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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 11:15 PM

Bullpen carries team to win

Posted by Geoff Baker

oakk0709 015.jpg

Strange game this baseball. Two complete games tossed by Mariners starters the first two nights here both ended in losses. Tonight, Miguel Batista lasts just two innings and three pitches before going down with a right groin strain. Of course, the Mariners rally to a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Batista won't pitch again before the All-Star break. We saw Batista hopping off to the training room, his leg in an ice pack. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said the injury isn't serious, but he won't risk sending Batista back out to the mound until he knows he's right.

"I hope that we can get this behind him and he'll be in the rotation when we come out of the break,'' Riggleman said, not too convincingly. "That would be the No. 1 option. And when we work out over the break we'll test it out and see. And if it's not ready to start and give us significant innings, then we’ll use him in pieces.''

Brandon Morrow, above, gets the save for Roy Corcoran, who notches his first big league win.

"It feels good,'' Corcoran said after tossing 2 2/2 shutout innings. "It's been '03, '04, '06, three years up and down and I never got one.''

Mariners closer J.J. Putz soon crept up on the post-game interview session and treated the pitcher to a shaving cream pie to the face.

"Now, I've got to shower again,'' Corcoran moaned, his eyes stinging.

It was only the fourth time all year the M's have overcome a deficit of two or more to win a game. It was just the second time they have rallied from three down to win. They trailed 4-1 in the fifth, then put up a five-spot against Joe Blanton. Jose Lopez doubled home three of those runs.

"That's a big inning, especially when you've lost three games in a row,'' Lopez said. "We didn't play bad those first two games here.''

Lopez said he held up at third the previous inning, after being waved home on the Jose Vidro double, because the ball didn't get by the right fielder and go to the wall. He said he didn't want to make the second out of the inning at home plate when the team had two runners in scoring position with one out. He wound up scoring on an ensuing single by Adrian Beltre.

By the way, Jeff Clement said he didn't think Jack Hannahan running over him at the plate was a dirty play, though he wants to see it again on replay. Clement said the throw started carrying him back across the plate again, causing him to get drilled.

He's being political. The play was very borderline.

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Posted by dawgfan

10:04 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Unbelievable win by the M's. With that kind of offense this team could make a serious run for the wild card.

You gotta love these guys because the Sodo Mojo is back!

There is just no quit in this team!

Posted by k0o56

10:07 PM, Jul 09, 2008


Posted by Coastal Carolina 2012

10:19 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Are you serious?? We have absolutly no chance of even sniffing .500 yet alone the playoffs. Good to see them grab a win though, very well played tonight

Posted by scottM

10:24 PM, Jul 09, 2008

haiku #12

splitters or sinkers?
those blogs with stat-ick thinkers
thin skin, but M's win!

Posted by Oly Mike

10:43 PM, Jul 09, 2008

One thng that is abundantly clear is this: "Nothing we say on this blog has made any difference". If it would something would have happened already. No on is listening except Geoff Baker. So he deserves a bit of thanks for listening while we vent our frustrations. Everyone on this blog has made good and bad suggestions. Getting rid of Pentland, Bavasi and McClaren has made no difference in the Mariner team performance. So that obviously means something else should be done. I am personally at the point where something more needs to be done even if it is wrong. This team is wrong so doing something else wrong can't do anything but help and by that I mean change is warranted and it is necessary now for many reasons reiterated ad nauseum on this blog. Whatever happened to "Bag Head Day" Maybe the Mariner FO would react to something silly like that? They don't appar to want to react to anything rational or logical. The mounting pent up frustration on this blog is likely to destroy it before Mariner management does anything.

Posted by Bill

10:44 PM, Jul 09, 2008

One thing I like about Riggleman that you didn't get with McLaren is that Riggleman finishes his sentences. When McLaren was done he'd just say "and so on and so forth."

Gotta love someone with that capability.

Posted by sfmsfan

10:54 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I've been to the last 3 games and it was nice to enjoy one for a change.

The one thing I had trouble understanding is Lopez not being sent home on the Vidro double and Vidro not being sent on Beltre's single. If a team has as much trouble scoring as the M's don't you have to take the risk at home?

Still it's always good when we beat my least favorite team.

Posted by Nat

11:04 PM, Jul 09, 2008

So true, Bill: a manager who can actually articulate an entire thought, speak coherantly, and make sense! However, Riggleman only scores two out of three. He doesn't always make sense.

Not when his responses to questions about Sexson and Vidro's usefulness are so completely and utterly ridiculous. And said with a straight face! I would rather he say, "I'm not going to answer that. Next question, please."

At least we'd all get a laugh out of that.

scottM- this might be your best haiku yet.

Posted by Bruce

11:06 PM, Jul 09, 2008

First, I must admit Riggleman's explanation is a head scratcher. But unlike others I do cut him some slack considering the team is 11-8 (could be 12-7) under him vs. 25-47 under Big Mac (Oly Mike, you really don't see a difference after the changes???) I do agree we need more changes to get better.

BTW, how many plate appearances does Vidro need to vest his 2009 option?

The A's station in norcal keeps talking about the play at the plate and while they say Ibanez was out, they admit Suzuki made a strange attempt to tag him with his back turned to the runner and possibly blocked the umpire.

Posted by BartDavidSimpson

11:46 PM, Jul 09, 2008

Just a note about the 5th inning play at the plate where
Ibanez was ruled safe.
I post because on TV, Sims and Blowers were repeatedly
perplexed that A's catcher Kurt Suzuki, as he took the the
throw form third base, blocked the on-and-off-and oncoming
Ibanez with his back turned.
It appeared to me that Suzuki in an instant knew that both
momentum and time were against him and simply sat down,
then pivoted, and as clearly seen on the many replays tagged
Ibanez out. It was a truly memorable, instinctive play on Suzuki's part I think...

Posted by Nick

11:56 PM, Jul 09, 2008

I still think Ibanez should have slammed into Suzuki. I mean, come on... Hannahan had no problem ramming Clement, and he was barely even blocking the plate. Ibanez at the perfect chance to get back at the A's.. and he didn't do it! Oh well.. no reason to get hurt if you are Ibanez.. as the chances of getting traded would disappear. It still would have been great, though.. and if the M's ever get back into the playoff picture.. I expect THAT team to take care of their catcher and retaliate. :)

But regardless of all that... THEY WON!!! WOO HOO!!!

Posted by DrNaka

12:11 AM, Jul 10, 2008

About Pitch F/x data by USSM.

As a scientist if I get these data that F/x shows no differences in break I would consider that F/x data are lacking information.

Baseball wisdom says that the batter does not look only to the ball. He sees the arm motion shoulder motion the release point.

If the pitcher and catcher say it had more break and it induced many ground balls I think that it was the truth. The pitch had more break to the human eye but F/x did not capture it.

Keep up your nice work Baker-san.

BTW it was reported that Ichiro will be in the HR derby? Any conformation at local media?

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

1:11 AM, Jul 10, 2008

"Two complete games tossed by Mariners starters the first two nights here both ended in losses. Tonight, Miguel Batista lasts just two innings and three pitches before going down with a right groin strain. Of course, the Mariners rally to a 6-4 victory"

Yes, very strange. If you were to just see the pitching stats for the M's you'd guess they'd have won...

But baseball stats don't involve variables much. That I know of anyway.

It's a great game, played by great players.

Glad that they won tonight Geoff. Hope they make some moves... For guys with better stats. hehe.

Posted by Capo

1:23 AM, Jul 10, 2008

It irritates me to no end that games in San Diego, Anaheim, LA, Arizona, San Francisco, and Oakland are blacked out here in Las Vegas ( I can understand the LA area teams, but its borderline).....Oakland and SF are 10 hrs,, very rarely do I get to see West Coast games, unless they are carried by a local affiliate.....yeah, bud Selig and MLB can kiss my butt.

anyway, from reading the blog and tracking the game on Yahoo, seems it was an exciting game.

Geoff, is there any sense from the clubhouse that moves are coming in regards to Vidro, Cairo, or Sexson? Any chance the team starts thinking rationally about improving the offense? Lastyl, with Batista hobbled, and the bullpen overused, are the M's scouring the waiver wire or trade lines for another SP candidate?

Posted by Bob

4:45 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I like Geoff's blogs when he talks about things like pitcher's command, little things not easy to quantify but make a big difference in performance and innings.

Felix struggled last year after being injured in his third start, with on-field results very similar to Bedard this year. Coming off the DL, Felix had a stretch of 7 consecutive games where his longest outing was 6 innings, and only went just over 100 pitches 2 times.

The underlying reasons for Felix last year and Bedard this year may be different, but I would say they were struggling similarly with command of their pitches. When you have great stuff to begin with, just missing probably translates to more pitches in less innings, rather than getting smacked around like Silva or Washburn when they are just missing.

Posted by Bums

4:51 AM, Jul 10, 2008


When Putz comes back is there any way they make him the closer again unless they are going to make Morrow a starter? They have botched up the whole season, I hope they don't make another mistake.

Posted by Mr. X

6:27 AM, Jul 10, 2008

"BTW it was reported that Ichiro will be in the HR derby? Any conformation at local media?"


Now why would Ichiro ruin a perfectly good myth by doing something like that?

Posted by Mr. Z

6:46 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Any truth to the myth Ichiro was the MVP of the '07 All Star game? ; )

Posted by Mr. X

7:07 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Maybe you, and the fans of Jeff Conine, Fred McGriff, Sandy Alomar Jr, and Michael Young can get together and talk about important things like "MVP" awards for exhibition games.

Maybe Ichiro could hit a few "inside the park" home runs to help him win that home run derby. LOL

Posted by Mr. X

7:09 AM, Jul 10, 2008

My favorite all-time All Star MVP was the one from 2002. He matters just as much as all the rest.

Posted by Ryan

7:17 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I thought the Hannahan play when he ran over Clement was borderline dirty. Maybe the Ibanez play was a make up call, or the ump missed it.

Regarding the earlier post as to why Lopez wasn't sent home on the Vidro double. He was sent home, he stopped at third on his own. Don't know why. Perlozzo was waving him in all the way. Regrdless, it was a good win anyway.

Posted by Mr. Z

7:48 AM, Jul 10, 2008

You're right 'X'...why even play the All Star game. Cancel it...they're all frauds!!! LOL

Posted by fred

8:37 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I don't think Hannahan really needed to crash into Clement the way he did, BUT I loved how Jeff popped up like a Jack In The Box looking for the ball, his head in the game. Meanwhile Hannahan lay dazed on the ground wondering what happened. Clement is solid, Hannahan thought he'd get a cheap shot, but he got the worst of it haha.

I really could care less if we don't see Batista pitch until next year. He hasn't been much of a help anyway.

Here is my interpertation of Riggleman's excuse as to why he keeps plugging Jose Vidro in the cleanup spot: "The bosses tell me to do it, so I do"

Posted by RainierDawgFan

8:38 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I think when Clement watches the video, he will have a different opinion; Clement wasn't really blocking the plate, and didn't even have the ball. Hannahan takes a left turn at the last moment to blast Clement when he could have easily slid in safely. I'd stop short of calling it dirty, but wouldn't mind if he got one in the ribs tomorrow.......

Posted by downonstrikes

9:04 AM, Jul 10, 2008

You have to respect Jeff Clement for not flinching, or turning his back, when Hannahan plowed into him. Jeff was a little dazed but showed his strength and grit by getting up and being alert. Hannahan was shown latter in the dugout rubbing a sore arm and grimmacing as he touched it. Yeah, he'll feel it for a few days and Jeff can be proud.

My question today is: Why are the M's pitchers so injury plauged this season? Is there exercise or preparation regime flawed? It seems that these injuries may be caused by something the coachiing staff is not requiring the pitchers to do to stay in top shape. Felix's sprain is the exception, of course.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:12 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Hey Geoff - is it time to take bets on who will still be here after the ASB (either due to trade or due to DFA)? Or will too much change in the next few days, to make it too hard to tell who's a serious contender and who isn't?

Posted by scottM

9:16 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Oly Mike

Think of Vidro and Sexson as your leased luxury cars that run like crap, but you've got two-and-a-half months left on the leases, and only motor scooters to use if you don't drive them. This explains why the M's use those piss-poor luxury rigs anyway.

Patience, Grasshopper. Our time with Jose and Richie will soon come to a close. A new GM will be here soon.

I just wonder if the M's, with an interim GM and disarray, will make a trade by the July 31st deadline. (Any trade won't include Vidro or Sexson though).

Posted by Mike

9:19 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Every single time Sexson, Vidro, Cairo or Bloomquist takes the field we are slowing the potential development of the team. We clearly aren't going anywhere. Bring Wlad up and let him play in the OF with Reed and Ichiro. See what you've got there. DH Raul. I'm not a big LaHair fan but try him out too. Maybe he gets on a hot streak and has trade value.

Posted by Ziasudra

9:21 AM, Jul 10, 2008

note to Mr. Z - All of baseball is a fraud; so are all sports. They don't cure diseases, famine, wars, or do other useful things. It's all entertainment - live with it.

{WHAT IS GOING ON? I got a message saying I've submitted to many blogs over a short time - this was my first attempt today. Then I looked over the list, 4 by one fellow, 3 by another within an hour. Am I being blacklisted for one a day????}

If this isn't posted, I'll sent an e-mail every ten minutes containing it to the webmaster.

Posted by ethan

9:24 AM, Jul 10, 2008

ibanez was out...but whats a Mariner game without horrible, juvenile fancy-dancing on the base paths by our beloved M's??

Posted by Oly Mike

9:26 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Bruce: To respond to your question: (Oly Mike, you really don't see a difference after the changes???) Maybe, but 11-8 under Riggleman is like what you hope for out of a # 4 or 5 starter in your rctation. Just hovering above the .500 mark and not knowing when things could get better or worse. But in general terms I believe it is not significanttly different based on what you would like to see with the firing of a bad GM & Manager. The Mariners still lose games they should win and seem to have "No Direction Home" (Bob Dylan) or in baseball home plate (Perlozzo). It seems they are always short of home or bowled over or called out at home. Even in games they win they are missing the plate!!!

Posted by Bill

9:27 AM, Jul 10, 2008

downonstrikes, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the M's took their "success" last season for granted and didn't work hard in the offseason. Morrow and RRS played winterball and they are developing really well. Batista, I believe was off helping humanity, noble indeed, but he has been hurt all season. Felix apparently worked really hard in the offseason and in camp and he is having a fine season.

Posted by Mr. Z

9:31 AM, Jul 10, 2008

"note to Mr. Z - All of baseball is a fraud; so are all sports. They don't cure diseases, famine, wars, or do other useful things. It's all entertainment - live with it." Thanks for clearing that up. I was getting worried none of those problems were going to get solved as long as sports are around.

Posted by Amanda

9:44 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Hey Dawgfan - I like the way you think!!!! :) Its nice to hear something positvie about this team!

GO M's!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:49 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Oh, and any truth to the rumors about Ichiro being in the Home Run Derby? I might almost maybe watch his part of it. (Muted, of course, so I don't have to endure that ass with his "back back back back back" call on every damned homer - can't remember the name, he's the one who tries and fails to make awkward puns on guys' names when describing their highlights.)

Posted by NB

9:51 AM, Jul 10, 2008

So is there any truth to the rumor that Ichiro got 262 hits in a season once?

Posted by Mike

9:52 AM, Jul 10, 2008

That would be Chris Ethel Berman.

I'm very sorry.

Posted by Ryan

10:11 AM, Jul 10, 2008

People keep talking about Ichiro in the Home Run Derby, but I haven't heard anything official yet. Kinda ironic though, seeing as how he hasn't had anything other than a single in about 6 weeks now. Does he even know what a home run is??

Posted by Bill

10:17 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Everyone knows Ichiro could hit more home runs...if he wanted to. People have been saying that for years. But remember it's not his job since he's a leadoff hitter. Never mind all those times he comes to bat when he's not leading off an inning.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:20 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Sounds as though we won't get to see Josh Fields work out the the pen late this season. His agent, $cott Bora$, will hold him out until the very last day he can sign (8/15). By then, it will be too late for Fields to get a chance to pitch in the minors for a few months prior to Sept. callups. This will hamstring the club as you don't get a chance to see if Fields can handle working in a setup role which is where he would be pitching in the team's 2009 bp. Morrow looks to be the find of the year in a closer role and this gives the team some pleasant options provided that Fields can handle 8th inning setup work. It'll be important to see if JJ can come back healthy - at age 32, he may be on the downslope.

Posted by BrianL

10:32 AM, Jul 10, 2008

It's probably for the best that Fields hasn't signed yet. He's already pitched a ton of innings, and further use could injure him.

Posted by meriies

10:43 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Bye-bye Richie. Couldn't get ANYthing for him??

Posted by Wildman

10:43 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Softy on KJR is reporting that Richie Sexson has just been released by the M's. Sorry, it wasn't a better time for you here, but thanks for your effort.

Posted by yardwork

10:44 AM, Jul 10, 2008

The PI is reporting that Sexson's locker is cleaned out and he's not there A's day game.

DFA? Traded to Japan?

Posted by Mike

10:49 AM, Jul 10, 2008

I'm certainly not against this move if it is true but it has to bother Richie that his OPS is .120 higher than Vidro and yet he's the one released.

Posted by andre

10:51 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Buh bye richie....FO is getting serious now....

Posted by Bruce

11:06 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Richie is gone. Nice guy but he had to go. Better for him and better for the M's.

Oly Mike, agreed that they still don't exude confidence or play fundamental baseball. But going from .374 winning % to .589 in two weeks, is noticeable.

X, give it up. Not sure what Ichiro has done to you. But you are fixadet with Ichiro. While he's far from perfect, but in your book he can't do anything right. It sort of over shadows your other good observations.

Posted by Rubin

11:11 AM, Jul 10, 2008

Clement is a rock. The play wasn't dirty. Clement had the plate partially blocked so I feel Hanahan had the right to plow into him. If Hananhan wants to hurt himself, fine by me. Clement won that battle, even though he was safe. Now the play last year where Johjima was plowed over by some guy (can't remember who, but it was probably a Yankee) THAT WAS DIRTY! Johjima wasn't even close to the plate. Still pissed about that one.

Posted by Bruce

11:21 AM, Jul 10, 2008

p.s. playing .589 ball would put them 1.5 games behind the Angels.

Recent entries

Jul 10, 08 - 10:46 AM
Sexson released; Bedard to DL

Jul 9, 08 - 11:15 PM
Bullpen carries team to win

Jul 9, 08 - 08:36 PM
Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 07/09 game thread

Jul 9, 08 - 06:35 PM
Why Vidro is batting cleanup

Jul 9, 08 - 10:51 AM
M's need a bidding war







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