Ah yes, the game updates on the first sunny Sunday in a while, I'm sure dozens of people are reading. But I'm dedicated to our readers, and I also know that some of you will be reading on Monday at work, because that's what people do at work on Monday's is anything other than work - I speak from experience on this as well.
You can also follow updates on Twitter at @TNTmariners ... most of my tweets (I can't believe I typed that) feature my typical snarky observations, relentless sarcasm and references to my girlfriends Sophia Bush (who should have been in 950's Bigger Dance) and Blake Lively. I will say that I was anti-twitter for a long time. But if you get an account and also download the Tweetdeck software, it's pretty darn cool.
An interesting first inning the flu-stricken Ian Snell, he gives up a lead-off triple Austin Jackson as Eric Byrnes backpedaled into the wall. Snell then walked Johnny Damon, but they stayed there as he got Magglio Ordonez to fly out to right and Jackson didn't dare test Ichiro's arm. Snell then struck out Miggy Cabrera and Carlos Guillen popped up to first to end the inning. Nice job by Snell to get out of the inning.
The Mariners get a walk from Chone Figgins, but he ends the inning by getting thrown out at second on a steal attempt on a close play.
Snell gives up a lead-off walk and then retires the next three hitters including back to back strikeouts of Scott Sizemore and Ramon Santiago. Home plate umpire Scott Barry has a fairly large strikezone which is helping Snell.
The Mariners take a 1-0 lead as Ken Griffey Jr. delivers a one-out single and then Eric Byrnes doubles down the line to put runners on second and third. Casey Kotchman delivers a single to score Griffey, but in thinking that right fielder Magglio Ordonez would throw home, Kotchman round first base intent on advancing on the throw. Only Ordonez hit the cut off man, leaving Kotchman hung up. Byrnes tried to score as Kotchman was hung up, but his attempt to plow over catcher Alex Avila was unsuccessful. Score that 9-3-6-4-2 on the Byrnes putout and a base running miscue by Kotchman - his second this series.
Well that lead didn't last long, Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon led off with back to back singles and then Snell left a changeup to Miguel Cabrera, who just muscled out of the park and into the second deck in left field. One of the longer home runs I've seen hit to left field in my time covering the Mariners. Tigers lead 3-1.
Max Scherzer has seemed to settle in a little and cuts through the M's 1-2-3
For the fourth straight inning Snell lets the lead-off hitter get on by walking Alex Avila, and then he walked Scott Siezmore. But Kotchman helps him out with a great play on a Ramon Santiago, throwing out the lead runner at third. Snell then gets Jackson to fly out an Damon to ground out.
Scherzer goes 1-2-3 again
Snell finally doesn't allow a leadoff man to get on. But he does give up a double to Carlos Guillen but gets outof the inning with a strikeout of Brandon Inge.
The M's cut the lead to 3-2 as Casey Kotchman goes down and gets a pitch from Scherzer and golfs it over the right field fence.
Sorry for a little day. But it's kids day at the ball park and I had a honorary beat writer - 12-year-old Gennah Schoen from Portland sat with me for two innings. At age 12 Gennah is actually about two inches taller than me, so she's three inches taller than Chone Figgins.
Anyway, Kanekoa Teiexera comes in and has a scoreless sixth but showing a little rust from the five days off.
Ichiro leads off the bottom of the inning with a bloop single, but he waits for five pitches and steals on a 3-2 count for Chone Figgins. ON that pitch, Figgins rips a liner to right and Magglio Ordonez had an easy throw to first for the double play. And of course, Franklin Gutierrez doubled on the next at-bat so a run was lost there.
Wak brings in Sean White. Look I know he needs to get work, but I would have liked to see Texeira go one more inning. White gives up a lead off infield single and Jack Wilson's throwing error allows Johnny Damon to make it to second. White gets an out, but then intentionally walks Cabrera. With runners on first and second with one out, Carlos Guillen hits a tough ball to second that Chone Figgins makes a great play on and an impossible throw to Wilson at second, who turns the double play. THat's a web gem.
Here's how bad Adam Moore is struggling, he tries a drag bunt with two outs. I think we all know the results.
Wak now brings in Jesus Colome, who hasn't pitched in about five days and looked like it. He walks the first guy he faces, then gives up a double to Alex Avila. Colome gets Sizemore to tap out, and looks like he might get out of the inning when Santiago grounds to third and Jose Lopez throws out Brandon Inge trying to score at home. But he gives up a two-out single to Austin Jackson to push the lead to 4-2. Two runs isn't a lot to some teams, it can be to this team.
The M's look like they might rally as Jack Wilson leads off with infield single and Ichiro walked. Wak has Chone Figgins sac bunt them over (not sure I like that particularly, but with Guti coming up it's understandable). However Guti is rang up on a questionable called third strike by Scott Barry. And Lopez flies out to end the threat.
Shawn Kelley gives up a double and also a walk but gets out of the inning with a nifty 4-6-3 DP on a groundball by Avila. That's two nice plays today, and neither of them Lopez likely makes.