Follow us:

Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

September 13, 2007 at 10:43 PM

M’s win comeback thriller; hear audio

Thanks for hanging in there, folks. Sorry it took so long to post, but it gets crazy here when a team rallies from 7-1 down to win 8-7 in the final three innings. That’s what the Mariners did tonight against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Not sure how much of it was the M’s, how much a D-Rays bullpen that couldn’t throw strikes. Tampa Bay has now blown two 8-1 leads this year — one of those two nights ago — and a 7-1 game here. They nearly blew that 13-12 game against Seattle back in May.
But if you’re the M’s, you take it and hope a veteran starter steps up and makes himself counted. Seattle now 5 1/2 bacl of the Yankees. It will take a whole lot more such miracles and much better starting pitching for this game to mean anything in the long run.
“You’re always trying to think that the score is zero-zero,” Yuniesky Betancourt, who had the game-tying double in the eighth, said afterwards. “That way, you don’t put any extra pressure on yourself if you’re up at the plate.”
Hear the rest of what Betancourt said, with lots of interpreting going on, right here.
Believe me, the Seattle starting pitchers are putting enough pressure on their own hitters already. John McLaren is going to “sleep on” Jeff Weaver getting another start. My gut feeling? Weaver gets skipped.
“We definitely need our starters to do better than that,” McLaren said.
You don’t say? Let’s see. By my count, over the last 19 games, the M’s starters have lasted seven innings just three times. They’ve gone six innings just eight times and have surpassed five innings only 11 times in 19 tries. The veteran trio of Weaver, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista have not won a game between them since Aug. 23. Uh, we’re about to head into Sept. 14. What is going on here?
Listen to what McLaren had to say.
Ryan Rowland-Smith got doused with beer in the clubhouse showers afterwards. Pie in the face. The usual drill. It was his first major league win don’t you know? Good on him, pitching those 2 1/3 scoreless innings after a fine relief job by Sean White. Not many pitchers expect to win coming in down by six in the sixth inning. Rowland-Smith was no exception as he says right here.
Jose Vidro talked afterwards about how tough it was for the team to fall behind 5-0 right off the bat. The M’s were coming off the high of a walk-off win the night before, yet Weaver’s early exit took all the wind out of that sail. Well, it would have had a major league caliber bullpen been in there.
“It was tough to see right away,” Vidro says right here of the 5-0 deficit. “The way we won last (Wednesday night), you think that hopefully that’s a good way to start a winning streak and then all of a sudden, boom, 5-0 down.
“But it was early. The guys battled. We battled back. Great at-bats at the end and we were able to come through and win the ballgame.”
Yeah, but with the other 29 bullpens in this game, a 7-1 lead by the seventh inning is a lock. The M’s can talk all they want about not giving up, but the truth is, if the D-Rays had relievers capable of throwing strikes, no one would be talking about all the fire in the M’s dugout. All of the never-say-die attitude. I’m sorry, look, I give the hitters credit for hanging in there. But it’s going to take more than what we saw tonight for me to get excited about this team any more. They don’t have a starter who can guarantee even six innings on a consistent basis at the most critical point in the year.
I’m sorry. It was a nice win. I’m glad the fans who stayed had a good time and got to enjoy themselves. But playoffs? Playoffs? I’ll let Jim Mora answer that one.
To “Greybear” you’re right, you never wrote that you supported the HoRam-Soriano trade. That was me throwing that part on to emphasize a point. There are times when free-agent pitchers can be better than trades. Not always and (last winter at least) not often, but it does happen. To completely ignore one route is, in my opinion, foolish. And Ted Lilly did win 15 games last year pitching in the AL East, so it isn’t all weak division related. But no, you didn’t say those HoRam-Soriano words. Only the first part. Wasn’t trying to show you up that much. Sorry if it came across that way.



No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►