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June 11, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles: 06/11 game thread

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We might not even get to see David Aardsma again tonight, with the Mariners leading 6-2 in the seventh after a mammoth 450-foot home run by Russell Branyan to straightaway center — tying for the sixth longest in Camden Yards history. That was followed by an RBI double from Yuniesky Betancourt. Aardsma, you may recall, threw an 8-pitch perfect ninth inning last night in his first outing since it became official that Brandon Morrow will head to Class AAA Tacoma soon and become a starter again.
I asked Aardsma whether anyone from the team had officially told him that he is now the full-time closer. He said that it hadn’t happened, but does not really need it to.
“If they come and say ‘OK, you’re the full-time closer now — it’s a lie’,” Aardsma said. “Because I’m going to be the closer as long as I get the job done. If I go out and blow three or four in a row, I’m not going to be the closer anymore. So, it doesn’t matter whether they tell me or not. I’ve got a job to do and if I keep doing it, they’ll send me out there.”
Aardsma says there is one thing he’s changed his thinking on since taking the job over from Morrow on an interim basis last month.
“I realize now the importance of all those guys who go in ahead of me,” he said of his fellow relievers. “You don’t get a chance to pitch unless they all do their jobs. It makes you have a little more respect for the job I was doing before. Now, you sit in the back of the bullpen and go ‘Wow, I don’t even get to do my job unless they do theirs.’ ”
6:14 p.m.: Seattle has a 4-2 lead after five innings as Garrett Olson settled down after the rain delay and has allowed just two hits the last three frames. Ichiro led off the top of the fifth with a triple to left center, then scored on a Russell Branyan sacrifice fly. The Angels are getting hammered, by the way, while Texas leads Toronto 1-0 in the fifth.
5:36 p.m.: The Mariners sure turned this game around in a hurry, with Ichrio smoking a double over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis on the first pitch after the 27-minute delay. Endy Chavez was already on first base prior to the stoppage and took third on the double. Successive singles by Adrian Beltre and Russell Branyan tied the game. And then, a good call at first base by umpire Fieldin Culbreth, wiping out a 3-6-1 double-play try, lets Jose Lopez come up and hit a sacrifice fly to give Seattle a 3-2 lead.
Let’s see how Garrett Olson responds. He’s at 56 pitches through two innings and hasn’t thrown a ball in 40 minutes.
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5:03 p.m.: A mass exodus is underway here in the stands as the skies opened up, just as they threatened to do all of last night. It’s a 2-0 game, O’s in the lead in the third inning. The way Garrett Olson is pitching, if you’re the M’s, you probably welcome a rainout here.
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Then again, if the drops could hold up long enough, they could get pitcher Koji Uehara out of the game and maybe do something at the plate.
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Garrett Olson is pitching like junk so far tonight and trails 2-0 after two innings. He gave up a two-run homer to Luke Scott in the first inning, then walked Gregg Zaun (!) to lead off the second, which is just begging for trouble. He’s been nibbling all game, and almost gave up three home runs in the first inning. Was lucky that two stayed in the park. Oh yeah, he walked the leadoff guy in the first inning as well.
Hius pitch count is up to 56 already, though that’s hardly a surprise, given everything I just wrote.
Give me a few minutes and I’ll think of something nice to say. Well, OK, here’s one. He got out of the second inning without giving up the farm — an accomplishment since the first two guys got on. But he’ll be lucky to get through the fourth inning the way he’s going and this team needs more against a last-place club.
4:15 p.m.: We’ll see Garrett Olson make a start against his former team tonight, pairing up with catcher Guillermo Quiroz in a rare outing for him.
The Mariners got a two-out single from Adrian Beltre in the first inning. But Ken Griffey Jr. went down on strikes.
3:24 p.m.: You can all see from the photo above that tonight’s game might not start on time. The rain has stopped now, but there are still showers in the area. Just below, you can see what it looked like 10 minutes ago.
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Anyhow, I was enjoying the discussion/debate on today’s earlier post very much. Aside from the usual digs at mainstream media, I felt it was a lively discussion about something that is not going away. Blogs are here to stay. And so are bloggers. We have some very reputable bloggers locally who do not throw names around with reckless abandon. And you have other types — your “basement bloggers” that Raul Ibanez was trying to reference — who need a little reigning in.
Nobody is calling for a banishment of blogs. I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy this new form of writing and look at blogs on a daily basis as a source of information. But there are limits. When I talk about “training” I don’t mean everyone should go to journalism school. Many of my colleagues haven’t and I’d worked for two papers professionally before attending one. A good journalism school is great. But those who didn’t go, now working in the pro media, usually have “on-the-job” training where they are supervised by editors and other bosses. They build their body of work slowly, moving from one type of story to something more complex.
Writing a story about steroids and whether or not you can rule out steroids in his case would never be a task given to a raw reporter. Even to a veteran one in most cases. If you were going to tackle an issue like this, it’s probably something a most senior writer, with years of experience at navigating legal and ethical issues, would be given. Even then, there would be a ton of oversight.
And that’s the problem I had here in a nutshell. The oversight was lacking. The ethical discussion beforehand seemed to be lacking. The experience was lacking. This was essentially a one-man show, as many blogs are. And as we move forward, those one-man shows risk setting off more mines as they try to navigate a difficult area — journalism — without much of a track record to fall back on. So, no, this isn’t a call to abolish blogs. It’s a call for more thought, sensitivity and self-policing.
About those Mariners…
Franklin Gutierrez is out after fouling a ball off his knee last night. He had patellar tendinitis in there since back in spring training and apparently hit the exact spot that had been troubling him.
But he is apparently a lot better today. He’ll sit out one more day to rest the leg, then could be ready for the start of the Colorado series tomorrow.
Tonight’s lineups:
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
2B Jose Lopez
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
LF Wladimir Balentien
C Guillermo Quiroz
CF Endy Chavez
LHP Garrett Olson
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
Cf Adam Jones
DH Luke Scott
3B Melvin Mora
LF Nolan Reimold
1B Ty Wigginton
C Gregg Zaun
SS Robert Andino
RHP Koji Uehara



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