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

May 18, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Mariners vs. Padres, game 1

Yes, a couple of you were right to point out that I goofed on saying Ichiro could have been doubled off. There were already two outs in the inning. My bad. Trying to do too many things at once over here and sometimes I lose track of how many outs there are. Sorry about that.
On that Adrian Beltre drive to right field, it did indeed appear as if it might leave the park. Was caught just at the base of the wall. The roof is closed tonight, FYI. No, I don’t think the M’s have been overly victimized. The Padres have hit seven doubles already. The Mariners have hit a few hard fly balls that have been caught, but that happens every game.
Spoke to some folks who watch the Padres often and they tell me the stolen base barrage is nothing new. Their starters, especially Young, do not hold baserunners very well and that explains how Ichiro headed into third without even drawing a throw. Apparently been happening all season long.
That fourth run by the Padres looks huge right now. I get the feeling Seattle’s last big chance just vanished in that seventh. We’ll see. But giving up a two-out double to Jose Cruz Jr. on his 118th pitch really hurt Batista. Otherwise, he pitched a pretty good game.
A few observations of a game now in the fourth inning, the Mariners trailing 3-1 after just giving up three unearned runs in the top of the frame.
I think a move needs to be made with Richie Sexson, unless he miraculously discovers his stroke the final few innings tonight. I don’t mean benching him. But I do think he has to be pushed further back in the order. I can understand not wanting to hurt his already fragile confidence (yes, that does happen with highly-paid veterans) but it’s at the point now where he’s really hurting the middle of the order. Sexson has already stranded three baserunners in his first two at-bats, a pair of inning-ending strikeouts in the first and third. He was behind 1-2 in both at-bats and really did not look comfortable at all. No point leaving him fourth if he’s going to kill rallies. His batting average is plummeting beyond any norms of acceptability and leaving him clean-up does not seem to be helping. If anything, maybe a little less pressure further back in the order would pull him out of this.
As for Miguel Batista, he was victimized by some poor defense that last inning, but also did little to pick up third baseman Adrian Beltre. That Kevin Kouzmanoff double the opposite way, driving in a pair, really hurt. Kouzmanoff is a very coveted player, but he’s young, hitting .163 and batting ninth. Batista had to get him out in that situation and instead saw the ball hit a very long way.
Ichiro seems to be trying to make a point with this whole stolen base thing .He’s got three already and is running like a demon tonight. Maybe it’s the whole NL style of baseball thing. Or maybe, he’s trying to prove something. Prove what, I don’t know. He’s got an 11-game hitting streak going. But anyway, that’s my take. Haven’t seen him run like this all season. Almost ran himself into a double-play in the third inning, but caught a break when shortstop Khalil Greene just couldn’t squeeze a soft liner by Jose Vidro.
Chris Young is pitching a very effective game for the Padres. The Mariners have hit a few deep fly balls, but otherwise, haven’t gotten real solid wood on anything.



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