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July 1, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees: 07/01 game thread

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OK, so the Mariners have the New York Yankees right where they want them, falling behind 4-2 in the sixth on that Alex Rodriguez home run to center field. Cue the light brigade, accent on “light” with these hitters. Seriously, though, the Mariners need to get into slugging mode in a hurry. They’ve got some lefty pull hitters who need to get the ball in the air to right field. This has become a bit of a slugfest the last few innings. Seattle seems to wake up when it falls behind, so, no time like the present.
By the way, had a brief chat with Jose Lopez before the game, the first time I’ve really talked to him since his sister’s death. He seemed upbeat, patted my shoulder and told me: “Nine more, that’s all I need. Nine more and I’ll be happy.”
Nine more what?
RBI it rurns out. He has 46. If he hits nine more by the All-Star break, he’ll be at 55 and figures he’ll have a shot at notching 100 with room to spare by season’s end.

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5:42 p.m.: The Mariners really needed Ken Griffey Jr. to start showing up for this series at the plate. None of Seattle’s big bats had made any home run noise until Griffey launched one into the right field wind tunnel in the sixth inning to tie this game up 2-2. Now, if only Russell Branyan can get one in the air to right field, the M’s might have a chance at this thing. Ichiro could try to as well.
Heck, even Balencourt, or Betantien, whatever his name is, could pull off the feat if he could actually get wood on a ball the opposite way like he used to a couple of months back. Maybe Ryan Langerhans will pinch-hit in the ninth and loft one?
Anyhow, somebody missed a sing, or forgot the count, or something on that Franklin Gutierrez caught stealing “attempt” to end the inning. Gutierrez looked like he was running at half-speed on the play. I also have to say, those last four hits by Gutierrez — who I really like as a player — are some of the cheapest four straight you’ll ever see. Two bloopers last night, then two balls off gloves tonight.
5:28 p.m.: Still a bit confused by the instant replay review of that Melky Cabrera solo homer in the fifth, giving New York a 2-1 lead. A couple of replays I saw made it look as if the ball had certainly gone foul. Another made it look like a home run. The ball seemed to travel over the pole itself, which might account for the confusion.
Jarrod Washburn immediately argued, the umps convened, but the home run call stands and New York has the lead again.
5:13 p.m.: Jose Lopez led off the fourth inning with a double and his heads-up baserunning — tagging up on a flyball to center by Ken Griffey Jr. — helped set up the game-tying run. With runners at the corners and one out, Wladimir Balencourt…er, make that Balentien…nearly grounded into a rally-killing 3-6-3 double-play. But a bobble by first baseman Mark Teixeira gave Betantien…er, Balentien…just enough time to barely beat the return throw. That and the fact that Teixeira took his foot off the bag.
Balencourt…er, oh whatever…promptly got picked off first base to end the inning.
But Lopez scores the equalizer, Jarrod Washburn gets through a perfect bottom of the inning, and it’s now 1-1 as we head to the fifth.
4:58 p.m.: Had just finished tweeting that Jarrod Washburn should really avoid giving up fly balls into that right field wind tunnel. Was astonished at how far Derek Jeter’s fly ball out actually carried in that wind. Something like an extra 20 feet. Next batter up, Johnny Damon, hits a solo home run to right field. Not exactly a rocket, but the way it shot into that jetstream, you knew it was out right away.
Make it 1-0 for the Yankees after three innings.
The Mariners had an early chance in that second inning but made it entirely too easy for Andy Pettitte in the third. Need some better at-bats.
4:37 p.m.: A promising rally went nowhere for the Mariners in the second inning after Ken Griffey Jr. and Franklin Gutierrez reached on singles. Wladimir Balentien came up next and was called out on a rather wide and liberal looking strike zone by plate umpire Dale Scott (the guy who blew the call at first base last night).
Chris Woodward flied out to right and Rob Johnson grounded into a fielder’s choice.
4:12 p.m.: And a Happy Canada Day to all of you, especially Erik Bedard. Was hoping to hook up with regular commenter Frankie on a Ledge in NY but that’s always tough to do right up near game time. I shot the photo above in the section of seats he is supposed to be sitting in tonight. Told him to use my name and he’d get a great vantage point. Looks like a ledge, in any case.
The Mariners went 1-2-3 in the top half of the first.
The lineups:
Mariners (39-37)
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Franklin Gutierrez
LF Wladimir Balentien
3B Chris Woodward
C Rob Johnson
SS Ronny Cedeno
LHP Jarrod Washburn
YANKEES (44-32)
SS Derek Jeter
LF Johnny Damon
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Alex Rodriguez
C Jorge Posada
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
CF Melky Cabrera
3B Cody Ransom
LHP Andy Pettitte

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