Mariners Insider Blog

It's The Rubber Match In Texas - Mariners Game #139

Adrian Beltre singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and Felix Hernandez has taken the mound.

All around him are Mariners babies - catcher Rob Johnson, second baseman Luis Valbuena, first baseman Bryan LaHair.

Yes, Virginia, it's September ...

Felix was up to his eyes in trouble with runners at second and third and one out. What he did next was a sign of the maturity he's showing at age 22 - he limited the damage.

Felix allowed a sacrifice fly, then got out of the inning down just one.

Raners 1, Mariners 0 ...

Dustin Nippret is exactly the kind of pitcher that has driven Seattle crazy this year - a hard-throwing right-hander.

Through three innings, he'd allowed one hit, but in the fourth Beltre and Raul Ibanez singled with one out and Jose Lopez grounded out, moving both runners up.

Left-handed hitting LaHair vs. right-handed pitcher Nippert?

Routine fly ball.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0 ...

This is a hitters park, and Jamie Moyer once said that anyone who pitched here should have one run automatically taken off his ERA.

Nippert's allowed four hits in five innings, Hernandez just five hits - and both have pitched out of trouble.

Good reminder that good pitching can do the job in any ballpark.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0 ...

Mariners trying Small Ball. After Yuniesky Betancourt's second single, Johnson bunted him to second base.

Valbuena flied out. Ichiro - batting .260 with runners in scoring position this season - hit a soft ground ball to first.

Inning over.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0 ...

Down to the final chance in the ninth inning, with LaHair, Betancourt andc Johnson due up.

Tug Hullet, batting for LaHair, struck out.

Betancourt flied out to the wall in left field.

Jeff Clement, batting for Johnson, popped out.

It's a final:

Rangers 1, Mariners 0 ...