It’s another start for Brandon Morrow to prove himself to manager Don Wakamatsu and the coaching staff that he deserves a spot in the 2010 rotation. Right now, we know two people who should have spots – Felix Hernandez and Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Morrow needs to demonstrate some efficiency with his pitch count and also continued confidence in his offspeed stuff. Also he needs to trust his stuff against big league hitters and not give them too much respect. He went after Triple A hitters, but he still wants to nibble a little with some big league hitters.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but making some progress at the end of the season would be beneficial.
You know how I said efficiency and command, I’m guessing that walking the lead-off hitter on five pitches doesn’t fall into that category. As usual a lead-off walk ends up scoring as Gordon Beckham singled and Bill Hall bobbled the ball allowing the runners to advance into scoring position and AJ Pierzynski plated Podsednik with a sac fly to center.
Ichiro draws a lead-off walk from John Danks but the Mariners don’t even advance him 90 feet as they go down in order after that.
Brandon Morrow just refuses to make things easy on hiimself. He gets a quick out, then gives up a single to Alexei Ramirez and then walks Chris Getz, gets another out and walks Scott Podsednik to load the bases. The next sequence is instructive in talking about his development and his issues with command. Morrow quickly goes up 0-2 on Beckham with fastballs of 96 and 97 mph, and on 0-2, he leaves a 98 mph fastball just above the belt – it needed to be about six inches higher. Beckham hits a hard one hopper that Jose Lopez does a nice job to glove at first base to end the inning. But it shows that in the big leagues, even at 98 mph a fastball not in the proper location will get hard. That pitch strikes out a Triple A player, in the big leagues it’s hit hard.
It doesn’t appear any inning will be easy for Morrow. He gets a quick out, bu then Paul Konerko rips a fastball off the wall that I think Bill Hall gave up on and thought was gone. Konerko gets a double and later scores on Mark Kotsay’s sinlge up the middle. Kotsay runs himself into an out. I want to point out, that both of those hits game on fastballs that were left over the plate. Sure both were 96 mph but they were still hit hard. It doesn’t matter how hard you throw if it’s down the center. Morrow strikes out Jermaine Dye with one of his better sequences going slider, slider, fastball and then taking something off on either a changeup or his curve throwing it at 82 getting Dye way out in front.
A much better inning for Morrow, with the exception of another walk.
The Mariners finally get their first hit as Mike Sweeney singles into left.
Stop me if you heard this before: a lead-off walk by Morrow… ok so you have. Morrow walks Gordon Beckham to start the inning and he later scores on Kotsay’s single that bounces off the glove of Jose Lopez. It’s now 3-0 White Sox and with the way the Mariners are looking against Danks, it might as well be 30-0.
Three guys up, three ground ball outs.
Apparently, Morrow has had some issues with Chris Getz in the past, because he walked him for the third time this game — Getz is hitting in the No. 8 spot. Scott Podsednik follows with a sharp single to right-center and that’s it for Morrow. Vargas comes in and strikes out Beckham to end the inning.
Morrow’s line: 5 2/3 innings, six hits, three runs (two earned), six walks and five strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches, 57 were strikes.
Jason Vargas gives up back-to-back one-out singles and is lifted for Randy Messenger, who works out of the inning retiring Jermaine Dye and Alexei Ramirez.
The Mariners have a run! Adrian Beltre rips a solo homer into the visitors’ bullpen. But that’s all the Mariners get. It appears Garrett Olson is coming into the eighth, so a long game could get longer.
Garrett Olson with an efficient, strong, 1-2-3 inning. Garrett Olson? Yes, Garrett Olson.
The Mariners try to do something against Danks as Tui leads off with a double to center, but he doesn’t move off second as Ichiro as Adam Moore and Ichiro ground out and Franklin Gutierrez pops up to second base to end the threat. .
For some reason, Ozzie Guillen decides to go with up and down closer Bobby Jenks for the ninth lifting Danks after 97 pitches. And Jose Lopez greets Danks by ripping the second pitch he sees from him for a solo homer to where — left field, of course. Jenks gets two outs on ground balls and then Bill Hall crushes a hanging slider to left to tie the game at 3-3. Suddenly a game that no rhythm, no pace and little excitement suddenly got intriguing. It looks like bonus panels ….
The running joke in the press box today on any ball that is hit to second is to ask if Lopey gets to that. I’m going to say that Lopey would have still been standing in the same spot on the ball hit by Alexei Ramirez, instead Tui makes an unreal diving stop.
Of course, Tui leads off the inning. That’s how it always works. He’ll be facing former Mariner Matt Thornton, who they traded to the White Sox for Joe Borchard. Not much happens for Tui as he grounds out, Adam Moore’s soft liner up the middle isn’t quite hard enough to get through and his wheels aren’t quite good enough to beat it out. Ichiro rips a double off the wall in right-center, but he’s left there.
A nice inning from Mark Lowe, who pitches one inning and survives a lead-off walk thanks to a double play ball from Alexis Rios.
The Mariners get a single from Mike Sweeney but not much else.
Again Mark Lowe flirts with trouble, and against he gets out of it, surviving back to back singles to strike out Jermaine Dye to end the inning.
UPDATE: Jamie Burke has been traded to the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.The Nats had a catcher go down and Riggleman is obviously familiar with burke. Good for Jamie.
My scorebook only goes 12 innings so I think I’m going to go home. Ok, so I can’t.
In the 12th, a lead-off single amounts to nothing as Junior comes into pinch hit and strikes out looking on a nasty pitch from Tony Pena.
Shawn Kelly with another solid inning, but the more important thing is this : CARLOS SILVA IS WARMING UP IN THE MARINERS BULLPEN!!!!! Something will be happening soon.
Apparently Ichiro didn’t feel safe with Silva coming into the game. Se he made sure he ended it with an RBI single to right-center to score Langerhans.