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May 20, 2008 at 6:36 PM

Mariners at Detroit Tigers: 05/20 game thread

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6:36 p.m.: It’s now a 12-4 game, heading into the top of the ninth. Mark Lowe yielded a tape-measure home run to center in the seventh by Carlos Guillen. The Mariners tacked on some meaningless runs in the seventh and eighth. Chance they’ll come back? Well, the Tigers have blown a six-run lead once this year. Sorry, the M’s trail by eight.
Spoke to Jeremy Reed earlier. He’s not sure what his role is going to be here yet, but admitted to being somewhat emotional when the team recalled him. Reed wasn’t sure he’d ever get back to the majors and talked about some dark days as he toiled in the minors.
“It just gets grueling,” he said. “It just gets tough. It’s a hard thing to deal with.”
Harder still, he said, because he had that early taste of big league ball. One thing’s for sure. He earned his way back through his numbers and play. But he won’t be in the lineup tonight. I can hear the groans out there already. Nope, Reed is on the bench for now. Wladimir Balentien is in right, Raul Ibanez in left. Jose Vidro is the DH.
We asked manager John McLaren about using Reed as a late-inning defensive replacement.
“We’re happy with our defense in the outfield,” he replied.
Knew some of you would love that one.
McLaren does plan to use Reed in both outfield corners. “We’ll give (Balentien) a break in right field, Raul (Ibanez) a break in left,” he said.
Anyone want to make some jokes about the scoreboard message below? I’d have thought we would have seen plenty within minutes of this post going up.
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A look, above, at what might be the largest dugouts in baseball.
5:56 p.m.: Look out, folks, it’s hailing in Detroit. Baseball-sized hail stones are landing in the bleachers, or just missing the heads of sprinting Seattle outfielders. Oh, no, wait. It’s only the latest BP session being thrown by Cha Seung Baek. The reliever who makes you think Rolaids in ways totally different from J.J. Putz just gave up his second and third homers in two innings in the sixth, making it 11-1 for a Tigers team outhitting the M’s 15-4. As I said, this is the type of game that gets a manager fired. The M’s have shown little life at the plate or in the field and are getting humiliated by the worst team in the American League.
Scratch that. No longer the worst after tonight. It’s that “M’s tonic” I’ve been telling you about. Another example? Curtis Granderson had gone 23 home runs without hitting a multiple-run blast, dating back to May 9, 2007 — a Tigers record. When you talk franchise records, the Tigers are the team you pay attention to. The Rays? Not so much. Anyhow, a little sip of “M’s tonic” and Granderson had a two-run blast off Baek to bring his weird little slump to a halt. Are we having fun yet? I’d like to see Jeremy Reed get some at-bats here because neither Wlad Balentien nor Raul Ibanez is doing much tonight. Might as well throw him in and see what he can do. Get him some warm-ups before he starts, most likely in Thursday’s finale.
5:45 p.m.: That’s now seven strikeouts in six innings for Justin Verlander as the M’s prepare to bow out of this one in a hurry. Now an 8-1 game after Cha Seung Baek served up a homer to Magglio Ordonez on the fourth pitch thrown in the fifth. Verlander looks cured of all the pitching ailments that had afflicted him heading into this game. Call it a dose of “M’s tonic”. Got a losing streak that needs fixing? A little problem getting hitters out? Well, hey just call 1-800-Bavasi and he’ll send you a lineup guaranteed to fix your hurts. By the way, this is the type of game that gets managers fired.
5:24 p.m.: Quick, what’s a four-letter word for “up the creek” in the fifth inning? How about “Baek” as in Cha-Seung, now on the mound in place of Carlos Silva. This wasn’t Silva’s night. I don’t know what his batting average on balls in-play against was. But I do know that too many of those balls were ripped too hard, including the bases-loaded, line drive at Ichiro that the center fielder let get by him for a three-run triple. M’s now trail 7-1 after the Tigers scored five runs in the fourth. Told you, Seth, that there’d be a lot more hits than both teams are used to. That’s now nine for the Tigers and three for the M’s. Remember, Seattle had only two hits by the eighth inning on Sunday, so technically, my prediction came true. Finally, a prediction that came true…mark that down, we have tomorrow morning’s blog post.
4:45 p.m.: Seattle now trails 2-1 aftger two, having given up a pair in the second inning on a leadoff double by Miguel Cabrera (maybe this game will revive his season) and an ensuing Carlos Guillen “single” through the glove of Jose Lopez. An Edgar Renteria single after that brought the second run home. Someone asked for my prediction on the game, having seen these first two innings. Hmmm. A lot of hits, I’d say. More than these teams are used to. Detroit has the lead, so it has the edge. How’s that for cutting edge analysis?
As for Ben, I’m getting more and more internship requests every day and I’m sympathetic, believe me, given that I spent two summers on paid internships as well as an unpaid weeklong stint my second year in college. But I can’t do it. Our paper has strict guidelines for those. Sorry. The best you can do is help me keep this comments section headed in a sane direction. By the way, the discussion on chemistry today was excellent. A lot more of what we’re used to around here, with less trash talk and nonsense. I have no problem staying level-headed and polite with some of you. But if you want to dish it out, I can dish it back. There’s nothing in my contract that says I have to kiss reader butt. This is a public forum. If you want to come on this site and hijack it by being in-your-face, I’ll get in your face as well. But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t care, trust me.
4:15 p.m.: Sorry to Ben in the comments thread. I know it’s hard to work when there’s a ballgame going on. Sometimes, I get too caught up in it as well and forget to write. Ben, you probably didn’t see second base umpire Mike Reilly cost Seattle a potential run in that first inning. Reilly called Ichiro out attempting to steal second, though he was clearly in ahead of the throw. More of that Pudge Rodriguez mystique working its magic? Perhaps. Anyhow, Adrian Beltre drilled the next pitch 411 feet over the wall in left field. So, it’s now 1-0 for Seattle. We’ll never know if Beltre would have homered had Ichiro been safe. The universe unfolds in strange ways. But you get the feeling the M’s were just robbed a run.
The lineups:
MARINERS (18-27)
51 Ichiro CF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
3 Jose Vidro DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
50 Wladimir Balentien RF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
52 Carlos Silva RHP
TIGERS (17-27)
28 Curtis Granderson CF
14 Placido Polanco 2B
3 Gary Sheffield DH
30 Magglio Ordonez RF
24 Miguel Cabrera 1B
9 Carlos Guillen 3B
20 Matt Joyce LF
8 Edgar Renteria SS
7 Ivan Rodriguez C
35 Justin Verlander RHP
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