It’s my debut here for the site and I’m excited to be aboard. You can expect to see more of me to come here but let’s get to the game.
Kevin Millwood entered today’s game with two consecutive wins in a row. I wasn’t quite confident that he would keep things up against the Rangers but he proved me wrong. He didn’t necessarily dominate, striking out only two batters but he did a good job working his pitches and his changeup was very effective for him today. He scattered three hits and did not face much trouble. He stranded Yorvit Torrealba at third in the third inning and got out of the fourth inning without any harm after runners were on second and third. Millwood’s final line for the day is 6 IP 3H 0 ER 1BB and 2K. He was the Mariners biggest contributor today, finishing with a .278 WPA. This is Millwood’s third quality start in a row and he has back to back starts without allowing a run.
Millwood did his part today and the offense also showed up. The Mariners struck first in the second inning. Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and Justin Smoak opened the inning with 3 consecutive walks. Saunders followed up with a deep sacrifice fly to dead center, bringing in Seager from third. Mike Carp followed up with an infield fly to second and Brendan Ryan ended the inning with a ground ball to first. It’s nice to get one run out of the inning, but with the bases loaded and no outs you have to want more.
Seattle struck again in the fifth when Alex Liddi stole the show. Saunders opened the inning with a leadoff walk and Carp followed him up with a base hit. After Brendan Ryan moved both runners over on a fielder’s choice, Ackley was intentionally walked to load up the bases. Liddi came up to the plate and Ron Washington would soon regret his decision to walk Ackley as Liddi hit his first career grand slam and his third homerun on the year. Liddi had himself a real nice day going 2-3 with the grand slam, 4 RBI, and a nice at bat in the seventh working a walk on a 10 pitch at bat. Carp and Montero picked up the other two hits for the Mariners on the afternoon.
The bullpen gave fans a little scare but were able to hold it down to give Millwood the win. Eric Wedge used three different pitchers to get through the seventh as he was really playing the matchups. Lucas Luetge did his job getting Craig Gentry out and was then relieved by Shawn Kelley. Kelly struck Nelson Cruz out though but then walked Yorvit Torrealba. Wedge then went to Charlie Furbush to get Brandon Snyder for the final out in the inning.
Tom Wilhelmsen entered the game in the eight for the Mariners and he gave up the only runs on the day. Ian Kinsler opened up the inning with a base hit and then stole second. On the steal, Montero had a very strong throw showing improving footwork which is a promising sign. Kinsler just barely beat the throw but you have to like the progress that Montero is making behind the plate. After striking out Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton hit a double down the line, scoring Ian Kinsler. Beltre followed that up with a solo shot, shortening the Marinrs lead to 5-3. He bounced back though, getting the final two batters out in the inning.
Brandon League came on in the ninth, and I was a little worried. I assume I wasn’t the only one. League’s second pitch of the inning was a shot to right field off of the bat of Nelson Cruz but it just stayed in the park as Ichiro was under it right up against the wall. The rest of the inning was smooth sailing for League as he struck out the final two batters, picking up his 9th save and his first since May 9th. League’s K/9 has been abnormally low this year at 5.40 so it was nice to see him pick up the two strikeouts, each on nasty splitters.
Despite being outhit by the Rangers today, the Mariners came out on top of the Rangers 5-3 to take the series 2-1. The Angels come to town tomorrow as Seattle looks to continue their winning ways and creep back towards .500. I’ll be back tomorrow recapping the game and let’s hope Casey’s games (or the heavy drinking) went/is going well today.