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May 13, 2009 at 10:36 PM

Wrapping up another tough night for Mariners

Oh, where to begin? I guess the end is a good place to start. Yes, the Mariners thought they had Josh Hamilton struck out on the 1-2 curve. Don Wakamatsu flat-out said so, and added, “Maybe it’s a different outcome.”
Here’s what Brandon Morrow had to say about Hank Blalock’s game-winner: “It was down – I thought it was a pretty good pitch. But he’s a good fastball hitter. He went down and caught it out in front.”
Said Blalock, who had let a high fastball go by on Morrow’s first pitch: “Anytime a guy has a plus-plus fastball, you don’t want to chase it up in the zone. I was focused on making sure he got it down.”
Assessing his outing, Morrow said, “I thought my control was better. I was trying to be more aggressive to my spots, and not think about anything, and just throw. I had control, but not command, I’d say. I just have to go out there again.”
Wakamatsu was not nearly as frustrated with this game as he was a night earlier, because he thought the team played hard and tenaciously.
“I thought we played a good game,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s a lot different than giving up six runs in an inning when they might have got three. I thought the whole game, the team was battling.”
Maybe so, but it was still a very tough one to take, especially after taking the lead in the top of the inning. Interestingly, Branyan said he was bunting on his own to get Adrian Beltre to second.
“We haven’t been tearing it up, so I was up there trying to play the game the right way and make something happen,” Branyan said. “We were rewarded.”
Temporarily, at least, on Wladimir Balentien’s opposite-field double. But it sounds like Balentien earned some more playing time.
“What I like to see is him hitting the ball down the right-field line, similar to the ball in Minnesota,” Wakamatsu said. :That’s going to make this guy a pretty good player if he stays with that approach. That’s the kind of growth we’re looking for.”
Jarrod Washburn also deserves some credit for gutting his way through six innings against a tough Texas lineup on a windy night in which he said his command was “shaky.”
“I didn’t have any commandof really anything all night long,” he said. “I made at least one mistake with every pitch, at one point or another.
“As bad as it was, it all came down to two pitches for me,” Washburn added. “My sinker was mostly solid all day, but I left one up to (Elvis Andrus that he hit the triple on. And then I threw one hanging slider all day, and it got put in the seats (by Josh Hamilton).”
Didn’t get a chance to ask Wakamatsu his thought process in letting Ken Griffey hit for himself in the 10th against lefty C.J. Wilson. But Griffey said of his night, “I just sucked.”
And with a day game tomorrow — make that later today — that seems a good place to end it.

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