Game 116, Brewers at Mariners

marc w · August 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Tom Gorzelanny, 6:10pm

Happy Griffey Day. The M’s are honoring Ken Griffey Jr. today by inducting him into the team’s Hall of Fame, which is an idea Griffey made possible, or at least not completely laughable. For those that remember 1989* – the double, the HR in his first Kingdome AB, the chocalate bars (I’ve still got one), the impossible ease with which he did everything (hitting, fielding, talking to strange old men in the press, smiling) is still imprinted on your mind. There are a number of reasons his exit(s) weren’t ripped from fairy-tale style children’s sports books, but an underrated one is that many people never really came to grips with the fact that he’s human. Our first impression was this impossible combination of homespun gee-whizishness overlaid on some futuristic cyborg skeleton. How can that – I mean he- feel depressed? Why does he want to talk about money? Junior deserves this. Some times, the rhetoric about the team not being in Seattle if it weren’t for him can get a bit overblown, but I seriously doubt they’d be holding this ceremony in Safeco Field without Junior.

I’m going to go from talking about Ken Griffey Jr. to talking about Tom Gorzelanny, which sounds bizarre and wrong, and which is also not Gorzelanny’s fault. No one grew up mimicking Tom Gorzelanny’s wind-up. The ex-Pirate and National is making his seventh start, as he doubles as a swing man and a very effective lefty reliever. The sinker/slider combo’s the centerpiece of his repertoire, but he’s also got a change that he throws to righties. He struggled against righties in the rotation, but he’s been effective in the bullpen. His put-away pitch is the slider, which he throws to righties and lefties alike, at least when ahead in the count. Like a lot of pitchers, he’ll use a four-seamer to same-handed hitters, but stick to the sinker against opposite-handed hitters; this isn’t unique, but it seems counterproductive, given the platoon splits of two-seam/sinking fastballs. Hey, he’s the pitcher, and I’m just the guy hanging on to a 25 year old candy bar with a picture of a teenager on it.

Beyond trouble with righties, Gorzelanny struggled with his command as a starter. It wasn’t awful, but he threw a fair number of balls, and so-so stuff and slightly below average control meant that he was pitching from behind more than average. If fly balls stayed in the yard, or if he got out of trouble with a groundball, he’d look OK. If the fly balls crept over the fence, and if batters stopped swinging at low 3-1 sinkers, his walk rate would spike and, well, that’s why he’s a reliever now. And this year, for the first time in his career, he’s pitching from ahead in the count, enabling him to use his best pitch more. A lefty starter who throws sliders like they’re going to be banned in a month sounds like a terrible match up, but it’s only his seventh start, and his last start lasted all of one inning before he came out with elbow issues. Work counts, Mariners. Or honor Griffey by peppering the cafe in right field; that’d work too.

1: Miller, SS
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Morse, RF
6: Saunders, CF
7: Smoak, 1B
8: Ackley, :sigh:
9: Quintero, C
SP: Iwakuma

Griffey’s induction starts at 5:30pm, and the M’s are streaming it live on their website.

Whenever I think of Griffey, I think of the story from Spring Training in 2009 and of how awed Greg Halman was to be shagging flies with his childhood idol. Wish you could see this ceremony, Greg.

Taijuan Walker leads the M’s affiliates into battle today, as he starts for Tacoma against Albuquerque. Lefty Roenis Elias takes the hill for Jackson in Game 1 of a doubleheader, while Forrest Snow starts game 2. Fresh off of hanging 30 on Lancaster, High Desert gives the ball to Matt Anderson for today’s game in Adelanto.

* What a year. Junior debuts, then a few months in, the franchise trades its most famous player for a 7′ freak from Walnut Creek. Two of the most iconic, unearthly players of their generation, crossing paths for the first time in Milwaukee, one with an easy smile for everyone, the other mis-labeled a sullen, introverted jerk. It all still looked like losing, but *man* it felt different. Then, of course, the earthquake during the World Series in Oakland and about two weeks later, the fall of the Berlin Wall. That was some kind of year.


41 Responses to “Game 116, Brewers at Mariners”

  1. californiamariner on August 10th, 2013 3:16 pm

    This place is crazy today! Been here since 2 and the lines have all been crazy since I got here. The number of Griffey shirts and jerseys has given me chills. It’s going to be a fun night!!

  2. ABP52380 on August 10th, 2013 3:39 pm

    Who’d a thought 3 years ago that dustin Ackley being penciled into the lineup would be followed with a ***sigh. How the mighty have fallen….

  3. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 3:52 pm

    I remember that Kenny couldn’t eat his own candy bar! He’s allergic to chocolate… So more evidence that he’s human after all.

    I loved watching him play in the Dome. In 2010 I sometimes had trouble remembering those great years, but Junior Round Two has now pretty much completely vanished from my recollection – so the amazing catches, that swing, and the big smile are all unsullied again. I do recall the petulance, but I also remember him going out of his way to give time to a fan or a sick kid.

    On a side note, I’m sad that his relationship with Larry Larue ended on such a bad note. Larue seemed to capture the complexity of Junior better than any of the other writers.

  4. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 3:53 pm

    I was watching the Military Channel just now and Jose Canseco was on a commercial selling a testosterone supplement.

    Ohh Kay, then.

  5. Eastside Suds on August 10th, 2013 4:06 pm

    Hey, Low-T. Could be a problem for some old baseball players! LOL

  6. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Looks like the Root pregame show starts at 5, in a couple of minutes.

  7. californiamariner on August 10th, 2013 5:20 pm

    Safeco is really buzzin tonight. An hour before the game there are more people than a normal game. It’s great to see how this town can support a team when they’re into it. Just put a good team out there for us!!

  8. SeattleSlew on August 10th, 2013 5:23 pm

    What is up with all these ads for pills that help increase testosterone? Obviously testosterone decreases as males get older but that should not be a problem until they get really old so by that time it shouldn’t even be that big of a problem.

  9. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 5:29 pm

    Saw the crowd on TV, looks pretty good, the second deck in Center Field isn’t full, but there are people scattered throughout. So maybe this will be close to a sellout?

  10. SeattleSlew on August 10th, 2013 5:40 pm

    Wow! Lots of fans at safeco and we’re not even playing the Blue Jays?

  11. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 5:40 pm

    ooo, a Rizzs dig at ARod.

  12. Ralph_Malph on August 10th, 2013 5:40 pm

    When I read that Matt Anderson was starting for High Desert, my brain read “Ryan Anderson.” Which somehow seems appropriate on Ken Griffey, Jr. Day. Ryan Anderson was drafted in 1997.

  13. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 5:58 pm


  14. mburrows21 on August 10th, 2013 6:04 pm

    I’m sure I’m not alone as getting goosebumps just watching this ceremony. Jr is the reason I became a Mariners fan, plain and simple. My Grandpa brought me the My Oh My vhs to Alaska before I knew a whole lot about baseball. I’ve been a Mariner’s fan ever since!

  15. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 6:06 pm

    Ichiro was great! Loved how he called him George at the start, and flipped his hat around at the end.

  16. Ralph_Malph on August 10th, 2013 6:13 pm

    Not watching this, but how is Ichiro there when the Yankees are in NY?

  17. mrakbaseball on August 10th, 2013 6:20 pm

    Ichiro appeared via video.

  18. Paul B on August 10th, 2013 6:26 pm

    Others were on the video, like Willy Mays and Bo Jackson.

    If you missed it, Junior just gave a helluva speech, all totally off the cuff.

  19. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 6:54 pm

    Willie Mays is amazing. I have a lot of respect for guys like him and Hank Aaron.

    Bo Jackson was incredible for a short period… Is he a close friend of Griffey’s? He seemed a bit out of place.

  20. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Well at least Ackley can hit this guy…

  21. enazario on August 10th, 2013 8:08 pm

    Watching this defense is brutal.

  22. enazario on August 10th, 2013 8:10 pm


  23. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 8:20 pm

    Pinch hit Edgar for someone! He’s already in the ballpark…

  24. msfanmike on August 10th, 2013 8:31 pm

    Super AB by Morse. Just super.

  25. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 8:35 pm


  26. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 8:36 pm

    Okay, Dustin – go 3 for 3!


  27. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 8:50 pm

    Wow, the ROOT score for the game keeps changing!

    0-0, 7-3, 6-2, now it’s 0-0 again… Hahaha

    Okay, after the commercial they’ve apparently got it fixed.

  28. Eastside Suds on August 10th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Tons of boos in the stands on the big night.

  29. casey on August 10th, 2013 9:21 pm

    yes particularly bad night with sold out house, celebrating Griffey, and then getting throttled by what is essentially a AA / AAA team. I would be booing!

  30. pgreyy on August 10th, 2013 9:25 pm

    Not even a whimper.

  31. Westside guy on August 10th, 2013 9:26 pm

    Glad that’s over.

  32. Breadbaker on August 10th, 2013 10:46 pm

    Junior’s speech was awesome. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Bone needing to use his tie to wipe away those genuine tears of love. He made Marilyn Niehaus smile. And his youngest kid is going to be him all over again, you can tell, he got the full sense of humor.

  33. jephdood on August 10th, 2013 11:41 pm

    Way to go, M’s. You managed to cover a delicious cake of a day with shit frosting.

  34. LongDistance on August 11th, 2013 12:24 am

    I wonder how many others had the same (no need to elaborate) thought that I had, with near constant videos of Junior snagging back over-the-wall near home run shots… when Morse tipped away exactly the same thing. No doubt Morse did. Nothing like having Griffey in the house (not to mention Jay, Randy, Edgar and Dan), to remind everyone how far, far away all that has become.

  35. jak924 on August 11th, 2013 6:52 am

    Now I know who Ackley reminds me of in the batter’s box. A pitcher!

  36. casey on August 11th, 2013 8:16 am

    and Ackley was only hitter who looked like he had a clue last night…

  37. killeverything on August 11th, 2013 10:39 am

    I was there last night the vibe with the ceremony was electric; the game? Pathetic. Hopefully the King right’s the ship today. If not maybe we can get the Rainiers to beat the Brewers, if their busy one of Seattle’s high school teams will do.

  38. SeattleSlew on August 11th, 2013 11:50 am

    I was not at the game last night, fortunately neither did I get to watch the game, could someone please describe what Griffey said on his peach?

  39. Breadbaker on August 11th, 2013 1:16 pm
  40. darthbuhner on August 11th, 2013 6:47 pm

    The video doesn’t capture the feeling or noise level in the stadium when Griffey walked out, but it’s really interesting to see Griffey talk at length for the first time. I couldn’t help but wonder if his mild jabs at the critical fans and media were spurred by the fan-magazine Grand Salami flying that “Congrats Jr. but Armstrong and Lincoln Must Go” banner in the skies. When they surprisingly closed the roof right before the ceremony (saying we were getting some bad weather, which seemed a bit premature, since the rain didn’t fall til 3 hours later) – to scattered and startled boos, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was to block the airplane banner pissing on the ceremony, with Lincoln, Armstrong, and Ellis on the field.

  41. LongDistance on August 11th, 2013 9:53 pm

    I don’t normally double post, but I had very nearly the same thought watching that plane circle the field I don’t know how many times (although, not during the ceremony).

    In any case, I was hoping that Yamauchi’s legal squad, Howard and Chuck were soaking up how 46,000 fans would come out to see guys who had given Seattle real baseball… and ponder on how what was once the 5th best revenue stream in MLB, has shriveled to the point of setting two record lows this year. Only when Felix pitches, does attendance get up around 20,000.

    And Howard and Chuck can thank their lucky stars, when Junior was talking about the folks sitting behind him, that he didn’t mention either of them by name.

    There would have been a hell of a lot more than just scattered boos. There’d have been a deluge.

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