Thursday, May 05, 2005

Game #10

June 12, 1997. Mariners 12, Rockies 11.

I was with my now bride-to-be (during the first installment of our dating lives), my brother, and some friends. Swankette was upset that I couldn't really pick a team to root for...I'd just moved to Seattle a year earlier and couldn't choose between the two teams I liked most.

This game was weirdly and wildly played. Rookie Derek Lowe started for the Mariners, and lasted only one and two thirds. Manager Lou Piniella publicly upbraided him in the dugout after pulling him...he's never been good with young pitchers. That's why we got rid of the guy, along with Jason Varitek, for freakin' Heathcliff Slocumb. How stomach-churningly bad...I'd have liked to have had those guys for the last decade or so. Has there been a worse trade ANYWHERE in the last decade?

But I digress. Lowe and Mariners' "relief" pitching (most notably Mike Maddux) had the Mariners trailing 6-0 and 10-6 during the game, but the M's gradually worked back and took the lead in the 7th inning on a Jay Buhner double. No pitching to be had at all...the Rockies batted around in the second and fifth innings, and the Mariners batted around in the fourth. But it was a bizarre play that decided it...a 7-2-4-6-8 double play. This will be hard to follow, but bear with me:

Quinton McCracken is up with one out in the 8th inning with his Rockies trailing 12-10. Walt Weiss on first. Harvey Pulliam on second. McCracken smacks a single to left. The left fielder, Rob Ducey, tries to gun down Pulliam at home. Too late. He's safe. But Weiss makes a big turn at second, and is trapped in a rundown. The ball goes from the catcher to the second baseman to the shortstop covering third, where Weiss is tagged out. McCracken has advanced to second, but he either forgets to call time or thinks that there are three out. He steps off the bag and dusts himself off. Ken Griffey Jr., who was headed into the infield to be in the rundown anyway, sneaks in behind McCracken and signals shortstop Brent Gates to toss him the ball. He does. McCracken is tagged out. Rally over, and an inning later, game over.

Terribly wacky and low-quality baseball. But man, was it ever fun to watch.

1 comment:

Swankette said...

I defiled the sacred scorebook that night. When insisting Sweetie had to pick a team to root for, he said it wasn't in writing anywhere, so I stole his pencil from him and wrote on the scorebook, "You have to pick a team."

That might have been the biggest clue that there was something everlasting there, because he let me write that down (and it's still there)