Tie game, bases loaded, one out in the 8th inning – this is a situation the Mariners created by having Lopez lay down a sacrifice bunt, knowing the Rangers would walk Ibanez to get to Richie Sexson. This is what Richie Sexson saw:
Six pitches, all of them out of the strike zone. Joaquin Benoit did everything he possibly could to walk in the go-ahead run, and Sexson just wouldn’t let him. If the Mariners continue to hit Sexson cleanup and ask Lopez to bunt Ichiro over every time he gets on base in high leverage situations, we’re going to see this a lot – Ibanez walks and Sexson leaves the man on.
There’s just no reason a team that wants to be a contender should be hitting Richie Sexson cleanup in 2008.