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July 17, 2010 at 10:37 PM

A few Saturday post-game notes

The Mariners lose again, 7-6, on Juan Rivera’s two-out, seventh-inning homer off Brian Sweeney after they battle back from a 6-1 deficit to tie it 6-6 on Josh Bard’s homer in the seventh.
They are now 35-56 for the season, putting them on, yes, precisely a 100-loss pace (technically, 99.692307, according to my calculations, but I’ll round up).
They are 0-3 since the All-Star break. They have lost 12 of their last 14. They are 5-15 since a season-high six-game winning streak. They are 2-12 in July. They are 2-10 against the Angels. They are 11-18 in one-run games.
Need I go on? Bottom line, it’s getting ugly. Real ugly.


A couple of lose ends:
Manager Don Wakamatsu said he pulled Chris Seddon after just 1 2/3 innings — all outs — and 13 pitches because he’s trying to preserve a six-man bullpen with David Pauley out of commission as Monday’s starter. And he wanted to ensure he left with a positive outing in his Mariner debut.
“This way, we know he can come back tomorrow, plus we have confidence in Sweeney,” he said.
Russ Branyan was unavailable as a pinch-hitter. He was still sore from his toe injury after taking BP, and Wakamatsu said he wanted to keep alive Branyan’s chances of playing Sunday. Michael Saunders (finger) could have pinch-ran, but that’s it. That left lefty Casey Kotchman, Josh Wilson and Rob Johnson as his pinch-hit options against lefty closer Brian Fuentes in the ninth. Could Wakamatsu have asked Bard to bunt in the ninth? Yeah, but he also was coming off a single and homer in his previous two at-bats. I don’t have a major issue with that.
Ryan Rowland-Smith was visibly frustrated yet again after lasting just 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and six runs (five earned). He said he threw far more two-seamers (sinkers) than normal to try to get ground balls, which he did. But many of them snuck through holes, and when he left balls up, he got punished for it. The M’s face another crossroads with Rowland-Smith, who is now 1-9 with a 6.18 ERA.
“Tonight was one of those nights,” Rowland-Smith said. “We got enough runs. I couldn’t figure it out, again.”
Justin Smoak was the big positive for the Mariners. He had hit .139 from the right side in Texas (11-for-79), but he was 3-for-3 as a righty tonight with a homer, double and single off lefty Joe Saunders. The past two nights, you can really see the potential in Smoak to be a high-impact power hitter. He said he never lost confidence in his ability to hit right-handed.
“Not at all. It’s my natural side. I feel comfortable over there. It’s bound to come some time.”
Smoak was a triple away from the cycle. I asked him if he had a triple in him.
“I don’t know — if someone fell out there. That’s about it.”

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