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March 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM

San Diego Padres at Mariners: 03/05 game thread

Dustin Ackley just made his first real fielding mistake of the spring. Ackley was a second base when a ball got roped to the left field corner. Corey Patterson did a good job of getting to the ball and made a strong throw that was about to nab the runner at second in plent y of time.
But Ackley simply dropped the ball.
Mariners still trail 8-3 as we head to the bottom of the sixth. A forgettable day thus far.
By the way, I’m on to Round III of the ESPN 710 Seattle Sports Media Tournament. Yes, it’s the Sweet 16. Deadline for this round is 3 p.m. Pacific time today.
My opponent? None other than the venerable Paul Silvi. Yep, a kicker. Not a punter, who might actually take a late hit or two or — gasp! — have to make a tackle once in a while. No, he was a darned placekicker. The guy who finds a way to flop on the ground as if shot by a sniper the minute something gets blocked and he might actually have to make contact with something alive and not made of pigskin.
And what kind of school is Bowling Green, anyway? Sounds like what my grandma and her sewing club pals used to do for exercise out behind the country cottage. Or like someone built an alley with pins right next to the 18th hole.
Come on Silvi, you want to take on the big boys, you have to have played for a real team. Like the Concordia University Stingers. And yeah, I got cut (I prefer “released”), but at least I got knocked on my butt doing it. And you should have seen the weather we had up there in Canada. None of that Ohio palm tree stuff.
Get out and vote, please, and help restore some dignity to this thing. Deadline’s at 3 p.m. so get a move on…run! Run like Silvi trying to avoid a live hitting drill.
If you missed Geoff Baker Live! last night, here’s the replay. The show won’t be on tonight, as I’m heading home to Seattle. It will also be off air all next week, but resume the following week.

2:02 p.m.: Seattle got a pair back in the bottom of the third, making it an 8-3 deficit heading on to the fourth inning. Jack Wilson led off with a single, then scored when Ichiro tripled past diving left fielder Kyle Blanks. Chone Figgins then reached on an error when third baseman Chase Headley allowed a ball to zip on by him — scoring the second run.
Milton Bradley — who took a called strikeout in the inning — has been put out oif his misery and replaced in left. Matt Tuiasosopo is now playing shortstop, a test of his glove skills as he tries to land a utility infielder’s job.
1:23 p.m.: Garrett Olson looks to be narrowing the fifth starter field from four pitchers down to three after walking guys left and right in a lone, aborted inning of work.
The Padres lead 8-1 as we head to the bottom of the third.
Olson walked the first two guys he faced, then notched a strikeout, only to yield a David Eckstein single to left. Milton Bradley came up with the ball and made a poor throw back in as the run scored. Both runners advanced on the error, then both came home on a single to right by Chase Headley.
One more single and a walk later and Olson was done after two thirds of an inning.
Edward Paredes came in with the bases loaded and walked Nick Hundley on four pitches to force in another run. Yikes!
It gets worse. Aaron Cunningham came up and laced a ball down the left field line, scoring all three runners. Chris Denorfia singled to left after that and a second poor throw by Bradley not only resulted in an eighth Padres run, but again allowed the runner to move up.
Olson gets tagged for six runs in two thirds of an inning. And he managed that by only yielding three hits — all singles. That’s tough to do. And no, the ERA won’t look too good. Neither does the scoreboard right now.
Don Wakamatsu had expressed pride in the limited walks allowed by his team the first two games this spring. He won’t be happy with this.
12:37 p.m.: Jose Lopez helped give the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the second inning, doubling down the left field line. That was enough to get Ken Griffey Jr. — who’d drawn a leadoff walk — chugging around to third base. It wasn’t pretty but he got there. Casey Kotchman then grounded out to the right side to bring Griffey home.
Luke French is done after 31 pitches. He allowed just the walk, then the two-base throwing error, but recovered nicely and was not hit hard today.
Garrett Olson is now on the mound.
12:34 p.m.: Jose Lopez didn’t have to wait long to get his first grounder of the day, handling a chopper to third from the game’s very first batter. Chone Figgins showed why he could be valuable at second, ranging far to his right in the second inning for a Kyle Blanks grounder, then throwing him out by a step.
So, some solid defense to start things off from the switcheroo twins.
We’re scoreless in the bottom of the second. Luke French had some trouble in the top of the inning, walking Oscar Salazar, then throwing a wild pitch to first base on a pickoff attempt. The two-base error sent Salazar to third with one out. But French recovered and got a soft lineout to second by Wil Venable, then a flyout from Nick Hundley to escape the jam.
12:25 p.m.: We’ve got a regular-looking Mariners lineup in there today, except for catcher Guillermo Quiroz. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu had a long discussion with catcher Adam Moore after today’s simulated games.
The team is waiting to see how Rob Johnson responds to that first setback suffered the other day after a baserunning drill. But safe to say, there’s now a little added pressure on Moore to perform. The team needs catchers it can trust heading into the season.
Let’s get off the catching for a minute. After all, there is still a month to go before the opener and one or two dropped balls from guys in a preseason game means nothing. What will mean something is how Jose Lopez responds to ground balls at third base today, assuming he gets a few more hit his way than he did two days ago.
After all, that clock is ticking. The M’s have said they can afford to wait until about halfway through the exhibition schedule before having to decide whether to continue with this plan or abort.
The lineups:
PADRES (0-1)
1 Everth Cabrera (S) SS
22 David Eckstein 2B
7 Chase Headley (S) 3B
88 Kyle Blanks LF
14 Oscar Salazar 1B
25 Will Venable (L) RF
4 Nick Hundley C
28 Aaron Cunningham DH
77 Chris Denorfia CF
38 Mat Latos (RHP)
51 Ichiro (L) RF
9 Chone Figgins (S) 2B
15 Milton Bradley (S) LF
24 Ken Griffey Jr. (L) DH
4 Jose Lopez 3B
13 Casey Kotchman (L) 1B
69 Greg Halman CF
48 Guillermo Quiroz C
2 Jack Wilson SS
25 Luke French (LHP)

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