Checking in from Safeco Field tonight, one night after checking
out the Sounders at CenturyLink Field.
Let the ramblings begin:
The Mariners and Marlins are going at it. Will the M’s score
more runs than the Sounders scored goals (4)?
The M’s are the visitors tonight as the three-game Interleague
series was moved to Seattle because of a U2 concert in the Marlins’
home stadium in Florida.
The U2 song “Where the Streets Have No Name,” blared from the
public address system just before the first pitch. Nice touch.
$10 NIGHT?: Lots of empty seats for this one.
Wouldn’t be surprised if its the least-attended Friday night game
in Safeco history. If you put me in charge for the night, I’d have
promo’d it as $10 night. For $10 you can sit in any seat in the
NO GREEN: The M’s usually wear alternate green
jerseys at home on Fridays, but they’re in their gray road
HERE WE GO: Felix is on the hill. He walked the
second batter, but later picked him off for a 1-2-3 inning.
The offensively-challenged M’s have gone down in order the first
REMEMBER GREG DOBBS? He’s starting at third
tonight for the Marlins. He’s hitting .316 with two home runs and
21 RBI. I always liked him as a player. He had three pretty good
years for Philadelphia before struggling in 2010. The Marlins
landed him as pinch hitter/utility guy, but he’s won the third base
SPEAKING OF THIRD BASE: Chone Figgins is on the
bench again for Seattle. Adam Kennedy’s making another start. You
gotta wonder if Figgins will ever come out of this year-plus slump.
A year ago, you gave him the benefit of the doubt. The M’s moved
him from third to second and he hit No. 2 in the order after
batting leadoff for the Angels. Do you just chalk it up to a bad
signing, or does Figgins have a chance to turn it around and help
the M’s? He is only 32. It’s not like he’s over the hill.
You got to like M’s manager Eric Wedge for having the
you-know-whats to put the high-paid Figgy on the pine.
“Figgy’s just got to hang tough and keep doing the work when
he’s not playing,” Wedge said. “When he does get in there and play,
it’s an opportunity to move forward.
“Figgy and I have had multiple meetings. He can control the outcome
in the end by, when he does get the opportunity to play, to go out
there and play like we know he’s capable of. It’s tough because
he’s not playing every day now, but that’s where we are right
TRADER JACK: Speaking of over the hill, the
manager in the Marlins’ dugout, Jack McKeon, is 80 years old. There
was a time when Trade Jack smoked 12 cigars a day. He said he’s
down to four now.
JOSE JOSE JOSE: You know who else is in
Seattle, wearing a Marlins’ uniform? Joe Lopez, who had an All-Star
season with the M’s, signed two weeks ago with Florida. Greg Johns
caught up with him before today’s game.
WILD THING: Felix has walked a guy and hit
another in the second inning. As they say in baseball circles, his
command is not very good. In the old days — Trader Jack will back
me up on this — they’d say he was wild. Felix just hit Omar Infante
with a high inside fastball, but the homeplate ump ruled it a foul
ball. McKeon didn’t agree and he showed the ump the spot on
Infante’s arm. The umps later got together and changed the
Now they’re going to have to explain this to Eric Wedge. The M’s
manager is now making his argument. Wonder what he’s saying?
“So you’re gonna let the 80-year-old dude in the black jacket
call the game, huh? He’s 80 and all of that, but c’mon. You called
it a strike and now it’s a ball because Jack says it was.”
So the bases are loaded. The pitcher, Ricky Nolasco, is up. He’s
hitting .091. Felix better not walk (or hit) this guy. Nolasco hits
it pretty good but Carlos Peguero gets under it for the third out.
FELIX SINGLES: With two outs in the bottom of
the third, Felix Hernandez poked a single to right field. It was
his first hit for Seattle pitchers in Interleague gmes this season.
They were oh-for-17 before Felix broke the ice.
The National League is missing the boat on not having the DH.
Nobody wants to watch pitchers hit.
WEAK, WEAK, WEAK: Except for the single by
Felix, which wasn’t exactly a scorcher, the M’s have hit anything
hard off of Nolasco thorugh four innings. It’s easy to see why
Seattle is hitting .228 as a team and have no one close to hitting
.300 (not counting Greg Halman, who’s at .367, but only has 30 at
MARLINS SCORE: The Fish take a 1-0 lead in the
bottom of the fourth. Henley Ramirez singled, moved to second on a
sac bunt, stole third on a pitch that Mike Stanton struck out on
and scored when John Buck struck out and reached first when he beat
the throw from Miguel Olivo, who blocked a low pitch but couldn’t
find it in time after the ball bounced away from him. A tough way
to give up a run.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG: We’ve already reached the
bottom of the sixth. The M’s have had just one runner. Felix
reached on a single in the third. No walks, four strikeouts, and a
bunch of weak at bats. This is like watching a lineup of hitter’s
take swings. Maybe Nolasco’s that good tonight? He’s sure got the
M’s hitting off their front foot a lot and looking foolish on a lot
M’S RALLY?: In the top of the seventh, Brendan
Ryan drew a leadoff walk and Adam Kennedy hit a 99-hopper up the
middle to move him to third with no outs. Will the heart of the
order clutch up?
Smoak hits it hard at the first baseman, who goes home. Ryan
would have been dead meat so he got in a rundown long enough for
Kennedy to get to third and Smoak to get to second. Dustin Ackley
was then intentionally walked to get to Olivo and a potential
double play. The wheels in McKeon’s head are still turning.
Olivo hits it hard to third. Dobbs knocked it down and got the
force at third, but Kennedy scored to tie the game. Tied 1-1. A
chance for Carlos Peguero to be a hero. Peguero doesn’t hit it
hard, but gets an infield hit on a bal hit to the right of
shortstop Ramirez, who makes a nice diving stop to keep it from
rolling into the outfield.
Now it’s Franklin Gutierrez who has a chance to be a hero. Guti
singles in two runs with a hit up the middle. M’s 3, Fish 1. Here
comes Felix. I bet he comes out of his shoes on his first swing!!!
He goes fishing for an outside pitch and ends up bouncing out to
second on an 0-2.
Now, can Felix finish the deal? He’s nine outs away from a
LET ME INTERRUPT THIS SEVENTH INNING STRETCH: …
for a soccer update. The M’s still haven’t scored more runs than
the Sounders scored goals the night before. Four goals, two in the
first 12 minutes. The Sounders put on a good show before 46,068
fans, their largest home crowd for an MLS game.
ATTENDANCE: The announced crowd for the M’s and
Fish? 15,275 or 30,793 less than what the Sounders pulled.
LOPEZ PINCH HITS: Jose Lopez faced his old
buddy and teammate in the bottom of the seventh. He pinch-hit for
the pitcher in the bottom of the ninth with one out and a runner on
first. Jose’s looking pretty trim, like his batting average (.196).
Lopez flew out to Peguero for the second out.
PEGUERO 1-2-3: The M’s left fielder made all
three catches in the bottom of the seventh. He made really nice
plays for the first (going back on a hard-hit ball) and third
(leaning into the crowd) outs.
FELIX GETTING STRONGER: Felix fanned two more
Marlins and now has 10 strikeouts through eight innings. He’s
allowed two hits, walked two and hit two. If he finishes it off,
it’ll be his third complete game of the season and 16th of his
career. It’s the fourth time he’s reached double digits in
strikeouts. He’s allowed two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 16
starts.Will he finish it?
SOUNDS LIKE A SOUNDERS GAME: With out out in
the top of the ninth, a group of fans started this chant with
Miguel Olivo at the plate: “Oh-Oh, Olivo! Oh-Oh, Olivo! Oh-Oh
OH-OH, MY OH, OH-OH MY! Olivo fouled off what
seemed like a dozen pitches (it was only four) in an 8-pitch at-bat
before he hit a two-run home run oer the hand-held scoreboard in
left field. M’s 5, Fish 1.
BOOS FOR WEDGE: With two outs in the ninth, the
M’s manager sends up Jack Cust to bat for Felix Hernandez, who had
been standing in the on-deck circle. Cust struck out. Brandon
League, who left a game earlier in the week after getting hit in
the leg by a hit ball, will come on in the bottom of the ninth.
BACK TO .500: League gets a 1-2-3 ninth, thanks to a great play
by second baseman Ackley on the final out, and M’s are 38-38.