Sunday, August 28, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. White Sox - Dye, Jermaine, Dye

There are a lot of things I could tell you about tonight's game, but the most useful thing I could probably say is: Felix jerseys and t-shirts are available in the Mariners Team Store. I highly suggest opting for the $20 name/number t-shirt rather than the $210 name/number jersey.

(I didn't get one because I have a shirt on the way, once Cafepress gets their act together, and assuming it looks okay.)

The Mariners lost 4-3. I blame one of the friends I went to the game with -- he's been to four games with me so far and has yet to see the Mariners win. The other friend that went to the game with us was in town from Pittsburgh, and this was his first Mariners game, so I can't really blame him.

The White Sox got in some punches fairly early. Pierzynski hit a single to center that Jeremy Reed totally would have caught, and right after, Jermaine Dye hit a 402-foot home run into the bullpen. Dye would eventually be 4-for-4 for the evening, hitting two doubles, that home run, and scoring two runs as well.

There was a sad moment in the 3rd inning where Yuniesky Betancourt had an amazing play to pick up the ball and get it to second, only to have Willie Bloomquist's throw to first run wide for the double play. Doh. Betancourt also had a great play in the 5th where he caught a ball in left field... I mean, totally Ibanez territory. I wrote down "6" on my scorecard, and my friend asked, "Wasn't that way out in left field? Shouldn't it be a 7?" and I said "No, uh, the guy who caught it was the shortstop, see." Not to diss Ibanez, though -- he made a pretty sweet catch in the 6th, back on the warning track, way out of his area.

Pierzynski got a strike where he swung so hard his bat went flying into the Mariners dugout. Sadly, we couldn't see the dugout from where we were sitting, but a few seconds later, his bat got unceremoniously flung right back out at him. It looked pretty funny from our vantage point.

Man, the Mariners really looked like a bunch of wusses for a while. For the first six innings, the only time Mariners reached base was when Sexson got a single in the second inning, and Dobbs hit into a fielders' choice a batter or two later. (To be fair, it would have been a double play if Big Scary hadn't run hard into second.) That was it, until the offense exploded in the 7th. With the score 4-0 after Carl Everett hit a home run off Matt Thornton, Willie opened the bottom of the seventh with a single and Ibanez followed with another single, which Willie got to third on. Beltre was hit by a pitch a little while later -- and I mean, dead hit, right in the middle of his back as he turned away. Greg Dobbs came up with the bases loaded, and I sort of expected him to hit into a double play again, but instead, he hit a nice long single to center which scored Willie and Raul. Bonus.

In the top of the 8th, I got to write down a play I don't think I'd ever seen before - a CS 2-4-3-6-3-5. It was pretty cool. Jermaine Dye, scourge of the game, was on third after hitting a single and stealing second and third. ("STEAL HOME! [clap clap]" I cheered for a bit, heh heh.) Blum walked, so with runners on first and third, Blum tried to steal second. Except, well, he failed. Yorvie threw to Willie, who got Blum into a rundown. Willie threw to Richie and ran around to cover, Richie threw to Yunie, who narrowed the gap even more, and then threw back to Richie. By this point Jermaine Dye had taken a pretty big lead off third, and so Richie, who had decided that rundowns are retarded, fired the ball to Beltie, who tagged out Dye at third, while Blum said "See you, suckers!" and got to second. Play over, dude on second, nobody on third, two outs. Wheeee.

In the bottom of the 8th, I said, "Hey, I think Jamal Strong should get a single now."
So he did.
So I said, "I think Ichiro should hit a home run now."
So he walked.
Then I said, "Willie, if you do something cool now, I swear I will stop making fun of you for the rest of the year."
So he hit the dumbest bunt I've ever seen, popping to the catcher, not even advancing the runners. My friend said, "Does that mean you're now obligated to make fun of him for the rest of the year?"
I said, "Ibanez is going to strike out," trying for reverse psychology.
Ibanez struck out.
They changed pitchers for Richie. I said "Oh, great, now he's really going to strike out."

Fortunately, my reverse psychology worked... to an extent. Richie hit a long fly ball into the right field corner -- and my friend said, "Was that really a legal ball? Wasn't it foul?" But apparently not. Fast little Jamal Strong scored just fine on the double, but fast little Ichiro... the ball reached the plate about 2-3 seconds before Ichiro did, but it looked to me like Pierzynski dropped the ball after tagging Ichiro. It's hard to say. There was a lot of booing, but the inning appeared to be over with the score at 4-3.

Hargrove decided to pull his Human Rain Delay stunt in the top of the 9th. Nelly pitched to Brian Anderson. Sherrill pitched to Aaron Rowand. Putz pitched to Iguchi. Sure, the inning looks like a 1-2-3 inning on my scorecard, but in reality it took like 15 minutes what with all the pitching changes. GOSH.

In the bottom of the 9th, Beltre reached first on an error^H^H^H^H^H infield single, and Dobbs bunted him over. Then another Human Rain Delay moment happened. Jenks was pitching, so Hargrove decided to pinch-hit Reed for Torrealba. So Ozzie put in Marte to pitch instead. So Hargrove pinch-hit Morse for Reed. Unfortunately, Morse walked. I say unfortunately because I just sort of knew that it made it possible to hit into a double play, and sure enough, that's what happened. My anguished shout of "NOOOOO!" was actually loud enough to startle my friends. But that was the game. That's baseball. One second you have two runners on and only one out, and a second later, the game is over.

Other things about today:
If you get soft-serve ice cream from the place behind section 320, the vanilla is terrible but the chocolate is awesome.
They put up the pitching matchups for the four Yankees games. It's no wonder Wednesday's game has almost no good seats left - I'm sure everyone wants to see the Old Mariners Strikeout King against the Once And Future King.
Rice'n'Roll has taken over, like, all of the Japanese food at the stadium, and Thai Ginger took over the Intentional Wok.
Again. Felix shirts are available. I highly recommend the t-shirts, since even if he changes numbers, you'll still have a Mariners t-shirt and will only be out $20 and you'll have an obvious dated item, sort of like how I got an "Ichiro 258" shirt at his record-breaking game last year.

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