The big game of the night is of course Seattle at Kansas City. And as a public service, I'll watch it and give live updates as it goes along.
Unless I get hungry. Or I have to go to the bathroom. Or somebody calls me on the phone. Or I fall asleep. Or I just get bored.
The lineups: Seattle - 69-76
Eduardo Perez DH
Kansas City - 56-90
Odalis Perez P
Time to go find something to eat before the game starts.
Pregame - It's a Mariners broadcast! Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly are trying to figure out what this series means to both teams. Their reasons are not convincing.
First inning - The fans appear to have come out by the score. Literally. And Ichiro and Beltre start off with singles. Betancourt then bounces one to Keppinger who steps on third, throws to Grudzielanek for the second out, but the throw isn't good enough to turn the pivot for the TP. Instead it's a 5-4 DP. But Ibanez singles and Sexson follows with another and Betancourt scores Seattle 1, KC 0. This inning looks familiar to Dodgers fans. And Odalis wins the Perez battle with a strikeout! Inning over.
DeJesus bounce a ball up the middle that Washburn tips, but only deflects it away and DeJesus gets the infield hit. German hits a line drive to left that Ibanez has little trouble catching. Grudzielanek slaps one to right for a hit and DeJesus has no trouble making it to third. But Emil Brown is no trouble for Washburn. He blows him away in three pitches. Shealy flies out to center to end the inning.
Second inning Johjima doesn't waste any time and he singles on the first pitch from Perez. The Mariners fifth of the game. Hey look at that! Another single! This one by Lopez and Johjima goes to third. Bloomquist grounds to third and Johjima is hung out to dry, but the Royals mess up the rundown and the Mariners get second and third although Johjima is out. Ahh, the rundown play, if you go to a a Japanese game you will see one. Now Ichiro grounds one to Shealy at first and he looks to throw it to Perez at first except he's nowhere to be found. Then Shealy stopped running and Ichiro is safe with the seventh hit of the game as Lopez scores, Seattle 2, KC 0. Niehaus and Fairly are dismayed at the Royals defense. Beltre lines a ball to right that Costa almost overruns and jumps to catch. Bloomquist tags and scores. Seattle 3, KC 0. Betancourt smashes a hit to left and Brown takes his time to get there and takes an extra base. Eight hits now for the Mariners. Bob McClure is out to try to settle down Odalis Perez. Good luck with that Bob. But I guess it worked as Ibanez flies out to right. So far, Ron Fairly thinks that Odalis Perez has a higher ERA than in the past because he doesn't get as many batters out.
Buck flies out to the warning track in right field to start things off for the Royals. Costa hits one past Sexson at first that goes down the line and manages to beat the throw for a double. Keppinger hits a ball to third and Beltre grabs, spins around, sets, and throws out Keppinger easily. Berroa skies one to right that doesn't go very far and Bloomquist runs under it for the final out.
I must say that from the long shots of the crowd and the stadium that it looks to be a gorgeous night in Kansas City. And Kauffman Stadium looks great.
Third inning - Perez finally retired the leadoff man! Sexson pops out to Grudzielanek at second. The OED word of the day in my email is "industrious". I like it better when it's word that I don't know the meaning of. Did you "industrious" comes from "industry"? Wow.... The other Perez grounds out to third. Johjima hits a lazy fly to center for third out.
DeJesus goes after the first pitch and Washburn's pitch comes in on him and all he can do is meekly ground to second. But German hits one past Betancourt into left-center for a single. Grudzielanek hits one into the LF corner and Ibanez gets to it fast and throws it into Betancourt. German is sent home and Betancourt nails him at the plate easily. Brown singles to right and Grudzielanek comes home and he manages to beat Bloomquist's throw and Brown moves up to second. Seattle 3, Kansas City 1. Shealy then clobbers a pitch from Washburn over the fence in dead center for his fifth homer of the season to tie the game. Seattle 3, KC 3. That was the 23rd homer Washburn allowed on the season. Fairly astutely notes that he gives up more of his homers to right-handed batters. Which is not unusual as Washburn is left-handed. I forgot how uninsightful Ron Fairly was. Buck grounds out.
Fourth inning - Lopez flies out to center in an uninspiring fashion. Bloomquist hits one pack to Perez, who drops it, kicks it, and then drops it again. It's ruled an E1. Ichiro gets a hold of one of Perez's fatter offerings and he hits down the RF line for a 2-run homer, his 8th of the year, and his third hit in three ABs. Seattle 5, KC 3. A brave fan would have to have caught that one as Ichiro clobbered it. Beltre pops out. There is mild applause. Betancourt lines out to second, hurting his chances of becoming the first Cuban-born shortstop to hit .300, which the Mariners announcers think is a big deal.
The hits keep coming as Costa lines a single to start the inning. "Joe" Keppinger at the plate for KC according to Niehaus. Regardless of his first name, he hits into a force play 5-4 as Lopez bounces the relay to first. Berroa hits another ball to Beltre and this time it is a 5-4-3 DP to end the inning.
Fifth inning - Perez gets another strikeout! Ibanez goes down swinging. Niehaus and Fairly are now waxing nostalgic for Municipal Stadium. The desire for a nap is strong now. Sexson whiffs. Perez gets the other Perez to fly out to center.
Shift change for the broadcasters as Niehaus leaves and Rick Rizzs stops in. Ron Fairly remains. DeJesus gets KC's ninth hit with a double in to the RF corner. The first bullpen activity as Emiliano Fruto is warming for the M's. German sends one into the gap in right-center for a double and DeJesus scores. Seattle 5, KC 4. Yet, I still want a nap. Grudzielanek picks up an Olney with a ground out to second that moves German to third. The Mariners bring the infield in for Emil Brown. Brown draws a walk and Hargrove makes the call. Washburn out, Fruto in. Fruto is not the answer as Shealy takes him deep to left field for his second homer of the night, sixth of the year. KC 7, Seattle 5, 5 RBI for Shealy tonight. Buck grounds out to third. Costa strikes out.
Sixth inning - Odalis Perez is still out there. And Johjima gets Seattle's 10th hit of the game, a single to left. And Buddy Bell has seen enough. Perez is out and Scott Dohmann is in. Lopez draws the first walk for the Mariners. Bloomquist is wondering if he will be sacrificing. Why? Why? But Bloomquist does sacrifice and there are two runners in scoring position for Ichiro, who draws an intentional walk to load the bases. Jimmy Gobble is warming up! Beltre singles to score one run and then Ichiro blunders by heading for third, where Lopez is standing. Ichiro gets back to second while Lopze breaks for home, where he is out. KC 7, Seattle 6. Tampa Bay has lost. If the Royals can win, they move within 1/2 game of not having the worst record in baseball. Betancourt strikes out and the Royals hold on to the lead.
Keppinger leads off with a ground out to Beltre at third. Berroa strikes out. The bottom of the KC order is not to be feared. DeJesus watches strike three go past him.
Seventh inning - It's Gobble time! Jimmy Gobble in to face the lefty Ibanez, who singles to left. Sexson's fly to right is an easy catch for Costa. Gobble is left in to face lefty-killer Perez (relatively speaking) and he rips a line drive that goes off Keppinger's glove for a single. Bell brings in Joel Peralta. Johjima doesn't waste much time and hits into a DP to end the game. Get up and stretch now!
German flies out to right. The Diet Coke is not making me more awake. And I have a headache. But I will perservere. Grudzielanek hits one to short that Betancourt cuts off in the hole. His desperation throw to first isn't in time as Grudzielanek slides under the tag attempt of Sexson. Brown fouls out to the catcher. Now comes tonight's hero, Ryan Shealy, who is 2 for 3 with a pair of homers. This time Fruto gets Shealy to hit one off the end of the bat and Ichiro puts it away to end the inning. Six outs to go.
Eighth inning - Joey Gathright in to play center and DeJesus shifts over to left as Brown exits. Lopez flies out to right. Chris Snelling up to pinch hit for Bloomquist. Joe Nelson and Andrew Cisco warming up. Snelling strikes out. Ichiro finally makes an out as he grounds out to Shealy who thinks to actually step on first this time.
Snelling stays in the game in right. Eric O'Flaherty, a lefty, is in to relieve. Buck singles to right and Paul Phillips comes in to run for him. Costa sacrifices although O'Flaherty thought about going to second, but thought better of it. Maybe he realized that Jeff Keppinger is due up. O'Flaherty bounces one past Johjima and Phillips moves to third carrying the all-important insurance run. Although the Royals recently gave up 10 runs in an inning, so they need a lot of coverage. Maybe some term. Or some whole life. Keppinger gets an intentional walk. And now the satellite is out!
It's fixed. Jon Huber is the new pitcher. For those keeping track, that was Jeff Keppinger's first MLB intentional walk. THE SQUEEZE! Berroa gets it down and Phillips slides in safely and all hands are safe. KC 8, Seattle 6 DeJesus hits a high chopper to Sexson who flips it to Huber at first while Keppinger and Berroa move up 90 feet. German hits the bejeezus of one to the right center gap that ends up as a triple and it's all over but for the shouting. KC 10, Seattle 6. This is the last game going on in the majors. Grudzielanek grounds out to second to end the inning. Three outs to go.
Ninth inning - Joe Nelson in to finish up. I hope he pitches OK in a non-save situation. Phillips stays in as catcher. 8839 is the announced attendance. Beltre leads off with his 18th home run of the season that just manages to nestle inside the left field foul pole. KC 10, Seattle 7. Betancourt walks! That is just his 17th walk of the season. Andrew Cisco and Mike Wood start to heat up for the Royals. Bob McClure is out to dispense more Delphic wisdom. On a 3-1 pitch, Ibanez pops out to shortstop. Betancourt scurries up to second base. On a 3-2 pitch, Sexson flies out to center. Ben Broussard is up to pinch hit for Eduardo Perez. The Kauffman Stadium crowd comes to its feet! Broussard leads the AL in pinch hit appearances. Nelson actually throws a first pitch strike. 1-2 count. One strike away! From something. But not yet, Broussard parachutes a single in to right center to score a run. KC 10, Seattle 8. Kenji Johjima now up. 0-2 now to Johjima. Broussard took second undefended.
2-2 count now to Johjima. SWING AND A MISS. Final score: Royals 10, Mariners 8