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Mariners blog

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

May 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Game thread, May 17

Bottom of 9th: Mariners win on Franklin Gutierrez’s single through the infield to left field, winning 3-2.
Bottom of 8th: Ken Griffey fouled off three pitches in a nine-pitch at-bat before singling to right-center field. Weird to see Griffey replaced by a pinch runner. Weirder still that pinch-runner — Endy Chavez — wasn’t moving until the full-count pitch to Adrian Beltre who popped out to shortstop. Hey, at least it wasn’t a a strikeout — which Beltre’s done twice this game — or a double play, which is what he hit into his last time at the plate.

Russell Branyan hit a 2-1 pitch high and deep to left field. Just not quite deep enough as J.D. Drew reached up and caught the ball before it hit the yellow stripe at the top of the wall.
Top of 8th: Mark Lowe struck out the side in the eighth, and his fastball was timed at 98 mph on the second batter he faced.
Top of 8th: Mark Lowe replaced Sean White and struck out the first batter he faced. Kenji Johjima replaced Rob Johnson at catcher. He suffered a bruised index and middle finger on his right hand. X-rays were negative. That shows that he was hit in the hand by the ball on his attempted bunt. If he was holding the bat on his bunt attempt, his hand is considered part of the bat.
Weird end to the bottom of 6th: Wladimir Balentien reached first base on an error. Rob Johnson laid down a bunt with one out. Johnson reacted almost as if the ball hit him after bunting it, but jogged toward first base. He was thrown out. Balentien then left second base, apparently thinking it was a foul ball. Nope. The ball was thrown to second and Balentien was tagged out.
Top of 6th: Jason Vargas was relievved by Sean White with one out in the sixth inning. Vargas threw 98 pitches, 25 more than he threw in his first start of the season for Seattle. He is responsible for two runners on base.
White got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play, the second time in two
Bottom of 5th: Ichiro singled to lead off an inning for the second time in the game. Last time, No. 2 hitter Franklin Gutierrez bunted him over to second base.

This time, Gutierrez swings away, hitting a single between the third baseman and the shortstop. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a high-arcing, deep fly ball that didn’t quite make it to the warning track for the first out of the inning.

Adrian Beltre didn’t strikeout this inning like he did his previous two at-bats. He actually did something worse, hitting a ground ball to the shortstop for an easy, inning-ending double play. That was the second time this game Beltre left Ichiro at third base.
Top of 5th: Denny Stark is now throwing in the bullpen. Jason Vargas threw 73 pitches in his first start of the season. He’s currently at 76. If basketball announjcer Bill Raftery were calling this game, he would have exclaimed, “Onions” when Vargas got Mike Lowell to ground into an inning-ending double play. Vargas left the bases loaded for the second time in five innings.
Top of 5th: Jason Vargas has throw 70 pitches, and Boston has the bases loaded with its No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 hitters coming up and no outs. The bullpen is stirring, but none of those pitchers have began throwing yet.
Bottom 4th: Yuniesky Betancourt was credited with his second hit of the game, an infield single that Mike Lowell couldn’t quite stop.
Top of 4th: J.D. Drew crushing a homer to right field like he did is bad enough. What made it worse is that game-tying home run came on a 2-0 pitch, a situation when a pitcher has dug himself a hole and gives the hitter an opportunity to look for a pitch. Drew apparently saw exactly what he was looking for because the ball was crushed.

Bottom of 2nd: The Mariners tried the small-ball approach in the first inning and failed to score a run. Russell Branyan took a long-ball approach to the second inning, tying the game when he hit the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall.

Patience at the plate for Yuniesky Betancourt? Sure. Maybe a little. Manager Don Wakamatsu is workiung to make Betancourt a more selective hitter, and he took the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the second. The second pitch he lined into the gap in left-center field. Patience on the basepaths for Betancourt, is a whole other thing, and he dug for second and would have been out had the throw from centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury been close to the bag. It wasn’t and Betancourt was safe.
Ronny Cedeno tripled off the wall in left-center field, scoring Betancourt.
Top of 2nd: Boston hit three singles in the inning — one of them an infield hit — and yet managed to load the bases twice. All the runs were unearned coming because Yuniesky Betancourt was charged with a throwing error on Rocco Baldelli’s ground ball, which Betancourt tossed wide of second base.

Jason Vargas threw 29 pitches in the second inning after throwing just seven in the first. He faced seven batters in the inning and was fortunate to give up only one run.
Bottom of 1st: The good news: The Mariners’ No. 3 and No. 4 hitters came to the plate with a runner in scoring position. The bad news: Those No. 3 and No. 4 hitters have been among the Mariners’ least-productive bats so far this season. Ken Griffey Jr. and Adrian Beltre have 22 RBIs between them, a little more than half of what Boston’s No. 3 hitter Jason Bay has all by himself.
Griffey grounded out to second base and Beltre struck out to end the inning, leaving Ichiro at third base.
Top of 1st: Manager Don Wakamatsu said before the game the hope was starting pitcher Jason Vargas would be able to get deep into the game and spell relief for an overworked bullpen. Well, Vargas threw only seven pitches the first inning, five were strikes and he didn’t allow a base-runner.

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