6:05 p.m.: Another RBI single for Richie Sexson in the seventh inning, making it an 8-0 lead for the Mariners. Felix Hernandez is now out of the game after tossing six shutout innings. That’s 15 career scoreless innings in two starts at Fenway Park for him.
By the way, many of you heard about the Manny Ramirez-Kevin Youkillis dugout tiff last night. ESPN says it has a source on the matter and that it all stems from Youkillis throwing bats, batting helmets and other stuff after bad at-bats. Why should any of you care? Well, it plays into the whole clubhouse chemistry thing and the issue of players policing themselves.
“It all happened because Manny complained about Youkilis’ habit of throwing bats, helmets and other objects in the dugout when he has a bad at-bat, something that has become a constant practice,” the source said.
”Other players have told Youkilis in the past about the situation, which makes him look selfish and that he is more worried about each at-bat than about the team. If Boston is winning easily, there’s no reason to throw objects all over the dugout because of a bad at-bat.
“There was a meeting where the team let Youkilis know that many of his teammates were tired of his explosive reactions for each bad plate appearance. It became very bothersome…more so when the team is winning and it’s in first place. There’s not much room for individualistic attitudes.”
Interesting clubhouse those Red Sox run. No individuals? Who do they think they are, World Series champs? Next thing you know, one of them will get pinch-hit for in the ninth, after making an error that nearly costs his team the game, and not be allowed to get away with slamming his bat in the dugout in full view of TV cameras. Geez, I mean, the poor guy might not even be allowed to cry (tears and all) about it at his locker stall later on (after a walk-off win by his team) without some Boston teammate getting in his face and telling him it’s kind of selfish. What kind of team are these Red Sox running? The humanity.
5:31 p.m.: Richie Sexson just got in on the act, driving home a run with a single in the fifth inning to give Seattle a 6-0 lead.
5:10 p.m.: The Mariners score two more in the fourth to go up 5-0, despite only hitting one ball hard in the inning. Richie Sexson bounced a ball through the left side for a single, then Yuniesky Betancourt hit a ground-ruled double that bounced over thr (very) short wall in right field. Maybe a 250-footer. Ichiro lined his single after that, bringing both guys home. A very strange five-run lead for Seattle. But a lead nonetheless. Felix Hernandez is at 60 pitches to start the inning. The Red Sox have had baserunners, but really miss Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz so far.
4:52 p.m.: Seattle now leads 3-0 after scoring another unearned run in the third inning on two Boston errors. A throwing error by third baseman Mike Lowell allowed Ichiro to reach first. Jose Lopez then singled to left — his second hit of the night — to put two on with none out. Raul Ibanez then popped out. But the big play of the inning was an errant pickoff throw at second by Bartolo Colon, allowing both runners to move up a base. That was key because Adrian Beltre’s ensuing flyout brought Ichiro home from third.
Felix Hernandez starts the third inning alkready at 41 pitches.
4:20 P.M.: Mariners already lead this thing 2-0 after one inning of play. They scored a pair of unearned runs off Bartolo Colon in the first after a one-out single by Jose Lopez and a walk to Raul Ibanez. Adrian Beltre hit a comebacker that looked to be a double-play ball. But Colon threw the ball into center field, allowing a run to score. Jose Vidro then hit another ball back to Colon, who thought of going to second for a double-play try. but opted for the lone out at first base instead. Another run scored.
Felix Hernandez gave up a two-out single up the middle by J.D. Drew that nearly took his head off. But Hernandez survived and got through the inning. So, some luck on both sides for the M’s in the first. Zero hits with runners in scoring position, but they got both runners home.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong, above, keeps an eye on things, including pitcher Brandon Morrow.
51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Jose Vidro DH
8 Jeremy Reed RF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
RED SOX (38-25)
10 Coco Crisp CF
15 Dustin Pedroia 2B
7 J.D. Drew RF
25 Mike Lowell 3B
20 Kevin Youkillis 1B
22 Sean Casey DH
33 Jason Varitek C
44 Brandion Moss LF
23 Julio Lugo SS
40 Bartolo Colon RHP
Below, see Ichiro and Dice-K having a chit-chat. Conversation topics? i don’t know. “Hey, Dice! I think you picked the right team.”
Sounds plausible to me.