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May 7, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Mariners tie it up

A huge break from the umpires that eighth inning as Willie Bloomquist was tagged out on a steal attempt a good three feet from the second base bag. But second base umpire Gerry Davis obviously missed what the television replays clearly show from any angle. Bloomquist was out. But he was ruled safe and the M’s took advantage. Kenji Johjima came through with a flare into right field to score Bloomquist and tie the game. Kyle Farnsworth of the Yankees gets the blown save. Mariners entered the inning being outhit 9-3. Not one of their current five hits was of the hard variety and two were infield singles. But they are somehow tied and have Miguel Batista to thank for that. George Sherrill is now on the mound in the bottom of the eighth.
The Mariners just got away with one big-time in allowing Miguel Batista back out there to start the seventh inning. He’d already thrown 107 pitches and the 108th was driven to the gap in right center by Doug Mientkiewicz — his second double of the game I might add.
Johnny Damon grounded out, moving Mientkiewicz to third. Derek Jeter was walked intentionally to set up the double-play. Southpaw Eric O’Flaherty came on and got Abreu to hit a fielder’s choice grounder right at Richie Sexson, who threw home and eventually got the lead runner caught in a rundown for a key second out.
Chris Reitsma then came in and got A-Rod to line out to center. By the way, when was the last time A-Rod hit a big home run? Just wondering. So, it’s crunch time. The Mariners let Matt DeSalvo throw a seven-inning, three hitter. Kyle Farnsworth is now on for the Yankees. If he gets through the eighth, the game is over. These guys aren’t touching Mariano Rivera, the 1999 version or the 2007 one.
I’m a little surprised by how Miguel Batista held off the Yankees in a six-inning effort badly needed by his team. Batitsa and the Mariners trail, 2-1, in the seventh inning and the pitcher is almost certainly done — his pitch count at 107. The key at-bat of the night for Batista came in the fifth inning after the patient Yanks doubled home a run to take the lead, then drew a pair of walks to load the bases with two out.
Batitsa fell behind 3-1 in the count to Bobby Abreu, but then threw his best pitch of the night, a tailing, 94 mph four-seamer that Abreu swung and missed at for a second strike. Abreu later bounced out on a 92 mph fastball to keep the Mariners in the game.
Seattle has only three hits in six inning thus far, facing another Class AAA callup, Matt DeSalvo. That’s nine hits in the last 24 innings going back to Saturday’s game, with just two runs scored. No, that isn’t going to work. This team needs a home run from one of its big bats. And it needs it soon, before DeSalvo gets through seven innings. Leave this to the bullpens the final two innings and Seattle loses this game. No ifs ands or buts about it.
The Kenji Johjima experiment hasn’t worked so far. He’s 0-for-3 and has twice left a runner in scoring position. And Jose Vidro grounded into a rally-hurting double play as well.



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