that went into center. Bengie Molina reached way down to loop an 0-2 pitch into shallow center for a single to score Wells.
»» BLUE JAYS 2, MARINERS 0
Lyle Overbay flew out to deep center on the second pitch. Woods threw 22 pitches.
Ichiro bounced to second on the second pitch. Adrian Beltre was jammed but dumped the second pitch into shallow right for a single to snap an 0-for-22 slump. Yuniesky Betancourt bounced the second pitch hard to second, where Hill knocked it down but didn't field it cleanly, nullifying a chance at a double play, though he went to second to get the lead runner (Beltre, 4-6 fielder's choice). Raul Ibañez couldn't check a swing on a 2-2 outside pitch. Lilly threw 11 pitches.
Aaron Hill popped the second pitch high to Morse in rightcenter. Adam Lind was up 2-0 and later dumped a single into shallow center. John McDonald was ahead 2-0 and whiffed over a 2-2 inside change. Johnson bounced the second pitch to short to force out Lind at first. Woods threw 13 pitches and had 35 through two.
Richie Sexson was ahead 2-0 before getting under a pitch and popping up high to Wells in leftcenter. Eduardo Perez whiffed on an 0-2 high fastball. Kenji Johjima bounced the second pitch to Glaus at the third-base bag. Lilly threw nine pitches and had 20 through two.
Catalanotto was up 2-0 and flew out to left on a full count. Wells blasted a 1-1 pitch foul down the leftfield line that had home-run distance. Wells took a 1-2 fastball over the inside corner. Glaus was ahead 2-0 and took a 2-2 pitch for strike three. Woods threw 20 pitches and had 55 through three.
Jose Lopez dumped a 2-2 pitch over Overbay and into shallow right for a single. Mike Morse two-hopped to short to start a 6-4-3 double play. Ichiro was up 2-0 and bounced a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Lilly threw 14 pitches and had 34 through three.
Molina bounced an 0-2 pitch to third, where Beltre barehanded and threw in time to first (ho-hum). Overbay stung a 2-0 pitch down the rightfield line and off the angled wall in front of the stands for a double. Hill walked on four pitches. Lind looped the second pitch into shallow rightcenter for a single ot score Overbay.
»» BLUE JAYS 3, MARINERS 0
McDonald fouled off a squeeze bunt on the first pitch, and his at-bat ended with a squeeze bunt on a 2-1 count, bunting in front and executing it successfully as Hill scored and McDonald was out (1-3 putout).
»» BLUE JAYS 4, MARINERS 0
Johnson served a 2-0 hanging breaking ball into shallow right for a single that easily scored Lind. Pitching coach Rafael Chaves came to the mound for a visit.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 0
Catalanotto watched a 1-1 pitch going by as well as Johnson getting gunned down on a delayed steal despite another high Johjima throw to second (2-6 putout). Woods threw 21 pitches and had 76 through four.
Beltre was up 3-0 and popped a full-count pitch to Overbay moving back down the rightfield line. Betancourt whiffed on a 1-2 high fastball. Ibañez had the hitters' counts before popping high to short on a full count. Lilly threw 18 pitches and had 52 through four.
Catalanotto was ahead 2-0 before punching a single through the left side. Wells bounced the first pitch to third to start what was almost a 5-4-3 double play, but Wells beat out the throw to first. Glaus got ahead 2-0 before rolling a 2-2 pitch up the middle to start an easy 6-3 double play. Woods threw ten pitches and had 86 through five.
Sexson fell behind 0-2, took a 2-2 curve barely off the outside corner, then managed to draw a walk. Perez whiffed on an 0-2 fastball up and away. Johjima blistered the second pitch into the leftfield corner for a double to move Sexson to third. Lopez took an 0-2 pitch inside and in the dirt that got to the backstop past Molina, and Sexson was able to score as Johjima moved to second.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 1
Lopez slowly bounced the next pitch (1-2) to second as Johjima scored.
»» BLUE JAYS 5, MARINERS 2
Morse dumped a single into leftcenter. Ichiro reached and tapped an 0-2 pitch back to the mound. Lilly threw 22 pitches and had 74 through five.
Molina roped the first pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. Overbay chopped a 2-2 pitch to first, where Sexson looked to third but pulled back and tossed to Woods covering first as Molina reached third. Hill was intentionally walked. Lind got ahead 3-1 and walked on a full-count breaking ball away to load the bases.
Emiliano Fruto came in for Woods. Gregg Zaun, hitting for McDonald, bounced the first pitch to first, where Sexson threw straight home for the out on Molina, and Johjima threw back to Sexson at first for the usual 3-2-3 double play. Fruto threw one pitch.
Woods' line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 104 pitches (62 strikes)
Hill moved over to short, and Russ Adams came in to play second. Beltre turned too early and fouled into the suite level deep down the third-base side, then reached outside on a 1-2 pitch to bounce out to short. Betancourt fell behind 1-2 and took a fastball over the inside corner. Ibañez walked on an up-and-in 3-1 fastball. Sexson bounced the second pitch to third. Lilly threw 17 pitches and had 91 through six.
Johnson walked on four pitches. Catalanotto grounded a 1-2 pitch hard to Sexson, who knocked it down with the heel of his glove, picked it up, and stepped on first for the out as Johnson scooted to second (a cleanly fielded ball is a possible double play). Wells drilled a 1-2 pitch into the leftfield corner for a double to score Johnson.
»» BLUE JAYS 6, MARINERS 2
Glaus watched with an 0-1 count as Fruto did a spin move and picked off Wells at second (2-4). Glaus fell behind 0-2 and whiffed on a 1-2 breaking ball inside. Fruto threw 17 pitches and had 18 total.
Perez grounded an 0-2 pitch to second. Johjima fisted an 0-2 weak liner up the middle that was caught by Adams. Lopez was down 0-2 and reached on a 2-2 pitch up and away, popping out to Overbay in foul ground down the rightfield line (tenth pitch of at-bat).
Lilly's line: 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 108 pitches (74 strikes)
Molina clobbered the second pitch to deep left, but Ibañez made a leaping catch in front of the wall below the manual scoreboard, spiking the padding in the wall in the process. Overbay took a 2-2 fastball over the outside corner. Hill popped a 2-0 pitch to Lopez in shallow right.
Fruto's line: 2 2/3 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 29 pitches (18 strikes)
Brandon League came in for Lilly. Greg Dobbs, hitting for Morse, rolled the first pitch to short. Ichiro couldn't check a swing on a 1-2 breaking ball inside. Beltre chopped the first pitch to short. League threw six pitches.
League's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 108 pitches (74 strikes)
Cesar Jimenez, making his big-league debut, came in for Fruto and TJ Bohn came in to play rightfield. Lind flew out to Ichiro in leftcenter on a 1-2 pitch. Adams took a 2-2 quick breaking ball over the outside corner. Johnson was down 0-2 and looped a 2-2 pitch into shallow center, where Ichiro slid on one knee to snag the ball just over the grass.
Jimenez' line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
Jeremy Accardo came in for League, Johnson moved to left, and Alex Rios came in to play rightfield. Betancourt whiffed on an 0-2 fastball down and in. Ibañez was up 2-0 and drove a full-count low-and-outside pitch to the leftcenter gap for a double. Sexson bounced to third, moving Ibañez to third. Ben Broussard, hitting for Perez, fouled a pitch that got a good piece of plate umpire Kerwin Danley, and then he waved at a 1-2 fastball up and away.
Accardo's line: 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
Gameball: Raul Ibañez.
For the month of September, he is 10-for-39 (.256). He hasn't homered yet this month and has a mere four RBIs. He's struck out and walked six times each. Though the broadcast crew will laud Ibañez for being a consistent hitter, on a month-by-month basis and based on batting average alone, he's back-and-forth. He had a .301 April, a .237 May, a .326 June, a .253 July, and a .296 August. Notice a zig-zag pattern there? Unfortunately, if the pattern holds up, September will be one of the down months. Ten games in for Ibañez, it looks like that's going to hold true. That doesn't mean things can't still change. Of course, he's got to get a little bit warmer for the last 19 games of the season to bump up his numbers. When the rest of the season's completely meaningless, it's time to pad some stats. Most importantly, I'm hoping he can hit three more homers so he can get to 30. That'd be a heck of a milestone for him. If you would have told me right after the Mariners signed Ibañez before the 2004 season that he'd hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs, I'd have said you were on crack. Now I'd just be happy he proved me wrong.
Goat: Jake Woods.
This was his fifth start after ascending to the rotation in Joel Piñeiro's spot. His first two starts were fairly good for having just come out of the bullpen. He combined for 10 2/3 innings, one run, eight hits, four walks, and six strikeouts. That translates out to a 0.84 ERA, which of course wasn't going to hold up. Still, even with the subsequent starts and getting used to the every-five-days thing, he still hasn't gotten deeper into a game than he did in his first start, which was the 5 2/3 innings in Anaheim. In his last three starts, he's gone 14 1/3 innings and given up 12 runs on 21 hits, and he's walked seven and struck out eight. He has an ERA of 7.53 over that three-start span. Frankly, I'm just hoping the honeymoon ends so people stop thinking that Jake Woods and Cha Seung Baek might be worthy for rotation spots next year. I think if that's even a thought, next year's rotation is going to be pretty horrible. Still, if I have to make a choice between seeing Woods pitching and seeing Joel Piñeiro pitching, I'll take Woods.
Yr W-L Pct GB Stk
2001 103-40 .720 -- W4
2002 84-59 .587 19 L1
2003 82-61 .573 21 L2
2000 78-65 .545 25 W2
2006 68-75 .476 35 L2
2005 62-81 .434 41 W1
2004 53-90 .371 50 L1
Marcum. Meche. Tonight.
Monday, September 11, 2006
The Seahawks have acquired wide receiver Deion Branch from the Patriots for a 2007 first-round draft pick. Branch was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005 when the Patriots defeated the Eagles in Alltel Stadium at Jacksonville.
As you all know, the Seahawks' offense was dismal yesterday in Detroit. Adding Branch to the wide receiving corps can only help matters. I'm still not convinced that Darrell Jackson is fully healthy. Jerramy Stevens will be out for a couple more weeks. Anytime you can add a Top 15-caliber wide receiver to your roster, you have to go for it. Think of this move as a "Yankee-like" move. The Seahawks are the best team in the NFC and barring injuries, could be back in the Super Bowl this season.
Welcome to Seattle, Deion. And as I like to say to each and every Seattle receiver, CATCH THE DAMN BALL! Thanks in advance. I know you will.
(This post is coming to you from the ASU computer lab where I should be doing something useful, but hey, this is useful news to you, the Sports and B's reader. The few that we have left, anyway. Heh.)
Folks, the Seahawks lose openers. That's what they do. Even last year's NFC Champion team lost their opener in Jacksonville.
However, they won this game. Again, as Seahawk fans or fans of Seattle teams in general, we've seen our teams lose games like this countless times. We knew as the 2005 season went on that it was the beginning of a new era of football for the Seattle Seahawks. Fans of the Seahawks had gotten used to seeing their team suck, underachieve, or play well but not well enough. The 2005 Seahawks threw their fans a long-awaited bone by doing things that great teams did.
If it wasn't for what we all saw from last year's Seahawks, this win would be a lot more surprising than it is. The Seahawk offense was out of sorts all day and never reached the end zone. Even with that, the Seahawks drove 56 yards in the final 3:13 on a key Shaun Alexander 14-yard run on the first play, the Darrell Jackson cutback from right to left for 13 yards, the Big Play DJ Hackett catch on 2nd-and-14, and the next play, Mo Morris for 17 to the right side to set up the final play.
That's right. Eight plays and 56 yards in 3:13, and four of those plays were for over ten yards. In a game where offensively the Seahawks were offensive (the bad kind), the defense managed to do one better and hold a Mike Martz offense to six points.
Looking forward, though, the Seahawks won, sure, but they only scored nine points. There are more than enough things for this team to work on.
This game was beamed back to Hawaii, but they won't be every week, so visual detail may be lacking in some weeks ahead.
»» 1st Seattle possession (Willie Ponder return to the 33)
Best play: big 36-yard catch by Nate Burleson on the second play
Worst play: 41-yard field-goal attempt by Josh Brown blocked as the Lions field-goal unit gets into and above the line of scrimmage a little too far.
Result: field goal blocked
»» 1st Detroit possession
Best play: a stop on 3rd-and-4 (incomplete pass to Kevin Jones)
Worst play: nobody could tackle Jones on a 2nd-and-8, and he got nine yards; also a nomination for a Grant Wistrom hold on 3rd-and-6
Result: Jason Hanson 44-yard field goal
***LIONS 3, SEAHAWKS 0
»» 2nd Seattle possession (Ponder returned to the 43)
Best play: on 3rd-and-8, Strong gets a short pass and jumps over a man to move the chains
Worst play: after a first down, Matt Hasselbeck audibled and handed off to Shaun Alexander, who ran to the right and fumbled
Result: Cory Redding recovers the fumble for the Lions
»» 2nd Detroit possession
Best play: on first down, Bryce Fisher sacks Jon Kitna for a loss of seven
Worst play: on the first play of the drive, Kevin Jones gets a short pass, nobody can tackle him again, and he gets 13 yards
Result: three and out; punt
»» 3rd Seattle possession
2nd quarter starts during possession
Best play: on 3rd-and-3, Hasselbeck gets Engram, who breaks a tackle and gets 21 yards to break across midfield
Worst play: any of the final three plays, two of which were Alexander catching a pass and fumbling it (then recovering) or Hasselbeck getting creamed for a seven-yard loss on 3rd-and-3, leading to...
Result: Brown 53-yard field goal attempt blocked, same deal as the first, except with a lower trajectory on the ball
»» 3rd Detroit possession
Best play: Kevin Jones breaks a tackle and has somewhat of a leaping moment, leaving the ball exposed, and Rocky Bernard knocks the ball loose, and it was recovered by Bryce Fisher
Worst play: there were only two plays on the possession, so the first play from scrimmage was a Jones 3-yard run to the right
Result: the best play, the fumble recovery
»» 4th Seattle possession
Best play: on 2nd-and-5 from the Detroit 17, Alexander runs for eight to get the Seahawks inside the 10
Worst play: after getting one yard on a run, a short pass goes to Alexander, and he gets stuffed in the backfield, leaving the Seahawks with 3rd-and-goal from the 11 (this is a red zone thing)
Result: Brown good from 20 yards, chipping the ball too high for Detroit coverage to get a hand on it
***LIONS 3, SEAHAWKS 3
»» 4th Detroit possession
Best play: Julian Peterson sacks and nearly strips Kitna of the ball on 3rd-and-8
Worst play: on 3rd-and-16, Mike Furrey gets open for a 19-yard catch, with the only good thing being that Ken Hamlin lit him up after the catch
»» 5th Seattle possession
Best play: on 2nd-and-7, Hasselbeck evades pressure and gets Engram for nine yards a first down to get very close to Brown's field-goal range
Worst play: on 2nd-and-10, Hasselbeck goes to Burleson down the left sideline and Dre Bly catches it, but luckily he was out of bounds
Result: Brown good from 51
***SEAHAWKS 6, LIONS 3
»» 5th Detroit possession
Best play: Kevin Jones too many yards again (nine) on the first play
Worst play: a stop on 3rd-and-11, Marcus Trufant covering Roy Williams
»» 6th Seattle possession
Best play: Alexander runs for seven yards, but they come on a 3rd-and-18
Worst play: pretty much every other play...Walter Jones got banged up with a foot or ankle injury on the first play, the Seahawks false-started, and Tom Ashworth got blown past on the next play and Hasselbeck got sacked for a loss of seven
»» 6th Detroit possession (Josh Scobey lit up Eddie Drummond on the return and they picked up the flags, amazingly)
Best play: a stop on 3rd-and-16, Kitna incomplete to Drummond
Worst play: Seattle calls timeout on a 3rd-and-1 when their rotations get jacked, then Jones runs for 18 yards, but the Lions get flagged for illegal motion
»» 7th Seattle possession
Best play: Walter Jones comes back into the game on the first play from scrimmage, a pass to Itula Mili for 14 yards
Worst play: on 3rd-and-6, Hasselbeck slid for the chains, but I think they gave him a crappy spot, and they put him a yard short
»» 7th Detroit possession
Best play: on 3rd-and-10, Michael Boulware tips a pass intended for Corey Bradford
Worst play: on the first play, Roy Williams was open for a first-down catch but was underthrown
»» 8th Seattle possession (Isaiah Kacyvenski blocked in the back on the return)
Best play: on the first play, Hasselbeck pumpfakes, runs, slides, and draws a late hit penalty
Worst play: on 3rd-and-6, the offensive line gets dumptrucked and Hasselbeck gets sacked for a loss of nine
»» 8th Detroit possession
4th quarter starts during possession
Best play: on 2nd-and-10, Lofa Tatupu nearly wraps up Kitna in the backfield
Worst play: the defense allows their second straight long pass as Dan Campbell gets open deep down the left sideline for 29 yards to put the Lions at the Seattle 35
Result: Hanson short on a 52-yard field goal attempt
»» 9th Seattle possession
Best play: on the first play, Darrell Jackson catches a short pass and jukes to get nine
Worst play: on 3rd-and-10, Hasselbeck throws wide downfield for Engram
Result: punt (Scobey's false start bails Plackemeier out of a shanked punt)
»» 9th Detroit possession
Best play: the play that knocked Detroit out of the red zone...DD Lewis nearly sacked Kitna, who threw to no one and got flagged for intentional grounding
Worst play: either of the two Seattle penalties...Jordan Babineaux got called for leading with his helmet to Kitna's back after he threw an 11-yard pass to Bradford, and DD Lewis tacked a five-yard facemask onto the end of a Kevin Jones 15-yard pass play
Result: Hanson good from 37 yards
***LIONS 6, SEAHAWKS 6
»» 10th Seattle possession
Best play: the only play that went for positive yardage was Morris up the middle for a yard
Worst play: on 3rd-and-15, Chris Spencer was called for a false start, but bodies didn't stop moving around and Hasselbeck took a shot to the left ribcage or shoulder
»» 10th Detroit possession (starting at SEA 43)
Best play: on the first play, Julian Peterson nearly recovers a Kevin Jones fumble, and Detroit was called for holding
Worst play: Furrey had a leaping catch for 10 yards on 2nd-and-13
Result: punt (a field goal attempt by Hanson would have been from 54 yards)
»» 11th Seattle possession
Best play: Darrell Jackson catching the short pass on the right side, cutting back to the left, getting 14 yards, and moving the chains
Worst play: on 1st-and-10 from midfield, Alexander was wrapped up in the backfield for a loss of four
Result: game-winning 42-yard field goal by Brown as time expired
***SEAHAWKS 9, LIONS 6
It's a win, it's a win, it's a win, it's a win, it's a win. For how crappy the game went, they somehow led at halftime and somehow won this game. Everything came together with the final drive. Matt Hasselbeck didn't throw any picks and was 25-for-30 for 210 yards. As I said earlier, the Seahawks held a Mike Martz offense to six points. Ken Hamlin had a crushing hit. Julian Peterson, DD Lewis, and Bryce Fisher had a sack apiece. Mack Strong caught the most passes. How about the return game? Willie Ponder looked great. Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Plackemeier's leg is crazy.
Shaun Alexander and the running game couldn't get much done as a whole. The offensive line was quite worrisome at times. Hasselbeck and Walter Jones were banged up in the game, with Jones actually having missed plays. Two field goals were blocked, though I'm not pinning that on Josh Brown. There were some very untimely penalties. The offense was only 2-for-11 on third down (Detroit was 5-for-14). Though I wish they would have him on the field more and throw to him, just one catch from DJ Hackett seems within the realm of possibility. How does Nate Burleson only end up with one catch in this game?
...YOU KNOW I'VE HAD MY SHARE
This team didn't look great today by any stretch of the imagination. However, these kinds of games, however ugly, are the type of games that great teams win. Next week, hopefully we get to see a Seahawk offense that clicks a whole lot better and is able to be themselves, for goodness' sake. For next week, it's the home opener, and I'm hoping it's a shutout since it'll be against the Arizona Cardinals. Last season, the Seahawks knocked Kurt Warner from the game and got Josh McCown some playing time. On Sunday, the crazy fans at the Q might see Matt Leinart take his first NFL snaps. Also, Chike Okeafor plays for the Cardinals. As for all the points they put up against the 49ers, well, the 49ers don't exactly have the defense of the Seahawks.
For everyone going to the game next Sunday, you know what to do.