Mariners manager John McLaren was down on the field answering questions a few moments ago, his team having played to a 3-3 tie with the San Francisco Giants.
“Jarrod started off a little slow,” he said of starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn, who allowed two runs — only one earned — over five innings. “But he got his rhythm, got his tempo, really threw the ball stronger every inning he was out there.”
On Mike Morse, who went 3-for-3 and upped his spring average to .581: “He’s hitting the ball well. He’s got a nice stroke going and has done a good job.”
McLaren playfully suggested he’d sleep better now that Ichiro finally has his first hit of spring training. Told about Ichiro’s quip about sending the baseball to Cooperstown, McLaren deadpanned:
“They’ll take it, believe me.”
Hear some McLaren audio right here.
Giants pitcher Kevin Correia said he was well aware of Ichiro’s 0-for-21 spring slump heading into the game.
“People were joking with me,” he said. “I said ‘This guy gets 300 hits a year and hasn’t gotten a hit yet and I’ve got to face him tomorrow.’ Guys were saying ‘Oh, infield hit, guaranteed, first time’. He can run. He deserves those hits.”
Didn’t look like he’d get today’s hit, though. Not until first baseman Justin Leone broke off his bag on what appeared to be a routine grounder to second. Correia was slow to cover.
“First, I stood there because it looked like a regular ground ball to the second baseman,” Correia said. “First thing that crossed my mind when I started running was, ‘There’s no way I’m beating this guy over there.’ I think I might have gotten there before him, but I didn’t get the ball quickly enough. It’s not the position you want to be in with Ichiro running.”
How about Washburn picking off a pair of runners? Not exactly known for that stuff. Any new off-season additions to his move? Uh-no.
“It’s young guys who don’t know any better,” he said. “You look at them and you can tell they’re going every time.”
Hear more of Washburn right here.
Today’s late-game situations seemed tailor-made for a pinch-runner like Willie Bloomquist. But he is apparently nursing a tight quad muscle and won’t play in any games until Saturday. That’s about it for now. I’ll leave you all with the photo below, of Jeremy Reed leaving the dugout. Reed and Juan Diaz had a rough ninth inning, getting thrown out on steal attempts at second base at a time when they each represented the winning run.