Cardinals fry French then shell Snell 9-3

The St. Louis Cardinals under the helm of  Tony LaRussa unloaded on the struggling Seattle Mariners tonight 9-3. The Cardinals franchise has a storied past with several World Series victories as well as a long list of great players such as Dizzy Dean, Bob Gipson, Lou Brock, and Stan Musial. However the current line-up featuring Albert Pujols hitting third is as ominous as any in the past and proved it tonight against Luke French who got his first start tonight after coming up from Tacoma where he was 6-2. French was spotted a couple of runs right off the bat when Ichiro started the game off with a homer and Chone Figgins used his bat and speed to manufacture a run in the first. But that was before the Cardinals came to hit, and oh can they hit. The Birds answered right away in the first with three runs of their own off the long-ball delivered by Ryan Ludwick and right away the momentum shifted.

  French looked shaky from the start and couldn’t find the strike-zone and when he did he threw meatballs, sort of like Ian Snell….So I guess Wakamatsu decided to give the carnivorous Cardinals more carcass to feed on by sending none other than Snell himself out to feed the beast. Like a lot of you I figured Ian Snell would be sent off to a corner somewhere till they figured out what to do with him. But there he was again tonight, and he proceeded to get slammed for four runs in two innings just to remind us  in case anyone forgot how bad he is.

   For what it is worth it was nice to look at the classic Cardinals uniforms and see the ageless sage Tony LaRussa again battling away in front of a loyal and educated fan-base. To be honest,  just watching the way Albert Pujols and the rest of tonight’s line-up including  Adam Wainwright, go about their business was a pleasure. Yes I have more than a twinge of envy for the Cardinals fans who get to follow this club, but I have no desire to move to that hot, humid town. So like the rest of you- we are stuck with our sad-sack Mariners for another 100 games.

   Of course we have the Cliff Lee sweepstakes to look forward too and all the drama around that. And I am sure we will win another 35 games or so as we slog through the summer. Maybe Jack Z. will pull off a blockbuster trade packaging Lee with Ichiro for five or six quality players that will give us enough hope to stay glued to our respective TV’s and radios till October, before we get to pick a team from another city to follow through the play-offs. For me I am taking it one game at a time for the rest of the year as I try to grind out my first season with this Expansion Blog. Meanwhile I am wondering about the other Mariners Bloggers who have  jumped ship already this season, where do they go?  Green lake or Seward Park or maybe Fenway Park……..

And the Beat goes on….A’s Beat M’s 8-4

Ryan RowlandSmith is lost at Sea. Tonight Smith was slammed for 7 earned runs in the first 3 innings in front of 10,051 A’s fans down at the Oakland Coliseum . Gio Gonzalez picked up the win for the A’s who snapped a 5-game losing streak winning this one 8-4. The Mariners did score a run in the top of the first when Jose Lopez knocked in Franklin Gutierrez who has quietly slipped to below .300 after his hot start. Matt Tuiasosopo managed to hit one out of the park in the 4th. And Lopez did pick up a total of 3 RBI’s on the night. Other than that tonight’s story is what will happen to Ryan Rowland-Smith who is out of options and will probably swap out with Ian Snell in the rotation.

  Luke French and Steven Shell are both looking good in Tacoma, but I think rather than losing Smith the Mariners will try to use him in the pen for awhile. Mike Sweeney sat out again tonight with a sore back, and Josh Bard got the start t behind the plate. Despite our troubles tonight, it is apparent that starting pitching is not our problem. And to be honest I don’t have the energy to re-hash all of our problems this season, as it seems to be a moving target with a wide array of leaks in our hull.

  So I want to close this post by thanking all of you who have been following my ExpansionBlog this year and hope that the first quarter of the season will be the worst and we just get better from here.

Bradley Hits Bottom, Mariners sink 8-3

In the last 24 hours the main focus in the media including all of us in the blogosphere regarding the Mariners has been focused on Milton Bradley. Today Milton admitted he needed help in a meeting with Jack Z. and Wak  for emotional issues. Perhaps it is family, romantic, or addiction issues we don’t know. All I know is that if indeed he is sincere and realizes he can’t go on living the same way and wants help this blogger is in full support and hope he finds recovery from his demons.   Just like thousands of  others around the world  Milton may have reached a place of emotional and spiritual bankruptcy, he has taken the first step towards a new life and I wish him well.

As far as the game on the field, what can I say. Another decent pitching performance by our starter Cliff Lee who kept the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays in check till the top of the 8th when he gave up 3-runs, coupled with minimal run support. So the Mariners lost their 5th game in a row but still are only 3 games back in the AL West. Franklin Gutierrez gave us some hope in the 4th when he hit the first Mariners home-run in 76 innings to drive in Kotchman and give us a temporary lead. But the pesky Rays came right back to tie it in the bottom of the inning.

Lee who is only human was left out to pitch the 8th and Tampa added on 3 more there. We got a look at Josh Wilson who came in to fill in for Jack Wilson who left early with a hamstring injury. Josh  played well till he overthrew a ball to first trying to double-up the Rays.The Rays put up 3 more in the top of the 9th and the Mariners did get a run in the 9th but the final tally was 8-3 Rays. Tonight’s attendance was 14,627 and it is starting to feel like the old Kingdome days in the 80’s when you could hear every yell from a fan across the stadium.

For some reason a lot more of you have been stopping by to check-out my new “Expansion Blog” in the past few days, I appreciate that. I have tried to stay semi-positive and will continue to do so, however if you are looking for a place to spew venom about individual players including Milton Bradley this may not be the site for you.

I remember when I was a young sailor caught in what seemed like endless storms in the Gulf of Alaska and how I thought they would never end, but they always did. And this too shall pass.

Jeff’s Mariners Expansion Blog

Scan_Doc0009 click to open 1995 World Series ticket

In August 1995 I got back to Seattle after a 60 day voyage on a Sea-Going tug just in time to witness first hand the miracle of Seattle’s first pennant race . From August 24th all the way till the bitter end of the AL Championship Series with the Cleveland Indians, I went down to the old Kingdome and bought a ticket to watch the game every day.  But there is still one ticket I never got to use, a World Series ticket like the one above that I bought in advance. I’m hoping this is the year, and am excited to be a part of it with my small contribution.

I don’t sail anymore so I took vacation time to go to Spring Training this year in Peoria and loved every minute of it. Right before I left I decided I was going to put my own Mariners Blog together this year, an Expansion Blog so to speak. As you may have noticed by now my Blog is pretty basic and non-commercial. However even getting it up and running for this Old salt has been quite an ordeal. But with the help of a couple techies and reading a book called “Create your own Blog” I have come this far. I appreciate the fact the Seattle PI has lended a hand and allowed me to post my Blogs in their Readers Blogs section, as well as to all of you who have come by now and then for a look.

  Just like the early season Mariners, I’m still working the bugs out and hope to add some bells and whistles by the All-Star Game ie podcasting, photos,and  historical pieces. Not since that sad October Day in 95 have I allowed myself to get my hopes up, but I think this year has the makings of something special. As you may have read in my profile my Grandfather GordonDustyRhodes pitched in the major leagues from 1929-36, this Blog is also a tribute to him for the Love of the game that is in my blood.

  So there it is in case anyone was wondering who this Jeff guy is and what compels him to put together these posts together everyday. By the way I’ll be sitting in Section 147 row 17 seat 1 tomorrow and sending live tweets when our boys come back to the Safe, stop by and lets talk Baseball!

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