G25: Rangers hold on, win in Seattle, 6-5

Early on, this game was what you thought it would be. 2009 Kevin Milwood vs Felix Hernandez of the Mariners. You figured it would be a low offense game. And it was, for awhile. The first three innings were quick, clean, and devoid of runs.
Until the top of the fourth when Hank Blalock doubled in Michael Young and then Marlon Byrd singled in Hank. That put us up 2-0. Feeling good. Started feeling even better when in the next inning, Michael Young homered to right, scoring Elvis Andrus. OK, we’re up 4-0. With the way that Kevin Millwood is pitching in 2009 so far, you’re feeling really good about that.
Then the old Rangers Kevin Millwood showed up for the bottom of the fifth, as he gave up two home runs. A solo shot to Russell Branyan, and a three run job to Franklyn Gutierrez. Kevin wasn’t exactly awful there, but giving up all four runs you get right away was a bit disheartening.
However, Chris Davis came to the rescue, and reinforced Texas’ point in this with another two run home run (scoring David Murphy). That put us up 6-4. Seattle picked up their final run on a fielder’s choice by Ichiro.
The Mariners made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. They put two on, and Ichiro was up, something you never want to see happen. Fortunately, Frank Francisco got him to pop out to center field, ending the game.
Frankie got a four out save. He got his eighth save, which ties him for the overall MLB lead with Heath Bell of the Padres. Speaking of numbers like that, going into today’s action, Kevin Millwood leads all pitchers with 45.1 innings tossed. That leads Zack Greinke by just one third of an inning, and Roy Halladay (44), Dan Haren (43), and Josh Johnson (42). At this rate, Kevin will vest his 2010 option by July. :)
The play that most people are talking about was the really extremely good play by Elvis Andrus in the ninth. It was quite amazing to see, and made you think of a ton of great shortstops from the past. Not the least of which was the guy who is currently Elvis’ backup, Omar Vizquel. It reminded me of a do or die play from 2001 in Seattle that caused an epic, major level meltdown by Lou Piniella. This one had a minor meltdown, but man was it a play for the year end highlight reel. If you didn’t see it, you will want to check it out here. The clip has the Mariners’ announcers, so they were not surprisingly skeptical of the call, but what the heck, gotta get some go your way some time. You could also check out this mp3 of Eric Nadel’s call, too (thanks to Jamey Newberg for the mp3) :)