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August 1, 2007 at 9:53 PM

Interesting turn of events

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse…well, I guess they could have had Jose Lopez not made that great play at second on the high chopper by Vladimir Guerrero in the top of the 10th. A run would have scored had Lopez not come through. But then Lopez couldn’t get the squeeze bunt down with one out in the bottom of the inning and Willie Bloomquist at third base. Hey, some of you have yelled and screamed all year for John McLaren’s more aggressive style of baseball. But it won’t always work out.
Sean Green did an excellent job of pitching out of his own mess in the top of the inning. On to the 11th. I’ll tell you what, if the M’s lose this game it is going to hurt something awful. But they haven’t lost it yet. Just trying to win it the hard way.
To answer some reader questions, no, you don’t walk Little Sarge in that situation. When you have the game’s most dominant closer on the mound and a two-run lead, you go right at the hitter. No sense putting more runners on base in that situation. The worst that happens is, if Gary Matthews Jr. beats you, it’s a tie game and you’ve got the last at-bat. But if you put him on and the next guy beats you — in this case, Maicer Izturis, who homered last night — then you are losing the game. I think the M’s played that one right despite the stats. Hey, they let Green pitch to Guerrero in a much more obvious intentional walk situation and it worked out. That’s baseball. It’ll drive you nuts, the way the M’s are doing tonight.
Yes indeed, I did hit the post button a little too quickly in that ninth inning. Had actually meant to send my newspaper story to the paper first, but hit the button on the blog item instead. Maybe it’s because I hate the home team, right “Boris”? Anyway, my apologies on that, but it doesn’t change what I wrote about Felix Hernandez, who came up huge in the biggest game in years by his team and under some trying circumstances.
Too bad J.J. Putz blew the three-run lead. Especially on that two-out homer in the ninth. Never saw that coming — obviously. That’s two blown saves in a week by Putz. Is he getting tired? Who could blame him? Maybe it was just a bad pitch, but he did give up a lot of hits that frame. This is the time of year where fatigue starts to set in for some closers who have been used a lot. The M’s have been trying to limit Putz’s multi-inning stints. After this, I’m sure it will become an even higher priority.
But it happens to the best. Francisco Rodriguez went through something similar earlier this season for the Angels. Let’s just see how the bullpen manages. Sean Green just issued a one-out walk, so that’s not good. I see Vladimir Guerrero looming further down in the order.
The bats have come up big for the M’s all night and this game is of huge importance. They must continue to stay focused and pull this thing out. It’s not over yet.



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