9:36 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn gave up a two-run homer to left by Chase Headley in the seventh, then was sent back out to start the eighth inning with his pitch count at 98. He’s got a 4-2 lead.
In the more interesting left on base stats, the M’s stranded one more in the eighth and have now left a season-high 15 on tonight. That’s one shy of the team record, done on four other occasions — the last being in 2004. Stay tuned.
Yes, that’s interim GM Lee Pelekoudas working the phones, trying to convince folks Richie Sexson can still do more than hit singles. And other stuff as well, I’m sure.
9:02 p.m.: The Mariners had stranded 12 baserunners over the first five innings, but got one home in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead. Richie Sexson, who has reached base three times tonight, drew a one-out walk, then scored all the way from first on a double to deep left center by Kenji Johjima. But with one out and Johjima on third base — after a passed ball — Yuniesky Betancourt fouled off a suicide squeeze bunt attmept, then later struck out. San Diego then intentionally walked Wille Bloomquist (!!!!) — when has that ever happened? — to get to Jarrod Washburn. The later stranded two more baserunners by grounding out. So, that’s 14 LOB by Seattle. The MLB record is 20, shared by four AL teams (Boston twice). In the NL, the record is 18. The record by one team in a double-header is 29. So, you can see, the M’s have stranded quite a few. Still not at their season high of 15 though. That was set on April 1 against Texas. Yes, Game 2 of the 2008 season. That boded real well for things to come, didn’t it?
Washburn has pitched well tonight. He’s allowed only three hits — all singles — as we head to the bottom of the sixth. He’s retired 13 of his last 14 batters.
8:27 p.m.: The Mariners finally found the scoreboard and lead 3-0 as we head to the bottom of the fourth. A disastrous outing for Padres starter Randy Wolf, who made it through 3 1/3 innings before getting pulled. Wolf allowed eight hits and five walks and threw 97 pitches. Yet somehow, he allowed only two earned runs. A third Seattle run was unearned after an error in the fourth by center fielder Jody Gerut.
Seattle does not have an extra-base hit in this game. But a pair of one-out singles by Ichiro and Jose Lopez was followed by an RBI single from Raul Ibanez. Gerut bobbled the ball in center, allowing both runners to move up a base to second and third. They came home to score on a bounding single up the middle by Adrian Beltre. When I say “bounding” I mean it. That’s two balls the Padres infield has allowed to go up the middle for hits when they bounced a good four times. Not impressive. Anyhow, the M’s break through for Jarrod Washburn.
7:52 p.m.: Make it eight runners stranded in three innings by the Mariners. Singles by Richie Sexson (!) and Kenji Johjima put two on with one out. But Yuniesky Betancourt, deftly avoiding the double play, popped out to the first baseman. Willie Bloomquist then hit the ball hard, but right at second baseman Edgar Martinez (uh, make that Gonzalez) to end the rally. I was hoping to see Bloomquist walk on the 3-1 pitch, just to see if Jarrod Washburn would make the inning’s final out and allow the M’s to not score after loading the bases in three straight innings. Oh well. Bloomquist beat him to it.
Speaking of Washburn, he’s through two scoreless innings, retiring the last four in a row.
7:39 p.m.: So, that’s now two innings, six runners left on base by the Mariners. Seattle once again loaded the bases on a single, by Ichiro, and two more Randy Wolf walks. But with two out, Raul Ibanez popped out to left field. Yes, I mean popped. The ball flew weakly off his bat. The M’s might have had a better fate had Jarrod Washburn been able to get a bunt down with one out. But instead, with a runner on first, he popped out foul to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Still scoreless.
7:35 p.m.: Big start for Jarrod Washburn tonight. He does well against these types of clubs. Meaning the NL version, where he gets a big of a breather against the bottom third of the order. Anyhow, Washburn can up his trade value a little more if he can keep up the role he’s been on of late. He’s allowed two earned runs or less in his last three starts, going six innings in two and 5 2/3 in the other.
One inning is already in the books, with these two clubs, among baseball’s bottom feeders, stranding five runners combined in their respective turns at-bat. Seattle had the bases loaded with one out in the first inning on a Jose Loipez single and respective Randy Wolf walks to Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre. But Richie Sexson came up and went down swinging. So, tell me, anything go on during that week I was away? This feels like when you stop watching a soap opera for a month or two, tune back in and the same plot is still going on.
Anyhow, Kenji Johjima struck out after that. You can change the GM, change the manager, even change the uniforms to retro. But on some teams, the song will always remain the same until you change the players.