M’s playing Bucky Ball

  • By Kirby Arnold / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – Of all the home runs Bucky Jacobsen hit in his 71/2 years in the minor leagues, none of them measured up to the ones of his childhood fantasy.

”Your whole life, you dream about a major league walkoff home run,” he said.

Jacobsen, finishing his first week as a big leaguer, finally hit the homer of his dreams Wednesday night.

He crushed the first pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning over the center field fence, giving the Seattle Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field.

After 155 minor league homers and two since he was called up from Class AAA Tacoma last Thursday, this one mattered most.

”I’m still getting goosebumps,” he said 20 minutes after he reached home plate to a swarm of celebrating teammates. ”This is 10 times better than any home run I’ve ever hit.”

It wasn’t so bad for Bobby Madritsch, either.

The 28-year-old left-hander, on his first day in the major leagues after being rushed up from Tacoma, pitched the top of the 10th and watched Jacobsen make him a winner with one swing.

”I’ve seen Bucky hit a lot of them this year,” Madritsch said. ”This matters more than any of them.”

The Mariners rode their young players – plus homers by Bret Boone and Raul Ibanez, and four hits by Ichiro Suzuki – to their fourth victory in the seven games since the All-Star break.

Starting pitcher Travis Blackley, a 21-year-old who’d given up three straight homers and six runs in the third inning of his last start, threw his first pitch Wednesday and watched it sail into the right field seats. Mark Kotsay’s leadoff homer gave Oakland a quick 1-0 lead.

Blackley settled down and gave the Mariners five good innings, leaving with a 5-3 lead.

Julio Mateo, who’d given up three home runs in the ninth inning Friday against Cleveland, pitched two scoreless innings and maintained the two-run lead.

It lasted all of three hitters.

J.J. Putz, newly installed into the right-handed eight-inning role as the Mariners evaluate how he can handle late-inning pressure, gave up a leadoff single to Eric Chavez. He got Jermaine Dye hit a soft popup to shortstop, but fell behind pinch hitter Scott Hatteberg, who then hit a 3-1 pitch deep into the right-field seats for a two-run homer that tied the score 5-5.

Putz gave up another hit but got out of that inning, Eddie Guardado worked a perfect ninth and Madritsch pitched the 10th.

Eric Chavez nearly undressed Madritsch with a line drive single up the middle, and Dye hit a top-spin bouncer that had rookie third baseman Justin Leone on his heels. Leone caught the ball but made a wide throw to second – his sixth throwing error in 12 games – and the A’s were sitting well with runners on first and second with nobody out.

Hatteberg’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third.

Bobby Kielty hit a line drive to Leone, who stepped on third for a double play that ended the threat.

Jacobsen, who was at the plate with two outs in the ninth when A’s right-hander Justin Duchscherer picked Randy Winn off first base, ended it quickly in the 10th.

He hit Duchscherer’s first pitch to dead center field, a 434-foot blast that won the game.

”I didn’t’ think he would throw me a fastball there,” Jacobsen said. ”I thought to myself, ‘If he does, I’ve got to go get it.”

He got it, and one swing became the home run of his dreams.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Richland’s Landen Northrop (1) shoots the ball during a 4A semifinal game between Glacier Peak and Richland at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. Glacier Peak fell, 70-59. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Glacier Peak boys fade late against Richland in 4A state semifinals

An 11-0 closing run by the Bombers hands the Grizzlies a 70-59 loss.

Mead’s Teryn Gardner (24) moves with the ball during a 3A semifinal game between Snohomish and Mead at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. Snohomiosh fell, 56-50. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish girls get rolling too late, fall to Mead in 3A state semifinals

Snohomish makes a valiant second-half push, but comes up short 56-50 against the well-balanced top seed.

State basketball roundup for Friday, March 1

State basketball prep roundup for Friday, March 1: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Matt Brash delivers during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)
Mariners get relieving injury update on Matt Brash

The hard-throwing reliever won’t need surgery. Plus, updates on injuries to Gregory Santos and Luis Urias.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Penix Jr. confident he’s answered concerns at NFL combine

Varying national reports have stated the UW quarterback has impressed teams in formal meetings

Snohomish junior Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles hits the floor trying to get the ball during a WIAA 3A Girls Basketball quarterfinal against Arlington on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish girls lock down Arlington, advance to 3A state semifinals

The Panthers run away a 45-25 victory in a rubber match between the Wesco rivals.

Glacier Peak junior Josiah Lee splits the defense on his way to the basket during a WIAA 4A Boys Basketball quarterfinal against Gonzaga Prep on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lee flips switch, Glacier Peak boys rally again to reach 4A state semis

Jo Lee pours in a barrage of 3-pointers down the stretch as the Grizzlies outlast Gonzaga Prep 65-58 in overtime.

State basketball roundup for Thursday, Feb. 29

State basketball prep roundup for Thursday, Feb. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Mountlake Terrace’s Rayshaun Connor shoots a three during a WIAA 3A Boys Basketball quarterfinal against Mount Spokane on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Terrace boys overpowered by Mt. Spokane in 3A state quarterfinals

The Hawks struggle with the well-oiled Wildcats in an 82-58 loss.

Everett’s Alana Washington is called for an offensive foul during a WIAA 3A Girls Basketball quarterfinal against Garfield on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett girls fall to Garfield in 3A state quarterfinals

Katie Fiso and the Bulldogs prove too much for the Seagulls in a 54-43 loss.

State basketball roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 28

State basketball prep roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Glacier Peak’s Jayce Nelson looks for an open shot during the 4A boys state basketball game against Camas on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Tacoma, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Glacier Peak boys mount huge comeback, reach 4A state quarterfinals

Senior Isaiah Cuellar leads the way with 24 points as the Grizzlies down Camas 65-61.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.