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Mariners blog

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

May 23, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Mariners seek consistency

So, the Mariners win 5-1 here tonight and head into tomorrow afternoon’s contest seeking their first three-game sweep of the season. They are also seeking their first three-game win streak in almost a month.
Jose Guillen, who had the fourth four-hit night of his career against an awful-looking D-Rays team that gave up after the fourth inning, summed up his team’s plight afterwards.
“This team looks good when we play the way we played today,” Guillen said. “We pitched, we played defense. We moved the runners (over). We did OK with people on base.
“This looks like the team everybody expected it to be,” he added. “Everybody knows what the problems are. Hopefully, we can just stay consistent. That’s something we haven’t been able to do yet.”
No, they have not been consistent. But winning two in a row is a start. It enabled them to gain a game on the Angels, moving to within 4 1/2 of the division leaders. How big was that Sexson hit last night? About as big as those plays in the second inning tonight by Yuniesky Betancourt and Ichiro.
The Betancourt snare of a shot headed up the middle may have changed the entire outcome. Seattle could easily have trailed 4-0 or 5-0 in the first two innings.
“The only reason I thought that play was possible was because it was Betancourt,” said Ichiro, riding a 16-game hit streak. “If some other player was playing that position, as soon as the batter hit it I would have thought it was a hit.”
Mariners starter Miguel Batista knew how fortunate he was to have those plays made behind him.
“It was huge,” Batista said of the second inning defense. “I didn’t have much on the ball my first two innings. My back was tired and I felt like crap. I was looking around trying to see where I’d left myself. My velocity was down. I missed my location.”
D-Rays starter Casey Fossum didn’t have those plays behind him. He saw two errors made, two unearned runs score and his offense quit on him as these young Devil Rays have been known to do throughout a miserable 10-year existence.
But that’s their problem. As for the Mariners, they won another game they had to and now have a shot at a sweep. Thast elusive three-game sweep. Manager Mike Hargrove wasn’t biting too hard when I asked him about it, but admitted that: “Obviously, we want to do that. It’s important…we’d like to finish this thing off, sure.”
Take care of business here, it buys the Mariners more time to work out problems, to find that elusive consistency Guillen talks about. A month is too long a time for any contender to go without winning three in a row.

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