UPDATED WITH QUOTES
The photo above shows Sean White dispatching the Indians in the ninth to seal a 9-4 victory. This game was over by the middle innings with home runs by Josh Wilson, Jose Lopez and Russell Branyan highlighting this offensive assault.
Never thought I’d see seven homer in two games from the M’s, but that’s what they’ve done.
Bill Hall had a double, a single and two RBI for the M’s. Wilson has a .677 slugging percentage this season. Yikes!
“I think any hitter, when you’re relaxed and getting yourself ready and in your best position to hit, good things happen,” Wilson said. “right now, I’m just getting myself into that position.”
Wilson insists he’s relaxed and playing the way he knows he can. He understands his situation — that Jack Wilson is going to bump him any day now — but isn’t letting it eat away at him.
“Earlier this year, I was battling that a lot,” he said. “My time with Arizona and especially with San Diego, my playing time was pretty sporadic and I absolutely felt like I was playing for my job every time I went out there. Especially when I got over there in San Diego and knew if I did well, i may get a chance to earn a job for the rest of the year.”
“I don’t know if I put a little extra pressure on myself or something like that, but it certainly helped to get down to AAA and get some regular playing time, get some at-bats and get to a mindset where I felt comfortable at the plate and felt AI had an approach that could possibly bring success.”
As for Hall, he said that RBI single in his first at-bat helped him relax and do what felt naturally up there.
“It made it a little bit easier for that second at-bat,” he said of his ensuing sacrifice fly. “If I didn’t feel like I had a good at-bat that first AB, who knows what would have happened in that second at-bat.”
By the way, the guy making all the noise stomping on cups in the dugout after every Mariners run wasn’t Russell Branyan. He originated it, but Felix Hernandez was the guy making all the noise tonight. We could hear the cups being stomped on up in the press box. I told Hernandez and he seemed impressed. Expect more popping in weeks to come.
Luke French said he felt better in this outing than in prior ones. French used an improved slider to log six strikeouts, tying a season high he’d set against the Mariners.
“It was a little bit sharper and I got a couple of swings off of it,” he said.
Pitching coach Rick Adair and tweaked a few things with the slider to help French “get on top of it a little bit more, make it sharper.”
All in all, a good night. One the Mariners needed after that tough ending in Detroit. This team, for all of its issues, does have a knack for bouncing back.