Mariners Insider

Game No. 106, Hit No. 3,000

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on July 29, 2008 at 5:13 pm with No Comments »
July 29, 2008 5:13 pm

Now he belongs to the ages – Ichiro Suzuki singled to open the game, his 3,000th professional hit.

“That’s a phenomenally impressive total, I don’t care where you’re playing,” GM Lee Pelekoudas said.

Unfortunately, the Mariners failed to capitalize on a first-and-third base, no one out situation.

Ichiro got to third base, but never scored. …

Speaking of trades:

Pelekoudas reaffirmed that any trade made before the Thurseday deadline will be motivated solely to improve the team, not to dump salary.

“There’s a misconception out there that we’re trying to unload salary,” Pelekoudas said. “It’s not true.”

Meanwhile, the Rangers reminded the Mariners why scoring that runner at third base with less than two outs is so important.

Texas 2, Seattle 0

Just What Does 3,000 Mean?

Ichiro is now the second Japanese player in history to reach 3,000 hits – Isao Harimoto has 3,085 hits.

The problem of putting all this in context is that 1,722 of Ichiro’s hits came in the big-leagues and the others came in Japan.

To say that’s the same as 3,000 major league hits is foolish, but it’s still an amazing total, no matter where you’re playing or against whom.

Ninety Feet Away

Seattle has now gotten two base runners to third base and not finished the job, leaving each there.

The Rangers, too, have had two men reach third – and they managed to score both.

Subtle differences in the way hitters approach their jobs.

It’s a big factor in why the Mariners lose close games. …

Not Worth the Wait…

Carlos Silva hadn’t pitched in nine days as the team wanted to give him plenty of time to get past his back spasms.

The problem tonight was, he couldn’t get past the third inning.

The sinker didn’t sink, and a five-run rally punctuated by Marlon Byrd’s three run homer has the Mariners in a 7-0 hole.

And it has the bullpen working overtime yet again. …

The Streaks Live …

Second baseman Jose Lopez now has a career-best 15-game hitting streak, and rookie Bryan LaHair – who started his career 0-for-8 – has now batted safely in six games in a row.

Lopez has stayed away from the temptation to pull every pitch, and using the entire field has made him a .300 hitter.

LaHair? He’s a big, likeable first baseman who doesn’t have an all-or-nothing approach, and he’s starting to feel comfortable. …

Just Another Two-Game Winning Streak …

The Mariners haven’t had a long winning streak all season and likely wo’t. Here’s why:

To win more than two games in a row, a team needs an offense that can overcome mediocre pitching – like the Rangers.

Or it needs a solid starting rotation, pitchers who can turn a close game over to their bullpen late in the game.

The Mariners have neither. …

Top of the 6th…

Three more Seattle runs, and the Mariners get the tying run to the plate in Adrian Belre, who chased a bad pitch and struck out.

If the Mariners could just hold Texas a few times, who knows? The Rangers have scored in four of the first five innings. …


It’s hard to believe, and more research may be required, but the Mariners say the consecutive home runs by Lopez and LaHair in the seventh inning are the first back-to-back homers the team has hit in 2008.


So is this game. …

Ichiro vs. Every Day Eddie …

Eddie Guardado just struck out Ichiro to open the 8th inning, and it came as no surprise. Ichiro is now 0-for-6 against his ex-teammate.

Before the game, Guardado was teasing Ichiro, reminding him that he’d had the chance to get hit No. 3,000 on Monday – and Eddie had gotten him to fly out.

“Not against me, Ichi-san,” Guardado said.

Not tonight, either. …

Now Running For Seattle …

Ninth inning, Lopez singled and pinch-hitter Kenji Johjima is hit by a pitch. In so much pain he had to leave the game, Joh was replaced at first by pinch-runner Jarrod Washburn – who was caught by TV cameras pulling up his pants and borrowin a belt from manager Riggleman.

As it turned out, Washburn just scored the go-ahead run.

Seattle 10, Texas 9.

These are the moments that make you love baseball. …

Bottom Ninth …

Against J.J. Putz, ex-Mariner Ramon Vazquez doubled home two runs and the Rangers win, 11-10.

Just another game in the ‘how did we lose this one’ pile. …

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