Greetings on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Mariners will be looking to take three of four from the Indians today facing the likes of Aaron Laffey.
No familiar with the lefty Laffey. Well, he was a 16th round pick in the 2003 draft out of Allegany, MD. He’s made 12 appearances this season, including six starts, and has been better than some of the other pitchers the Indians have rolled out this season.
Laffey is looking like Taffy (well you know give me a break it’s early). Anyway, Branyan lobbied Wakamatsu to be in the line-up today and he just crushed a two-run homer to right that traveled 426 feet. Chris Shelton making his first start for the M’s this season ripped a double down the line and then Franklin Gutierrez continued to torment his old team with a stinging line-drive RBI single.
The Mariners lead 3-0, but probably could have had more.
The M’s had a chance to go up 3-0, but Ronny Cedeno was tossed out at home following Jose Lopez’s double to left to end the inning.
About the time that we noticed that Erik Bedard’s fastball was right around 87 and no higher, he threw a few over 90 including one at 93. But it was an 88 mph fastball that Ben Francisco deposited into the left-field stands for a two-run homer. It Francisco’s seventh of the season and traveled an estimated 398 feet. Bedard also gave up a single to Valbuena, but got Kelly Shoppach to hit one of the highest foul pops Ive ever seen for the third out.
Chris Woodward makes a nice play on a ground ball to get an out, but the inning drags on and Bedard’s pitch count is at 60 after three innings. Not a great development.
The Mariners miss out on another chance to stretch the lead with a runners on second and third and two outs and Lopez grounds out.
In the bottom of the inning, the Indians get a couple runners on, but Bedard comes up with a big strikeout of Kelly Shoppach to end the inning. He’s at 77 pitches.
Well, it’s now a tie ball game thanks to a ghastly two-out error on Jose Lopez. He seemed to anticipate where the ball was going to bounce up to instead of getting down on the ball. Initially, some people in the press box thought the ball had a bunch of sidespin, but replays showed it was was a ball he should have gloved. Bedard didn’t look especially pleased and was lifted after the play.
The Ms brought in Miguel Batista, whose hairdo these days, should warrant this for his entrance music. He gets the one out needed to get out of the inning.
Well, Batista makes it interesting doesn’t he? He looks stellar striking out the first two hitters, then walks light-hitting Luis Valbuena, gives up a double to Kelly Shoppach, throws about 11 pitches to Sizemore, who he eventually walks, and then gets Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out to end the inning. It took about 20 minutes as well.
The Mariners manufactured a run as Gutz leads off with a single and then Rob Johnson has a great at-bat, working a walk after an 0-2 count, Ryan Langerhans moves them up with a good sac bunt with all the infield drawn in and then Jack Hannahan hits a sac fly to right.
Mark Lowe gives up a lead-off single, but then leaves him there.
WEll the Mariners add a key insurance run when Cabrera bobbles a sure double play ball with bases loaded to let a run score. Yeah, the Mariners should have had more, but you take what you can get.
Aardsma gets some help from Ichiro with a great catch at the wall to save the game.