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

July 28, 2007 at 2:58 PM

Mariners win second straight

Hi, this is for “Andy” who obviously took exception to what I wrote below. No need to ream him out. He’s entitled to his opinion. But here’s my further opinion on what I wrote and the points you raised, “Andy”. And thanks for reading. We don’t all have to agree.
NOTE TO “DAT”: Yes, this is just a temporary thing. I am not covering the games this weekend. Will be at Monday’s game, with paid tickets and my family. Back on covering them from Tuesday through the following weekend. No one covers all 162 games and I’ve tried to keep the blog updated and make the days I’m not “working” as seamless as possible. But if I don’t take at least some semblance of a real day off when I get them, it will hurt the entire coverage package down the road and none of us wants that. There are still two months to go…but thanks for asking. On to the post…
Horacio Ramirez goes six innings today, allowing a whopping 11 baserunners but getting out of it with just three runs allowed in a 4-3 win over the Oakland A’s. Ah, the joys of facing the Oakland A’s offense and doing it at Safeco Field. Five walks? Talk about making yourself work. But it’s a “quality start” and he gets the win on the same day the Angels come back late to take a lead on Detroit. Can Seattle get within three games tomorrow? We’ll see. If they do, the M’s will have seriously just gotten away with another inopportune losing streak. Fans will have to consider that a break if it happens. If not, it’ll still be a four-game gap. The reality is, this team really does have to pick it up a notch. It can start by winning this series tomorrow with Jarrod Washburn on the mound. The A’s are going nowhere this season. Time to step it up and show that this season isn’t going to be a repeat of last August.
“It’s a big one for us, that’s a given,” manager John McLaren said of today’s win.
The Ramirez start today was better than his road performance earlier this week. But not by much. One or two big hits less, that’s it. You can’t allow nearly two baserunners per inning and expect to win. But he dodged a major bullet today.
Mark Lowe finally got on the mound in the eighth inning. Is this the latest “audition” being done by the Mariners?
“I knew he could handle anything we threw at him,” McLaren said. “I’m just elated to see him back out there.”
Lowe gets one out, walks a batter and is done. J.J. Putz comes on for another multi-inning save. So, what’s the answer in the eighth? Anyone? The Mariners don’t seem to know. This committee stuff seems to be their idea for now.
As far as Jose Guillen goes, it sounds like he vented steam privately, but a little too publically. Hey, I’d be ticked too, if someone criticized me for taking a 3-1 pitch on a team that hasn’t a clue how to draw a walk when it really needs to (unless the opposing pitcher offers up a gift as Chad Bradford of the Orioles did last week). The one thing this team and organization has to figure out is that it has done nothing important of late. It is a three-time last-place finisher in the midst of an improved season.
Yes, a few Mariners are holdovers from the playoff years. But this team has done nothing that merits talking about beyond this week. It has nothing to teach the rest of baseball, nor does it have anything to teach someone like Guillen, when it comes to winning. Yes, that sounds harsh. But it is true. The rest of baseball isn’t exactly sitting around taking notes on how the M’s go about the business of winning baseball championships. They aren’t devising any blueprints based on those “great” M’s teams of 2004-2006 when it comes to winning, period.
Perhaps the M’s will accomplish something this year. Once that happens, then they can start to carry themselves as if they’ve actually done something worth talking about. But here’s the thing. Guillen will be a part of that accomplishment. He will have accomplished just as much for the M’s as Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Raul Ibanez and any other veteran on a team that has achieved nothing so far except to still be in a sputtering AL West race in late-July.
In other words, if I was Guillen, I’d probably make sure the AP isn’t around the next time I blow up to a coach. But would I take that kind of nonsense from other players on a team that had just lost seven straight the first time it had to deal with any kind of second-half pressure? No, I wouldn’t. Guillen has produced for this team. He doesn’t have anything to “prove” to this bunch. The reality is, this team as a whole, Guillen included, has plenty to prove to the outside world when it comes to us figuring out whether or not they are for real.
“They were frustrated, we were all frustrated,” McLaren said of his players. “That little bump in the road may help us come September if they hit another one.”
Well, I don’t know. If not for the Angels and their month-long struggles, Seattle’s season would be over already. Another “bump” and this team is cooked. Time to get down to business, starting with taking three of four in this series. No more talk, just action.

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