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

July 30, 2007 at 10:53 PM

Huge win for M’s

What a game to take in as a spectator. A 2-0 win for the Mariners behind the stellar pitching of Miguel Batista. Throws a seven-inning, four-hitter, while the bullpen comes in to combine on the shutout. Once again, Kelvim Escobar gets done in by his offense. Goes eight innings, but the way the Mariners pitched and the Angels hit tonight, one run was all it was going to take.
Huge night for Ichiro and Jose Vidro. For the first six innings, they provided all the offense in the game just about. Big players rise to the occasion in big games and I liked the way Ichiro came through tonight. Other than having to wait far too long for our garlic fries and then fight our way through the crowds with drinks too large for the cardboard container holders, taking in a game at Safeco Field was a treat. Especially on a night the M’s conducted themselves like a team set on contending for the division.
A couple of things I noted about tonight:
Escobar going eight innings gave the Angels’ bullpen a night off and sets them up well for the final two games of the series. We’ll see if J.J. Putz is available tomorrow night. I doubt it, since he’s gone three in a row now. That could be a big advatage for the Angels late in tomorrow night’s game. Let’s not forget, the M’s still need to take one of the next two games to avoid falling five back by the time this series is over. But this was a great start.
The second thing I’ll say is that Orlando Cabrera really helped out Brandon Morrow in that eighth inning by not taking a pitch with Vladimir Guerrero on deck. Morrow had just walked a batter with two out, then fell behind 2-0 on Cabrera before he popped one up rather meekly to the outfield. You swing in a situation like that, you’d better make solid contact.
Anyhow, the walk thing with Morrow still bothers me if he’s going to be considered for the eighth inning role. I know he’s done better of late and some of the calls in that eighth were very close and not in his favor. But your eighth and ninth inning guys can’t be walk prone. I’d still lean towards picking up Al Reyes to work the eighth and from what I hear, that potential deal is still in-play, with Jeff Clement’s name being tossed around plenty.
But for tonight, the M’s did their job. This was a huge win and it was great to see Miguel Batista equal his career high for victories (11) without going the cheap route. This was as good as he’s looked all year. I especially liked the way he pitched to Guerrero in a couple of key situations. The other starters watching should take notes. This is how you pitch in a big game. And right now, for the near future, every game is big.
That’s too bad about Chris Reitsma. Sounds to me like he’s done for the year.
Three games back. If the Mariners have a trade in them, there’s no reason not to pull the trigger now. Make this bullpen that much more air-tight by eliminating the remaining seeds of doubt.



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