Is this Cliff Lee's last start? I really don't think it will be. I think he has one more after this one.
Phil Hughes is 10-1 and will likely the make the all-star team. The M's are not good on offense. This should be interesting. Russell Branyan's first at-bat since his return .... is a soft looping single to left -- just what everyone was expecting. But he's stuck there.
Cliff Lee shows that he is human by giving up a solo homer to Nick Swisher. Lee threw him all fastballs - all at 91 mph, but the last one was out over the plate and Swisher drove it left. Lee has given up four homers this season. That ties the number of walks he's given up.
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The M's answer as Jose Lopez doubles down the left field line just past a diving Chad Huffman (yeah, I hadn't heard of him till today either) and then Franklin Gutierrez singled to center. Curtis Granderson bobbled the ball a few times allowing Lopez to hesitate twice and then take a whole bunch of little steps home to score. Gutierrez did not get an RBI on the play.
Later in the inning Guti has some sort of mental mistake as he takes off on steal of second but then lets up right before the base and is thrown out, snapping his streak of 12 straight steals. Tie game 1-1.
Well that's it, the apocalypse is upon us. Cliff Lee walked a hitter. What's next? A gigantic meteor hurling toward earth? Lee then gave up a single to Curtis Granderson - basically destroying any trade value he had. But he manages to get the aforementioned, but still unknown Huffman to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
The M's grab a 2-1 lead as Michael Saunders legs out a double to shallow center and later scores on Ichiro's single to center.
Lee gives up a single to Derek Jeter, but works out of the inning without any trouble.
The Mariners are an offensive juggernaut. Franklin Gutierrez hits his 7th homer of the season and Seattle takes a 3-1 lead. They've scored in three straight innings. According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, the M's haven't scored in four different innings in a game since May 28 against the Angels.
Cliff Lee gets three fly outs and beats everybody back into the dugout.
JUGGERNAUT! JUGGERNAUT! The M's score again. This time Rob Johnson doubles hits a ground rule double to right and then sac bunted to third by Michael Saunders. Johnson scores on Ichiro's sac fly to left. That's four runs in four different innings.
Lee gives up lead-off to Granderson, but retires the next three.
The Mariners are just rolling offensively. Milton Bradley draws a walk and later advances to second. Franklin Gutierrez is intentionally walked and Jack Wilson makes them pay by singling home Bradley. Then Rob Johnson steps up and doubles to left to score Gutierrez. The Ms' lead 7-1, that's not a typo.
Lee gave up his second homer of the night to Nick Swisher. That's very rare. How rare? Well, only Edgar, Carlos Lee and Jose Guillen and now Swisher.
I'm totally disappointed in the Mariners, they didn't score a run in that inning despite getting the first two guys on base. Now that's the Seattle offense I'm used to. That whole scoring runs in every inning is ridiculous.
Lee is through eight and is at 101 pitches. Does he go out for the ninth?
It wasn't an easy ninth for Lee. He gave up a leadoff double to Teixeira, got A-Rod to ground out, but then Robinson Cano singled to left and Michael Saunders throw to second got away from Chone Figgins, allowing Teixeira to score. Saunders was charged with the error, but Figgins needs to knock that ball down. Posada then doubles to the gap just out of the reach of an un-diving Ichiro to score another run. It's now 7-4. Rick Adair comes out to talk to Lee. But he stays in and gets back to back pop ups to short from Granderson and Huffman.
Cliff Lee wins the game. That's three straight complete games for him.