Sorry about the slow posting today. I’m scrambling to pack up and get out of town right after the game as Bob Condotta comes in to take my shift. Larry Stone gets in early next week as well. Busy times at the condo.
Luke French threw three scoreless innings today after sorting through some mechanical difficulties he’d been having in camp. He allowed two hits, hit one batter and struck out a pair in a pretty good performance.
French had made some adjustments to his delivery over the winter, trying to get the ball out of his glove earlier during his windup. Sounds like a minor thing, but if he doesn’t get it right it can disrupt everything about how he pitches.
“Finally, it felt like everything clicked as far as mechanics and everything,” he said. “It was the first time all spring I really felt good.”
Turns out, when French got to camp, he started taking the ball out of his glove too early and noticed things weren’t right. Finally, after his first live batting practice session, he started to work on leaving the ball in his glove just a little longer. Not like last season, but longer than when he arrived in camp.
“I was just getting it out really early,” he said of the baseball. “Because I felt like I was always a little late because the ball was in my glove too long. So, I was really focused on getting it out real super early and then I was kind of stopping my arm and then going again instead of the constant motion.”
Since then, it’s taken him a while to get his release point and everything else back to normal.
“So, I just kind of threw that away. I’m still trying to get out early, but not to the extent that I was.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he could see the difference right away.
“He had more life around the plate today,” Wedge said. “He had better command. He controlled the ballgame a lot better.”
Brandon League gave up a two-run homer to Alex Rios in the fourth inning. Rios has League’s number, dating back to last April when he helped hand the M’s reliever a blown save late in a game in Chicago that Seattle appeared to have won.
Milton Bradley had a double today, so he’s still in a groove.
But not much else to speak of offensively.