Regular Season Comes to An End With Houston Victories in Seattle

September 29: Houston 6, Seattle 3

The Mariners knew going in that the Royals had already won in Anaheim and thereby snuffed out Seattle’s meager remaining chances at ending the season in a tie for first with KC. So for the first time all season, the Mariners weren’t playing for anything besides pride.

Lance Berkman bruised that pride a bit by drilling a three-run dinger in the top of the first, and the Astros held a lead all game.

                  R H BB
HOU 310 000 020 - 6 9  5
SEA 000 001 200 - 3 5  4
HR: L. Berkman (35), A. Davis (19), K. Griffey (28)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  7.0  3  3  2  3  8  
F. Garcia     7.0  4  4  1  4  5 

HOU 70-91, SEA 82-79

ensbergOctober 1: Houston 6, Seattle 3

Something like 16 (real) months after I started this crazy season, here was game #1,134 of 1,134. That works out to something like 2.4 games per day for those 16 months. Crazy. I think the longest break I ever took was 10 days without a game. I decided I was going to take around a six-week break after playing the All-Star games, but started getting itchy dice fingers in just over a week.

Anyway, the grand finale wasn’t all that grand. Nelson Cruz concluded his ridiculous first month in the league with his 10th homer. (Cruz was on a pace that works out to 53 homers in a full season.) But Lance Berkman went dong again, a solo shot leading off the top of the fourth, and later in the same inning, Morgan Ensberg hit a bases-loaded tater that shored up the game for the ‘Stros.

Stay tuned for game one of the Kansas City vs. Boston championship series, coming soon…

                  R  H BB
HOU 000 501 000 - 6  9  5
SEA 003 000 000 - 3 10  5

HR: L. Berkman (36), M. Ensberg (12), N. Cruz (10)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar    6.1  3  3  1  2  5  
F. Hernandez  3.1  5  5  2  2  6 

HOU 71-91, SEA 82-80

 

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Kansas City Wins Pivotal Series in Seattle, Magic # is 1 Heading into Final 3 Days of Season

DANNY-TARTABULL-Kansas-City-Royals-1989-Majestic-Cooperstown-_1September 25: Kansas City 8, Seattle 4

The Royals opened the scoring in this colossally important series between the two expansion teams who are fighting for the division crown right down to the wire. Alcides Escobar and Frank White, two of the weakest hitters in the league, cracked back-to-back singles against Felix Hernandez in the third inning to plate the initial run.

Ken Griffey, Jr. drilled a game-tying solo homer against Kevin Appier in the fourth, and Robinson Cano put Seattle ahead with a solo jack in the fifth.

Hernandez was keen for six innings, but KC got to him in the seventh. Danny Tartabull and Darrell Porter both doubled to tie the game, and White, Willie Wilson, and John Mayberry all singled in the inning to put the Royals ahead 4-2.

Another solo homer for Seattle, this time off the bat of Alvin Davis, got the Mariners within a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Royals ran up their lead in the top of the ninth against Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Porter doubled again, Davis made an error at first base, Wilson singled, and Mayberry and George Brett popped doubles.

Griffey hit yet another solo homer for Seattle in the bottom of the ninth, but the Royals claimed the game and a 2.5 game lead in the Expansion Division.

                  R  H BB
KC  001 000 304 - 8 13  1
SEA 000 110 101 - 4  8  0

HR: K. Griffey, Jr.-2 (27), A. Davis (18), R. Cano (16)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier     6.2  3  3  3  0  8  
F. Hernandez  6.2  4  4  0  1  4 

KC 83-74, SEA 81-77

September 26: Seattle 4, Kansas City 3

Jamie Moyer showed why he is one of the front-runners to win Expansion Division pitcher of the year honors. He went eight innings and allowed three runs while walking nobody.

Bret Saberhagen was just about as good for Kansas City and only allowed three earned runs, but Darrell Porter, who had crushed a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, allowed a passed ball in the bottom of the inning that allowed Seattle an extra, unearned tally.

Alex Rodriguez tagged Saberhagen for two homers and three RBI, and Seattle shrank Kansas City’s lead to 1.5 games.

                  R H BB
KC  000 021 000 - 3 7  0
SEA 200 011 00x - 4 8  0

HR: D. Porter (12), A. Rodriguez-2 (30)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  7.0  4  3  2  0  4  
J. Moyer       8.0  3  3  1  0  6 

83-75, SEA 82-77

September 27: Kansas City 4, Seattle 3

It was a lefty-lefty matchup in the ridonkulously important rubber match. Seattle had the more intimidating hurler in strikeout king Randy Johnson, but Danny Jackson rose to the occasion for the Royals and started the game with five shutout innings.

Danny Tartabull got to the Unit early with a two-run mamma-jamma in the first inning, and the Royals added two more runs in the second inning on a Kevin Seitzer double. That was all the scoring KC managed in the game, and they hung on for dear life to make those four runs stand up.

Jackson’s effectiveness slipped in the sixth inning. Nelson Cruz led off with a walk, Griffey struck out, and Davis and Cano crushed back-to-back doubles to score two runs for Seattle. Out came Jackson and in came Wade Davis. Kyle Seager greeted Davis with an RBI single and the Mariners were within a run. Davis put an end to the rally with a double play grounder from Dan Wilson.

Davis then threw a hairy but scoreless seventh inning, and Greg Holland slammed the door with shutout innings in the eighth and ninth.

The Royals haven’t quite finished off the division, but the two wins have put them in great shape. If they win one of their final three games or Seattle loses one of their two remaining games, the Royals are division champions. And if KC gets swept in Anaheim and Seattle wins both of their games against Houston, the teams will meet in Kansas City on October 2nd for a deciding game 163.

                  R  H BB
KC  220 000 000 - 4  6  3
SEA 000 003 000 - 3 10  5

HR: D. Tartabull (25)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  5.1  3  3  0  3  4  
R. Johnson  9.0  4  3  1  3 10 

KC 84-75, SEA 82-78

Texas Serves Seattle With a Costly Sweep, Jenkins & Hough Toss Shutouts

September 22: Texas 1, Seattle 0

One weakness of the mostly strong Seattle starting rotation is durability. Randy Johnson had to sit this one out in order to save his remaining innings for a crucial game coming up against the Royals. Mark Langston filled in with a great spot start of eight innings, one run allowed, and 10 strikeouts. But Fergie Jenkins was even better for Texas and shutout the Mariners.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 000 000 - 0 6  5
TEX 001 000 00x - 1 5  3
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Langston  8.0  1  1  0  3 10  
F. Jenkins   9.0  0  0  0  5  9 

SEA 81-74, TEX 72-83

houghSeptember 23: Texas 4, Seattle 0

The Seattle bats again failed to show up the next day, and Charlie Hough threw a two-hitter and made it back-to-back shutouts for the Rangers. Three Texans took Erik Hanson deep.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 000 000 - 0 2  2
TEX 300 010 00x - 4 7  4

HR: A. Oliver (6), A. Rodriguez-TEX (39),
R. Palmeiro (24)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Hanson   5.0  4  4  3  3  2  
C. Hough    9.0  0  0  0  2  8 

SEA 81-75, TEX 73-83

September 24: Texas 4, Seattle 3

After 23 straight scoreless innings, the Mariners finally dented the scoreboard with a two run A-Rod homer in the sixth that tied the game. A Kyle Seager solo shot gave them a one-run lead in the top of the seventh, but Texas answered right back with a tying tally in the bottom of the seventh.

That was still the sitch in the bottom of the ninth with Jeff Nelson on the hill. Al Oliver, Rusty Greer, and A-Rod hit consecutive singles to score the walk-off winner for the sweep. Greer reached safely in all five of his plate appearances with a reach on error, walk, two singles, and a double.

The Mariners fell 1.5 games behind Kansas City, who they now host for three colossal games. A Kansas City sweep would lock up the division, but any other result will mean the division will be decided in the final three days of the season.

                  R  H BB
SEA 000 002 100 - 3  7  8
TEX 000 020 101 - 4 12  3
HR: A. Rodriguez-SEA (28), K. Seager (19)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia    4.2  2  2  0  2  0  
Y. Darvish   6.0  2  2  1  6  5 

SEA 81-76, TEX 74-83

Seattle Splits 4 Game Set With Texas, Is 1/2 Game Out of First

a-rodSeptember 18: Seattle 1, Texas 0 (11 innings)

It didn’t look to be a marquee pitching match-up with Charlie Hough and Erik Hanson toeing the rubber, but they turned in a marquee duel. Hanson tossed eight shutout frames while giving up three hits. Hough pitched the whole shebang for Texas, and gave up just three hits in his 10.1 innings. It was still scoreless in the bottom of the 11th when Seattle’s Alex Rodriguez sent a rocket to the seats to walk off a thriller.

The loss officially ended Texas’s chance for the division title.

                     R H BB
TEX 000 000 000 00 - 0 5  2
SEA 000 000 000 01 - 1 3  4

HR: A. Rodriguez-SEA (27)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   10.1  1  1  1  4  8  
E. Hanson   8.0  0  0  0  2  8 

TEX 69-82, SEA 80-71

September 19: Texas 6, Seattle 0

Yu Darvish was filthy for Texas and whiffed 12 while throwing eight shutout innings. Every Ranger got a hit, and Julio Franco and Toby Harrah both reached safely four times.

                  R  H BB
TEX 020 001 120 - 6 13  5
SEA 000 000 000 - 0  7  3

HR: R. Greer (8), F. Howard (16)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish  8.0  0  0  0  3 12  
F. Garcia   6.0  3  3  1  2  3 

TEX 70-82, SEA 80-72

September 20: Seattle 5, Texas 3

Felix Hernandez made his fifth straight decent or better start, a supremely encouraging development for Seattle as they wrestle with Kansas City to the season’s conclusion. After this victory, Seattle and Kansas City held identical 81-72 records.

Nelson Cruz played his 22nd game of the season and drilled his eighth and ninth home runs.

                  R  H BB
TEX 000 000 201 - 3  6  3
SEA 300 002 00x - 5 10  2

HR: A. Rodriguez-TEX (38), N. Cruz-2 (9),
A. Davis (17)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry      5.0  5  5  3  2  1  
F. Hernandez  8.0  3  3  1  3  5 

TEX 70-83, SEA 81-72

September 21: Texas 8, Seattle 4

About the only way the Rangers will hurt you is with the home run, and Frank Howard, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Hargrove all went pachinko in this one.

This one did look to be a marquee pitching matchup between Nolan Ryan and Jamie Moyer, pitchers with two of the best ERAs in the Expansion Division, but only Ryan lived up to the promise. In his last start of the year, Ryan gave up zero earned runs and whiffed eight. His final season line is rather good: 28 games, 194 innings, 3.29 ERA, 1.3 HR/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.9 SO/9.

Moyer got bonked for six runs in five innings, and Ryan took over Moyer’s spot for the best ERA in the Expansion at 3.29 compared to Moyer’s 3.30.

The teams now head to Arlington for a three-game series.

                  R  H BB
TEX 302 010 020 - 8 12  3
SEA 000 030 001 - 4  4  3

HR: F. Howard (17), A. Beltre (20),
M. Hargrove (10), R. Cano (15)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan    4.2  3  0  0  3  8  
J. Moyer   5.0  6  5  2  0  2 

TEX 71-83, SEA 81-73

3 Cruz Missiles Help Seattle Take Series v. Detroit, But M’s Lose Division Lead

cruzSeptember 15: Seattle 5, Detroit 0

The Mariners rotation has overall been a strength, particularly on days Randy Johnson or Jamie Moyer are going, and the team is right in the thick of the Expansion Division title chase. But when Seattle fans are feeling greedy, they can’t help but wonder where they’d be if Felix Hernandez had been pitching to his potential this season. King Felix gave them a glimpse in this game on his way to his second shutout, which pulled his season ERA down to 5.35. It will be bad news for Kansas City if Hernandez has found his game for his remaining two starts, one of which is scheduled to come against the Royals.

The Tigers got their hits in against Hernandez, including three off the bat of Norm Cash, but never could score. Recent addition Nelson Cruz continues to crush for Seattle and drilled a single, double, and homer and drove in three.

                  R H BB
DET 000 000 000 - 0 9  1
SEA 000 002 03x - 5 8  2

HR: N. Cruz (5)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Uhle       7.1  3  2  0  2  5  
F. Hernandez  9.0  0  0  0  1  5 

DET 69-79, SEA 78-70

September 16: Seattle 7, Detroit 4

All seven Seattle tallies came on three home run ding dongs against Tommy Bridges, courtesy of Edgar Martinez, A-Rod, and Cruz.

Jamie Moyer did not have his best stuff, but Jeff Nelson and Shigetoshi Hasegawa backed him up with 3.1 shutout innings.

                  R  H BB
DET 000 013 000 - 4  8  3
SEA 203 000 20x - 7 11  0
HR: S. Crawford (2), E. Martinez (14),
A. Rodriguez (26), N. Cruz (6)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Bridges  6.2  7  7  3  0  2  
J. Moyer    5.2  4  4  1  1  1 

DET 69-80, SEA 79-70

September 17: Detroit 11, Seattle 2

Schoolboy Rowe continues to deal for Detroit. “Where’s that Schoolboy been all year?” wondered Sparky Anderson after the game. With five starts under his belt, Rowe’s ERA sits at 2.01.

The Mariners were tasting a sweep as they took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning, but Miguel Cabrera launched a three run homer against Randy Johnson to take the lead for Detroit, and the Tigers ran up the score with multiple runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth. Ty Cobb lashed a single and two triples, and Cabrera had his best day of a mostly disappointing season and took a walk, singled, doubled, and homered. Charlie Gehringer poked four singles, and Johnny Bassler couldn’t be stopped, taking a walk and collecting four hits that included a double.

Nelson Cruz made it three straight games with a homer.

                   R  H BB
DET 000 030 233 - 11 17  3
SEA 010 100 00x -  2  5  1
HR: M. Cabrera (8), N. Cruz (7), R. Cano (14)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Rowe     9.0  2  2  2  1  8  
R. Johnson  5.0  3  3  1  2  5 

DET 70-80, SEA 79-71

The loss dropped the Mariners one game behind Kansas City in the Expansion Division. With just 12 games left in the regular season, here are the teams’ remaining games:

        Seattle    Kansas City
9/18    v TEX      v CLE
9/19    v TEX      v CLE
9/20    v TEX      v CLE
9/21    v TEX      off
9/22    @ TEX      @HOU
9/23    @ TEX      @HOU
9/24    @ TEX      @HOU
9/25    v KC       @ SEA
9/26    v KC       @ SEA
9/27    v KC       @ SEA
9/28    off        off
9/29    v HOU      @ ANA
9/30    off        @ ANA
10/1    v HOU      @ ANA

Possibly a slightly easier schedule for Seattle, but they’re mighty close. Of course those three games against each other loom large.

With Sweep, Minnesota Moves Into Tie For 2nd and Seattle Backs Into Tie For 1st

September 12: Minnesota 5, Seattle 4 (10 innings)

The Mariners made a spirited come-back capped off with a Kyle Seager blast that forced extra innings, but Minnesota wrapped it up quickly in the bottom of the 10th with a Stan Spence walk, Rod Carew single, and Joe Mauer grounder that allowed Spence to score from third.

                    R H BB
SEA 001 100 011 0 - 4 9  3
MN  200 002 000 1 - 5 6  5
HR: K. Seager (18), K. Puckett (7)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Johnson   6.0  4  4  1  3  8  
G. Mogridge  7.2  3  2  0  3  2 

SEA 77-68, MN 78-67

killerSeptember 13: Minnesota 14, Seattle 7

The hits just kept coming for both teams, 35 base knocks in all. But the Twins had more base-runners and were more efficient at bringing them home and turned the game into a blow-out. Seven different players in the game reached base safely three times, and Harmon Killebrew led everybody with four safe reaches (three singles and a walk).

                   R  H BB
SEA 210 000 040 -  7 16  0
MN  420 403 01x - 14 19  5
HR: K. Griffey, Jr. (25), N. Cruz (4)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Langston  3.0  9  9  0  4  3  
D. Leonard   7.1  6  6  2  0  5 

SEA 77-69, MN 79-67

September 14: Minnesota 3, Seattle 1

Seattle needed a win to maintain sole possession of first place in the Expansion, but the well pitched contest went Minnesota’s way again, and Kansas City moved into a tie for first with the Mariners. The Mariners seem to be completely different teams when facing the two divisions. They have a terrible, league-worst interdivision record of 12-33, but have beat up on their own division to the tune of a league-best 65-37.

Goose Goslin led a balanced Minnesota attack with a double and a homer. The sweep kept Minnesota’s hopes alive and moved them into a tie for second place with Oakland, seven games behind Boston. Minnesota and Oakland each have three games remaining against the Red Sox.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 001 000 - 1 7  2
MN  001 101 00x - 3 9  2

HR: G. Goslin (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia   6.0  3  3  1  0  1  
C. Pascual  7.2  1  1  0  2  6 

SEA 77-70, MN 80-67

Kansas City Claims Big Series Win Against Seattle to Stay Within Striking Distance

September 9: Kansas City 6, Seattle 4

The Royals jumped on Freddy Garcia for three runs in the second inning. Willie Aikens, Danny Tartabull, Hal McRae, and Jose Offerman started the inning with four straight hits. KC tagged on two more against Garcia in the third that ended Garcia’s day.

Kevin Appier took care of most of the Mariners. Alvin Davis got to Appier for two home runs that drove in all four of Seattle’s runs.

                  R  H BB
SEA 000 020 200 - 4  5  1
KC  032 100 00x - 6 12  2
HR: A. Davis-2 (16), J. Mayberry (21)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Garcia    3.0  5  5  0  2  1 
K. Appier    7.0  4  4  2  1  5 

SEA 76-66, KC 74-68

sabesSeptember 10: Kansas City 4, Seattle 3

The Royals hung on to win a nail-biter in the second game despite knocking just five hits. They bunched up three of those hits along with a couple of walks in the sixth innings to plate three runs. All three of Seattle’s runs came on an Edgar Martinez dinger.

                  R H BB
SEA 000 000 300 - 3 8  2
KC  000 013 00x - 4 5  4

HR: E. Martinez (13)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez   5.2  4  3  0  4  5  
B. Saberhagen  7.1  3  2  1  2  6 

SEA 76-67, KC 75-68

September 11: Seattle 5, Kansas City 1 (12 innings)

The Royals were in a position to catch Seattle in first place with another win, and the massively important game brought plenty of drama as the score remained locked at one through 11 innings. Lefties Jamie Moyer and Danny Jackson were superb. The low-scoring tension was broken in the top of the 12th when the Mariners opened up a lead against Jeff Montgomery. A Robinson Cano homer drove in three runs that went a long way to helping Seattle keep sole possession of first place, though KC is now just two games behind them. The two teams still have three games together coming up at the end of the month.

                      R  H BB
SEA 100 000 000 004 - 5 13  7
KC  001 000 000 000 - 1 11  2
HR: R. Cano (13), F. White (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Moyer    6.0  1  1  1  1  3  
D. Jackson  8.0  1  1  0  4  8 

SEA 77-67, KC 75-69