Friday, June 16, 2006

Game Report: Mariners vs. Giants - No, Mister Bonds, I Expect You To Die

I gotta get up early so I'm not sure how much time I'll spend writing this. Sorry.

Mariners 5, Giants 4, Bonds 718

Short version: It was 5-4 after the third inning of this game, and it was 5-4 after the ninth inning of this game. The Giants hit a ton of home runs. Bonds, Finley and Winn all went yard against King Felix. Noah Lowry only lasted three innings and 71 pitches, giving up a homer to Ichiro, and a whole ton of doubles to the left field corner that a certain fielder couldn't get to. Willie Bloomquist had two pretty sad baserunning blunders. Fortunately, our bullpen held together pretty well with the one-run lead that existed when Felix came out of the game. Oddly, Bonds left nothing to fielders, as he homered, walked twice (once intentional) and struck out twice. JJ Putz struck him out for the final out of the game and the stadium erupted in pandemonium. It was pretty crazy cool.

If I had to guess who David at Sports and Bremertonians would annoint Gameball and Goat of the game, I'd go with Bloomquist for Goat and Putz for Gameball.

Bonds Home Run #10, 462 feet
Felix, meet Barry. Barry, meet Safeco.

I knew the Giants were old, but I didn't realize until just now exactly HOW old. Today's lineup:

Randy Winn - just turned 32 last week
Omar Vizquel - just turned 39 in April
Ray Durham - turns 35 in November
Barry Bonds - turns 42 next month
Moises Alou - turns 40 next month
Steve Finley - turned 41 in March
Pedro Feliz - turned 31 in April
Mark Sweeney - turns 37 in October
Tommy Greene - turned 35 in May

When Randy Winn and Pedro Feliz are your youngsters, that's a problem. Contrast that with the Mariners' lineup:

Ichiro - turns 33 in October
Beltre - turned 27 in April
Lopez - turns 23 in November
Ibanez - turned 34 last week
Sexson - turns 32 this December
Morse - turned 24 in March
Johjima - turned 30 last week
Willie - turns 29 in November
Betancourt - turned 24 in January

Randy Winn would be one of the old guys in our lineup if he were still here. Youth is nice.

Actually, the "Ask the Mariners" question was "Which teammate should be president?" or something like that, and 60% of the team said Jamie Moyer, but only Richie Sexson said the reason I had been thinking: because he's one of the only people on the team OLD ENOUGH to run! We seriously only have 4 guys on the roster who are 35 or older -- Moyer, Guardado, Petagine, and Everett, and the latter two of those turned 35 last week.

The crowds at the stadium were, as expected, pretty interesting. First off, there were like 41k people there. I hear tomorrow's game is nearly sold out. There were plenty of people there in Giants garb and Bonds jerseys, but just as many people who either bought a "Got Juice?" shirt from Jon Wells, or had other offensive Bonds-related t-shirts. I was sitting between two Giants fans and two Mariners fans and in front of an extremely loud but enthusiastic woman who kept wolf-whistling and cheering for Willie Bloomquist, but at least her love for the Mariners was heartfelt. There was an extremely drunk guy a few rows behind us who was just yelling and screaming his head off with random offensive stuff. He either calmed down or got kicked out a few innings in, I'm not sure which. The dude next to me kept calling Bonds "Cheater!", only the way he said it, I kept thinking he was shouting "Jeter!" which didn't make any sense at all.

Brandon Morrow was attending the game, and they even showed him on the big screen, with a big "MARINERS WELCOME BRANDON MORROW!!" to which a few people went "Who?" and an encouragingly high number of people said "Oh, I heard he signed today!". Mrs Heartfelt Loud Fan said, "We signed him today? Who did we sign him from?" "Berkeley."

There was an insane shift going on for Bonds when he was up to bat. Beltre was playing where Betancourt usually does, Betancourt was playing where Lopez does, Richie was playing the line, and Lopez was playing short right field. As I mentioned earlier, it turned out to be irrelevant anyway.

You know, I don't really dislike Willie Bloomquist -- I mostly make fun of him because it's what the cool kids do -- but tonight he really screwed up on the basepaths. In the third inning he got caught in a rundown trying to stretch a single into a double. I guess he figured everyone was doubling to left, why shouldn't he? However, Bonds has a better arm than Randy Winn, so he got caught. And then later on in the 6th inning, Willie hit into a double play, but Ray Durham threw the ball into the seats instead of to the first baseman, so it ended up being a fielder's choice and Willie ended up on second. He took an insane lead, and what's the first thing that happens? BOOM, he gets picked off second. Good going, Willie.

But to be honest, the game really did end on the best note possible. After Putz struck out Durham for the second out of the 9th, I immediately stood up because I always stand up for the last out. And then everyone realized what was going on, and they also all stood up. And it became obvious that Putz was actually going to pitch to Bonds. The crowd got extremely loud, and you couldn't tell who was cheering Putz, cheering Bonds, booing Bonds, or whatnot, and it just kept building. So after a couple of fouls and a few balls -- several of which looked like borderline strikes from our vantage point -- Putz blew a fastball past him, I think it was 97 or 98 mph? And the game ended as Bonds just stood there watching it.

So that was pretty exciting, though I have to admit that for every second of Bonds's last at-bat, I couldn't help but think, "He could tie the game with one swing of the bat if Putz messes this up," but hoping that it wouldn't happen.

Also, Randy Winn still throws like a girl. But I like him anyway.

Jason Schmidt came over to the stands and signed stuff for a ton of people before the game. A lot of people were like "Hey Jay, you're gonna come pitch here next year, right?" And he was like "Hey, who knows, man..." while meanwhile talking to some of his old friends in the stands between signing stuff. The "Hometown Hype" on several of the Giants around here is pretty crazy, though.

Anyway, I'll be at tomorrow's game too, but for now I'm off to sleep.

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