It’s been a festive night after a sunny afternoon here at Safeco Field in Seattle. Gametime – first pitch at 7:19 pm – no wind. Stadium roof is OPEN. Temperature at 53 degrees and sure to drop …
In the top of the first, the Indians 2nd hitter, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, lined a solo homerun into the left field bleachers off Mariners starter Jason Vargas. 1-0 Cleveland
It is the bottom of the first inning and Ichiro is leading off for the M’s. Groundball base hit up the middle. Ichiro on first with no outs.
The pre-game ceremonies were really cool this year. Franklin Gutierez is injured and not at the game, but both he and Ichiro were awarded gold gloves, keeping the Mariners active streak of gold glovers alive at 21 straight seasons. What was really cool was to see Felix Hernandez be awarded his first (of many to come) Cy Young Award – and on his 25th birthday.
Chone Figgins lined to the third baseman, who easily doubles the breaking Ichiro off first. Two out. Milton Bradley goes down on strikes. Three outs and end of the first. Cleveland still up 1-0.
Travis Hafner leads off the 2nd for the Tribe and grounds weakly to 2nd. Next up for the Indians is Orland Cabrera, a two time gold glove winner. No gold glove would have caught that seeing eye single in shallow centerfield. Cabrera on first, not out. Left fielder Austin Kearns at the plate. Grounds into a 6-4-3 double play. Middle of the 2nd.
Mariner Designated Hitter, Jack Cust leads off the 2nd for the Mariners. He strikes out with a big swing that might have made the flag in centerfield move a bit. First baseman grounds weakly to 2nd on the first pitch he sees tonight. Two out and up comes Mariner catcher Miguel Olivo. Olivo works the count to 3-0 , now 3-1, now full count. Olivo fouls off another pitch, then cannot reach a slider on the outside part of the plate. Strike three, three outs. End of two innings.
Cleveland first bagger, Matt LaPorta leads off the 3rd for the visiting Indians and works the count to 3-2 before lining one foul – very close to being another homerun off Vargas, but Jason comes back to strike him out. Next up for the Indians in Jack Hannahan, their 3rd baseman. He works Vargas to a 3-0 count, now 3-1, then 3-2, before lining a one hopper over Ichiro’s head and off the wall for a stand up double. LaPorta on 2nd with one out and up comes Indian leadoff hitter, Michael Brantley, who, on the first pitch, moves LaPorta over to third with a groundout to the right side.
Now up comes Cabrera again, but this time up, he lines weakly to Ichiro in right field.
Now the top of the 4th with two singles, men on first and third with no out and DH Travis Hafner at the plate. Hafner breaks his back on a bleeder up the middle, drives in a run and now men on first and second with no outs. Orlando Cabrera is up and turns to bunt, fouling off the first offering from Vargas. He lines the next pitch (meatball?) into left center for the Indians 4th straight single. Another run scores and once again, men on first and second for Indian left fielder Austin Kearns. Kearns looks at the first two pitches – both balls well out of the strike zone. Third pitch is down in the dirt and it appears that Vargas may be losing it. Comes back with a strike, 3-1. Another strike. Full count. Kearns rips the full count pitch past the left fielder Bradley to the wall for a run scoring double. Indians up 4-0 with men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. LaPorta is up for the Tribe. He hits a sacrifice fly to Bradley in left, making the score 5-0 with only one out and a man on 2nd. Number nine hitter Hannahn comes up for the Indians and lines the first pitch into left center to score another run. Indians up 6-0 with one out and a man on first – still in the 4th.
It continues to get worse. Cather Carlos Santana hits a bases loaded drive into right field scoring two more runs. Now 8-0, with two outs and men on first and second with DH Travis Hafner back at the plate. Long fly ball on an 2-0 pitch into the stands over Ichiro’s head. Three runs socre on the homerun, now 11-0 with two outs and the bases cleared.
Orlando Cabrera steps up and lines the first pitch into left field. Cabrera on first with two down after 10 hits and 10 runs for the Indians in the 4th. Austin Kearns steps up to the plate and works a 2-2 count before a called third strike ends possibly the worst inning in Mariner history.
The PA announcer just said that the game is indeed a sell out, with paid attendance at 45, 272.
Top of the 5th, Cleveland up 11-0 with Matt LaPorta at the plate. LaPorta walks. Indians #9 hitter, third baseman Jack Hannahan is at the plate with LaPorta on first and no outs. Hannahan is making Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen work. and takes the count to 3-2 before softly lining to Mariner center fielder Ryan Langerhans. One out, mnan on first and Brantley steps up and lines one behind the running into right field. Men on first and second with one out.
Cabrera strikes out on a wild pitch in the dirt and Mariners catcher Olivo throws the ball into center field in an attempt to catch the runner off base. Another run scores on the throwing error. Cleveland now up 12-0. Bottom of the 5th.