This one may be a little brief as I am embarking for a drive back to Montana for a week to see my family and most importantly my dog, who moves back during baseball season. I'll still do some posting during the week, while Lash is on the road trip.
Overall, a great win today for the M's, they got a great start from Felix, some power from the middle of the order and lots of applause at the end.
"Obviously, it's a nice win, especially with the crowd we had out there today," Wakamatsu said. "I don't think people understand how much it means to us as a team to give back when they show up and support us like that."
For me the big thing was seeing Beltre hit the home run, yes it's just his second of the season, but he does seem to coming out of his slump some.
Admittedly, Beltre had been absolutely scuffling at the plate for most of the season. He came into Sunday's game hitting a meager .214. Even worse, his slugging percentage was .306 and he'd only hit one home run this season.
"It's tough because you know our team needs some offense," Beltre said. "When you are struggling, you want to be the guy, you want to help, at that moment sometimes you put too much pressure on yourself and that works against you. It's tough to tell yourself to relax and make good contact."
But he made good contact on the Zito slider.
"Safeco is tough but I knew I hit it good," he said. "I thought I hit it far enough for it to go."
Said Felix Hernandez: "For him it was great, for the team it was great, and for me it was outstanding."
As for Hernandez he was solid today, and Wakamatsu was quite pleased.
"We talked earlier today about Felix stepping up," Wakamatsu said. "I thought he stepped up today and did a phenomenal job. Not just stuff-wise, but more importantly, because of the shape of our bullpen. We obviously needed the eight innings, and he gave some guys some rest. That's what we're talking about, being a team player."
&bull Barry Zito lost to the Mariners for the first time in last 12 starts (last: 07/23/03 w/ OAK)…previously 6-0 with 3.04 ERA (24 ER, 71.0 IP) in his last 11 starts vs. Seattle…Despite allowing 5 ER vs. Seattle, since starting the season 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA, Zito has gone on to allow just 15 ER in 47.0 IP for an ERA of 2.87 over that span… dropping his overall ERA to 4.02 (25 ER, 56.0 IP).
&bull Fred Lewis homered for the second consecutive day (3 overall).
&bull Aaron Rowand has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games at .368 (21x57) with 10 runs scored, 4 2B's, 3 HR's and 7 RBI…raising his season avg. 63 points from .214 to .277…has homered in 3 of his last 7 games.
&bull Prior to today's game, the Giants purchased the contract of C Eli Whiteside and optioned LHP Pat Misch to AAA Fresno…in his first MLB appearance since Sept. 30, 2005 (with BAL) and just the 4th start of his career, Whiteside went 1x3 with an RBI and a run.
&bull Felix Hernandez snapped a personal 3-game losing streak to record his 5th win of the year…struck out a season-high 10 batters…has recorded 66 strikeouts through his first 10 starts (3rd in AL)…his 4th 10-strikeout game of his career (last: 04/27/08 vs. OAK).
&bull The Mariners won their 10th game against a left-handed starter this season… Seattle is 10-4 (.714) against LHP, best in AL for winning percentage against lefty starters…compares to 11-20 vs. RH starters.
&bull Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 5th HR of the season…his 3rd off left-handed pitching despite only 5 starts against lefties this season… was his first career HR against Barry Zito, the 397th pitcher to allow a HR to Griffey.
&bull Griffey's 1st inning, 2 run HR snapped a Mariners streak of 31 consecutive singles.
&bull Over the last 4 games, Seattle starters have combined to go 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA (4 ER, 32.0 IP) with 24 strikeouts, allowing 1 earned run or less in 4 of the 5.
&bull Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 18 games; going 2x4…streak is currently the 2nd-longest active streak in the Majors (Ellsbury, 18)…Ichiro is batting .350 (28x80) with 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI during the streak.
&bull Ichiro Suzuki recorded 18th infield hit in 7th inning, including 10 in his last 16 games…18 infield hits lead the Majors.
&bull Despite going hitless on the day, Russell Branyan finished the home stand with an avg. of .406 (13x32) for the home stand with 2 HR, 4 doubles, and 3 RBI…has at least one hit in 13 of last 15 games at Safeco Field and 16 of 19 home games this season (.332, 22x65).
&bull Yuniesky Betancourt, batting 2nd in the lineup, tied a career-high by drawing walks in first 2 at-bats, 6th time in career (last: 05/15/09 vs. BOS)...after drawing his first walk of the season on May 4th in his 97th plate appearance, Betancourt has since drawn 7 walks in his last 56 plate appearances.
&bull Today's time of game, 2 hr 15 minutes was the shortest time for a home game this season.