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July 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Indians, 7-19

Wow. Ichiro just saved the game with a leaping catch at the wall on Victor Martinez’s drive with a man aboard for the final out. The Mariners win 5-3 as Aardsma nails down his 22nd save. That one was much harder than it looked like it would be, but they got it done and took three out of four from Cleveland, which they needed to do. Now they have to figure out how to win with Garrett Olson on the mound Tuesday. But first, they’ll get a full day off in Detroit tomorrow.
From Jeff Evans:
* Today marks Ichiro’s 13th game with 3 or more hits…193 career games with 3+ hits in 9 seasons since his debut in 2001, 52 more than any other player over that span (Derek Jeter is next with 141)…the last player with that many 3-hit games over a 9-year span was Wade Boggs (193 from 1983-91).
* Ichiro also stole his 20th base in the 9th inning, his 9th consecutive 20+ steal season…becomes first just the 9th player in baseball history (since 1901) to record at least 20 steals in each of the first 9 seasons of a career (first since Chuck Knoblauch):
Ichiro Suzuki 2001 2009
Chuck Knoblauch 1991 1999
Delino DeShields 1990 1998
Vince Coleman 1985 1993
Rickey Henderson 1979 1987
Ozzie Smith 1978 1986
Ron LeFlore 1974 1982
Luis Aparicio 1956 1964
Joe Tinker 1902 1910
UPDATE 12:55 P.M.: Some good stuff that inning as the Mariners take a 4-3 lead, including Rob Johnson working a walk after falling behind 0-2. a sacrifice by Ryan Langerhans to move Gutierrez to third (he singled and stole second), and the sac fly by pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan. Mark Lowe is on the mound in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Garko. This one isn’t going to be easy for Seattle. He just struck out Ben Francisco looking. Francisco is barking at the ump.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M.: More in-game notes from Jeff Evans:
* 3-run first inning gives Seattle 12 runs in the opening frame over the last 11 games…scored only 30 first-inning runs in first 80 games of the season…Mariners are 15-11 when scoring in the first inning.
* Russell Branyan’s HR was his 6th this season off a LHP (25th of his career)…hit 7 HR off lefties in 2002 (with CLE/CIN).
* Erik Bedard has now recorded at least 5 strikeouts in 11 of 14 starts this season.
* Ichiro records his 42nd multi-hit game…Robinson Cano has 2nd-most in AL with 36 (entering today).
Hitting Streaks Extended Today:
Cedeno – 7
Lopez – 7
Johnson – 6
Gutierrez – 5
UPDATE 12:25 P.M. (MIDDLE OF SEVENTH): This just doesn’t have a good feel for the Mariners. They just squandered a leadoff double by Ichiro. Branyan struck out,and after Joe Smith came in to pitch, Lopez swung at the first two pitches, popping up on the second. And then Chris Shelton struck out. End of “rally”. 3-3. (Shawn Kelley is on the mound for the bottom of the seventh).
UPDATE 12:15 P.M. (BOTTOM OF SIXTH): Tony Sipp is replacing Laffey on the mound. Laffey really settled down after that rocky first, blanking the M’s on four hits over the next five innings (with one man thrown out at the plate). Batista narrowly averted disaster in the bottom of the sixth, getting Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out to first with the bases loaded. In a battle of bullpens, you’ve got to figure the M’s have an edge, because Cleveland’s pen has been one of the worst in the majors. And as I type, Ichiro just led off the seventh with a double.
UPDATE 11:48 (BOTTOM OF FIFTH): Bedard is out of the game, Batista in. He seemed to be out of the inning and through five, enough to qualify for the win, getting Victor Martinez to shatter his bat (the fragment nearly hit Bedard). The ball rolled out to Lopez, and right under his glove for an error. I thought it might have some extra spin on it, but it looked like Lopez just didn’t get down on the ball. It was a bad play at a critical time. Grady Sizemore scored to tie the game at 3-all.
UPDATE 11:30 A.M. (BOTTOM OF FOURTH) : I’m not sure who is struggling more right now, Erik Bedard or Tom Watson. He’s still sitting mostly 87, 88 mph on his fastball Hejust struck out Kelly Stoppach looking on an 89 mph fastball to get out of another jam. He’s whiffed five in four innings — three of them called. 3-2 Mariners
UPDATE 11:07 P.M.: Bedard is laboring. Here are some in-game notes supplied by Mariners’ PR man Jeff Evans:
* Ronny Cedeno extended his hitting streak to 7 games…it is the 3rd-longest streak of his career and longest since a career-high 13-game streak Sept. 5-19, 2006 (with Chicago Cubs).
* Russell Branyan snapped a 4-game homerless streak (20 PA) with his first-inning home run (23rd of the season)…one off career-high 24 homers set during 2002 season (with Cleveland/Cincinnati).
* Ichiro singled in the first inning to extend his streak of not going hitless in consecutive games since Aug. 13-15, 2008 (span of 125 games)…has not gone hitless in consecutive calendar days since July 20-21, 2008 (vs. CLE/BOS).
* Franklin Gutierrez has now recorded at least one hit in 25 of his last 27 games…also extended hitting streak to 5 games.
* Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to 7 games.
* Rob Johnson extended his hitting streak to a career-high 6 games.
UPDATE 10:54 P.M.: (BOTTOM OF SECOND): Kelly Stoppach just ended the second on one of the the highest popups you’ll ever see. Rob Johnson staggered under it and hauled it in, a tougher play than it looked. That was a true major-league popup. Bedard’s fastball has been mostly in the 87-89 range, though he did crank one up to 93. I didn’t see what the speed was on Ben Francisco’s two-run homer. 3-2 Mariners.
UPDATE 10:29 P.M. (BOTTOM OF FIRST): A solid 15-pitch, three-up, three-down inning for Bedard, with two strikeouts. HIs breaking stuff is wicked. The golf tournament is in extra innings, I hear. 3-0 Mariners.
UPDATE 10:22 A.M. (TOP OF FIRST): I’m sure Wakamatsu is happy Branyan talked him into starting. His two-run homer was his sixth this season off a left-hander. It was estimated at 426 feet. Chris Shelton, making his first start of the year, crushed a double down the line and scored on Gutierrez’s single. A nice cushion for Bedard to work with. 3-0 Mariners.
I have a hunch the action on this thread won’t pick up until the golf tournament is over.
Mariners (48-43)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Russell Branyan 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Chris Shelton DH
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Rob Johnson C
Ryan Langerhans LF
Chris Woodward 3B
Ronny Cedeno SS
LHP Erik Bedard (5-2, 2.63 ERA)
Indians (36-56)
Grady Sizemore DH
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Victor Martinez 1B
Jhonny Peralta 3B
Ryan Garko LF
Ben Francisco CF
Luis Valbuena 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
LHP Aaron Laffey 3-2, 4.24 ERA)
Chad Fairchild – HP
Jim Joyce – 1B
Doug Eddings – 2B
Dana De Muth – 3B

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