Mariners Insider Blog

GAME THOUGHTS: Red Sox vs. Mariners, July 21

Game thoughts two days in a row. First a few quick links that didn't make it into the last post. This New York Post story talks about the Mets need to pick up another outfield bat, and with the asking prices to high for Jason Bay or Xavier Nady, the Mets may settle for Raul Ibanez.

I don't know what Raul would command in terms of return. But with Pedro Martinez ailing, Oliver Perez stinking and the Mets pitching staff struggling, maybe the M's could package Jarrod Washburn in the deal to get a little more back. It's just an idea.

If Washburn wants to up his trade value, pitching well tonight against a pretty decent Red Sox lineup would go a long ways. I see at least five scouts here tonight. Granted not all of them are here to see Washburn, but a few are.

Cha Seung Baek hit a home run the other day for the Padres. Apparently the Cardinals or their fans didn't appreciate how slow he ran the bases. So Cha Sizzle has a home run this season and Bloomquist and Cairo do not. Interesting.

* Puyallup native and Bellarmine Prep grad Jon Lester gets the start tonight. In his young career, Lester hasn't fared well in his return trips to the Northwest. In two starts at Safeco, he's 0-0 with a 8.10 ERA and in 10 innings pitched.

But he should have plenty of rest coming into the start.

Youngsters Jeff Clement and Bryan LaHair are in the lineup despite Lester on the mound. It's a thrill for LaHair, who grew up in Worcester, Mass. and was a Red Sox fan growing up.

GAME THOUGHTS START HERE:

9:55 -- Batista is in to relieve. I don't know what to make of this. It would normally be his throw day so I figure he just volunteered to help out the bullpen.

9:44 -- Three straight singles with Bloomquist lining a single off of Lester's leg. He leaves the game after going seven and a 1/3, allowing no runs and eight hits. Francona is going to Papelbon for the five-out save.I thought they may go to Hideki Okajima to face Raul, but after dropping three straight in Anaheim, Francona is going with his horse.... and he gets Raul to ground into a double play to end the inning.

9:33 --- Well, the lead is up to 4-0. Mark Lowe got in trouble with a walkl and a single and then Cesar Jimenez comes and walks Jason Varitek to load the bases. And then he fell behind 2-0 to Jed Lowrie, who sat on a fastball and hit a two-run single.

9:20 -- Nice sequence, the Mariners get runners on first and second and then Cairo strikes out, and then they pinch hit Vidro and he flies out to right. MOJO! MOJO! MOJO!

9:06 -- From wowjont: Has anyone guessed the other guy to hit a homerun over the center-field fence at Cheney Stadium correctly? If not, it was Jose Canseco way back in 1985 (and the fence was even taller in '85 than it is now). He's a free agent too, isn't he?

It was not Jose Canseco. Although he did have that type of power (medicinally enhanced), he did not hit the ball over center at Cheney Stadium. And he also got his butt kicked by Vai Sikahema.

Still waiting for that guess ...

8:47 -- Washburn goes 5 2/3, allowing two runs on seven hits, and throws 113 pitches. In the NL, the way he pitched would have got him through six easily.

From Moo: TV announcers said Washburn's era is under 2.5 in his last 7 (now 8) starts. Surprised he hasn't been traded yet (no sarcasm this time).

No sarcasm needed there. Washburn's outing was pretty darn solid against a pretty good Boston team. I don't know that he'll be here in two weeks.

8:17 -- Jason Varitek just breaks up the 0-0 game, crushing a belt high, 87 mph fastball to left for a two-run homer. Washburn had been flirting with danger all night and finally got caught.

Two runs isn't a lot and you almost expect Washburn to give up a couple of runs, but it's not looking the like the Mariners are going to get much off of Lester.

7:50 -- Dustin Pedroia with a nice play on the ground ball up the middle getting Ichiro at first. If you watch him play long enough, you can't help but like him.

7:38 -- Not much cooking so far. Lester has been very solid. I forgot how hard he can throw, he's not a soft tosser by any means. Washburn hasn't been quite as dominant but a pair of double plays have helped him out.

Cairo's first at-bat as DH tonight resulted in a weak pop up to right. Did you know that this will be the 10th time he's started a game at DH. It makes you wonder who was on those teams when that happened.

7:04 --- Washington STate coach Paul Wulff threw out the first pitch. At least, he didn't "Coug It" and throw it in the dirt. Have we reached a point where "pulling a Bedard" is commonplace in the Washington lexicon, like "Couging It"?

No word if any of Wulff's players were in the centerfield beer gardens. (come on that was too easy.)

Here's tonight's lineups

RED SOX

Jacoby Ellsbury LF -- he's slumping and he may lose some playing time when Big Papi comes back.

Dustin Pedroia 2B -- one of five players in the major leagues that I am taller than.

JD Drew RF -- An outsider for the AL MVP

Manny Ramirez -- who knows what to expect from him.

Mike Lowell -- He struggled a little against the Angels going 1-for-13

Kevin Youkilis -- He didn't struggle against the Angels, hitting .300 with two homers and 4 RBI.

Coco Crisp CF -- He's hitting .476 against Washburn (10-for-21) in his career.

Jason Varitek C -- paging Heathcliff Slocumb

Jed Lowrie SS -- the rookie was called up when Julio Lugo got hurt. No word if a Red Sox fan actually found a way to injure Lugo.

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Jon Lester P -- He has the potential to mow down this Mariners' lineup

Mariners

Ichiro RF

Bloomquist CF

Ibanez LF

Beltre 3B

Lopez 2B

Cairo DH -- Oh my God. Is there a large comet headed toward earth? The end is near! The end is near!

LaHair 1B

Clement C

Betancourt SS

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Washburn P

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