Good afternoon. Hope everyone is getting used to the new look of the blog. Is it me or does this whole thing seem slightly claustrophobic and a little busy? Not a lot of empty space on here. Anyway, I will say that it does work much better in terms of operating and posting.
UPDATE: These are concerns I've mentioned to my bosses ... so I'm not slinging mud about this new look. This is a work in progress that will get better with time. But if you have questions, concerns, complaints, suggestions or compliments, don't be afraid to voice them. It's your input that will make this better.
As for today's game, well it doesn't get much better than having Felix Hernandez pitch. Not exactly a capacity crowd building for the game. But I've come to realize unless its a weekend or the Red Sox or Yankees, these games - even when the King is on the mound - aren't going to be necessarily must see viewing. Then again, it's a third-place team.
Right now (3:34) -- Miguel Batista is being honored for receiving MLB's Roberto Clemente award for his off the field contributions. Say what you want about Miggy, and I've said plenty of negative things about his pitching and his haircut, the guy has some great perspective when it comes to life outside of baseball and he genuinely gives back.
Good to see Bill Wixey throw at the first pitch. The Q13 anchor is battling Hodgkin's disease and is even blogging about it. I don't know anybody that hasn't had their lives touched by cancer in some way. Bill is an inspiration and a reminder of that.
Chone Figgins reaches on an infield single. Jack Wilson lays out for it and gloves and then makes the heady play of trying to flip it to second baseman Bill Hall to throw it, since Figgins so fast. But not even heady would get Figgins at first. But Figgins is quickly retired as he's thrown out by Rob Johnson on an attempted steal of second. Johnson has no thrown out 14 of 50 base runners this season. Bill Hall shows something we haven't seen a lot out of the Mariners second base position - a little range as he tracks down Bobby Abreu's ball up the middle and throws out the speedy (italics=sarcasm) Bobby Abreu.
Well that was magical, the Mariners load the bases as Ichiro and Gutierrez get a pair of singles and Lopez draws a walk. Then Mike Sweeney strikes out after a long at-bat, Adrian Beltre strikes out in about six pitches and Bill Hall Ks in five pitches.Wow, just wow.
Felix showing that pitchers can be athletes as he leaps high into the air to get the chopper and make a play at first. Maybe it's just me but anytime Felix comes off the mound to make plays in the field, I hold my breath a little because he doesn't seem to be the most graceful fielder and because of his past issues with his ankle and calf.
The Mariners may have gotten their best scoring opportunity against Kazmir in the first inning.
Felix get himself into a little trouble - bases loaded with two outs - and then battles back to strike out Torii Hunter for the second time in the game.
Mariners have not shown much against Kazmir.
I didn't anticipate a high scoring game and so far I was right. Beltre looks completely lost and his timing seems to be a mess. I'm trying to remember the last hard hit ball for the Mariners, I guess it was Gutierrez's single in the first.
Felix looking again like an athlete coming off the mound to make a play.
Offensively, the Mariners are scuffling. Jack Wilson swung at a pitch that would have hit him in the face. Michael Saunders struck out -- it was his 33rd strikeout in 96 at-bats since being called up. Kazmir has struck out eight Mariners hitters.
Still 0-0, Felix gets in a touch of a jam with some runners on, but gets out of it. He's at 82 pitches. Pretty decent pace
There was the hardest hit ball I can remember ... Lopez's fly ball to left, which was gloved at the warning track by Gary Matthews Jr.
We finally have a run in this game. Scott Kazmir walked Mike Sweeney and two batters later Bill Hall doubled off the wall in right-center to make it 1-0. Hall then manufactured the second run, stealing third with ease and when Mike Napoli's throw got past Chone Figgins, Hall sprinted home. M's 2-0.
Kazmir's line -- 6 1/3 IP, 2 runs, one earned run, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 very costly walk. He threw 106 pitches, 71 for strikes.Eighth inning
Felix gets through the eighth. He's at 114 pitches -- Do you let him start the ninth? Yes, Dave8557, we all are well versed on what your answer will be to my query. It doesn't look like he's going to come out.
The Mariners add some insurance. Angels closer and one-time Mariner prospect Brian Fuentes gives up a five and half foot single to Ichiro and a 350 foot double to Gutierrez. They walk Lopez to load the bases. Sweeney strikes out, but Beltre draws a walk to score a run. And that's all for Fuentes. Matt Palmer comes in to strike out Bill Hall.
Sorry DAve, it's David Aardsma in the ninth.
1-2-3 for DA in the ninth ball game --- Mariners 3, Angels 0