Sunday, June 05, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. Devil Rays - Don't Come Around Here Nomo

(No, I didn't make up that title, the Mariners beat writers used it in their article. Oh man.)

I had a friend in town this weekend from Canada, and he wanted to go to a baseball game. So we went to today's game because we thought it'd be cool to see Hideo Nomo pitch vs. Jamie Moyer. And oh man, it was. Hideo Nomo was going for his 200th career win (counting his Japan and America professional games) and Jamie Moyer was going for his 198th career win. Sadly, neither of them got it.

Moyer and Borders as a battery are the oldest pair in recent baseball history. Contrariwise, it was Little League day and they had a giveaway of an adorable poster of current Mariners with pictures of what they looked like in little league. (It was for kids 14 and under, but I managed to find a stray one.) The other thing about it being Little League day is that the stadium was oddly packed. 40,000 fans, but most of the View Box section of the upper deck looked empty, and large sections of the Club Level and of Field were also empty. However, all of View Reserved, even up in right field, was packed full of people.

Moyer got into trouble early on, although the thing is, I thought he pitched an excellent game. He threw 126 pitches, 84 for strikes. That's pretty awesome for him, I think. 6 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. The game see-sawed a lot though -- Moyer finished pitching and it was 4-4, then the Mariners picked up a run in the bottom of the 6th to make it 5-4, meaning Moyer might get a win, but Nomo would get the loss. However, Mateo and Nelson gave up a run in the next inning, making it 5-5, so Nomo wouldn't get the loss either. At that point it was a crap shoot.

I noticed the White Sox and Indians were also in a deadlock, going 3-3 into the 10th, and then 4-4 into the 11th. We were 5-5 going into the bottom of the 9th, but then Adrian Beltre got his 1000th career hit with a single to right field. There was an announcement on the board and a stop for applause, and then Richie Sexson came up and hammered a double, scoring Beltre and ending the game right there. Cool stuff. Well, except the part where Ronnie "The Bear" Villone got the win for having been put in for the 9th inning.

The Pat Borders Fan Club notes that Borders scored the first Mariners run of the game in the 3rd inning by getting on with a bunt single (Take that, Devil Rays, you got your asses beaten out on a bunt single by a 42-year-old catcher!) and getting slowly moved around the bases. Richie Sexson struck out with the bases loaded, too, which he didn't seem too happy about.

Randy Winn was 4-for-5 today, but Ichiro was only 1-for-4. Aubrey Huff decided to pretend to be Ichiro and pull off a stupendous catch against the right field wall, except he forgot it's treated with Non-Ichiro-Repellant, and so after he made his spectacular leap and catch, he dropped the ball, allowing Winn his third hit of the day. Whee. However, don't be fooled by that -- those Tampa Bay guys sure can run. A depressingly high number of them got from first to third on any single hit, and there were a ton of stolen bases.

The man, the myth, the legend. I shoulda taken a picture of the 30 Japanese tourists watching him warm up, with their cameras, softly exclaiming "sugoi." as he threw his warmup throws.

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays kings, brings disorder,
Destroys all, except Pat Borders.
(from here)


So, yeah, a good game.

Since I didn't talk about it, I did go to the Mariners - Blue Jays game on Wednesday, too, which was also good. Gil Meche pitched pretty well, I thought. I hadn't noticed before, but they play "I Can't Drive 55" as his theme song, heh. I've been trying to figure out which pitchers have theme songs -- Jeff Nelson does, and Shiggy does, but those were the only ones I could think of. Pat Borders also looked good on Wednesday, going 2-2 and scoring one of the 3 runs we got, and certainly would have earned the Boyfriend of the Day award from me, if I were Batgirl. I just think he's so super-cool. (Yes, shut up, I know I hated him in 1993. I hated Olerud too, remember?)

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