CC Sabathia .168
Joe Borowski .153
Casey Blake .132
Roberto Hernandez -.137
Ryan Garko -.086
Travis Hafner -.056
This time it counted! CC Sabathia pitched probably his worst outing of the season, lasting only five innings. He was still able to dodge several jams, but you could tell the RISP god was not going to avert his wrath much longer. So, with a bullpen that was fairly well-rested and a tie game, Eric Wedge removed Sabathia from the game before CC reached the 100-pitch plateau, which I thought was the right move at the time. If it had backfired, it still would have been the right move at the time.
The nature of major-league bullpens is such that the long man can quickly move into a much more meaningful role, and Tom Mastny is climbing the ladder. The Indonesian native held Seattle at bay until the seventh inning, when he allowed an Ichiro! infield hit followed by a Jose Vidro hit up the middle. Rafael Betancourt was called upon to defuse this latest jam, and he got Jose Guillen to fly out.
Cha Seung Baek pitched into the seventh inning, quite a feat for an opposing pitcher. He threw strikes and changed speeds well, keeping his pitch count down and the Indians off base. He came back after the seventh inning stretch down 2-1, but couldn't hold it there. His walk to David Dellucci was probably his undoing: he had Dellucci down 0-2, but couldn't put him away. He struck out Ryan Garko, but Josh Barfield broke the game open with a two-run double on his next pitch.
Roberto Hernandez was supposed to end the game easily - after all, he was facing Seattle's bottom three with a four-run lead. Didn't happen, as his control was non-existent. Joe Borowski, who's created his share of blow-ups, was brought in with the bases loaded and nobody out, as tough a situation as there is for an incoming reliever. He induced two ground balls and a weak pop up, which added one more run to the Mariners' run total, but also ended the game.
Next Up: The Indians head to Kansas City. Perez vs. Carmona, 8:05 PM