West Coast Mariners ashore on the Eastern Seaboard

  As I write this our Seattle Mariners, fresh off another series win are ashore in New York City preparing to do battle with the Yankees before sailing up the coast to the Port of Boston. I imagine for some of the guys including the new Skipper this must be an exhilarating experience as they wander around Manhattan enjoying the sights. The NY media will not consider our crew too much of a threat, and thus this series will only be seen in the light of the current tight pennant race the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox are in. Of course a few fans and players in New York probably remember the last game that Felix Hernandez pitched against them where he dominated the Bronx Bombers, and will want to avenge that loss on their home turf.

  The last time our gang was in New York earlier in the season way back in the Cliff Lee era, we managed to win the three game series and many in NY were a bit upset and amazed that the lowly Mariners could pull-off such a feat. But guys like Jeter, Rodriguez, Posada and Mariano Rivera are true professionals with only one thing on their mind…..winning. So in the calm before the storm I hope our team is enjoying itself. It is hard to say if young Adam Moore or the newly resurgent Matt Tuiasosopo will be intimidated by the big stage, or rise to the occasion against a superior foe and shine under the bright lights, we shall see tomorrow.

   I imagine Ichiro with his celebrity status has some interesting friends in New York; perhaps he is even dining with Yoko Ono in some eclectic underground spot tonight. I can’t quite imagine what a guy like Michael Saunders is doing in his day off in the Big Apple……maybe a museum or just staying close to the hotel. Hopefully Russell Branyan will be safe in his hotel room and manages to avoid any injuries at the hands of any devious furniture lurking in his room. Mostly I am happy that our crew is heading into the lion’s den with a little momentum under their belts and with any luck we may be able to win another series against either the Yankees or Red Sox.

    Back here in the remote outpost of Seattle it seems as if the average sports fan has begun to shift their attention to the upcoming football season and trying to cram in a little more of the great outdoors before fall sets in. Speaking of which your truly is heading out on a weeklong vacation starting tomorrow. I will be heading down to Brush Prairie; Washington to play in what could be my last softball tournament of my long career. I know it is not Yankee Stadium but it should be fun and I hope to get some closure around this whole Baseball bug that I have had for over 40 years so I can focus on my budding career as a sports journalist! I have decided to bring my laptop and will be making posts where possible on my journey which will end up at some small Port on the Coast of the great state of Oregon. Go Mariners!…..http://jeffsmariners.com

Mariners win fourth series in a row, edging Orioles 6-5

Matt Tuiasosopo living up to expectations

   The Seattle Mariners beat the Orioles 6-5 tonight giving them their fourth consecutive series win in a row. Matt Tuiasosopo once again produced at the plate with another 3-run homer in the second, and made a great diving catch in the eighth to stop the Orioles from scoring and perhaps saved the game. Tuiasosopo has been the hero two nights in a row for the Mariners and I am actually able to spell his name from memory now after typing in it so much in the past two nights!

  David Pauley pitched a nice game tonight, moving the ball around and picked-up his second win in front of 11,213 Orioles fans that seemed quite feisty despite their small numbers. Perhaps for teams like the Orioles and the Mariners when you get to this part of a losing season only the real die-hards still bother to come out to the ballpark and root for your home team. But tonight’s crowd was so small that once again you could begin to identify certain voices in the crowd including one woman who kept imploring our boys on with a loud clear “Seattle” in the background almost every inning. And she was rewarded with a nice finish to a three-game series that our boys will get to savor as they head to the not so friendly confines of Yankee Stadium to deal with a more aggressive team and group of fans.

   David Pauley handed the ball over to a bullpen who implemented the “Bend but don’t break” theory tonight. Jamie Wright came in to the game in the 7th after Pauley surrendered a two-run homer to Matt Weiters and managed to shut down the Orioles, though it was interesting.  The Mariners added a run in the top of the 8th when Ryan Langerhans running for Branyan took second on a deep fly to right barely beating the throw on a heads-up play. The Mariners were rewarded for their hustle when Casey Kotchman hit a ground-rule double to score Langerhans from second in what proved to be the winning run. In the bottom half of the 8th Wright let a run come across the plate on a balk and then a wild-pitch that allowed Luke Scott to score before Daren Brown yanked him for Sean White.Fortunately White did manage to preserve the slim one-run lead by getting the final 2 outs the last one on the great diving catch by Tuiasosopo.

  David Aardsma picked-up his 24th save on the year coming into the game in the 9th with a slim one-run lead that he managed to protect literally with his body on the final out stopping a line drive with his body with a runner in scoring position then having the composure to make the toss to first and end this game.

   After all that we have been through this year these past four series wins under new manager Daren Brown have softened the blow a bit. Yes we are 20 games back and with only 41 games to play it is highly doubtful we will be able to make it back to .500 but at least we are winning games and some of the young guys like Tuiasosopo and Pauley are getting a chance to prove they may indeed be part of our future.

  We still have a lot of unanswered questions in this great Port of Seattle as far as the overall direction of this franchise is concerned. We the fans have an obligation to ask hard questions and have our voices heard. There is an old saying in the Labor Movement that I am fond of which says: “Don’t Mourn, Organize!” I am pleased to report there is a grassroots outfit called “firenintendo” that you can follow on twitter, who’s aim is to unite the fans who care about our team so that we can get some changes at the top of the food-chain. I urge you to look them up and I will be trying to relay any information on upcoming events such as rallies, petitions etc. to you right here at Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog where the Fans not only call the plays, but may be called on to save the franchise from further decay. I know I can count on you…..http://jeffsmariners.com

Tuiasosopo delivers ” The shot heard around Ballard”

  Last night Adam Moore proved he can hit in the big leagues, and tonight Matt Tuiasosopo made a statement of his own driving in 4 runs in the Mariners 4-0 win, including a huge 3-run blast in the top of the 9th . It has been a long time coming for these two guys that up until the last few nights looked like they were not destined for careers in the Bigs. In a season where much of what happens on a daily basis is judged by how the future will unfold, these past two days have given us some hope.

  Luke French also pitched a great game tonight giving up only 3 hits and no runs before being pulled in the bottom of the 8th with runners on the corners. Fortunately for the Mariners, Brandon League was able to get the final out of the inning setting the stage for Tuiasosopo to crush a slider out to the left field bleachers. Ironically a Mariners Fan in an Ichiro jersey retrieved the home run ball! League was able to handle the Orioles in order in the 9th including fanning last night’s hero Adam Jones for the last out to preserve  the win for French.

  Matt Tuiasosopo did not even know he was going to start tonight until Ryan Langerhans was scratched 20 minutes before the game and sounded humble in his post-game interview saying he “Just wanted to have some fun and help the team out”. As far as French’s outing my observation is that he looked more confident as the game went on as he dueled with the Orioles starter Kevin Millwood. French had a no-hitter going into the 6th and had 16 first pitch strikes tonight to get ahead of the Orioles who besides their threat in the 8th were never really in this one.

  So now the Mariners need a win tomorrow to try to win another series for their new skipper Daren Brown, before heading on to play the Yankees and Red Sox as our sailors try to navigate this long hot East Coast road trip. So far in August the Mariners are playing the kind of ball they were playing in June before the July nightmare.

  Many of you like myself were not alive in 1951 when Bobby Thomson hit “The shot heard around the world” which resulted in a dramatic victory by the NY Giants in a 3-game playoff with the Dodgers. Sadly Bobby Thompson passed-away today at the age of 86 as one more link to Baseball’s colorful past moves on. The following article has more on Thompson: Bobby Thomson, ‘shot heardround the world‘ hero, dies‎  http://jeffsmariners.com

Mariners release Byrnes send Tuiasosopo down

Well its a start. I just learned the Mariners have released Eric Byrnes, I wish him well. Also Matt Tuiasosopo has been sent down to AAA Tacoma. The Mariners are bringing up infielder Josh Wilson and Outfielder Ryan Langerhans. While neither of these two players bring with them the Long Ball threat, this is a move in the right direction.

  However more needs to be done to shake-up this team. I would like to see Figgins and Lopez go back to their natural positions, and while were switching lets switch Figgins to lead-off and bat Ichiro second. Sweeney is on a short-leash as well and if we can get Jermaine Dye for 2-3 million let’s do it, at least until Bedard comes back then trade one or two of our starters for a genuine home-run hitter.

  Hopefully the weather here in Seattle will warm up at the end of the week and with it our bats! I look for something else big to happen this week as the honeymoon for Jack Z. is over too.http://jeffsmariners.com

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