I can’t imagine what it must be like to be Ken Griffey Jr. The
cheers, the adulation. Griffey just laced a single to right field.
The fans rose in unison as he walked to the plate and Junior took
his batting helmet off and acknowledged everybody before stepping
back into the box.
On a 3-1 count, he ripped a line shot, moving Ronny Cedeno to
Adrian Beltre’s chopper back to the mound gets Cedeno home.
Griffey’s out at second on a force out and veteran Mike Sweeney’s
the first guy to greet him at the dugout.
Beltre steals second and is left there as Russell Branyan’s
called out on strikes.
It’s 1-0 M’s after the first inning.
I’m not going to provide a lot of play-by-play, but I’ll be
checking in with some thoughts and observations as the game goes
It might look sunny and warm on TV, but it’s chilly in the
shade. It was 48 degrees when the first pitch was tossed at
4:09: Silva six up six down. Maybe he is worth $12.5
4:15: OK, Bobblheads. The Griffey bobblehead giveaway’s
scheduled for Aug. 7.
4:18: Silva’s still perfect through three innings.
4:20: The M’s three AL West championships banners are hanging
above the third-deck seats in right field: 1995, 1997 and 2001.
Considering the M’s play in a four-team division, the odds are in
their favor to hang another one soon. Is this the season? Are we
looking at the Miracle M’s — from 101 losses to a division
4:23: E-Me. Yuni Betancourt just hit a foul ball that was coming
right at me. I shouda ducked, but I stuck my hand out and deflected
it. I think I broke my hand. Nah, just kidding. It would have been
my third press box catch, but I muffed it. I’ve lost a step.
4:33: Silva loses perfect game, then no-hitter, then shutout.
Hit batter, double by Abreu and a fielder’s choice and it’s
4:34: Griffey up again. Another standing O. A ground out to
4:50: Silva gets out of bases loaded jam by striking out Howie
4:55: Kinda different without No. 22 (Willie Bloomquist) on the
M’s bench. Oh, wait. There is a No. 22. Don Wakamatsu, the new
manager, has Willie’s old number. Bloomquist, by the way, is
1-for-10 for the Royals this season, but produced a web gem the
other day, making a diving catch in right field.
Willie would fit in with the style of this Seattle team, but
don’t think the M’s would have ever paid him $3.1 million for two
years. Ronny Cedeno, the M’s new utility guy, makes $822,500.
5:03: M’s lead 2-1 after Endy Chavez’s RBI single in fifth.
Silva’s only thrown 71 pitches through five, so he should be in
good shape. Did I just type Silva should be in good shape?
5:13: Torii Hunter’s long homer to left — it hit off the
stairway behind the Angels’ bullpen — ties it at 2-2 Griffey leads
off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and the fans boo. They want
Junior to hit.
5:15: Besides Griffey, who are you other all-time favorite
Mariners? What’s your all-time Seattle lineup? Off the top of my
head, mine would be something like this:
Ichiro Suzuki OF
Edgar Martinez DH
John Olerud 1B
Ken Griffey OF
Jay Buhner OF
Brett Boone 2b
Dan Wilson C
Omar Vizquel SS
Randy Johnson P
5:27: Folks, it’s 2-2 with one out in the top of the
seventh, and the Big Buffalo (Carlos Silva) is still pitching. He
just threw his 100th pitch. Make that 101 and he’s out of the
inning. That, baseball fans, is a quality start.
5:31: If you buy a Mariners’ media guide — they cost $10 —
you’ll notice there’s no page for Ken Griffey Jr. You sign after
the deadline and that’s what happens. The M’s have inserts, and,
no, they won’t be going back to the press to print undated
editions. That’s the word from the M’s media relations director Tim
5:36: David Aardsma now pitching. He’ll face Chone Figgins to
open the eighth inning. This game’s moving right along. Aardsman’s
got two saves and hasn’t allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings. You’ve got
to tip your hat to Silva. He allowed four hits and walked just one
in seven innings. They’ve amended his pitch count to 99. “That’s
like a perfect game for Silva,” said the guy next to me.
5:55: Aardsma gets out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth.
Griffey, with everyone on their feet, goes down swinging for the
second out in the bottom of the eighth. The stage was set for
something Griffey magic, but mighty Ken was fooled badly on a
changeup from Darren Oliver.
6:02: Oliver fanned Beltre to strike out the side and now it’s
on the ninth. Brandon Morrow’s on in relief for Seattle.
6:07: Morrow blows away Mike Napoli with a 99 mph heater
and gets Gary Matthews Jr. to fly out to center on a well-hit ball
before Erick Aybar singles to right. Figgins walks on four straight
pitches, then gets Kendrick out on a groundball.
Morrow has a way of keeping things interesting thus far this
6:11: Bottom of the ninth: Time for somebody to get a hero.
Branyan, Lopez and Johjima due up.
6:17: Extra innings.
6:30: Roy Corcoran holds the Angels in check in the 11th. He
allowed a hit and a walk, but got out of it. Corcoran’s an unsung
player. In 2008, he was the Mariners Unsung Hero, according to the
Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He
was 6-2 with three saves and a team-low 3.22 ERA in 72 23
6:33: Gutierrez doubles to lead off the bottom of the 11th.
Betancourt, Chavez and Cedeno coming up. Yuni lays down a beaut
sacrifice bunt and pitcher Scott Shields throws it into the
Seattle wins 3-2. Miracle Mariners?