Lee Throws Smoke, Mariners Choke lose 2-0 in 12

Cliff Lee took the mound  tonight for the Seattle Mariners and was everything we have been anticipating and more. He threw 7 innings of 3-hit shut out ball against division rival the Texas Rangers in what turned out to be a wasted performance as the Mariners went on to lose this one in 12 innings. Fortunately the Mariners are playing in a division where the top two teams are tied at .500 and thus our boys are only a half a game back!

  The first 20,ooo fans who came out on this chilly night  got a Felix Hernandez bobble-head doll along with another nail-biter that almost had a play-off type atmosphere as it went on and on and on….. For some reason Wak brought our closer in to pitch the top of the 9th and since we didn’t score, the ball got handed to Brandon League who by all rights should have got the win, if only…we could have executed.

 How we lost this one I will never know as it looked like we had it in the 10th when Griffey lead off with a single, then Bradley doubled and suddenly we had runners on second and third with no outs. Kotchman came up and on a weird check-swing popped out to third. The Rangers then intentionally walked the bases loaded to get to Wilson who was sat down and Sweeney came in to pinch hit with 1 out and the bases loaded. Right away he hit into a double play and that was that. Brandon League did his job in the top half of the 11th and once again opportunity came knocking.

 Ichiro lead off the top of the 11th with hir third hit of the night, Figgins  bunted for a base hit and it looked like we were in business again. Gutierrez our best hitter was asked to bunt and he tried but eventually struck out and Lopez walked. Eric Byrnes who had replaced Ken Griffey in the previous inning as a pinch runner came up with another chance to end this one. Instead Wak put on the suicide squeeze sign, but sadly Byrnes couldn’t get any wood on the ball and Ichiro got nailed at the plate. Byrnes went down after that and another 5,ooo fans headed for the exits.

  By then you knew lady luck was not on our side tonight, and sure enough the Rangers were able to score a couple of cheap runs off a couple infield plays that could have gone our way coupled with a throwing error from Tui and a wild pitch. By the time the bottom of the 12th came those of us who hadn’t left or perhaps were too stunned to move as was the case with me, got to watch the Mariners go down in order and that was it.

  But again on the bright side Cliff Lee pitched well and we are only a half game out of first place! I can tell this is going to be an interesting year and not one for the timid of spirit. http://jeffsmariners.com

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