That strategy the Mariners employed to beat the Blue Jays the other night, overcoming a 7-1 deficit in the eighth inning and winning it in their last at-bat in the ninth, simply isn’t going to work as a long-term approach.
Once again tonight, we saw the M’s drift off to nowhere until the eighth inning and by that point, they were already down five runs. Seattle opened the game with an Ichiro double, then didn’t get another hit off Luke Hochevar, who retired 16 in a row and 20 of his final 21 batters.
The Mariners didn’t show signs of life until the eighth inning, when they notched three hits and scored a run off the KC bullpen. Ichiro drove that in on his second signle, enabling him to set a new Kauffman Stadium record for consecutive multi-hit games with 10.
But it didn’t matter. And in the end, even with the Royals bullpen looking porous and unable to throw strikes, the M’s still went down to a 6-5 defeat.
Sure they made it look good in the ninth. They scored three runs and almost tied it before a Chone Figgins line drive was snagged with the tying run nabout to score. But again, you can’t start playing the final two innings and expect to win.
They are now 4-10 on the season.
Erik Bedard wasn’t much better than the offense. He got his velocity up tonight, topping out at 92 mph, but couldn’t put hitters away quickly when he needed to.
The Royals fouled off plenty of two-strike pitches tonight and also took other two-strike offerings for balls well out of the zone. It all combined to drive up Bedard’s pitch count and knock him from the game after only 4 2/3 innings.
Bedard is fortunate that manager Eric Wedge allowed him to go beyond four innings. Given the batters he faced in the fifth, it appeared Bedard might be done.
But Bedard stayed in there, allowed another run and got two more outs before being pulled for the night with two on.
Not a lot of inspiration all around.