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

May 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM

White Sox game thread

IT’S OVER — Sorry, that last inning went so fast that I had to send in my story and head downstairs before I had a chance to update the blog. Not much earth-shattering from the clubhouse. No throwing of furniture or anything. The only guys who really talked with the media were McLaren, Silva and Ichiro, and I give the latter a lot of credit. He gets some guff for his supposedly standoff-ish ways. But every time I’ve covered a Mariners game he’s been available to talk afterward, which is more than can be said for a lot of the other guys. Ichiro basically said that they have to believe that the season isn’t over but that everyone in the locker “should be frustrated or we should not have the privilege of wearing our uniform.” You can’t help but wonder at the moment what he thinks about signing that extension last season.
I’VE GOT NOTHING — Not much I can find to say about this one right now. Maybe the Mariners will finally make it interesting here in the bottom of the ninth.
ONE CHANCE LEFT — Seattle hasn’t won a game this year when behind by more than a run. They’ll get a chance in the bottom of the ninth as the White Sox lead 4-1 heading into the top of the ninth.
ATTENDANCE TONIGHT: It is 27,169 for the gentleman who just asked. And about 13,096 by my estimate have headed for the exits. George Michael won’t find much faith here.
TWO CHANCES LEFT: To those sending in e-mails tonight to Geoff Baker I’ll point out again that this is actually Bob Condotta filling in tonight. I usually cover Husky football and basketball so a little out of my league here doing this. Still, I bet I’ve covered 150 or so Mariner games in my career as a fill-in guy so I do know what a wild pitch is. Mariners are down 4-1 entering their half of the eighth inning and have two at-bats left to avoid another disheartening loss (though is there really any other kind?) Scott Linebrink is one for the White Sox and he is tied for third in the AL in holds (one of greatest stats ever in my opinion).
ANOTHER EMPTY INNING: Marienrs have now left seven runners on base in the last four innings, getting just one run. Closer to a breakout inning, but not getting it done. It’s a nice night at the park, though.
WHAT A CATCH: One of the better catches of the season in Safeco turned in there by White Sox CF Brian Anderson off a long drive by Sexson, who appeared to have tied the game up. Instead, it was another fruitless inning for the Mariners highlighted only by the scoreboard showing that Jeff Clement’s favorite college team is, believe it or not, USC.
WHO’S BAD? The Mariners’ dancing grounds crew just performed to the old Michael Jackson song “Bad.” Right now, a more fitting song probably couldn’t have been played.
THE STREAK IS OVER: Mariners score on a wild pitch and get what iabout as manufactured a run as possible to break their scoreless streak at 24 innings. Ichiro singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a Jose Contreras wild pitch. Now 3-1 White Sox.
IS IT OVER? The odds aren’t good for the Mariners now with the White Sox ahead 3-0. Seattle hasn’t come from more than two runs down to win a game all season and has scored more than three runs just once in the past nine games. Sliva is now up to 52 pitches after that eight-pitch first inning.
AND NOW THAT’S 24 IN A ROW: The Mariners got two runners to third base in that inning but couldn’t get either in and now have gone 24 straight without a run. That ties the fourth-longest streak in team history. I know there’s a lot of debate over the impact of a manager, but it is interesting to me that none of the top 13 streaks in Mariner history occured during the watch of Lou Piniella, who was with the team longer than any other manager. All occurred either pre-1990 or post-2002.
NEW JOY FOR SEXSON? Felt like it as Sexson received some pretty hearty applause as he came to the plate for his first at-bat.
THAT’S 23 STRAIGHT SCORELESS INNINGS FOR THE M’s: And that ties the seventh-longest scoreless streak in team history. The longest is 29 from June 7-11, 2004.
GOOD START FOR SILVA: Carlos Silva needed just eight pitches to get through the first inning. Still, it elicited little buzz here at Safeco, where the fans are definitely in an impatient, wait-and-see mode. Quite a change from the last time I wrote in this space, covering the series opener against the Angels on
April 11. Seattle won that game to get off to a good start in what figured to be a long, tight race with the Angels. Now, the Mariners are just trying to stay afloat.
LINEUPS FOR TONIGHT:
Here is the M’s lineup
Ichiro, CF
Lopez, 2B
Ibanez, LF
Beltre, 3B
Vidro, DH
Sexson, 1B
Clement, C
Balentein, RF
Betancourt, SS
Most notable is the return of Vidro after missing the last three games with back spasms, and the inclusion of Clement at the expense of Kenji Johjima. M’s manager John McLaren said before the game that the time for worrying about anyone’s hurt feelings is over and that “we need to win a baseball game — that’s all I care about.”
Johjima is hitting .184 for the season and McLaren said he is doing extra work in the cage and all of that, but that until he gets it turned around, there is no guarantee of being in the lineup on any given night.
“We’ve reached a stage where I’m going with the best nine I think can win that game,” McLaren said.
McLaren, in fact, started off his pre-game address with something of a state-of-the-team address.
“We’re a good team playing terrible baseball,” he said. “Only we can fix it. The coaches and I have exchanged some ideas and we are working to do some things behind the scenes. You can only shuffle the lineup so many ways and make so many lineup changes. I think now we are at the point where we just have to play a good, solid baseball game and pitch well, get timely hitting, catch the ball and get us a win and go from there.”
If only it were that easy.

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