First of all let's get to the Jose Lopez situation.
Manager Jim Riggleman wouldn't come out and say what everybody already knew - he benched Lopez for yet another mental mistake in the field.
"I don't think I really want to address that right now," Riggleman said. "I appreciate the question. You take a regular out of the ball game it the middle of the game it's going to raise questions."
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Um really it doesn't. We all pretty much understood, even if Lopez had hit a homer in his previous at-bat, some times enough is enough. Riggleman did say he would discuss the situation in the future.
"I haven't talked to Jose yet, so after I talk to him I'll find the right words to explain to you guys, but I want to get those words to him first," Riggleman said.
Well that wasn't entirely true, I was told Riggleman spoke with Lopez briefly before doing his postgame press conference, which probably is a reason we heard this from Lopez.
"I can't say nothing right now," he said. "I don't know why, but I can't say nothing right now."
Lopez did say he had "no idea" why he was pulled out of the game, which is ludicrous. It was a build up, starting with a failure to cover second on a ground ball with a runner on on Friday, last night's attempt to flip the ball out of his glove on a double play, today's failure to catch a routine throw down from second.
Lopez may not remember, but managers do.
As for R.A. Dickey, he thought his knuckleball was good, but he said he was behind in the count too much to use it effectively.
"I had a good knuckleball, but I just wasn't able to get ahead of hitters today," Dickey said. "Two three-run homers to the eight and nine hitters tells the story."
Yes, yes it does.
But the Mariners as a whole didn't play particularly well. I mentioned earlier some bad at-bats as well. Riggleman pretty much summed it up.
"Today we took a step backward," Riggleman said. "We played a real bad ballgame. I don't know how else I can say it. It's not in-line with how we played lately."
I also have a Willie Bloomquist update
He was in the clubhouse after the game on crutches and talked with us briefly.
He said it felt like "somebody shot him the back of the leg."
As to when it happpened?
"I'm not sure if it was the last step before I hit the bag or the one after," Bloomquist said. "It was kind of between there. It all happened real fast."
When told of Riggleman's comment about him being not back for the rest of the season, Bloomquist wasn't surprised.
"My goal is to be ready before the end of year, but I'm not going to be stupid about it," he said. "I understand that my legs are my game. I need to make sure it's healthy if and when I go back out there."
Probably the most frustrating thing for him is knowing that the chance to play with regularity is gone.
"You have no idea," he said. "This game has a way of humbling you one way or another. The thing with injury is that it's out of your control. But I was getting a chance to play a little bit and it was looking like I would have played a lot down the stretch, so it's frustrating."
From the Mariners post game notes ...
&bull The Rays pick up a game on both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees who both lost today and now have a 4.5 game lead in the AL East division. Also, their 71st win today sets the franchise high win total for a season.
&bull The Rays hit three or more home runs in a game for the 10th time this season. In those games the Rays are 8-2.
&bull Shawn Riggans hit his 5th career home run, two of which have come against the Mariners. Riggans homered off of Erik Bedard on 4/8/08 for his first career home run.
&bull Cliff Floyd went 3x4 with a BB and continued to hit well against the Mariners. In his career, Floyd has batted .349 (15x43) with a double, 4 home runs, 7 RBI and 8 runs scored against Seattle. This was also Floyd's first 3-hit game of the season, with the last coming 6/14/07 vs. SEA while a member of the Chicago Cubs.
&bull Willy Aybar clubbed his 5th and 6th home runs of the season, which is moves him past his career high of 4 in 2006 while with Los Angeles (NL) and Atlanta. This was the first multi-home run game of his career.
&bull B.J. Upton stole his 36th base of the season keeping pace for second in the AL with Ichiro Suzuki. Upton and Ichiro are two behind Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury who also stole a base today for his 38th on the season.
&bull Carlos Pena hit his 2nd triple of the season and logged his 37th extra base hit of the season.
&bull Rocco Baldelli returned from the DL and made his first appearance since 5/15/07 against Texas. Baldelli also drove in his first runs since 5/3/07 vs. MIN when he hit a 2 run home run.
&bull R.A. Dickey has allowed 8 runs twice in his last four starts after allowing 8 runs on 8 hits today. He also allowed 8 runs on 10 hits on 7/26 vs. BOS when he also allowed two home runs. Dickey tied a season high with 6 strikeouts
&bull Jeremy Reed has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games during which he is batting .386 (17x44) with 4 2B and 8 RBI. Reed also stole his first base of the season. On the current homestand Reed is batting .407 (13x32) with 3 doubles, 5 RBI, a triple and 6 runs scored in 9 games.
&bull Seattle pitchers allowed 3 homers today; have now allowed 3+ HR's 7 times this year. Seattle is 0-7 in those games.
&bull Ichiro extended hitting streak to 16 games, batting .403 (27x67) with 11 runs, 3 triples, 9 RBI, 5 walks during streak.
&bull Jose Lopez batted .385 (15x39) on the homestand with 3 doubles, two home runs and five RBI's.
&bull Jose Lopez hit his 10th home run of the season and has now reached double-digit home run totals in three consecutive years (10 in 2006, 11 in 2007, 10 in 2008). Lopez is now tied for second in home runs by American League second basemen with Mark Ellis, Dustin Pedroia and Alexei Ramirez, who are all behind Ian Kinsler's 14. Despite driving in one run today he fell behind Kinsler for RBI by an AL second basemen after Kinsler drove in 3 today.
&bull Tug Hulett was recalled prior to today's game; Willie Bloomquist placed on DL with strained right hamstring.
&bull Ichiro kept pace with B.J. Upton for second place in AL stolen bases with 36.
&bull Jeff Clement's 3 passed balls in a game ties a club record set by Jerry Narron 10/4/80 at TEX.