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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 9, 2008 8:36 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 07/09 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

oakk0709.jpg

UPDATE -- Miguel Batista came out of the game with what the team says is a right groin strain, three pitches into the bottom of the third.

Seattle just scored five runs in the fifth to take a 6-4 lead in this see-saw game. Jose Lopez drove home three runs with a double, then Raul Ibanez doubled in the go-ahead marker. Ibanez then scored on a bizarre infield hit by Adrian Beltre off first baseman Daric Barton's glove. Ibanez was hung up between third and home, then broke for the plate. Barton bought him time by throwing to third instead of home. The throw home had Ibanez beat, with Kurt Suzuki completely blocking the plate. Ibanez tried tip-toeing around him, with Suzuki draped all over his back -- and was ruled safe. replays showed he was out. A break for the Mariners there.

I see some of you are having laughs over Jim Riggleman's explanation for using Jose Vidro. Hey, what did you expect him to say? That he thought Vidro was the second coming of Barry Bonds? I'd like to see the M's get this whole Vidro thing over with as well if he isn't going to hit. But for me, the sad thing for M's fans is, this is the solution the team feels is its best bet for now. Says a lot about where this team is right now and where it's headed.

8:17 p.m.: A lousy bottom of the fourth inning saw the A's score three runs off Ryan Rowland-Smith, all of them scoring on a double by Donnie Murphy. Three straight singles had Rowland-Smith on the ropes before Murphy laced one to the left field corner. Raul Ibanez made a strong relay throw back in and there was a play at the plate. But Jack Hannahan steamrolled over catcher Jeff Clement to score the third run of the inning. That makes it 4-1 for the A's as we head to the fifth.

8:00 p.m.: The Mariners just tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning as -- who else? -- Jose Vidro doubled with one out, sending Jose Lopez to third. Lopez was waved home by third base coach Sam Perlozzo, but held up. Lopez wound up scoring on an ensuing single by Adrian Beltre, with Vidro taking third. But Jeremy Reed grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Prior to that, in the bottom of the third, Yuniesky Betancourt dropped the front end of a 4-6-3 double-play attempt. Betancourt appeared to have his eye more on sliding runner Daric Barton than the actual ball. But Ryan Rowland-Smith, on for the injured Miguel Batista, picked Betancourt up by notching a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

7:36 p.m.: We're heading to the bottom of the third inning here and the Mariners trail 1-0. Oakland got on the board in the second inning when Jack Cust hit Miguel Batista's first pitch of the frame over the center field fence. Batista then got taken to the warning track in center by Wes Bankston, the very next hitter, but the ball was caught by Jeremy Reed.

Joe Blanton has retired nine in a row since a leadoff single by Ichiro to start the game.

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Posted by Strasburg in 2009

7:43 PM, Jul 09, 2008

And thus ends the Batista experiment again.

Posted by Chopper58

7:45 PM, Jul 09, 2008

And they thought Batista would work this time. Who would have thunk it?

Posted by BrianL

7:47 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Can we get extended looks at RR-S and Dickey in the rotation now?

Posted by BGR

7:59 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Okay, here's what I expect Riggleman to say:

We're not going to play a hitter who no longer can hit any longer.

Then, I'd like him to say any of the following because ANY of the following would be more useful, interesting, or fun than allowing Vidro to hit.

We're going to try out some former prospect who's now 28-30 and unlikely to ever be a good major leaguer. But, we're giving him 300 plate appearances just to be sure. 'Cause some times it just works out that way.

We're trying out Jeff Clement.

We're seeing if Kenji Johjima can get back on track.

We're giving Bloomquist the shot so many thinks he deserves to settle *that* question once and for all.

We're going to give VIdro's at bats to some lucky fan who wins the [insert sponsor here] drawing.

We're signing Billy Crystal/Garth Brooks.

We're giving a guy whose kid has cancer a major league paycheck for three months so his child can afford chemotherapy.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:02 PM, Jul 09, 2008

No Offense Geoff but that BS Riggleman is feeding you about Vidro is a joke and does not answer your question!

What a day in the Seattle blogoshpere. Damn!

Capo is told to take a swim and get some air when some of you guys have been going at each other hour after hour for months.... Jeez!

‘Sorry it took me so long to answer but I'm at work...’ Jeez! I hope you are the boss and it's your business, otherwise….

For the Record, I am the Boss & it is my business!

Oh by the way in the real world of baseball we are tied @ 1-1 with another starter out!

Posted by Swung On And Belted

8:12 PM, Jul 09, 2008

BGR, on that note, I think they should give Bucky Jacobsen another shot. Even if he is out of baseball with a bum leg or whatever. As long as he's not confined to a wheelchair, he's gonna be a hell of lot more exciting to watch than Vidro.

Posted by scottM

8:16 PM, Jul 09, 2008

RE: Riggleman's explanation of using Vidro. Why, again, did the M's unload Greg Norton?

Oh, yeah, we had the power bats of Cairo, Vidro and Bloomquist.

Posted by BrianL

8:17 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Well, RR-S looked good for 2 innings. Is he gassed? It's only been 3 days since his last start.http://www.dougpaulson.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/grady1.jpg

Posted by BrianL

8:17 PM, Jul 09, 2008

And I have no idea how that link got into my post.

Posted by bringonchange

8:18 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I don't understand why everyone is getting worked up about Vidro batting fourth. In my opinion, as long as that piece of trash is on this team, let's continue to try to be as bad as possible and have him bat fourth. What's the use of trying to win at this point in time? If you're going to be bad, why not be the worst? Having the No. 1 pick in the draft is a whole lot better than picking 2nd or anywhere else in the top 10.

After the trade deadline and we dump most -- if not all -- our garbage (Batista, Sexson, Vidro, Washburn, Ibanez et. al) then we can be positive and look for bright spots as we groom our team for next season. When Morrow and RRS take to the rotation permanently and Hernandez and Bedard pitch regularly and Putz returns and perhaps Fields or Lowe become the setup man. These are things to look forward to and root for but until then, lets sit back and continue to watch the M's lose while sipping on a Corona.

Losing can be good when it spawns change, folks. I just wish this happened last season...

Posted by NB

8:34 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Ok what in the hell is going on in this game.

Seriously.

Posted by Thomas

8:38 PM, Jul 09, 2008

happy to see runs scored, but i just watched them pass up two legitimate opportunities to plow through the A's catcher.

Isn't there a code? Here's hoping Hannahan gets plunked at some point in the next game and a half. I realize that's part of the game sometime, but jeez the last thing we need is the last remaining prospect to get injured...especially on a collision with a freakin A's player!

Posted by Nick

8:59 PM, Jul 09, 2008

So... let me get this straight...

Clement gets run over at home plate in a clean play. However, that guy could have easily slid and would have been safe..

The Mariners have now had 2 chances to bulldoze the A's catcher in a clean play.. but they decided not to in both. The first one.. I understand.. since Ichiro is about 150lbs and probably couldn't run anyone over. However, Ibanez is big enough to hit a guy and he should have taken advantage of it. He was lucky he was called safe.

I'm willing to bet that a good team would stand up for their catcher and retaliate to fire up the team!

But... this isn't a good team.. and I'm not sure they give a damn about each other...

Posted by bringonchange

9:08 PM, Jul 09, 2008

well Ibanez is obviously just a p**sy and it's not like we didn't know I. Suzuki was the biggest pu**y there is on the team.

Posted by BrianL

9:11 PM, Jul 09, 2008

bringonchange - What are you complaining about? Ichiro was the tying run, he had to slide around the catcher to score.

Posted by greg

9:17 PM, Jul 09, 2008

wow, ichiro scores a run and everyone complains about how he didnt kill himself to make point. thats really sad!

Posted by RustyJohn

9:18 PM, Jul 09, 2008

What is so frustrating is that there are about 3 or 4 changes to this line-up that can make it significantly respectable- do the front office and manager not see it because they are dumb or is it because they are caught in the trap of, "I've made a mistake, if I don't admit I made a mistake, it will go away?"

Get rid of Vidro and Sexson- release them if no one will take them. Bat Ibanez as DH, he has zero range in left field and hurts the team every day he is out there. It isn't difficult to get a replacement level left fielder or first baseman. Clement should be the primary catcher, get rid of either Jojima (a tall order) or Burke- it is a waste to have three catchers on a roster. Cairo and Bloomquist should never start except to give a guy a day off.

As for pitching, they need to either get rid of Batista and SIlva. Morrow and RRS should be converted to starters now so next season they have a decent rotation behind Felix and Bedard.

They are having to pay for these ridiculous contracts anyhow, why not pay for them whether these players play or not- at least you win a few more games and get some butts in the seats. Plus, I can't think that it is not demoralizing for the rest of the team to see their clean-up hitter batting .210.

As for Riggleman saying Vidro "used to be" a better hitter, I used to weigh 180 pounds and run five miles a day. However, a pack a day, a desk job, 9 years and 50 pounds later I'm not stupid enough to think I should lace up my running shoes and run the next 5k.

Posted by doug

9:22 PM, Jul 09, 2008

WHY R CLEMENT N KENGI IN THERE??? BURKE IS A BETTER OPTION THAN EITHER RIGHT NOW!!!

Posted by 206native

9:27 PM, Jul 09, 2008

why not morrow,green will blow it.

Posted by 206native

9:30 PM, Jul 09, 2008

woops,thought is was ninth my bad,good work by rhodes and green.

Posted by John

9:39 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I have to say ... this blog used to be primarily about talking baseball. There were some pretty engaging conversations. Now it pretty much involves people whining about everything - from what Geoff writes to the way the M's slide.
There's no doubt about it - this is a crappy team. But I, for one, am much more interested in talking about what this team can do to get better - and baseball in general - than this sophomoric slander that goes on on a daily basis.
It's getting old.

Posted by doug

9:47 PM, Jul 09, 2008

why the f do people give willie crap for not hitting for power, ichiros streak is nearly longer and his OBP is way way lower than willies. phuck ichiro go willie

Posted by BrianL

9:50 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Ichiro has a significantly higher slugging percentage, can play defense significantly better, runs the bases better, and makes more solid contact.

That's why.

Posted by Mark

9:53 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Dear Mariners

Please put Batista on the DL and keep him there for as long as it takes to get him healthy. Then, have him pitch in at least 2 rehab starts before he comes anywhere near the M's starting rotation again this season.

Posted by Nat

9:56 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Riggleman's answer about Vidro was absurd. I am not impressed.

But then there's Morrow who can put hitters away. After such a terrible season I'm thankful to have someone who is so much fun to watch, a guy who can overpower hitters like he does. 100 mph!!! It's called R-E-L-I-E-F!

And the Mariners eke out another win!

Posted by wag the dog

10:01 PM, Jul 09, 2008

"What is so frustrating is that there are about 3 or 4 changes to this line-up that can make it significantly respectable- do the front office and manager not see it because they are dumb or is it because they are caught in the trap of, "I've made a mistake, if I don't admit I made a mistake, it will go away?""

The problem with your solution is that you don't provide for who will fill the holes left by releasing all these crummy, overpaid players. None of them will net us any worthwhile players in return. Our own farm system is a mess. Simply getting rid of the suck isn't going to turn this team around. We need to make some trades that will bring us some young, inexpensive TALENT in return. That isn't going to be easy. Especially not with people insisting we keep the few players we have that possess any trade value.

The Mariners have practiced addition by subtraction for several years and it hasn't added up to anything positive. That's not going to change.

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