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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 8, 2008 9:24 PM

Tampa Bay Rays at Mariners: 08/08 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

tbay0808 078.jpg

Very little going on in tonight's game. It's still 5-3, with the M's trailing as we head to the ninth. Seattle has had three baserunners since the fourth inning.

Jake Woods did a good job of tossing two scoreless frames after taking over from Carlos Silva one batter into the seventh inning.

Hmm, what else? Here's an interesting tidbit. Turns out Erik Bedard is a knockout ping-pong player. Can take just about anyone in the M's clubhouse.

He and Felix Hernandez were playing a round after the latter mowed down the Rays last night. Guess Hernandez was ready for more. Got to love the competitor in him.

Us Canadians love ping-pong. You can play it indoors, which comes in handy with all that snow.

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8:14 p.m.: Seattle got a run back in the fourth when Jeff Clement doubled off the center field wall with two out. Wladimir Balentien then notched an infield single, moving Clement to third. And Bryan LaHair capped it with an RBI single that was knocked down in the infield but no one could make a play on.

So, it's a 5-3 game, Tampa Bay still in the lead. Carlos Silva has thrown 66 pitches in the first four innings and needs to cut down.

7:54 p.m.: Carlos Silva just gave the lead right back to Tampa Bay, yielding four runs -- one of them unearned thanks to a throwing error by Yuniesky Betancourt. It's Betancourt's Bobblehead Night tonight. No, seriously, it is. Just take the word "head" out of the equation and it seems fitting.

So, it's now 5-2 for the Rays as we head to the bottom of the third.

After an Eric Hinske groundout, Silva yielded three straight singles and a run on an RBI base-hit by B.J. Upton. Both runners advanced to second and third when Ichiro tried to nab the runner at home. Then, on a Carl Crawford grounder to Betancourt, the shortstop held the runners and promptly threw the ball over first baseman Bryan LaHair's head for a two-base error and another two runs. Carlos Pena promptly singled to score the fourth marker. There was another hit as well, which explains why only one of the two runs that scored on Betancourt's error goes as unearned. Got all that?

7:35 p.m.: And a happy 08/08/08 to all of you, the last one of those dates you'll ever see in your lifetime. Think about it, it's humbling. Know what else is? That monster two-run homer Wladimir Balentien just ripped to the upper deck in left center to give Seattle a 2-1 lead in the second inning. James Shields had retired five in a row when Jose Lopez notched a one-out single. That's Lopez, below, coming at you in your living rooms.

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Up stepped Balentien (pictured pre-game, above, talking to Mike Morse) and the M's now have a lead.

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Carlos Silva has allowed only one hit through two innings, but it was a solo homer to right center by Carlos Pena. At least one carlos made out in that deal.

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Posted by 11Records

7:51 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Silva throws some sweet BP.

Wait - the game has started? That's a shame.

Posted by Joof

7:53 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Umm, it was Jose Lopez with a one out single on base, not Jeff Clement.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:55 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Yuni has a hell of an arm doesn't he? How many more times do we have to watch this sandlot homeboy throw a game away?

Send him down and train him or DFA him. What a wasted talent!

Posted by RagArm

7:56 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Hey Geoff, I know 8/8/08 is good, but I'm waiting for 12/12/12 when the world ends and the Mayan calendar stops. That's the last one of those kind of dates. At least if you are Mayan, or a Mariners fan.

The AAA Mariners are bringing it on. Good for them. It is so nice to be watching again and happy about baseball. The FO didn't ruin me afterall. Just made me temporarily cycnical.

Silva will get it back too. Mark my words. I love the doughboy. He spoke up when it was needed and I am rooting for him to finish strong.

Now, if only Kenji would leave, the world would be right again totally.

Posted by ethan

7:58 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Yuni and Silva ...earning their money tonight!

Posted by jason2

8:13 PM, Aug 08, 2008

At this rate, it's only logical that Feierabend replaces Silva and Silva gets sent to the bullpen to "work things out."

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:19 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Nice Work Brian LaHair!

Yuni comes up , swings at the first pitch. Inning over!

This kid is totally out of control as is our management team & FO!

Posted by jason2

8:41 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Interesting to see how awful Kennedy was tonight. With the Yankees so close in the wild card they'll certainly claim Washburn.

Posted by scottM

8:57 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Jason, I think it's clear that the M's have no intention of placing Washburn on waivers without the Yankees offering an additional prospect beyond dumping Jarrod's salary. It will require a top young prospect not on the 40-man roster.

It could happen.

Posted by headliner

9:20 PM, Aug 08, 2008

I could cut Yuni some slack if he was trying to better himself, but with 17 errors and lousy plate discipline, he lounges on the clubhouse couch while the others are taking extra infield, batting practice. I'd bench him and watch his body language.

Posted by ken

9:26 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Rather than bench Yuni, I would option him to Tacoma to learn plate discipline and the importance of focus and working hard. He was given a quick path the the big leagues without really having to earn it and we see the results of that coddling. If he doesn't work hard at Tacoma over the next couple of weeks, no Sept. callup.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:31 PM, Aug 08, 2008

So... if you bench / send down Yuni... what, Bloomquist is the shortstop for most of the rest of the season? Really?

Posted by headliner

9:37 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Why not? Better than Yuni and opens up the of playing time for others.

Posted by Capo

9:46 PM, Aug 08, 2008

I'd sure hate to see Erik inlame his irritated vagina and miss any more time because he's playing too much ping pong.

Posted by fire_chuck_not_drayer

9:54 PM, Aug 08, 2008

The sport's name is Table Tennis.

Posted by Blair

10:04 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Capo - Juvenile, but funny. Geoff, what about 09/09/09? Or were you referencing the specific date? Is Ichiro's leg still bothering him? Curious about the one steal in the last month +

Posted by hits to morrow

10:29 PM, Aug 08, 2008

Chris, so Bloomquist plays shortstop for the rest of the season. Oh noes, that could really hurt our playoff chances!

Posted by Tom2000

5:58 AM, Aug 09, 2008

"And a happy 08/08/08 to all of you, the last one of those dates you'll ever see in your lifetime."

Uhhh... Geoff....

What have you heard? And more importantly, from whom?

Posted by ancient mariner

2:32 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Glad to hear that Erika is a good ping pong player. Nice to have something for him to do in the two months between pitching starts.

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