Rick Rizzs: ‘What we need to do is have some faith’
“What we need to do is have some faith,” Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs proclaimed. “These guys have been in this situation all season long.”
Talking with Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin on The Gee and Ursula Show, Rizzs said that 27 years ago, the Mariners were in the same position.
“Hopefully history repeats itself. We finally made it to the postseason for the very first time and we went to New York and lost two games over there, but Lou Piniella told me on the flight home, ‘We’re gonna win this thing,'” Rizzs said. “And we won the next three games.”
Rick Rizzs says of the Mariners ‘There’s a lot of fight in this dog’
Rizzs said fans should keep in mind it’s a one-game season.
“George Kirby is on the mound for the Mariners. He’s gonna pitch the biggest game of his life to keep the M’s hopes alive,” Rizzs said. “If they win tomorrow, then they have to do it again on Sunday and get the series back to Houston.”
Rizzs said he wouldn’t put anything past the M’s.
“There’s a lot of fight in this dog. Every game they’ve been in it with the Houston Astros,” Rizzs said. “They just need to be a little more careful with [DH/LF] Yordan Álvarez. I wouldn’t put it past this club to go out there and win three games in a row. I’m looking for them to do that.”
‘Take your chances with the other guy’
Ursula asked Rizzs whether Álvarez should just be an automatic walk every single time.
“I’m not saying every single time,” Rizzs explained. “But what you need to do is what Sparky Anderson told me when I was with the Detroit Tigers for three years. He told me, he’d go up to his players and say you’re not playing today. So it [would] be Sparky saying ‘I don’t pitch to Ken Griffey Jr.’ There’s a time when there are just certain guys that you have to be really careful and you got to make sure and, this is known throughout baseball, you just can’t let that guy beat you. Take your chances with the other guy.
“Álvarez has been a pain in the you know what! That game one, man, that was a heartbreaker. And then he had a home run in the middle part of the ball game [Thursday] to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. However, you can take a look at every ball game or slump. What happened before ‘that guy’ is what really [lost] the ballgame. Before Álvarez was [SS] Jeremy Peña. If you somehow get Peña out, Álvarez never hits and the ball game is over. And then yesterday he has a bloop single into center field. Then Álvarez comes up with an opposite-field home run.”
Baseball is a funny game
“So you know, it’s baseball. It’s a funny game and you can always look at something prior to the big hits to find out what happened here,” explained Rizzs.
“This club has been outstanding all season long. They bounce back all season long. And I looked to George Kirby to pitch the game of his life tomorrow.”
Ursula said having a sold-out crowd at T-Mobile Park is going to be the thing that puts them over and brings them to a win. “Is it just me or has J-Rod had that big breakout during this series?”
J-Rod is still the star
“Julio Rodríguez is doing fine and the one game where he didn’t get a hit, he hit the ball hard twice. And then in the opening game against Houston, he had a leadoff walk against [Justin] Verlander and scored in the second inning. He had a two-run double and he scored. Third time up, early in the ballgame against Verlander, he had a triple and he scored. The kid is doing just fine.
“He’s the star of this ballclub. And thank goodness, they wrapped him up for many, many years to come.”
Gee wanted to know what Rizzs was going to do the rest of the day.
“I’m going to go on top of the Space Needle and raise the flag. I’ve never been on top of the Space Needle.”
Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.