Monday, June 20, 2011

Vargas Throws A Shutout, Mariners Take Series

Jason Vargas appeared to be on auto-pilot today as he sailed through the Phillies lineup. There was one hiccup in the first inning that allowed the Phillies to get a runner past second base. After a third strike to Chase Utley, Miguel Olivo missed the catch and allowed the ball to get all the way to the backstop. Utley hurried down to first base and there wasn't even a play. Ryan Howard came up next and singled and after a wild pitch the runners were on 2nd and 3rd. Ben Francisco flew out to Halman in left field to close the inning.

Both Cole Hamels and Vargas sailed through until the bottom of the 6th when Ichiro came up with one out. With the count full, Ichiro hit the ball hard at Ryan Howard as it caromed off of him into right field. Ichiro was given a hit. Brendan Ryan grounded out, advancing Ichiro to 2nd and Justin Smaok came to the plate. Smoak hit a soft blooper to left field as Hamels jammed him a bit and the ball just evaded Jimmy Rollins to score Ichiro from second base.

The M's came back in the bottom of the 7th and added to their lead as Dustin Ackley led off the inning with a triple. His first career triple into the gap in right center. After Gutierrez grounded out, Adam Kennedy pinch hit for Mike Carp. Kennedy hit a bloop single to left field as well as Ackley hustled home to give the Mariners a 2 - 0 lead. That was enough for Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel as he came out and replaced Hamels.

Ichiro singled in the 8th inning to give him another multi-hit game and his 7th out of the past 8. Ever since his day off he has been on a tear, going 16 for 34, a .471 AVG. We can't say the same about Figgins who sat again yesterday, he went 0 for 3 today and hit into a rally ending double play. However, he is hitting .250 in his past 10 games, that's a step up from his .193 season average.

Ackley went 1 for 3 today with his triple, all he needs is to hit a double next game and he will complete the cycle for his first 4 Major League hits. I would be curious to know if that has ever been done. Three days, three hits, and he keeps bringing excitement to the M's lineup. Way to go Ackley.

So the Mariners take the rubber match and win a series versus the Phillies 2 - 1. The Rangers were troubled by the Braves and got beat 4 - 2 as we draw close again at just a half game back in the AL West. The Angels and Oakland both won and the A's pulled off a series sweep against the World Series Champion Giants. Mr. Bob Melvin is getting things turned around there and could prove to make the AL West race all the more interesting down the stretch. LET'S GOOOO MARINERS!!!!!


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