Saturday, July 26, 2008

My, Oh My!!

Chris and I are off to Cooperstown, NY this morning to take in the Hall of Fame festivities. We will tour the Hall today and then spend tomorrow at the induction ceremonies where we will get to see Seattle's own Dave Niehaus recieve the Ford C. Frick award for excellence in broadcasting. It should be fun, and hopefully not too hot, since the ceremony is held outdoors. Pictures to follow--hopefully one will be of us with Dave!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Seattle Mariners Game 101: Red Sox 6 Mariners 3

Ichiro robs J.D Drew of a 3 run HR. This game could have been much uglier otherwise. Felix didn't have his best stuff in this one. The team can't expect him to be perfect, they have to help out. The Mariners had their chance to win this one but as usual they could not bring a run home when it mattered the most. They had 2 on with 1 out and Johjima hit into a double play to get Papelbon out of trouble. Then in the bottom of the 12th after the Red Sox had scored 3 in the top of the 12th the Mariners loaded the bases but Vidro was up and ended up making the final out of the game. Who cares that Ibanez and Vidro both hit HR's earlier in the game? They end up being HR's that mean nothing. Sure it looks good beside your name, but at the end of the day if it didn't help the TEAM win then who really gives a crap.

The boys are in Toronto for a 3 game set this weekend. Batista *GROAN* takes the hill tonight. Any guess on how many runs he gives up in the first couple of innings? I say 6 runs and 4 walks. Don't worry folks, only 61 more games of this torture to endure:)

Seattle Mariners Game 100: Red Sox 4 Mariners 2

It would be nice if on the nights our pitchers actually pitch well that our offense would feel like helping even a little. Another decent outing from Dickey. Another dismal outing by the offense.

The only thing worth mention from the offensive side of the game is that Bryan LaHair had his first major league hit. How exciting for him to get it against the team he grew up cheering for. Bryan is from Worcester, MA. He will never forget his first hit and the fact it was against the Red Sox only makes it that much more memorable.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seattle Mariners Game 99: Red Sox 4 Mariners 0

Ichiro is looking at that ball like he is trying to use some Japanese Ninja mind trick to help him hit it. It is like he is willing the ball to his bat. Well it didn't work cause he went 0-4.

Washburn pitched well. But as usual who cares. It doesn't matter with this team anymore. They just can't put it together. We continue to see Batista pitch. We continue to watch Cairo, Vidro and Johjima take up space on our roster. 3 guys who are barely hitting above 200. This season is OVER for the M's and has been since they got swept by Baltimore back in April. So why keep these guys in the lineup? Why let them take away from guys like Lahair and Clement, even Balentien? Same old M's. Even when the season is totally in the crapper, they still feel the need to try and prove something, instead of making the right decisions and start worrying about the future and stop worrying about winning games this season. *SIGH*

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Mariners Team Motto

Seattle Mariners Game 98: Cleveland 6 Mariners 2

No words needed, the pathetic look on his face says it all.

Seattle Mariners Game 97:Cleveland 9 Mariners 6

2 innings pitched, 8 earned runs. You know what that is? Another terrible excuse of a "start" by a major league pitcher. If Batista takes the mound for one more start this season I may lose my mind. It is sad in a way because last year Batista was outstanding for us. He won 16 games and we could rely on him to go deep into the game each start. Now we are lucky if he makes it past an inning or two. If medical reasons really are the reason for his struggles then they shouldn't be trotting him out there except for out of the bullpen in a pinch.

The offense tried to claw their way back into this one but as usual it was too little too late. Ichiro made it interesting in the 9th inning with a 2 run HR but in the end it didn't matter.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I won't get used to this anytime soon....

Now that's a weird thing to see. Richie in pin stripes and wearing the number 39. Not a bad debut for him tonight in the Big Apple going 1-3 with a RBI single in his first plate appearence.

Seattle Mariners Game 96: Seattle 8 Cleveland 2

Well that is one way to get the second half started. The was a well played game by the Mariners, pitching, defense and offense. Patience and discipline at the plate led to runs. Funny how that happens isn't it?
Every time he takes the mound I realize more and more the special talent that is Felix Hernandez. Not only does he have some of the best stuff in all of baseball but he has a drive and desire to be the best at what he does. Considering where he is at only 22 years old it isn't too far of a stretch to believe Felix could become the next great pitcher of our generation, he is well on his way. It would have been nice to see him go at least 7 innings tonight, but regardless he was outstanding. Attacking the hitters from the start and not getting frustrated when he walked someone or when he didn't get a pitch call in his favor. 8 strikeouts, 4 hits and 2 earned runs. As good as Bedard can be when he is healthy, Felix is the true ace of this pitching staff and he continues to show us why each time he takes the mound.
The guys sure had their hitting shoes on tonight. They were patient at the plate, forcing Laffey to throw a lot of pitches early. 13 hits in this one. The only hit the Mariners really needed though was from Raul Ibanez. In the 2nd inning Ibanez hit a grand slam to break open the Mariners 1-0 lead. 5 runs in the second and with the way Felix was pitching I felt pretty confident about this one early. Jose Lopez added a 3 run HR in the 4th inning to pretty much put this one away.
Good start to the second half for the team as a whole. Now if only they could win every game for the rest of the season they just might make the playoffs. 66-0, what do you think? HA! Honestly I would just like to see these guys finish this season with a little consistency in the win column and end with some dignity still in tact.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Richie Sexson

We all knew it was only a matter of time. For some Mariners fans it came way too late. Richie Sexson was finally released by the Mariners last week. It was bittersweet for me. Richie has been my favorite Mariner since the day they signed him. He has always been a great defensive 1st baseman. a lot of that has to do with his height. He is able to dig balls out of the dirt or reach errant throws that would normally fly far over a regular guys head. If you throw a ball too far over Richie's head you know it was a BAD throw. Sexson has always been the guy who could change the entire game with one swing. For whatever reason this year and last he has lost that ability. But first lets look at his stats over his career.
1999 - 134 games/31 HR's/116 RBI/.255 avg - Cleveland Indians
2000 - 148 games/30 HR's/91 RBI/.256/.296 avg - Cleveland Indians/Milwaukee Brewers
2001 - 158 games/45 HR's/125 RBI/.271 - Milwaukee Brewers
2002 - 157 games/29 HR's/102 RBI/.279 - Milwaukee Brewers
2003 - 162 games/45 HR's/124 RBI/.272 - Milwaukee Brewers
2004 - 23 games/9 HR's/23 RBI's/.233 - Arizona Diamondbacks
2005 - 156 games/39 HR's/121 RBI/.263 - Seattle Mariners
2006 - 158 games/34 HR's/107 RBI/.264 - Seattle Mariners
2007 - 121 games/21 HR's/63 RBI's/.205 - Seattle Mariners
2008 - 74 games/11 HR's/30 RBI/.218 - Seattle Mariners
2008 is far from over for Richie. But it is clear to see that the last season and a half in Seattle have been atrocious for him. The Mariners signed Richie for the numbers he put up consistently from 1999 through 2004. He lived up to those numbers his first two season in Seattle. If only we had had pitching those years who knows what his bat could have done for us in the playoffs.
In 2007 Richie battled leg issues all season long. I am not making excuses for him but I imagine bad legs will make it tough to get the proper power and follow through that a power hitter like Sexson needs. He missed 43 games and by his numbers it was clear he was not himself. I had a lot of hope for Richie going into this season. I really believed he would bounce back from 2007 and regain the form he was known for. But it never happened. I know a lot of baseball is mental and honestly I think Richie just tried to hard. I think he hated getting booed and I think he tried to so hard to hit it out of the park every at bat that it hurt him more than it helped him. The booing bothered me a lot. I realize he is getting paid a lot of money to do what he does, but he is also human. How would you perform at your job on a daily basis if you had 30 000 people booing you? Something tells me it would seriously affect your confidence and your job performance. I don't believe it is any different for athletes. It is sad for me to have seen Richie leave Seattle on such a sour note. I feel he deserved a much better fate than what he got. A lot was made of Richie's "attitude" in the days leading up to his release. Yet the media failed to make anything of how much Richie had a good attitude most of this season. He worked his butt off in the cages trying to regain his swing, he supported his team mates and barely complained when he was benched in favor of Miguel Cairo. But no one cares about that part. No one wants to here about the Richie that has tried harder than anyone, and who cares and wanted to help Seattle win. I suppose in sports there is always that one guy people villanize and make the whipping boy. Some of it was deserved for Sexson and some of it wasn't. Richie has needed a change for a long time now. Although I am not sure the bright lights of New York City and Yankee Stadium is the place for him to overcome his struggles. Only time will tell for Richie. I wish him nothing but the best in New York and wherever he may play after this season. I know I will be watching the Yankees box score on a daily basis to see if Richie is playing and what he did. I hope the change is all he needed and he can find at least some of the form and be a little of the old Richie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Seattle Mariners Game 95: Mariners 4 Royals 3

Quick recap:

- Silva was decent, he pitched 6 innings giving up only 2 earned runs
- The bullpen was solid giving up only 1 run in their 3 innings of work
- Jeff Clement blasted a 2 run HR in the 7th inning
- Mariners actually only won because of a fluky error in the 9th inning by the Royals

And now is the All Star break. Will the Mariners actually find a way to come back in the second half and finish this season with a little dignity? Or will they force me to cancel my MLB.TV subscription because I just can't stand to watch anymore?

Seattle Mariners Game 94: Royals 5 Mariners 4

Another good outing by lefty Jarrod Washburn. 6 innings pitched and only 1 earned run. Not bad. It wouldn't matter though because in the bottom of the 9th inning with a 4-3 lead Brandon Morrow gave up a 2 run HR to David DeJesus for his second blown save of the season. Morrow has been lights out, he was due for a couple bad outings. Just unfortunate they had to come so close together.

Seattle Mariners Game 93: Royals 3 Mariners 1

Felix returned from the DL and looked on fire to start this game. It was one of those games where it looked like he was going to be un hittable. He didn't give up a hit until the 4th inning, but then it all came apart in the 5th. He completely ran out of gas and ended up give up 3 earned runs in the inning. The bullpen came in and did a great job of holding the Royals to only those 3 runs but it didn't matter. As usual our pathetic offense made a mediocre below average pitcher look like an all star.

Seattle Mariners Game 92: Oakland 3 Mariners 2

R.A. Dickey was outstanding. His best start of the season. 7 innings pitched, 4 hits, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. The important number of the day though was his ZERO earned runs. It felt good to see him pitch so well. It felt good to know there was know way we were going to lose that game even though as usual the offense didn't show up.

They headed into the bottom of the 9th inning with a 2-0 lead. All we needed was for Brandon Morrow who has been outstanding in J.J. Putz's absence to come in and shut things down. Morrow gave up not 1 but 2 solo HR's to Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki that tied the ball game. The game went to extra innings and in the bottom of the 11th Emil Brown hit a solo HR off Jimenez to seal the victory for the A's. What a crappy way to lose.

Seattle Mariners Game 91: Seattle 6 Oakland 4

Batista's return to the rotation lasted barely 3 innings as he had to leave the game with a groin strain. We somehow managed to score 5 runs in the 5th inning. We barely score that in a game, never mind an inning. The biggest hit in that inning was probably off the bat of Jose Lopez who had a 3 run double.

Seattle Mariners Game 90: Oakland 2 Seattle 0

Silva pitched well but who really cares anymore. This team can't win with any consistency and they certainly can't win when he is on the mound. Pitching has been the least of the Mariners issues. It is that whole HITTING thing and the fact they cannot do it when it matters the most. Richie Sexson hit a 3 run HR in the first inning yesterday to give the team and early lead. But instead of lighting a fire under them they just layed down and took a nap.

Seattle Mariners Game 89: Oakland 4 Mariners 3

This one in a nutshell....Beltre was 4-4 going into his final at bat. The tying and go ahead runs were on base. But when it mattered the most he could not get a hit and made the final out of the game.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seattle Mariners Game 88: Tigers 2 Mariners 1

Where to start? Well I guess first up should be the performance of Ryan Rowland-Smith in his second start of the season. He definitely pitched better than his first time around and made it through 5 innings giving up only 1 earned run, a solo HR to Raburn in the 4th. He gave up 5 hits, walked 3 and struck out 2. Not a bad night for a guy making only the second start of his career. After him the bullpen was outstanding. Lowe, Corcoran, Batista, Green and Jimenez held the Tigers to only 2 hits the next 9 innings. That's right I said 9 innings, after the 5 RRS already pitched. It seemed like this game would never end.

Heading into the top of the 15th inning it seemed the Mariners were out of pitchers. Some were injured, others not available due to recent outings. Riggleman's mistake in my opinion was Not using Green or Batista for more than 1 inning a piece. Either one of them throws one more inning then Riggleman might have not been in the predicament he found himself in. Catcher Jamie Burke made his way out to the mound. I had to take a double look. Only in the Mariners season could this be happening.

He actually did a pretty decent job. He gave up only 1 hit and one earned run. The hit he gave up was a double and then the runner advanced to third on a wild pitch. The next batter hit a sac fly and the run scored. That wild pitch never happens and Jamie likely gets out of that inning unscathed. Too funny. Of course our offense was in able to tie or win the game in the bottom of the inning.

15 innings of baseball, wow. The Mariners had so many chances to put this one away that it never should have come down to our backup catcher having to pitch. Richie Sexson had 2 glorious opportunities to put runs on the board, but failed as usual. I am shocked he hasn't been cut yet. Let's not just blame Richie though. No one got the job done. The only people that deserve any credit in this one is the pitching staff on both teams. That was a long one.

Seattle Mariners Game 87: Mariners 3 Tigers 2

Another excellent start for RA Dickey. He was solid for 6 innings giving up only 2 earned runs. His final line was 6 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts. His only 2 blemishes on two separate solo HR's. One by Guillen in the first and one by Miguel Cabrera in the 4th. His walk total was a little high but that is too be expected with a knuckle ball pitcher. He ended up with the no decision since the Mariners didn't get the go ahead run until the 8th inning. All the Mariners runs in this one game by way of the HR. Jeff Clement hit a solo shot in the 6th inning and a 2 run shot in the 8th to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Clement has looked more comfortable at the plate as of late and I am excited about his future with this team and in baseball in general. Tell me again why we extended Johjima for 3 years when we have this kid?

With this win the M's have a chance to win their 4th series in a row. Even if they lose tomorrow, taking 2 of 4 against the Tigers is not a bad thing.

Seattle Mariners Game 86: Mariners 4 Tigers 1

I have said it all season long and I stick by my thought that Erik Bedard is not pitching healthy and I don't think he has been since the season started. He was not a 5 inning guy in Baltimore and he certainly wouldn't be in Seattle if he was healthy. You can't convince me otherwise. I think he has had an assortment of things ailing him since spring training. His line on the day was 5 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. Not bad for only 5 innings of work. The Bedard trade talk has me groaning. We gave up a lot to get him and half a season is not enough in my opinion. Wait until he is healthy before you write him off.

Ibanez, Lopez and Betancourt had the 4 RBI's for the M's. Ibanez got his off his 10th HR of the season. Lopez had a 3 run double in the 8th inning to put this one in the bag.

Seattle Mariners Game 85: Tigers 8 Mariners 4

Carlos Carlos Carlos!!! Apparently it was donut competition day and therefore Carlos was not able to pitch well since he was overloaded on donuts. 5 innings, 9 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts. Same old story here. One day he looks great out there and the next he looks like can't stop about thinking about the donuts awaiting him in his locker. Come on Carlos, get it together man.
Another typical night for our offense. Guys getting on base but no one bringing them home. Ichiro however was 3-5 and had his 1700th hit of his MLB career. Congrats to you Ichiro! Ichiro is the 30th active player in baseball to reach that milestone.

Seattle Mariners Game 84: Mariners 4 Blue Jays 2

Another solid outing by Washburn for his second win in a row. 6 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 strikeouts. His only blemish in this one was a HR in the 5th inning which got the Blue Jays their only 2 runs of the game. Washburn has really battled hard in his last 7 or so starts and certainly deserves credit for turning his season around.

Miguel Cairo was pretty much the only offense the Mariners needed in this one. Cairo of all people provided 3 of the 4 Mariner runs. He had 2 doubles and 3 RBI's. Nice to see a guy like that contributing to the team effort.

Oh and with this win the Mariners have now won 3 series in a row. Never thought I would say that this season.

Seattle Mariners Game 83: Mariners 7 Blue Jays 6

Everyone on the team had a least one hit except for Lopez who was 0-5. But at the end of the night the only hit that mattered was the one Willie had in the bottom of the 9th. With 2 on Willie smacked the ball into the center field gap for the game winning RBI.

Let us not forget the HR Beltre hit that had him wondering just how the heck he hit it. Considering he practically had to swing above his head to make contact it is no wonder he was confused. He definitely keeps it interesting. Richie also hit a HR which was his first in over a month.
Aussie Ryan Rowland-Smith got his first start of the season. He was cruising through the first 3 innings giving up only one hit. But then it all fell apart for him in the 4th. His night ended in the 4th when he gave up 3 earned runs. He definitely deserves another start, I really think he just needs a good 3 or 4 starts to extend his stamina and get his arm used to throwing that many pitches as opposed to just 1 or 2 innings out of the bullpen.

Seattle Mariners Game 82: Blue Jays 2 Mariners 0

Well I called it. I said I didn't think they could make it 4 in a row. The team has definitely been playing better baseball as of late but Roy Halladay is just flat out good. So good in fact that before this game he already had 3 complete games. 9 innings pitched, 4 hits. Now normally I would rip on our offense for not hitting well and not being patient at the plate. But this game was different. Halladay was untouchable. Sometimes you just have to give credit where credit was due. No one was going to hit Halladay tonight. Kudos to him.Let's not forget Dickey. He was pretty good himself going 6.1 innings giving up only 2 earned runs. He gave his team a chance to win and that is all you can ask.