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June 3, 2009 at 9:22 PM

Baltimore Orioles at Mariners: 06/03 game thread

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Giants-Nationals game has been postponned until tomorrow. So, no Randy Johnson win No. 300 tonight.
We head to the ninth inning tied 2-2 largely because Jose Lopez couldn’t get the job done in the eighth after a leadoff bloop single by Ken Griffey Jr. Lopez tried and failed to get a bunt down with pinch-runner Endy Chavez at first base. He then swung away and grounded into a 5-4-3 double-play. Yuniesky Betancourt singled with two out, but Rob Johnson whiffed to end the inning.
David Aardsma now on for the first time since Sunday’s meltdown.
8:43 p.m.: We’re now tied up at 2-2 in the sixth after Chris Jakubauskas came on in relief of Jason Vargas and yielded an RBI double to Luke Scott. Jakubauskas caught a break when, with runners at second and third, catcher Rob Johnson picked lead runner Aubrey Huff off third base to end the inning. So, that’s 5 1/3 innings, two runs allowed for Vargas. The M’s have only four hits tonight and will have to get some offense going. They’ve stranded two more runners at third in the first five innings.
8:08 p.m.: First thing I told Larry Stone, sitting to my left, after that Adrian Beltre error in the fourth and Jason Vargas’s subsequent pitch was “They’d better go settle him down.” Vargas had just missed locating a pitch by about a foot-and-a-half and appeared somewhat rattled by the error. Beltre was attempted a tough 5-3 double-play on a show hopper. But instead of getting the sure out at third, he looked up too fast and bobbled the ball, leaving everybody safe and the bases loaded with one out.
When Vargas missed badly on his first pitch to Matt Wieters, pitching coach Rick Adair and catcher Rob Johnson sprinted out to the mound to calm him down. It seemed to work, as Vargas got an inning-ending 6-4-3 double-play on the next pitch. So, it’s still 2-1 for the Mariners.
Ichiro has his hitting streak up to 27 games after a single to right in the third inning. With two out, Adrian Beltre homered to left field to give Seattle a 2-1 lead. This is why you don’t give up on teams on June 3. Beltre is now hitting like the guy everyone expected to have in the lineup. And now that he’s doing it, the M’s are scoring some runs. When they score, they usually win.
7:42 p.m.: Jason Vargas gave up a home run that counted this time, a no-doubt drive into the bleachers in right center by Luke Scott. So, the O’s have a 1-0 lead. The Mariners went 1-2-3 a little too quickly for my taste in the bottom of the second. They have to avoid these ruts where they’ll be set down eight or 10 guys in a row. They’re now at five straight since Adrian Beltre’s double.
7:31 p.m.: An interesting first inning, as Aubrey Huff appeared to take Jason Vargas deep for a two-run homer to right. The umpire on the field ruled it a homer. But the Mariners complained they thought it was a foul ball. After conferencing, the umpires overuled the initial decision and did indeed call it foul. That brought O’s manager Dave Trembley out to argue and — after another conference — the umps went to video replay.
Not sure why they didn’t do that to begin with. The two replays I saw appeared to show the ball going fair. I looked for the ball to break the yellow plane of the foul pole, which it would have if it cut across it to the right and went foul. Never saw that on either replay. But the umps ruled in foul in any event. Maybe they had a better angle. So, it’s still scoreless after one.
Ichiro grounded out in his first at-bat. And then, the M’s did it again. With runners on second and third and only one out after an Adrian Beltre double to left, Ken Griffey Jr. popped out to shallow center. Jose Lopez then grounded out and another promising scoring chance goes splat.
By the way, for those of you wondering how I could miss my laptop not being in my computer bag, it’s a rather big bag. With lots of blog-related techno gadgets and wires of all sorts.
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7:13 p.m.: Let’s see what Ichiro can do with that 26-game hitting streak tonight. And whether Jason Vargas, sporting a 1.65 ERA heading into his fifth start, can get some run support and keep riding that wave he’s been on.



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