A nice round numerical milestone tonight with Seattle's 100th game of the season.
Hard to believe the team expected to contend in the American League West is sitting on 60 losses, or that nine players on the 25-man roster - and one coach - weren't in Seattle when the season opened.
More changes are bound to come.
For tonight, the Mariners will try to get a couple of runs for Felix Hernandez, who has pitched marvelously all season and still won just seven times. That doesn't even lead the staff - Brandon League has eight wins.
- One scorless inning down for John Danks and Felix, both of them facing three hitters and quickly dispatching them. Now, in the second inning, the 'meat' of the Seattle order - Jose Lopez, Casey Kotchman, Milton Bradley. Yikes!
- Kotchman giveth, Kotchman taketh away. He couldn't hold a soft line drive by Carlos Quentin, dropping the ball trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch. It went for a hit. Next White Sox batter, Mark Kotsay, hit a screaming seed down the right field line - and Kotchman dove, caught it and tagged first base for a double play. Felix should have kissed him. After two: No score.
- Mariners first hit belonged to Michael Saunders, who doubled. Trying to advance him to third, Rob Johnson popped up a bunt. Jack-not-Josh Wilson singled Saunders home. In the third: Seattle 1, Chicago 0.
- Alexei Ramirez singled off the glove of Lopez, stole second base when Johnson couldn't handle a Felix fastball and scored on Juan Pierre's two-out single. Yes, that's an 'earned' run. No, Mr. Ramirez shouldn't have been on base or scored. Pierre took second on the Gutierrez throw home, and scored when Omar Vizquel singled. In the third: Chicago 2, Seattle 1.
- Pitchers duel continues and Chicago has six hits to Seattle's three. Squeal if you're surprised. Felix has been sharper, but he's held the game at 2-1 through five innings, striking out just two batters. Danks has been superb - he's throw 61 pitches and is in the sixth inning.
- Felix fell behind in the count, 3-1, and Paul Konerko homered just inside the left field foul pole, his 22nd of the season. Ichiro took a two-run homer away from Mark Kotsay, reaching up and over the fence in right field for the carch. A.J. Pierzynski and Ramirez doubled back-to-back for a run. Felix is struggling mightily. His offense may not have the runs to even tie this one. In the sixth: Chicago 4, Seattle 1.
- Felix Hernandez may be close to done. He'd like to complete every game he starts, but after 90 pitches and allowing nine hits in six innings, it's obvious he's not having a good night. If he comes out for the seventh, he almost certainly won't work the eighth.
- Start No. 24 for Felix appears wasted. Through seven innings, he's thrown 117 pitches and trails, 4-1. The line of fans who believe Seattle's offense can score five runs may begin and end in Jack Zduriencik's office, where the belief that this team is merely under-achieving lives on. It may be - but it's also not very good.
- Johnson legged out an infield single and, one out later, so did Ichiro. Chone Figgins grounded into a double play. Brian Sweeney now pitching for Seattle. In the eighth: Chicago 4, Seattle 1.
- Carlos Quentin and Kotsay singled, Pierzynski flied out to get a run home. Pierre singled home a sixth with two out. In the eighth: Chicago 6, Seattle 1.
- Loss No. 61 is in the books. Felix is a .500 pitcher at 7-7. Yikes! It's a final: Chicago 6, Seattle 1.