Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ichiro Makes History In Mariners Big Win

Ichiro Hits Number 2,500

Just 3 pitches into the game, Ichiro Suzuki had his 2,500th hit in the Major Leagues. Facing Daniel Hudson, Ichiro hit a soft blooper into center field that dropped right over the head of shortstop Willie Bloomquist for a single. Ichiro didn't stop there, he wound up going 4 for 5 on the day with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Ichiro was out of the lineup on Monday night and came back tonight with a vengeance.

The Mariners were up 2 to 0 on a solo homer from Justin Smoak and an RBI single from Kyle Seager. Erasmo Ramirez was on the hill for the Mariners and struggled early. Ramirez gave up a double in the 1st, a double in the second but the D-Backs were held scoreless until the 3rd when Willie Bloomquist led off the inning with a triple. Aaron Hill would hit a sac fly to score him for Arizona's first run. Brendan Ryan made an error to allow Justin Upton a free base before Jason Kubel smacked a double off of Ramirez to put runners at second and third for Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt hit a two run single and the Diamondbacks were up by a run, 3 to 2.

In the bottom of the 4th, things got worse for Ramirez. He gave up a lead-off homerun to Gerardo Parra and with two outs he gave up another to Aaron Hill. Hill hit for the cycle in last nights game was already half way to another with a double and a homerun in the 4th inning. Arizona 5, Seattle 2.

The top of the 5th, the Mariners poured it on. After an Ichiro walk and a Franklin Gutierrez single, Kyle Seager launched a three run shot deep to right field to give him 4 RBI on the day and tie the game for the Mariners. It didn't stop there. Jesus Montero and Michael Saunders both connected for singles and that would end Daniel Hudson's night. Still nobody out, Craig Breslow came in to pitch and struck out Justin Smoak, struck out Dustin Ackley and stood to face Brendan Ryan with two out. Brendan Ryan took a 2 - 1 pitch and launched it high and deep. The ball sailed over the left center field wall for the Mariners second three run homer of the inning and put the M's in the lead 8 - 5.

Hisashi Iwakuma came in to pitch the bottom of the 5th and had similar results to Ramirez, giving up a homer to Goldshmidt, a single to Miguel Montero, a single to Parra, an RBI single to Lyle Overbay who pinch hit for Breslow and then another RBI single to Willie Bloomquist. After a wild pitch that put runners on 2nd and 3rd, Iwakuma intentionally walked Aaron Hill, which may have been the best move of the inning. Wedge went with Shawn Kelley to try and put an end to the horror and Kelley struck out Justin Upton to end the inning. Mariners 8, D-backs 8.

The D-backs would take the lead in the 6th on a Miguel Montero single and it wasn't until the top of the 8th that the M's would tie the game. Ichiro came up big again, this time with a sac fly to score Brendan Ryan from 3rd. Ryan had walked and went to third on a John Jaso pinch hit single. With the game even, both teams sailed on to the 10th inning, still knotted at 9 runs each.

Our old friend J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth and came back out for the 10th. He started off by walking Justin Smoak and then gave us a single to Dustin Ackley. Munenori Kawasaki pinch ran for Smoak and Putz's night came to an end. Brendan Ryan came to the plate and laid down a sac bunt to move the runners over to 2nd and 3rd. The Mariners were looking for one to win. Casper Wells came up as a pinch hitter for Charlie Furbush who pitched the bottom of the ninth. Wells smoked a ball off the mound and into center field allowing Kawasaki and Ackley to both score and the M's took the lead 11 to 9.

Just to put some finishing touches on the game, Ichiro came to the plate again. With Wells now at second base due to a wild pitch, Ichiro laced a double down the left field line. Wells scored from second base and the Mariners would lead 12 to 9. That would be the final score as Tom Wilhelmsen came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th and struck out the side. Closing Time!

The Mariners took a day to do it, but they shed their Safeco Field terror and brought some offense to the table tonight. Three homers, including one by Brendan Ryan. 12 runs on 15 hits. Not something we have seen since our last road trip. I'm hoping that this feeling of hitting will become contagious again and continue to rub off on our team at Safeco Field too. What a night, a lot of fun, a lot of history, a lot of Ichiro. I love this game!