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April 9, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Mariners at Minnesota Twins: 04/09 game thread

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The Angels have postponed tonight’s game against the A’s to mourn the death today of starting pitcher Nick Adenhart.
Make that eight solid innings for Jarrod Washburn, who pitched his way out of his own fielding trouble with two on and one out in the eighth. Brandon Morrow is warming up in the bullpen with the M’s leading 1-0.


11:47 a.m.: Jarrod Washburn owes Franklin Gutierrez a beer. Maybe even a six-pack. Gutierrez made two more running snags look easy in that seventh inning and Washburn is now through seven frames on 80 pitches and tossing a four-hit shutout. Roy Corcoran is warming up and will likely come in to pitch the eighth. We’re told Brandon Morrow is available as well. Will the Mariners do it? Let’s see. They have two more innings to pad this 1-0 lead or else we might see Morrow get to close this one out.
11:15 a.m.: Who are these Mariners? The 1999 New York Mets? Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez just converted a difficult 6-4-3 double play. It was tough because Betancourt had to range well to his right and then make a twisting throw to second. But they made it look easy. That got Jarrod Washburn out of trouble after a leadoff single by Joe Crede. Washburn has a two-hitter thorugh five and the M’s have three nice defensive plays and still a 1-0 lead.
They’ve had baserunners in four of five innings as well. Now, they have to start converting those into runs. I doubt the one will hold up.
10:56 a.m.: The Mariners are going to be dominating the Web Gems today after third baseman Ronny Cedeno made an incredible throw to first base to nab Mike Redmond. What made the play so great was that Redmond’s grounder initially deflected off of Jarrod Washburn and rolled over to the third base line. Cedeno had to charge up the line, barehand the ball and make an off-balance throw. But it was on-target and a stretching Mike Sweeney gloved it just in time. I know Redmond’s a catcher and they don’t run very well. But that was still sweet to watch.
Still a 1-0 game, Mariners in the lead as we head to the fourth. Have a look down below at my ride over to the Metrodome this morning and take a brief tour of the park with me.
10:48 a.m.: We just saw why Franklin Gutierrez has been hailed as one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball. Gutierrez sprinted to his right for a ball that appeared uncatchable when it came off the bat of Alexi Casilla, then dove for it and came up with an incredible catch on his backhand just inches from the turf. That will be a Web Gem for sure. The range he displayed on that ball was some of the best I’ve ever seen covering the Mariners — and that includes all of Ichiro’s running grabs.
Second base umpire Chuck Meriwether made the out call. The rest of the umpiring crew gathered to discuss it, but the call stood. A 1-2-3 inning for Jarrod Washburn. But things might have been far different had that flyball dropped in for a double or a triple. The defense is helping Washburn already, as many suspected it might this season.
Still 1-0 for Seattle as we head to the second.
10:18 a.m.: Jarrod Washburn takes the mound as the Mariners try to salvage a series split. He already has a 1-0 lead after Franklin Gutierrez stroked a one-out double to left center in the top of the first, then scored on a two-out single up the middle by Adrian Beltre. The M’s made solid contact all inning, even on their outs.
Terrible news about the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart. They had a moment of silence for him here moments ago. Adenhart was killed this morning in Fullerton, Calif. when the driver of a minivan ran a red light and struck the car he was in. Two others died as well. The driver is in custody.
Will this impact the Angels? You’d better believe it. That franchise has had too much tragedy over the years. Adenhart pitched just last night and very well at that. This has to be devastating for that entire team. And for the families of all three people killed. What a waste. Make sure you don’t take anything, or anyone for granted today. You just never know.
Angels GM Tony Reagins released this statement a short while ago:
“The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick’s family, friends, loved ones and fans.
“Memorial services are pending.”
The Adenhart family also released the following:
“Nick’s family expresses sincere gratitude for all the help the Angels have provided. He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring, and compassionate people. The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick’s loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone’s hearts forever.”

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