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July 24, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners: 07/24 game thread

Seven innings into this game and the Mariners are in huge trouble. They trail 4-0 after Ryan Rowland-Smith gave up a two-run homer to Travis Hafner and a solo shot to Ben Francisco in the seventh.
The Mariners have not had a hit since the second inning.
On the out-of-town scoreboard, the Angels are winning (again), the Rangers have already won and so have the Red Sox. It could be 6 1/2 out in the division and 5 1/2 back in the wild-card race if Seattle doesn’t figure out how to hit a ball when it matters. Then again, we’ve been saying that for months and the team has done little to bolster its attack.
Shawn Kelley is now in the game.

8:38 p.m.: The good news is that Ryan Rowland-Smith needed only 74 pitches to get through the first six innings. The bad news is, the Mariners can’t do anything on offense and trail 1-0 as we head to the seventh,
Two runs yesterday, two on Wednesday and none tonight. That won’t do for a team that’s supposed to be contending. Seattle needs to get a bat — a .300-type — if it wants to stay in this race beyond July 31. You can’t mess around with games like these tonight the way the M’s have.
7:59 p.m.: That’s three double plays in three innings grounded into by the Mariners, who trail 1-0 as we head to the fourth inning. Russell Branyan drew a one-out walk in the third inning (the third given up tonight by Aaron Laffey) but Jose Lopez grounded into a 4-6-3 twin-killing and this offense continues (yawn!) to scuffle.
Ichiro made a fantastic play on a fly ball down the right field line in foul territory in the third. He had to leave his feet and then slammed into the wall from his side and toppled to the ground. But he held on to the ball. That’s called taking one for the team.
Good to see Maui Mariner back posting some comments. Have fun at the luau. The photo below is for you. Not on your island, mind you, but close enough. Took it last week.
indians0724 033.jpg
7:38 p.m.: Ryan Rowland-Smith lost a battle of the Ryans with namesake Ryan Garko in the second inning and now trails 1-0. Garko nearly tagged RRS for a two-run homer that sailed just foul, then doubled to the gap in left center to put runners at second and third with one out. A walk to Jamey Carroll loaded the bases and Ben Francisco delivered the run with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Mariners had two singles and two walks in the first inning, yet somehow managed not to score. One of the singles, by Ichiro, was erased on a double-play. Jose Lopez then singled with two out and Chris Shelton and Franklin Gutierrez both walked off Aaron Laffey to load the bases. But Ryan Langerhans grounded out.
Seattle has scored just four runs the past two games. The Mariners need to start capitalizing on these situations, especially against a team with the worst record in the American League.
indians0724 227.jpg
Gutierrez, as you can see in the photo, was up here with me watching himself draw the walk down on the field. Very strange.
7:10 p.m.: It’s 70 degrees at first pitch as Ryan Rowland-Smith makes his home debut and his first appearance since April. The Mariners are playing their first home game since the All-Star Break and really can’t afford to let up at all.
indians0724 221.jpg
Now, here’s something you didn’t see very often in Seattle the past few years. The local general manager signing autographs. Yes, that’s Jack Zduriencik in the dugout pre-game, inking a fan’s program then passing it back via a security guard. How times have changed. A year ago in June, that security guard might have been performing a very different function for Bill Bavasi.
The lineups:
Indians (38-58)
Sizemore, cf
Cabrera, ss
Choo, rf
Martinez, c
Peralta, 3b
Hafner, dh
Garko, 1b
Carroll, 3B
Francisco, lf
Laffey, lhp
Mariners (51-44)
Ichiro, rf
Branyan, 1b
Lopez, 2b
Shelton, dh
Gutierrez, cf
Langerhans, lf
Johjima, c
Hannahan, 3b
Cedeno, ss
Rowland-Smith, lhp
HP – Ron Kulpa
1B – Dale Scott
2B – Delfin Colon
3B – Mike DiMuro



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