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May 20, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners: 05/20 game thread

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A nice job by Chris Jakubauskas to make it through six innings on just 100 pitches. The last two frames have seen him let the Angels put the ball into play and his defenders have been up to the task. A nice catch by Ichiro at the base of the wall that last inning. So, the Mariners are still up 1-0 as we head to the bottom of the sixth. Miguel Batista is warming up in the bullpen. We talked about how sharp he’s looked of late. We’ll likely see him next inning and find out if he can keep it up.
8:36 p.m.: Chris Jakubauskas made it out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, in which he allowed a double and two walks. His pitch count is now up to 80, so he’s going to have to work a bit to gewt in his regulation five innings and qualify for a decision. He has a 1-0 lead.
7:52 p.m.: The Mariners have made Ervin Santana throw just 27 pitches the first three innings, taking their 1-0 lead to the fourth. Santana has retired eight in a row since Ken Griffey Jr.’s RBI single in the first. Chris Jakubauskas has allowed just one hit to this point and looks good, but…I don’t want to state the obvious here, but the M’s can’t just coast on this lead. They’re falling into bad habits again. I know Santana is an early strike thrower, but if you’re going to swing, you have to get wood on the ball. Adrian Beltre did that to end the third inning, driving a ball to the warning track in center. The M’s will have to keep doing that if they’re going to be aggressive and hope some of those balls drop in.
By the way, Bobby Abreu left the game after an inning of play with a right toe injury on his left foot. The big one, not the other four. No, I’m not making this up.
7:36 p.m.: Another night with plenty of good seats still available, as you can see. They say the gametime temperature was 58 degrees but it feels more like 38 with the wind. Anyhow, the Mariners just took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Ichiro led off with a double — extending his hitting streak to 14 games — and later scored on a one-out single by Ken Griffey Jr. So, some production there by two key guys.
Adrian Beltre, though, did not get it done in his first AB in the No. 2 hole, flying out to shallow center and failing to advance the runner from second.
Ichiro just made a nice catch to end the top of the second as well, but appeared to forget how many outs there were as he looked up and prepared to fire the ball back in. He laughed about it.
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7:04 p.m.: The Mariners hope to get much better glovework out of Yuniesky Betancourt, pictured above, and Jose Lopez in the middle infield. Both are in the lineup tonight. Many of you, I’m sure, expected Lopez to be benched tonight. I would not have been surprised. But in fairness, a lack of focus in the field has not been an issue for him this year the way it was in 2007. Lopez does need to focus more at the plate and stop swinging at bad pitches. If he makes any more mistakes, he could be headed for the bench. But for now, manager Don Wakamatsu is keeping him in there.
By the way, Wakamatsu said earlier today that Ryan Rowland-Smith would throw a bullpen session tomorrow — he’s back up with the Mariners right now — and then make a start of Saturday for Class AAA Tacoma.
Wakamatsu was also asked whether, with a day to reflect on it, he’d like to take back any of his comments about Felix Hernandez after last night’s game. But the manager was sticking by them.
“What I’m trying to do, especially in some of the comments I make, is really just tell the truth,” he said. “It’s not a reflection that I’m emotional about that player. What I care about this team doing is playing fundamental baseball. It’s my responsibility to teach and educate these guys and when that doesn’t happen I take it as a failure on my part. So, those comments, those are comments that everybody on this team has already heard.
“Any manager would like to take a club from the start of the season and make them that much better by the end,” he added. “That’s what we want to do every day. When we see things, I think it’s more of a disappointment when you work so hard at certain areas of your game and then it just falls apart. It’s still a fact that we as a staff have to get these guys to play better. That accountability does come on us.”
The lineups;
ANGELS
3B Chone Figgins
DH Maicer Izturis
RF Bobby Abreu
CF Torii Hunter
1B Kendry Morales
LF Gary Matthews Jr.
2B Howie Kendrick
SS Erick Aybar
C Jeff Mathis
RHP Ervin Santana
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
LF Wladimir Balentien
1B Russell Branyan
C Kenji Johjima
2B Jose Lopez
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
CF Franklin Gutierrez
RHP Chris Jakubauskas

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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