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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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July 8, 2008 8:37 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 07/08 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Blink and you might miss this game. It's already the eighth inning, with the Mariners down 2-0. A great game pitched by Carlos Silva so far. And the M's have finally started to "work" Justin Duchscherer, making him throw 30 pitches the last two innings. But Duchscherer enters the eighth with only 79 pitches thrown. He's working on a two-hitter. The M's have just four runs in their last 31 innings. Zero in their last 16.

For those of you asking about the ethics behind Pat Gillick perhaps wanting to overpay in an Erik Bedard trade now, as GM of the Phillies, so he'd have some talent in Seattle as the rumored incoming president of the Mariners, I'd say that's an intriguing question. There is no way to guard against it. Gillick would never sabotage his current team. He has a reputation as a winner, a guy who puts teams over the top. He'd love to do it with the Phillies. But giving away prospects? Who would not be missed by the 2008 Phillies? Well, he's also got the reputation as a guy who leaves farm systems in disarray after he uses them up acquiring players in "win now" fashion.

But could you ever prove he was willingly playing both ends against the middle? Nope. Especially not with his reputation for wanting to win now and being willing to sacrifice prospects. That's his M.O. If he keeps doing it, no one can call foul, can they? Especially if the Phils were to get in a bidding war with, say, the St. Louis Cardinals and an extra player needed to be thrown in to sweeten the pot? It would be a very unusual situation, no doubt. I'm sure that if Gillick is now entertaining any thoughts of joining the M's next season, he would not do anything silly that would warrant an investigation later on. Like an out-and-out fleecing of his own farm system. But then again, what is a fleece? The M's gave up five players for Bedard. If Gillick gives up four, is that a fleece? He'll just say the market for Bedard was set by Bill Bavasi.

In the end, the game relies on integrity. All sports do, to a certain extent. When that integrity gets sullied, by gambling, steroid use and other stuff, the sports themselves suffer. I don't think Gillick, at his age and with what he's accomplished in baseball, would do anything to embarrass himself or his legacy. It's just not worth it. For what? So, he can get the M's to the playoffs again? He wouldn't even be the GM, the way the rumor goes. But if some fans think the M's received a player too many in a deal, well, it would lead to interesting coffee table discussion, that's for sure. But we're a long way from that.

7:52 p.m.: Four innings complete here and the Mariners have seen a grand total of 33 pitches. Yes, just about eight per inning. The major league record is in big trouble. Well, no. Charley "Red" Barrett of the Red Sox needed only 58 in a nine-inning game in 1944. Carlos Silva actually has the best mark of the past half-century, needing 74 to get through nine innings with the Twins back in 2005. Silva trails 2-0 as we head to the fifth inning. M's still don't have a hit.

7:31 p.m.: It's now 2-0, A's in the lead, as we head to the third inning. Oakland scored another run off Carlos Silva in the second when Kurt Suzuki and Jack Hannahan notched back-to-back singles with one out. Suzuki took third on the play and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Donnie Murphy.

Six up, six down for the M's hitters so far. Justin Duchscherer needed only 14 pitches to get through two innings.

7:16 p.m.: Carlos Silva gives up a first inning run to fall behind 1-0 as we head to the second. Silva yielded a leadoff single to Ryan Sweeney, who advanced to second on a groundout and third on a flyout. He then came home on a single to center by Emil Brown.

Seattle went 1-2-3 in quick fashion against Justin Duchscherer in the top of the inning, with a pair of groundouts sandwiched around a flyout.

The lineups:

MARINERS (35-54)

51 Ichiro RF
16 Willie Bloomquist SS
28 Raul Ibanez LF
3 Jose Vidro DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed CF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
9 Jeff Clement C
13 Miguel Cairo 2B

52 Carlos Silva RHP


ATHLETICS (48-41)

15 Ryan Sweeny RF
14 Mark Ellis 2B
32 Jack Cust DH
8 Emil Brown LF
28 Carlos Gonzalez CF
45 Wes Bankston 1B
24 Kurt Suzuki C
22 Jack Hannahan 3B
12 Donnie Murphy SS

58 Justin Duchscherer RHP

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