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September 12, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers: 09/12 game thread

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8:58 p.m.: We’re waiting for an update. Obviously, the game is in a delay situation in the bottom of the ninth. It’s still 8-3 for the M’s but the Rangers have two on and none out and are on the verge of falling three back of Boston in the wild-card race. So, they are reluctant to just call the game. The weather has been terrible for a few innings but things really deteriorated in the ninth. We’re talking heavy downpour. I was outside shooting photos for the post-game blog and I can tell you the fans were absolutely drenched. They had to get this game in, though, because having to make up three possible contests if tomorrow gets rained out would have been a logistical nightmare. So, hang in there. This is cutting into my bar time too.
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Seattle has blown this game open at 8-3, scoring twice in the seventh inning on a Jack Hannahan double, then again in the eighth on a single to left by Adrian Beltre. Ken Griffey Jr. has three hits in the game, two of them doubles, including one that came in the eighth.
Ichiro nearly had his fifth at-bat of the night in the seventh inning, but with runners at second and third and none out, Jack Wilson grounded out to third, forcing the runners to hold. When Rob Johnson also grounded out to the left side, the Rangers then walked Ichiro intentionally.
Ichiro looked like he might get up in the eighth with runners at the corners and nobody out with only three hitters due up before him. But Bill Hall struck out and Hannahan grounded into a double play. Looks like he’ll have to break the record tomorrow, even though he’ll get another turn up in the ninth.

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6:35 p.m.: Franklin Gutierrez just doubled home a pair of runs with two out in the fourth inning to give the Mariners a 5-2 lead. Kevin Millwood had just struck out Rob Johnson and Ichiro after the M’s put two on with none out to start the frame. But Gutierrez lined one down the right field line to cash in both and give Brandon Morrow some breathing room. Millwood walked Jose Lopez after that and was yanked in favor of Dustin Nippert.
Julio Borbon hit a two-run homer to right center off Morrow in the bottom of the third inning to cut Seattle’s lead to 3-2.
With all of these baserunners, Ichiro should get at least two more cracks at-bat tonight, so he could still set the record.
8:08 p.m.: Make that two hits to go for Ichiro, who homered to lead off the third inning — a 379-footer to right. Jose Lopez later singled and Ken Griffey Jr. doubled nicely to left center to make it 3-0 for the Mariners. Well now, what are the chances Ichiro can add a double and a triple and get himself a cycle to pass into the record books? I’d say pretty good. He’s got the speed and the outfielders are not getting to balls in the corners all that quickly tonight because of the wet weather. Stay tuned.
Brandon Morrow has allowed just one hit over two innings.
5:33 p.m.: Ichiro roped the first pitch of the game down the right field line for a double. So, he’s only three hits away from 200, but remember, it doesn’t count unless they get an official five innings in. I was just outside and the rain hasn’t stopped. Still a light drizzle falling and this is about as good as it’s expected to get.
Ken Griffey Jr. later drove Ichiro home with a two-out dribbler up the middle to make it 1-0 for the Mariners as Brandon Morrow takes the mound.
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If they don’t get this game in and tomorrow’s doubleheader gets washed out, there’s a nasty rumor going around they might try to play a split doubleheader here on Monday.
The Rangers would play the M’s here in the afternoon, then face the Oakland Athletics that night. I don’t like that idea, for purely selfish reasons.
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4:45 p.m.: We’re told they will try to throw the first pitch at 5:25 p.m.
I dunno, it hasn’t stopped raining yet. They say the rain will dissipate over the next few minutes. How long it will remain that way is anyone’s guess.
We’ll see what they can do. Don’t forget, Ichiro needs another four hits to reach 200 for a record ninth consecutive year. He’s mired in a 1-for-18 batting slump at the moment, having gone hitless in two of his last three games and striking out twice in his previous contest in Anaheim.
The lineups:
RF Ichiro
CF Franklin Gutierrez
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
3B Adrian Beltre
LF Bill Hall
1B Jack Hannahan
SS Jack Willson
C Rob Johnson
RHP Brandon Morrow
DH Julio Borbon
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Ian Kinsler
CF Marlon Byrd
RF Nelson Cruz
LF David Murphy
C Ivan Rodriguez
1B Chris Davis
3B Esteban German
RHP Kevin Millwood



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