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

April 20, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Mariners vs. Angels

Hard luck game for the Mariners so far, down 4-0 in the fifth despite getting all types of action going on the basepaths. They’ve hit into two double plays so far where the ball was lined right at infielders. When you get seven guys on base the first four innings, you usually expect one of them to score.
The Angels, it seems, are scoring at will. Even when they don’t hit the ball very hard. Miguel Batista had a particularly rough third inning when Shea Hillenbrand drove home one run on a broken bat flare to center that dropped in front of Ichiro. A second run scored that inning when Macier Izturis chopped a ball just over Richie Sexson’s head at first base and down the line for a double.
Vlad Guerrero really does make an impact for this team. The Angels had scored 16 runs in their last eight games before putting up four in the first three frames here. Guerrero only missed the last three games (he was hit on the hand by a pitch in the first inning on Monday, so we’re counting that as a miss). In his first two at-bats tonight, he doubled and scored, then added a single.
No breaks for the Mariners here so far. Batista is already up to 75 pitches and we’re only starting his fifth inning of work. Whoops! He just gave up a home run to Guerrero to lead off the fifth. So, make that 5-0. This is another reason why you don’t burn out your bullpen by using a half-dozen relievers to try to win one April game. The Mariners will likely need a bunch of relievers to survive this road trip because none of these starters has shown they can go seven quality innings yet besides Felix Hernandez.
By the way, and this is for USS Mariner: The Angels PR staff has already corrected the mistake they made in their game notes. Yes, they were getting their info off of Oh, and Morrow is now warming up in the bullpen.
No rain yet, and the first-pitch was just made. By the way, what’s with all the USS Mariner stuff flowing in? Nobody singled out any particular website. If that was my intention, I’d do it directly, not in a backhanded way, trust me.
There are plenty of sites that have been chatting up this rumor all day — this one included — which is why I mentioned “Web”. Chill out, folks. Nobody is attacking individual sites. I run one, for crying out loud. This is what I mean by getting overly-excited and running amuck. Take a deep breath. I was commenting on the state of affairs where a rumor gets put out and spreads like wildfire through the Web before anyone has a chance to verify whether it’s actually true. By the way, just to point out one thing, the Mariners “team site” is not officially run by the ballclub. It is run by Also on the “Web” I may add. That’s why every story written by one of the site’s writers usually carries this disclaimer: “This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.”
I know that and the folks who cover the game on a regular basis know it, which is why we don’t trip over ourselves to put it out there right away. I have known about the slip-up today since getting off a plane and being told about it in a telephone call from Seattle.
Just something to keep in mind, then. The team does not have somebody up in Bill Bavasi’s office pumping out stories on for daily consumption. When something is posted there, it is usually not coming directly out of the club’s mouth.
Talked to Brandon Morrow briefly in the dugout and he smiled sheepishly when I told him of all the chatter going on. Morrow figured he could pitch two or three innings if he had to. But start? “I wouldn’t make that move,” he quipped.
So, who really will start in Texas? Manager Mike Hargrove isn’t saying, but there are limited options. The only way it’s Jake Woods is if Felix Hernandez goes on the DL. Woods otherwise would have to spend 10 days in Tacoma before he could be recalled. Hargrove said the team wants to wait through next week before making a call on Hernandez, so Woods would appear to be out if that stands.
That leaves Cha-Seung Baek and Jorge Campillo. My gut would tell me Baek, who went 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA versus Texas last season. He threw inside very well on their big bats. Lifetime, he is 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA against the Rangers. But that’s just my guess. I’m not always right. Then again, the fact that Baek didn’t start on his regular rest today in Tacoma and that Jason Mackintosh was called-up in his place would be a tip-off something is in the works.
By the way, I asked Hargrove about the Mateo move, having not been around to do it last night, and he confirmed what I figured to be his reasons: did not want to burn Reitsma in the seventh, since he’d need someone to work the eighth. And, that seventh-inning situation is Mateo’s role. Morrow has yet to prove he can handle that job and he couldn’t afford to have him falling behind 3-1 and giving up a hit, or walking a batter.
I know some of you disagree. Yes, you can make arguments for using Sherrill a little earlier, against Joe Mauer, let’s say. But there was more than one way to go here. It wasn’t an all-or-nothing decision where you crucify a manager for going that one way. If you want to disagree, keep on doing it. It’s the way in which a select few of you do it that sometimes gets carried away, both with me and with each other.
As for the game, here are the lineups:
CF Gary Matthews Jr.
SS Orlando Cabrera
RF Vladimir Guerrero
LF Garret Anderson
1B Casey Kotchman
DH Shea Hillenbrand
3B Macier Izturis
C Mike Napoli
2B Erick Aybar
LHP Joe Saunders
CF Ichiro
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Jose Vidro
LF Raul Ibanez
1B Richie Sexson
RF Jose Guillen (lotta love for him in the OC)
C Kenji Johjima
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
2B Jose Lopez
RHP Miguel Batista



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