Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 18, 2008 9:42 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
NOTE: This is for Brian L. in the comments thread, who writes more here in a day than I do lately. Just FYI, I have indeed seen Riggleman's quote on Bedard. It was taken from a story I wrote and a question I asked him at yesterday's workout.
You can see Raul Ibanez rounding the bases, above, after hitting a grand slam in the second inning.
The game is pretty much over at this point, with Seattle up 8-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth. Bryan LaHair just grounded into a double-play on a 1-2 pitch to end the eighth. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter and it was his first major league at-bat.
Felix Hernandez was pulled after six innings and 99 pitches. A wise move, given that there's little left to settle in this game. It's been over since the fourth inning.
Shin-soo-Choo and Jose Lopez chat before the game in the photo above.
8:28 p.m. Jose Lopez just added a three-run homer in the fourth, after an Ibanez single, to make it an 8-1 game. Not much of a contest tonight. Aaron Laffey of the Indians was knocked out after 3 2/3 innings, the Lopez shot representing his only earned runs allowed. But he gave up eight runs total.
Felix Hernandez is cruising now, allowing just the Grady Sizemore double and a run in the third. His only hit allowed. Hernandez struck out the final two batters he faced -- looking -- in the fourth. A bit wild early on, but appears to be in control now.
8:05 p.m.: Raul Ibanez hit his first grand slam of the season in the second inning. That gave the Mariners a 5-0 lead. Cleveland responded with a run in the third to make it 5-1, drawing a one out walk, then getting a Grady Sizemore double off Felix Hernandez, followed by an RBI groundout from Casey Blake.
The slam by Ibanez showed just what kind of a year it's been for the Indians. We all know how badly the M's have underachieved. But the Indians are really not much better. Seattle should have been out of the inning several batters before Ibanez got to the plate. But Indians starter Aaron Laffey yielded a two-out single to Jamie Burke, hit Yuniesky Betancourt with a pitch, then saw shortstop Jhonny Peralta muff an Ichiro grounder to load the bases.
Laffey then walked Willie Bloomquist on four pitches to force in a run. Up came Ibanez and "bye bye" went the baseball over the right field fence. Five unearned runs on only two his -- one of them a single. That's tough to do. Not a good showing by the Indians. Good job of capitalizing by the Mariners.
7:30 p.m.: By the way, J.J. Putz started for Class AAA Tacoma against Tucson tonight and retired all five batters he faced, striking out one. He threw 17 pitches. Putz may pitch for Tacoma again on Sunday, or be recalled by the team. We'll know more tomorrow.
24 Grady Sizemore CF
1 Casey Blake 1B
12 Ben Francisco LF
2 Jhonny Peralta SS
17 Shin-soo Choo RF
10 Kelly Shoppach C
20 David Dellucci DH
30 Andy Marte 3B
13 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
32 Aaron Laffey LHP
51 Ichiro RF
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
4 Jose Lopez 2B
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
2 Kenji Johjima DH
15 Jamie Burke C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP