Hard to keep track of the first basemen employed by the Seattle Mariners – let’s see, there’s Casey Kotchman, Mike Sweeney, Mike Carp, Russell Branyan, Ryan Langerhans and today’s starter – Josh Wilson.
Start scratching off names, fans. Once he’s here, Branyan becomes the Mariners regular first basema, with Kotchman as the late-inning defensive replacement.
Mike Sweeney is back on the disabled list, Carp is headed back to Tacoma.
Wha’s Branyan do for this lineup? In theory, he’s the one bat with legitimate power on a team whose leading home run hitter – with seven – is M ilton Bradley.
The Mariners are hoping with Branyan in the lineup, players like Bradley, Jose Lopez and Franklin Gutierrez can relax a bit and be the hitters they are, not the power hitter they’ve each tried to be at times in 2010.
Today, it’s Wilson at first base, Jason Vargas vs. Chris Naveson on the mound.
- On his second pitch, Vargas left a fastball up and Rickie Weeks hit it out for the 17th leadoff home run of his career. In the first: Milwaukee 1, Seattle 0.
- Four innings in, same score. The Mariners have managed two hits, two innings apart. The Brewers have four hits – divided between Weeks and Casey McGehee.
- Shortstop Alcedes Escobar walked and, two outs later, scored when Corey Hart doubled. Could have been worse. The play before, Weeks had singled – and Milton Bradley threw him out at second base trying to stretch it. Then it got worse, as Prince Fielder singled Hart home. In he fifth: Milwaukee 3, Seattle 0.
- Sixth inning, Ryan Langerhans pinch-hits for Vargas and grounds out. Vargas went five innings, threw 88 pitches, allowed three runs and stands to lose this one. Chone Figgins bunted safely and stole second base with two outs – his 21st steal of the season. Bradley struck out.
- Bottom of the sixth: Now pitching for Seattle: David Pauley.
- Offense! Jack-not-Josh Wilson led off the eighth inning with Seattle’s fourth hit – and second bunt single – then took second base when Narveson threw low to first. Michael Saunders flied out. Langerhans, who stayed in the game in left field, walked. Ichiro hit a soft line drive to short, and Wilson was easily doubled off second. Some offense. Seattle his staring down the barrel of its fifth shutout loss. In the eighth: Milwaukee 3, Seattle 0.