Brendan Ryan sat at his locker in his uniform after meeting with the media. He was mumbling to himself and was clearly still peeved about being thrown out at second in the eighth inning trying to advance on a ball in the dirt, and also at the team for never really mounting much of an offensive attack.
“I gotta make it there,” a frustrated Ryan said of the play. “That’s ridiculous. I don’t know. I didn’t feel very quick going to second. Either it’s on the jump or just getting going. But I still go. I should still be in there.”
If he’s in there, the game might change. There is no guarantee that Olivo gets a hit in that situation. The odds didn't seem great, though he has had a flair for dramatic of late. But it wasn't Joel Peralta pitching either. But at the very least, it wouldn't have needed to be an extra base hit for Ryan to score.
“I should be safe there,” Ryan said. “Now we have 1-1 count with Miggy up. A bloop or anything would tie it up.”
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And if it’s tied, things change.
“I think changes their at-bats in the next inning,” Ryan said.
Indeed, perhaps then the White Sox don’t tack on an extra run off of reliever David Pauley on a Pierzynski RBI single. Or manager Eric Wedge plays it differently and uses Jamey Wright instead.
Wedge understood why Ryan broke for second and would want him to do it again.
“He tried to be aggressive with it,” Wedge said. “More times you are going to make that. The catcher has to do a lot to make that play. I want our guys to be aggressive in that situation.”
But as Ryan was quick to point out, the bigger problem wasn't that play. And he wasn't just trying to cover his own butt.
“It’s getting real old waiting till late in the game to make thing happens,” he said. “We just can’t wait to create.”
Indeed, the Mariners (31-29) have 15 come from behind wins this season. And while it may play out for great drama for fans and those watching, the hard truth is that they simply can’t and won’t continue to do that for an entire season. Right now, they don’t have the consistent offensive firepower, and the breaks they are getting won’t always be there.
“We really didn’t get much going today,” Wedge said.
The Mariners had seven hits. But in a park where the ball carries to left and homers can come easily and cheaply, Seattle never really took advantage. There were only a few hard hit balls. Greg Halman had three hits to lead the Mariners, but two of them were infield singles that he beat out with his superb speed. Really, the hardest hit ball came off the bat Ryan when he ripped a shot to the right-center gap with Halman on first base. However former University of Washington infielder Brent Lillibridge, now an outfielder with the White Sox, made a brilliant diving catch to rob Ryan of a sure double.
Micheal Pineda pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
“He was real good,” Wedge said. “He left a couple of breaking balls up. Michael pitched another great game. He gave us every opportunity to win the ball game.”
The first breaking ball was a 0-1 slider to Paul Konerko for a solo homer that just barely cleared the left field wall.
“I threw a slider and it was not down,” Pineda said. “I did not have great command with my slider tonight. I attacked them with my fastball.”
It’s what he did when he found himself in trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Down 1-0 with two outs and a runner on third, Pineda threw fastballs on six of the first seven pitches to Gordon Beckham. The last one was a 96 mph heat right under Beckham’s chin that sent him sprawling to the ground. But on the next pitch, Pineda left a slider over the middle and Beckham drove it up the middle for a single.
“I made some mistakes today,” Pineda said.
But not enough mistakes to where he should have been saddled with the loss, according to his teammates.
“He’s been outstanding and it’s even more disappointing to not get him some help,” Ryan said. “If you throw as well as he did, you deserve a ‘W,’ you deserve some help.”