Hard to imagine a better matchup between these two teams than one with Felix Hernandez and Mark Buerhle starting – with the rubber game of the series on the line.
Buerhle, of course, has that perfect game on his 2009 resume, and a 7-4 career mark against Seattle.
All that’s history, though. What matters tonight is which of these pitchers finds his command first – both are capable of dominating any lineup.
It’s Buerhle vs. Felix.
Felix bobs and weaves
Mr. Hernandez struck out the side in the second inning, but it wasn’t as simple as it sounds.
Alexi Ramirez sruck out.
Lots of zeroes
Through four innings, this is a game that’s come as advertised – starting pitching is key.
Buerhle has bden more efficient with his pitches, needing 48 through four shutout innings.
Felix? He’s thrown 60 over the same span, and struck out seven in the process. His season high in strikeouts? Ten.
A little Ichiro, please
We got your pitching, how about a little defense? OK, you asked for it.
Jason Nix singled, was bunted to second and took third on a wild pitch. Trouble? Gordon Beckham flied to right field – and Nix tagged.
Ichiro’s throw to Johnson at the plate was one-hop perfect for the third out.
The shutout continues.
Mark Kotsay doubled to open the seventh, Nix singled him to third base with no one out and Felix was in real trouble.
With his 101st pitch, he struck out Scott Podsednik. With his 104th pitch, he got a double play ball from Beckham.
Leaving ‘em loaded
Mariners loaded the bases in the eighth on a single, intentional walk and an error – then Jose Lopez popped out and Mike Sweeney flied out.
Into the ninth: No score.
Tied going into the 10th, and Mark Lowe is on to pitch for Seattle.
Extra innings – and an injury
Update on shortstop Jack Wilson, who left in the fifth inning: he aggravated his left hamstring muscle and will be evaluated by team doctors tomorrow.
Mr. Johnson saves the day
Catcher Johnson’s had a tough night – two passed balls – but made up for it in the 10th.
Why Podsednik was that far off is a mystery, but the out saved the inning.
Into the 12th inning, scoreless. How rare are these games?
And in the 12th!
Russell Branyan had a marvelous at-bat, fouling off five pitches before walking against closr Bobby Jenks wih one out – and Hannahan singled him to third inning.
Where no Mariner hath gone before
Bottom of the 13th inning, this piece of news: The Mariners have never been in a scoreless game at the end of 12 innings.
On to the 14th.
Zeroes to eternity? No!
Beltre singled and with two outs, Hannahan walked. Wakamatsu brought Ken Griffey Jr. in to pinch hit for Johnson.