W.O.W…..what a night!
No question there was an extra buzz in the ballpark prior to, during and after the game…
I was about to say that all the excitement was about the anticipation of transition but, on second thought, it seems that transition is no longer impending and tonight, was the crescendo of the beautiful melody that is “let the kids play”. The fans in attendance, and those watching and listening from near and far, will forever cherish the indescribable feeling of real and true hope for the future of this franchise.
There were long and loud cheers when Dustin Ackley was announced…
in the line-up, when he stepped to the plate and especially when he connected on his first hit – in that first at bat. After watching the first two fast balls from Roy Oswalt go by (which he would later admit to “being memorized” by) and fouling the third pitch off, he ripped a solid single up-the-middle right between Oswalt’s legs.
It was really cool that timing worked out for Dustin’s call up to occur on a day off so that his family had time to fly to Seattle to be in attendance for his debut. And, no soft-landings for Dustin, as he faced one of the best pitchers in the NL in front of a crowd of more than 34k.
Dustin didn’t disappoint in the field either…
He made a total of five put-outs: three grounders, a pop-up and was the middle piece of a very nice double-play in which he showed he can pivot, throw and avoid the on-coming runner just fine.
And, oh yeah, Michael was pretty swell too…
He faced the minimum through three innings, the highlight being his THREE-pitch strikeout to Ryan Howard. The Phils only base-runners through FIVE innings were aboard via a walk and a HBP. After two quick outs in the 6th, Michael gave up a walk, two singles and another walk before striking out Polanco (for the SECOND time) to end the inning (supposedly one of the hardest batters in all of MLB to K).
Michael finished with 92P – 6IP – 2H – 1ER – 3BB – 5K and the WIN, of course!
The bullpen did just enough…
Aaron retired the Phils 1-2-3 in the 7th, but ran into a little bump when Victorino ran into a pitch that landed in the bullpen. Luckily, on the previous play, the double-play was turned, so while it made the margin narrower, the M’s still had a 4-2 lead. And, as has been the case in the past FOURTEEN straight games, Brandon did not allow a run and secured that lead by notching his TWENTIETH save.
By the way, there was an effective and varied offense as well….
Ichiro and Brendan combined to go 5 for 7
~ Ichiro w/2 singles, a double and 2 runs scored (13 of 25 w/6 straight multi-hit games since his day off)
~Brendan w/an RBI triple, an RBI single, a walk and a stolen base
~Justin, in his bran-new clean-up spot, collected a hit an, sac-fly RBI and 2 walks
~Miggy came through with a HUGE homer that put the M’s up 2-0 at the time
Guti looks as good as ever in the field….
Gliding effortlessly under balls that seem sure to drop but, is struggling mightily at the plate. Hopefully, with Greg to spell him, he’ll get back into the swing of things (literally) sometime soon.
And then there’s the unfortunate Figgy factor…
Really hope he sits for a couple of days, as much as I understand the emotion and frustration behind the boos and cat-calls he’s receiving – I don’t want to hear it. It seems counter-productive to all the good things that are happening with this team right now (and seems like bad ju-ju for the young ones). Figgy’s confidence is obviously shot and the boos are not helping matters – it’s not like he doesn’t know he’s sucking right now.
It was great to finally meet up with some of the Mariner Central peeps!
Dr Naka, Huindekmi, Vidya (and his son) and xarmyguy78 – I’m thinking this will be a game we remember forever 🙂