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July 23, 2007 at 8:48 PM

Mariners lose again; post-game audio

This wasn’t the happiest clubhouse after the game. Believe me, there weren’t many Mariners singing their own optimistic praises even with Richie Sexson going deep in that ninth inning. And for good reason.
As I mentioned earlier, forget about the 8-7 final score. This was one of those defeats that looked good because of a ninth-inning rally that came too late. Like all those April losses back when this was still just a .500 team.
Yes, the team needed this from Sexson. But they also needed him to do something other than strike out in that first inning. Mariners manager John McLaren was not pleased with how his team let Kevin Millwood off the hook with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first.
“I’m pleased that we keep fighting but I’m not pleased that we leave 11 or 12 runners on base,” McLaren said. “I’m disappointed there. We’ve had a couple of times when we’ve got a chance to really put the hammer on the starting pitcher and get him out of the game and we haven’t done it.
“We need to do this. We have got to do this. If we get Millwood out of the game at that point, or close to it, we bring in their bullpen and it sets us up for the rest of the series.”
Hear the audio of what was said. McLaren was not happy.
McLaren did seem to find a silver lining in the 409-foot homer and Sexson’s prior double.
“You know what, we’ll take it and hope that’s something for him to build on,” McLaren said. “That’s what we’re looking for right there. If he can build on that from here, let’s go. Let’s get on it.”
Yes, let’s. The team is hitting just .247 since the All-Star Break. Sexson is at .188, Raul Ibanez, who had a single tonight, is at .128. Jose Vidro, another guy who appeared on-the-bubble because of his bat just a few weeks ago is 17-for-34 in the second half after four hits tonight.
“If you look back, the way the game ended, one more run in that first inning probably could have been the difference,” Vidro said. “We should have at least come out of that first inning with a lot more room. But it didn’t happen.”
Listen to Vidro right here.
A tough one because the Indians were also beaten and the Angels are losing big. Or maybe that makes this a not-so-tough defeat? Depends how you see things I guess. Maybe it gives the M’s a do-over. Buys them more time to figure out this team’s future.
Horacio Ramirez? A road nightmare. His ERA actually went up, if you can believe it, from 13.21 to 13.72 away from home. Not an acceptable performance. Too many big hits, two of them crushed by Sammy Sosa with that double and a three-run homer to cap a five-RBI night.
“It wasn’t a good job by me of staying out of the big inning,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t do a good job of that and that’s what cost us. I gave up five in one and three in the other.”
Hear the rest of his analysis right here.
Seattle has to get better at the little things starting today. Have to pounce on pitchers when they’re down. Get Jose Lopez to stop bunting every time his team needs him to swing the bat. Don’t get caught off base when you’re the last out of the game. Get that tag in on the runner barreling home. Oh yeah, and don’t cough up leads as quickly as you get them. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. This is a long season and the M’s are hanging in there.
A doubleheader today that should prove exhausting. Ryan Rowland-Smith has been sent out to Class AAA so Ryan Feierabend can start Game 1. A sweep would cure a lot of what ails this team right now.

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