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July 18, 2007 at 9:57 PM

M’s walk to victory; hear new audio

Wow, talk about an energetic finish to a game that looked like it might come back to haunt the Mariners for a long time. Seattle wins it, 6-5, over the Baltimore Orioles thanks to Adrian Beltre drawing a full-count, two out walk off Chad Bradford with the bases loaded in the eighth. Bradford had fallen behind 3-1 in the count, but landed a strike when he had to and then the real battle began.
Beltre fouled off some pitches, then watched Bradford miss way outside to send the go-ahead run chugging home.
“I really don’t like his delivery,” Beltre said of Bradford, the submarining reliever whose knuckles seem to scrape the pitcher’s mound as he delivers the ball. “I’m just trying to get a good at-bat, get ahead in the count, maybe get something up.”
Beltre did just that. He jumped ahead 2-0, then 3-1 and finally prevailed on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
“He was kind of wild, so when it was 3-1, 2-0, I was going to take it,” Beltre said. “After that, I tried to make contact. And then, he threw me one that I couldn’t swing at.”
Hear what Beltre had to say about the at-bat right here in this upgraded audio. Also, what he thinks of his team moving to just 1 1/2 games back of the division-leading Angels.
Yes, few of us could see this coming when Jarrod Washburn took a 5-1 lead into the sixth inning. In the end, he wasn’t helped any by some shaky defense from Ben Broussard in left field. Broussard looked completely done in by a scorcher off the bat of Jay Payton that wound up going for a double. It would have been a tough catch, but a better defender might get to that ball. Broussard and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt then got crossed up going after that Corey Patterson blooper later on in the inning and it dropped between them for a single.
That ball doesn’t fall in, then maybe Nick Markakis doesn’t hit a sacrifice fly moments later to tie the game. Maybe Washburn gets the victory. He doesn’t this time, but the team does.
Broussard should have called off Betancourt on that blooper because the shortstop was nearly halfway to the warning track and the left fielder had the better angle on the ball. He told us after the game that he did try calling Betancourt off but isn’t sure the shortstop heard him.
“He said he didn’t hear me,” Broussard said. “I don’t know because it’s kind of tough to talk to him about it. I didn’t hear him, but it’s loud and you’re running in and everything’s happening at a million miles an hour.”
Broussard goes on to describe, in some added blog audio, how he felt the ball was going to be a somewhat routine catch for him running in on the ball.
Didn’t matter this time. J.J. Putz gets his 28th save and Seattle, as we mentioned, is now only 1 1/2 games behind the Angels — the closest the M’s have been since May 15. Just think, only three weeks ago, they were eight out. What a turnaround. Shocking to say the least. Only a game behind Cleveland in the wild-card race. Hey, the M’s will take this win, sloppy as it was.
“We never get down,” Mariners manager John McLaren said. “There were some things that went against us tonight. But we hung in there. From what I understand, in years past things like this would have cost them the game.”
Hear McLaren on this topic in his post-game audio. McLaren agreed that he might have left Washburn out there too long in facing righty-hitting Gomez with his pitch count heading towards 110 in that seventh inning.
But he drew the line at not replacing Broussard for defensive purposes with Jason Ellison in the seventh. Broussard was still due to hit again and — with three innings to go — the manager thought it was too early to pull him. He also said the miscue between Broussard and Betancourt came on a very tough play.
None of McLaren’s moves cost the team the game tonight. And Sean Green kept up his fine work of late, earning the win by putting out the fire in the seventh and closing the door in the eighth. Might McLaren be on to something here? I can tell you this. He’s experimenting with Green for the set-up role. That much is obvious.
I’ve got to run. Have to get up at 5 a.m. for my flight to Toronto, through Newark, N.J., tomorrow. What a life, huh? Aren’t you glad i stay awake nights preparing this audio for all of us to enjoy? Have a good one. The M’s are contending, even if they did it sloppily tonight.
To “Karr” I’ve deleted your post entirely. You are welcome to keep posting here, but I knew Cory Lidle and this is not going to become a blog where we joke about players who’ve been killed — especially in reference to the same thing happening to current players. To all of you, especially those I’ve emailed of late, we are cracking down on some of the more non-sensical posts, but I don’t have time to be a policeman. I really don’t want to have to start banning posters, but I will if I find they are interfering with the great discussions we’ve had on this site.
Please, for the sake of all participants, let’s keep this an interesting place and not degenerate into the petty namecalling I’ve seen elsewhere. This is a public forum in a family newspaper. Keep that in mind when you post, please. I’ve enjoyed this season immensely. Let’s not ruin that with the blog really starting to take off numbers-wise along with the Mariners.



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