Follow us:

Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

July 25, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners: 07/25 game thread

indians0725 019.jpg
Seattle now trails 10-0 after Garrett Olson gave up a two-run homer to left field by Ryan Garko in the sixth inning. The Mariners did nothing in the sixth — they usually start warming up the bats in the eighth, so have no fear — against Jeremy Sowers, who’s now outlasted Erik Bedard by over an hour in a battle of lefty starters.
By my shrewd math calculations, the Mariners have now been outscored 19-0 over the last 15 innings, at home, by a last-place team (whoops, check that, the Indians’ recent success against Seattle has vaulted them past Kansas City for the dubious distinction of being the AL’s worst club). It isn’t quite like losing 11 in a row or 15 of 17 or anything, but man, when this franchise crashes and burns, it leaves nothing identifiable behind.
For those of you still insisting that two days do not make a season and that there are two months left and all…yes, well, you’re missing the point. The season has only six days remaining because that’s when the trade deadline occurs. By that point, this team’s front office must know whether it’s “going for it” or not, since there are important pieces for this year that can be dealt away if the club falls out of contention. And right now, 7 1/2 games out in the AL West and maybe 6 1/2 back in the wild-card with two months to go is too big a gap to start gambling on being “real” contenders. So, if you can trade away players whose contracts are up after 2009, like Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Russell Branyan etc., it makes sense to do it if you know your team can’t make the playoffs this season. It’s an educated guess you take. And right now, the M’s are taking all the education part out of the guesswork.

3:01 p.m.: We’re having some bit of fun now as Chris Jakubauskas, tired of being used for batting practice, drilled Ben Francisco with a pitch. That came right after former Mariners infielder Asdrubal Cabrera (hello Bill Bavasi!) crushed a two-run homer to right. Naturally, Francisco objected to being thrown at and the dugouts emptied.
indians0725 024.jpg
But it didn’t even get to the pushing and shoving stage. Things calmed down so quickly that all the relievers, who’d started charging in from the bullpens, stopped about halfway to the infield, turned around and headed back.
At least the near fracas gave the fans something to cheer about in an 8-0 game.
indians0725 027.jpg
What kills me is that, in a game where the Mariners season is pretty much torched and Erik Bedard ruins what little trade value he had left this month (though next month is possible) the main scrap talking place in our comments thread is over the Rob JohnsonKenji Johjima “controversy”? Are you folks kidding me? One guy can’t catch, the other can’t hit, The team is going with the better catcher. Who says so? Just about every pitcher on the team’s staff going back two years-plus, the new manager (a former pro catcher himself), the new front office, the peanut vendors…this is not a fight worth having. If Kenji Johjima is still playing in Seattle a year from now, I’ll be more stunned than I would be seeing Horacio Ramirez throw a perfect game through 11 innings in Game 7 of the World Series, and Jeff Weaver relieving him the final five scoreless frames to take home another ring. So, let’s talk about what matters: like what are the M’s going to fetch for Jarrod Washburn in a deal next week?
2:38 p.m.: SELL!!!!!
OK, well, that’s not going to be easy to do with Erik Bedard right now. Bedard lasted only three innings, throwing 81 pitches today. The game just imploded on Seattle in the fourth, BTW, and it’s now 6-0 for Cleveland. Chris Jakubauskas didn’t look warmed up enough — though he had about a half hour in that third inning as Bedard nibbled like a hamster in a feed shop — and yielded a Ryan Garko single and a two-run homer to left by Chris Gimenez in the fourth (Gimenez is the guy who hit a walk-off homer versus Seattle in spring training). Jakubauskas should have been out of the inning later on, but a throwing error by Ronny Cedeno prolonged it enough for Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta to hit RBI singles.
I’ve been saying for a while that I felt Bedard was a seven-inning guy, Well, you’ve got to prove it. He hasn’t. And there is not enough time left for him to prove it by the trade deadline. He’s got sheer strikeout ability, but it takes more than just that to be a front-line starter in the majors. Right now, if any team will take him in a package with some prospects for something good, I’d make the deal. The whole buyers and sellers thing is becoming moot anyways, since the Mariners have now gone a dozen consecutive innings and counting without a run against one of the AL’s worst teams.
I really did think Bedard could prove a valuable second-half piece. But he hasn’t been for the Mariners. And it’s questionable how much value he could bring a contender, given his struggles to go even five innings. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he was hurt. But he had a month to recover from what the team called “a touch of bursitis” and now, four starts into his comeback, he can’t even go the minimum five frames on some days. Bedard may one day become a true ace. Just don’t see it happening in Seattle.
2:08 p.m.: By the way, for those of you asking about Reed Brignac, the Class AAA shortstop prospect from the Rays, being lifted in today’s Durham game, my Florida contact just told me his leg was bothering him and that he is expected to play Game 2 of tonight’s day-night doubleheader. We’re aware of the trade rumors, yes, and have been looking into them all morning. But for now, nothing appears imminent.
Erik Bedard nearly survived three more walks in the third inning, but then Jhonny Peralta lined his 34th pitch of the frame into center field for a two-run single to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead. Bedard’s pitch count is now all the way up to 81 after three innings. Oy, vey! Chris Jakubauskas is warming up. I’d bring him in right now and have Bedard’s day done. He threw 39 pitches in the fourth. Why push it for one more frame?
The walks hurt him, but so did lengthy at-bats with guys like Shin-soo-Choo, who struck out, but only after fouling off about three two-strike pitches in a row. The good pitchers know how to put guys away quickly when they get ahead. You get them to put the ball in-play, or, make sure the pitch goes for a strike when the hitters hold off swinging. With Bedard, he’s getting ahead, then missing the zone. Or, he’s having his pitches spoiled. You can’t go for a strikeout on every batter. You’ve got to allow some balls to be put in-play and trust your fielders.
Not going to be the day that Bedard shows he can get beyond the fifth or sixth inning. I asked Don Wakamatsu about it earlier today and he said that, yes, Bedard has had time to recover from his injury layoff and he’d like to see the pitcher become more economical with his pitching.
“The efficiency’s what i’m looking for today,” Wakamatsu said. “I really haven’t seen that the last couple of outings since he’s been back.”
Click here to listen to my question and hear Wakamatsu’s full response.
1:46 p.m.: Erik Bedard needed 24 pitches to get out of the second inning after walking Travis Hafner with one out. So, he’s now up to 42 pitches.
The Mariners had gone four up, four down against Jeremy Sowers the first inning plus before a one-out single by Franklin Gutierrez in the bottom of the second. But Jack Hannahn struck out and — after a wild pitch sent Gutierrez to second and Rob Johnson walked — newcomer Michael Saunders came up and popped out to the shortstop.
indians0725 023.jpg
1:18 p.m.: Erik Bedard gave up a double to Shin-soo-Choo in the first inning, but still got out of the frame on “only” 18 pitches. So, that’s a start.
The lineups:
Indians (39-58)
Cabrera, ss
Francisco, cf
Choo, lf
Martinez, c
Peralta, 3b
Hafner, dh
Garko, 1b
Gimenez, rf
Valbuena, 2b
Sowers, lhp
Mariners (51-45)
Ichiro, rf
Branyan, 1b
Lopez, 2b
Sweeney, dh
Gutierrez, cf
Hannahan, 3b
Johnson, C
Saunders, lf
Cedeno, ss
Bedard, lhp
HP – Dale Scott*
1B – Delfin Colon
2B – Mike DiMuro
3B – Ron Kulpa



No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►