Sunday, July 18, 2010
[actual post Sun ~9:23p]
If nothing else, a Mariner fan can take a little bit of solace in that the team came back to tie the game after being down 6-1.
-- the starting pitching will be covered at the end of the post
-- Chris Seddon made his Mariner debut, taking over for Ryan Rowland-Smith with one out and runners on first and third in the fourth. He got a fielder's choice and a flyout to end the inning, then threw a 1-2-3 fifth to hold the Angels' lead at two runs. Brian Sweeney came out for the sixth and allowed only a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt before getting the final two hitters out. He had two outs in the seventh before Juan Rivera unloaded on a pitch, homering to cap the scoring and give the Angels a 7-6 lead they would never relinquish. In the eighth, Brandon League fanned the first two hitters before hitting Erick Aybar with a pitch. He then got a groundout from Howie Kendrick to end the inning.
-- the bullpen rest bulletin: Seddon, Sweeney, and League threw in the game. Going into Sunday's game, Jamey Wright and Garrett Olson will have two days of rest and David Aardsma will still be waiting for his first post-break action.
-- how sad. If this team scores six runs, they have to win. The starting pitching unfortunately precluded that. It's always something with this team. The second-inning rally came with two outs and in some weird circumstances. Justin Smoak doubled and moved over on a Ryan Langerhans single, but it was a botched pickoff play and rundown attempt that enabled Smoak to score and give the Mariners a short-lived 1-0 lead. In the fourth, the first four Mariner hitters recorded hits -- Franklin Gutierrez doubled, Jose Lopez doubled, even Milton Bradley got a single, and Smoak also singled. Lopez plated Gutierrez to make it 6-2, and Smoak's single scored Lopez to make it 6-3. One out later, Josh Bard singled to score Bradley and make it 6-4. In the sixth, Smoak homered solo to make it 6-5, and Bard did likewise in the seventh to tie the game at 6-6 and cap Seattle's scoring.
-- as for a couple final blown chances, Lopez doubled with one out in the eighth and never got further than third. In the ninth, Langerhans led off with a walk, but was doubled off on a Bard ground ball.
-- Ichiro went 1-for-4 in the game, making him 120-for-374 (.321) on the season. This puts him on pace to finish the season with 214 hits.
-- now, the Ichiro/Figgins stat. Ichiro had the only run or hit between the two players by virtue of his one hit. The Mariners remain 12-6 when both players score and 17-27 when both collect hirs.
1) Justin Smoak
His error turned out to be an inconsequential muffing of a grounder from Bobby Abreu. Aside from that, his night at the plate more than made up for the error. He line-drove a double over Juan Rivera's head in the second inning, then went to third on Langerhans' single, then came home alertly when the Angel infielders botched the pickoff play of Langerhans. He also ripped a single past the third baseman in the fourth that scored Jose Lopez to cut the Angels' lead to 6-3. He wasn't done, however. In the sixth, he crushed a 1-2 pitch into the bench of the Angels' bullpen over the wall in leftcenter to cut the Angels' lead to 6-5.
2) Josh Bard
He may have got a bit lucky when he singled in the fourth inning on a ball that barely got through the shortstop. His game-tying home run, however, was better than lucky. He blasted a Kevin Jepsen -2 pitch five rows over the scoreboard in rightcenter to tie the game at 6-6 in the seventh, capping the Mariners' five-run comeback. Unfortunately, the Mariners failed to score any more runs and went on to lose the game, but you have to take the little game-within-a-game victories where you can get them since the Mariners can't appear to get victories on the scoreboard and in the standings.
3) Jose Lopez
He doubled to the wall in rightcenter in the fourth to drive home Franklin Gutierrez, helping push along what ended up being a three-run inning for the Mariners and bringing the score to 6-2.
I nearly goated Brian Sweeney for this game since he gave up what held as the game-winning home run. That was before I saw the column in the boxscore for innings pitched. The Mariners designated Ian Snell long ago, but it appears his spirit is still in the rotation in the form of Ryan Rowland-Smith. The inning that unraveled Ryan Rowland-Smith was the second inning, and it began with a total bloop single by Mike Napoli. Kevin Frandsen's RBI single just barely got through the left side of the infield, then the Aussie fielded a bunt and threw it so high that Chone Figgins had to jump off the first-base bag. Then Reggie Willits poked the ball through the middle of a drawn-in infield. Smoak then didn't hold onto scoop the ball on what wouldn't have been a double play anyway, and the fourth and final run of the inning scored. Still, it's much like Rowland-Smith to just have the one bad inning and do not so bad in all or most of the others. He did give up a monster solo shot by Napoli to deep center in the third, however. In the same inning, Frandsen burned him again, this time with a hard double down the leftfield line that made it 6-1.
Vargas. Santana. [already happened].