Ah it's a beautiful day up at Safeco Field. I'm up here hanging out with Larry. Originally, I had the day off, but since there seem to be no softball umpires in the greater Portland area, I decided to come up and take in the game.
And since I'm up here goofing off, I thought I'd offer up some game thoughts... Of course the big news is Ryan Rowland-Smith being sent to Triple A. Let's see, the guy pitches well almost every time he's called upon, while Miguel Batista can't make it four innings without giving up six runs and putting the Mariners in a huge hole every time he steps on the mound. It makes little sense to me.
Honestly, how much confidence do you have in the Mariners winning a game that Batista starts? Little? None? I imagine its impossible for his teammates to feel the same way. Take yesterday, he walks the first batter of the game, and it's downhill from there. And have you noticed how impossibly long he takes between pitches or when a runner is on base. Maybe that's why the Mariners make errors behind him, because their lulled into sleep by constant full counts and sheer boredom.
GAME THOUGHTS START HERE:
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3:48 -- Final score Indians 6, Mariners 2. Working on Linkage post for later.
3:44 -- Cliff Lee is going for the complete game. Secretly I wanted them to pull him so we could get our weekly rant from Dave8557. But Lee is cruising. Even with an error from Jhonny "don't call me Dwyane" Peralta to put runners on the corners, but Yuni flies out to end the game.
3:24 -- Cairo provides a run with an RBI triple, his first triple since Sept. 15, 2007.
3:19 -- Mariners get runners on first and second with no outs and what happens Joh promptly grounds into a double play - his second of the day.
JJ looked pretty good in his return. He pumped his fastball up to 97 in the inning.
3:16 -- From: awashburn3 -- Mark McGwire went deep over the centerfield wall as a Tacoma Tiger, didn't he??? 1986ish??
No, not according to my sources. He may have hit one over the wall during BP, but not in a game. Next guess please ...
3:01 -- Willie with an in-field hit, which draws a huge cheer from the Safeco crowd? Why such a large cheer? Well it is Willie, and also because it was just the fourth hit off of Lee. He's been pretty tough, getting ahead in the count, changing speeds and pitching efficiently. This isn't some brilliant new philosophy, just something a few Mariners pitchers haven't quite mastered yet.
Oh wait another hit for Raul, that's five. The Mariners have something going, aaaannddd Beltre grounds out to the pitcher to end the inning.
2:29 -- Debisfriends coming out firing. I like that. I like that a lot.
I have lost all faith in Miguel Batista to get outs and not give up runs. Riggleman tried to justify it by saying that Batista can't get his regular throwing in because of his rash of minor injuries., and that once he does that we'll see a better version of Batista. Well, that's true, because I'm not sure it could get any worse. I remember hearing rumors of Batista being very upset for being dropped to the fifth starter before the season starts. Right now, he's fortunate to be a starter at all.
Batista will get 9 million dollars this season and Silva gets 7 million this season, so that's 16 million for eight wins and 22 losses as of the fifth inning.
There is no justification for Batista being in the rotation, none.
Oh and now the score is 6-1 as the Indians got two runs off of Roy Corcoran in the fifth.
2:00 -- OK, well it's now 4-1 after Silva gave up a three-run bomb to Kelly Shoppach. And shortly thereafter Silva left the game with lower back tightness. Everett Herald writer Kirby Arnold noticed Silva was laboring about two batters before and said he wasn't throwing his fastball. So now Silva is out, and the bullpen is going to have to go the rest of the way.
Riggleman did say he figured Rowland-Smith would be back before September. He may be back before August.
1:50 -- Silva's lead lasted all of about five minutes. Former Mariner Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to let and later scored on a sac fly to right to tie the game at 1-1. What was pretty funny is that Ichiro caught the ball on the warning track - knowing he had no chance of getting Cabrera - and instead fired the ball toward home on a huge arc that Kenji Johjima caught in the air. It was pretty funny and impressive.
1:40 -- The Mariners grab a 1-0 lead on Jose Vidro's stinging line drive off the center field wall, it clearly left a mark in the paddding and ... oh wait, Beltre scored on Vidro's dribbler up the middle that bounced off the second-base bag. Still a 1-0 lead. I'm thinking they may need more.
Here's today's line-ups ... complete with comments
Grady Sizmore CF - Hey did you know he's from the area. I don't see how you couldn't if you listened to five minutes of any broadcast. Is there a player on the Mariners you wouldn't trade him for?
David Delluci DH -- He once dated Gena Lee Nolin off of Baywatch.
Casey Blake 3B -- I doubt he's wearing a Indians uniform in two weeks.
Jhonny Peralta SS --- The dyslexic spelling of his name. Mine would be Rayn.
Shin Soo-Choo RF -- Big day yesterday, one of two players to ever hit a home run over the centerfield wall at Cheney Stadium. Can you name the other one?
Kelly Shoppach C -- Teach your kids to catch, because its the best way of making it to the big leagues and staying there. You don't even have to be great, or sometimes even good, and if you play for the Mariners, you'll get a three-year, 24 million dollar extension.
Ryan Garko 1B -- I got nothing for him
Franklin Gutierrez LF -- him either
Asdrubal Cabrera 2B -- Like Choo another former Mariners player, I wonder if he'll hurt his former squad today.
Cliff Lee LHP --- the Mariners are supposedly this great team against lefties, maybe not Lee-type of lefties.