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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

April 22, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Well, that wasn’t very pretty

No question that was the Mariners’ worst game of the year, I’d say. Let’s review:

  • Nine runs allowed, most by an opponent this year;
  • 15 hits allowed, most by an opponent this year;
  • Just four hits by Mariners’ offense, dropping their team average to .246 with a .300 on-base percentage.
  • Four wild pitches by Mariners’ pitchers.
  • Three stolen bases by the Rays (though one was a bad call; Carl Crawford appeared to be out in the sixth);
  • Two errors, one by Yuniesky Betancourt (again) and one by Adrian Beltre. Not to mention the pop foul that should have been caught, the double-clutch by Beltre right after his error, and two balls to Ronny Cedeno at second base that were hits but appeared to be makeable plays.
    “It was one of those games where right from the get-go you didn’t have a good feeling,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.”Our team revolves around pitching and defense, and tonight we were not very good in either,”
    Chris Jakubauskas (3 1/3 ip, 10 hits, 6 ER) was visibly frustrated after the game. Wakamatsu said Jakubauskas was overly pumped up and was rushing, and Jaku didn’t argue with that assessment.
    “It’s disheartening,” Jakubauskas said. “No one likes to throw like that. I was up in the zone, and you can’t pitch like that up here. I wanted to put up another good performance, but it didn’t happen. I won’t dwell on it. It’s a 162-game season.”
    I’m sure everyone will be buzzing about Betancourt, who not only made the error (charging a slow bounder by Akinori Iwamura, he bobbled the ball and had no play) but also swung at the first pitch and hit into an inning-ending double play to snuff their fifth-inning rally.
    And I’m sure you’ll be buzzing about Ken Griffey Jr., who struck out twice and grounded out, along with a walk,and is now hitting .171. His only two RBI are on his two homers. It’s legitimate to wonder how long Wakamatsu will keep Griffey in the No. 3 hole in the batting order. So far, the manager’s M.O. seems to be all about showing faith in his guys. We may find out soon enough if he has a breaking point.
    Just a point of comparison: the Rays’ three and four hitters, Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena, have a combined 33 runs batted in. The Mariners’ three and four hitters, Griffey and Beltre, have a combined eight RBI. They’ve got to get more out of the middle of their order, plain and simple.
    Finally, Mike Sweeney doesn’t appear to be seriously injured.
    “Somewhere in my scapular region, I had a huge muscle spasm,” Sweeney said. “It buckled me. Traditionally, when the spasm goes down, I should be fine to play in a day or two.”
    Sweeney said he told Griffin and Wakamatsu he wanted to finish the at-bat, “but when I raised the bat, it buckled me again,” he said. “I’m just happy there’s no structural damage.”

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