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May 26, 2009 at 9:21 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 05/26 game thread

Oh man, where to begin? The A’s just took a 4-3 lead,scoring four runs in the inning, all of them charged to Miguel Batista. Let’s start with all the walks. Two by Batista, coupled with two singles that got Oakland on the board.
Batista was pulled at that point, but, with Jack Cust and potentially Jason Giambi due up, the lack of a knock-out situational lefty in the Mariners ‘pen came back to haunt. Mark Lowe got Cust on a a pop-out to center with the bases juiced for the second out. But then, the most critical walk of the inning, a four-pitch free pass to Matt Holliday, scored the second Oakland run.
Even worse, it brought Giambi to the plate and he lined the first pitch into center field for a two-run single. He can hit 98 mph fastballs, apparently.
Want a bit of a feel for nearby San Francisco? I shot some video this afternoon on my walk from my hotel down to Chinatown for lunch. I actually filed the Quiroz call-up blog post from the restaurant on my laptop. You won’t see that here, just about 90 seconds worth of the walk down.

8:58 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn shut the A’s down over six innings and Ichiro’s clutch single in the seventh has given the Mariners a 3-0 lead. His single to left also extended his hitting streak to 20 games
8:28 p.m.: Some heads-up baserunning by Ichiro going from first to third on that two-out bloop single to left center by Yuniesky Betancourt. Ichiro did not allow himsefl to be fooled by the deke attempt from left fielder Matt Holliday and kept running hard. But Adrian Beltre grounded out to end the inning and keep it a 2-0 game.
The fifth is where Jarrod Washburn has had trouble all year. Let’s see how he does.
8:14 p.m.: Somebody complained that I hadn’t griped about something Yuniesky Betancourt had done wrong tonight. Well, you usually have to wait an inning or two, and, low and behold, the wandering Yuni nearly collides with left fielder Wladimir Balentien in the third on a pop fly about halfway to the fence. Balentien called Betancourt off repeatedly, to no avail, and wisely pulled up and let the shortstop take it at the last moment — avoiding potential injury to both players.
OK, how’s that? That’s it. Nothing else to say yet. This offense is back to its usual tricks after that first inning. Dallas Braden has retired 11 of the last 12 batters. Not the time to be sitting on a 2-0 lead. Jarrod Washburn has thrown 65 pitches through three innings and has to cut down a bit here in the fourth.
7:51 p.m.: Mike Sweeney is out of the game with lower back spasms, suffered when he slid into second base. Ken Griffey Jr. is on-deck to pinch-hit.
7:35 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn just threw 28 pitches in the first inning, but survived a bases-loaded, one out situation primarily because he owns Jason Giambi. The big man came to bat with the bases juiced, holding a dubious 8-for-42 (.190) career mark at the plate against Washburn. And the lefty had Giambi flailing away, getting him to whiff badly at a 2-2 pitch. Washburn then ended the threat with a groundout by his former World Series teammate, Adam Kennedy, from back in 2002 with the Angels.
So, it’s still 2-0.
By the way, they just had one of those interview women roaming the crowd here doing PR fluff on the giant scoreboard. She interviewed a female fan and asked her why she had come out to see the A’s.
“I had nothing better to do on a Tuesday night,” she replied.
A’s baseball. Catch the fever….please, anybody, catch it.
7:25 p.m.: A good start by the Mariners, who lead 2-0 after a half-inning, but it could have been better. Mike Sweeney was held up at third (falling down does that to you) on that RBI single to right by Russell Branyan that gave Seattle a second run. Jose Lopez then grounded into a double play for the 10th time already this season.
7:10 p.m.: To get a two-game winning streak going, first you have to make it one in a row. The Mariners will try to tackle that tonight, then shoot for the consecutive victories tomorrow afternoon.
Nomar Garciaparra was initially in the A’s lineup but has again been scratched.
The lineups:
RF Ichiro
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Mike Sweeney
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
LF Wladimir Balentien
C Rob Johnson
CF Franklin Gutierrez
LHP Jarrod Washburn
SS Orlando Cabrera
C Kurt Suzuki
RF Jack Cust
LF Matt Holliday
DH Jason Giambi
2B Adam Kennedy
1B Bobby Crosby
CF Rajai Davis
3B Jack Hannahan
LHP Dallas Braden



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