Welcome to the home opener. And I've already got some internet issues. Not sure why, but its acting kind of sluggish and slow, like Jose Vidro in the batters box last year. Hopefully you enjoy this sojourn through an afternoon of baseball in football weather.
Lineups posted at the bottom ...
Top of 1
El Buffalo Lite - Carlos Silva - has been shelled pretty good in his previous starts. Manager Don Wakamatsu talked about Silva maintaining his aggressiveness and use his sinker. So far, so good. Silva goes 1-2-3 to get out of the first.
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Bottom of 1
Shane Loux is kind of like Silva in that he's going to throw sinkers, not be really overpowering and use his defense to get outs. The only difference? He's not getting paid $12 million a year to do so. The real question remains, How long of an ovation with Junior get when he steps to the plate? I'm guessing 2 minutes and I'm timing.
After a Gutierrez walk, this place erupted. The first ovation was about a minute, with Griffey taking his hat off and saluting the crow, though he didn't milk and yet a good portion of fans never stopped cheering.
Junior base hit to right, and Safeco is rocking. Did you honestly think he wouldn't find a way to get a hit?
With runners on first and third, Beltre nubs one off the end of the bat. Loux fields it gets, the lead runner at second by Erick Aybar's throw to first is wide and late, Mariners 1-0 with two outs.
The M's and Don Wakamatsu continue to be aggressive as Beltre steals second. But its for not as Branyan strikes out looking.
Top of 2
Another 1-2-3 inning for Silva, who struck out Torii Hunter (looking) and Kendry Morales (swinging). The second sinker Silva threw Morales was pretty nasty. Silva always said that his ball should sink on days like today.
Bottom of 2
Well, Loux, who you may not know was the PCL pitcher of the year last year with at 12-6 record and 3.98 ERA (yes, those are good numbers for the hitter friendly PCL), has settled in with a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Top of 3
El Buffalo snorting a little with another 1-2-3 inning with another strikeout. Who is this Carlos Silva and where has he been since his first three starts of last season?
Bottom of 3
Yuni Betancourt leads off the inning and sees six pitches, fakes a bunt on the first and then swings at the next five, finally grounding out weekly to first. Endy Chavez follows and squares to bunt only he actually bunts the ball and makes a hustle play to evade the tag at first. Angels manager Mike Scioscia clearly displeased with the call, argues with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck to no avail. But it matters little as Ronny Cedeno promptly grounds into a 6-4-3 DP.
Top of 4
Well, the perfect game (didn't think it was really a possibility) when Silva hit Howie Kendrick. The no-hitter ended a few pitches later with Bobby Abreu dumping in a double down the line and the shutout ended when Kendrick scored on Vlad Guerrero's fielders choice. Silva still got out of the inning with no other damage. Mariners 1, Angels 1
Bottom of 4
And the Mariners are robbed of at least one run as Bobby Abreu makes a nice leaping catch up against the fence on Jose Lopez's hard hit ball to left. I don't know that it was going to get over the fence, but if it gets over his head it easily scores Russell Branyan from first, instead we head in to the fifth tied at 1-1.
Top of 5
A little rough grazing for El Buffalo, he got two quick outs but then gave up a single to Gary Matthews - he of the no homers and no RBI - and a double to Erick Aybar, and then walked Chone Figgins to load the bases. But Silva battled Howie Kendrick tough and got him to strike out Kendrick with a changeup on 1-2 count. It wasn't his third best pitch in that at-bat.
Bottom of 5
The Mariners get a little something going. Franklin Gutierrez works a walk. I know he hasn't hit well of late, but he's still working counts which is good to see. Yuni follows with a single through the left side and Endy Chavez gives the M's the lead on a single to right. Yuni tries to go to first to third on the single, but Gary Matthews made an excellent throw to cut him down. Mariners lead 2-1
Top of 6
Um wow, with two outs Torii Hunter just annihilated a 3-1 pitch to left that took about one second to leave the park. I was just commenting to our columnist Johnny McGrath that Silva had done a good job of staying ahead of hitters and not falling into any really plus hitters counts. Well, he got behind 3-1 to Hunter, served one up and Hunter tattooed it to left. We;re tied at 2-2.
Bottom of 6
Junior draws a leadoff walk much to the displeasure of the Safeco Fans who want to see the kid swing away. Adrian Beltre flies out to right and Mike Scioscia goes for a pitching change bringing in the lefty Darren Oliver to face Russell Branyan. The left on left matchup works for Oliver who strikes Branyan out looking on a sinker that looked to be inside. The inning ends with Lopez fly out to left.
Top of 7
You can't stop the Buffalo!!! A 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, this has to be Silva's best start since July 8th of last season.
Top of 8
It's getting interesting. David Aardsma replaces Silva and gives up a leadoff single to Chone Figgins. Howie Kendrick bunts him over, but Aardsma gets Abreu to pop up to center. Wakamatsu then has Aardsma walk perennial Mariners killer Vlad Guerrero to get to Torii Hunter. Hunter works the count full and draws a walk from Aardsma to load the bases with two outs. But Kendry Morales helps Aardsma out by swinging at the first pitch and popping it up to Jose Lopez to end the inning.
Bottom of 8
Well, the chance for heroics goes by the wayside. Cedeno strikes out, Griffey strikes out on just three pitches and Adrian Beltre strikes out on a check swing by doing his usual and appealing his own check swing to first --- And no, I have no idea why he does it. Neither does he, at least that's what he's said before. WE go to the ninth ...
Top of ninth
Brandon Morrow in and he comes out throwing gas, striking out Mike Napoli with three fastballs hitting 99 on the stadium radar. Gary Matthews flies out to deep center. But Erick Aybar keeps the inning alive with a soft liner on broken bat to right, and then Morrow seems to lose his focus a little and walks Chone Figgins. Morrow gets out of the inning by coaxing a soft bouncer, that he was smart to try and field, and let Jose Lopez take and tag second.
Bottom of ninth
Darren Oliver stays in to get Branyan to ground out. Wak could've gone to Mike Sweeney to pinch hit, but the Angels would have just went to Scot Shields a hitter earlier. Instead, Shields is in now to face Jose Lopez and Joh. Joh gives one a ride, but not today. WE go to bonus panels, which shouldn't be surprising since I am the extra innings jinx.
Top of 10
Roy Corcoran in for the Mariners and its been a battle. He gave up a leadoff single, but coaxed a 5-4-3 double play out of Vlad Guerrero. To be fair, Guerrero now runs and walks like he's had double hip and knee replacements. Corcoran then walked Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales, but got Mike Napoli to ground into a fielders choice to end the inning.
Bottom of 10
Franklin Gutierrez leads off with a deep double to center, Yuni's up to sacrifice him to third, and he lays down a perfect bunt that Scot Shields throws away allowing the M's to win the game. 3-2. yuni wins the game with a bunt, there's something I never thought I'd write.
Endy Chavez RF
Ronny Cedeno LF
Ken Griffey DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Russell Branyan 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Kenji Johjima C
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Yuni Betancourt SS
Carlos Silva P
Chone Figgins 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu LF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Torii Hunter CF
Kendry Morales 1B
Mike Napoli C
Gary Mathews Jr. RF
Erick Aybar SS
Shane Loux P