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August 3, 2007 at 10:14 PM

M’s beat Red Sox; Hear audio clips

Give the bullpen credit for what they did tonight. The Mariners wind up with a surprisingly routine-looking 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on a night their starting pitcher lasts only four-plus innings. What’s next for this bunch? They have won six of eight against the Red Sox, Angels and A’s on this homestand. Make it six wins in seven since the seven-game losing streak.
As we mentioned, the Angels lost so the M’s are only 2 1/2 out in the AL West. And are also only 1/2 game back of Detroit in the wild-card race after the Tigers lost and flip-flopped with Cleveland for the division lead in the AL Central.
I jumped the gun in saying that John McLaren chose to to identify this as a high-leverage situation early. That’s not why he went to Sean Green in the fifth. He did it because this team no longer has a right handed long man in the bullpen and the Red Sox are heavily loaded on righty bats. Green’s arm was the freshest of all the righties in the bullpen and so he drew the lucky straw. McLaren figured he was the one most able to go multiple innings.
Wow. Looks like this could become a problem down the road if the team gets any more starts like the one Horacio Ramirez gave them tonight. A four-inning stinkeroo that’s weakened Seattle’s bullpen for the rest of the series. McLaren told me after the game that things are going to stay this way until September, when rosters are expanded. So starters going deep will be a necessity. Can’t have too many more games like this.
Green relied heavily on the sinker that has served him so well to this point. He got the big double-play on Manny Ramirez, then a groundout by Mike Lowell after coming into that fifth with two on, two out.
“Honestly, it felt the same just because of the situation,” Green said of entering the game early instead of his customary late role. “We had a couple of guys on, there were no out. So we were just hoping to get a ground ball, hopefully a double play and get back into the dugout.”
Hear the rest of what Green said.
McLaren keeps calling Green his unsung hero. Tonight, he really was.
“Green was huge,” McLaren said. “Slammed the door right there when he did. He’s been doing it all year and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Hear all of McLaren’s post-game audio right here.
More McLaren news? Well, Adam Jones won’t play tomorrow. Raul Ibanez goes to left field. But Jones does play on Sunday, with Ichiro getting a rest as DH and Jones moving to center.
Jones certainly stated his case with the two singles and two runs scored and I do think this team looks better off with him on the roster. The John McLaren era was supposed to be all about more lineup flexibility and it looks like we are finally going to see it. He played it relatively conservative for the first month of his tenure, probably trying not to scare anyone. But now, this is his team. He has a better feel — a managerial feel as opposed to that of a bench coach — of its pulse and is going to do some unorthodox (for Seattle, anyway) stuff to get the wins he needs.
That was some move Jones made to avoid the tag at first base, then sliding his fingers across the bag when he couldn’t touch it with his feet as he sped by.
“A couple of days ago in Oklahoma City I had to avoid a tag and get down like that,” the Class AAA call-up said. “It’s uncomfortable to do it. But whatever way you get on base, it doesn’t matter.”
Hear more Jones right here in some audio.
Had a fun conversation with Mark Lowe about pitching in two different innings for the first time. He considers it a major post-surgical step. Lowe also talked about watching Chris Reitsma get taken deep by Manny Ramirez in a game at Boston earlier this season. Lowe watched at home on telelvision, of course, since he was still rehabbing his elbow. It came flashing back to him as he faced Ramirez in the seventh tonight and struck him out to strand a runner.
“I was just sitting at home going ‘Oh my God, I wish I was in that situation’,” Lowe said of the televised game he watched. “It wasn’t the exact same kind of situation. But it was a high pressure situation with a big hitter at the plate. It was great to come through.”
Hear the rest of what Lowe said right here.
Yes indeed, the M’s are well on their way to nullifying another of those streaks that can end a team’s season early. Streaky doesn’t quite do justice to this team. I wouldn’t write Jose Guillen off just yet. He did enter the game with the team lead in RBI. Are you going to bail on him after only one game? That’s kind of bizarre for supposed fans of a team. Most of you liked him a few days ago.
I can better understand your impatience with Richie Sexson, who I actually felt sorry for tonight. Those three consecutive strikeouts in front of Pacific Northwest fans booing their hearts out has to rank among the worst moments of his career. He certainly didn’t play his way out of any platoon tonight. Perhaps deeper into one.
Nice to see J.J. Putz get back on the horse. In a one-inning save. You know what else I like. It looks like Yuniesky Betancourt is coming back around. Both in the field and at the plate. He’s looked fantastic in the field all week and his bat has come up huge two games in a row.
Maybe later on tonight will be the night when the Mariners find themselves in a playoff spot. Only a half-game back of Detroit. They need a lot of innings from Jarrod Washburn, that’s for sure. More than four.

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