SEATTLE -- Okay, Cleveland fans, it's time to switch allegiances and start rooting for those Browns.
|Jamie Moyer tips his cap to the crowd after shutting down the Tribe, again.
The Cleveland Indians, capable of pounding out 17 runs in a single game, were ousted Monday by the Seattle Mariners, 3-1, and sent home, forced to make a five-hour flight twice in 24 hours.
Jamie Moyer was the right man for the job, beating the Indians for the fourth time this year and twice in the American League Division Series to boost the M's into the next round.
The Mariners' pitchers shut down the Tribe in two must-win games in the best-of-five series. Now, Seattle will get to regale the world for a few more days about their marvelous season in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, which will open Wednesday at SAFECO Field.
Seattle Manager Lou Piniella didn't consider his team's 116-win season a burden or anything they needed to justify. It's not "World Series or bust" for Piniella.
"This is fun," he said of the postseason. "This is not pressure, it really isn't. It might seem like it if you put me on a deadline to write a story. That would be pressure. I'm not used to that.
"But we do this every day for a living," Piniella said. "It's fun for us. This is what we go to Spring Training for, this is what we plan the entire season for."
Mark McLemore hit a two-run single in the second and Edgar Martinez added a RBI single in the seventh for the M's, who reach the ALCS for the third time in their last four postseason appearances.
Ichiro Suzuki maintained his electric pace, going 3-for-4 with two infield hits. The Mariners' right fielder batted .600 in the series, going 12-for-20 with four runs. His 12 hits tied a club record set by Martinez in 1995 for most in a five-game Division Series.
But Monday's game belonged to Moyer and the pen, Jeff Nelson, Arthur Rhodes and Kazuhiro Sasaki who pitched the ninth for his first save of the ALDS.
"Usually on a good day, I'd say an average day for us, we're going to score four to six runs a game," Indians Manager Charlie Manuel said. "Their pitching shut us down."
Guess Monday was a bad day for Cleveland.
Who's Sizzling: Jamie Moyer cruised through six innings, striking out six of the last nine batters he faced. Had he ever had a must-win game like this before? "I had a game like that in college once," he said.
Who's Fizzling: Juan Gonzalez, Ellis Burks and Jim Thome were a combined 0-for-10 with five strikeouts Monday. The three were called out on strikes in the fourth in consecutive at-bats. That's going to be a long flight home.
Fearless Prediction: No matter who the M's face in the ALCS, they won't be able to stop Ichiro. They can only hope to contain him.
Carrie Muskat is a regional writer for MLB.com based in Chicago.