The Chicago White Sox managed to come back from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Seattle Mariners 6-5, and win the third game of the series between the two clubs. For a Mariner fan this game rates as disappointing rather than painful or just plain dumb like last night’s wipeout. Disappointing in the sense that for once the Mariners scored early jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the second inning after Chone Figgins hit his first homer of the year. Usually that would be enough for Jason Vargas to cruise to a victory, but tonight Vargas did not have his good stuff and he gave-up three homers to the first-place White Sox.
Mark Buehrle got the start tonight for the White Sox and he too was not on his A-game though his defense did allow a couple runs to score in the first that should not have been allowed. The difference in this game was the bullpen’s of the two clubs. In the case of the Mariners Jamie Wright was brought in to relieve Vargas in the bottom half of the fifth after homers by Alexi Ramirez and Paul Konerko. Jamie Wright pitched fine until he walked the lead-off batter Juan Pierre in the 7th, the speedy then stole second and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Alexi Ramirez who looks like a “Praying Mantis”. Don Wakamatsu then went to his bullpen to get Brandon League who promptly gave-up a single to Rios putting the Chisox up 6-5. In my opinion Wakamatsu left Wright in too long and should have used someone else to pitch the 7th.
However after mulling it over I can hardly blame Wak for trying to push the envelope and allow Wright to stay in the game. For as you know the pitchers in the Mariners bullpen have been juggled around so much this year that unlike the White Sox our relievers have no clear roles. For Ozzie Guillen things are different, as he knows he can count on guys like Santos, Thornton, Putz and then Jenks in that order night after night to finish out games if his starter can get through 5 or 6 innings. This is not the case for Wakamatsu who seems to have to awkwardly configure a sequence of relievers every night. This is not likely to change soon as now Luke French has been thrown into the mix coming back up to replace Ryan Rowland-Smith who has been placed on another one of our “Mystery DL” assignments.
At any rate the White Sox have a one game lead over the Twins who we face next and certainly have a great club worth keeping an eye on as we head into the stretch. Another team that I’m watching with amazement is the Oakland Athletics who beat the Rangers tonight. The A’s team make-up is similar to the Mariners in that it is built on pitching, defense, speed and timely hitting. Of course the big difference is that the A’s unlike our club are making it work. So we will get away from Chicago tomorrow and head on to face the Twins next as the Mariners continue to disappoint us in this long voyage…..http://jeffsmariners.com