Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners Seek A Sweep - Game No. 136

Pitching has held Cleveland to five runs over the last 19 innings, and Ryan Rowland-Smith will try to continue that roll.

On the other hand, the Mariners have scored only seven runs in the same span - and won twice.

J.J. Putz is unavailable today, so if it comes to the ninth inning, it's proably 'closer' Roy Corcoran.

And we're off ...

Power Up ...

Adrian Beltre led off the second inning with his 22nd home run, tying Raul Ibanez for the team lead.

In this series, every run has been precious and the Mariners have tried more hit-and-run plays than they've hit home runs.

Home runs work, too.

Mariners 1, Indians 0 ...

Power Up, II ...

Another home run for Shin-Soo Choo, who has nine for the season - three in the last four games.

The Mariners always liked his promise but thought his development was a bit slow. The Indians have waited through injuries and now consider him their third or fourth outfielder.

Since the All-Star break, Choo is batting .310.

Mariners 1, Indians 1 ...

All Eyes On KC ...

The Mariners begin the day five games behind Kansas City in the race to avoid the worst record in the American League.

Does that make the mid-September four-game series in KC an epic showdown? Do you care whether the Mariners are the worst or second-worst team?

With one month left, the Royals are the only team within Seattle's range, unless Baltimore or Oakland concede a lot of games.

To the bottom of the third:

Mariners 1, Indians 1 ...

The Problem With Pitchers ...

No matter what they do on the mound, they think they can make impossible plays off of it - and usually pay for the arrogrance.

With Jeff Clement at first and one out, Miguel Cairo ladid down a perfect bunt near the third base line, and Zach Johnson pounced on it. With no chance to get Cairo, he threw anyway, a wild throw that let the runners move to second and third base.

Ichiro dumped a single into right field - hit No. 179 if you're counting - to score one run.

Jackson then tried to pick Ichiro off first, threw THAT away, and a second run scored.

Raul Ibanez singled, driving in his 31st run of August.

And then? Jackson hung a pitch and Beltre hit his second home run of the game.

To the bottom of the fifth:

Mariners 6, Indians 1 ...

Cast Your Ballots ...

Ryan Rowland-Smith is on a serious roll as a starter - the kind that has to have him seriously considered for the '09 rotation.

If he holds on today, he'll be 2-1 in seven starts, but that's deceptive. In his last two starts, he went a combined 13 innings and allowed four runs - and went 1-1.

So, think ahead. The candidates for next year are piled up like driftwood: Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, Rowland-Smith, Ryan Feierabend, Brandon Morrow and R.A. Dickey.

Pick five, any five.

To the bottom of the seventh:

Mariners 6, Indians 1 ...

That Took Awhile ...

Mariners used three pitchers to get three outs, and the Indians pushed across one unearned run but left the bases loaded.

Rowland-Smith tired and finished with 111 pitches, and it will be intreresting to see how he does next time out.

Still adjusting to starting, the last time Rowland-Smith had back-to-back 100-pitch starts he wound up on the disabled list.

Six outs from matching their longest winning streak of the season - sigh - three games.

Mariners 6, Indians 2 ...

Now It's A Race ...

Can the Mariners a) score again or b) get three outs before Cleveland scores twice?

In the eighth, Randy Messenger loaded the bases and Jose Lopez threw away a routine double play ball allowing a run.

Miguel Batista got all three outs, but the Indians crept close.

To the ninth:

Mariners 6, Indians 4 ...

The Closer ...

That would be Mr. Corcoran against the top of the Cleveland lineup.

Grady Sizemore walked on four pitches.

Jamey Carroll walked on the next four pitches.

Victor Martinez struck out.

Jhonny Peralta walked on six pitches to load the bases.

Ryan Garko grounded into a double play.

Nothin to it.

It's a Final:

Mariners 6, Indians 4 ...