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March 16, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Eric Wedge on Michael Pineda: “secondary stuff was as good as we’ve seen it all spring”

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So, the unbeaten streak ends at eight games with a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. But it’s spring training. On to stuff that matters.
The Mariners are hoping to have Michael Pineda make their starting five coming out of spring training and a big part of that will be his ability to command his secondary pitches. Pineda had a rough start tonight, but his slider was working throughout his four innings and his change-up really improved over his latter two frames.
“He was up a little bit, but more importantly he got back down,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “The way he was using his secondary stuff, it was as good as we’ve seen it all spring.”
Wedge said Pineda’s change-up versus lefties is a good pitch for him.
“It’s something where he continues to gain more and more confidence with it,” Wedge said.
So, what was most improved about it tonight?
“You just look at the swings,” he said. “You look at the reaction of hitters. Hitters can always tell you so much. You look at whether they’re taking a pitch, or whether they’re swinging, or maybe just a little reaction up there. I think we saw all that tonight with Michael.”
On the Milton Bradley ejection, Wedge said he “said one too many things and it was a short night for him.”


Bradley was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with minor league plate umpire Mark Buchanan. You’ll, remember that, last spring, Bradley was ejected in consecutive games by a pair of minor league umps.
Wedge went out to argue the ejection.
“You just talk to him,” he said. “It is still the spring and you’ve got a lot of young umpires out here. I think he felt like he took about as much as he could take and it was time to take it to another level.”
That’s about it from here. Franklin Gutierrez went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Brendan Ryan supplied most of the offense with a three-run homer.
But the M’s were out-hit 13-6 and pretty fortunate to still be in it by the ninth.
Pitching-wise, Brandon League gave up a hit, as did Chris Ray (who also uncorked a wild pitch), but both tossed scoreless innings. Fabio Castro gave up the winning run on a Jeremy Reed single in the top of the ninth.
As for Pineda, some positive signs, as Wedge mentioned, to be found among all the extra-base hits. But he did indeed get roughed up tonight, even though he contained what could have been a lot more damage. He has to get those pitches down and use the secondary stuff a little more often. His next outing will be a big one.
But like I said, he’s still the frontrunner. The team is looking for the positives because they’re pretty confident he’s going to be out there the first week of the season.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan

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