The Mariners tied it up in the bottom of the eighth as Mike Carp reached second on a single and an error, took third on a Mike Sweeney single, then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Franklin Gutierrez.. That made it 2-2 and, with two out and runners at the corners, Ken Griffey Jr. got another pinch-hit opportunity.
This time, though, he hit it off the end of the bat and sent a fly ball to the lip of the left field warning track before it was hauled in. Mark Lowe on to pitch the ninth. The Texas Rangers have already lost, so the M’s now sit three games out of first place.
3:21 p.m.: The Mariners took a shot at extending Felix Hernandez and his 20-inning scoreless streak, but pushed it one batter too many. With one on and one out, Hernandez was allowed to face one final batter — clean-up man Mark Reynolds — with a lefty in the on-deck circle and southpaw reliever Garrett Olson warmed up and ready.
Reynolds came out hacking and put Hernandez’s second pitch over the center field fence to give Arizona a 2-1 lead in the eighth. It was the 112th pitch by Hernandez. Not a terrible one, but Reynolds got all of it. A shame, too, given the fact Texas is losing to the San Francisco Giants.
The Mariners will have two final turns at-bat to try to do more than they’ve done all day with this pop-gun lineup.
2:24 p.m.: Felix Hernandez just got the run he was looking for and now leads 1-0 as we head to the fifth inning. The Mariners haven’t hit Doug Davis at all, but his pitch count is now up around 70 and that’s good if you’re an M’s fan. Better to get him out of there soon and try to build on this lead. The key to that fourth inning run was a two-out walk drawn by Wladimir Balentien to put two on. Yuniesky Betancourt then bounced a ball through the left side to bring Franklin Gutierrez home from second. That was only the second hit of the day by Seattle. Balentien was thrown out at third to end the inning when the outfield throw was cut off. I don’t like that play. When you have few chances to score, making the final out at third base with two men on is never good. There’s aggressive baserunning and not-so-intelligent baserunning. Getting the runner to third instead of second really makes little difference there.
1:42 p.m.: Chris Woodward, yes him again, bails Felix Hernandez out of a bases-loaded, none out jam in the second. Woodward snared an Eric Byrnes shot up the third base line, stepped on his ad for one out, then threw home to complete the double play. Augie Ojeda (one of my favorite baseball names) then struck out. Hernandez does not have his “A” game going today. Lots of hard hit balls so far. He’s fortunate to still be in a scoreless game.
They are closing the roof. It was 61 degrees at gametime and the rain drops are starting to sputter.
1:33 p.m.: Nice to see some new Mariners who know how to work a count. Case in point, that first inning. They didn’t get a hit, but two Seattle walks drawn by Chris Woodward and Mike Carp helped run the pitch count of Doug Davis (another former Blue Jay for those of you who seem to care about such things) up to 20 after one inning. That’s how you get guys out of the game early.
1:09 p.m.: Happy Father’s Day to all, especially, to my dad, Irving, back in Montreal. Lots of kids in the stands today, hopefully with parents of some sort. We’ll see Felix Hernandez out there on the mound today. The Mariners need something big out of him.
HP – Adrian Johnson
1B – Jim Joyce (crew chief)
2B – Andy Fletcher
3B – Ted Barrett
June 21, 2009 at 3:46 PM