Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Defending Champs Seattle Gets By Pesky Nationals Team

Seattle (AP) - After finishing 6-0 in last season's post season for the World Champion Mariners, Justin Verlander is at it again.  He won two more decisions for Seattle in an opening round victory over the Washington Nationals.  A recap of the series:

Washington #8 vs. Seattle #1
Game 1:  Cole Hamels vs. Justin Verlander
Verlander enters the 9th inning with a 5-1 lead but the Nationals manage to score 5 runs of Verlander and K-Rod with the help of errors by Longoria and Brandon Phillips.  David Robertson pitches a scoreless 9th to hold the victory for Hamels who scatters 10 hits and 2 National errors to earn the victory 6-5 in game 1.
Game 2:  James McDonald vs. Felix Hernandez
Jeff Francouer hit a grand slam in the second inning in a rough inning which also saw a Pujols error and 5 National runs.  The Mariners slowly chip away at the lead by adding a couple of runs in the 6th in the 7th inning to make it 6-5.  Mike Adams and David Robertson do a good job of not allowing the tying run to score from second in the 7th and 8th innings as the Nationals win another road game 6-5.
Game 3:  Jeff Samardzija vs. Stephen Strasburg
Mike Baxter singled in two runs in the 6th.  A-Rod pinch hit for Samardzija in the 6th and knocked in a couple more runs for a 5-2 lead.  Four relievers combined to hold the lead and give the Mariners their first victory in the series.
Game 4:  Justin Verlander vs. Clay Buchholz
Mariners jump out quick with three runs in the first and five in the third for a 8-1 lead.  Verlander tires in the 8th inning but asks to keep the ball in the blowout.  He allows a couple more runs while he finishes with 12 strikeouts.  Mariners win 8-3 and tie the series 2-2 as the road team as won each game so far.

Game 5:  Felix Hernandez vs. Cole Hamels
King Felix is hurt by the long ball again.  This time, Billy Butler launches a 3 run shot in the first inning.  That is all Hamels needs.  He allows one hit until the 8th inning.  Butler launches another 3 run blast in the seventh.  Nationals show everyone the home team can win a game as they coast to the victory, 7-0.  They are on the brink of a big upset as the Mariners tied a regular season record for victories at 110.
Game 6:  James McDonald vs. Matt Moore
Mariners are inspired by the home crowd and come out hungry.  Longoria hits a first inning bomb.  They capitalize on a Drew Stubbs error in the second inning and add four runs for a 5 run lead.  Gordon Beckham leads off the 7th with a HR to put the Nats on the board.  Mike Trout and Billy Butler add a couple of two out RBIs to cut the deficit to 2.  Darren Oliver comes in to stop the rally while K-Rod closes out the ninth for the save and 5-3 Mariner victory.
Game 7:  Stephen Strasburg vs. Justin Verlander
Mike Trout and Carlos Gonzalez hit back-to back HR in the first inning.  Billy Butler just misses making it three in a row.  Ryan Braun answers with a solo HR in the second.  Mariners add two runs in the third to take the lead.  The second run on a GIDP by Longoria.  Mariners add 2 runs in the sixth with HRs by Brandon Belt and another by Braun.  Verlander goes the distance striking out nine and allowing four hits. 5-2 Mariners. 
Washington put up a surprising tough fight.  Congratulations to Nats manager Angelo on a great season.  He has some fun young players to build around.

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