First off, I’m sure that the title for this recap is the first ever title this year of its kind. I mean it’s pretty hard to believe but Chone Figgins came up huge for Seattle in their extra innings victory over the Red Sox tonight.
Fresh of his ten strikeout performance, Erasmo Ramirez took the mound for Seattle. Ramirez started strong but unfortunately he left the game in the third with an undisclosed injury. He went 2.2 innings without giving up a hit or a walk while striking out two. After throwing one pitch to Mike Aviles, Ramirez called Olivo to the mound and soon after the trainers. On the play before, he reached up for a come backer so I assume he was injured on that play. Well the bullpen was in some trouble with long reliever Hisashi Iwakuma not available to pitch because he is set to pitch in the injured Kevin Millwood’s spot. Despite this, the bullpen came up huge for Seattle tonight.
Charlie Fursbush replaced Ramirez in the game and he was good as always. He pitched 2.1 innings, scattering 3 hits, walking one, and striking out 3. He did not give up a run and his ERA is now at 1.82 on the year. Lucas Luetge came in to replace Furbush in the 6th. He had a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th but came back on to give up a lead off single in the 7th. That would be it for him as Brandon League entered the game (unfortunately). Right of the bat, League gave up back to back base hits to load up the bases, all with no outs. He got Ryan Kalish to ground into a fielder’s choice but the run from third did score. Following that, he threw a wild pitch bringing in another run. League would be able to get out of the inning after that.
Oliver Perez came on to pitch the 8th and he did his job with a 1-2-3 inning. Enter Tom Wilhelmsen to pitch the 9th. The guy has been lights out for Seattle since being named the closer and he continued tonight. He entered the game in the ninth with the ballgame tied at 2-2 and despite giving up two singles, Wilhelmsen was able to get out of the inning. He really stepped up for the Mariners, coming back on to pitch the 10th. He gave up two singles to lead off the inning but was able to get out of it again, preserving the tie. That would be it for him as Shawn Kelley would come on to pitch the 11th. Kelley got a fly out and struck out two, cruising through the inning. Kelley would turn out to be the winning pitcher on the night.
There was not much run support from the offense tonight (it’s not like we’ve never heard that before) but they were able to come up clutch with the game on the line. The Mariners struck first with a two run inning of their own in the bottom of the 6th. Ichiro picked up a one out base hit and then stole second. Casper Wells followed that up with a walk and then Kyle Seager had a base hit, loading up the bases. John Jaso continues to be the man as he just missed a homerun, doubling to right field which scored both runners. Seattle would be unable to bring Jaso in and after Boston scored two runs of their own in the top of the 7th, the 2-2 score would remain until the 11th.
Dustin Ackley stepped up in the 11th with one out and got things going with a base hit. Miguel Olivo followed that up with a base hit of his own and Ackley was able to move up to third base. That brought Chone Figgins up. He struck a liner to Cody Ross out in right but it was deep enough to bring Ackley in and Mr. Chone Figgins was the hero on the night. Figgins did not pick up a hit today but all is forgotten as he brought in the winning run. Ichiro continues to quietly hit well going 2-4 on the day and he now has a .274 average. Kyle Seager, John Jaso, and Munenori Kawasaki each had a hit on the day. Ackley and Olivo each had two hits on the day.
The Mariners now lead the 4 game series 2-1 and they look to take game four tomorrow with Jason Vargas on the mound. It was great to see the offense come through in the 11th but what really impressed me was the excellent by the bullpen after Ramirez was not able to pitch 3 inning. Vargas will have to go deep into the game tomorrow, with a lot of guys being used tonight.
In other news, my report and video on Danny Hultzen’s home debut should be up sometime tomorrow and I’ll make sure to link it to the readers here.