Seattle takes the series
Seattle Mariners , Texas Rangers
When: 3:40 ET, Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle
Umpires: Home — Alfonso Marquez, 1B — Cory Blaser, 2B — Brian O’Nara, 3B — Tom Hallion
1. Mariners Win the Series
After a rough road trip Seattle had the pleasure to return home. Unfortunately, the home stand kicked off with the current AL West leading Texas Rangers.
Seattle rode King Felix Hernandez to a 6-1 win in game 1, but lost a close game 2 1-3. Today, everything came together and Seattle put together a very solid 5-3 win, ensuring a series win and pulling within 6.5 games of first place.
2. Kevin Millwood Dominates Texas… Again
Kevin Millwood has had a very up and down season. He started high, pitching 6 strong against Texas in the first start of his season. Since then it’s been one step forward, two steps back.
There must be something about facing his former team that gets Millwood riled up, because the 37-year old dominated the Rangers once again. The veteran pitched 6 strong innings, giving up only 3 hits and 1 walk against the league’s best offense.
3. Alex Liddi’s Special Day
This win could have never happened without rookie Alex Liddi.
Getting a rare start in left field, it’s a great thing Eric Wedge found a place for Liddi in the lineup. The 23-year old was 2-3 with 1 walk, 1 run and 4 RBI.
Those RBI came off of Liddi’s 5th inning grand slam, a “just barely” shot over the left field wall.
Without that bomb this win doesn’t happen.
Without that bomb we don’t get to see the Shaving Cream Liddi Pie either.
1. Tom Wilhelmsen Breaks Down
Without Alex Liddi, this win doesn’t happen. Without Tom Wilhemsen, this win happens and is far less stressful.
The struggling setup man entered the 8th with the win practically in the bag. Then Wilhemsen proceeded to allow the AL’s most dangerous team to get back in the game.
Ian Kinsler kicked the inning off with a single, and proceeded to steal 2nd. Two batters later, a Josh Hamilton double put Texas on the board.
Then, Adrian Beltre—former M’s third baseman—sent a shot soaring into left centerfield. Suddenly, things are a lot closer at 5-3.
Luckily, Wilhemsen was able to get the next two batters out and control the damage. After that the Bartender gave way to Brandon League (#BLT) for the save in the 9th. (This led to even more sweating by the fans)
2. Offensive Struggles
Outside of Alex Liddi’s day, no other Mariner bat showed much worth on the day.
Seattle had just 4 hits on the day, and remember 2 of those came from Liddi. Cleanup hitter Ichiro Suzuki was 0-4, leaving two men on base. The 8 and 9 hitters—Mike Carp and Brendan Ryan—were a combined 1-6 leaving 7 men on base.
3. The Other Side of Liddi’s Game
Offensively, Alex Liddi had a pretty stellar day. On the diamond, well that’s a different story.
Making just his second start in left field, Liddi started his day off by losing a fly ball in the sun in the 2nd inning, resulting in two bases for Texas. Earlier, in the 1st inning, Liddi ended the inning by leaning to far off second base, causing himself to be doubled up on an Ichiro line out.
Texas had scored three runs or fewer only 12 times in 42 games entering the series but did not top three runs in any of the three games in Seattle.
Mariners Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 to snap his five-game hitting streak.
The Mariners continue their home stand with a four-game series against the Angels starting Thursday.