Game 1 (Final Score: 3-5, Mariners win)
The Tigers did most of their damage in the top of the fourth. Shelton singled; Ordonez and White took walks, so Rodriguez had a bases loaded opportunity with no outs. In a 1-1 count he hit a fly to center that advanced each runner one base (1-0). Monroe drove the 0-2 pitch to short so Ordonez came home and Infante struck out, stranding one (2-0). Two runs is nice but this was a bases loaded, no out opportunity against an average pitcher on a bad team and both runs required an out to score. These situations are indicative of the team’s current level of play.
The top half of the inning looked exceptionally bad compared to the bottom half. Seattle scored three runs on three hits: a single by Ibanez and homers from Beltre and Sexson (2-3). There were two more singles in the inning before Robertson finally got his game together and got some easy outs, two on infield flies. I don’t consider the Mariners to be a particularly strong team this year so it is disappointing to see them score more runs in a significantly less dangerous situation. I suppose they did perform just as badly in the same situation when it came up in the seventh.
The Tigers and Mariners both loaded the bases in the seventh. With two outs, Inge singled and Guillen drew a walk. Nelson relieved Franklin and proceeded to issue two more walks, tying the game (3-3). White had a bases loaded opportunity that he squandered when (a) Putz came in and finished him off. In the bottom half, the Mariners finally got Robertson off the mound when he gave up a single and hit Ibanez with a pitch. Rodney came in for relief and didn’t provide much. The first and second men he faced singled, the second one scoring a run, and Reed’s fielder’s choice was good for another run (3-5).
Robertson had only three bad innings: In the second when issued a couple of walks and allowed a stolen base, in the fourth with the homers, and in the seventh when he was finally replaced. He escaped the first one without casualties and might have escaped the third but he was pulled after only 88 pitches. Rodney was brought into a tough spot but most people would agree he’s pitched like the second best arm in the pen. Really, the offense should’ve completed more punches when they had the chance.
Game 2 (Final Score: 8-5, Tigers win)
This was a seesaw battle that really started when both teams traded runs in the third. The Tigers again scored first before promptly relinquishing the lead when Guillen singled McDonald home with two away (1-0). The Mariners went ahead in the bottom half scoring two on Beltre’s RBI single and Reed’s sac fly (1-2). Returning the favor, Pineiro allowed three consecutive base runners with two away in the fourth. The third runner was Young who smacked a double that plated White and Rodriguez (3-2).
Seattle came storming back in the sixth after spotting another run to Detroit on Shelton’s fifth inning two out single that scored a run (4-2). With one away, Reed, Bloomquist, and Lopez singled, scoring the first run (4-3). Johnson got Olivo to groundout, erasing the lead runner and bringing up Suzuki. Suzuki hit the first pitch he hit for a triple and the Tigers were in the back seat again (4-5). Johnson pitched two more scoreless innings before calling it a night and ended up with the victory.
Young hit a three run homer in the eighth with White and Logan on -replaced Rodriguez at first – in an attempt to dislodge the barbecue fork that has been visibly protruding from his back all season (7-5). The bases loaded opportunity in the ninth that was wasted ended up being just gravy since the team didn’t need the additional run that scored on Ordonez’s sac fly (8-5). I will mention that it was with none out, again. At this point in time I would like to congratulate Farnsworth for being effective and Rodriguez and Guillen for combining to make three caught stealing.
Game 3 (Final Score: 3-9, Mariners win)
Ick! I guess I have to write about this one. Moyer completely had his way with the team and its spouses for eight innings and the Mariners’ hitters beat the living day lights out of Maroth. I’ll stick to the highlights since that covers about all I can stomach of the lowlights.
Spurling was reasonably effective, allowing a third as many runs as Maroth in nearly three times as many innings and fewer pitches. German continued to not give up many runs, even though he threw only 21 of his 40 pitches for strikes, thanks to Ibanez getting thrown out at home. Polanco returned to the lineup and continued his torrid hitting. Maroth’s runs were scored on mostly weak hits, walks, and Monroe’s three run error with two outs in the second. The Tigers were effective at times hitting, stringing some together; The only problem was the hits were all singles. Seattle takes the series two games to one.