G23 | 9th inning victories are FUN


M’s 8 | A’s 7

Especially in person 🙂
Talk about “edge of your seat” time – literally!

Tied at 7 going into the bottom of the ninth…
There were two outs and the bases had been loaded via a single, walk and intentional walk. To the plate comes Jose Lopez. I was feeling pretty confident (Lopey IS the RBI leader on the club after all) and the Skipper agreed…

“With what he did last year driving in 90 runs or so (89 actually), you feel pretty good about that guy being up there,” manager Don Wakamatsu said of Lopez. “He’s going to give you a good at-bat in that situation.”

Little did we realize what an epic at-bat Jose would induce. With his teammates, to a man, lined up along the dugout rail…

Lopez watched two balls, then he watched two strikes, both of which seemed borderline.

Then began as titanic a struggle as can be seen on the first of May as Springer kept throwing strikes and Lopez kept fouling them off.

“I just don’t want to take a pitch for a strike,” Lopez said.

He fouled off the first one down the third-base line.

Then he fouled off four in a row into the stands behind him.

Then another down the third-base line.

Then another down the left-field line.

Then another into the screen behind home plate.

Then another into the third deck down the right-field line.

“I don’t know what’s going on with my bat,” Lopez said, insisting he was hoping to hit each one somewhere fair. “A lot of fouls with my bat.”

Then, finally, he found a cut fastball he could handle and lined it to right-center, scoring Chavez and sending a heretofore tense Mariners dugout into a happy frenzy.

On the field, there was only jubilation…
Gone were the woes of yet another Silva start, the frustration of walk-after-walk given up by M’s arms (7 all total) and the disappointment of UW product Shaun White being the last bullpen guy to have an ERA (his 0.00ERA in 6.1IP was spoiled by a Holliday home run to tie the game at 7 in the 7th). It was all good…

“You feel good when a guy tends to see that many pitches, and battled and then to be able to go to right-center and stay with that pitch was outstanding,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. “That was quite a way to win that ballgame.”

Indeed it was, Skip. Indeed it was.

Not only that…
It seems that the Jose’s tenacity in that last AB is a bit of a microcosm of the M’s season so far. For the most part, with each game they lose they learn and with each game they win they build upon the confidence in their competence. If they can continue on that path, it just may lead to something pretty special.