UPDATED WITH POST-GAME QUOTES
Make that three losses in four nights here by the Mariners, going down 4-2 to the Texas Rangers tonight.
Seattle put two on to start the ninth, but, with runners at second and third with one out, C.J. Wilson struck out Jack Hannahan and Jack Wilson to end the game. Wilson was infuriated by that last out, arguing that he’d foul-tipped the ball. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu wanted them to review it, but the umpires gathered and none of them said they’d heard the bat make contact.
“I know I touched it,” Wilson said. “It was a very good pitch. I know I came over the top of it. I watched the video and saw that it changed direction. So, I did get enough of it to change direction on the video. Like I said, it’s so loud with the fans, he probably didn’t hear it. I was hoping that maybe one of the umpires might have seen it change direction. But like I said, I got a little piece of it. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, but it’s tough to end a game like that.”
I asked Wakamatsu whether he’d thought of pinch-hitting for Hannahan with Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Sweeney available on the bench.
“The biggest reason was that Hannahan’s hit about .330 over the last seven games and I felt that he’d been having some good at-bats,” Wakamatsu said. “It gave me the luxury of maybe having (the other bats) for somebody else. But I felt good with Hannahan right there.”
A good night for Ian Snell, giving up two runs on three hits over six innings. But Sean White served up the two-run blast in the seventh that decided it.
Snell’s gameplan was essentially to listen to catcher Rob Johnson, who insisted on catching most of his bullpen session today even though it was blistering hot out. Johnson wanted a feel for what he likes.
“That was the gameplan,” Snell said. “Just follow Johnson the whole game.”
The plan was for Snell to throw more change-ups than usual to keep the fastball-hitting Rangers off-balance. Snell began working in his two-seam fastball a bit more and induced a bunch of grounders with it. He only shook Johnson off once.
“I’m new to this league, he’s been around this league for a while, so I just followed him,” Snell said. “He’s the veteran here, I’m not, so it’s better I follow him.”
Snell was pulled after only six innings because his forearm began tightening up. He’d been drilled on it by a line drive his final Class AAA start and began feeling it on the mound. The team checked it out and he’s fine. Wakamatsu felt he was tiring a bit, which is why he pulled him.
The M’s are now double-digits behind the Angels.
You need offense to win. Five hits before the ninth — four in one inning — won’t do it.