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Washburn won’t let A’s or Hargrove take him out

MARINERS

NOTE: This is the only post we are going to put up for a while today, because of we want you to be able to easily access the NFL draft and the Rodney Stuckey posts below. We’ll add other posts later this morning.

Did you watch the game last night? Was that the best non-Felix pitching performance of the year for the M’s? Was that that worse call you’ve ever seen by an umpire at first base to end a game? For me, the answer to all those questions is yes.

Last night’s 2-0 Jarrod Washburn complete-game win over the A’s went by so quick it was easy to miss something. Even the between-inning breaks seemed to be fast, meaning faster than normal kitchen and bathroom runs.

Washburn was in complete command, throwing first-pitch strikes to most hitters, throwing his breaking ball off the plate when he wanted and for strikes when he needed, and spotting his 88-mph fastball on both sides of the plate.

With pitching like that, even the Mariners’ usual anemic offense against Joe Blanton – two solo home runs – was enough.

And Eric Chavez’s last ground ball? After running the slow motion replay through the DVR in slow motion, it was “easy” to see he was safe by a half a step. You know how your Little League coach always told you to never worry about umpire’s calls because, over time, they all even out? And how, since you were 10, you’ve never felt your team has gotten the benefit of even one missed call? Well, if you are a Mariner fan, you got one last night. Maybe that coach was right.

Today’s hot list …

• Washburn’s shutout was the focus of today’s game stories, starting with the News Tribune, the P-I and the Times. The A’s perspective can be found in the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle (a great game story by John Shea I might add).

• The re-scheduling of the Cleveland series has yet to work out. This Times’ story explains why. And this P-I story explains why the M’s are playing so many two-game series right now.

• Horacio Ramirez does bullpen work without a baseball. It’s called dry-work and the idea is to work on his pitching mechanics. It’s also good for the confidence, because no one, not even Barry Bonds, can hit an imaginary baseball out of the ballpark.

• If Ichiro leaves at the end of the season as a free agent, who will replace him on top of the lineup in 2008?

• Larry Dobrow of CBS Sportsline writes the M’s are no longer the dumbest franchise in baseball; the Phillies are. Yeah.

• And our question of the day …

• Other than Don Dekinger’s call that cost the Cardinals the 1985 World Series, can you remember a worse call at first base than last night’s?


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