No one can argue that the 2010 Mariners were a good team that merely under-achieved - this was a disastrous season for too many reasons to list in one quick explanationl\
Yes, the farm system is vastly improved under Jack Zduriencik. No, the big-league team has not yet benefitted. Young players like Michael Saunders, Adam Moore, Doug Fister, Greg Halman, Dan Cortes, Matt Mangini and Anthony Varvaro may be budding stars. Chone Figgins, Franklin Gutierrez and Milton Bradley could all bounce back in 2011.
For now, there's only one goal left to 2010: To win the final game of the year against Oakland.
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Ryan Rowland-Smith is starting. Daren Brown managing. This could be their final games for Seattle. Or not.
- Rajai Davis opened the game with a single, but Rowland-Smith picked him off first base and made a quick 12-pitch inning of it.
- With two outs and Davis on first base, Rowland-Smith threw wildly trying to pick him off again and Davis wound up at third baase. Mark Ellis doubled home a run. In the third: Oakland 1, Seattle 0.
- On the first pitch, Kurt Suzuki homered, his 13th. In the fourth: Oakland 2, Seattle 0.
- In his fifth inning, Rowland-Smith set the Athletics down in order, and has thrown 73 pitches. That's better than the Mariners could have expected. Now, if they'd just score a few runs ...
- Michael Saunders and Greg Halman singled. Matt Mangini forced Saunders at third. Josh Wilson flied out. Ichiro doubled home both runs, with Mangini scoring after a headfirst slide at the plate. It was Ichiro's 213th hit of the season, and his 42nd and 43rd RBI. In the fifth: Seattle 2, Oakland 2.
- Rookie Anthony Varvaro relieved Rowland-Smith to open the sixth inning. When Varvaro loaded the bases on two singles and a walk - he did get one out - manager Daren Brown called in Jamey Wright. Chris Carter singled home a run. In the sixth: Oakland 3, Seattle 2.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff homere off Garrett Olson, his 16th. That unofficially puts the Athletics out of range for the Mariners. In the eighth: Oakland 4, Seattle 2.
- Ichiro led off the eighth inning with his 214th hit, a soft looping single into center field, then stole second - his 42nd stolen base. With one out, Jose Lopez pinch hit for DH Gutierrez and grounded out, sending Ichiro to third base. Justin Smoak singled, driving in Ichiro and extending his hitting streak to 10 consecutive games. In the eighth: Oakland 4, Seattle 3.
- And in the ninth: Halman singled. Mangini struck out. Halman was balked to second base by Craig Breslow. Wilson struck out. Ichiro flied out. The Mariners finish the year 61-101. It's a final for the season: Oakland 4, Seattle 3.