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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 19, 2008 1:06 PM

Game thread, July 20

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Bottom 6th: The Mariners scored a couple of runs, but what could have been a big inning short-circuited with strikeouts by Bryan Lahair and Jeff Clement. Those are two of the call-ups the Mariners will be looking at with an eye toward the future, looking for a little bit of hope. Seattle is wearing uniform designs from 1989 today, and that was Ken Griffey Jr.'s rookie season and the year the Mariners acquired Randy Johnson in a trade from Montreal. Are there prospects here that provide similar hope for the future?

Top 3rd: After 52 pitches, three runs and six outs by Miguel Batista, the Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre went to the mound and Ryan Rowland-Smith was rousted to begin working in the bullpen. Seattle trailed 5-1 after Batista gave up three consecutive hits to begin the third.

Oops. My bad. Shin-Soo Choo hit a ground-rule double over Willie Bloomquist's head while I was typing that to make the score 6-1. Batista gave up an RBI single to Casey Blake and was replaced by Rowland-Smith.

Well, six of the nine members of Cleveland's lineup crossed the plate at some point in that inning as Cleveland tallied up six runs and five doubles by the time it was all over.

That was the most runs Batista's allowed this season, and that's really saying something becuase this guy's ERA has been north of 5 since the first week of May. He pitched two innings on Saturday (plus the five batters he faced in the third without getting an out), gave up eight runs on seven hits.

Bottom 2nd: The Mariners' first two innings ended identically on double plays hit with runners on first and third. Seattle had already scored one run in the second when Jose Vidro doubled off the left-field wall, but left two runners on third base in each of the first two innings.

1st inning: Miguel Batista walked the first batter on five pitches, setting the pace for a first-inning slog. The first two outs came on fielder's choices that held a high-degree of good fortune. Jose Lopez was in position for a sharp groundball by Jamey Carrol only because Grady Sizemore was running on the pitch and Lopez was covering the bag. He field the ball and tagged Sizemore out. The second out of the inning came on Ben Francisco's bloop that fell in front of Ichiro. Carrol didn't advance to the bag, fearing Ichiro would catch the ball. When the ball landed, Ichiro threw him out at second.

Cleveland scored two runs, the first on Jhonny Peralta's right-field single. Ichiro got a glove onthe ball, but it came loose when he crashed. Francisco scored on the play. Shin-soo Choo -- a former Mariner -- then crushed a 1-0 pitch to right field for his fourth home run of the season.

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Posted by GripS

1:16 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Batista really should not be a starter.

Wonder what his excuse will be for sucking now.

Posted by GripS

1:19 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Oh....and there's Vidro at DH again.....Good lord.

Posted by nicole

1:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

yaaaaaaay vidro!!! i hope this shuts you whiners up!!!! :)

Posted by B_A_

1:46 PM, Jul 19, 2008

What channel is the game on?!? I've got women's softball for some reason?

Posted by tony

1:46 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Vidro still sucks they need to let him go asap

Posted by Bob Marley

1:48 PM, Jul 19, 2008

yeah...i can't find it on tv!

Posted by GripS

1:50 PM, Jul 19, 2008

The game isn't being televised for some stupid reason.

Nicole..... Jeremy Sowers is 0-5 with a 7.58 ERA. To put it bluntly.... he sucks. So Vidro got a hit off of a terrible pitcher. WOW!!

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

1:57 PM, Jul 19, 2008

As I recall, the game was originally scheduled for FSN but was dropped from the TV schedule ... possibly because of the planned Baghead Day. Go Bagheads, wherever you are.

Posted by Briguy17

1:58 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Batista is downright awful. When are we ever going to get a 3 game sweep at home? Seriously. I'm so sick and tired of folding once, twice, or three times, even, EVERY SINGLE FREAKING SERIES!

Posted by Hawksfan

2:04 PM, Jul 19, 2008

WHY IS BATISTA STILL PITCHING FOR THIS TEAM!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by OlyHomer

2:07 PM, Jul 19, 2008

I thought mr Batista was supposed to be better after some rest with the all-star break. Well, he hasn't gotten any better, DL or bullpen for him. If he isn't let go by the team.

Game was supposed to be on FOX, hence the game time, but since both teams suck they dropped it from being televised and FSN didn't pick it up.

Posted by B_A_

2:08 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Why is Batista still pitching for this team? The question is...Why am I still interested in this team? Seriously, someone please answer me why I follow every article and ever rumor regarding this team? I am starting to question my sanity!!

Posted by gogg

2:20 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Batista & Vidro are like bosom buddies of SUCK

Posted by davis

2:29 PM, Jul 19, 2008

clement is just lost out there.....BURKE NEEDS PT

Posted by jason2

2:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

It seems like a no brainer that when Putz comes off the DL that Batista goes on it. This guys season is shameful.

Posted by rstevens86

2:42 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Can we be done with Batista now please? Honestly, its not like he brings anything to this team.

Posted by Ry

2:47 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Wow. Miguel is incredibly consistent. You know just what you can expect from him everytime he takes the mound. Maybe the real reason Ichiro backed out of the HR Derby was because Miguel wouldn't agree to pitch for him.

Posted by Scott

2:56 PM, Jul 19, 2008

At least Vidro's not batting cleanup... that's a start.

Posted by Clay Council

3:07 PM, Jul 19, 2008

I can't figure out what happened. I just gave Miguel some pitching lessons last week....

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:14 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Geoff - no we traded those franchising changing propects for Bedard. Remeber the trade that you supported so strongly.

Posted by jason2

3:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Geoff, It's interesting to me that Bedard is scorn by the media when a guy like Batista seems to get a free pass. Is it because he's a renaissance man? Is he a sensitive poet? Is he nice to the media? Wow, Bedard may not go deep into games, but at least he's good. Maybe Batista can write poem abut how horrible he is because I can't find the words. You guys in the media need to be called out on not calling out Batista. Maybe if Bedard was a sensitive poet you'd all be more understanding to him.

Posted by Bagheads

4:20 PM, Jul 19, 2008

R.I.P. Baghead Day
F.O. took the TV away
Just the thought
Made them afraid
Fans can be bought
So a plan was made
Turn back the clock
Give away some hats
The fans have forgot
So Rejoice you fat cats
Danny posts the wrong date
Skip the 19th like it doesn't exist
There's far too much at stake
Jobs too important to put at risk
So the fans get the finger
Unaware of the harbinger

Posted by gogg

4:29 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Send Batista to AAA no scratch that, send his ass to AA it is painfully obvious he cannot get anyone out. He has already lost 11 games! He will be a 20 game loser in no time if he continues to pitch.

By the way thanks Bill BavASSi for Batista and Silva...your legacy of SUCK carries on long after you are gone

Posted by jason2

4:31 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Bagheads, that's a pretty good poem. I understand some of it. Were you an English major? Could you please write one about Batista's suckness?

Posted by Bill

4:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

The only good thing about the game today is that my tickets were free.

Posted by Bagheads

4:55 PM, Jul 19, 2008

jason2,
This is for you

There once was a man named Miguel
Bavasi thought him to be just swell
His first season fared pretty well
But then things went all to Hell
Batters started ringing his bell
And the clubhouse started to smell
And nothing will change until
To Batista we bid farewell

Posted by jason2

5:04 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Wow bagheads, I'm left speechless. That made my day. It was almost worth a mariner loss...but not quite.

by the way, did anybody hear Riggleman's post game- blaming the defense for Batista's performance...clueless in Seattle.

Posted by ice

5:11 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Yeah, it had nothing to do with Boston and the Angels versus the battle of last place teams, Fox chose the games to avoid the bagheads. Genius - not!

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

5:42 PM, Jul 19, 2008

No point in throwing Batista out every 5th day as a sp for the rest of this season - if he isn't put on the DL, they should just use him as a long-man/mop up guy and give RRS a few starts, at least until Bedard can return healthy. Maybe with some rest this offseason, Batista can come back in the final year of his contract & contribute as a #5 starter. Just another example of Bavasi having to overpay in years & $ to get mid-level free agents to come here - I get a kick out of anyone even thinking that an MLB team would ever hire Bavasi as GM or Asst GM ever again - am glad to see the rumors of Randy Smith being considered as GM here have disappeared as we do not need another dismal failure being given a chance to be recycled here

Posted by Josh Hamilton

6:22 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Miguel: Clay is out. You have the job as my pitcher in next year's Home Run Derby. Just say 'yes'.

Posted by Bums

7:54 PM, Jul 19, 2008

The overpaid players just keep getting chance after chance after chance after chance. RRS did decent as a starter. Why not continue to stretch his arm out and see what he can do as a starter? I don't get it. If Batista is bitching and whining about being hurt, why not put him on the DL? He is doing nothing to help whatsoever. Will it make an already dysfunctional clubhouse more dysfunctional? Then again, who cares? I am just a jerk fan and know nothing about baseball and should leave the baseball move to the professionals. Right?

On the bright side, the Seahawks open camp in less than a week. That way I can completely forget about this pathetic team for the rest of the season.

Posted by RustyJohn

8:01 PM, Jul 19, 2008

I have the answer to everyone's question of why the Mariners continue to bat Vidro and keep Batista in the rotation. Because they are stupid.

Posted by jp

8:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

What the heck happened to Batista. He was decent last year...Man when these guys hit a wall they really hit it at like 95mph. What do you do with a 9 mill a year starter that still has another year on his deal and you can't trade him. I know put him in the pen as long releif (games that you are getting smoked in) and start a different guy. Mentally he is just not there this year.

Posted by GLS

9:03 PM, Jul 19, 2008

They're looking at Lahair with an eye to the future? Geoff, do you know anything at all about minor league prospects? Lahair isn't a prospect. He just isn't.

Posted by GLS

9:07 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Oops, sorry, thought this was a Geoff post. My last comment should have been addressed to Danny.

Posted by yardwork

9:23 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Every game was supposed to be televised this year....either on foxsports or fox national....I got cable for this very reason....stupid me.

Posted by gohuskies898

10:19 PM, Jul 19, 2008

Wow, 8 runs in two innings. Sorry, but my patience has run out with him. Bring up a minor leaguer. They absolutely can't do any worse can they?

Wow, just wow. You can win when you are in an 8 run hole after two innings. Be curious to see how many times this year the M's have been down by 5 or more after two. Bet it's a lot more than most teams.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

10:39 PM, Jul 19, 2008

I love the poems.
The poems make the blog.
Thanks, Bagheads.

Posted by wag the dog

10:49 PM, Jul 19, 2008

In this lost cause season, I don't particularly mind seeing Batista start once a week. The Mariners are just playing out the string at this point so a warm body is adequate. Batista isn't exactly blocking a path to the majors for the next Cy Young. No need to bring up a minor league guy who isn't ready and have his confidence thrashed. Let Batista take a beating. He's earned it.

The only real problem, imo, with running Batista out there is the stress it puts on the bullpen.

It would be nice if the Mariners really had a pitching rich system and guys who were truly major league ready and raring to go, but I don't think that's the case. The damage to the Mariner organization is not limited to the major league roster. It's system wide.

Posted by oceansaway

11:29 PM, Jul 19, 2008

On the Mariners site there is a quote from Riggleman saying that basically he is still all about the winning of games and that evaluating new talent is not his only goal...some stupid line about strengthening our position in the conference or something like that. This is an amazingly ridiculous statement at this point, and if that is how he and the FO truly feel, the next two months are a waste.

We need to give new players we trade for, and new players we move up every opportunity possible to show what they have and begin that process as soon as possible in order to get any real value out of what is left in the season. The fans will understand and look forward to seeing some effort put forth in looking ahead rather than continuing to focus on the ineffectiveness of what we already have.

Posted by Village Idiot

12:47 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Our starting rotation should be:

Felix
RRS
Morrow
RA Dickey
and Jamie Burke

Jamie has a better ERA than Batista and Washburn, let him pitch I say.

JK JK, in all seriousness the 5th starter should be a minor league guy better him get pounded than Batista.

Posted by dawn2

1:23 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Hey you whinners..Stop your bitching. Mariners are pursuing a brilliant strategy of losing as many games as necessary to wind up picking No.#1 in next years baseball draft. How else can they get replacements that are better than ones presently in their farm system? Brian LaHair simply has not shown that he can hit major league (let alone aver) pitching in the majors. Our highly touted #1 catcher
continues to strike out too much and cannot throw out runners - who continues to run on his weak throwing arm. Our FO and scouting staff simply is too incompetent to bring Mariners up to standard
consistent with high performing teams with high payrolls. Anyway, sit back and enjoy the losses.

Posted by Jonathan

1:28 AM, Jul 20, 2008

On Bautista/Silva the fact is you don't pay 10 million for #3, #4 and #5 starters. Moneyball says you use a cheap journeyan like RAD or a young developing stud like RRW. I like how the Mets spent big bucks on Santana then pay guys like Pelfrey change to eat up innings and complete the rotation.

WagTheDog as far as arms go. The Mariner's aren't in that bad of shape. Aumunte is going to be good, kind of lacking arms at AAA but the ML staff isn't too shabby.

Felix is your ace
Bedard is trade bait and at worst a #3 starter who goes 5-6 solid innings
RAD, RRW, aren't bad starters at all
Washburn should be traded but he's not a bad #5.

Jimenez looks like a keeper, if you move Rhodes or put Morrow in the rotation I'd put RRW back in the bullpen as a setup man since Sean Green is getting overworked.
Green is a solid arm. I think Putz can still close and Fields will hopefully be in the majors by the start of next year.

I feel good about our arms, although I don't care much for Silva or Bautista. I do however think the team desperately needs prospects to play the field.

Posted by dumb bloggers

1:34 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Qoute by Dawn2...Brian LaHair simply has not shown that he can hit major league (let alone aver) pitching in the majors. and he's shown that with what, 4-5 AB's??? WTF is wrong with you stupid morons?

Posted by Ziasudra

8:19 AM, Jul 20, 2008

First, LaHair is not the future - they are going to make sure of that, one way or another this season.
Second, the M's DO have some minor league pitching - Aumonte as mentioned, but also Feierabend, O'Flahrety, Rohrbaugh, Jabauskaukas (sorry for the spelling), all of whom are nursing injuries right now.
The Tacoma team has 3 or 4 OF's who have potential.
What we need is a 1st baseman - the only one in sight is Raul, who can be replaced in LF by one of those 4 AAA OF's. Plus, Morse will be back next year.
Joh canfight it out for the DH role with one of those. Hulett would be a good utility IF (dump Cairo) And, oh yes, Johnson will be a fine ML catcher, and also Adam Moore later on.
If I were King of the World (or, at least in charge of the M's), we'd compete next year, and sweep in 2010.

Posted by thumbprint27

8:31 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Nice unis! I wouldn't seeing those more often. Maybe next year, the Mariners can have a uniform make-over after they have a team roster make-over! I still can't believe that Batista is still on the team. Vidro saved himself for a couple more days. And it is still weird to see Bloomquist as CF! Too bad Reed isn't a better hitter, he'd have that position permanently! A word to the Mariners team pres and GM do not make any significant roster changes in the next two weeks!

Posted by Mattman

8:51 AM, Jul 20, 2008

After watching highlights of the M's lostt to Cleveland, I noted a couple of interesting things about Batistas pitching form. First, he is short arming the ball and second, he is showing the ball to the hitter WAY too early in his windup and release.

Posted by Scanman

9:00 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Top Pick in the 09 Draft Iíve got some bad news for you. Youíd better start doing your homework and find out who the 2nd and 3rd best players will be in that draft because like so many other things, the Marinerís will probably screw up and end up winning too many games and allow the Padres or the Nationals to get the first pick. This organization is so screwed up they canít even loose right.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:59 AM, Jul 20, 2008

Scanman: Everyone knows that barring injury, Strasburg of SD State is the lock #1 pick next year. Is probably not a coincidence that the Padres have decided to tank the season. Strasburg projects to be even more overpowering than David Price who TB drafted #1 last year. Our interim GM and interim manager are both trying to scratch out a few more wins so they have an chance to be rehired next season which is one reason the young guys are still being limited in pt in favor of vets. To me, what is the difference between winning 55 games or 65 games? Not much as you will still be last. Until Armstrong and Lincoln are removed from the FO (hopefully by new ownership), this organization will continue to flounder without a clear plan for rebuilding.

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