You’ve got to feel a little bit for Ryan Rowland-Smith, who pitched a pretty strong game tonight. But he walked two batters of the sixth inning and leaves on the short end of a 4-3 score…for now. Chad Cordero has come on in relief with two on and one out.
Rowland-Smith battled out of a jam in the fifth after a leadoff double by opposing starter Dave Bush.
The M’s had a shot at tying it in the fifth, but, with Chone Figgins at third and only one out, Franklin Gutierrez hit it to the worst place possible — right at the third baseman. That’s a contact play and the runner, with a sizeable lead, always has to break for the plate because he’ll be a dead duck if he hesitates. By breaking home, he hopes the fielder bobbles the ball or makes a poor throw, Not the same as if the ball’s hit to the shortstop. While it looks bad on Figgins, he really has no choice there but to head into the rather easy out at home — hoping for a break that didn’t come.
In case you missed it earlier, got to chat with Windell Middlebrooks, of Miller High Life beer commercial fame. He’s the guy who crashes all the VIP parties with his cases of two-four, smacking them down on bars and frightening all of the skittish jet-setters. I think he’s pretty funny. So does ABC, which has apparently picked up one of his pilots.
He’s here as part of Miller’s “Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life” campaign, which is giving 10 cents from every specially marked bottle cap or can tab of Miller High Life and High Life Lite to paying for events for military veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Up to $1 million will be earmarked so veterans can attend pro sports events, concerts and outdoor adventures throughout the summer.
6:30 p.m.: Ryan Rowland-Smith was done-in by a three-pitch sequence in the fourth inning and now trails 4-3. Rowland-Smith was one strike away from ending the inning with a 3-0 lead, but instead saw Jonathan Lucroy belt a 1-2 offering into the bullpen in left center for a three-run homer.
It was the first long ball of Lucroy’s career. He made his MLB debut on May 21, called up from Class AAA to replace the injured Gregg Zaun.
Rowland-Smith was probably still getting over the shock of that when Carlos Gomez hit a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall to give Milwaukee the lead. Shocking turn of events. I blame Mike Sweeney.
6:05 p.m.: Seattle now leads 3-0, scoring twice in thetop of the third. Ichiro lined a one-out single to right, followed by a single to right from Chone Figgins that put runners at the corners. Franklin Gutierrez hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring home the first run and then shortstop Alcides Escobar botched a Jose Lopez grounder to keep the inning alive.
Mike Sweeney made the Brewers pay with his second single of the game to bring home Figgins. Yep, that Sweeney. It’s his fault the Mariners are doing so poorly in 2010. What’s that stock line I keep hearing repeated? About how fans of bad teams always blame the best players from those teams? Yeah, I’m starting to think that’s true. Good thing we’re all too smart and enlightened in our corner of the world to descend into that type of pettiness, right?
5:42 p.m.: The Mariners scored a run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. Jose Lopez led things off with a double to the left field corner. Lopez then took third on a Mike Sweeney single to right and came chugging on in when Milton Bradley hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Ryan Rowland-Smith hit Rickie Weeks with a pitch to start the game. But he got Corey Hart to hit into a fielder’s choice and then Prince Fielder hit into a Hart’s choice — no, wait, scratch that, he flied out to right. Rowland-Smith got the final out of the inning and just saw Mike Sweeney make a nice glove play at first base to start off the bottom of the second.
Yeah, that Sweeney, too bad he can’t play any more right? When do we give up on that line, or do we just keep pretending, hoping he’ll fail? Hey, a simple question. I find the attitudes towards him bizarre to say the least.
5:07 p.m.: Well, it’s the day after the six-game winning streak was snapped. Let’s see whether the Mariners can pick up where they left off before yesterday’s loss. Or, whether it’s back to the same old, same old.
Just dined in the media room with Jack Zduriencik and his front office entourage. Zduriencik is getting quite the reception here, the place where he spent nine years in various scouting and executive positions before being hired by Seattle. He could barely eat without some cafeteria worker or support staff employee coming up to shake his hand. Says a lot about the guy. Either he eats in the cafeteria a lot, or he gets to know people.
It’s the 40th anniversary of the Brewers and they’re honoring teams from each decade they played in. Tonight, it’s the 1982 World Series finalist Brewers, so the M’s have their vintage 1982 uniforms on. Hey, since the M’s are trying to emulate the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals, maybe we can just pretend this is Game 7 of that year’s World Series all over again. Tell you what, the Cards might score fewer runs tonight than they did in that game, as Brewers fans have long remembered.