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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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August 7, 2008 8:49 PM

Tampa Bay Rays at Mariners: 08/07 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

rays0807 030.jpg

This is the best I've seen Felix Hernandez look in a long time. Considering the caliber of the team he's facing, maybe his finest game since that one-hitter at Fenway Park. I'm serious. Forget strikeouts. He doesn't need them. Keeps mowing hitters down 1-2-3. As efficient as he's ever looked. You want to be a true ace -- one who goes seven-to-nine innings routinely, this is what you have to do. He's doing it -- very well.

Unfortunately for him, Andy Sonnanstine retired a franchise record 17 in a row at one point. So, it's still 1-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth. A four-hitter by Hernandez so far.

One of the most exciting young teams in baseball is visiting town tonight. Somebody forgot to tell the Seattle baseball community. Quite the tiny crowd tonight (OK, it's actually 25,423 but looked pretty small to start off. Still hardly a packed house). I guess Rays Nation has yet to catch on as a traveling pack.

rays0807 028.jpg

8:45 p.m.: We're already in the seventh inning, believe it or not. The Mariners trail 1-0, the lone run scoring on a wild-pitch by Felix Hernandez in the fourth inning. Hernandez is back out there at 85 pitches to start the seventh. The team needs more of the same from him. This is the type of game where one mistake will likely decide the victor. So far, the Hernandez wild-pitch is the only severe mistake and it's costly on the scoreboard.

7:30 p.m.: The Mariners pulled the same L.O.B. stunt in the second inning. Jose Lopez led off with a double to the left field corner and off the glove of Carl Crawford. Lopez made it to third with one out on a grounder, but then was stranded there. Wladimir Balentien popped out to second and Bryan LaHair grounded out to first. Yeesh.

Felix Hernandez got through the first two innings, six up and six down, on just 16 pitches. Could be a good night for him. He hasn't gone past six innings since June 17. That's quite a while, injury or not.

7:17 p.m.: Felix Hernandez retired the side on three straight groundouts in a nine-pitch first inning.

Ichiro extended hit hit streak to 13 games with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, made it to second with none out on a wild-pitch, then third with one out. But Raul Ibanez grounded out to first unassisted, with Ichiro holding. And Adrian Beltre -- unluckily, perhaps -- popped out to first to end the threat.

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Posted by RagArm

7:18 PM, Aug 07, 2008

They may be exciting Geoff, but the Mariners aren't. We may be seeing the beginning of the attendance decline due to a poor product being offered to the public every night.

Posted by Idaho Invader

7:20 PM, Aug 07, 2008

I didn't know they made tents that said "Shields" on the back of them


Posted by downonstrikes

7:24 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Idaho spud. Didn't you recognize it Invader?

Posted by downonstrikes

7:26 PM, Aug 07, 2008

No, it's Silva. Sorry all you potato lovers. Guess the counterfit uniform threw me off.

Posted by mr. foo

7:40 PM, Aug 07, 2008

What? People are not clammoring for the chance to pay to watch the Mariners pad their LOB stats on the year?

Mind boggling.

The D-Rays do have some good talent, though. Oh well. Our loss.

Posted by Pirata Morado

7:48 PM, Aug 07, 2008

"And Adrian Beltre -- unluckily, perhaps -- popped out to first to end the threat"

I'm loving Geoff's sarcasm!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:52 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Actually it is nice too see the attendance on it's a**.
Just shows many of us bought tickets well in advance to see our favorite visitors and who could guess these kids would excel....

The FO is a joke and needs to be punished with no more sales than have already been made.

Posted by Scanman

8:09 PM, Aug 07, 2008

I meant to post this earlier, but got called away. The discussion was Define a clutch hitter
In a clutch situation whom would you have wanted at the plate, Junior, A-Rod, Bone? For my money the one who I would want was Edgar, and he is what my definition of a clutch hitter would be.

Posted by doug

8:13 PM, Aug 07, 2008

felix needs to work on his command broskis

Posted by doug

8:16 PM, Aug 07, 2008

that better be f'n sarcasm geoff, beltre signed with HUGE cash expecting 40+ hr 300+ ba and 150+ rbi annually and he hasnt even done that in 3 years....TOTAL. when this scrub is off our team we will begin to win. he never bin in playoffs in 10+ yr career!!!!!

Posted by bikeman

8:25 PM, Aug 07, 2008


On Adam Jones, consider Reed has an OPS+ of 94 and Adam an OPS+ of 92. This is the Mariners, I'll take whatever I can get.

Posted by Centerfielder

9:05 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Too bad Reed srikes out in clutch situations

Posted by Ben

9:12 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Putz.... why did felix come out? he only had 105 pitches...

Posted by Ben

9:22 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Raul... thank you.

Posted by 11Records

9:24 PM, Aug 07, 2008

Raul has to be player of the week. HAS TO BE. Even if he goes 0 for the weekend...

Recent entries

Aug 19, 08 - 04:52 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-19

Aug 19, 08 - 04:08 PM
Love this cartoon

Aug 19, 08 - 09:08 AM
Nah, on second thought

Aug 18, 08 - 08:56 PM
Same as it ever was

Aug 18, 08 - 04:45 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-18







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