BY SPNW Staff 11:04PM 09/09/2013

Astros Rally In 9th, Knock Off Mariners 6-4

Down 3-2 entering the ninth, the Houston Astros rallied for three runs off Seattle closer Danny Farquhar and defeated the Mariners 6-4 Monday night at Safeco Field. Farquhar, who entered with 13 saves in 14 chances, retired the first batter, Brandon Barnes, on three pitches, then came unglued as the Astros parlayed two walks, an RBI single, two errors and a two-run single by Jonathan Villar into the winning runs.

Houston sent eight to the plate in the inning, scoring its final run on one of the oddest plays imaginable.

With one out and the Astros leading 5-3, Trevor Crowe hit a popup into foul territory along the first base line that Justin Smoak snagged for the second out. Smoak went home with the ball in an attempt to get Villar, breaking for home. But Smoak’s throw hit Crowe, who had moved up the first-base line and crouched in foul territory to get out of the way of a play. The ball caromed off the unsuspecting Crowe, allowing Villar to score.

Collapse completed.

Until that point, the Mariners seemed a lock to nail down the win. After trailing 2-1 early, they jumped ahead in the seventh 3-2 on rookie Abraham Almonte’s first major league homer.

After Charlie Furbush escaped a jam in the eighth, not allowing a run after the Astros had runners at second and third with no outs, Farquhar came on and the unraveling began.

Rookie Taijuan Walker, pitching his final game of the season (the Mariners are shutting him down after he reach an innings limit), worked 5.0 innings in his Safeco Field debut, allowing two earned runs on five hits with a career-high eight strikeouts and one walk. But he departed in a 2-1 hole and stood to take the loss until Almonte went deep against Houston’s Chia-Jen Lo.

The Mariners fell to 65-79, to 10-7 against the last-place Astros and to 34-34 against the AL West.

ARMS: The Mariners used seven pitchers and Farquhar took the loss, falling to 0-3. He allowed four runs, three earned with one strikeout and two walks.

BATS: The Mariners had eight hits, including two home runs. Brad Miller hit his sixth, a ninth-inning shot. Almonte and Miller had two hits. The Mariners stranded eight and drew eight walks, but none came around to score.

QUOTES: The two walks, that was the difference. Danny (Farquhar) was just a little bit too fine” — Eric Wedge, Seattle manager.

“I’ve seen a lot of crazy things, but not that” — Wedge, on the ninth-inning play when Smoak caught a popup in foul territory and hit the batter with his throw to the plate

“He did a good job of using all of his pitches. We’ve seen three different outings from him and he’s thrown three different types of games, all good” — Wedge on Walker

NOTES: The Mariners announced Felix Hernandez will not make his scheduled start Wednesday. Hernandez, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 2, is suffering from a mild oblique strain. He will be re-evaluated during the Mariners series at St. Louis, which gets underway Friday.

NEXT:  The series continues Tuesday with a 7:10 p.m. start. LHP Joe Saunders (11-13, 4.95) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.08).



  • Da Kid

    “Danny Farquhar allowed four runs, three earned,
    in the ninth inning as the Houston Astros rallied to beat the Mariners
    6-4 in front of 9,808, the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.”

    Tell me again how the M’s are averaging higher attendance than last year. Then put down the crack pipe, step away from the pot dispensary, push the plate of brownies aside and make me believe it.

  • Da Kid

    “NOTES: The Mariners announced Felix Hernandez will not
    make his scheduled start Wednesday. Hernandez, who hasn’t pitched since
    Sept. 2, is suffering from a mild oblique strain. He will be
    re-evaluated during the Mariners series at St. Louis, which gets
    underway Friday.”

    HAH! What did I just post here a couple days ago? He’s done for the year. Any excuse to shut him down. Sadly, the M’s have already won too many games to reach 100 losses.

  • Effzee

    Didn’t I say all last off-season that they were just pushing in the fences to try to make games more exciting in order to draw the fans back in? And that the M’s would be losing games 13-10 and 9-8 instead of 1-0 and such, but that they would still lose 90 games? And that the Safeco lovers would probably return because at least the home runs would be flying outta the stadium, and everyone loves the long-ball? Well, mission accomplished on the M’s part. Except for that they did manage to still lose games 1-0 when Felix pitched, which is just perfect.

    I must admit, though, that the fans have impressed me with their ability to see through the smoke and mirrors. It should be clear to all by now that the organization is at its lowest point. At least when I was growing up and watching baseball this awful, we KNEW there was no hope. There was never any real hope until Griffey arrived and starting knocking dingers over that shallow-yet-tall right field fence in the Homer Do… Err… King Dome. But see, now we’ve tasted victory, the playoffs, winning seasons led by superstar players. Sure, anyone under 10 years old is probably growing up with the same Mariners experience as I did: That of having no hope whatsoever. But the rest of us…

    The rest of us are just too smart for Chuckles and Howie any more. We’ve seen teams who have been around for decades less than us win the World Series. We’ve seen team after team go from the crap pile to the playoffs. But not us! I personally haven’t seen reason for hope since the trade deadline of 2001 passed. I’ve been a naysayer since then, and it boggles my mind how its not absolute consensus that the mere presence of Howie and Chuckles is in itself a curse of perpetual doom. I’ve been saying it for a dozen years now, and nothing has proven me wrong, in the slightest.

    Thru GM after GM, Manager after Manager, position coach after position coach, trade after trade, bad signing after bad signing, there are but two constants. Two people have overseen, meddled in, and ultimately approved of every personnel decision made by the people that they hired to make those decisions. Nothing is ever going to change until they are gone. So, please… Whoever out there is at the heart of the rumors about ownership and upper management changes… Please, please, please give us hope. Save us from the two buffoons who hold this franchise hostage, who remain above all accountability, and who keep this team in a constant state of embarrassingly horrible.

    I think it would be so cool to watch even moderately competitive major league baseball, and I think Howie and Chuckles are just total jerks for failing so hard, so continually, and refusing to step aside. Its not like anyone above them is going to remove them from their positions. They just seem to act soooo entitled, like its their purpose, and theirs alone, to be stewards of the Mariners. Nobody will ever say that they do not deserve credit for the M’s being in Seattle. On the other hand, nobody will ever say they knew anything about how to run a winning baseball franchise either.

    • Da Kid

      You have to remember…the Twin Bobbleheads are like any other dictatorial, fascist, power-hungry, comfortable regime. Until there’s a revolt of the people they have no reason or motivation to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. They’ve appointed themselves Presidents for Life. You want them out of here? Show up outside corporate HQ with 10,000 chanting, screaming fans bearing nooses, pitchforks, shovels, WMD, chemical gas, SCUDs, AKs, and empty beer glasses. Plus, hopefully, a portable guillotine.

      Otherwise, well, also remember this is Seattle. And it’s football season.

  • jafabian

    Looks like Wilhelmsen can get the closers job back if he can get his act together. Farquahr is too inconsistent. Might be better off as a set up man.
    Wondering if the club might shut Felix down for the season? No real point in him being used now.