Greetings from Safeco Field. They had the Longball Bombers just out hitting softballs into the stands. If you've never seen them before they are four slowpitch players roughly the size of football linemen that absolutely obliterate softballs. One guy almost hit the "S" in the Safeco Field sign above the upper deck in left field.
Anyway it's pretty impressive (even though it's slowpitch, and they couldn't hit my rise ball) and all the players from the Orioles and Mariners were enjoying the show. One player in particular Russell Branyan seemed amused. He has the same swing as those guys and the same build. I think we've found a post-baseball career for Russell. He can go by Russell the Muscle as Angie the Annoying calls him during pre and postgame shows.
Top of first -- not a great start
Brian Roberts is out of the line-up tonight. He's been battling some sickness and also some criticism for his lack of effort from Orioles fans. Adam Jones is hitting lead-off something I haven't seen him do since his days as a Rainiers. Well there will be no no-hitter tonight as Jones leads off with a bloop single to right. Maybe Ichiro would normally get there, but I really think he's fighting some fatigue and with tomorrow being a day game, I would expect him to DH.
Erik Bedard seems to have decent velocity, but he barely scraped Markakis with a pitch to put runners on first and second. He struck out Ty Wigginton with a 94 mph fastball and then made Aubrey Huff look silly with a nasty curve for a strikeout. He appeared to throw the same pitch on 3-2 to Nolan Reimold but it was called a ball by home plate umpire Tom Hallion. With bases loaded, Bedard then gave up a single up the middle to Luke Scott. Franklin Gutierrez's throw to the plate was less than stellar and it skipped off the mound and bounced left of Rob Johnson and past Bedard, who was supposed to be backing up, into the stands.
Jones and Markakis scored on the play, but manager Dave Trembley argued that Reimold should have also been awarded home. But after about five minutes, the ruling stayed.
I'm guessing we won't be getting this game done in two hours and nine minutes.
In between the inning Trembley was arguing with Hallion about the play and was tossed. Trembley, who's usually mild mannered, went insane. His face was beat red and he was absolutely screaming at Hallion. He then tossed his hat to the ground and stormed off. Lou Piniella would be proud.
Bottom of first
Bedard threw 28 pitches in that inning so his day could be done early if this pace keeps up. Ichiro leads off with a single. Griffey is rocking some Billie Jean by Michael Jackson as his walk-up music in memory of the deceased pop star. He's also rocking one white glove in honor of Michael. Junior draws a walk. But does not moonwalk to first base, thankfully.
And now Guthrie is bothered by something and we have another game break. This game is destined for four hours and nine minutes.
Gutierrez atones for the throwing error by crushing a Guthrie pitch into the left field for a three-run homer. Mariners lead 3-2 and Gutierrez has a career high 10 game hitting streak. It is Gutierrez's ninth homer of the season.
Bedard strikes out Wieters, Andino and Jones with ease. He's at 45 pitches after two innings. Meanwhile, his counterpart Jeremy Guthrie is still all over the place. He walked Rob Johnson to lead-off the inning, but managed to get out of it. Mariners 3, Orioles 2
Well Jeremy Guthrie's night is over with. He walked Russell Branyan, got Jose Lopez to ground out and then walked Junior. That was enough for bench coach Dave Jauss, who brought in big lefty Mark Hendrickson, who hails from Mt. Vernon and played hoops for WSU. Hendrickson struck out Gutz and Langerhans to end the inning.
Bedard strikes out his seventh hitter of the game and then gets out of the inning. He's at 75 pitches. He may start the next inning and Chris Jakubauskas will be in for him shortly thereafter.
Ronny Cedeno bunts for a hit, when his bunt hits the bat on the ground, it seems like either bunts for a hit, strikes out or hits a homer. The only three options.
Sorry for the delay, my computer was acting sluggish and had to reboot and run the virus scan. Anyway, Bedard is out after four, having allowed two runs on two hits with eight strikeouts.
Mark Hendrickson has shut down the Mariners bats, particularly the left-handed hitters. The Mariners need to add some runs, because I don't think a one-run lead is safe.
The wheels have fallen off for the Mariners. Jakubauskas gave up soft RBI single to Nolan Reimold and then Gutierrez uncharacteristically misplayed a ball in center resulting in a three-run triple.
The Mariners get nothing as Woodward is robbed of a double by Melvin Mora.
A rare miscue from Gutz opens the floodgates for a long inning in which the Orioles get seven runs and the bullpen doesn't look so good.