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July 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Mariners at Boston Red Sox: July 24, 2011 game thread

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Brendan Ryan just hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to make this an 11-7 game. Second grand slam of Ryan’s career and a five-RBI game that’s his career best. Unfortunately, that additional run Seattle gave up in the sixth inning is now looking huge. Looks like that Tim Wakefield celebration of 2,000 strikeouts in a Boston uniform is going to be a little muted. Though, at this stage of his career, he probably doesn’t care much about ERA.

12:29 p.m.: That sound you heard was the Mariners crashing and burning in the fifth inning, giving up five more runs to trail 10-3 as we head to the fifth and to loss No. 15 in a row.
Not to be outdone by Ichiro’s baserunning brain cramp, Aaron Laffey came on to replace Michael Pineda with two on and one out and promptly forgot the situation. That being, the infield shift was on for David Ortiz, meaning nobody was covering third base. That tidbit of info would have come in handy had Laffey remembered it when he scooped up Ortiz’s roller to the third base side, turned to fire to the bag and — surprise! — saw that there was nobody to throw to.
Instead of hitting the brakes and firing to first to get Ortiz, Laffey sort of let his momentum carry him forward and didn’t bother with a throw. Ortiz got the rare — for him — infield single to load the bases.
Carl Crawford then singled to bring two home. Josh Reddick doubled to score another and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to plate two more to end Laffey’s day.
So, that’s four batters faced for Laffey, three runs allowed on four hits with one huge mental gaffe. Laffey admitted he pitched “like crap” in Toronto last week. So, safe to say this outing, by his own admission, ranks as “worse than crap”.
12:10 p.m.: Seattle scored a run in the fifth on a two-out double off the Green Monster in left by Brendan Ryan to cut Boston’s lead to 5-3. Michael Pineda has two on and one out here in the bottom of the frame and just got lifted for Aaron Laffey — shortest outing of the season for Pineda.
Back to the top of the inning. There were runners at the corners and one out when Ichiro got picked off at first base. Tim Wakefield made a bluff towards third, then spun and fired to nab Ichiro on the back-end.
I know some people thought a balk should have been called, but again, we’ll say it for the second time in six days, there is no excuse for a veteran to get nabbed on the back end in a situation like that. None. It doesn’t matter whether it was Chone Figgins doing it last week in Toronto or Ichiro here today.
Figgins sat out the next game after that miscue. Wonder what happens to Ichiro tomorrow. He’s hitting something like .200 during the losing streak. Not like they’ll miss his bat or his glove. Hey, it’s all about next year and proving points now, right?
11:41 a.m.: Things have settled down a bit after all the first inning scoring and it’s still 5-2 for Boston as we head to the fourth inning.
Michael Pineda gave up a two-out single to Carl Crawford in the third inning, but otherwise4 retired the side unscathed.
The M’s got a two-out double from Dustin Ackley in the third, but otherwise are starting to go down a bit too routinely against Tim Wakefield.
11:09 a.m.: Michael Pineda takes the mound, looking to snap the longest losing streak in the majors since the Kansas City Royals dropped 19 in a row six years ago.
Chone Figgins has been scratched for what the team is calling “a personal emergeny”. Hope everyone’s OK in his family. You hate to see that, as we already did earlier this year withe Justin Smoak.
Adam Kennedy is in at third base to take Figgins’ place.
Seattle took an early lead, but Boston roared back for five runs in the bottom of the first inning to go ahead 5-2. Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in left to put Boston on top.
The inning began with a Jacoby Ellsbury double down the right field line. Ellsbury took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a one-out single to center by Adrian Gonzalez. Pineda then fell behind 2-0 in the count to Youkilis and saw his next pitch battered.
Olivo had given the Mariners a short-lived 2-0 lead in the top of the frame when he drove the first pitch from Tim Wakefield over the same giant wall in left field as the Youkilis homer. Brendan Ryan was already on after being hit by a pitch.
Justin Smoak doubled after that, but was then thrown out at home trying to score on a single to right by Mike Carp.
So, Pineda is in tough. The Red Sox — like all good-hitting teams — can do things with fastballs. You need more than one or two pitches to keep them off balance. If Pineda doesn’t get his changeup — or at least his slider — working against some of these lefties, it’s going to be a very long afternoon. Already has been. The first inning just took over a half-hour to play.
Pineda used the slider to get a huge strikeout on Josh Reddick with runners on second and third and only one out after David Ortiz and Carl Crawford both blasted balls off the Green Monster. Ortiz’s went for just a long single, which is why he didn’t score on Crawford’s double.
But a two-out single to right by Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought both runs home in any event.
Anyhow, this looks like another learning experience for Pineda. He threw 32 pitches that inning.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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