Friday, May 7, 2010

MARINERS: M's lose 6th straight in 8-0 shutout vs. Rays

By Jacson Bevens
The Mariners have more than lost the wind in their sails, they're just slightly closer to finding a leak in the ship. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith had command issues all night as the AL's best offensive lineup beat up on him, earning 6 runs with solid extra base hits all over the park. Seattle's offense was business as usual, compiling only 4 hits and failing to score any runs yet again.

Here we present you a time-log of Thursday's massacre, from start to finish as the game progressed.

To Continue...

7:08pm -- The first pitch of the game interrupts Mike Blowers’ introduction of the Mariners’ starting pitcher, Ryan Rowland-Smith. Official start time was listed as 7:05. I wonder how hard the umpires try to start the game “on time.” And if not, why bother listing such a specific start time?

7:21 -- A 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st for the Mariners. Could just as easily have been three straight hits, as Ben Zobrist made two nice plays on groundballs by Ichiro and Chone Figgins, followed by a 370 ft line drive off the barrel of Casey Kotchman’s bat that nestled softly in center-fielder BJ Upton’s glove.

7:28 -- Upton’s bat lands a right cross to the Mariners’ chin with an RBI double, following up the inning-ending jab he stuck with his glove to end the bottom of the 1st. 1-0 Rays.

7:33 -- Gabe Kaplar poops a little flare between Franklin Gutierrez and fill-in shortstop Josh Wilson. When you’re on a winning streak, it always seems like you catch those ones. 2-0 Rays.

7:41 -- Interesting side note: Dave Neihaus just relayed the info that Jaime Moyer has allowed 498 homeruns in his career. Moyer’s collective opponent is a borderline Hall-of-Famer.

7:47 -- Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann walks Ryan Langerhans after giving up a single to Lopez with two outs in the 2nd. When this happens, I find myself thinking not “Hey, we could score here!”, but “Hey, Ichiro gets to bat next inning!”

7:52 -- Niemann ends up striking out the side in an inning in which he threw 11 consecutive balls. I wonder if that’s ever happened before. Also, the pitch-tracker says that the bases-loaded, full-count pitch that the ump called for strike three on Rob Johnson was three inches inside. Man, I bet umpires freaking hate the pitch tracker.

8:04 -- Kotchman hits a line drive to the exact same spot as last time and Upton flags it down again. Figgins, who was on first, tags up and gets to second. When the Mariners start winning games again, Figgins will be the most annoying reason why. I love him.

8:06 -- Franklin Gutierrez is beautiful.

8:10 -- The “R” and the “H” on the back of Ryan Rowland-Smith’s jersey are down by his elbows. I bet seeing him stand next to Laynce Nix is funny.

8:17 -- Another run for Tampa Bay. 3-0. Dave Sims just said that Ryan Rowland-Smith has the only hyphenated last name in the history of Major League Baseball. Is he serious? If so, that gives the M’s some serious name-trivia. David Aardsma supplanted Hank Aaron as the alphabetical first name in MLB history. Ichiro has his first name on the back of his jersey. If the Mariners were 16-11 instead of 11-16, I bet I wouldn’t bother writing about this.

8:26 -- Former starter Ian Snell is warming up in the bullpen. The Hyphen has recorded 12 outs. Snell may get more innings in his new role than he ever would have in the rotation.

8:28 -- Tampa Bay scores on a safety squeeze (where the runner at third doesn‘t break for home until he‘s certain that the ball is fair). The Mariners don’t get anyone out. 4-0 Rays.

8:29 -- 5-0 Rays.

8:31 -- My roommate’s girlfriend just walked into the house, sat down, looked at the TV and said “Wow, good game.” She has perfect posture.

8:41 -- The Rays are up by 5 runs and still trying to steal bases. This is not them rubbing it in. This is good baseball. The Rays are the model Major League franchise and even a cursory observation of a Tampa Bay game provides plenty of reasons why.

8:44 -- John Jaso is batting for the Rays. Has anyone ever heard of John Jaso before? Has John Jaso heard of John Jaso? Would John Jaso be one of the three best hitters on the Mariners? Has anyone ever asked this many Jaso-centric questions before? 6-0 Rays.

8:50 -- Ichiro singles to right. I wonder what percentage of the Mariners’ hits this season have been singles with two outs.

9:12 -- Spent the last little while cleaning up around the house. It looks like Ian Snell is pitching well.

9:19 -- Over the last six games on this home-stand, the Mariners, a collection of highly paid, highly skilled baseball players, have combined to hit one more homerun than I have.

9:25 -- I’m in the middle of explaining my baseball crush on Carl Crawford to my roommate when Crawford jacks a two-run homer. If nothing else, I’d like to thank the Rays for their timing. 8-0.

9:28 -- Shawn Kelley is pitching for the Mariners. He has been a demonstrably better pitcher than Sean White, yet White continues to throw batting practice in high-leverage situations while Kelley is relegated to mop-up duty.

9:38 -- Ichiro flies out to shallow left. The hopeful sound made by what’s left of the crowd when the ball goes in the air is more depressing than anything.

9:42 -- It’s 8-0 Rays in the 9th inning. If any player tells you that they’re interested in anything other than their stats in these situations, they’re lying. Rays manager Joe Maddon looks like Eugene Levy after an eyebrow waxing.

9:45 -- I’ve always loved it when pitches that are fouled straight back to the screen behind home plate scare the people on the other side. The bored usher in the front row looked like someone dropped a rat on her face while she was sleeping.

9:48 -- Ken Griffey Jr. lines out to right field to end the game. 8-0 Rays.

9:52 -- The FSN broadcast takes us to Brad Adam after the game for an update. If my name was Brad Adam, I would be tempted to shorten it to “Bradam.”

Summary Haiku:
Empty stadium
Mariners shut out again
I still love Milton

Reach Jacson Bevens at