Look I'll never tell a fan his business. Tickets are not cheap, beers are not cheap, hot dogs are not cheap at Mariners games and most times I'm there getting paid to be there, but I thought it was pretty classless for the Safeco Fans to boo Mark Lowe tonight.
The fans retort is always, "if I pay for the ticket, I have a right to boo." And I guess on some level it is true. And these guys are professional athletes that are paid to play.
But booing Lowe to me seemed a mark of being uninformed, or else just the outpouring of frustration of watching the Mariners scuffle as a whole. Really, Lowe has been pretty damn good the last week and a half.
In his last five appearances, he hadn't allowed a run and he allowed only one run in his last 10 appearances. He's been not only successful, but almost overworked because of the Mariners shabby offense.
Manager Don Wakamatsu made it a point to praise Lowe right away in his post game comments, saying "the first thing I want to mention is Mark Lowe. This guy has been absolutely outstanding for us. He's thrown six out of the last nine days and our bullpen is a little tired. I think that was a little evident. He's been there over the last week or so, and he's really developing into a pitcher that's going to be around this organization a long time and be a big help."
That was kind of an odd thing to start with, so eventually I asked Wak if he thought the treatment of Lowe by the fans when he walked off the field was unfair.
"Absolutely," he said. "This guy has just gotten better and better. To have to keep going to our bullpen without taking any pressure off offensively."
He wasn't alone in his thinking. The guy who's decision Lowe blew, starter Garrett Olson, also was surprised.
"It's definitely not fair," Olson said. "It's amazing how soon people can forget what he's done. But Mark is the guy you want out there in that situation."
Lowe to his credit didn't seem hurt by it, saying, "that's the game of baseball."
Perhaps, but the game of baseball is scoring runs and the Mariners just aren't doing that any more. Maybe that's part of the displeasure is knowing that right Seattle just doesn't have the offense to rally from a one or two-run deficit, let along a four-run one.
Seattle's last 31 hits have all been singles. They have not recorded an extra base hit since May 20th. Anemic is a word that comes to mind.
Still Lowe stood in front of the media and wore the loss, offering no excuses for his workload, the high leverage situations or anything else.
"I got two quick outs, but it was just one of those days where they capitalized on some mistakes," he said. "I didn't feel bad, I felt normal. It takes it toll, but at the same time that's what we're here to do and that's what our job is."
"That's why we play. We're going to be in those one-run two-run games as bullpen guys," he said. "You live for those moments, we do it eight or nine out of 10 times we are considered successful."
As for the outing, he's trying to live by the reliever mantra of maintaining a short memory.
"I've got a 20 minute drive home to think about it, by the time I get home and get my bags packed for the road trip I'll be fine," he said. "That's the reason I live a little farther from the ballpark is for moments like this."
&bull Matt Cain allowed only 1 earned run, and has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 7 of his 9 starts this season...tossed his 1st complete game of the season and 5th of his career (last: 7/24/08 vs. WAS)...has tossed at least 6.0 innings in each of his 9 starts...first career start against Seattle...on road this season, is 2-0, 1.29 ERA (4 ER, 28.0 IP) in 4 starts.
&bull Randy Winn went 2x5 with 1 run scored and has now recorded multi-hit efforts in 4 of his last 5 games...since May 10, he is batting .396 (21x53) with 12 runs, 6 doubles, a triple and 9 RBI, moving his average up from .219 to .278.
&bull Giants snapped a 4 game losing streak with an 8th inning rally, starting with a single to left by Bengie Molina and capped off by a 3-run double by Juan Uribe that gave the Giants their first lead of the game.
&bull Juan Uribe drove in season-high 3 runs with a double to center in the 8th and went 2x3 for the night, extending his hitting streak to 4 games…has driven in 3-or more runs in 4 games against the Mariners.
&bull Jesus Guzman had his first major league career hit with a sharp grounder to third base in the 7th inning and went 1x3 before being replaced in the bottom of the 7th by Federal Way's Travis Ishikawa.
&bull Pablo Sandoval went 2x3 with 2 singles and a walk…has now hit safely in last 3 games.
&bull Garrett Olson made his second start this season, pitching 6 shutout innings in his first quality start of the season…in his 2 starts, he is 0-1, 3.75 ERA (5 ER, 12.0 IP) with 6 strikeouts…Seattle has lost both of his starts.
&bull Kenji Johjima threw out Giants' attempting to steal 2nd base in the 6th and 9th innings…by throwing out both would-be base stealers, he has now thrown out 9 of 20 attempted base stealers this season, the best success rate (45%) for a catcher in the Majors.
&bull Over the last 4 games, Seattle starters have combined to go 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA (3 ER, 24.0 IP) with 14 strikeouts, allowing 1 earned run or less in 3 of the 4.
&bull Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 17 games; going 2x4…streak is currently the 2nd-longest active streak in the Majors (Ellsbury, 18)…Ichiro is batting .342 (26x76) with 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI during the streak.
&bull Ichiro Suzuki recorded 17th infield hit in 5th inning, including 9 in his last 15 games…17 infield hits lead the Majors.
&bull Russell Branyan went 2x4 with singles in the 6th and 9th innings…has at least one hit in 13 of last 14 games at Safeco Field and 16 of 18 overall home games this season (.361/22x61).
&bull Seattle hitters recorded 10 hits, all singles today...each of their last 31 hits have been singles...have not recorded an extra-base-hit since an Ichiro double on May 20 vs. LAA leading off the game...despite the lack of extra-base power, the Mariners have split the last 4 games.
&bull Ken Griffey Jr., batting fourth for the Mariners for the first time since Aug. 11, 1996 against Minnesota, went 1x3. During his career, he is batting .271 (158x583) out of the 4-spot.
&bull Left-handed starter Ryan Rowland-Smith started rehab assignment at Triple A Tacoma tonight, tossing 4 innings and allowing 1 run and 4 hits, including 1 home run. Rowland-Smith made 49 pitches, 31 for strikes.