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July 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Mariners hang on to win a battle of no offense…I mean, a pitching duel

Once again, the Mariners had to win a game by scoring only two runs. They did indeed manage to do just that, pulling off a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Josh Bard hit a tying homer in the sixth off Brandon McCarthy and then Justin Smoak doubled home Brendan Ryan in the seventh.
There are, of course, easier ways for teams to win ballgames.
But not this team. Not unless it gets offensive help. The Mariners had runners at the corners with nobody out in the ninth, but failed to get the insurance marker home. So, Brandon League had to take the mound in the ninth with zero margin for error.
League got it done, which is why he’s off to the All-Star Game while no Mariner who wields a bat for a living will be doing the same.

As I said, the M’s need offensive help in a big way to win.
Today’s offensive help resulted from the fact the Oakland A’s are almost as bad as the Mariners when it comes to that thing called scoring.
That helps an offense out immensely. Helped buy the M’s time to figure out how to hit a ball straight.
Of course, the same theory works in reverse. The A’s had some time bought for them. But they couldn’t buy a big hit when it mattered.
And what mattered today, again, is that the M’s managed to find a way to win. They stayed in contention another day. If they go 5-2 on this trip, they’ll likely be right in the thick of the division race come the All-Star Break.
Now, they only have to go 4-2 the final six games. And if they can do that and stay within a game or two of the top, that might put some pressure on the M’s to loosen the purse strings (or their hold on certain players). Might get them to get some type of deal done to upgrade an offense that — for a rare occasion today — did not start anybody with a batting average below the Mendoza-line.
The usual excuse-makers keep saying “Who…who…who?” like a bunch of baby owls. “Who can they get?”
Well, start with Carlos Beltran and work your way down from there.
Hunter Pence, Luke Scott, Ryan Ludwick, Aramis Ramirez, Vlad Guerrero, Jeff Baker (wouldn’t that be fun?)…and another dozen more. Maybe you pick up two of those guys if you don’t think one will do the trick. At least get one guy. Get somebody with a pulse who hits better than .220, throws straight and stick him in left field. Or put him at third base. That would technically be an upgrade. Because Adam Kennedy can’t play five games a week the rest of the season at third.
Anyhow, yet again, for all the owls, there are some names.
Good luck.
I suppose we could have called this a pitcher’s duel.
But, well, it featured McCarthy, coming off injury and who hadn’t pitched in a big league game since May 19.
And it featured six innings from Michael Pineda plus three bullpen arms after him.
Not exactly pitcher’s duel stuff. But hey, who am I to judge? Call it what you want.
Again, great job by Pineda to keep them in it until somebody decided to hit. And outstanding job by the bullpen to slam the door when the M’s stopped hitting.
But as much as it was a pitcher’s duel, it was a duel of no offense.
And the M’s have to keep treading water until somebody gets them some.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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