Mariners Insider Blog

First The Rain, Then The Indians - Mariners Game #134

It's Coming, It's Coming, It's Here ...

Twenty minutes before game time, with not a drop of rain in sight, Cleveland's grounds crew threw a tarp on the field and announced a rain delay.

And just when they said it would hit - about 7 p.m. (EDT) - the skies opened and rain pounded the field.

If you're wondering, they say the rain shall pass and the lads shall play.

When? The grounds crew says 8 p.m. (EDT).

That's Just Mean ...

Fans here tonight are getting a bobble head of former Mariners infield prospect Asdrubal Cabrera - now an Indians infielder.

Cabrera was traded to Cleveland in 2006 for Eduardo Perez, who's now retired.

What's tomorrow's giveaway - a Shin-Soo Chin bobble head?

Forty Is The New 80 ...

John McLaren said he wanted Ichiro to steal 80 bases this season, but that's not going to happen.

After he singled to lead off the game, Ichiro took second on a ground ball, then stole third - his 40th steal of the season. It's his third career 40-or-more steal season.

Raul Ibanez singled Ichiro home, picking up his 90th RBI.

Felix has a lead before he throws a pitch.

Mariners 1, Indians 0 ...

Bless Thy Sinker ...

Through two innings, Mr. Hernandez has allowed three singles and a walk, and needed ground ball doubler plays to end each threat.

The bad news? He's fallen behind hitters and given up those hits and the wal, signs he's not particularly sharp yet.

The good news is Felix's sinker is getting him out of trouble. It's a pitch that's working tonight, and if the others kick in he might cruise.

If they don't, he made need a double play per inning all night.

Mariners 1, Indians 0 ...

How Many U's In Rauuuuul? ...

It only SEEMS like Raul Ibanez drives in all the runs Seattle scores these days.

In thre thirdc inning, after a Yuniesky Betancourt single, Ibanez hit his club-leading 22nd home run - his seventh this month.

That gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead, and Hernandez immediately allowed a single and a double to the first two Indians to bat in the bottom half of the inning.

He may find himself tonight, but he hasn't yet.

Mariners 3, Indians 1 ...

It Just Looks Easy ...

There hasn't been an easy inning or a pitch without stress tonight for Hernandez, who has been in constant trouble yet still has the lead.

Four innings, 63 pitches. His fastball has topped out at 98 mph, and he's struck out four Indians.

He's also gotten a break - Choo was caught trying to steal third base with one out.

Mariners 3, Indians 2 ...

No Complete Game - Again ...

Felix got through the sixth inning, getting the 18th out of the night with his 114th pitch.

That's likely going to be it for the evening.

What the Mariners and other teams have found is that effectiveness tends to depart for pitchers at a certain point, and whether it's 100 pitches or 115, managers see no reason to prove it by watching good starts blow up in the later innings.

As of now, Hernandez leads the team in starts (26), innings (168), strike outs (154) and wins - eight and holding.

Look to the Seattle bullpen to protect a one-run lead the last three innings.

Yes, you have every right to be nervous. You can wager that Felix is.

Mariners 3, Indians 2 ...

To The Ninth ...

Roy Corcoran, he of ordinary talent and extraordinary heart, just put the Indians down two innings in a row.

The eighth ended with men at first and third and - warming in the Seattle bullpen, Randy Messenger.

If THAT didn't have Felix nervous, he was in a coma.

Can the Mariners win a second 3-2 victory in the span of three games?

Can J.J. Putz close? Will Messenger?

Tune in, folks. It's always something.

Mariners 3, Indians 2 ....

J.J. Time ...

One run lead, three outs needed, and the Mariners go to Mr. Putz - who's looking for his 10th save.

Forty saves last year, nine so far in '08? Humbling times for most Mariners, including J.J., who's lost so much time this season to injury.

Putz struck out Kelly Shoppach.

Outfielder Ben Francisco pinch-hit and struck out.

Grady Sizemore - he of the 31 home runs - grounded out.

It's Final:

Mariners 3, Indians 2.