The Mariners did not put a major league team on the field tonight. At least, not one that looked the part. Instead, it looked more like a spring training lineup for a far away road game, the kind where they sprinkle some veterans in for appearances sake. Unfortunately for the team, those vets didn’t do much to help it look any better. Raul Ibanez messed up a fly ball and made two less than stellar throws from the outfield. Jose Lopez did not come through with his bat until it was far too late. Ichiro was held to an infield single off a pitcher he dominates like none other on an active roster.
Felix Hernandez? File a missing persons report. He went AWOL. So did his command and control.
“Nothing was there, nothing,” Hernandez said. “Not my command, my pitches, nothing.”
Not his defense either.
Besides the ill-timed leap by Ibanez, and two rather soft throws home from left, there were the two grounders that shot past third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo. I’ll give him a break on the second one since it was a rocket. But that first one? Manager Jim Riggleman wanted to give him a break on that as well.
“That ball that went past Tui…the only third baseman in baseball that catches that, I think, is Beltre,” Riggleman said.
We’ll let the Joe Crede fans chime in here.
Bottom line? This team isn’t built to withstand the loss of Beltre, at the plate or in the field, for very long. Not on a night when Hernandez looked like the second coming of Jeff Weaver.
Mariners lose 7-3 to the Texas Rangers. And here’s a little tip. If they show up with much of the same tomorrow, pencil the home side in for another defeat with their committee of “starting pitchers” fronted by Cesar Jimenez. The Mariners need to bring something a little better to the table the first seven innings.
September 9, 2008 at 11:25 PM