If you wonder why the Mariners are collecting veteran left-handed hitters with pop on a team that’s big on aggressive base running, bunting and small ball, consider their game against Chicago.
Bunting, running the bases with aggression and mixing in the timely hit, Seattle built a 5-0 lead.
Ryan Rowland-Smith, following two scoreless innings from Jarrod Washburn, got a little wild, put two White Sox hitters aboard in the fourth inning and – boom – Jim Thome hit a three-run home run.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why teams, in the American League especially, like veteran boppers. One timely swing and you’re back in the game. The Mariners worked hard for each of their runs.
Chicago got a single, a walk and a home run in the space of a minute, and the game is up for grabs again.
So the Mariners will continue to play small ball with players who seem to be made for it – Reegie Corona, Ronnie Cedeno and Callix Crabbe, for instance.
And when Ken Griffey Jr. and Branyan Russell and Mike Sweeney are ready, they’ll play them and hope for the timely boom.
To the bottom of the fifth: Seattle 5, Chicago 3.