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May 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Giants, May 24

UPDATE 2:26 P.M. (middle of the fifth): So much for his no-hit stuff. Felix appeared to get flustered after Branyan’s error to start the inning. He walked Travis Ishikawa (of Federal Way), but appeared to be OK after getting Uribe to fly out and striking out Emmanuel Burris. But Eli Whiteside — just called up today; in fact, he flew in this morning from Des Moines, and boy were his arms tired — drove one down the left-field line to score Lewis. Rowand singled in a run, and so did Renteria. All three runs were unearned, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that Hernandez couldn’t get that last out and minimize the damage.
UPDATE 2:18 P.M. (top of the fifth): Randy Winn’s hit in this inning has been changed to an error on first baseman Russ Branyan — a good scoring change.
UPDATE 2:01 P.M. (middle of the fourth): If Felix hadn’t given up a first-inning single to Randy Winn, I’d say he has no-hit stuff today. He’s struck out six through four innings, and the Giants are just flailing at his pitches. That’s one way to curtail the running game — keep runners off base.
UPDATE 1:48 P.M. (middle of third inning): Just to clarify something I wrote earlier: The Mariners’ string of consecutive singles broken by Griffey’s homer was actually 31. The 27 was the last three games, but they hadn’t had an extra-base hit since Ichiro’s double leading off May 20 against the Angels.
Felix, by the way, is really dealing today. Maybe Wakamatsu lit a fire under him by calling him out after his last start.
UPDATE 1:44 P.M. (end of second inning): The Mariners blew a big chance there, as they have been wont to do lately. Lopez led off with a double, got to third with one out on a Zito balk, but Rob Johnson grounded out to third (Lopez holding) and Gutierrez flied out to center.
UPDATE 1:25 P.M (end of first inning): Wakamatsu is officially a genius. The new, patient No. 2 Yuni draws a walk, and cleanup man Griffey blasts a two-run homer off the lefty Zito. That’s No. 616 for Griffey, and breaks a streak of 27 straight singles by Mariners’ hitters.
Here’s what Don Wakamatsu said about Ken Griffey playing against the lefty Barry Zito — the first left-hander he has started against since Francisco Liriano of the Twins on Opening Day and Brett Anderson of the A’s on April 10.
“It’s really with us facing two lefties in Oakland,(Brett Anderson Monday and Dallas Braden Tuesday) and kind of massaging the fact, I don’t want him sitting too long, and Zito tends to struggle a little against lefties, of late. So it’s a combination. I want to be able to play Grif and not sit him too many games, and still utilize Sweeney against the other lefties.”
Wakamatsu said that Mark Lowe is out of commission for today’s game. His plan is to set up with Sean White and Brandon Morrow, with David Aardsma available to close.
And on his ever-changing lineup that now sees Yuniesky Betancourt hitting second for the first time:”We’ve tried everything. We’re going try to find that mix. Sometimes you say, maybe you should leave it alone and go through a 10-game stretch and see what you got. All those things go through your mind with Yuni. He’s gotten the message over the last couple of games, It’s similar to Beltre; moving him up got him to a more patient mode.
“Here’s the reality of what we’re talking about right now. We’re in May. We’re still trying to put this together. we had a great first month, we’re struggling this month. For the next four months, can we put this thing together? A guy like Yuni, maybe he becomes that second hole hitter.”

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