Nothing like a day at the ballpark with Dad on Father’s Day…
The fact that the M’s notched a thrilling victory was just icing on the cake!
Where to begin?
Well, how about with the M’s starting pitcher? (who would also prove to be the closing pitcher)…
What an outing by Jason Vargas! A complete game, 3-hit shutout of any team is pretty special, the fact that it happened to be against the team with the best record in baseball, with a typically potent offense (especially vs. lefties) made it even more so.
Whodathunk that Jason would out-pitch BOTH Michael AND Felix in this series?
Well, that be why they play the games!
And, that be why they play nine innings cuz, early on, most were probably wondering if Jason would even make it far enough to qualify for a decision. He got three outs on fourteen pitches in the 1st, except that the third out (second strikeout) ending up being a passed ball and the batter was safe at 1B. The next batter singled and in the following AB a wild pitch sent the runner at 2B to 3B. Thankfully, due to the center fielder who was playing left (that would be Mr Greg Halman) a sinking line drive was caught instead of dropping to drive in at least one run and extending the inning.
Over the next two innings, Jason would allow a single and two walks and then go on a run to retire 15 batters in-a-row. He gave up a single to Ryan Howard with two outs in the 9th at which point Eric Wedge went out to the mound and returned to the dugout to thunderous applause having left the game in the very capable hands (er, arm) of his starter. The last batter flied out to Guti in center. INcredible!
Oh, and remember that “Mariner-killer” I mentioned in the previous game post?
Well, turns out OUR Mr. V easily beat THEIR Mr. V ~ Vargas held Victorino to 0 /4 with a strikeout.
So how did the runs score?
Despite the fact that only two runs scored – the offense was pretty darned interesting. It all started with Ichiro – who is now 16 for 34 since his day off with an 8-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in 7 of the last 8 games. Oh, and he also scored 4 of the 7 total runs scored by the M’s in this series.
But hey, he’s a veteran (and a future hall-of-famer) kind of to be expected – what about the kids?
Glad you asked!
Justin was the one to knock Ichiro in after he singled with one out in the 6th for the first run of the game.
Dustin also made his presence known and appreciated many times over in the field – making 5 total put-outs – some routine and some not-so-routine (like the back-handed grab of a ball that got past Justin and then an effortless toss to Jason covering 1B or a grounder that he bobbled a bit, but stayed with it and threw to Justin in plenty of time for the out).
Wedge Words [paraphrased]
on what he “asked” Jason when he went to the mound with 2 outs, one on in the 9th…
“I didn’t ask him anything. I let him know this was his game …. that he needed to focus pitch-to-pitch and finish it off.”
on what this team has shown him…
“…that they can dig deep when the need to…”
Said beloved Mariners are only ONE HALF game out of first place!
Off to “the other Washington” they go….