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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 18, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Mariners 9, Brewers 5, final

My apologies for the lack of blog activity today, but we were having server problems with the very dismal wireless internet feed at the Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. Am now back in Peoria, at Mariners camp, so I can bring you this game summary, as well as the news that pitcher Jesse Foppert was one of seven minor leaguers released by the team today.
The severing of ties with Foppert brings a very uneventful close to the Randy Winn trade of a couple of years back. Winn, you’ll remember, was sent to the San Francisco Giants at the 2005 trade deadline for Foppert, described by GM Bill Bavasi as the key to the deal at the time, and catcher Yorvit Torreabla.
Neither player is still with the Mariners, though Torrealba will be in the majors come April as a member of the Colorado Rockies. As for Foppert, he was always a risk, given that he was coming off “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery in his elbow when Bavasi acquired him.
Foppert failed to show enough this spring for the Mariners to consider holding on to him. He was injury-prone last season, when a quadriceps strain and an elbow strain ensured that he only saw action a few weeks in April and then a couple more in May.
Foppert hurt his hamstring right off the bat in camp this year and then proved underwhelming on the mound.
Mariners starter Felix Hernandez was a tad underwhelming on the mound today, giving up four runs — three earned — over five innings. The most impressive part for me was the way he gritted through those five frames since it appeared, at one point, that he’d have trouble getting through four.
Hernandez had a 1-2-3 first inning, but it was a struggle from then on, with a Prince Fielder single and a Johnny Estrada double to left field greeting him in the second. A pair of infield singles after that and a Kenji Johjima throwing error led to a three-run inning for Milwaukee that gave the Brew Crew a 3-1 lead.
But Seattle scored a pair in each of the third and fourth innings to take the lead for good. Raul Ibanez clubbed his third homer of the spring, a two-run blast to right field in the third. Ibanez later added a two-run double in the sixth to cap a four-RBI day.
Hernandez says he was pleased with the fact he didn’t walk anybody. He also struck out six batters, but this looked more like one of those outings last season in which he’d throw a ton of pitches over five or six frames and be forced to leave. Those infield hits didn’t help him, but shortstop Rey Ordonez did all he could just to keep them infield hits in the first place.
All in all, if Hernandez has to have a “rough” outing, I’m sure he’ll take this one. He says he simply wants to throw strikes and can live with the ones that get hit at this point. The next two weeks, he’ll work on his command. He had trouble hitting the outside corner a couple of times today and paid for it with some hits — including a Geoff Jenkins solo homer in the fourth. But he’ll still be the Opening Day starter. And he did, after all, come away with the win.

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