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August 22, 2007 at 2:41 PM

M’s get trounced; hear audio

Not much to say about this one. And the Mariners didn’t have all that much to say. Miguel Batista figured his stuff was pretty good. Kenji Johjima said his sinker was poor and dropping beneath the strike zone well before it reached the plate, forcing them to go to his cut-fastball more.
Mariners manager John McLaren agrees that Batista just didn’t have it. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. The M’s weren’t all that dispirited heading out of here. Nor should be. They were coming off a five-game winning streak and had won 17 of 23 coming in. No, they weren’t going to go undefeated the rest of the way. Better to lose like this, when your starter gets pummeled, then to see the bullpen blow a ninth-inning lead.
Better on the psyche of the players that is. This wasn’t a deathly quiet heard in the clubhouse. There was plenty of talking, even the odd bit of laughter going on. Taking two of three in this series was the best most of you had expected from them heading in. Two of three they got. Now, they’ll have to wait and see whether they will trail the Angels by three or lead the Yankees by 1 1/2.
My two cents worth? I think if I’m the M’s, I’m hoping for a Yankees win tonight. The last thing you want is more separation created with the Angels ahead of that big series in Seattle next week. You’d like to head into it a game or two back, not three or four. Why? Because three or four lets the Angels off the hook. It means they can get swept and still be in the division lead, or at worst tied for it. Have them come in only one or two games up and the Angels could face the pressure of suddenly finding themselves in second place with a few bad nights.
Anyway, back to today. Here’s John McLaren’s post-game audio take on Batista.
“Miggy wasn’t sharp today,” McLaren said. “He couldn’t locate and it seemed like they were on him pretty good. He wanted to stay out there but it looked like he’d had enough.”
McLaren was far more praiseworthy about the work by Ryan Rowland-Smith to spare the bullpen any further wear and tear heading into that four-gamer in Texas.
“We didn’t want to go into Texas limping and we’re not,” he said. “Rowland-Smith did a stellar job and the bullpen really picked us up big-time.”
I already told you what Batista thought of it all. Now you can hear it.
“Part of being a good pitcher is recognizing good hitting,” Batista said after his shortest start since September of 2004. “And I got hit well today. I’ve got no excuse. I felt great. Some of the pitches were great pitches. Not good pitches, great pitches. And they hit it.
“You have to tip your hat when you get beat. Sometimes you beat yourself, but I didn’t. They beat me.”
Oh yes, they beat him. Beat him like a toy drum. Like a pinata full of candy. Like a…well you know already.
Let’s hear from Rowland-Smith about his outing, since we’ve never had his voice on the blog before and I know you folks miss Chris Snelling and his Aussie accent.
Who else? Oh yes, Ben Broussard. The missing person who emerged to hit another home run. His seventh in 160 at-bats this season. He hadn’t started since Aug. 9 in Baltimore, getting just one at-bat the last 13 days. This might be some of the most entertaining audio of the day.
“I felt like I was on the DL,” he said. “It was like ‘Man, I’m not getting back in.’ ”
He belted a seventh-inning solo shot off Carlos Silva that bounced out of the glove of leaping left fielder Jason Kubel as he hit the wall.
“When you don’t play consistently, you don’t ever go to the plate with that feeling of when you’re locked in,” he said. “So, usually you go up there saying ‘I’m going to spread out, try to hit the ball hard somewhere.”’
Hear him talk about it right here.
And that just about wraps things up after a very long afternoon here. Game didn’t take long to play, but it seems that way when it’s over just one inning in. But over-all, the M’s did their job here. Now it’s on to Texas, where they need to take three of the next four.
Speaking of Texas, no, to answer a couple of questions, I left off the $7 million per year that the Rangers owe A-Rod when I compiled the list. Didn’t add any money Seattle was paying past players either. But add on A-Rod’s money if you want. Do the Mariners come out looking better than the Rangers? Not really.
Anyway, it’s good that this is the biggest thing we’re all debating these days. Let’s see what the lineup looks like tomorrow. As for the “tipping pitches” thing, no there was no mention of that anywhere. Just some pitchers getting their stuff crushed. Oh and one more thing. Ichiro sat out the final few innings today. McLaren was going to actually sit him out a game in Texas, but now may only use him as a DH — or just count these three innings today as his day off. In other words, he could play all four against the Rangers.



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