I woke up late this morning but managed to turn on the last game of the Texas series in the fifth inning. Of course I was surprised to find out we were ahead, and even began feeling a bit cocky about the impending sweep of the Rangers. Jason Vargas had been pitching a nice game and young Justin Smoak had already hit another homer while I was asleep, yes the late summer shadows in Arlington could not taint our bright gang of youngsters that were bound to lead us in years to come….
Of course I was delighted to see my hero Dan Cortes warming-up in the eighth, and secretly hoped Jamie Wright would falter so the young stud could come into a game where he had to pitch under pressure so he could show the world he was the real deal!
Well be careful what you pray for….the next two innings featured a young pitcher who was pressing, overthrowing and was wild as my hair when I’m seen in public before noon. Cortes walked the first 2 batters on 8 straight balls and eventually let in three runs in the eighth in what was perhaps the biggest let-down of the last month or so. You see even I had begun to accept that the Mariners are not going to spend any money in the offseason because they had so many talented “Kids” as everyone is so fond of calling these greenhorns. So what if Saunders, Tui, Moore, Mangini, and Hallman can’t hit in the majors, they are young and had success in the minors so by Golly the Kids will be fine.
And besides Smoak is coming around and how dare one question the results of Danny Cortes’ previous two outings. I do know that Darren Brown loves these guys as he has mentored most of them, but I was a bit surprised to see Dan Cortes back on the mound on the ninth. And you know it almost worked as Cortes managed to get a couple of outs before giving up another walk and having to face Nelson Cruz.
Then it happened, possibly the biggest nightmare play of this nightmare season…Cortes threw a ball in the dirt that Cruz waved at for strike three as the ball got by the catcher and Cruz ran to first. The third-string catcher Quiroz got a lucky break when the ball jumped back off the wall in time to throw to first where Smoak was waiting on the outfield side of the bag. Instead the ball was thrown on the infield side of the bag and went into right where Ichiro retrieved it and made a weak throw home up the line and the Rangers scored the winning run on a strike-out and subsequent advancing runner all the way from first! Unbelievable….Final score Texas 6 Seattle 5…
As a result of the above “Ripley’s Believe it or not” play I turned off the tube and decided to delay writing my post until after watching the bottom half of the Baseball Documentary ” Tenth Inning”. The” Bottom of the Tenth” was very well done and brought back a lot of memories from this past decade. There was a beautiful piece on Ichiro where I discovered that Ichiro converted from being a right-handed hitter in order to be two steps closer to first!
Much of the rest of the show revolved around the Steroids issue and the guys involved primarily Barry Bonds. There was also a lot of coverage of the Boston Red Sox as apparently Ken Burns is a big Red Sox Fan. It was nice to see Randy Johnson pitching for the Diamondbacks when they won the World Series over the Yankees, though it would have been nice if they would have mentioned he used to pitch for the Mariners. There was also no mention of the Mariners 116 win season in 2001 as the big story that year was all New York and 9-11. It is apparent that though Seattle has had a Major League team since 1977, we will never really count till we at least make it to the World Series. As usual there was a lot of hoopla for the long-suffering Cubs and Red Sox Fans, but nary a peep for us out here in mildew land.
But since I love baseball as a sport it was still nice to see all the big names out there doing their thing despite the fact that the game has sustained so much damage in recent years due to the steroids issue. Even Brett Boone was named as a doper though I doubt that cocky little punk will ever own up to it. Still the game is alive and well as a new generation of players, fans and sabermetrics fanatics get their turn at taking joy in and ownership of our National Pastime, treat her well she’s the best thing we got……http://jeffsmariners.com