Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 8, 2008 1:06 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
1:06 p.m.: Mariners went 1-2-3 in the eighth and now have just one hit -- a single by Willie Bloomquist -- since the second inning. We've all been sititng around here for the past hour figuring the M's were not going to score another run all day. They'll have to do it off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth if they are to overcome this insurmountable 2-1 deficit.
Don't forget to grab a look at our latest ballpark video tour. The cab ride over was a fun sequence as well, if you're interested.
The Mariners took batting practice (yes, no morning off this time) down on the field before the game.
12:41 p.m.: As I mentioned, Erik Bedard left the game before throwing a pitch in the sixth. Sean Green came on and served up a leadoff homer to center field by J.D. Drew that was a line drive bullet. So, it's now 2-1 for the Red Sox. Bedard allowed only a run on two hits over his five innings. But an "ace'' has to go deeper and can't leave his bullpen to finish off four innings for him. You just saw why. This trade is turning into a colossal bust. Might be time for the M's to begin planning a second deal, one that gets them back at least 70 cents on the dollar type value. Better than waiting too long and getting in that game a little late. Yes, it's early, but Bedard's best trade value might be this July 31 or next winter. Best to figure out if you actually want to extend him and keep him around for five years, given what the team now knows about him. Hey, I thought this was a good deal too. But it has not had a great impact on this team so far. In any positive sense. If you don't want Bedard hanging around beyond next year -- and he doesn't seem sold on the idea -- then the team has to ask itself if it can seriously contend in 2009. If the answer is no to that too, then the call has been made and a deal must take place.
12:22 p.m.: Erik Bedard survived his latest coinfrontation with Dustin Pedroia with a runner on second in the fifth. But he may have lost the war, as Pedroia worked him for 10 more pitches before grounding out to third. Pedroia has now seen 19 pitches in his last two plate appearances. Bedard simply can't put him away early once he gets two strikes on him. That's helped drive Bedard's pitch count up to 99 before the sixth inning even begins. Still a 1-1 game, but nobody seems to be up and throwing in the visiting team's bullpen yet. That is bound to change within minutes.
Oh, speak of the Devil, it's now 12:27 p.m. and Erik Bedard is coming out of the game before the bottom of the sixth even begins. Sean Green just needed enough time to get warmed up. So, another five and done by an M's starter. This one only cost the team five players. One per inning pitched today.
11:45 a.m.: Erik Bedard and the Mariners are fortunate to be tied 1-1 after three innings. The Red Sox loaded the bases with two out in the third, then Bedard hit J.D. Drew to force home the tying run. Manny Ramirez came up next, the count went full and Bedard got the 504-homer slugger to check swing his way into a strikeout. But the damage was done in a 40-pitch inning by Bedard that was due largely to the work by Dustin Pedroia in drawing a two-out walk. Plate umpire C.B. Bucknor has been wildly inconsistent in his ball and strike calls, but Bedard has to buckle down and do more. He's now at 68 pitches already. You could tell that inning had the potential to be a game-changer. The Pedroia plate appearance lasted nine pitches because Bedard, after the count was evened at 2-2, couldn't put him away. It went full and then Pedroia fouled off three in a row before drawing the walk. Are we going to see R.A Dickey yet again?
11:03 a.m.: Seattle has a 1-0 lead as we head to the bottom of the second. The M's scored off Justin Masterson in the second after he walked Adrian Beltre and Jeremy Reed to start things off. Masterson then fell behind 1-0 on Richie Sexson, who blistered a line drive to right. J.D. Drew made a fine, leaping catch on the ball, but Beltre tagged up and took third. That made the difference as Yuniesky Betancourt chopped a ball to shortstop Julio Lugo, who threw to second for one out. But Betancourt ran hard and just beat the relay to first to avoid a double play and allow Beltre to score.
Erik Bedard threw 17 pitches in the first inning after a leadoff walk. But he got a double-play grounder by Dustrin Pedroia to erase the runner, then notched a deep flyout to center on Drew.
10:36 a.m.: Just getting underway here on another hot and muggy day at Fenway Park. Gametime temperature is 98 degrees. Willie Bloomquist gets the nod at second base today, while Jose Lopez gets to keep his bat in the lineup as the DH. Is Bloomquist now Erik Bedard's personal second baseman? God, I hope not. In fact, I don't think that's the case at all. There goes that humor again. Bloomquist hasn't started a game in eons. The team has to get him in there at some point to keep him from rotting away.
Let's see how some ex-M's are doing, just to cheer you all up: Jose Guillen had himself a pretty good day at Yankee Stadium yesterday. Drives in seven runs, most of them coming when he was playing hurt. Nothing like shooting your mouth off, then backing it up.
In this column, New York Post writer Joel Sherman mentions that the Yankees should take a look at George Sherrill, who now has 21 saves, one fewer than the Mariners' win total.
There now, doesn't that make you all feel better? Oh yeah, Bedard is 1-2 with an 8.84 ERA on the road this year. He's allowed 21 runs in 23 1/3 career innings at Fenway Park.
51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose lopez DH
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed RF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
15 Jamie Burke C
16 Willie Bloomquist 2B
45 Erik Bedard LHP
RED SOX (39-26)
23 Julio Lugo SS
15 Dustin Pedroia 2B
7 J.D. Drew RF
24 Manny Ramirez DH
25 Mike Lowell 3B
20 Kevin Youkillis 1B
33 Jason Varitek C
10 Coco Crisp CF
44 Brandon Moss LF
63 Justin Masterton RHP