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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

September 19, 2008 at 10:34 PM

Nine in a row

Another game, another loss by the Mariners. This one 2-0 to the Oakland A’s on a night Seattle stranded 11 baserunners, eight of them in the first five innings.
How fitting that the game ended with the bases loaded and Yuniesky Betancourt grounding into a fielder’s choice force out at second. An error had given the M’s the extra chance, but they could not take advantage of it. It takes a little luck to run a scoreless innings streak to 26 — the third biggest drought in team history. And this night was no exception as, with two on and two out in the fifth inning, Jose Lopez scorched a ball that A’s starting pitcher Dana Eveland stuck his glove at and somehow caught.
That’s the way it goes when your team is woeful and has had trouble scoring all year.
Yes, the M’s now own the record for the worst season by a team with a $100 million payroll. The 2002 New York Mets were 67-95. These M’s now have 96 losses.
Felix Hernandez has now come away with a loss or no-decision in 10 games this season in which he’s held opponents to two earned runs or fewer. His team has been shutout four times with him on the mound.
This is the second time this year the M’s have been shutout in back-to-back games. The last time that’s happened twice in a season? Try 1992.
“We keep putting hits out there, we just can’t get the RBI,” said Mariners manager Jim Riggleman, whose team has the third most hits in the American League since the All-Star Break but is only 13th in runs scored over that stretch. “We’ve just had a heck of a time driving in runs.”
For Hernandez, not much else to do but shake his head. Of all the four-seam fastballs he threw tonight, the only one that didn’t cut was the one Travis Buck hit over the fence for the game’s decisive run. Instead, the ball went straight down the middle.
“It’s been pretty rough,” Hernandez said. “But what are you going to do? You can’t do anything about that. We’re going to score another run at some point.”
Been rough going for Hernandez on the MLB2K front as well. Seattle had a 4-1 lead at one point, but the A’s scored four off Hernandez in the third inning, then two more off him in the fourth on solo homers by Sean Casey and the second of the game by Preston Wilson.
To add insult to injury, Jose Vizcaiano came up in the sixth and added this solo blast to make it 8-4. Guess Hernandez didn’t have any better luck with straight fastballs in the cyberworld tonight either.
In the sixth, the A’s notched a couple of singles, then saw Jimmy Rollins go deep for a three-run shot that put the game out of reach. Hernandez left at that point, Scott Schoenewies held down the fort the rest of the way for Seattle, but the M’s mustered just one more run in the ninth to take an 11-5 loss.
Seattle saw its record fall to 87-66 and leads second-place Texas by just a game in the AL West. By the way, the M’s and Rangers play a three-game series at Safeco Field to end the MLB2K regular season.
The real world? You don’t want to know any more.



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