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May 22, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Mariners-Giants game thread

IT’S OVER — Mariners win 2-1 on Jose Lopez’s single off the wall with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th. More later.
NO HARM, NO FOUL — Two on for the Giants, but fitting in this game, no runs scored and we’re to the bottom of the 12th still tied at 1-1. Another Betancourt error brought out some boos, and it looked like a sloppy play on his part. But luckily Seattle is facing the one offense that so far, anyway, is worse than its own.
AND IT JUST CONTINUES, REDUX — Onto the 12th in a 1-1 tie and if you believe in percentages, the Giants are way overdue with just two hits in the game and none since there was one out in the fourth inning. Seattle’s bullpen has obviously not allowed a hit in four innings since starter Jason Vargas left after seven. Seattle’s offense is now hamstrung by not having Sweeney or Griffey available with Chavez at DH.
IT JUST CONTINUES — Three up and three down for the Mariners and we go to the 11th, though a lot of fans are not as there is a mad rush to the exits now.
GIANTS MORE PUNCHLESS THAN M’S — SF now has gone six innings without a hit and has just two in the game giving Seattle chance after chance to win this game. It’s still 1-1 going to the bottom of the 10th. Seattle has left two or more runners on base in four of the last five innings.
OH SO CLOSE — Wow, that was almost really memorable. Instead, Griffey’s deep fly to right-center merely sends this one to extra innings tied 1-1. It’s the fifth extra inning game of the season for the Mariners.
There was definite elictricity here when Griffey came up to bat, and when that ball left his bat, there was an expectant cheer that he had provided maybe the best memory yet of his Mariner return. Instead, Seattle has more work to do now to get the win here.
BELTRE BREAKING OUT? — He now has four hits in the last two games after an 0-23 slump and has Seattle threatening here in the ninth with a one-out single.
TIED TO THE NINTH — It remains tied at 1-1 heading to the ninth and the good news for the Mariners is that the Giants offense has been more feeble than Seattle’s except for one hit — the homer by Rowand to lead off the game. Lowe will remain in the game and face 9-1-2 in the Giants order, Burris, Rowand and Renteria.
MS BLOW ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY — Beltre got to third thanks to some shoddy Giants fielding. But more punchless M’s offense left him stranded there and it remains 1-1 heading to the eighth. Mark Lowe is now on for the M’s to replace Jason Vargas, who turned in another solid performance allowing one run and just two hits in seven innings — the run coming on the leadoff homer.
Vargas has now allowed three earned runs in 17.1 innings of his three starts this season. But he won’t win any of them, leaving behind or tied in the other two and tied again tonight.
THE LINE ON JOHNSON — Officially, he allowed six hits, one earned run and one walk, while striking out seven, in 5.1 innings. He threw 115 pitches officially, 70 of which were strikes.
GIANTS HOLD IT TO A TIE — Amazing play by Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval to leave the game tied at 1-1 as we head to the top of the seventh. Mariners still do not have an extra base hit since the first inning Wednesday, a double by Ichiro.
JOHNSON DONE AFTER 115 PITCHES — The Big Unit won’t get win 299. He leaves with the bases loaded and one out and the score tied at 1-1 as the Mariners have used small ball to tie the game.
Johnson walked off the field at 9:07 p.m. As he neared the third-base line and the crowd began to applaud, he turned and tipped his cap heartily, turning the crowd even louder. He held his cap high for a good five seconds or so before heading into the dugout, possibly having pitched his final game in Seattle.
ATTENDANCE TONIGHT — Is 38,520. Another non-sellout of a game that a few years ago you think would definitely have been standing-room only. Economy, probably, though losing surely isn’t helping, either.
SWEENEY DOESN’T MAKE DECISION LOOK ALL THAT GOOD — Have to think that was the at-bat Wakamatsu had in mind when he decided to play Mike Sweeney tonight instead of Griffey, with two on and two out in the bottom of the fifth. But Sweeney went down on three straight strikes, flailing at an 88-MPH slider for strike three. I’m sure some of you are thinking that wasn’t worth not seeing Griffey facing Johnson for what might have been the last time the two iconic Mariners would have the chance to be on the field together.
STILL 1-0 AFTER FOUR — Johnson isn’t exactly pitching like it’s 1995, pretty much topping out at 94 MPH and needing 66 pitches to get through four innings. But at the moment it’s enough to flummox the Mariners as the Giants continue to lead 1-0. Seattle has just two hits, both singles, only one out of the infield. Jason Vargas is pitching well for the Mariners but also has 62 through four and Seattle will almost certainly have to dip into the pen, as well.
NO LINCECUM THIS WEEKEND — This is also the first return to Seattle as a Major Leaguer for Bellevue native and former UW star Tim Lincecum. But he won’t pitch here after starting Thursday at San Diego. Lincecum said “it would have been awesome” to pitch at Safeco but that he will now have to enjoy the trip in a different way.
He met the media briefly before the game, but the attention-shy pitcher said one of his goals for this weekend was “avoiding this,” meaning the crush of media.
He talked a little bit about playing with Johnson and watching him as a youth. And when asked his favorite memories, he said “the mullet and the fastball.” Asked if it was in that order, he said “the 100 mile fastball” would be first.
He was also asked if he still thought about how he could have ended up a Mariner if things had worked out differently in the draft a few years ago and he said “not anymore.” He said he was happy at the time to be going to the Giants and still is.
By the way, it’s 1-0 at the end of three as Seattle’s scoreless streak is now 19 innings.
BRIEF DIGRESSION — Am I the only one who sees the last two batters in the Giants lineup — Fred Lewis and Emmannuel Burris — and keeps thinking of this guy?
STILL 1-0 AFTER TWO — Mariners have now gone 18 innings without scoring, last tallying a run in the first inning against the Angels Wednesday night. Seattle won that game 1-0, lost last night 3-0 and is now down 1-0 to the Giants.
UNIT GETS THROUGH FIRST UNSCATHED — Mariners manage only a walk off Johnson, via Adrian Beltre. But he got two flyouts to right (Ichiro and Sweeney) and struck out Balentien to end the inning on an 85-MPH slider.
JOHNSON LIKES SAFECO — This is the fourth start for Johnson at Safeco. He is 2-1 here with a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings, giving 18 hits. He also started the 1001 All-Star game here for the NL, pitching two scoreless innings.
GIANTS START FAST — Aaron Rowand has given the Giants a 1-0 lead with a leadoff homer off of Jason Vargas. But Vargas settled down to get the next three and it’s on to the bottom of the first and the Big Unit.
ON THE MONEY — The first pitch was just thrown out by new Seattle U. basketball coach Cameron Dollar. But while he’s posing for a picture, the crowd begins to stand and break into an ovation — because Randy Johnson is walking in from the bullpen.

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