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April 16, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Wrapping up the Mariners’ loss

Don Wakamatsu said that to him, the game came down to two pivotal moments — Roy Corcoran’s 0-2 pitch that he left up to Mike Napoli in the sixth, and Wlad Balentien’s strikeout with the bases loaded in the fourth.
It’s hard to argue. However, one moment that might get lost is when Rob Johnson snapped a throw to first to try to pick off Chone Figgins in the sixth. It looked like he had a chance to get him, but first baseman Russ Branyan was not in great position to make the tag,and Figgins made it back safely. If Chris Jakubauskas gets that out, who knows how the inning would have gone,.
Here’s some Ichiro quotes on breaking the Japan hits record:
“Mr. Harimoto in 1995 – 14 years ago – told me that the only guy that can beat me is you,” Ichiro recalled. “For him to say that to a player who had only been around one year is amazing. I’m sure I was the only one he said it to. He didn’t say it to everyone. That vision he had is amazing.”
His reaction at the time to Harimoto’s bold declaration? “I thought, ‘What’s this crazy man saying?'”
Ichiro noted that Harimoto was planning to go back to Japan on Friday.
“If I didn’t get the record, I was worried what he would do with his plane ticket, so I had that kind of pressure, too,” he said.
Ichiro expressed “my thankfulness” to Harimoto for traveling to Seattle, and his “respect” for the mark that he wound up eclipsing.
Jakubauskas, making his first major-league start at age 30, said he felt no nerves in the game.
“I was more excited – OK, here’s my first start against the team I’ve been watching my whole life.”
Jakubauskas’s parents, Russ and Sue, were in the crowd at Safeco Field, wearing their No. 41 “Jakubauskas” jerseys, of course. Sue’s an Angels’ fan, Russ a Dodgers’ fan (“but I don’t hold that against him,” Chris said, smiling. “It was a house divided.”
Jakubauskas received a standing ovation when he left the game, as had Ichiro earlier.
“That’s my first one,” he said, smiling. “Ichiro’s been doing that a long time. It’s his stage, his city. I’ll step back for him any time.”
One more thing: There seems to be a lot of sentiment that Jakubauskas shouldn’t have been charged with the second run in the sixth inning, and thus the loss. However, as explained to me by official scorer Eric Radovich, when there’s a fielder’s choice, the runner that replaces the runner that was thrown out remains the responsibility of the original pitcher. It makes sense, if you think about it.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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