Tonight, the Mariners showed their unrelentingly brutality, as they pummeled the Red Sox to an embarrassing defeat. The Red Sox were battered and beat down, and we could see it in their eyes. The fear began to ferment as Ichiro sent the first pitch from Josh Beckett down the right field line for his second home run of the season. The Mariners didn’t relinquish their chokehold, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Things were looking too easy. The Mariners had the Red Sox exactly where they wanted them.
So what did the Mariners do? Felix let the Red Sox score some runs. As the reigning Cy Young award winner, he has the ability to do that. Of course he was toying with Boston all night! He could’ve easily struck out every batter he faced, but he opted to take it easy on them to make them feel better about themselves. No one wants to get shut out. No one wants to get shut out by the Mariners, so he leaves a couple over the plate for Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Ha, Pedroia hitting a bomb against Felix? Never happened. Felix just wanted to instill confidence in the little guy.
All in all, the Mariners dominated the Red Sox. There is no other way to put it.
The play everyone will be talking about is the one that involved Josh Bard and Ellsbury at the plate. To start at the beginning of the play, Ichiro Suzuki set up the play perfectly. He got behind the ball while keeping his momentum. To my eyes, it looked like an Ichiro laser from his earlier days. I dare say 2001. I could tell that play got him pumped, because after the Ellsbury homerun, he scaled the wall like he used to, to watch the ball leave the park. I think the first pitch homerun might’ve jacked him up, too. Either way, I want to see more of Ichiro like this.
Back to Bard, a perfect throw from Ichiro set up the play at the plate. He blocked the plate perfectly, squared up against the runner, and took an elbow and knee to the face. His catcher’s mask flew at least ten feet. At first, the umpire called Ellsbury safe. The umpire was looking at Bard’s glove, looked by his feet, the area around it, and called Ellsbury safe. Felix was livid! Bard was holding the ball in his hand! The umpires gathered, and then reversed the decision. Blowers had said he had never seen a play at the plate like that overturned, and that he was glad they got it right.
That’s not to diminish what Bard did, however. He held onto the ball by his pinky. His pinky! That’s like trying to hold a door open for a lady with your pinky on one hand, whilst balancing an assortment of fruit in the other. Pretty tough to do. Also, I think Miguel Olivo‘s presence in the clubhouse is rubbing off. That was a hard hit, and during the post-game interview, Bard gave all of the credit to Ichiro for a perfect throw. He said all he had to do was apply the tag. I don’t know, I’m watching these Mariners, and they’re all playing hard. They don’t have anything to play for. No contention, no accolades. They are playing hard, because they love the game.
The first inning offense is all the Mariners needed to quiet the Red Sox. Mike Carp continues his hitting streak and singles in two runners. I don’t know how I feel about Carp. I’m enjoying his production. I’m enjoying his approach. But something is keeping me from enjoying his presence completely. I think it’s his face. He doesn’t have a Dustin Ackley face. Yeah, definitely his face.
Speaking of approach, Wily Mo Pena went 0-for-4. Now, at first glance, that’s not very good. At second glace, it’s still not very good. However, in his first at-bat against Josh Beckett, he made Beckett work with 10 pitches. And then he had a combination of two, five and four pitch at-bats. And he struck out twice, so there’s that.
David Ortiz almost tied it up in the top of the eighth off of Jamey Wright. I could hear all of the Boston bandwagon fans cheering. Nothing is more annoying than bandwagon fans. If you can’t tell me who pinch-ran for Ortiz when he got on base, then you aren’t a Boston fan. Also, I don’t think a third of the people at Safeco are transplanted Bostonians. That would be bizarre, wouldn’t it?
It took Felix Hernandez until the fifth inning to get his first strike out. So, about that climbing strikeout rate, huh? It’s baseball, it happens. Jered Weaver got shelled for eight runs today, so nobody’s perfect. And now, an assortment of Gameday captures.
- It’s nice to see that Ichiro can hit a ball that’s in the middle of the plate. According to Todd Dybas, Ichiro was hitting more balls over the fence during batting practice than Wily Mo Pena. Way to make a buddy feel welcome.
- Also, Casper Wells didn’t want to feel left out, so he also decided to hit a ball in the middle of the plate over the fence. I like that approach, we should make sure we do that more often!
- Brandon League is looking great. This capture doesn’t do it justice. When his fastball is on, it is on, I mean like, almost Donkey Kong caliber. He struck out two in his appearance, and now hasn’t given up a run since August 1st. It’s nice when closers do their job!
On another note, Jack Wilson went 2-for-3 with a double and a single. He’s either playing his heart out because he loves this game, or he really, really wants to play somewhere else. Wakefield and Furbush tomorrow. The awkward pitch versus the awkward Gumby boy.