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May 12, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Mariners at Texas Rangers: 05/12

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8:58 p.m.: Texas Rangers fans are in stunned disbelief, above, after a Kenji Johjima three-run homer with two out in the ninth and an 0-2 count, ties the game at 12-12. Johjima’s blast came off Texas closer C.J. Wilson. A huge RBI double that inning by Raul Ibanez as well to get the M’s back within three. Seattle’s dugout erupted like I’ve never seen before when Johjima hit that ball. Any of you sending me those emails the past hour want to re-hire Bill Bavasi now? LOL. You all had him fired five minutes ago. Maybe five minutes from now, too. Let’s see.
The Rangers had gone ahead 12-8 in the eighth, courtesy of four walks, three by Mark Lowe and one by Arthur Rhodes, to force in a pair of runs. The 13 walks issued by the M’s is their most in a nine-inning game since they yielded 14 in July 2004. It is only the fifth time in club history they’ve allowed 13 or more. Hang on, it’s not over yet. We’re almost at a four-hour game and it’s only the bottom of the ninth.
7:55 p.m.: Jose Lopez just cost his team four runs in the seventh inning, booting a ground ball that should have been the final out of the frame. Instead, his error gave the Rangers the go-ahead marker (the bases were loaded with two out) and an ensuing single to left by Josh Hamilton brought home two more runs. Pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto then singled in another. It’s now a 10-6 game, the Rangers in the lead. Things looking bleak indeed for Seattle. Tonight and overall. I watched Lopez’s body language on that grounder. To me, even before the error, it looked like he was afraid of making a mistake. Yes, he had to range to his right a little. But a major league second baseman has to make that play. Mark Lowe should have been out of the inning tied 6-6.
I hope Ryan Rowland-Smith’s mother wasn’t streaming live on her MLB Extra Innings package from back in Australia in that inning. I don’t think her son was offering friendly Aussie “G-day, mate!” greetings to Ramon Vazquez of the Rangers after striking him out with runners at second and third. Vazquez dropped an “F” bomb or two, after which Rowland-Smith unleashed a torrent of unprintables clearly visible to the lip-reading public via television replay. No brawls this time. But the words were flying fast and furiously between the pair.
Here’s the latest in our series of travel videos. Come join me as I fly from Seattle to Arlington, Texas earlier today. Catch the view of Mount Rainier out my airplane window. Afterwards, I’ll show you footage of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium being built just up the road from here. For Crazy in the comments section, to answer your question, I use a Panasonic PV-GS83 digital video camera.


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7:30 p.m.: Seattle just tied it in the top of the sixth, with Jeff Clement notching a leadoff double to chase Vicente Padilla from the game. Frank Francisco came on and Clement scored on a Yuniesky Betancourt double later in the frame. But the M’s despite knotting the game 6-6, still left the inning wanting more. They had runners at second and third with one out following the Betancourt double. But Ichiro struck out and Jose Vidro grounded out. That’s how you lose games. They are still leaving runners at third with less than two out.
Cha Seung Baek went three scoreless innings, despite allowing five baserunners, and has now been replaced by Ryan Rowalnd-Smith.
7:13 p.m.: Cha Seung Baek has taken fans on a thrill ride the past two innings, but still trails only 6-5 despite allowing a plethora of baserunners. The Rangers loaded the bases in the fourth, but Baek fanned Gerald Laird on a full-count offering to end that threat. In the fifth, the Rangers had runners at the corners with only one out, but Baek got Ian Kinsler to pop out to second. Michael Young then grounded out. Seattle’s offense has been MIA since the first inning, notching just one hit. Vicente Padilla begins the sixth with his pitch count at 92, so this should be his final inning if the M’s don’t swing at the first pitch they see every time up.
6:18 p.m.: Stunning development in the third inning as Erik Bedard is tatooed all over the ballprk and knocked from the game before he could get even a single out. The Rangers scored five in the inning to take a 6-5 lead. Cha Seung Baek is now in the game. Wow, that’s a name I never dreamed I’d hear after Seattle took that 5-0 lead. Especially not in the third inning. But Bedard gave up a pair of mammoth home runs to Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley — measuring 447 feet and 410 feet respectively — to cut Seattle’s lead to just a run. He then walked Brandon Boggs, prompting the M’s to get Baek up in the bullpen, and yielded a double off the right field wall by Gerald Laird that nearly was a third long ball. Chris Shelton then singled to tie the game and put runners at the corners with none out, ending Bedard’s night.
German Duran hit into a 6-4-3 double play to put the Rangers ahead. Don’t have much to say. Bedard obviously let his team down in a huge way. Looked like one of his spring training stints. Too many of these letdown games from Felix Hernandez and now Bedard. These guys are supposed to be keeping this team afloat. Bedard was due for a game like this. But his timing stinks for his team.
5:55 p.m.: The Rangers scored another run off Erik Bedard in a long second inning that saw pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre head out to the mound for a visit. Bedard is now at 47 pitches after just two innings, despite holding a 5-2 lead. He allowed a leadoff walk to Gerlad Laird, a single up the middle by Chris Shelton that put runners at the corners and then a sacrifice fly by German Duran. An ensuing one-out walk, this one to Ramon Vazquez, got Stottlemyre out there. Bedard then struck out Ian Kinsler and Michael Young with two on to end the inning.
5:39 p.m.: Seattle leads 5-1 as we head to the bottom of the second inning. Erik Bedard gave a run right back to the Rangers in the bottom of the first, yielding a leadoff double to Ian Kinsler and a single to center by Michael Young. Bedard later walked Milton Bradley to put two on with one out, but got out of it on a double-play grounder by Brandon Boggs. Seattle went 1-2-3 in the top half of the second.
5:24 p.m.: A huge first inning by the Mariners saw them score five times off Texas starter Vicente Padilla. Only one of the runs was earned, thanks to a dubious scoring call in which third baseman Ramon Vazquez was given an error on what looked like an RBI single by Adrian Beltre. Raul Ibanez followed with a two-run homer. Two more singles, an error and a balk call on Padilla made it 4-0. Kenji Johjima then hit a sacrifice fly for the fifth Seattle run. Huge start for the M’s. That five-run lead should be enough for Erik Bedard, given his past results. We’ll see.
5:12 p.m.: The game is just getting underway, with Kenji Johjima catching Erik Bedard for the first time in a while. Jamie Burke had caught the last three Bedard outings. Someone in the comments thread was asking about the mood of the team. I’d say there are some issues that need ironing out. The position players held a pre-game meeting behind closed doors. Coaches sat in for part of it, then it was players-only. A few of those have gone on of late. Nothing unusual for a team losing as often as the Mariners.
By the way, Richie Sexson is here, having made the trip despite being suspended. He’ll do all the pre-game workouts and take BP. But he can’t stay in the dugout during the game. Told me he might sit up in a private suite with GM Bill Bavasi and his assistant, Lee Pelakoudis.
The lineups:
MARINERS (15-24)
51 Ichiro CF
3 Jose Vidro 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
9 Jeff Clement DH
2 Kenji Johjima C
50 Wladimir Balentien RF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
45 Erik Bedard LHP
RANGERS (18-21)
5 Ian Kinsler 2B
10 Michael Young SS
32 Josh Hamilton
21 Milton Bradley DH
41 Brandon Boggs LF
15 Gerald Laird C
16 Chris Shelton 1B
6 German Duran RF
12 Ramon Vazquez 3B
44 Vicente Padilla RHP

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