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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

September 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Mariners 2, Rangers 1: Ryan Langerhans comes out of mothballs, hits — and throws — some baseballs

Gotta love that Ryan Langerhans. Had a pinch-hit appearance last Tuesday, but other than that, since last Sunday, he’d had as much to do with Mariners game action as you folks watching at home. You are watching, right?
Anyway, those of you tearing yourselves away from those fearsome Seahawks today saw the Mariners win their first series in a month, taking two of three from the Texas Rangers. No, the M’s still can’t score.
But Doug Fister avoided falling apart in the face of a barrage of hits, while Langerhans did his part to help Seattle prevail.
Langerhans softened up Rangers starter Tommy Hunter by drawing a 12-pitch walk in the fifth inning. Then, he threw out Vladimir Guerrero at second base after the big man had lined a ball over his head in left field. That was huge because Nelson Cruz hit a homer on the very next pitch. Instead of being 2-0, it was only 1-0.
The M’s tied it up in the bottom of the frame and then Langerhans led off the seventh with a triple. Josh Wilson drove him home and that was the ballgame.
An unlikely win for Fister, considering all the hits he gave up. But while he bent, he didn’t break. Fister credited the defense behind him, be it a running catch in left center by Wilson, a catch at the wall in center by Michael Saunders, a nice play on a hard grounder by Jose Lopez, who threw out the lead runner at home, and then a strong throw in the ninth by catcher Guillermo Quiroz on a stolen base attempt by Esteban German.
And of course, the Langerhans play on Guerrero.
“The ball actually got me a little turned around,” he said of the line drive over his head. “I was hoping to be able to catch it. But he hit it and actually backspun it pretty good. But I knew if I was able to get to it quick, I might have a shot at him.”
Photo Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP

Langerhans got his shot and nabbed the runner. Maybe if he played more than once a week, he’d make the catch on a line drive like that. But, you can’t have everything and the Mariners, now needing to go 6-7 to avoid 100 losses, will take it.
Langerhans sure didn’t look all that rusty in working his 12-pitch walk.
“Tommy (Hunter) was making some good pitches that were too close to take and were tough to get to also,” he said. “I was just trying to battle him, trying to get him to make a mistake. He never did but fortunately i was able to draw the walk.”
Langerhans reached base three times on the walk, the triple and a single. You’d think a guy who’d sat all week would b a bit tentative. But not this time.
“I was trying to be pretty aggressive,” Langerhans said. “I was just fortunate enough to get into some good counts to hit in. I’m always up there looking to hit.”
He’s just not always up there. That’s the life of a fourth outfielder. And that’s why those jobs don’t always go to the best hitters or all-around players. They go to the guys who are best at coming in cold.
In this case, Langerhans came in hot. Real hot.



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