UMPIRE STATEMENT ON MAYBIN WALK:
Here’s the statement from crew chief Tom Hallion about the three-ball walk to Cameron Maybin (he spoke on behalf of home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi): “I don’t want to say it was a long at-bat but it was a seven-pitch at-bat, he fouled off two or three pitches, there was a ball in the dirt that got away from the catcher and looking at it, we went through each pitch and you are right, it was three balls and he took off for first base. My plate umpire thought his count was wrong. The scoreboard had 3-2 and he thought he was wrong because when Maybin took off for first, nobody said anything. The catcher didn’t react, the dugout didn’t react so he thought he had the wrong count. Do we feel bad? Absolutely. We count the pitches and it was just one of those things that gets away with you with the scoreboard having the 3-2 count up there and then nothing being said by anybody, he thought he had the wrong count.”
Do you still use a hand indicator behind the plate: “Yes.”
Did the home plate ump have 2-2 on his hand indicator: “Yeah, and he thought with him taking off after ball three, Bard not saying anything, the pitcher not saying anything, the Seattle dugout not saying anything and he saw 3-2 up on the scoreboard. It happens a lot of times in the game you look down and it says ‘2-2’ and a lot of times what you’ll do is ‘Josh, what do you got’ just trying to make sure you’re not wrong or something is wrong. Unfortunately we didn’t do this in this case and that’s where we stand with it. It’s one of those things that you wish didn’t happen.”
QUICK POST-GAME REACTION — Back from the clubhouse, where the talk was obviously about the three-ball walk of Cameron Maybin.
Manager Eric Wedge said he thought something was amiss but that since there wasn’t reaction from anyone else, he thought he was wrong and let it slide.
Pitcher Doug Fister said he was so focused on each pitch that he didn’t notice.
Catcher Josh Bard also said he didn’t realize it until later. He noted there were two foul balls in the at-bat and that helped him lose track of the count. However, he said that the bigger issue is that the Mariners just couldn’t score runs and one run shouldn’t have mattered.
He’s right in the big picture, and if this were an 8-0 game or something the three-ball walk would mostly be a note. But in a 1-0 game it’s harder to overlook.
Maybin told reporters that he looked at the scoreboard and assumed it was correct so he thought it was four balls.
SD manager Bud Black tried to avoid talk of it, telling reporters that he wasn’t going to complain about it.
GAME OVER — M’s lose 1-0. More later.
FISTER GOES NINE — He retires SD 1-2-3 in the ninth, leaving it to the offense as the M’s trail 1-0. Kennedy will pinch-hit for Wilson to begin the ninth against SD closer Heath Bell.
ATTENDANCE — Tonight’s Safeco attendance is 22,798.
BOTTOM EIGHT — M’s go down 1-2-3 against SD reliever Mike Adams, Figgins getting a lot of boos as he made the third out on a 6-3.
TOP EIGHT —- Fister allows a two-out hit to Headley but nothing more as the Padres remain 1-0. Fister has thrown 102 pitches and has now gone eight innings in each of last starts. He’s allowed just one run in each — so far.
BOTTOM SEVEN — M’s go down scoreless in seventh after Ryan reaches as leadoff hitter on an error. Still 1-0 Padres.
Also, conjecture here in the press box that the scoreboard showed 1-1 on Maybin when the count should have been 0-2. But that still leaves it unclear what the umpire thought — he’s supposed to keep his own count independent of what it says anywhere else. The TV replay clearly shows him calling a strike on the first pitch, the only called strike of the at-bat.
TOP SEVEN — Padres get two on in the seventh but Gonzalaz flies out for the final out. M’s still down 1-0 heading to bottom seventh — yes at 8:42 p.m.
BOTTOM SIX — M’s go down 1-2-3 in the six and continue to trail 1-0. We’ve watched the TV replay up here a few times and it indeed appears Maybin walked on just three balls. That’s key right now with Maybin having scored the only run of the game.
MORE ON MAYBIN’S MYSTERY WALK — According to a Mariner PR official, the count jumped from 1-2 to 3-2 on Maybin in the fifth on the pitch that was outside that Bard had to block.
TOP SIX — Fister returns to form and gets Padres 1-2-3 in the sixth.
BOTTOM FIVE — M’s get nothing in fifth after Halman singles but is thrown out stealing and Cust called out on a checked swing that had the crowd booing and Cust seething.
MAYBIN GOT A REALLY FREE PASS — Mariner PR officials are saying they have confirmed that Maybin’s walk came on just three balls. HP ump Phil Cuzzi apparently just missed it, sending Maybin to first after just three balls, and no one caught it.
TOP FIVE — The Padres finally broke through with a walk by Cameron Maybin, who advanced on a hit-and-run groundout and then scored with two outs when Brendan Ryan couldn’t handle a hard shot by Alberto Gonzalez that was called a hit. So it’s 1-0 to the bottom of the fifth for a Mariner offense that has just one hit off SD starter Cory Luebke.
BOTTOM FOUR — Another 1-2-3 for the Mariners, who continue their lack of support for Fister, who head back out to the mound having thrown 50 pitches in four innings.
TOP FOUR — Fister gives up two singles with two outs, but makes a nice play on a comebacker by Denorfia to get out of it. So still scoreless to the bottom of four. Headley singled off Wilson’s glove at second for the first hit of the game for SD and then Ludwick lined one to center.
BOTTOM THIRD — M’s go down 1-2-3 in third. Luebke has thrown 46 pitches. Quick and scoreless so far.
TOP THIRD — Another great inning for Fister, who is perfect through three innings on just 30 pitches. Time to see if the M’s can score him some runs.
BOTTOM SECOND — M’s get a one-out Halman double, but Cust strikes out and Bard grounds out to pitcher to end inning. So still scoreless to the third.
TOP SECOND — Another easy 1-2-3 inning for Fister, who needed just nine pitches this time and has thrown 21 for the game.
BOTTOM FIRST — Nothing for the Mariners as they go down 1-2-3 in their half of the first against SD starter Cory Luebke on just 15 pitches.
TOP FIRST — Really tidy 1-2-3 for Doug Fister as he retires the side in 12 pitches, striking out Will Venable and Jason Barlett and getting Chase Headley to fly to left.
PRE-GAME — Sorry for the timestamp on the photo — it’s unquestionably not 2007.
But it is a beautiful night here at Safeco Field as the Mariners prepare to take on the Padres.
And worth noting this is the second-to-last game of this homestand. And once this one is done, there won’t be a lot of chances to see the Mariners for a while.
In fact, after Sunday, Seattle will be home for just four games until July 29 — those coming against AL West leader Texas.
So that puts a little bit of importance on the M’s to take advantage of winnable games like this one tonight to stay in the race.
Lineups are in the pre-game notes post below.