Not much to say, except that this game just took a surreal turn in the 14th inning. The White Sox scored five runs off Danny Farquhar and Hector Noesi and we won’t even tell you how because the Mariners stormed right back for five of their own in the bottom of the 14th to tie it up. No, that’s not a misprint. Four straight one-out singles off closer Addison Reed brought the first run home and then Kyle Seager launched a tying grand slam to right center that electrified the few people still here watching this game.
We’re now into the fifth hour and this is either destined to go down as one of the more improbable wins in Mariners history or the latest devastating loss the past few weeks. No middle ground.
4:46 p.m.: We’re now in the 13th inning with the game still scoreless and the Mariners trying desperately to avoid what would be one of the toughest defeats they’ve had to swallow in a long, long time. This game has been there for the taking all day but the Mariners just couldn’t take it and are now actually seeing the bats start to dry up a bit with White Sox relievers retiring the last seven in a row — four by strikeout.
Michael Saunders and Kelly Shoppach have eight whiffs between them — four each — while Sanny Farquhar is into his second inning of relief work. Tom Wilhelmsen is not available today, so it’s Farquhar and Hector Noesi the rest of the way.
3:36 p.m.: Just as feared, the Mariners are doing the equivalent of giving the White Sox mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and we’re still scoreless. The Mariners have had baserunners every inning so far, but five double plays have killed off the rallies. In fact, the Mariners have nearly twice as many DPs as the White Sox have hits, with just three off Hisashi Iwakuma thus far.
But it’s getting late and at this stage, any home run could decide the contest. That’s the one thing the White Sox — for all their offensive woes — do have the capability of mustering from a handful of guys.
2:19 p.m.: This scoreless affair is turning into one of those games where the Mariners are allowing their opponent to stay alive just a little too long. Often, those games don’t turn out very well for the generous benefactor. The Mariners keep putting runners on base and are leaving them there just as often.
They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth against Dylan Axelrod, but Jason Bay grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play with the count full. The Mariners have had two on in three of the first five innings but gone nowhere.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have just three hits against Hisashi Iwakuma. But the way he gives up home runs out of the blue and the way the White Sox have three or four guys capable of hitting anything out at any time, you have to think the Mariners will need a run or two soon. This game so far has all the makings of one where the White Sox will pop a homer in the seventh or eighth and steal one.
The offense needs to deliver.
12:30 p.m.: The Mariners haven’t swept a series this season, but have a great chance this afternoon. They’ll send Hisashi Iwakuma — arguably their best starting pitcher this season — to the mound against a White Sox team that has lost eight in a row.
You have to win these games if you’re the Mariners and have any hope of getting back to .500 by mid-season. The psychological difference between being six back and eight under .500 at this stage is huge. Especially with the Yankees coming in for four games after this.
When you sweep series like these — the ones where you should — it buys you more of a margin for error for times when Tom Wilhelmsen blows a save, or you can’t sweep the Yankees, or every other normal ocurrance in the ebb and flow of a baseball season.
The Mariners will help their own cause big-time by taking care of business.