|Smoak practicing his limbo technique|
Tonight's game featured Kevin Millwood and Dan Haren on the mound for their respective teams. Going into this game, you may have thought the Mariners had a shot. Or at least weren't sure which Dan Haren the Mariners would see and maybe they'd get lucky. In his first start against the Mariners on May 24th, Haren threw a complete game shutout with only 4 hits allowed and a whopping 14 strikeouts. You remember that game? If you forgot or didn't watch, count yourself lucky. The second start on August 11th saw Haren go 3.1 innings, giving up 5 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 3 walks and 0 strikeouts. In the months of July and August, he had a combined 4.71 ERA. Maybe the Mariners would get lucky. Maybe, just maybe, they'd see the 3.1 inning version from August 11th instead of the monster they saw in May. Sadly, it was not to be as the Mariners dropped the first game of the series 9-1.
Haren made it out of the first giving up only the 1 unearned run. They worked the count and got Haren up to 28 pitches. With a Franklin Gutierrez single, a pickoff move that went slightly wrong to move Guti to third and the 2 out hitting of John Jaso, the Mariners put up a run in the first after the Angels plated 3 in the top half. From there, however, the hitters faltered and that is the story of tonight's offense. Dustin Ackley added a pair of singles to his improved month of August to get all us fans wondering if maybe he's getting things turned around.
Millwood had none of his pitches working tonight. After tonight's game, he had this to say about his performance via @Jlieb24 (Josh Liebeskind):
One may ask why he stayed in there so long, throwing a season high 117 pitches. From Eric Wedge: "He saved our bullpen by giving us five innings and he had to work so hard for it...For him to be able to go out there and get us through that fifth inning, every out meant something to us in regard to keeping our bullpen in good shape." With rosters expanding to 40 on September first, why would the bullpen need to be saved? A question only the Mariners brass can answer. Even so, he battled through 5 innings of work, giving up 5 runs (4 earned), on 9 hits, 4 walks and one strikeout.
A reliever of note in this game was Lucas Luetge, and the note says "LOOGY gonna LOOG." For those who don't know the term, LOOGY stands for or Lefty One-Out GuY. Luetge did his best against an Angels offense that was firing on all cylinders, but it was not to be. He made it through 1 inning of work, giving up 3 hits, 3 runs (3 earned), no walks and one strikeout while giving up a home run to Bobby Wilson. It was Wilson's 3rd home run of the season in 191 at bats. Not exactly a guy you want to give up a dinger to, but I guess it's nice for the other two pitchers to have some company.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, Michael Saunders was pulled from the game after possibly tweaking the groin injury that had him sidelined for a week after the outfield collision against the White Sox. Via @Jlieb24 (Josh Liebeskind):
Next game against the Angels will be Saturday, September 1st at 1:05pm on Fox. It features Ervin Santana going up against the one and only Felix Hernandez. Set your DVR's, alarm clocks and other electronic devices that can wake you or record the game. When The King is on the mound, you don't want to miss it. Now that I say that, I'll probably miss it, seeing as how I have to sleep at some point and being able to function is kind of important. Will there be a recap? I don't know! We'll find out together!