Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners @ Royals: Game No. 29

Jarrod Washburn isn't at home in Kansas City, but he must sometimes wish he were - his record pitching here is 6-1, and his lifeime ERA of 2.30 is second only to Roger Clemens.

Ah, but there's a rub. Isn't there always?

The Mariners don't win in this ballpark. They were 1-6 here last season and are 0-1 this year, having scored exactly once on Wednesday.

In fact, through 28 games this season, Seattle has scored one run or less seven times. That, and starter Brian Bannister has a 1.96 ERA.

Oh, let them play, anyway. See what happens.

We're off.

Hit it on the ground and run!

As an offense, that's not much of an attack, but the Mariners use what they have.

Ichiro led off the game with a two-hopper to shortstop and beat the throw for an infield single, then stole second base (No. 5).

With one out, Jose Lopez rolled a ball to shortstsop and beat that out, with Ichiro taking third.

Cleanup hitter Russell Branyan struck out. Adrian Beltre hit a soft line drive to second.

No runs. Two infield hits. Yes, Virginia, this is what's keeping Seattle pitchers awake nights.

That wasn't Yuni's fault

An error at shortstop cost the Mariners a run, but Yuniesky Betancourt wasn't out there - Ronny Cedeno was.

After a two-out double and stolen base bt Coco Crisp, David DeJesus grounded to short, where Cedeno fielded the ball, transferred it to his throwing hand and dropped it.

Crisp scored. The Royals lead. The Mariners are officially slumping.

After three: Royals 1, Mariners 0

Look familiar?

It should. Not only did the Royals use little ball to add on a run, they used Willie Bloomquist to do it.

Bloomquist singled to run his hitting streak to 10 games, was bunted to second base an scored on a ground ball single from Mike Aviles.

This game might seem within reach if the Mariners would, like, score.

After five: Royals 2, Mariners 0

That's not small ball

Ichiro walked and Gutierrez was safe on an error.

Big inning? No. Small ball? No again.

Lopez tried to bunt the runners over, fouled the attempt off and then grounded into the third double play of the day for Seattle.

Branyan popped up. Another opportunity wasted.

Now that's just wasteful

The bottom of the Seattle lineup today - No. 8 hitter Rob Johnson and No. 9 Cedeno - has combined to go 0-for-6 with six strikeouts.

That's the equivalent of two full innings not putting a ball in play.

Add that to the four double plays grounded into, and you can see how scoring a run might be difficult without a long ball.

Washburn pitched seven marvelous innings but wouldn't have been much better off if he'd no-hit the Royals - all it would have given him is a tie.

To the bottom of eight: Royals 2, Mariners 0

And it's over

Four Kansas City pitchers, and the Mariners couldn't score against any of them until there were two outs in the ninth inning.

Of their nine hits today, three didn't leave the infield and only one came with a runner in scoring position.

Mike Sweeney's pinch-hit single drove in Seattle's only run, pinch hitter Betancourt drew a walk after falling behind 0-2.

When the Mariners get things straightened out, these games may haunt them.