Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Game Report: Mariners vs. Blue Jays - Stitch'n'Pitch Night

Tonight was the second annual "Stitch'n'Pitch" night at Safeco Field. I attended it yet again as the Mariners blogosphere's Designated Knitter, or something.

Section 339
Ladies trying to knit one out of the park.

For those not in the know, "Stitch'n'Bitch" is a crafts movement or series of books, depending on how you look at it. People (mostly women) also have SNB groups where they get together and knit and whine about their spouses and kids and crap. Personally, being somewhat devoid of spouses and kids and crap, I don't tend to get invited to that sort of thing. "Stitch'n'Pitch" is a clever play on that, and a gimmick to get said women to come to Safeco Field to watch a game, spend money on stuff at the stadium, and knit and whine about how much the Mariners suck.

Actually, all in all, it was a pretty good deal as far as events go -- tickets were $12 each for View Reserved, which are usually $18 -- and we got these free Stitch'n'Pitch tote bags which were filled with a whole bunch of knitting supplies. There was also a "Tote Bag Challenge" where, if you got your tote bag in advance and actually managed to make something using everything in the bag, you could bring it to the Pacific Fabrics booth at the game to show them, and get another surprise gift. (I do have a friend who managed to do that, but I haven't caught up with her yet to find out what it was, so I'll edit this in when I do.)

The bag contained the following goodies, which I'm pretty sure are worth more than $12, actually:

- 6 oz skein of steel blue yarn
- Small skein of turquoise "Fun Fur"
- Two skeins of "Boa" fuzzy yarn, in white and in various blues
- Small ball of thin split yarn, brown & white
- Set of plastic knitting needles, 10", size 13
- Set of wooden knitting needles, 16", size 17
- Circular knitting needle, 16", size 5
- About 5 pattern books for making various vests/sweaters/scarves/etc
- Coupons to a few yarn stores

Unfortunately, I didn't get my tote bag until about 5 minutes before the game started, because my friends who had my ticket and tote bag were late. I also missed Roy Halladay warming up, and I almost missed Kazuhiro Sasaki throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. For the most part, I actually missed the SNP festivities, too -- I ran around looking at the various booths and taking a few pictures of everything, but then I ran up to our seats, getting there in the middle of Reed Johnson's first at-bat.

I don't have that much to say about the game, except that it almost sucked enough to make me want to abandon ship and check out the stitchy-pitchy booths. Almost.

"Short" version: Roy Halladay is a very, very good pitcher. For the first four innings, the only Mariner who got a hit off him was Johjima. By the time the Mariners hit a little bit of a stride in the bottom of the 5th, the score was already 7-0, including a 10-batter rally in the top of the 5th. Reed Johnson and Frank Catalanotto hit back-to-back doubles for one run in the 3rd, and Aaron Hill hit a double in the 4th which scored Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske, who had previously walked and hit a single, respectively. The top of the 5th started with Reed Johnson running out a bunt for a single, Ichiro-style, and it all went downhill from there. Catalanotto sac bunted Johnson to second, Overbay walked, Glaus hit the ball just over Jose Lopez to single home Johnson, Zaun walked, Hinske hit an obnoxious double to right which scored Overbay and Glaus, and that was curtains for Meche.

Jake Woods came in to stem the bleeding, and while Bengie Molina tried a sac fly to right, Ichiro caught it and fired the ball in so Zaun couldn't score from third. However, they intentionally walked Aaron Hill to get to John "Toront0wn3d" McDonald... who walked, scoring Zaun. Fortunately, Reed Johnson grounded out after that to put an end to the embarrassment.

John McDonald was so astounded at being productive at the plate yet again that the first thing he did the next inning was pick up a Carl Everett grounder and throw it into the wall separating the first-base stands from the field. The ball bounced back so hard that it kept Everett to one base, much to Lyle Overbay's surprise. Johjima, the Halladay-killer, singled, and then Yuniesky Betancourt hit a ball deep into the left field corner, which scored Johjima and Everett, and since he wanted to get a triple for the second Stitch'n'Pitch in a row, he ran and ran and ran and got himself tagged out at third after Catalanotto recovered the ball and threw to Troy Glaus. A shame, because despite Adam Jones striking out -- and he would, infact, strike out in all four plate appearances -- Ichiro hit a single and stole a base after that, which would have scored Betancourt as well.

Frank Catalanotto led off the 6th inning with a solo home run, and the Mariners strung together a few singles into a home run in the 7th, and Jake Woods pitched fairly solidly otherwise for a while, so it was 8-3 coming into the ninth inning. Glaus walked, Zaun and Hinske popped out, and then the slaughter started. Molina singled. Woods came out of the game and Emiliano Fruto came in. Aaron Hill walked again -- this time, unintentionally -- and of course, John McDonald, who had hit five home runs in his entire career, and only one other this season, hit the ball out towards the left field bullpens. Ibanez went back, and back, and back, and jumped up to the wall, and at first we thought he might have actually come up with the catch, but no. Instead, we got to see John McDonald's sixth career home run, first career grand slam, and second home run this season. Of course, the only other home run he hit this season was also against the Mariners. Go figure.

After that sort of crap, does it even matter that B.J. Ryan came out and pitched the bottom of the 9th out of boredom? I didn't think so. Jays win it, 12-3.

Honestly, what else can I say about the game?

Adam Jones turns 21 next week, and while he may have been rushed to the majors, I've been reasonably impressed with the way he's been stepping up so far. He's been decent hitting against run-of-the-mill pitchers, though, and in all honesty, him getting killed by superb hurlers like Halladay and Ryan just simply doesn't worry me. Plus, he made an awesome play in the second inning. Troy Glaus had doubled to left, and then Gregg Zaun hit a loopy single out to center. Adam Jones got the ball, and I said, "Watch this," and he FIRED it 370-odd feet to home plate, the ball reaching Johjima without even bouncing first. Glaus stopped dead in his tracks at third base, but Zaun had no such luck, and Johjima threw the ball to Betancourt, and a rundown ensued, Lopez eventually making the tag on Zaun.

Troy Glaus, by the way, has a lifetime OPS of .570 in 41 games in Safeco Field before this week, but yesterday he was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and today he was an amazing 3-for-3 with two walks, a double, an RBI, and three runs scored. With Moyer pitching tomorrow, something tells me he's going to have another good day.

No comments: