The Seattle Mariners haven't built a .234 team average in 2011 by accident, and they showed their stuff - or lack of it - again by being four-hit in a 7-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics that was historic.
It was Seattle's 15th shutout loss of the season, matching the single-season record of the franchise.
And for those who think it's gotten better as the season wore on, consider this: It was the Mariners ninth shutout loss since the All-Star break.
Rookie Blake Beavan had one of those nights, giving up all seven runs in five innings - with five runs coming on a pair of Oakland home runs, by Josh Willingham and Scott Sizemore.
"I couldn't hit my spots. I just couldn't make a pitch when i needed to. I wasn't finishing my pitches off, and when I do that i'm usually up and pitches flatten out,” Beavan said. “The differerence tonight? In the past I've adjusted. this time, I couldn't.”
Looking for bright spots? Jamey Wright, lefty Cesar Jimenez, Shawn Kelley and Tom Wilhelmsen each pitched a shutout inning in relief.
The season ends on Wednesday night, with the Mariners entering their final game 67-94.
A few quick notes:
- Ichiro's first-inning single was his 184th hit of the season, and the 2,428th of his career. That tied Kenny Lofton for 109th place on baseball's all-time hit list.
- With his scorless eighth inning, right-hander Kelley has likely finished his comeback season from 'Tommy John surgery by pitching 11 2/3 scoreless innings over nine appearancs.
- With Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas each pitching 200-plus innings, here's a great trivia question next time you need one. What the last Mariners pitching duo to do so? It was in 2004, and the twosome was Jamie Moyer ... and Ryan Franklin.