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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 25, 2008 6:53 PM

Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays: 07/25 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

jays0725 027.jpg

It's now a 3-3 game in the ninth after J.J. Putz allowed three straight hits to open the eighth, including a leadoff double by Lyle Overbay, a single by Rod Barajas and an RBI single by Matt Stairs. Putz then got out of a serious jam with a double play ball hit to Adrian Beltre, who tagged the lead runner and threw on to first. Putz thne struck out Adam Lind to end the threat. But it was not a vintage outing by him. He's got a ways to go.

When was the last time any of you saw a team pull two pitchers in the middle of a plate appearance in the same game? Has happened to Miguel Batista and Arthur Rhodes tonight. We'll see what the deal was.

That Brewers scout was certainly here to see Rhodes. Milwaukee needs relief help and GM Doug Melvin said today that he isn't willing to pay a premium to get it. In other words, no Huston Street, no George Sherrill. But Rhodes would seem a better fit.

By the way, the M's bullpen has gotten awfully thin since this photo below was taken earlier tonight. You've got Mark Lowe left if Brandon Morrow can survive the ninth. Jamie Burke after that.

jays0725 033.jpg

jays0725 020.jpg

Even #174 still has some fans.

5:56 p.m.: Still a 3-2 game in the bottom of the sixth, M's in the lead and Miguel Batista on the mound. Batista loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Marco Scutaro lined out and Brad Wilkerson was doubled off second. John Parrish made it through five innings, allowing only the three runs. Which of these offenses is worse?

Actually, I've yet to finish typing and Batista has just been pulled with one out in the sixth and his pitch count only around 80 or so. He'd just walked Lyle Overbay and is down 2-0 in the count to Rod Barajas. Cesar Jimenez now on. Batista might be hurt again.

Interesting trade between the Yankees and Pirates tonight. No, there was no starting pitcher going anywhere, so the Jarrod Washburn thing is still on. The Milwaukee Brewers have a scout here tonight. Might be here to see Arthur Rhodes.

5:01 p.m.: It's official. Ex-Mariner John Parrish has now ticked off fans in two countries. Parrish got hit hard in the third and has spotted the M's a 3-1 lead. Adrian Beltre drove Willie Bloomquist home with a double to left and Jose Lopez added an RBI single -- extending his hitting streak to a career high 12 games.

Parrish has thrown 68 pitches in the first three innings to this lineup. Not sure if that's happened in an M's game this season. Probably has, but it would be worth checking.

Miguel Batista gave up a two-out solo homer to Matt Stairs in the second. But he now has the two-run cushion. May need it.

In fact, he a run right back to Toronto in the third on a double by Adam Lind and an RBI groundout by Joe Inglett later in the inning. So, it's a 3-2 lead he now has.

4:39 p.m.: For Mike in the comments thread bekow, #174 just doubled off the fence in left field to bring home #168 from second base. It was Kenji Johjima's first RBI in over a month. So, a 1-0 lead for Seattle as we head to the bottom of the second. Yes, John Parrish really bites. He can barely throw strikes. Yuni Betancourt actually worked the count to 2-0 off him before reverting to form and hacking away at the next three pitches.

4:15 p.m.: Looks like the real John Parrish might have finally shown up tonight. Not the one masquerading as a 1-0 pitcher with a 4.50 ERA in three starts. Maybe he was stuck at the border all this time? Parrish didn't look all that great in the first inning, giving up a single lined to center by Willie Bloomquist, then walking Raul Ibanez on four pitches. But the M's, in typical fashion, let him off the hook when Adrian Beltre swung at a 1-0 pitch (after five balls thrown in six pitches by Parrish) and grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Still, if you remember Parrish at all from last fall in Seattle, that double play constitued more outs than M's fans ever saw him notch. Not sure he's going to be long for this game if the M's stop hacking at every pitch.

Miguel Batista retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first.

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Posted by Mike

4:27 PM, Jul 25, 2008

177 American League hitters have come to the plate 100 or more times this year. Tonight our "batting" order features #150, #151, #164, #168 and #174. For insurance #s 153 and 165 are on the bench.

If I were a pitcher i wouldn't throw a strike to Ichiro, Raul or Beltre.

Posted by Pirata Morado

4:39 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Yes, don't throw it to Beltre, he might hit into a DP.

Posted by Ziasudra

4:45 PM, Jul 25, 2008

No, he'll hit a ball into a DP

Posted by sfmsfan

4:45 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Is Kenji set to balance out at some time? After 2 productive seasons he's completely fallen off. Is there an issue that we are unaware of? It just seems the drop has been too sharp for a 32 year old player.

Posted by Z4EC

4:50 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Thank you, Batista. I just won $20 from a bet with my friend. As soon as Kenji batted in that run, I told my friend that Batista would give up a run in the next half inning.

I'll win another $20 if, I mean when, Batista gives up +5 runs before the end of the 5th inning.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

5:12 PM, Jul 25, 2008

But does he bite as bad as Batista?

We'll see...

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

5:40 PM, Jul 25, 2008

While I feel bad for the guy, it's nice to see Wilkerson's numbers didn't change at all after we released him. BA is .001 different, SLG is .005 different. Now I don't feel so bad about releasing him.

Posted by John

5:42 PM, Jul 25, 2008

This hilarious article came off The Onion. Enjoy:

Mariners improve to eight games over .300

SEATTLE—After winning for the seventh time in their past 17 games, the Seattle Mariners moved to eight games over the .300 mark for the first time since early May."I'm pleased, but it's just a number, and over the next few weeks we'll look to get to nine games over, or even 10," said Jim Riggleman, who has led the M's on a .481 streak since taking over as manager in June. "The guys are really starting to come around. [Yuniesky] Betancourt's got a three-game hitting streak, Jose [Lopez] hit a home run this week, and as long as we avoid getting swept and split a two-game series every once in a while, I think we can take a crack at .400."Riggleman went on to express pride in his team for not losing every single game on the road this season.

Posted by John

5:44 PM, Jul 25, 2008

The scary thing is I can hear the FO of this organization actually talking this way.

Posted by KP

5:55 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Can we please call out Riggleman for the bullcrap he tried to throw out to us? What happened to Vidro protecting Raul? We are gonna be horrible without him batting fourth now! Maybe he should just admit he made a horrible couple weeks of coaching decisions by batting him there instead of trying to get us to drink the "hes protection" koolaid

Posted by Dave

6:26 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I was just looking at Betancourt's stats since I feel like he never walks. And it's true, of the 167 MLB players who qualify for the batting title right now, he is 167th in walks with 6. Next to last would be 10. But what is stunning is he is also 166th in Ks, with 20. Only one player has struck out less. This has to be some sort of record double if he can pull it off. Which goes to show you:
a) Yuni must have amazing hand/eye coordination
b) Since his OBP is 165th and he sees less pitches/AB than anyone in baseball, he might want to think about swinging a little less

Posted by Batter Up!!!

6:46 PM, Jul 25, 2008

This could well be the worst exibition of baseball that I have ever witnessed.

Posted by dawn2

6:53 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Another potential win is blown again by Putz. Looks like he has not fully recovered from his injuries. His poor performance wasted fine performances of the previous relief pitchers.
Another step closer to the Mariners' top pick
in next year's baseball draft.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

7:06 PM, Jul 25, 2008

On a good note, RRS pitched 5 2/3 3-hit ball tonite against Nashville. Threw 91 pitches in all. Another start or two, and he should be stretched out!!! Can't wait to have another RRS sighting in our rotation.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

7:08 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Another note to the Tacoma-Nashville game:

Craig Wilson hit a grand slam in the first inning. His line with Tacoma:
.368 BA
4 HR
10 RBI

Maybe swap him and Lahair? (Especially if Lahair is not seen as a long-term solution?)

Posted by BrianL

7:26 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I may be mistaken (haven't checked out PitchF/X yet) but it looked like JJ was throwing curveballs.


Soon as he went back to his splitter, he started getting people out again.

Posted by GripS

7:44 PM, Jul 25, 2008

horrible playing by all the star players tonight. Good plays by Bloomquist and Cairo. Go figure...... How pathetic. Should have left Morrow in for another inning.

WTF Ichiro!!??

Posted by joebbaseball

7:44 PM, Jul 25, 2008

What a bonehead! Oh well, he'll make up for it with a three run HR. Oh that's right, he's not a home run hitter. Thats ok, maybe a double, or a triple? Guess he can't do that either! Get rid of him please!!!!!

Posted by BrianL

7:45 PM, Jul 25, 2008

So here's where people give Willie Bloomquist a pass for dropping a ball earlier in the week, but will call for Ichiro's head for not getting a good read.

Posted by nature

7:48 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I really want to congratulate the mariners on being the worse team in baseball. It's not an easy thing to do. In fact, they are so bad, they will finish with the second worse record (and lose being able to draft first).

Mariners suck. Good thing training camp opened today for the 'hawks.

Geez.... they deserve to take the lead in the top of the 10th to lose it in the bottom. Any really bad team should be expected to do nothing less.

Go M's!

Posted by Fungo34

7:48 PM, Jul 25, 2008

No competitive spirit. 2 walks in the 10th...disgraceful. They deserved to lose that game. I am so made I bought the MLB Extra Innings to watch this band of minor leaguers. Just dump the whole roster and promote everyone at triple A tacoma. they are already 26 games under .500. why not?

Posted by joebbaseball

7:50 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Willie is a roll player, Ichiro is an allstar. An allstar makes that play easily since that was an easy catch. Of course it was just ruled a hit, since everything is ruled a hit. Either way that has to be caught. Every time you think this team can't get worse, they get WAY worse. What an awful baseball season. I know, we already knew that!

Posted by dawn

7:52 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Another potential win blown by Putz, Lowe and Ichiro. It looks like Putz has not fully recovered from his injury and Lowe simply has not shown the command of his pitches of two years ago before his injury. Ichiro not only single-handedly contribute to today's loss with his hitless at-bats, he should have caught that ball hit to him for the winning RBI.
All in all, an otherwise fine Mariner's performance blown. However, it gets Marines closer to the top pick in next years baseball draft.

Posted by LD

9:35 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Geoff, this comment
"Even #174 still has some fans."
is totally uncalled for. You've lost this fan's respect. For your sake, I hope you are never in a position to be kicked when you're down. Perhaps you could use a good lesson from Raul Ibanez on how to be an upstanding human being.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:46 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Lighten up! #174 just got a three year contract, just for being who he is. It certainly wasn't performance related.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:47 PM, Jul 25, 2008

It's not like we don't know that #174 still has a few fans....Ownership for one, at least.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:48 PM, Jul 25, 2008

As fine a gentleman as Raul is, you think he has never put anyone down? Engaged in humor at another person's expense? No one can be that naive.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:51 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Hope none of our starters were in the bullpen box up on the wall. I could see the line in the trainer's room tomorrow, for falling down the ladder, falling out of the box, etc. You name it, they're gonna come down with it, or it will hurt somehow.

Posted by Ziasudra

6:58 AM, Jul 26, 2008

Have any of you been in the Toronto OF under the lights? They are very poorly engineered. Notice that Lind had trouble with Beltre's double earlier. The lights coincide directionaly with lower trajectory line drives. Ichiro won't make excuses, but he was clearly bothered by those lights.
On the bright side (pun intended) we're a step closer to the Strassenberg sweepstakes.

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