These two guys in the photo above are starting the next two days for the Mariners. Yes, this was an important early season win by the M’s.
For those of you who love shaving cream pies and beer showers, the visiting clubhouse was the place to be here in Oakland tonight.
The Mariners held on for a 5-4 win, largely because of the bullpen teaming up for the final 17 outs. Plenty of firsts along the way, with David Aardsma tossing a flawless eighth and ninth inning for his first career save in his 130th major league appearance.
Prior to that Shawn Kelley made his major league debut, striking out two in a scoreless seventh inning. And Chris Jakubauskas walked away with his first big-league win, tossing two innings in relief of Ryan Rowland-Smith.
That meant shaving cream pie specialist Mark Lowe was on the case. First, the three pitchers were doused in beer by their teammates. Jakubauskas wisely kept his soaked shirt on, because Lowe was lurking and soon after nailed him on the face, hair, clothes, you name it, with the shaving cream.
Aardsma wasn’t so lucky. He’d freshly showered from the beer and was giving interviews by his locker when Lowe came up from behind and got him as well. Kelley escaped without getting shaving creamed. They must have run out by then.
Jakubauskas was charged with two runs after leaving with two on, one out in the sixth. Roy Corcoran gave up a run-scoring double, two walks and a sacrifice fly before manager Don Wakamatsu came to the mound and — very abruptly — told him he had to get it together and get the final out.
Corcoran did just that, getting a fielder’s choice grounder from Kurt Suzuki with two on, two out. The A’s managed just a bloop single the rest of the way.
“I ended up settling down, making some good pitches,” Corcoran said, adding that he felt the manager had mentally challenged him in a good way. “I didn’t want to come out.”
Jakubauskas told me the fact that he and Kelly have been shown this much confidence by Wakamatsu and the staff — just in making the team — has them both not wanting to let anybody down.
Jakubauskas continues to handle lefties well. He told me he saw enough good ones in spring training, like Travis Hafner, that he wasn’t intimidated by the likes of Jason Giambi, Jack Cust and Eric Chavez tonight.
Kelley denied being nervous at all in his debut.
“I’m ready to get back in there again,” he said.
Wakamatsu had wanted to ease Kelley in to the big leagues, but hadn’t been able to use him in Minnesota.
“We thought it was a big time to get him in this game,” he said.
Not the best of games by the Mariners. The defense was sloppy at times. The pitching wasn’t great to start with. The offense disappeared after the second inning,
But the M’s still won. On the road. Their third in five tries to start the year. Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard go the next two days. This could get interesting.
April 10, 2009 at 11:40 PM