So by now, you're coming to this after the game is over, which is perfect, and I know it's what I would do. Also, you benefit from me having cleaned up all the typos and adding pictures. Everyone, in theory, wins.
Hellooooooooo Seattle! It's Game 2 of a three-game set in the town that self-involved 90's music built, and the White Sox look to win their 2nd straight against the walking enbodiment of the fact that pitching isn't everything. The Seattle Mariners couldn't figure out Daniel Hudson for the life of them last night, so let's see how they do against tonight's White Sox starter, John Danks. Danks is a pitcher who unlike Hudson, has done things in the major leagues like have back-to-back wins, pitch in the playoffs, grow a beard, and wear a number of his own choosing. The Seattle Mariners offer Doug Fister, a pitcher who while definitely talented, has been struggling with injuries of recent, and can't be feeling good about the fact that Jose Lopez is batting cleanup tonight.
The Tigers have already lost tonight, and the Twins are currently losing 3-1 in the 7th. This could be a goooooood night. As always with live blogs, I'll be publishing, then editing and republishing throughout the night, and I have no time to cleanup typos until after. I've got my email up, so if anyone has any comments, I'll address those too. Hawk and Stone are both wearing matching, old-man fleece vests, so it must be getting to around game time.
Stone announces the lineup, and the potent 5-6 combo of DH Mark Kotsay and RF Andruw Jones will be featured tonight. If Gordon Beckham is as red-hot as everyone says he is, you'd think he'd be hitting higher than 9th, and we wouldn't have a Class of 1994 High School Reunion going on in the middle of the lineup.
Juan Pierre features the "this is not my power swing", and flips the 2nd pitch of the game to short for an out before Hawk Harrelson even gets through his picks to click. I wish we could cut to Kenny from "The Club" saying "I wish I had gotten you more guys who can get on base" right now. It'd be perfect.
Omar may have popped up in the infield, but at least he managed to work that count full before doing so. It's the little things that differentiate bad at-bats from wastes of life.
After staring at two strikes, Alex Rios hits one of those bullet singles he's been reeling off to keep his average over .300, but has his OPS in the .700s since May. Whatever, he's a good player still. Even if he's not an All-Star
If Paul is having a stiff neck, why isn't Ozzie giving him massages like he used to give to Frank when his foot was hurting back in the day. Put your hands on that man, Oz. Paul weakly grounds into a fielder's choice, as the Mariners lineup prepares to watch Ichiro along with the rest of the crowd.
Jack Wilson is batting 9th for the 2010 Mariners. Not that he's a candidate, but that alone should keep him out of the Hall of Fame
Ichiro looks strangely lifeless as he grounds out, like maybe being one of the greatest contact hitters ever yet trapped in an utterly hopeless baseball situation doesn't agree with him.
Man, John Danks is throwing them for strikes, and getting them out tonight. That or it's time for Chone Figgins to retire. 2 outs!
In flying out to center, Franklin Gutierrez gets the "actually made solid contact" award! Report to the dugout to collect your free Snickers bar, Franky!
You don't fall behind 3-1 to Kotsay, he'll punish yoooou! Actually, that was a fairly lazy fly to left. Last year he hit lasers right to people, now he's transitioned to lazy fly balls right to people. Eh, frankly both are equally worthless, but at least I'm not being teased anymore
Andruw, by any chance were you trying to pull all of those low and away breaking balls? Hawk intimates that Greg Walker was working on 'changing the path' of Andruw's swing. Sooo...he's not going to swing for 500 feet out to left field? 475 instead?
A.J. swings at a pitch early in the count and out of the zone. Good to see him playing like himself. This game could be done by 10:30. Twins have tied the Indians 3-3 in the 7th in the mean time. I knew we couldn't trust the Indians bullpen to take us to the playoffs!
Stone remarks that Jose Lopez is a little frustrated with his offensive year. His OBP is .268, I think most Seattle people are a LOT frustrated with his season. He struck out somewhere around the first sentence of this blurb.
Goodness, are the Mariners trying to make it out in time to see Inception tonight after the game??!? Milton Bradley just struck out in 3 pitches in a manner that bordered on run-shaving. The only thing worse than an untalented offense, is an untalented offense that has given up.
Kotchmann legs out an infield single on the slowest roller ever, right between Ramirez and Beckham, barely making it despite the fact that Ramirez threw the ball from the right side of the infield. Casey has got to be proud. Hell, I'm proud.
What Seattle Got for Cliff Lee steps in. He's apparently going to be a stud some day, and Johnny is treating him as such...kinda...he danced around on an 0-2 count for a while, but struck out Smoak on a change up. It appears that anything Danks throws inside to Smoak will be whiffed on.
Alexei cues a picture perfect bunt down the 3rd base line. With the Mariners hitting as they are, manufacturing a run this inning could produce an insurmountable deficit. Fister knows this, and has already thrown over twice at Ramirez
Gordon may be red-hot, but he's not going to move the runner over with a pop out to 3rd base. Now Pierre needs to move the runner to set up an RBI situation for 43 year-old Omar Vizquel.....our offense is not that great.
Pierre moves Alexei to 2nd with a slapped grounder to 3rd. Do the Mariners know the game is on the line? Omar batting a surprisingly not terrible .269 with a .331 OBP. Borderline average. Who knew?
This is officially the first inning long enough that it doesn't feel like a video game where you're skipping through all the cut-scenes. Omar takes strike 3 looking, and promptly reacts like he was punched in the kidney. I'm confused about what that was, but I guess when you stare at an array of 88 mph fastballs down the middle, you gotta do something
Cleveland takes a 4-3 lead over Minnesota in the 8th on an RBI double by Travis Hafner. Pronk Lives!
John Danks throws two immediate strikes to Josh Bard, Bard reacts by calling timeout 173 times in a row. Steve Stone calls Bard the more offensive of the two Seattle catchers. He's hitting .209 and just struck out. Yikes. This city just lost their basketball team and hired a college coach to run the Seahawks. Things are not well.
Danks suddenly decides to lose his control and walks the 9 hitter, Wilson, on four pitches. Clearly he just wants to set up Ichiro for a double play. That's what everyone does.
Indians are through the 8th! Still 4-3. This is going to be a lot less charming when they sweep us.
Danks knicks Ichiro with an inside fastball. Clearly, just setting up the double play for Chone Figgins.
I said that ironically, but then Chone Figgins managed to get himself and Ichiro, the two fastest players on the team, thrown out in a double play. The Mariners are starting to make me feel bad.
At some point, the White Sox score when Doug Fister fields a ball, and tries to take the opportunity to angrily whip it at Casey Kotchmann, right?
I would cue up ESPN gamecast to keep track of things like pitch counts, but then it would show me things happening before I see them...and that's creepy.
Fister walks Rios on a full count to start the inning....this always gets Hawk excited
Stiff neck and all, Paul drives a ball deep to dead center that has every right to be a home run, but alas, it one-hops the wall. Alex has to hold up at 3rd, setting up an excellent opportunity.
Mark Kotsay - THIS IS YOUR MOMENT TO SHINE
It's never a good sign when the hometown announcer is giving swing tips to players. It's even worse when they clearly ignore it. Hawk begged Kotsay to stay short and sweet in his swing, Kotsay promptly overswings like crazy on 3-1.
A seeing-eye bouncer is saved from the outfield by a diving Chone Figgins, who throws out Kotsay, but allows Rios to score and Konerko to advance to 3rd. Andruw Jones could theoretically knock him in with a flyball to say....I donno...the warning track?
BIG ANDRUW SWING
BIG ANDRUW SWING
BIG ANDRUW SWING
Hey, Fister's up to 56 pitches after 4...that means he can probably only go 8 innings, not 9. This is the solace to take in A.J. lifelessly grounding out.
Why the hell would you ever ask Carlos to do something like play the outfield, or steal bases when you see how easily hurt he is?
I understand that it's part of his skill, but does Andruw have to be so nonchalant in right field? Half the time I think he hasn't seen the ball. One out
I can't keep track of all the outs, Seattle! Lopez lazily grounds out to 3rd
Indians knock off Minnesota 4-3. The Twins waste a pretty decent effort from Kevin Slowey. There aren't a lot of those to waste
As frustrating as it is to watch John Danks walk someone like Milton Bradely, a player who was completely overmatched in the first at bat, there's not the real fear that Seattle is going to do something just yet. They can't hit the ball out of this place, and oh goodness, Kotchmann just fouled off a ball that was going to hit him in the face.
Kotchmann lazily pops up to A.J.
A.J. stands confused....does he not know where his dugout is? Someone! Help!
I didn't buy the whole Ramirez-was-bunting-to-draw-in-the-3rd-basemen-later theory that Steve Stone and Hawk Harrelson put out there in the 3rd, but then Alexei went and lined the ball off of Jose Lopez. Is Alexei becoming a smart player??!
Gordon chops a ball to first, Smoak fields it, starts to throw it to 2nd, suddenly loses his nerve and just flips it to 1st. Alexei stands at 2nd, brimming in his supreme intelligence.
Juan, typically allergic to RBI, pulls a curveball down the line past Smoak at 1st for an RBI double, 2-0 Sox. Oh no! Carlos Zambrano has come out and is yelling at Smoak for not diving at that ball!
Ok, not really
Fister can't be feeling good about this, Omar Vizquel smacks a sinking liner that slips just over the head of Ichiro in right field, Juan has to hold up at 3rd and Omar at 2nd due to Ichiro's arm. Ichiro has to be upset that something bad about this Mariners team could be associated with him.
Rios drills another one of those solid singles through the hole between Short and 3rd, scoring Juan Pierre. 3-0 White Sox. Seattle hurriedly meets with Fister at the mound after this one, as I imagine we've reached the point where Seattle winning would be their biggest comeback of the season.
A not that wild pitch prompts Omar Vizquel to gun for 3rd base, and be thrown out by Bard. I love the aggression and putting pressure on the defense, but I feel like every command that includes the phrase "And then Omar takes off" requires a period of review
Paul has one of those highly discouraging, come-from-ahead strikeouts to end the inning. Give that man a massage!
Justin Smoak has good numbers aside from the terrible average, perhaps I'm too hard on him. I know he'll be good soon, and will then later be good for a contender. This is further indicated by the curving drive he hits into center that Alex Rios runs down. If Carl Everett is still stalking center for the Sox, it might have been an inside the parker
Johnny is throwing strikes less frequently, but these are still the Mariners, and that's still Josh Bard...strikeout.
What's the rule of thumb about not-good bunters trying to bunt for hits with two outs? I want to know for Jack Wilson's sake Is it simply pathetic? An implicit white flag? A cry for help by the player?
6 Ks through 5 innings for Danks
Sure, maybe Mark Kotsay got robbed by a great play on that roller by Chone Figgins, but when you hit lifeless grounders up the middle, are your really being robbed off a hit?
Andruw Jones...is pulling the ball. He will not relent.
Perhaps Andruws is not a good matchup against pitchers who refuse to roll breaking balls on the inner-part of the plate to him. 3 strikeouts in 3 ABs
Perhaps, the Kotsay-Jones-Pierzynski stretch should be referred to as "Doug Fister's inning off"
A train whistle is extremely audible in the stadium, perhaps this is still the case if the stadium is full, but that doesn't make it a bad time to point out that the good folks of Seattle are starting to cool on this dreck of a franchise.
A.J. waves embarrassingly at a curveball in the dirt. Yes we can! We can be done by 11:15pm!
Johnny is only now reaching the 70 pitch mark as Ichiro bounces a slow roller that Alexei gathers and guns to first for the out. Hey Ichiro, only an hour or so left before you get to go home and pretend this part of your life isn't real! Get excited!
I am preposterously certain that the White Sox are going to win this game....maybe Jenks getting involved makes this interesting, otherwise the players might take a team vote to collectively nap in the dugout. Chone Figgins just became the 7th strikeout of the night.
Hawk is starting to suggest that Danks and Pierzynski have formed some sort of metaphysical connection, he calls them "a tandem" with baited breath. As much as he's right that the starting pitching is really good, he's ignoring the 900 pound gorilla that is Seattle's lifeless terribleness. It also doesn't help that Danks just decided to issue his third walk, and A.J. is now coming to the mound...presumably to re-establish the mystical connection...reboot the love server.
First solidly hit ball in an inning is reeled in by Vizquel at 3rd base, forcing Hawk to break out the "You got to be bleeping me" line again. I am not a fan of this line, go back to the amusing "hell yes!" I am not excited to see what Mark Teahen does with balls like that in two weeks.
Well, I guess Fister isn't getting the win tonight, he's been pulled for Chris Seddon, who's pitched 1.2 innings this season so far. Doug's in position to pick up the always fun Quality-Start Loss.
After an Alexei Ramirez groundout to 2nd, Hawk and Stone have taken a trip to exaggeration land. Apparently, with any luck, Freddy Garcia should have 14 wins by now. Apparently luck is all that separates him from Ubaldo Jimenez.....that and 12mph
Gordon strikes out on four pitches....he hasn't looked very good tonight...It's only one game! Please, we can't GO CRAZY!
Stone reveals that Seddon was drafted in '01, and has bounced around to multiple teams....Pierre just grounded out to end things. I presume everyone knows we don't need anymore runs.
Hey it's an ad for heavily edited Entourage episodes on WGN! Coooooool, bro!
Danks is really cutting down on the strike throwing as the innings wear on. 4 straight pitches to Bradley give him his 4th walk of the night, and probably confirms that he won't throw a complete game.
Ball 5! Time for a conversation!
Matt Thornton is warming up, preparing to enter a game with considerably less stress than the All-Star game.
Casey Kotchmann just hit himself with a foul ball for the 2nd time tonight. I'm sure he's just happy to get regular at bats, playing the sport he loves, but should be a little better at. Casey K waves at a slider with a swing that....I'm not sure what the hell that was going to result in if he made contact.
Sergio in the pen now. I don't understand, I thought they wanted less walks.
Smoak pops up lazily to Alexei Ramirez, and Milton Bradley inexplicably runs to 2nd and is doubled off extremely easily, leading to booing, a mini-tantrum, and gleeful mocking by Hawk and Stoney. It's one thing to be crazy and anger-prone; but stupid really isn't needed in the Milton Bradley equation.
As the game enters into super-pointless land, Omar lines a single to left from the right side of the plate. If only Seattle were a more discontented city economically, this game could devolve into an ugly scene where the fans boo and curse lustily as the team slides into the abyss. But alas, it's just going to kinda, play out. Alex Rios grounds into a double play, so he can still make his dinner reservation
Discontent to allow a sinking liner to drop in front of him for a Konerko single, Franklin Gutierrez instead chooses to dive for it and make it a double. I'm sure Paulie appreciates the boost in slugging percentage.
Kotsay lines a ball to center that Gutierrez traps, and the umpires call it an out. I'd be mad, but c'mon now...what are we dragging things out for? Let's go out and all enjoy beautiful Seattle! Hell, it's not even dark yet!
Josh Bard first-pitch swings and pops the ball up to AJ for the first out. I'm sure his hitting coach is proud of such an effort. No he isn't, he's cleaning out his stuff, he's fired.
Did you know that Jack Wilson has an OPS under .700 for his career? You don't stay with the Pirates for nearly a decade for no reason. That groundout makes us four outs away from bed time. I could publish this and go for four articles tonight. The Mariners truly are amazing.
Noooooo! Ichiro singles up the middle for the second hit of the night. What is he trying to do? Push the game time over 2:15??!?!? What a jerk! A.J. shamelessly kills time so that Ozzie can pull John Danks after 7.2 shutout innings. Can't really argue with pulling John with his pitch count. A substantial amount of White Sox fans applaud John as he strides into the dugout. Not a great day for Mariners baseball. Not a great year either...or two years....has this team made the playoffs since Lou Piniella left?
J.J. Putz comes on, seeking to break the White Sox record for consecutive scoreless appearances. Feels like a bad omen to me.
Very, very high ball...okay, I'm a little worried.
Chone Figgins makes his first solid contact since May, and flies out to center field. J.J. Putz walks off the field, annoyed to have been woken up.
Shameless pulling at the ball by Jones not working much better against Seddon so far....nor is swinging for the Pacific Ocean. I'd be in favor of Greg Walker physically attacking Jones at this point. Jones rolls over a grounder to short. Yes, he was trying to pull the ball...how could you tell?
Ultimately no one will remember how lifeless A.J. and Andruw were in an easy win over a terrible team, but YOU should know that they looked liked they could strike out 150 times each in AA ball. Also, you should know that Milton Bradley ran into the dumbest double play of all time. That's what you should take away from this game.
Alexei had a big swing and a miss that got the crowd a little fired up and clapping for Seddon to end the inning. This made it a little depressing when Alexei ripped the next pitch over the left field wall for a home run, and his third hit of the game. Depressing for Seattle...not for me. 4-0 White Sox
Beckham, settles into the warm familiarity of an 0-4 game, and flies out to right.
Oh crap, the worst sentence in the world was just uttered
"Bobby Jenks comes out in a non-save situation"
Surely even he can't spark the Mariners offense into life. I should mention that the White Sox have won all of the games I've live blogged for this site so far. No one remembers the 2-1 loss to the Twins I liveblogged for Blogger, no one!
Dammit, it's 11:18....the 2:15 game dream is over. Hawk just said the 9 o clock news is on next......can't he just say, 'the news'?
A bullet grounder by Gutierrez is fielded easily and tossed to 1st by Vizquel. That's right, it's Omar Vizquel at 3rd, not Mark Teahen. Remember this. I am not looking forward to the end of the month.
Alexei Ramirez just made one of the greatest plays I've seen this year. He sprints all the way into the hole after a grounder, flings a bullet throw fading away from 1st, and gets the runner by a step. Most charmingly, he celebrates like a kid afterward....or celebrates like a Cuban defector who was previously not allowed to show emotion...whichever. Seattle fans boo with seething rage. They know they were just made fools of.
Jenks blows a fastball by Milton Bradley for the final out, Sox win 4-0 as Seattle fans boo and Milton Bradley wanders back to dugout, pondering the dumb things he did today.
As far as major-league competition goes, it's hard to find a team more punchless and demoralized than the Seattle Mariners on this night. The Sox defense played fabulously, but no runs on 2 hits doesn't happen by accident. Still, the White Sox did everything they needed to tonight. They were offered a fantastic opportunity by Detroit and Minnesota losing, and man, did they take advantage of it with excellent pitching, even better defense, and efficient offense against a good pitcher capable of shutting a team down. It's not like they blew out the Yankees, but the Sox acquitted themselves as well as they possibly could tonight.
1st place by 3.5 games