Junior Sends ’em Home Happy
Well that was a hell of a game. Great pitching performances from both sides, terrible offensive performances from both sides. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs situations wasted in a single game. I really don’t think Don Wakamatsu did a good job in this game, as he definitely should have gotten a pinch hitter in there at some point before the 14th.
Several situations stand out.
Bottom 12th – Runners on first and third, 1 out for Rob Johnson, Bobby Jenks on the mound. Wak lets him hit, and he lines into a double play to end the inning. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with hitting a line drive, and he got very unlucky, but it was still a mistake to let him hit.
Bottom 11th – Nobody on, 2 out for Mike Sweeney, Bobby Jenks on the mound. Not a high leverage situations, but Jenks vs. Sweeney is a terrible match-up, and since he was the DH there was no reason not to get Griffey in there.
Wak made the right call in the 15th though, and it all worked out, so I won’t go any further. Probably the biggest story of the night for the Mariners, aside from the lack of offense, was the fantastic pitching. Mariners pitchers tonight:
Felix Hernandez: 7 IP, 6 hits, 0 R, 4 BB, 10 K, 63.8% strikes
Sean White: 2 IP, 1 hit, 70.3% strikes
Mark Lowe: 1 IP, 2 hits, BB, K, 60.1% strikes
Shawn Kelley: 2 IP, 2 K, 76.2% strikes
Chris Jakubauskas: 2 IP, 1 hit, BB, 3 K, 74.4% strikes
Aside from Lowe, all real good performances. Kelley had two very clean innings, which is always nice, but I was most impressed with Felix and Chris Jakubauskas.
Felix was absolutely dominant, and his line should look even better than it does. He got squeezed (what else is new?), and that inflated his walk total. He had 14 swinging strikes on the night, and 10 strikeouts. He should have at least 11 or 12 though if not for bad umpiring, and if not for the fact that Rob Johnson seems to be unable to catch the ball. When someone pitches as well as King Felix did tonight, and their line looks this good, there’s really not all that much you can say about him. He was fantastic.
Chris Jakubauskas pitched the final 2 innings of this game to pick up the win, and he was really good too. He threw a ton of strikes, 7 of them swinging, and 4 of those on his curve. This was the best I’ve ever seen his curve look, no one could seem to figure it out. Pitcher’s wins is a meaningless stat, but Jak certainly deserved this one.
Jack Hannahan did a fantastic job tonight. He was thrown into the game in the fifth when Jack Wilson left with an apparent hamstring injury, and he made the most of it. His defense at short was flawless, he even made a real nice diving play up the middle to rob Carlos Quentin of a hit, and he set us up to win the game twice. The first time came on a single in the 12th that sent the winning run to third base with 1 out, and the second time coming in the 14th when he drew a timely walk to bring Junior to the plate. I’m really glad we get to keep him.
So we manage to keep pace in the wild card, still 5.5 back of Boston and 4.5 back of Texas. We start a series with the Yankees tomorrow – hopefully that will tell us something about where we stand.
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