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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Mariners”


The Red Sox almost averted a loss yesterday but succumbed when Tommy Layne and Edward Mujica each surrendered a run in the last two innings. At least Boston doubled their scoring in this game compared to the first two contests. The fans in the stands improved from the prior games, too. This kid’s quick-acting father stopped his child from interfering with the ball in play. Your browser does not support iframes. In the first inning Will Middlebrooks singled to right field with the bases loaded and two out. Yoenis Cespedes scored and Allen Craig appeared safe at third base but was called out by Angel Hernandez. Replay showed that Craig got his foot in safely. Middlebrooks and Craig teamed up for another controversial play at third, but this one wasn’t as intriguing as the obstruction call in the World Series. How hard is it for a guy to avoid a pie to face from a person in a mascot costume with low visibility? If that guy’s name is Gary Striewski’s, it’s pretty difficult. Wally smashing a pie into Striewski’s face sums up the Red Sox performance in the past two series against AL West teams. The Angels swept Boston...

Extra Innings Slog

Did someone order a walk-off win in extra innings as July turned into August that propelled the team back into first place? With a couple of outstanding double plays on the side? A galvanizing win after a pivotal trade sprinkled on top? The Red Sox were poised to shatter the 4-4 tie in the 14th inning. As if in a movie the fringe player, played by Brandon Snyder, led off the rally with a double. Jacoby Ellsbury bunted Snyder over and Shane Victorino seemed to loft the ball far enough afield for Snyder to tag up for the winning run. But Michael Saunders positioned himself perfectly to coil up for a flawless throw home to end Snyder’s cinematic ending with a crushing double play. Seattle was paid back in kind in the 15th frame. Saunders laced the ball into shallow left with Endy Chavez on first and Raul Ibanez on second. Jonny Gomes made a diving catch of the liner and trotted to second base for an unusual unassisted double play by an outfielder. For some reason Ibanez didn’t try to get back to the keystone sack. Dustin Pedroia sparked another chance for Boston in the bottom of the 15th...

Heads Up

Like Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown or the Roadrunner outsmarting Wile E. Coyote such is the relationship between between Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. After Beltre swatted a game-tying home run to the second deck in left in the fourth inning he held his helmet on as he was congratulated by his team in the dugout. Martinez has accomplices in his torment of Beltre. Bill Hall tried to pry off Beltre’s helmet but the third baseman didn’t succumb to Hall’s maneuver. Eventually, Beltre relaxed his guard. Seizing the opportunity Martinez sneaked behind Beltre and executed his signature head rub. This time the third baseman was armed and retaliated with a cup of water. The counterattack nearly resulted in a Manny-Youk situation had it not been for Marco Scutaro. The water didn’t cool down Martinez’s bat. The backstop roped a double down the right field line batting righty. Peackeeper Scutaro and Ryan Kalish scored on the corner shot. While the Red Sox were sweeping the mediocre Mariners Fenway hosted a pair of unique non-baseball events on September 14. The largest naturalization ceremony in United States history took place in Fenway during the day. Nancy Gertner, a Federal...

Seems Like Old Times

Seems like old times, dinner dates and flowers Just like old times, staying up for hours Making dreams come true, doing things we used to do Seems like old times being here with youWhen Annie Hall crooned these lines she and Alvy Singer were nearing the end of their first relationship. Annie was lured away to Los Angeles by music producer Tony Lacey, something that might soon happen with Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez. Tim Bogar made it seem like the Dale Sveum days by waving home Beltre in the second inning on David Ortiz’s line drive single to left. Sophomore left fielder Michael Saunders hosed Beltre for his eighth assist of the season. Masking Bogar’s gaffe was erased by Jed Lowrie’s two-run bomb over the scoreboard in left, putting ahead the Red Sox 2-1. The shortstop also rained a solo shot off the home bullpen’s roof in the fourth inning, a four-bagger that marked Lowrie’s first multi-homer game. To add to his switch-hitting and middle infield versatility, Lowrie manned first base from the eighth inning on. Ortiz called to mind the good old days with his go-ahead homer in the eighth. His post-blast stance, the soaring projectile, the proud...

Noob Tube

All the runs batted in for the Red Sox were tallied by players who weren’t on the opening day roster. Daniel Nava and Lars Anderson propelled RBI doubles in the second inning, sandwiching Josh Reddick, who grounded out to short and drove in run. Ryan Kalish, perhaps Boston’s most impressive rookie, powered a two-run homer into the right field stands. No mean feat as Safeco Field is second only to Target Field in home run-depressing tendencies. Jon Lester, not be outdone by the newcomers, spun a fabulous eight innings of three-hit ball. The starter fell just one short of his season-high mark of 13 strikeouts, which Lester earned against these selfsame Mariners in Seattle. Something about playing in his home state’s Northwestern air brings out the best in Lester. Then again, he was pitching against the languid Mariners, who Dennis Eckersley appropriately labeled “lambs.” You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.Game 144: September 13, 2010Red Sox 80-645W: Jon Lester (17-8)2B: Jed Lowrie (10), Daniel Nava (11), Lars Anderson (1), David Ortiz (33) HR: Ryan Kalish (4)Mariners 55-891L: Doug Fister (5-12)No extra base hits....

Blind Squirrels

Even they find nuts. But who knew they officiated MLB games? The Ameeker Pitch zone showed that all three of Felix Hernandez’s pitches to Adrian Beltre in the second inning were strikes, but Beltre stood in the box in disbelief. Rookie umpire Dan Bellino, who was filling in for Rob Drake, probably didn’t take kindly to Beltre’s display. Beltre and Hernandez, friends since they played together in Seattle, engaged in some between innings smack talk. The pitcher bet that he would strike Beltre out three times and the hitter bet that he would take Hernandez deep. Bellino ejected the Red Sox third baseman because of the conversation. Beltre tried to get Bellino to explain why he was ejected but the official wouldn’t tell him. Terry Francona joined in the conversation but didn’t get Bellino’s reasoning, either. Veteran umpire Angel Hernandez went so far as to protect Bellino, inserting himself between the seething skipper and the inexperienced arbitrator. Francona was ejected but it didn’t fire up the bats. There’s 16 Dan Bellinos on Facebook. The first one I found had the profile picture you see to the right. I can’t tell if the same man who ejected Beltre is in the...

Afternoon Boon

Mariners manager Daren Brown decided to give third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo a break for the day game, thus giving Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy a brief reprieve from saying that name. I listened to part of the WEEI broadcast from the series opener to check that at least one Red Sox broadcasting team could say the name right, and to my delight Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien were spot on in their pronunciation. Hitters must be like musicians, not getting into the groove of things until late in the day. Josh Beckett and David Pauley exchanged zeroes until the middle of the sixth; the Red Sox had only three baserunners over those frames and the Mariners just two. Adrian Beltre broke the scoreless tie and nearly shattered David Pauley’s ankle in the process. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Beltre’s comebacker ricocheted off the former Red Sox starter and arced above the infield before dropping along the third base line. The trajectory was high enough to plate Marco Scutaro. Mike Lowell followed with a sacrifice fly to right and Daniel Nava doubled his team’s score by muscling a two-RBI single to shallow right....

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Johnny comes marching home again Hurrah! Hurrah! We’ll give him a hearty welcome then Hurrah! Hurrah! The men will cheer and the boys will shout The ladies they will all turn out And we’ll all feel gay Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If I were as clever or funny as Bill Simmons, I would write a column about how Johnny Damon is that type of girlfriend who leaves you for a richer guy living in a glamorous city. Then Mr. Moneybags dumps her and she has to move to Detroit. You offer to move her to Boston even though she is living in Detroit, but she feels so wronged by you she’d rather stay in Detroit. People who live in Detroit don’t want to live in Detroit. If LeBron James’s hometown were Detroit, they’d be happy if he took his talent to South Beach. Brett Favre went through all those retirement shenanigans because he wanted to be farther away from Detroit (550 miles between the Motor City and Minnesota, 288 miles between Detroit and Green Bay). As disappointed as I was seeing Damon sign with the Yankees, as disgusted I felt watching him frolic around the field...

The Time of the Decent Mariners

Every sub-500 team has that little morale-lifting series where they win or split a series against a powerhouse team. I suppose the injury-depleted Red Sox fill the role of the antagonist to the lovable underdog Mariners. The Seattle squad broke out of the shackles of disrepute and elevated themselves to the lofty heights of mediocrity, halving the four-game series with a timorous win. Not quite the way Jerry Remy would have liked his 3,000 game as a color analyst to play out. The Mariners were largely powerless against Daisuke Matsuzaka’s middling effort. Chone Figgins doubled off the left field stands and scored on Jose Lopez’s liner to shallow left in the third. It was the only run marring Matsuzaka’s six-inning line of four hits, five walks, and four strikeouts. The rest of the runs came on Hideki Okajima’s watch. The lefty inherited a baserunner from Daniel Bard and proceeded to allow five consecutive Mariners singles. Most egregious was the failure to get an out when Don Wakamatsu all but presented one on a silver platter by having Casey Kotchman bunt with men on first and second. Okajima fielded the ball and tried to toss to third twice before finally pivoting...

Simmering Southpaw

Jon Lester was hot in at least two senses of the word. The lefty carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, striking out 10 batters until that frame, and was literally unhittable. With one out Lester induced an easy fly ball off the bat of Jack Wilson to center, or so he thought. As he overran the ball slightly, Eric Patterson didn’t field the ball face-on but rather reached back to glove it. The sphere glanced off the leather and trickled away from the center fielder. Lester didn’t display John Lackey levels of emotion, but the fact the Lester even betrayed a twinge of disappointment was surprising for him. Michael Saunders shattered the no-hit bid and Boston’s lead right after Patterson’s mishap with a resounding four-bagger to right. With recent extra inning and one-run games tapping the bullpen dry, Terry Francona had to stay with Lester as long as possible. Milton Bradley led off the eighth with a triple and Lester stayed in the game. Shortstop Wilson reached up to flawlessly execute the suicide squeeze to score Bradley and Lester was still on the mound. Saunders soundly smacked Lester’s leg with a smoking infield single and Ichiro Suzuki walked...


Game 81: July 5, 2009 Mariners4BS, L: Miguel Batista (2, 5-3)42-39, 1 game losing streak Red Sox8W: Justin Masterson (3-2)49-32, 1 game winning streak Highlights: David Ortiz gave Tim Wakefield a huge hug right in the middle of the pitcher’s in-game interview. Wakefield became the second-oldest player to make an All-Star team; in 1953 46-year old Satchel Paige represented the St. Louis Browns. Terry Francona obviously does not consult the promotional calendar when he makes his lineups. It was Rhode Island Day at Fenway and Rocco Baldelli, one of four active major leaguers born in Little Rhody*, rode pine. Francona was probably too embroiled in his plan to wind Tim Wakefield up about the All-Star Game. The skipper tried to play a joke on his veteran pitcher by calling him into the office after he had distributed everyone else’s All-Star gear; but “cheesed up” very quickly. The man has been waiting almost two decades, Tito!The burning issue in Rhode Island at the moment is whether or not to drop “Providence Plantations” from its official name. The place name had nothing to do with plantations in the sense used in the South; rather, the state’s connection to slavery came from merchants...


Game 80: July 4, 2009 Mariners3W: Roy Corcoran (2-0)S: David Aardsma (17)42-38, 3 game winning streak Red Sox2L: Takashi Saito (2-2)48-32, 2 game losing streak Highlights: Jason Varitek hit a right-handed homer in the second inning with Rocco Baldelli on base. It was the only bright spot for Boston’s offense yesterday afternoon; the Red Sox batters were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and as a team left seven men stranded. Boston’s woeful production could be attributed to lineup tinkering by Terry Francona. Julio Lugo, Rocco Baldelli, and Jeff Bailey got the nod because southpaw Garrett Olson was on the hump. They combined to go 0-6 with two walks.Credit should go to Mariners starter Olson, who pitched 6⅓ innings with 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The relief tandem of Roy Corcoran and David Aardsma shut down the local nine for the rest of the game. So this is what it feels like to face a shutdown bullpen. I prefer it when we do this to other teams.As he does on holidays, Jason Varitek was sheathed in catcher’s gear that represented the occasion. Sean Casey, who was in the booth covering for Dennis Eckersley, said he...


Game 79: July 3, 2009 ∙ 11 innings Mariners7H: Sean White (9)BS: Shawn Kelley (2)W: Chris Jakubauskas (5-5)S: Mark Lowe (1)41-38, 2 game winning streak Red Sox6L: Ramon Ramirez (5-3)48-31, 1 game losing streak Highlights: The Red Sox almost mounted an extra innings comeback but fell one run short. Seattle proved that their record is not a fluke of playing in a weaker division and that they can hold their own against the class of the American League East. Tim Wakefield didn’t figure into the decision but did last eight innings so that the bullpen was not severely overtaxed in the extra innings contest. Just as Martin Scorsese won the Academy Award for The Departed rather than for Raging Bull or Goodfellas, Wakefield should be tapped to go to this year’s All-Star Game. It’s not his best year, but in his best years he happened to be up against other pitchers with outstanding first halves of the season. In honor of the upcoming Cheezburger Night at Safeco, I have interpreted last night’s game in the style of lolcats....


Game 38: May 17, 2009 Red Sox2L: Ramon Ramirez (4-1)22-16, 1 game losing streak Mariners3W: David Aardsma (1-1)18-20, 1 game winning streak Highlights: The Celtics joined the Bruins in elimination yesterday. Sunday was much like last week Thursday when all three Boston teams lost. Everyday is like Sunday. Armageddon, come Armageddon. Come, Armageddon, come. Ronny Cedeño must be well-liked by the official scorer for yesterday’s game. Or perhaps that scorer didn’t want to see the utility player dip below .200 for his batting average. Whatever the reason, Cedeño was credited with a single for what should have been a two-base error for Nick Green. The Red Sox middle infielder threw the ball higher, harder, and farther than Cedeño hit it.With two out and first open, Terry Francona decided to intentionally walk Ichiro Suzuki so that Ramon Ramirez would pitch to Franklin Gutierrez. It was the right tactic when you compare the two hitters, but it just didn’t work out. To trot out a baseball cliché, any team has a chance to beat any other team. That’s what fans of teams expected to make the playoffs tell themselves when their favored club falls to a sub-500 crew.Ramirez suffered his first loss...


Game 37: May 16, 2009 Red Sox5W: Josh Beckett (4-2)H: Hideki Okajima (6)H: Ramon Ramirez (6)S: Jonathan Papelbon (10)22-15, 1 game winning streak Mariners3L: Garrett Olson (0-1)17-20, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Jon Lester gave a Tim Tebow-like speech after his series-opening loss Friday night. “I can promise you that there hasn’t been a pitcher who has worked harder than I have from the beginning of the season, and there won’t be a pitcher for the remainder of the season who will work as hard as I will to get back to where I’ve been in the past.” And like Tebow, Lester inspired the men around him. Beckett had his first seven-inning outing since Opening Day. Josh Beckett struck out only five and walked three batters, but it was an encouraging outing from a rotation that has taken its lumps. The only earned runs Beckett relinquished came on a home run to Yuniesky Betancourt with a man on base in the second inning. Hitting two-run bombs was the trendy thing to do yesterday evening — Jason Bay did it in the first and Jason Varitek did the same in the second.The Mariners’ only other run came as a result of...


Game 36: May 15, 2009 Red Sox4L: Jon Lester (2-4)21-15, 3 game losing streak Mariners5W: Chris Jakubauskas (2-4)H: Sean White (1)H: Mark Lowe (2)S: David Aardsma (4)17-19, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Ichiro Suzuki hit two home runs off Lester. J.D. Drew cottoned to batting third, going 3-for-5 with an RBI single in the first, a leadoff double that sparked the scoring in the third, and a two-out single in the ninth. Jason Bay batted clean-up and was a foot short of giving his team the lead in the top of the ninth. The Joy of Sox pointed out that Boston has scored four runs in the last five consecutive games, tying their team record. From what I have been able to uncover, “Jakubauskas” is a Lithuanian name. Linguists believe that Lithuanian is the oldest surviving Indo-European language. It has remained remarkably constant throughout for at least the past 5,000 years. In fact, it still retains the same vocabulary as Sanskrit.All the words in Dustin Pedroia’s vocabulary are devoted to smack talk, even when speaking to children. The pre-game show featured a segment with the second baseman playing a baseball video game against a kid whose surname was Cashman. Fitting,...


Game 103: July 23, 2008 ∙ 12 innings Red Sox 6 W: Jonathan Papelbon (4-3)S: Craig Hansen (2) 60-43, 3 game winning streak Mariners 3 L: Sean Green (2-3) 38-63, 5 game losing streak Highlights: The Rangers, the Nationals, the Mariners, and the Rays have never been to the World Series. Coincidentally, Alex Rodriguez has been on half of those teams. Since Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004, the team has not been to the Fall Classic, but his addition merely extended the Gotham goons trophy-free streak intact since 2001. (Just warming up for the upcoming series.) I got home in time for the fifth inning and I thought it would be nice to catch the last four innings to put away a series sweep. Jose Vidro had other plans.Vidro, the former second baseman converted to designated hitter, possesses a career slugging percentage of .445. In contrast, the Red Sox expect their invaluable DH to return to the lineup tomorrow, a man who has slugged .555 throughout his 11 seasons in the majors. Vidro, playing the role of the blind squirrel, found a nut in Clay Buchholz’s 2-0 fastball in the bottom of the sixth. When the unlikely homer...

Furukauntobyō [フルカウント病]

Game 102: July 22, 2008 Red Sox 4 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-1)H: Hideki Okajima (18)S: Jonathan Papelbon (30) 59-43, 2 game winning streak Mariners 2 L: R.A. Dickey (2-5) 38-62, 4 game losing streak Highlights: There’s a sarcastic term for pitchers who get to full counts too often, フルカウント病, comprised of katakana for “full count” with the kanji for illness tacked on at the end. The English equivalent would be “full count-itis,” a malady that Matsuzaka has suffered from time to time this season. On Tuesday night, however, the hurler reached 3-2 just twice: against Jose Vidro in the fourth, which would result in a single, and in the fifth against Worcester-born Bryan LaHair, which ended in a ground out to second. Daisuke Matsuzaka also seems to have had a base on ball-orectomy, as he allowed half as many walks as strikeouts. His success can be partially attributed to the futility of Seattle’s offense, but Matsuzaka seemed to making a conscious effort not to nibble.J.D. Drew lofted a ball over the agile leap of Ichiro Suzuki in the first for an early lead. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia led another charge in the fifth with consecutive singles. The floundering...


Game 101: July 21, 2008 Red Sox 4 W: Jon Lester (8-3)S: Jonathan Papelbon (29) 58-43, 1 game winning streak Mariners 0 L: Jarrod Washburn (4-9) 38-61, 3 game losing streak Highlights: Perhaps Jason Varitek wanted to vindicate Jon Lester’s loss of the “Best Moment” ESPY award to softball players Sara Tucholsky, Liz Wallace, and Mallory Holtman, who were indeed part of an inspiring moment but only because an umpire misinterpreted a rule. Whatever it was that motivated the Red Sox backstop to blast a two-run homer in the fifth will hopefully carry him through the rest of this season, which has been his poorest since his rookie season. In contrast Lester is having his best season in his young career, surpassing purported ace Josh Beckett. Besides his no-hitter, this eight-inning, six strikeout, and no walk performance was amongst his best of the year and came when his team needed it most.Flashback: Spring Training 2008Manny: Hey, Peewee, have you heard this before? [Passes Dustin his iPod.]Dustin: Uh, I think I remember hearing this when I was in sixth grade or something. Are they from like Ireland or something?Manny: Yeah, man. It’s the Cranberries! Aren’t they awesome? I love Dolores’s...


Game 66: June 8, 2008 Mariners 1 L: Sean Green (1-2) 22-41, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 2 W: Justin Masterson (3-0)H: Craig Hansen (4)H: Hideki Okajima (12)S: Jonathan Papelbon (18) 40-26, 2 game winning streak Highlights: Since they both started on the same day again, here’s a comparison of the Red Sox and Yankees starting pitchers.Masterson: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, WChamberlain: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, NDI’ll pay a little more attention to the Yankees since their two wins against the last-place Royals have launched them into a tie with Toronto for third in the AL East. This was the J.D. Drew Theo Epstein expected to get when he shook hands with Scott Boras in January of 2007. This sort of production and this level of defense may well be worth $14M annually.Drew was responsible for all the runs his team put on the board. In the bottom of the third Coco Crisp led off with a single that was not only the first Boston hit of the game but Crisp’s first hit off Erik Bedard in his...


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