g146 | hey look, runs!

Mariners 8 | Rangers 6

The offense had a bit of a break out…
*they scored early – Saunders’ single in the first drove in Guti
*they scored often – Ackley lead-off homer in the 3rd and then a walk and four singles = 5 more runs
*they broke a tie – Smoak’s solo shot in the 8th
*they added on – Smoak’s single drove in Kawasaki (pinch running for Jaso) for an insurance run

Jason had to battle his entire outing…
but, despite walking the bases loaded in the 3rd, he allowed only one run through five. Then came the 6th – and good old Mike Napoli – a 3-run homer got the Rangers to within two and got after Jason got the next out, he would be lifted in favor of Shawn Kelley who would get the third out. Though Kelley and Luetge combined to give up the tying runs.

The rest of the pen was great…
Kinney, Furbush and Wilhelmsen went 2 innings giving up TWO hits and NO walks
Oh, and The Bartender simply recorded his 27th save by getting FOUR outs

Brendan Ryan with another WebGem 🙂

Seager and Saunders have been having a great road trip and great to see Smoak coming through vs. his old team.

A win tomorrow = a series win and a “season series” TIE (M’s currently 7-8 vs. Texas)

g111 | tough birds

Mariners 1 | Orioles 3

So here’s the deal…
The M’s had a great thing going at home vs a weak KC and a struggling Toronto. Then they get to NY and split the first two, as expected, with CC and Felix dominating their respective starts. It was the third game that was a toss-up going in and, unfortunately for the M’s, they weren’t up to even their snuff, with Brendan Ryan out due to being hit on the elbow in the previous game and Mike Carp out for paternity. It really affected the defense (which had to shift significantly) and the offense, as Carp and, believe it or not Ryan, are two of the M’s hottest hitters of late. Anyway, they were on a bit of a role when they were all in their roles but, clearly when sh*t happens, depth is an issue. Carp was back (apparently just under the wire) for this game, Ryan was still out…..Waiver wire???

Back to the game at hand, which I didn’t get to see and barely got to listen to…

Viva La Vargas! 
Yes, he gave up yet another home run (something he is apparently very good at this season) BUT, he also pitched EIGHT full innings only giving up THREE runs in the band-box that is Camden Yards. Good on ya, July Pitcher of the Month, way to keep ’em in it.

The offense on the other hand, was less than steller vs. exM farmhand Tillman…
they managed SEVEN hits but, only ONE for extra bases (Thames double) and ONE run (RBI single by Kawasaki that scored Thames) and not until the EGHTH inning.

~ good Mune: the RBI single and the TWO hits that finally put him over the mendoza line (leaving Figgy as the sole batter mired below it)
~ bad Mune: lost a high pop-up in the sky(?) and tried, but was unsuccessful, in taking second on that RBI single

I did hear this catch live..

Gail Burton | AP

Mike Carp relishing fatherhood

“We were hoping she’d hold out for Anaheim or some stretch when I was on the West Coast,” Carp said. “But she wanted to come and there was no stopping her. I got in about 10 o’clock at night and there was no greater feeling in the world. There she was. She’s mine. She’s a sweetheart already. She’s precious.”

g82 | wait, what? M’s score runs … at home?!?

Mariners 6 | Orioles 3

Lots of interesting, fun stuff tonight!

Hisashi Iwakuma, made his major league starting debut…
a decent outing, though he surly would like one pitch back – that would be the one to Chris Davis that ended up in the seats and enabled three runs to score. Iwakuma gave up those three runs as well as three walks but he also struck out four and threw 71 pitches (a good amount, considering his highest pitch count in long relief was 65)

Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images

* Frst time ever that a major league starting lineup included THREE Japanese players

Ben VanHouten | Seattle Mariners

The old adage of “hitting is contagious” came to fruition tonight…
Seager was the lone sad-sac – he and Ichiro were the only ones without at least one hit but, Ichiro walked and scored a run.

* Figgy still in the lineup – and, surprisingly, not sucking! He’s made some nice defensive plays AND contributed, again, with the bat (Saunders still recovering from the flu)

Truly a little bit of everything tonight…
-the first run was text book get ’em ON (Figgy single) get ’em OVER (Kawasaki bunt) get ’em ON (Ryan single)

Elaine Thompson | AP Photo

-the next three runs came in one fell swoop – a bases-clearing, 2-out double for Casper Wells
-the last two runs were of the back-to-back JACK variety, courtesy Olivo and Ackley

Elaine Thompson | AP Photo

Hope ’bout that ‘pen?!?
FOUR innings of HITLESS, SCORELESS relief with SIX strikeouts – thank you…
-Mr. Delebar ~ earned the win in his first appearance back from AAA Tacoma
-Mr. Kelley ~ earned the hold
-Mr. Wilhelmsen ~ earned his SEVENTH save

Felix Day tomorrow!

g68 | frolicking on Father’s Day!

Mariners 2 | Giants 1

Definitely one of the best games all season!

Despite a little issue in the first inning (which had him throwing so many pitches, I wasn’t sure he would make it through FIVE, let alone SEVEN) Felix appears to be back on track…
7 IP – 7H – 1ER – 1BB – 7K … that’s the type of Felix line we are used to!

Once again, the ‘pen came through…
though they showed their “bend but don’t break” side as opposed to their “lock-down” version.
~ League gave up a couple of hits but got through 8th unscathed thanks, in part, to a great play by Smoak on a Sanchez ground out.
~ In the 9th, Wilhelmsen loaded the bases (with one out) on a single and back-to-back walks but then got Cabrera to strike out and the pinch hitter, Schierholtz, to ground out to … Smoak.

And, we still had a tie, until Justin (having already helped with the glove) came through with the bat…
Seager and Montero hit back-to-back singles and were replaced by pinch runners Figgins and Kawasaki respectively. Saunders muffed a bunt and Figgy was thrown out at 3B and then, Justin came up with the hit that would garner him a shaving cream pie…

walk-off VIDEO

Awesome! And, even better than I got to see it all in person … with my dad!
Happy Father’s Day!!!

At least the homestand from hell ended on a good note…
whodathunk the M’s would be swept by the Pads and take the series from the Giants?

Oh, and how sweet is this?!?


and his reaction …

M’s twitpic

g63 | rusty felix, prolific Pads, injured Pryor and moves coming

Missed a start due to a back issue and not sure if his struggles tonight against the Padres have to do with continue issues or what but, he was anything but Felix like. Skip mentioned that he actually looked strong and healthy so … maybe just a little rusty?

Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images

Speaking of injuries … Stephen suffered some sort of groin pull in the 9th. He got the first batter to pop out and then was attempting to beat the second batter to the bag when he suffered the injury. Severity unknown – MRI tomorrow

Not that it really mattered at this point in the game but, it was still a nice play. Furbush had replaced the injured Pryor and had walked a batter an allowed a couple of stolen bases, so there were runners at 2B and 3B with one out.  He recorded a strikeout but, the ball got passed Miggy – he was able to field it and throw from his knees to Charlie at home plate who tagged out the runner (in PLENTY of time) trying to score from 3B. Anyhoo, it was a nice recovery from a very shaky start to the inning.

3 more hits tonight (including a double and a homer) have his BA up to .281 (not too shabby considering when the left on the last road trip is was about .224). Oh, he also stole THRID base

A miracles a l m o s t  occurred. Though, as they say, almost only counts in horse shoes.
Saunders hit a solo shot with one out, Figgy doubled and then Kawasaki and Ichiro each hit singles to get the game within TWO with ONE out. Then a strikeout to Ackley and a wild pitch by Street got the game to within ONE run – then, Montero grounded out.

Apparently, the injury to Pryor (and maybe that was just the “straw”) is about to trigger “a series of moves”.  Shannon reported seeing goodbyes being said to Beavan and Liddi and also mentioned that Carp has not been 100% and could be headed to the DL

Could be an interesting morning tomorrow…

g57 | no sweep for you!

Mariners 8 | Angels 6

A funny thing happened on the way to Anaheim from Texas and Chicago…
The Mariners scored runs. A lot of runs. 49 in SIX games to be exact.

Normally, if you knew the Angels were going to score SIX, you would think, surely, the M’s will lose.
Instead, they continued their excellent production and stunned the Halos a bit by scoring EIGHT – just a smidgen under their average per game (8.16) on this trip.

Lots of batting contributors in this one – though not necessarily the usual suspects…
ONE homer from Seager (more about the rest of his day later)

Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

THREE doubles ~ including a bases-loaded, bases-clearing variety by, none other than, Kawasaki!

Christine Cotter | AP

As for the mound presence – Vargas’s was much less than stellar…
it took him 106 pitches to get through 5.2 giving up NINE hits, TWO walks and FOUR runs
but, it was enough to keep ’em in it.

The ‘pen was a bit “Jekyll and Hyde-ish”…
* League relieve Vargas in the 6th and allowed an inherited runner to score but then followed up by striking out the side in the 7th
* Kelley was all outta sorts – struck out the first batter and then was unable to get out of the inning.
* In comes the Bartender, not only does he finish off the 8th with runners at 2B and 3B and ONE out, but comes in to finish out the game and preserve the M’s victory and his first ever career save!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prior to the game, the guys were gathered ’round watching the draft…

M’s twitpic

…especially Kyle, whose little brother was awaiting a call.


M’s twitpic

Turns out, he didn’t have to wait long, drafted by the Dodgers (#18 overall)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Felix has a sore back so, he’s skipping his Wednesday start…
Noesi will take his place on short rest (but he only threw 60 pitches in his last outing)

g55 | M’s end on the “up side” of the see-saw

Mariners 10 | White Sox 8 (in 12)

I kept one eye on this one via the little TV (sans sound) at our table at Emerald Downs.
Quite an up, down and all-around extra inning marathon!

EIGHT homers in the game, FOUR for each team….
You know it’s bound to be an interesting game when Ichiro leads off and inning (TWICE!) with a homer.
In fact, the M’s led off their first THREE innings with a home run (Justin added one in the 2nd) and, for good measure, Saunders launched a 2-run shot in the 4th.

SIXTEEN pitchers were used in this TWELVE inning affair…
~ there were only FOUR innings where neither team scored: 6th, 9th, 10, 11th
~ both starters were out before the 6th (Noesi went only 4.1 and Floyd a full 5)
~ Stephen Pryor made his major league debut and struck out the first batter he faced (Paul Konerko) on a 100mph fast ball for the third out of the 7th inning. In the 8th, he struck out one, gave up a homer and got two ground outs.
~ Wilhelmsen was the standout BP guy, going THREE full innings allowing only ONE hit and recording FOUR strikeouts and getting the win
~ Iwakuma came in and struck out ONE, walked ONE and got TWO groundouts for the SAVE

FIFTEEN hits to get TEN runs…
~ Ackley and Seager (hot going into this game) were the only starters w/o a hit
~ Saunders redeemed himself from yesterdays error by going 4/6 with homer, 2 runs, 2 rbi and a SB
~ Justin added another hit besides his homer but, also saw his 78-game errorless streak come to an end
~ Montero had TWO hits, including a lead-off double in the 12th and Kawasaki ran for him and scored on Jaso’s double and then Jaso score on Figgin’s single and, wahlah!, the M’s were on top to stay.

Extra inning victories on the road are pretty special … something to savor

AP Photo

g31 | of elbows, bullpens, wild closers and clutch doubles

Mariners 3 | Tigers 2

Poor Doug Fister…
the Mariner offense refused to give him any run support when he was on their side and tonight, the Mariner offense refused to let up when they were on the other side (but, I am glad to see he has recovered from his early season injury and pitching well).

Scary moment, in more ways than one…
when Cabrera’s hot shot went right off Beavan’s elbow in the third inning.
~ the first concern – of course, for Blake’s heath.
~ the second – turning the game over to a pen so early in the game, that has been a bit shaky of late.
(oh – and in all the upset – it sort of gets forgotten that they turned a pretty nifty double-play!)

Ted S. Warren | AP

But, worry was for naught…
Blake may miss a start but, it doesn’t appear to be anything too serious.
And, the BP stepped up B I G T I M E !!!

~ Iwakuma gave up ONE run in THREE innings and recorded FIVE strikeouts. Considering his minimal innings so far and the Tigers potent lineup, I’d say that gets and “A” for the day.

Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images

~ The rest of the pen (Kelley, Furbush and Delabar) allowed only TWO hits and ONE walk and combined for a scoreless THREE innings

So, just when I was thinking that the what I’ve already written above would be the “bright spot” in a disappointing loss ~the M’s only had FOUR hits in EIGHT innings, wasn’t a stretch, even for rosy old me, to think that this one was in the bag for the Tiggers~ then, the bottom of the 9th happened!

Facing Dotel, Ryan and Ichiro got abord via back-to-back walks, advanced on a wild pitch and Ryan scored on a passed ball. Jesus doubled to deep center (where else?) and Ichiro came home to tie the game at TWO. Kawasaki then ran for Jesus and Kyle sacrificed him to 3B and Jaso hit a sac-fly to bring him home …

Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images

 and elation ensued. 

Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images
Otto Greule, Jr | Getty Images

Good on ya, boys.
Now go get Verlander 🙂

g24 | pitching duel fizzles for guys in grey

Mariners 2 | Rays 3

Still feeling for Felix…
another EIGHT innings ONE run FIVE hits (ok – so the FOUR walks weren’t great)
at least this was a ND instead of a loss

THE GOOD (Felix doesn’t count, cuz he was excellent)
Tommy B for two
a line out to start the 9th and a weird single (in which Miggy was injured and has to leave the game, Montero gets behind the dish and the M’s lose the DH because Jaso had already pinch hit for Ryan and was then replaced in the field by Kawasaki who ran for Seager who was replaced at 3B by Liddi – but I digress) and then a DP to end it
~ with one out in the 10th he walked a batter who then advanced on an wild pitch but was able to get the next two hitters

Miggy’s homer to take the early lead and Jesus’s homer to break the late tie

Chris O’Meara | AP

BLT for a rare two…
He was far from sharp in the 11th when a lead off double comes around to score, tying the game at TWO and in the 12th, a walk and a couple of singles and that’s all she wrote.

No lack of hits w/RISP, just plain lack of RISP

The two homers were great, trouble is the other NINE hits were all singles (maybe you just tip your cap to Hellickson?)
Miggy’s groin injury (he heard a “pop”). It comes just as his bat is heating up (EIGHT game hitting streak and his 3rd home of this road trip). From the post game show, DL sounds certain. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the catcher position …. Jesus? Jaso? combination? other?

EDIT: here’s Greg John’s story

Chris O’Meara | AP

Saunders bunted with a runner on 3B and one out and Kawasaki was thrown out at the plate.
Wedge said in the post game that Michael had done it on his own and had already been “spoken to”

Wedge was surprisingly up beat (considering the loss and the loss of his catcher)…
He seemed pleased that they were in it till the end and liked a lot of what he saw, even though there were mistakes. You could tell he felt he was seeing progress… “they are right on the cusp”

g13 | Vargas and the, unlikely, power bats!

Mariners 4 | Indians 1

Viva La Vargas!

Elaine Thompson | AP photo

Talk about being ON…
Jason was s l i g h t l y better than first game he pitched vs. the Tribe last season 🙂
He went SEVEN, allowed only ONE run on FOUR hits, walked THREE and struck out SEVEN and escaped a bases-loaded one out jam in the 4th. Not too shabby, especially considering that coming into this game, the Indians had the highest scoring offense in the majors.

Short of a complete game, things were set up just as you’d write it up…
The Bartender in for the 8th struck out TWO
BLT in the 9th = FIVE 4 FIVE

And, how ’bout the POWER SHOW?!?
~ on the 8th pitch of the game… Figgy goes yard!
~ and, not to be out done… Ichiro solo shot too!
~ Seager added a double to the XB total tonight

A bit of a strange lineup…
Smoak was out with a minor leg issue so Ackley borrowed a 1B glove from Liddi and Kawasaki was at 2B

All the production came from the top of the lineup … 
1 thru 4 each with one

There was a base-running blunder but….
nice, hard slide to break up a DP that put a smile on Figgy’s face…

Otto Grule | Getty Images

and speaking of smiles, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Munenori without one…

Otto Grule | Getty Images

on as exMariner note…
quite the pitcher’s duel in SanFran tonight – Cain went the full NINE but Cliff Lee went TEN
(and neither got the win)

Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

and, on a totally unrelated note…
R.I.P. Dick Clark