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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 23, 2008 2:22 PM

Game thread, July 23

Posted by Danny O'Neil

  • Top 11th: Sean Green came in to relieve Brandon Morrow, who pitched a pair of scoreless innings. I was under the mistaken impression that Green had a chance to become the first pitcher to ever appear in 162 games in a season. That's wrong, though. This is the 50th game he's pitched this season so he really only pitches every other game, not every day.

  • Top 8th: J.J. Putz stayed in to pitch the eighth after throwing 17 pitches in the seventh. He struck out Mike Lowell and got two fly balls to end the inning. He struck out three and allowed only an infield hit in his two innings of work.

  • Top 7th: It's not the ninth, but J.J. Putz is on the mound for the Mariners, so cue up that AC/DC, right? You bet. "Thunderstruck." This qualifies as a pressure situation. Putz gave up a leadoff single to Dustin Pedroia, who beat out a throw from shortstop Willie Bloomquist for an infield hit. Putz struck out J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis, the latter on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play that ended the inning.

  • Bottom 6th: I was curious earlier today on whether Jose Vidro had been more productive at the plate than C.C. Sabathia in the three weeks since Cleveland traded the big fella' to Milwaukee.

    Well, entering today's games, Sabathia batted in three games for Milwaukee, he had two hits in nine at-bats with a double and a home run. That's a batting average of .222 and a slugging percentage of .667.

    Going back to July 8 -- Sabathia's first game with Milwaukee -- Vidro had nine hits in 33 at-bats (.273 average), but his only extra base hits were a pair of doubles (.333 slugging percentage). So what happens Wednesday? Well, Vidro has a walk and a single in his first two at-bats and then hit a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning, making the comparison to Sabathia seem very smarmy and ill-timed. Score: Seattle 3, Boston 3.

  • Top 6th: Felix Hernandez gave up base hits to the first two batters he faced, walked a batter and faced the bases loaded with no outs. So what does Hernandez do? He strikes out the next two batters, getting Jed Lowrie on a full-count check swing on a pitch in the dirt and striking out Jason Varitek on three pitches. What happens then? He walks Coco Crisp on four pitches bringing in a run.

  • Top 3rd: J.D. Drew was in his trot, Ichiro was on a run, though, and caught a drive about a foot and a half above the right-field wall. Ichiro's leaping catch turned what would have been a three-run home run into the second out of the third inning.

    The next hitter, though, Ichiro's glove let a run in. Kevin Youkilis hit a single into right field, which skipped under Ichiro's glove and past him in right field. Ichiro would have had no chance to keep Coco Crisp from scoring from second base on the play. The play did allow Dustin Pedroia to score, and Ichiro was charged with an error on the play.

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    Posted by meagain

    2:49 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    What about the pickoff? Took three tries. Easy or close play?

    Posted by deepthroat

    2:52 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Ichiro is a freakin stud. Hope we never trade him. Trading yet another sure Hall of Famer for peanuts would be the last straw for me.

    This should be on Howard and Chucks gravestones.

    'We traded away or just let go a half dozen or so sure hall of famers and never paid the price for it'

    Posted by meagain

    2:54 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Good, clear videos of Ichiro's catch and error on Gameday. Nothing on the pickoff. He's one up and two down today by my count.

    Posted by doug

    3:32 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    screw u ichiro, sucked so much geoff had to mention u got an error twice

    Posted by andre

    3:36 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Vidro ties it with a 2 run HR in the 6th...who woulda thunk......

    Posted by meagain

    3:40 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometime. The M's are a bushel basket of acorns in arrears.

    Posted by sporty

    3:46 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    what's the new kid doin' today - LaHair? Glad to see him get his first MLB hit last night...something positive in this sucky, horrendous, cellar (not Stellar) year................

    Posted by toppa

    3:49 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    did Vidro just hit a jack? Is it a full moon? a blue moon? Get him tested for foreign substance I think he's all hopped up on rally fries.

    Posted by Zoiks!

    3:54 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    I think Vidro is like Scooby Doo and Shaggy. He performs better when he is rewarded by Scooby snacks or large plates of buffet food, cheeseburgers or even rally fries. But Vidro looks more like Yogi the Bear so that makes sense too. Get Vidro a pick- a - nit basket.

    Posted by Rodney

    3:57 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    I coulda sworn I saw mustard stains on Vidro's uni as he rounded the bases

    Posted by TimsHead

    4:00 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    The Mariners actually looked like a major-league team there for an inning. Lopez works a nine-pitch single, Vidro (!) homers to tie the game. JJ strikes out two very tough hitters and Joh guns down a fast runner.

    Of course, it's possible that my radio is actually getting signals from some Bizarro World ...

    Posted by TimsHead

    4:08 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    ... but seriously, nice to see JJ looking good again. One infield hit, 3 Ks in two innings against arguably the best offense in the league. He's a competitor ... we could use more players like him in the ballpark.

    Posted by Jalapeno

    4:15 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    ahhh JALAPENOS!!!! Why did Vidro have to hit that HR.. why not someone else?!!? That just earned him 2 weeks of playing time!!! Get em outta here!!!

    FREE BALENTIEN!!!!!!!!


    Posted by GongoWongo

    4:18 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Haha Did you see Vidro in the dugout right their?!?! He was showing Riggleman his bat and the top twists off and he dumped out a bunch of pizza pockets. So now him and Riggleman are eating pizza pockets and told everyone else to get their own. That slick Vidro.

    Posted by Chris L

    4:38 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Haha Did you see Vidro in the dugout right their?!?! He was showing Riggleman his bat and the top twists off and he dumped out a bunch of pizza pockets. So now him and Riggleman are eating pizza pockets and told everyone else to get their own. That slick Vidro.


    Posted by Bums

    4:52 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Great thinking in comparing Vidro to Sabathia, especially since Vidro is a "professional hitter". He has one or two of these types of games every six weeks. The problem is that it makes management think he has broken out of the putrid slump only to see him stink for another 5-6 weeks.

    Posted by desert dawg

    5:05 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Posted by Oh my God!

    5:11 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    I've got an idea.....tear up the new contract for Kenji and double it, what a clutch player!

    Oh my god!

    Posted by Anything Can Happen

    5:13 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Ugh! That was so predictable (Kenji hitting into an inning-ending DP). Why on earth did they not send Yuni to avoid the inevitable?

    Posted by 11Records

    5:23 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    How could anyone have predicted that Kenji would hit into a DP, then our defense would fall apart and lose the game? It seems so hard to believe!

    Posted by Joe

    5:30 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    With play like that these guys are going to blow their post season chances.

    Posted by Bill

    5:33 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Uh oh the M's need 4 to win in the bottom of the 12th. Hopefully they can get Vidro to the plate to knock in some runs!

    Posted by 11Records

    5:33 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    You know the M's are gonna tease us here and get the tying run to the plate... just to make it more heartbreaking.

    Posted by huskiefan@aol.comHUSKIEFAN@AOL.COM

    5:36 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    11 records...good call

    Posted by Bill

    5:42 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    I guess Vidro couldn't come through for the M's this time.

    Posted by Bums

    5:46 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    I like the idea of ripping up Joh's contract and doubling it, he is doing so great.

    Another great finish to another finely played game by this "team". Can't wait for next year to watch most of the trash return and continue to suck, hopefully Riggelman and Pelekoudous return next year. It wouldn't feel like a true M's team without bad management to go along with the awful players. Good thing it is such a "fun and family friendly experience" so the ownership can continue to make money while fleecing the fans.

    Posted by ethan

    6:03 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    please God....let there be another fire sale tomorrow. its my only way of feeling close to this team emotionally - when players are F****** FIRED.

    Posted by bob

    6:34 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    Freakin' Johjima

    What a waste. I understand he now has a ton of pressure to perform at a higher caliber due to the worst contract in Mariners history, but for God sakes this was the last straw.

    I would love to hear a chant for BURKE, BURKE, BURKE. Hell at least he would attempt to hit the ball the other way and stand up like a man and take a hit from the other team.

    I am less bothered by another dead pull double play around the horn that puts Johjima at least four strides before he would touch first. Hell the Boston infield was off the infield before he touched first.

    The play that bothers me the most is the play at the plate. In the number of innings that I have tallied watching this team play since Johjima has been here. I have seen him only once block the fricken plate.

    Instead of being in front of the plate and take a collision which would have been a slide from JD Drew, he backs up, leaving the entire plate exposed. This is not the first time either. Grow some nuts and take one for the team.

    He is a finesse catcher that calls an average game. A dead pull hitter who even when it calls for him to put it up the middle or the other way; FAILS. And in the air mind you.

    Nobody wants him, we are stuck with him. Unless the unthinkable, he goes back to Japan much like Sasaki. I have struck gold and won the lottery.

    Unfortunately, we live in reality. We have 24 million dollars that are dead for the next three years.

    Posted by Full Count

    11:08 PM, Jul 23, 2008

    How many type pitches does morrow have?

    Can he really be a starter with only 2 pitches?

    Where is Josh Fields these days?

    Is Fontiane and gang really doing anything productive for this team just look at the farm, it is very weak and they have missed or passed on current young MLB all-star players that were available in the draft.

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    Jul 23, 08 - 12:23 PM
    Jeff Clement probably out until Saturday

    Jul 23, 08 - 12:17 PM
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