We won a game? I'm as confused about this as the rest of you.
Biggest Contribution: Probably Ibanez
Biggest Suckfest: Probably Batista
(If you want a real chart click here)
Miguel Batista led off the game by allowing three singles in a row, then recorded an out before yielding a Raul-assisted RBI double to AJ Pierzinski. Down 2 runs, we all knew in our hearts that the game was done and dusted, and prepared ourselves for glacially slow impending doom.
For the first time all season, the Mariners disagreed. Ichiro ripped a double down the right field line which Swisher decided to bobble, allowing him an extra base. One Cairo groundout later than the Mariners were on the board. Beltre and Ibanez went down quietly, but we had halved the ChiSox's lead.
Batista attempted to kill the momentum by putting runners at the corners with 1 down, but Johjima and Betancourt combined for one of the weirdest double plays you'll ever see. Quentin chopped a ball off the ground, Kenji snagged it, tagged the batter and threw down to second where Betancourt tagged Cabrera running from first.
Jose Lopez led off the second by rifling a pitch down the left field line for a double, and two batters later Wlad Balentien was at the plate with the based juiced and no out. Conditions were perfect for a 1-2-3 double play, and Balentien obliged, with Betancourt grounding out to end the inning.
Just as we were getting over this amazing display of offensive futility, we had runners at first and second with no outs for King Awesome, who hit a slow ground ball to short and was standing on first several years before Uribe's throw reached Konerko, thereby being called out on the little known 'you got here too quickly' rule. Squinty came out to have a bit of a chat with the umps about that but forgot what he was doing midway through the conversation and went back to the dugout for a nap.
And then Ibanez hit a bomb to right field.
And we had the lead.
And it landed ~450 feet from the plate.
This was confusing. The White Sox obviously thought so too, as they were powerless to stop Tits from having his way with them in the top of the inning, producing a flyout and two called strikes. The bottom of the inning saw Betancourt drive in Joh and Wlad with a bloop double down the right field line, and several walks later Lopez mashed a ball into left field, which Safeco chewed up and spat into the waiting glove of Carlos Quentin. Still, it was 5-2 and we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves.
Batista ran into trouble in the 6th, but Rhodes relieved him and managed to get out of the inning only giving up one run. The bottom of the inning saw Safeco say 'fuck you' to an Adrian Beltre homer to right centre, and then it stayed 5-3 for a little while, punctuated by an effective inning by Brandon Morrow, who looked great in striking out both Quentin and Thome. Kenji got a power pitch in the bottom of the 8th and turned on it for his first warning-track-flyout-which-should-have-been-a-home-run of the year (are you sensing a theme?). We got an insurance run in anyway as Swisher gifted Cairo a double, allowing Betancourt to score.
Putz came in and did his job. The fastball command was back, and although he looked a little shaky on the walk he bounced back to strike out Swisher to end the game and the Mariner losing streak.
Points to take away:
- We were mashing the ball today, and were unlucky to have only scored 6 runs.
- Lopez hit the ball really well all four times he was up, with a double, two sharply hit singles, and a very long flyout.
- Beltre is an unlucky bastard. Robbed by Cabrera in the first, cheated in the third, and then hit the ball very hard in his next two at bats, and only an 0-4 day to show for it.
- Clement will look great for most of an at-bat and then do absolutely nothing with the last pitch. It's pretty frustrating.
- I don't know how Jeff writes these things every day. He's back soon anyway and you'll get real win expectancy graphs and other assorted goodies.
We came into today a half game ahead of the Padres for the worst record in baseball, and blew an opportunity to take the tail as they won 6-1 against Colorado. KC and San Francisco both lost the opportunity to give up ground, but Cincinnati and Washington took full advantage to pull closer to last place. We still sit a half game ahead of San Diego, with Colorado, Cincinnati, and Washington in front of us by the same margin.
It's going to be an interesting race. If we're going to be terrible, we might as well do it with some style.