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March 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rangers, 3-12

Texas’s lineup today is close to their Opening Day lineup, except plug in Nelson Cruz for Marlon Byrd in right, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Taylor Teagarden behind the plate. And, of course, exclude pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Kevin Millwood will likely get the call.
The Mariners had a ragged first inning, but starter Jarrod Washburn recovered nicely. Ian Kinsler led offwith a double,and moved to third when center fielder Prentice Redman botched Michael Young‘s easy fly for an error. Josh Hamilton then hit a bloop single to drive in one run. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt by Washburn set up Byrd’s sac fly, but Washburn struck out Hank Blalock and David Muprhy.
The Mariners went down in order against McCarthy, with Ronny Cedeno and Chris Woodward striking out, and Ken Griffey Jr. grounding out to shortstop. (Jamie Burke just threw out Chris Davis trying to steal).
UPDATE 2 p.m. : Washburn is out after three innings. His line: 3 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 1 er, 2 bb, 3 so.
A couple of fielding gems: Josh Hamilton making a sprawling grab in center to rob Mike Wilson of extra bases, and Adrian Beltre spearing a smash by Ian Kinsler and throwing him out.
P.S. Notice the chronological update?
BULLETIN: Geoff Baker is in the house!!!
UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: In the sixth inning, Roy Corcoran just gave up a two-run homer to Taylor Teagarden. It’s 6-0 Rangers and Corcoran is really struggling. He just walked back-to-back hitters in the sixth. In fact, he’s coming out of the game after giving up a single to Josh Hamilton to load the bases. Randy Messenger came in and promptly gave up two singles for two more runs. 8-0 Rangers. But he recovered nicely to fan the next two hitters to end the inning.
The Mariners have just two hits in the game.
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM WASHBURN: Just got back from chatting with Washburn, who was pleased with his stuff. He’s even making progress on a changeup, which has always been a struggle for him.
“The changeup was good today,” he said. “It was real good. It’s been pretty consistent for a while now. It’s definitely come a long way in the last couple of years.”
Far enough to become part of his repertoire?
“Yeah, I’ll try,” he said.
Washburn agreed with a recent quote by Randy Johnson that laboring in spring training, as he did at times today, is a good thing.
“It gets you mentally ready, helps you deal with things that come up during the season. Things just don’t go the way you plan them to all the time. When things go wrong in a game, it helps you mentally and it also helps your body get ready, throwing long innings, throwing a lot of pitches in an inning, things like that.
“Last year, I kind of sailed through spring training, and last year didn’t go the way I planned. Hopefully, this year will be different.”
On facing Texas’s ‘A’ lineup, Washburn said, “That’s another good thing .It’s tough to prepare for facing guys you have no idea who they are or how to approach them. Sometimes it’s a crap shoot in spring training.
“When you face guys like that (the Rangers’ lineup), you know what your plan is going in. A lot of times, you pitch them totally opposite of how you do in the regular season. You want to work on things, and a team like that, you’re going to face them so many times, you don’t want to give anything away. I go with a shortened playbook in spring training. ”
UPDATE 3 P.M.: Mike Sweeney just launched his first homer of spring, to dead center, in the seventh, off Eddie Guardado. That ball was smoked, bro.

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward


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