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August 22, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians: 08/22 game thread

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And on to the 11th inning we go, with the Mariners trying to get their offense out of hibernation in this 3-3 game. They’ve had the hits, but can’t cash-in runners. Mike Sweeney was stranded at third with none out in the eighth, Josh “Hack” Wilson had a leadoff walk in the ninth that went nowhere and Jose Lopez was stranded at third with one out in the 10th.
Randy Messenger is warming up and will come in next if the game stays tied. If the M’s score, it will be David Aardsma. Shawn Kelley looked very good in two scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing just a walk and a hit batsman.
Hack Wilson is due up this inning.


6:16 p.m.: We’re all tied up at 3-3 after a two-base error by left fielder Michael Saunders on a line drive that popped out of his outstretched glove. Doug Fister then hit Kelly Shoppach with a pitch inside as he attempted to lay down a bunt. For you kids out there, that’s not the way to negate a bunt attempt. You don’t throw it right at the guy. There’s an art to it. The Fister pitch was more like stenciling. Not art.
Anyhow, Fister then got a ground-out on an excuse-me swing by Matt LaPorta that moved the runners up.
Andy Marte then hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored former Mariners farmhand Luis Valbuena — traded in the J.J. Putz deal. The M’s appealed, saying Valbuena left early, but to no avail. I’m told the TV replays show he did not leave early.
5:21 p.m.: Travis Hafner just went deep to right center in the fourth, a 414-footer, to make it a 3-2 game, Seattle still leading. The Mariners have stranded four baserunners so far, including two in the top of the fourth after another single by Josh “Hack” Wilson. The guy’s unstoppable.
Want to know had badly the Indians have been gutted by their July deadline deals? Prior to the Hafner blast, the Indians had not gone deep at home in their last 10 games dating back to Aug. 2. That’s their longest such drought since 1991. Yep, rebuilding the Indians way is definitely going to fall out of vogue real quick.
By the way, I think Bill Hall looks great at third base. That was a fine play just before the Hafner shot, diving to his left and coming up with a ball while fully extended, then throwing the runenr out fairly easily at third.
5:03 p.m.: Doug Fister was in a bases-loaded, none out jam in the third inning, but then got a couple of ex-Mariners to hit some ground balls. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play, in which one run scored. Then, Shin Soo Choo grounded out to second, enabling Fister to carry a 3-1 lead into the fourth.
By the way, Bill Hall just led off the fourth with another his, a single. We’ll see Josh “Hack” Wilson up in this inning. Wilson, given the nickname today by none other than Ken Griffey Jr., had a single in his first at-bat.
Wyatt Torregas is nowhere in sight. Where have all the lawmen gone?
4:28 p.m.: We’re running the game thread tonight even though we continue to have issues with our blog commenting functions on the Times site. I’m assured that our engineers are trying to fix a problem that’s now plagued us since the end of last night’s game. So, we’ll have to trust that they can figure it out. Some of you are getting your comments through. For the rest of you, please be patient. Thanks!
And the Mariners have drawn first blood, scoring three in the first inning, two of them on the 30th home run of the season by Russell Branyan. That came on a full-count offering from Aaron Laffey, and traveled 437 feet. Another cheapie. Nearly took down the blimp in the photo below. Yessir.
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Prior to that, the Indians looked like the AAA team they’ve become. With a runner on first, Mike Sweeney ripped a single to right, just off the glove of first baseman Andy Marte. The runner, Franklin Gutierrez, was going to easily take third. Right fielder Shin Soo Choo made a poor throw to the bag and the ball bounced away, allowing the run to score.
In the bottom of the inning, Bill Hall got that first grounder he was looking for at third base and began a ’round-the-horn 5-4-3 double play. Might be time for the Indians to put a call in to their favorite cowboy, Wyatt Torregas, on their bench and restore some law and order here, pronto! The M’s are running amuck through the streets of Cleveland. He could start by shooting the Messenger, then hope the Indians can knock Doug Fister out by the sixth.
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The lineups:
MARINERS (63-59)
RF Ichiro
CF Franklin Gutierrez
2B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
1B Russell Branyan
3B Bill Hall
C Kenji Johjima
SS Josh “Hack” Wilson
LF Michael Saunders
RHP Doug Fister
INDIANS (52-69)
CF Grady Sizemore
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Shin Soo Choo
3B Jhonny Peralta
DH Travis Hafner
2B Luis Valbuena
C Kelly Shoppach
LF Matt LaPorta
1B Andy Marte
LHP Aaron Laffey

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