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Mariners blog

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

March 16, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Milwaukee Brewers at Mariners: March 16, 2011 game thread

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And none other than Jeremy Reed comes through with the go-ahead single in the ninth off Fabio Castro to make it a 5-4 game, Milwaukee three outs away from ending Seattle’s eight-game unbeaten streak.
Yes, that was also Sean Green holding the M’s off the scoreboard in the eighth inning after a double by Ryan Langerhans.


9:21 p.m.: Brendan Ryan just tied things up with one swing of the bat in the seventh inning, hitting a three-run homer to left field to draw Seattle even at 4-4. So, the eight-game unbeaten streak is still alive and kicking and looking to extend to nine.
Seattle is still getting out-hit 10-5, but that’s what the power of a long ball can do for you.
Just got done talking to Michael Pineda in the clubhouse.
Pineda said he threw “too many strikes” tonight, meaning he left his fastball up and over the hittable part of the plate. He also felt his early changeups were coming in with not a lot of movement to them.
When his changeup is on, it tends to break down and away to lefties and in on right handers. It’s a weapon he plans to use a lot more on lefties, but it didn’t do much for him early.
Later on, his final two innings, he got the movement he wanted on it.
Pineda also said that, in a typical seven-inning outing, he’d like to throw about a dozen changeups. Tonight, he threw only about half that total over four innings.
He appeared to have good break on his slider and said as much afterwards.
Is he thinking about landing that fifth starter’s job? You bet. Pineda insists he isn’t nervous, merely working very hard. But he got lit up at times tonight and a lot of it had to do with an inability to keep his pitches down. It’s something he says he’s working on and tried to adjust for tonight, with limited success.
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo was asked whether Milton Bradley had a beef with the umpire prior to his third inning ejection after a called strike.
“I don’t know,” Gallardo said. “From my standpoint, it was a pretty good pitch. In that situation, I had to make a good pitch and it was down and away.”
8:35 p.m.: Tom Wilhelmsen came on to work the fifth inning and got roughed up for a run to make it 4-1 for the Brewers. Former M’s outfielder Jeremy Reed popped out on the very first pitch Wilhelmsen threw (never seen that before), but then Casey McGehee tagged him for a triple to right center.
That’s four doubles and two triples for the Brew Crew so far and we’ve only played four and a half innings.
Erick Almonte singled to right after that for the fourth Milwakee run.
Wilhelmsen got out of the inning on a 4-6-3 double-play grounder by George Kottaras.
So, Michael Pineda got hit hard and often tonight in his four-inning, 63-pitch outing. He gave up three doubles to Rickie Weeks and another to McGehee to go with a triple by Kottaras. The good news is that Pineda allowed only three runs — just two earned. But it probably wasn’t the outing he was looking for trying to nail down that fifth spot in the rotation. The Brewers were sitting on his fastball tonight and connected a little too often.
And yeah, the eight-game unbeaten streak is at risk.
8:14 p.m.: Well, we just had our first Milton Bradley ejection of the spring. Bradley checked his swing and was called out on strikes by plate umpire Mark Buchanan in the bottom of the third inning. Bradley got vocal as he headed back to the dugout, his head turned away from the ump.
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Buchanan tossed him moments later. Mariners manager Eric Wedge came out to argue, but to no avail. After the inning was over, Bradley took his time before leaving the dugout, as Buchanan stared into it.
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Bradley then sprinted out of the dugout and up the right field line, beating several players ahead of him out of the stadium and back into the clubhouse.
Milwaukee leads the game, 3-1, having already pounded Michael Pineda for a triple and three doubles the first three-plus innings, one of those doubles coming last frame by Rickie Weeks — who later scored on a throwing error by catcher Josh Bard. George Kottaras then led this fourth inning off with a triple and just scored on a single by Mat Gamel through the right side of the infield.
7:41 p.m.: We’re tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the second after the Brewers loaded the bases with none out against Michael Pineda in the top of the frame. Erick Almonte reached on an error and then George Kottaras (a Canadian, don’t you know) doubled to right center. Brandon Boggs then fouled off some full-count pitches before drawing a walk.
But Pineda got Mat Gamel to first-pitch hack into a 6-4-3 double play that scored the tying run but provided an escape hatch. Luis Cruz then grounded out to end the inning.
The Brewers are swinging early and often against the fastball-heavy Pineda. But he’s successfully mixed in some off-speed pitches at key moments. Might want to do it more often to avoid filling up the bases beforehand.
Seattle opened the scoring in the first when Jack Cust doubled to the right field corner, bringing Chone Figgins all the way home from first base. Figgins had singled to left field with one out. Brewers right fielder Luis Cruz took his time getting the Cust double back to the infield, allowing Figgins to beat the play by a step or two.
A medical update on Nate Robertson: he had elbow surgery today in Los Angeles. Three loose bodies (no jokes please, this is surgery) were removed from the elbow — one in front and two in back. He’ll fly back to Peoria tomorrow to begin range-of-motion rehabilitation exercises.
7:15 p.m.: Some impressive pitching by Michael Pineda after he’d yielded a leadoff double to the gap in right center by Ricki Weeks. Pineda got Yuniesky Betancourt on a chopper to third base that Chone Figgins made a nice running play on.
After that, Pineda — sowing a good ability to change speeds — reared back and fanned the dangerous Ryan Braun on a 1-2 fastball for out No. 2. Then, he got Casey McGehee to ground out to second on another fastball up around eye level.
Good comeback by Pineda. The changeup-fastball combo appeared to have a very good differential.
7:01 p.m.: Michael Pineda takes the mound tonight for the first time since news broke that the final rotation spot is his to lose. We’ll see how he handles himself with a new kind of pressure tonight. Sometimes, it’s easier to be the underdog than the frontrunner.
The lineups:
BREWERS
2B Rickie Weeks
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
LF Ryan Braun
3B Casey McGehee
1B Erick Almonte
C George Kottaras
CF Brandon Boggs
DH Mat Gamel
RF Luis Cruz
RHP Yovani Gallardo
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
DH Jack Cust
1B Justin Smoak
CF Franklin Gutierrez
2B Jack Wilson
SS Brendan Ryan
C Josh Bard
RHP Michael Pineda

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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