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June 1, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Frustration mounts in 1-0 loss

The Mariners showed some visible frustration on the field after some at-bats (as well they should have in a game in which they couldn’t get Ichiro home from third with no outs in the first, and recorded 20 straight outs from the third inning until the end of the game).
“I think it’s just a sign of guys caring,” said Mike Sweeney. “If we didn’t care, we’d just roll the balls out there and take it in after 27 outs. We’re not that type of team. We do care. We have a great leader in Don Wakamatsu. We just didn’t get it done. The guys, as you saw with their actions, are a little frustrated. But that’s emotion.”
Wakamatsu showed some frustration himself afterward. He seemed to be fuming as he addressed the media.
“It’s an awful shame to squander a pitching performance like that by both Wash and Jakubauskus, and have nothing to show for it,” he said. “Offensively, it goes back to what we’ve talked about all year — fundamental baseball, and not executing when we need to.”
Rich Hill pitched a fine game, good enough for Orioles manager Dave Trembley to say, “I don’t know if we’re going to see a better pitched game all year. That was tremendous.”
It was, but Wakamatsu seemed to recognize that this wasn’t exactly vintage Randy Johnson they were facing.
“”It’s unfortunate we have lack of patience against a guy like Rich Hill,” Wakamatsu said. “One thing Rich did real well tonight was throw his curve at any time in the count, but we chased a lot of pitches, which was lack of patience, and, really, lack of adjustments.
“I think the whole tempo of the game is set when you don’t score that first run.”
Some more quotes from the manager:
On the first inning: “It’s a recurring theme. When we do get a guy in that situation, we tend to be overly aggressive. In the ninth, we hit two balls on the screws and Mike (Sweeney) just missed a third one. Those are at-bats you’d like to see with a runner on third and nobody out.”
On Rob Johnson, who fouled a ball off his shin and had a big bruise after the game: “He had taken one earlier in the year when catching in almost the same spot. He was in a lot of pain, but if we keep the swelling down, he should be fine.”
On their lack of offense against Hill: “What we’ve preached all year is getting a pitch you can handle. It doesn’t matter who’s attached to it. When you swing at a ball over your head or outside the zone, it’s very hard to hit for a high average or put the ball in play. Whether it’s lack of patience or discipline, we’re still trying to figure that out.”
Wakamatsu confirmed my initial assessment that Wladimir Balentien had some trouble with Adam Jones’ ball that went over his head for a double, leading to the Orioles’ only run in the sixth.
“We talked a little bit about that,” Wakamatsu said. “He gets in a position where he’s bent over a little bit, and he turned one way and turned the other way. (Outfield coach) Lee Tinsley talked to him right after the play. The ball was a low line drive, and those are awfully hard tdo judge. It’s unfortunate.”
Jones moved to third on Nick Markakis’s single to center, and scored on Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice fly to center. Washburn, who had been holding left-handed hitters to a .145 (9-for-62) average this season, was upset at having the damage done by lefty swings Markakis and Huff.
“I feel I should have made a better pitch against Markakis,” Washburn said. “I’ve been nails against lefties all year. I’ve got a couple of lefties coming up right there with guys in scoring position, and I didn’t do the job. I make pitches right there in that inning and they don’t score, we’re still playing.”



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