If they're not careful, the Seattle Mariners could lose their 60th game of the season tonight, and their 16th in the last 20 games.
That's a frightful free fall for a team with such high expectations in spring training, but Jason Vargas can continue the best season of his career tonight and win his seventh game.
The Mariners and their fans have seen that Vargas can pitch. The issue tonight - and every night - is whether the Mariners can put up runs behind him.
It's Vargas vs. Josh Beckett and the Red Sox.
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- Computer problems wiped out the first six innings - I've now pirated Ryan's laptop - but this hasn't been your every day game. It's a 1-1 tie headed into the seventh, but in the fifth inning there was a dugout scuffle that got rough enough to pull a jersey over the head of Jose Lopez. What happened? It's not entirely clear, but it appeared the manager Don Wakamatsu approached second baseman Chone Figgins, who'd failed to cover second base on an outfield relay. According to photographers near the dugout, players and coaches imediately jumped in to separate the two. Figgins was replaced a moment later by Josh Wilson. Clearly, this isn't over. There almost certainly will be some disciplinary action - and it would be nice if, for a change, the Seattle front office backed its manager instead of standing quietly on the sideline.
- Bill Hall led off the seventh inning with his 10th home run, breaking the tie. In the seventh: Boston 2, Seattle 1.
- In the eighth inning: Brandon League replaced Vargas, who threw 101 pitches in seven strong innings.
- Two outs into the ninth inning, Jack-not-Josh Wilson doubled. Ichiro, who scored Seattle's only run back in the first, was intentionally walked. Up came Figgins' spot in the lineup, now occupied by Josh-not-Jack Wilson. Wilson struck out. It's a final: Boston 2, Seattle 1.