He keeps it in a safe place. It's hidden amongst a few scattered sunflower seeds, but it's there. He breaks it out whenever he needs to, and when he does....look out below if you're sitting in the first row in right field. He did it last night folks. Ichiro brought out the power from his back pocket. A mammoth blast that cleared the right field fence by at least 6 inches, and put away the Mets for good. By the way, he's back. He's got his 1000th hit, and is ready to move on. Back-to-back multi-hit games have pushed him back over the Suzuki line.
Before last night's game, Jose Lopez was recalled from AAA, and Greg "At least I look pretty doing it" Dobbs was sent down. My first reaction was to think that this is the beginning of the end of Bret Boone's career as a Mariner. Lopez would probably share some time at 2nd, then Boone would be moved at the deadline. Then I read the Seattle Times this morning, and my thoughts were driven home. Bavasi and Hargrove had some very interesting quotes in there. Some of my favorites:
-"We don't have the luxury of sending Bret down. So we'll see. If it's needed, we can give him four, five, six days off in a row."
-"he won't sit for long, no. There's a possibility he'll play most of the time he's here at second, [and] a possibility he'll go down in a couple of days."
Bret Boone is making $9 million. He was the MVP of the 2001 team (sorry Ichiro), and in the past the homer management would have forgiven him for any crappy play until his contract ran out. It doesn't look like that's what's going on now. The fact that they even mention him being sent down is amazing. The move coupled with the quotes is very interesting, and even more interesting was the fact that Lopez hit 5th yesterday, and Boone hit 6th. How does Lopez respond? 2-for-4 and an RBI. Stay tuned for more of the Boone saga.
As for the game itself, Jamie Moyer kept the trend of solid starting pitching performances going. He went 7 2/3, and has now given up just 6 ER in his last 5 starts. Over the last ten games, the average M's starting pitching line looks like this:
6+ IP, 5.6 hits, 1.5 ER, 2.3 BB, 2.4 K
The M's are 5-5 in that stretch, mainly due to the offense taking a tour of DC while the Nationals were throwing pitches at them. The K/BB ratio is a little concerning. Really the number of strikeouts period is concerning. But the pitchers are using their defense, and USS Mariner reports that the M's have one of the better defenses in the game.
We'll continue to ride the Mike Morse bandwagon here at Mariner Magic, as he is hitting .413. He made nice catch yesterday which you can check out on the M's official site.
Since losing 10 of 11 in early May, the M's are 17-15, and 17-9 in games not held in the Baltimore-DC Metro area/games that Mike L has attended.
Pedro tonight! Woo hoo! He's 13-0 with a 1.30 ERA against the M's in his career.