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April 21, 2007 at 6:52 PM

Mariners vs. Angels

Horacio Ramirez managed to get out of the third and fourth rather quickly, so he’s “only” at 70 pitches heading into the fifth. But even though he has settled down, what is up with this Mariner offense? This may be the most easy Mariners outs I’ve seen in the first five innings of a game since, since…well, since that snowed out contest in Cleveland that Ramirez pitched in.
(Ramirez just walked his fifth batter of the game, just what you want to do with Vladimir Guerrero up next).
Back to the offense, I mean, how exactly does a guy who hasn’t pitched in eight months, Bartolo Colon, get through five innings on just 55 pitches? He isn’t throwing only strikes tonight. The free-swinging going on is not going to work. The Mariners have to make Colon work harder than this. It’s only a three-run game. This is exactly what we discussed this morning.
Ramirez just walked his sixth batter (one intentional) and is now up to 80 pitches without an out in the fifth. Now, he just yielded a run-scoring double to make it 4-0 and he’s out of there. Julio Mateo coming in. Maybe they should use Chris Reitsma. Just kidding. Everybody calm down.
Seriously though, what a disappointing outing by Ramirez. His command deserted him frequently and the pitches that were close to the plate got nailed. A very disappointing series so far by the Mariners. If this type of play keeps up, a four-game losing streak is going to seem paltry. The Mariners have to get out of this inning and get their heads back into this game.
By the way, for what it’s worth, Mateo just got a ground ball out…and seconds later, gives up a two-run single to left — first hit of the season by Robb Quinlan (who had been 0-for-13). Almost time to turn out the lights, at 6-0 and counting.
This isn’t quite what Mike Hargrove had in mind when he talked about pitchers needing to step up. Horacio Ramirez is stepping in something right now, but he’s certainly not stepping up. He’s looked terrible and is fortunate it’s still only a 3-0 game — remember, the Angels can’t hit — in the third inning instead of 5-0 or 6-0.
It seems like just about every ball has rocketed off an Angels bat, whether it results in a hit or an out. Ramirez got out of a bases-loaded jam last inning, largely because Maicer Izturis didn’t see that Jose Lopez had failed to catch a pop-up to shallow right field. Izturis ran back towards first and wound up being an easy force-out at second.
Garret Anderson then scorched a bases-loaded shot that would have gone into center field had Ramirez not stuck his glove out to deflect the ball to second baseman Lopez for a 1-4-3 out at first to end the frame.
Vladimir Guerrero is on fire right now, hitting a three-run homer off Ramirez in the first inning. Ramirez only got out of that inning when, with two on, Mike Napoli smoked a liner that Lopez snagged and turned a double-play on. Mariners’ lefty Ramirez has already thrown 52 pitches in two innings. He’ll be lucky to make it through five at this rate without some quicker outs.
Bartolo Colon gave up a leadoff double to Ichiro on the second pitch of the game. The Mariners then stranded Ichiro on-base, showing the same inability to manufacture runs that they did last night.
Here are the lineups:
CF Ichiro
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Jose Vidro
LF Raul Ibanez
1B Richie Sexson
RF Jose Guillen
C Kenji Johjima
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
2B Jose Lopez
LHP Horacio Ramirez
CF Gary Matthews Jr.
SS Orlando Cabrera
RF Vladimir Guerrero
LF Garret Anderson
DH Shea Hillenbrand
1B Robb Quinlan
C Mike Napoli
3B Macier Izturis
2B Erick Aybar



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