Luke French got the start tonight and was shaky from the get-go. The problem with French is that he basically has only two pitches, a mediocre fastball and a change-up. And on nights like tonight where he doesn’t have the command of his fastball like he did in his last start against Cleveland, trouble is sure to follow as in tonight’s game where we lost 4-3 despite homers by Branyan and Tui in the first couple innings.
French got fried to a crisp by a 2-run homer in the 3rd off the bat of the guy with the best name in baseball, that’s right you guessed it; none other than Coco Crisp! Of course not to be outdone our club has a player with only one name, and Ichiro who has made a name for himself (even if it is only one) did manage to get a couple of hits tonight including a lead-off double in the 5th for hit #183. Unfortunately after Figgins moved Ichiro to third on a ground ball both Branyan and Lopez went down on strikes to end the threat.
French left the game in the 6th with a couple of runners on and nobody out giving the ball to Jamie Wright who battled away but eventually let in a pair of runs and the Mariners basically surrendered after that.
The A’s are now 7 games back in the AL West after winning this series and have been able to stay in the hunt way past their normal expiration date, it would be a huge story if they were able to catch the Rangers somehow.
The Tacoma Rainiers are playing the AAA affiliate of the A’s in the play-offs and battled back to a 10-8 win tonight in the first game of the series. Interesting to note that former Mariners Brett Tomko and John Halama are both pitching for the Rivercats,these two ancient Mariners make me want to reconsider retiring from softball! I’m hoping to catch a Rainiers game when they play at Safeco this weekend as it will be as close as we come to postseason baseball in Seattle this year.
The team has a day off for travel tomorrow before heading down to Anaheim to play the Angels who won 4-3 tonight against the Indians, but like ourselves are mostly playing for pride and player development in these last 22 games. On a final note as rough and sad as this year has been, I’m not looking forward to the long winter with no baseball.
On a side note I just read Geoff Baker’s late night post on his blog which contained an e-mail from Howard Lincoln to his staff. In it he tries to assure everyone that everything is under control and there is no need to listen to those nay-sayers in the media and blogs! Looks like the house of cards is starting to crumble and the top management is starting to feel the heat fom all the disgruntled fans after this year. I will follow-up with more tomorrow after the dust settles.http://jeffsmariners.com