Greetings Mariners fans from Pullman, WA. Actually right now I'm in Lewiston, ID, but I spent the day in Pullman covering WSU football in preparation for what I'll do when the Mariners season mercifully comes to an end. Larry, who was on the road the last week and a half, has the day off. So that leaves intrepid young intern Stephen Chen, to cover the game. Since young Stephen doesn't quite have this whole blog thing figured out. I figured I'd post a few things he told me. And then do a game thoughts by watching the game on TV ... just like you guys....
Quickly a few things from Stephen ...
Carlos Silva threw today and feels better, he could be about two weeks away. Erik Bedard didn't throw today, but did feel improved.
A quick question: Do you think Silva's girth somehow inhibits his success? He's a big man. I saw him destroy some quadzilla burgers from In and Out this spring And he was big in Minnesota, but maybe that hinders him somewhat? I will say this, the guy does run and I seeing working out all the time. So maybe he's just a guy that won't be skinny.
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What's strange is that Bedard is the opposite. He's probably one of the fitter pitchers on staff. He's built pretty well and is easily in better shape than Yuni or Lopez.
Anyways I'll stop rambling ...
GAME THOUGHTS START HERE:
Top of First
Nice start for Ryan Rowland-Smith. The big thing with him is being able to spot his fastball in the lower half of the strikezone. Since it rarely goes above 91 miles per hour, he can't leave it up in the strike zone, or it will get crushed. But when he can throw it low in the zone, get some strikes early it makes his breaking stuff and change-up that much more effective.
Bottom of First
Raul strikes out with an ugly swing to end the inning, but think about what the Mariners record would be without him, since he's accounted for 25 percent of the Mariners runs this season. Remember last season when everyone thought he was done as a hitter. But this year's he's healthy and hitting. He still lacks a few things defensively, but then again so does the Mariners shortstop, second baseman, catcher and one of their centerfielders.
Top of second
Big Hurt strikes out looking. Remember when everyone was clamoring to sign him after he was released. See sometimes total apathy isn't a bad thing. Or is it?
Rowland-Smith gets in a little jam, a possible double play comes up short, but I respect Rowland-Smith's hustle. But the Big Aussie gets out of the inning with a strikeout on Carlos Gonzalez.
Bottom of the second
I fixed it SharkHawk. I'm a little rusty.
I'm listening to Dave Niehaus explaining the new instant replay rules for home runs and my eyes just went crossed, can you imagine how confused he is by this whole scenario.
The inning ends with Kenji Johjima hitting into a double play on a soft ground ball to third. Shocking. I'm just stunned. He never does that.
Top of third
Rowland-Smith shakes off a walk, coaxing a double play to end the inning.
Bottom of third
Ichiro gets hit No. 169 of the season. But nothing really comes of it.
Top of four
Jack Cust strikes out as much as Richie (if he was still playing), but the difference is that Cust occasionally will hit a home run.
Bottom of four
Raise your hand if you are bored. It's almost as boring as being in Lewiston, ID on a Thursday night. Nice read by Wlad on the pick-off. To be fair, I think Smith might have balked-- even though no umpire will ever call it.
I skipped the fifth because, well, nothing happened.
Top of Sixth
Rowland-Smith finally gets tagged for a homer by Emil Brown. Leaving a changeup up and in is never a good thing.
Frank Thomas just gets tossed with an 0-1 count. The ump has a sweet mustache. Here's some real insight from Blowers, "Frank, must have said the magic word." I'm no lip reader but it looked like about 12 magic words.
For Sharkhawk: It looks like mostly WSU football and hoops with some Hawks sprinkled in. But I did cover a Huskies practice (if you call it that since you can't go watch practice) yesterday and wrote a story on former minor league baseball player turned walk-on Tripper Johnson.
Nice dig by Cairo to end the inning.
Bottom of sixth
Ichiro gets on with a lead-off double and fails to score. Shocking. I'm stunned.
Top of Seven
Nice job by Rowland-Smith to get out of a minor jam. Not a bad start for him, granted the A's are far from a juggernaut. But still after watching the craptastic starts last week this is great. But even after allowing one run after six, there's no guarantee he'll be able to get a win.
Top of Eight
Green comes in for Rowland-Smith who allowed just the one run on just four hits with six strikeouts. Nice effort by the Mariners offense to get him a lead for a chance for the win. The again Greg Smith is in Cy Young contention with his 5-14 record coming in.
Bottom of Eight
Mariners will be seeing Brad Ziegler in the eighth. Ziegler has given up like one run the whole season.
The sidearmer allows a couple of runners and then makes Beltre look bad.
Seattle strands their sixth and seventh runners of the game.... Mojo's Risin'
Top of Nine
Jeremy Reed makes his first appearance at first base since college and he makes an error that eventually leads to a run. Mariners down 2-0. Might as well be 20.
Bottom of Nine
Lopez showing his wheels and Jack Hannahan showing off the scattergun feature on his throwing arm. A hit and a walk loads the bases for Betancourt who unloads them with a double play. That pitch wasn't a strike it wasn't close. It's just typical. That was three hours of my life I'm not getting back.