Jr in bronze . . .

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see this stunning work of art in person . . .

I was actually working from home the day it was unveiled (Thursday, April 13th) but, didn’t realize until too late that the unveiling was occurring (otherwise, I could have at least watched it on TV/Twitter, etc.)

Thankfully, there are plenty of pics/videos on social media – the detail is impeccable . . .

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g142 | Congrats ~and condolences~ to James

Mariners 6 | Rays 2

ON THE MOUND
On the night James Paxton made his major league debut . . .
he was apparently only hours removed from learning of his grandfather’s death. What a tribute he was able to give him – recording a victory in his FIRST ever start! Yes, the Rays have been struggling of late but, they are in the playoff hunt and James handled them almost with ease for most of the game. His fastball was 94-97mph and his other stuff got better as he went along. His great debut was all the more impressive once it was reported, shortly after the game, what a heavy heart he held. Way to go, James! Here’s to many more lines like this in your career . . .
SIX innings ~ FOUR hits ~ TWO runs ~ ONE earned run ~ ONE walk ~ THREE strikeouts

 

} Tom up to his old tricks (walking the first TWO batters) but, he was able to escape without damage.
} Chance, Luke and Danny kept the scoreless streak going – giving up only ONE hit, ONE walk and striking out THREE over the last TWO innings

AT THE PLATE
Rather odd note . . .
this was the fourth straight game in which the M’s have scored exactly SIX runs (3-1 in those games) . . . . we’ll take it! And, the other thing we’ll take is the balance of manufacturing AND ready-made scoring.

We’ve seen Abraham run and catch . . .
tonight we got to see him walk, steal and bunt (once for an RBI on a safety squeeze!) – lovin’ the small ball 🙂

and the power was on display as well . . .
Justin and Kendrys both with solo shots and Nick and Michael both with RBI doubles

IN THE FIELD
Michael made a FANTASTIC throw from RF . . .
A perfect, NO-hop, strike to Mike at the plate to keep the runner at 3B

Only ONE double-play but, it ended the game (those are always extra, special sweet!)

Super, scary moment when Justin and Nick were both going to field a pop-up, it went off Justin’s glove just as Nick was sliding to get out of the way. Unfortunately, his head (neck) was able to get out of the way of Justin’s knee. He was on the ground for several minutes but able to get up on his own eventually AND, he stayed in the game (whew!)

tweets of the game . . .

 

 

Interesting that there was a Sounders’ match and a Mariners’ game simultaneously (thought they usually tried to avoid that) and great that they both were victors (and the games ended at almost exactly the same time)

 

a baby M with a NO-hitter!!!

How cool is THIS ?!?!?

Sanchez says, ‘Look mom, no hits’ | Ashley Marshall, MiLB.com

The Mariners’ No. 6 prospect pitched a nine-inning no-hitter in his 27th professional start as Class A Clinton blanked visiting Lansing, 1-0.

What made the performance even more memorable for Sanchez was that his mother had flown in from Caguas, Venezuela to watch what turned out to be his historic effort. It was the second time she’s seen him pitch on American soil and the first time this season.

In fact, the last time Sanchez had seen his mother was when he flew home last month to attend his grandmother’s funeral.

“I’m not sure how to describe my emotions right now,” Sanchez said through a translator. “I’m happy. My mother and wife were here to see me pitch, so I’m happy When I saw [my mother], she reinforced that I was very good. Before the game, she told me that I could do it.”

 

 

Rauuuuuuul! Yes, he is SO cool :-)

So, yeah . . .
raise your hand if you penciled in Raul for club leader in RBI (56), homers (24) & tied for triples (2) at the break.

And then, there’s that little matter of being on pace to obliterate the record for homers at age 41+ (held by none other than Ted Williams – 29)

Here’s the thing . . .
Raul wasn’t even supposed to be playing this much. Seems most figured his role would be pinch hitter/platoon player with some occasionally starts in LF but, for the most part, he would be a mentor to “the kids” (much as Junior was in 2009).

But, life and baseball had other plans and, when various injuries side-lined the entire outfield at one time or another (Guti AND Michael Morse AND Michael Saunders) Raul was called in for more service than anyone could have imagined. He’s started 54 games in LF and, while no one will mistake him for a gold glover, he’s been more than serviceable (even has a handful of assists) and then there’s his bat ~ pretty darned amazing what he’s accomplished so far this season.

Good on ya, Raul ~ keep up the good work!

Raul doing what he does | Ted S. Warren, AP

Raul doing what he does | Ted S. Warren, AP

 

Some good reads on Raul . . .

Ibanez’s fountain (and kale) of youth | Jim Caple
( hey, sounds like he’s a fellow Paleo 🙂 )

Raul Ibañez nominated for Branch Rickey Award | Mariners.com

Raul Ibanez speaks on approaching Ted Williams | Gary Hill

 

Mariners Milestones, Movement and M*A*S*H on a Monday

Some interesting milestones, in no particular order, are starting to stack up (courtesy M’s twitter unless otherwise noted) . . .

milestones

  • Mariners pitching staff tied a club record by recording TEN shutouts prior to the All Star Break (also done in 2002 and 2003)
  • First season since 1999 FIVE or more Mariners have at least TEN homers before the All Star Break (Raul-24, Kyle-15, Kendrys-14, Michael M-11, Jason-11)
  • Mariners are on pace to hit 197 homers ~ their record at Safeco Field is 198 in 2000, first full season there (via Larry Stone tweet)
  • Brad Miller’s SIX extra base hits in his first ELEVEN games ties him for 2nd all time in M’s history (Alvin Davis has NINE in his first ELEVEN in 1984)
  • Mike Zunino is the 3rd-youngest player in M’s history with a walk-off RBI (June 28th v Cubs)
  • Kyle Seager became the 12th player in M’s history to record 100 or more hits before the All Star Game
  • Kyle currently has a FOURTEEN game hitting streak going . . . one of THREE players in MLB that have had  separate hitting streaks of TEN or more games this season
  • Raul Ibanez became the 5th player in Mariners history to collect 200 or more doubles and 150 or more homers (joining Jr, Jay and Alvin)

 

up, down

July 8th
~ DFA’d Jeremy Bonderman (eventually signed a minor league deal w/the Tigers)
~ recalled Lucas Luetge from AAA Tacoma

July 11th
~ recalled Erasmo Ramirez from AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~optioned Carter Capps to AAA Tacoma Rainiers
July 12th
~ recalled Bobby LaFromboise from AAA Tacoma
~ recalled Hector Noesi from AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~ optioned Blake Beavan to AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~ optioned Erasmo Ramirez to A Everett (to ensure he stays “on turn” during the break)
July 15th
in an interesting move announced this afternoon, the M’s are swapping their AAA Tacoma (Clark) and AA Jackson (Bernard) pitching coaches (apparently to maintain continuity with all the promotions of late)

 

MASH

 15-day DL
* Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) will work out over the break then start a(nother) rehab assignment in Tacoma
* Michael Morse (quad) not yet ready for rehab
* Jesus Sucre (hand) way past his eligible return but, haven’t seen any updates

60-day DL
* Stephen Pryor (lat) pitched in a simulated game last week and will pitch one game for Everett this week and then complete his rehab in Tacoma (hopefully, all goes well as he will be a HUGE boost to the bullpen when ready)

 

 

g80 | of veteran triples, rookie game-winning hits, and things that sparkle and boom after victory

Mariners 5 | Cubs 4

All early signs pointed to a pretty special night at the ball park – the best of which was the fact that I would be enjoying it with a dear friend who (much to our mutual astonishment) I had never attended a game with! Anyhoo, here are the rest of those harbingers of fun, in no particular order . . .

o 88 degrees of wonderful warmth at the first pitch
o Mike McReady playing the National Anthem and tossing the first pitch
o rare meeting with the Cubbies (with many fans who either travel well or live in Seattle)
o happenstance meeting ~at Edgar’s~ of the lovely, esteemed author and photog of Section331
o big league debut of the M’s newest rookie ~ SS Brad Miller
o Dustin’s debut in CF
o anticipation of the first ever fireworks show at Safeco Field to immediately follow the game

Mike McReady

Mike McReady

All that, and we not only ended up seeing a great baseball game but, a Mariners extra-inning, walk-off win AND a fantabulous fireworks show (set to music and everything)!!!

ON THE MOUND
Save for an errant triple in the 2nd and a silly top of the 7th where he gave up TWO solo shots, Kuma was Kuma. Especially good to see him come back out for the 8th and retire the side in order. His balls-to-strikes ratio was crazy good (90/69) and he still sits atop the AL in starters WHIP at a minuscule 0.88
EIGHT innings ~ SIX hits ~ FOUR earned runs ~ ZERO walks ~ FIVE strikeouts

} Ollie bringing it lately ~ no different tonight, as he struck out the side in the 9th

} Yoervis faces the minimum in the 10th ~ with the help of the pitcher’s best friend

AT THE PLATE
~ several 0’fers but some multi-hit games as well (Mike, Nick and Kendrys)
~ Jason got the M’s on the board with a solo shot in the 5th
~ Brad earned his first major league RBI in the 7th when he hit into a fielder’s choice that scored  Jason
~ In the 8th, Kendrys doubled home Nick and Raul hit an RBI triple to score Michael (pinch running for Kendrys)
~ In the 10th, Mike came through with an RBI single scoring Michael

Brad's first AB

Brad’s first AB

IN THE FIELD
* of course, the first play of the game goes to the “new guy” Brad fielded it cleanly for the 6-3 put out
* Nick with a throwing error in the 2nd in which the first TWO Cubbie runs scored
* Justin right place, right time for a super smash line-out double play
* Brad with his first major league steal in the 7th

tweets of the game . . .

the night the lights went out at Safeco. . .

the night the lights went out at Safeco. . .

I have video of some of the fireworks show but for some reason I can’t seem to get it to post 😦

But, some really good pics here . . .

 

g68 | Old Joe + Young Mike = not too shabby battery

Mariners 3 | Athletics 2

whodathunk the M’s would be the ones to break the A’s ELEVEN game home-winning streak?

ON THE MOUND
Way to be “Road Joe”, Joe and collect your first road win this season!
SEVEN innings ~ FIVE hits ~ ONE earned run ~ TWO walks ~ FOUR strikeouts

} Danny gave up a lead off homer in the 8th but, retired the next THREE batters in order
} Ollie collected his FIRST career SAVE via a pop-up, strikeout, single and a fly out

AT THE PLATE
~ M’s first run courtesy a 2nd inning GDIP by Mike Z that scored Michael M, who had doubled
~ M’s second run courtesy Mike Z’s FIRST big league homer ~a solo shot in the 7th

s  t  r  e  t  c  h | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

s  t  r  e  t  c  h | Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

~ M’s third run courtesy Raul’s RBI single scoring Nick (who’d been at 3B cuz of Kyle’s takeout slide)
~ Every starter except Kendrys had at least one hit (and he did have some HARD outs)
~ Raul and Nick each with TWO hits
~ Michael S with a solid single in the 9th to break an 0-18 slump on a NINE pitch AB

IN THE FIELD
* Brendan with his usual couple of super plays, including a DP (Nick-Brendan-Morse)
* unfortunately Brendan also had an error (which is becoming a little too usual)
* and, Nick and Jason got crossed up on a pop-up that allowed the A’s first run to score
* excellent work behind the plate from Mike (so THIS is what a real catcher looks like 🙂 ) – including a great play for an out at home . . .
Michael S muffed fielding a hit to shallow center but, stayed with it for the relay to Brendan and then to Mike who caught it and dove back to tag the 6′ 8″runner who was also diving to the plate

Mike's first play at the plate | Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

Mike’s first play at the plate | Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

A’s catcher deserves a mention as he made an OUTSTANDING, sprawling catch of a pop-up that was the result of Brendan’s failed bunt attempt in the 9th after Michael S had singled ~ thankfully, it wouldn’t matter

tweets of the game . . .