A day to remember and another day to forget

Lou Piniella and Mariners after 9-11 2001

Today is a day to look back and remember and honor those lost in the tragedy of 9-11 2001. The photo to the left shows the Seattle Mariners in a spontaneous showing of love for their country with an American flag raised at Safeco field. That day changed the world as we knew it and things have never been the same.

Things have never been the same  for baseball in Seattle since the 116 win season in 2010 either,  and today was more of  the same as the Rainiers lost 5-1 at Safeco, while the parent club lost 7-4 in Anaheim.

The Rainiers were never able to get anything going today against former Mariner 37 year-old Brett Tomko who went 6 scoreless innings in front of a crowd(?) of 983 fans. As a result the Rainiers must win tomorrow at Safeco against the pesky Sacramento River Cats or their season is over.

Meanwhile down in Anaheim the Mariners were unable to get it done for their Ace Felix Hernandez who now goes to 11-11, and may very well be out of the hunt for the Cy Young award. As usual the Mariners offense could not produce any offense  until it was too late, scoring 4 runs in the last two innings after Hernandez had already been pulled by manager Daren Brown.

  On the bright side Ichiro still looks like he is on pace to get 200 hits this year as he spanked a 3-run homer in the 8th and had a chance to do the same in the 9th with 2-on but lined-out to end the game.

  Another nice development as of late has been the play of Chone Figgins who not only got a couple of hits tonight, but continues to show some real flair in the field and on the bases. While this day like most of the rest of the season will be another to shove back in to our already overflowing holding tanks of misery, it does seem that there is a nucleus of players between the Rainiers and Mariners that could be part of an improved club in 2012. This offseason may not be as busy as last year’s but with perhaps a couple of free agents from other teams we may be able to compete next year. Notice I said “compete” not win, yes folks I am breaking through my denial and realize we are still a few years away from a playoff team no matter what happens this winter.

   Anyway I know most of you are already switching gears to football given the state of the baseball in the NW, so if you happen to be downtown after the Seahawks game Sunday and are still hungry for action, walk over to Safeco and cheer on the Rainiers at 7pm.

  In closing I hope everyone takes time to once again honor those who died on Sept. 11 2001 and the servicemen and women who fought in or are still fighting the  subsequent conflicts abroad , whether you supported the decision to fight them or not.  I particularly want to salute my nephew Eric Lawson who served twice in Iraq with the Air Force, as well as all the Merchant Mariners who are entrusted with carrying the nation’s war goods in times of conflict.http://jeffsmariners.com

Mariners waste another good outing by Felix lose 5-1

Felix Hernandez pitched well enough to win, but his team didn’t have the killer instinct today and allowed the LA Angels to hang around and eventually win 5-1 in the 10th on a grand slam by Kendry Morales. Jered Weaver managed to keep the Mariners off-balance through the first 7 frames allowing only one run on an odd throwing error in the 4th. Matt Tuiasosopo who for some reason got the start today at first, over slid third base in the same inning to kill that rally. The Mariners also had runners on second and third with 1-out in the first but neither Bradley nor Lopez could come-up with either a sacrifice fly or a hit to take advantage of that situation.

 This was a frustrating game to watch as the Mariners had chances to score but could not provide any offense to support Felix Hernandez in order to pick-up a game in the standings with the Texas Rangers losing today. The Angels pitching was good, but our guys looked timid at the plate. All three of the AAA guys Saunders,Wilson, and Tuiasosopo went 0-4 and seemed out of their league so to speak today at the plate. Of course the veterans did not fare much better with the exception of Jose Lopez who picked up 2 hits on the day.

  Hernandez got progressively stronger as the game went on till he was pulled for Brandon League in the top of the 9th. The skipper Wakamatsu seems to like to stay with League once he puts him in and doesn’t seem to be able to sense when League is struggling, thus allowing him to give-up his second grand-slam in relief on the year.Of course the lack of offense today put our pitchers in this situation to begin with as the Angels are not the same kind of  team as in the past and are much more vulnerable this year.

  With a win tomorrow the Mariners could still take this series and come back home still in the race thanks to the overall weakness in the AL West. Ian Snell gets the start tomorrow and it is time for Snell to earn his spot in this rotation lest the call goes down to Tacoma to bring up Luke French. French is shining thus far in AAA  and deserves a chance with the big club. Eliezer Alfonso the catcher has been called up and may get a look in this series to see if he can cut the mustard.

  I hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial day weekend and want to ask you all to take a minute to remember the veterans both currently and in the past who have served this nation in all the branches of the service, including the often forgotten civilian Merchant Mariners who transport the nations vital cargo in times of conflict.                      http://www.usmm.org/casualty.html

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