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March 6, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Happy Friday from Phoenix Municipal

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Just wolfed down a Rubio’s shrimp mesquite burrito and a Dr. Pepper, now it’s time to play ball. Here I go with a game thread. First pitch 1:07 p.m., 70 degrees. Leading off for Seattle is Franklin Gutierrez.
TOP 1st
One out, Betancourt with a hot smash (that’s what Harry Caray used to call them on WGN) down the third base line, he slides in with a double. But the M’s waste it, even though Chris Shelton provided a little fireworks when he lost control of the bat and it flew off the screen behind home plate.
BOT 1st
Leadoff single for Rajai Davis of Oakland off Washburn. The Kurt Suzuki sounded like he broke his bat but muscles a bloop single (a “flair” as Vin Scully likes to say) in front of LaHair in right-center. It gets worse. Matt Holliday rips a base hit under Mike Morse’s glove at third, and Davis scores. Then Washburn drills Jason Giambi in the forearm, it just bounces off his arm like a rubber ball and the bases are loaded, no out, one run in.
Sac fly for Eric Chavez makes it 2-0 A’s. Inning ends thanks to a diving catch by Gutierrez to rob Bobby Crosby of a hit and RBI.
TOP 2
Diving catch by Rajai Davis to take a hit away from LaHair. Three up, three down.
BOT 2
A’s are hitting the ball hard vs. Washburn. Only one hit was a blooper, the others well stung as Joe Dillon rips a base hit to left to lead off. One out later, Davis bloops a double down just inside the right field line. Then Suzuki grounds one under Ronny Cedeño’s glove for a single and an RBI, and it’s 3-0 Oakland. Hard single bounced up the middle for another RBI by Holliday, and it’s 4-nil. Washburn gets a visit from Rick Adair, the pitching coach.
Washburn is imploding as he just hit Giambi with a pitch. He kicks at the air in frustration. Don Wakamatsu comes out with the hook, and Washburn’s afternoon is over. Eric Hull is in the game to pitch.
Hull gets a flyout, no run scored, bases loaded with two out. With Chavez up there, catcher Rob Johnson picks off Holliday at second. Inning over.
FINAL LINE ON WASHBURN: 1 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs all earned, 2 hit batters. Yikes.
Went downstairs to the clubhouse to hear from Washburn. He sort of laughed off his performance and said he got tired near the end.
“Well, I got my work in,” he said. “I don’t think it was really as bad as it looked.”
I asked Washburn if he knew how many pitches he threw. “Too many,” was his response.
He hit Giambi twice but said he didn’t expect retaliation because he and Giambi get along.
BOT 3
Two-out hustling double for Davis makes it 5-0 Oakland. Then Betancourt makes a good play in the hole to take a hit from Suzuki, and is able to throw across his body to get the third out.
BOT 4
The crowd here is in an uproar after Giambi just got plunked by M’s reliever David Aardsma, who is in the game. The umpire came out to talk to Aardsma and I think he issued a warning to the Oakland dugout. That’s three times Giambi has been hit today, and no retaliation as yet from the A’s.
Inning over when Morse stabs the line drive off Crosby’s bat.
TOP 5
Back to back hits for M’s, Cedeño and Redman. Then a base hit to left for Rob Johnson, Cedeño scores but Redman is caught off second and is thrown out by the left fielder trying to slide back in. One out. And then another base-running boo-boo as Seattle runs itself out of the inning. Johnson is picked off of second, 1-5-4. And Gutierrez fans. End of inning.
5-1 Oakland.
BOT 6
The subs have trickled into the game, and one is Matt Tuiasosopo at 3B for Seattle. He just pulled new first baseman Mike Carp off the bag with a throw for an error. Then new RF Redman falls down after making a catch. It’s 6-1 Oakland on the sac fly. Now pitching for Seattle, Justin Thomas. No outs. Broken bat sac fly, 7-1.
BOT 7
A base hit up the line that Tui can’t get out of his hand to make the throw to first, and another run in for the A’s. No error on the play, it was like a swinging bunt. 8-1. The red rocks beyond the outfield fence look inviting for a hike…hmmm….nope, can’t leave. Work to be done. Nice crowd out here, 4,430.
It’s not over. Three runs score on a double that clears the bases, and it’s 11-1. Fans starting to head for the exits. This is about to be Seattle’s worst loss of the spring to date, and if the M’s don’t score any more runs, it will be their lowest offensive output of the spring. I probably spoke to soon but what the heck.
Bot 8
FYI I will be heading down to the field to hear skipper Don Wakamatsu’s take on this debacle after this inning. I say that just as another A rips a double. Fifteen hits for Oakland. Now up is for Oakland is former Mariner farmhand Yung-Chi Chen.
TOP 9
12-1 is the score as the Mariners are down to their final at-bats. There’s some cool throwback jerseys in the crowd, a Reggie Jackson and a Rollie Fingers and a Vida Blue. All yellow.
FINAL – 12-1 Oakland over Mariners. Matt Tuiasosopo doubled in the top of the 9th. He’s now 8-for-15 (.533) this spring including three doubles.

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