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July 4, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Detroit Tigers at Mariners: 07/04 game thread

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Still a 2-1 game, M’s in the lead as we head to the bottom of the seventh. Erik Bedard did indeed bow out of the game after five innings and 99 pitches. Sean Green has done a fine job picking him up for two innings, escaping a two on, one out jam in the top of the seventh by getting Placido Polanco to hit into a fielder’s choice out at third base and Edgar Renteria to ground out to shortstop.
A better-played game by the Mariners today, even though Kenny Rogers is still working to them in the seventh inning, his pitch count at a lowly 82. This is the kind of game where one mistake can kill a team. So far, the M’s have not made any lethal ones.
There’s a Milwaukee Brewers scout in attendance. He’s been watching the entire homestand. What do the Brewers need? Some rotation and bullpen help. Particularly of the lefty variety. Remember, that team’s GM, Doug Melvin, hails from Ontario, as does Milwaukee assistant GM Gord Ash. Does that mean anything when it comes to an Ontarian like Bedard? Might, or might not. Depends on the asking price. Jarrod Washburn might be a better fit. But I’d think that Bedard, Washburn, Arthur Rhodes and Ryan Rowland-Smith will all be on that team’s radar.

2:48 p.m.: A good job of getting out of the fifth inning by Erik Bedard after he’d served up a leadoff double to Curtis Granderson. The speedy Tigers leadoff man didn’t get any further as Bedard got Placido Polanco to pop up foul behind first base, where Jose Lopez made the catch. That might have been the inning’s biggest at-bat, since it enabled Bedard to focus on Edgar Renteria without worrying about a flyball scoring the run. Renteria grounded out to the shortstop. Miguel Cabrera took the count full, but Bedard fanned him on a curveball, which he’s relied on heavily in strikeout situations today. That’s six strikeouts for Bedard, but a 17-pitch inning has run his daily count to 99. If we go by recent outings, Bedard might be done. Sean Green is warming up in the bullpen. Maybe they give Bedard a batter or two and see what happens? I don’t know if I’d do that with Gary Sheffield due up second. Marcus Thames hit a grand slam off lefty Jarrod Washburn in Detroit back in May and he’s due up first.
Bedard has a 2-1 lead and stands to win the game. But he’ll need some innings from the bullpen.
2:22 p.m.: Seattle has a 2-1 lead after four innings as Raul Ibanez unloaded one off the glass facing of the Hit it Here cafe in right field off Kenny Rogers. The M’s had an even bigger chance later on in that fourth as Adrian Beltre doubled off the left field wall with one out. Richie Sexson then drew a walk. But Kenji Johjima grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play.
Erik Bedard threw 27 more pitches in the fourth inning, walking the bases loaded but escaping by striking out Ryan Raburn. That’s twice this game that Raburn has bailed Bedard out of a jam by going down swinging with runners on. Five LOB in two at-bats for Raburn. Bedard has held Detroit to a lone run, which is big in a 1-1 game. But he’ll really be pressed to go much more than five innings today.
2:08 p.m.: Seattle just tied it 1-1 in the third inning on a Yuniesky Betancourt sacrifice fly to left. The inning began a lot more promising for the M’s, with a Jamie Burke double and Willie Bloomquist single putting runners at the corners with none out. But Betancourt lined out, getting Burke home, and Ichiro hit into a rare 1-6-3 double-play.
Erik Bedard was a lot more economical in an 11-pitch third. That leaves his pitch count at 55. Remember, he’s only been going 100 or fewer, so it’s looking like another six-inning outing at best.
1:47 p.m.: Erik Bedard got roughed up in a 34-pitch second inning. He’s at 44 on the day and fortunate to only be down 1-0, the run coming when the inning’s first batter, Miguel Cabrera, homered to left field. Bedard gave up two more hits in the inning, but got out of further trouble by striking out the side — two of those K’s coming with the count full. His pitch-count trouble began with Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and an inability to put him away and end the inning with the count 0-2. Rodriguez worked a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off three pitches with the count full, and wound up with a single. Bedard would throw 18 additional pitches in the inning after the count went 0-2 on Pudge. An ace needs to finish.
Six up, six down against Tigers southpaw Kenny Rogers. Even that cameraman in Texas did better off The Gambler a few years ago than the M’s have so far.
The lineups:
TIGERS (43-42)
28 Curtis Granderson CF
14 Placido Polanco 2B
8 Edgar Renteria SS
24 Miguel Cabrera 1B
33 Marcus Thames LF
3 Gary Sheffield DH
7 Ivan Rodriguez C
36 Clete Thomas RF
25 Ryan Raburn 3B
37 Kenny Rogers LHP
MARINERS (33-52)
51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima DH
15 Jamie Burke C
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
42 Erik Bedard LHP



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