“One thing I’ll always knows, is that you’ll never know what will happen in baseball. Today, I’m wearing a hat with a fish on it.” – Reuben, the usher to the Angel Stadium press box.
Well, it seemed like that quote was true, as tonight, four solo home runs, and extra inning heroics were the final offensive factor in tonight’s 3-2 victory for the Seattle Mariners, over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In the top of the second inning, Joe Blanton looked like the Blanton we’ve seen all season, giving up a solo shot to Raul Ibanez who pulled one over the right field wall, and was then followed on the next pitch by Justin Smoak who wanted some of that action too, almost replicating Ibanez’s home run.
The Angels answered back with a solo shot on the first pitch of the bottom of the second, as Mark Trumbo sent one back to Seattle… uhh, I mean into the rocks at Angel Stadium, in center field.
There was little offensive action after that point as the Mariners could only muster up three hits in the following seven innings, and the Angels could only pull five after Trumbo’s home run.
Although he didn’t have any strikeouts, Mariners starter Jeremy Bonderman went 6.0 innings, only giving up six hits, one that left the yard for his loan earned run, and walking a pair.
Bonderman’s counter partner, Joe Blanton, had a quality outing as he went 6.2 innings on 118 pitches (77 strikes), striking out a career high 11 batters, six by way of the changeup, four looking, and only let six reach base on hits. Both Blanton’s earned runs were on home runs (mentioned earlier). Prior to the game, Mike Scoscia addressed the problems Blanton had had prior to tonight’s game. “He was having problems getting the ball on that side (right) of the plate and keeping it there, which is really important for Joe to get the ball to run away from left handed hitters and working in on a right handed hitter enough to where it opens up that outside corner for him. Not only was he missing, but he was yanking that ball into slot he didn’t want to be in.”
A combined 21 batters (five Angels, sixteen Mariners) were sent back to their seats on the bench by way of the K, by the end of the night.
The final blow tonight was in the top of the tenth when Kyle Seager had a two-out double down the right field line, and was followed by the game winning, RBI-single from the former Angel, Kendrys Morales. The ball was hit hard enough to where it went in and out of the glove of a leaping Erick Aybar at shortstop for the Angels, rolling into center field, deep enough for Seager to score the winning run.
Josh Hamilton‘s struggles continued tonight in an 0-for-5 outing, in what may have been his worst game this season. Hamilton started the night by hitting into back-to-back-to-back double plays, and then followed up in his final two at bats with two strikeouts swinging (one being with two-outs with a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth). Scoscia had this to say of Hamilton, prior to the game: “It’s been tough, I don’t think there’s anyone that feels this more than Josh, but I don’t think there’s anyone that’s more confident in what he can do. He works hard, the drills he does, he’s trying to find that step forward which hopefully will be coming in strides. He’s working hard towards it, he’ll get through it.”
Final score from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California:
Mariners, 3 Angels, 2
W – Charlie Furbush (1-3, 3.38)
L – Garrett Richards (2-4, 5.26)
S – Yoervis Medina (1, 3.04)
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