UPDATE 8:38 P.M. (bottom of sixth): Huge two-run, bases loaded double by Chris Woodward gives the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
UPDATE 8:36 P.M. (BOTTOM OF SIXTH): Ryan Langerhans just missed a homer by about a foot on that opposite-field double off the top of the left-field wall. Rob Johnson just got walked intentionally to load the bases for Chris Woodward.
UPDATE 8:22 P.M. (BOTTOM OF FIFTH) : Ichiro delivers a huge two-out hit to give the Mariners an unearned run, and a 2-0 cushion for Washburn. Another key play in the inning was Chris Woodward, with two strikes, breaking his bat on a grounder to first that moved Rob Johnson to third with one out. Ronny Cedeno blew the suicide squeeze, fouling off an 0-1 pitch, then struck out, but Ichiro, on 1-2, grounded a single to right to score Johnson.
UPDATE 8:07 P.M. (MIDDLE OF FIFTH): Washburn is making it look easy. He’s thrown 64 pitches through five, one baserunner — Markakis’s two-out single in the fourth. But, typically, the Mariners have given him one run. Will it be enough? Will it have to be enough?
UPDATE 7:57 P.M. (MIDDLE OF FOURTH): Forget the perfecto, and the no-no. Nick Markakis punched a two-out, two-strike single to left in the fourth. A solid, no-doubt base hit. Aubrey Huff then sent Ryan Langerhans to the track, but he hauled it in for the third out. 1-0 Mariners, 53 pitches through four innings for Washburn.
UPDATE 7:40 P.M. (MIDDLE OF THIRD): Jarrod Washburn puts them down in order again. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m almost positive this would be the first perfect game of Washburn’s career. 1-0 Mariners.
UPDATE 7:33 P.M. (BOTTOM OF SECOND): The Mariners really botched that inning. Franklin Gutierrez led off with a double, but Ryan Langerhans couldn’t advance him on a ground out to the pitcher, and after a walk to Rob Johnson, Gutierrez ill-advisedly tried to steal third and was gunned down by rookie catcher Matt Wieters. I’ve never quite understood the old baseball adage, never make the first or third out at third base. Doesn’t seem to me that making the second out at third is very good, either. 1-0 Mariners.
UPDATE 7:26 P.M. (MIDDLE OF SECOND): Washburn breezed through the second. He’s thrown just 24 pitches in two innings. Brandon Morrow could learn some lessons about pitch economy. P.S.: You don’t realize how much you rely upon the scoreboard until it’s gone.
UPDATE 7:20 P.M., BOTTOM OF FIRST: Russell Branyan just gave a little rebuttal to the All-Star selection people with his 21st homer, on a 3-0 count. 1-0 Mariners.
UPDATE 7:15 P.M.: Impressive 1-2-3 first for Jarrod Washburn, who struck out both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis on off-speed pitches..So far, the scoreboards at Safeco are all out of commission tonight.
I neglected to mention that High Desert’s James McOwen went 1-for-3 against Visalia on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 42 games. High Desert plays Visalia again tonight. This is starting to get very interesting.
Will the Mariners have a letdown after going 5-4 on their rugged road trip against the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox? Don Wakamatsu doesn’t think so, although he admits it’s a danger.
“What we’ve tried to do from day one,” he said, “is say, Today is anothergame, let’s treat it that way. Play the best possible baseball we can.”
Tonight’s opponent, the Orioles, look like they’re on the verge of becoming a factor again, with a ton of promising young players either already here or on the way — but it’s not happening yet. They are 36-46. Tonight’s pitcher, rookie Brad Bergesen, is 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 14 starts and is coming off a strong eight-inning performance against the Red Sox. Though he got no decision in the Orioles’ 11-inning, 6-5 loss, he limited the tough Red Sox lineup to four hits and one run in eighth innings, striking out six. Bergesen started twice against the Mariners in June and went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA (15 innings, two earned runs).f
Former Mariner Adam Jones, named to the All-Star team on Sunday, is in a little bit of a slide. He hit just .229 with one homer and eight RBI in June.
Here’s Wakamatsu’s assessment of the just-completed road trip:
“I was awfully impressed with a lot of things. Just the character of some of the guys on the team. The bullpen had to step up the whole time. I know we had our struggles yesterday, but that’s more of the wear and tear and what they had to do because of some of the outings of the starters, the four-inning start, the five-inning start.
“It’s nice from my standpoint when different guys can contribute every night. That’s what you call a team. To see Langerhans come in and do what he did; Ronny Cedeno had a phenomenal trip, both defensively, and I thought he swung the bat, had a big home run in Boston, a couple other big hits. Rob Johnson had that big offensive day and caught some big games. It just seemed like every night was someone different. Just to go on that road trip, and go 5-4 — that’s what we were looking to do, and we accomplished that. That says a lot in itself.”
Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Aubrey Huff DH
Ty Wiggonton 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Melvin Mora 3B
Matt Wieters C
Robert Andino SS
Brad Bergesen RHP
Russ Branyan 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Ryan Langerhans LF
Rob Johnson C
Chris Woodward 3B
Ronny Cedeno SS
Jarrod Washburn LHP