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April 22, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Oakland Athletics at Mariners: April 22, 2011 game thread

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UPDATE: Milton Bradley left tonight’s game with lower back spasms at the start of the third inning. He was replaced in left field by Michael Saunders.
Seattle just broke things open in the fifth inning, taking a 4-0 lead and chasing starter Tyson Ross from the game. Happy 24th birthday, Tyson. Anyhow, it was more the Oakland A’s self-destructing that frame, with Ross and bullpen torch-lighter Jerry Blevins combining to walk three straight guys, including Jack Cust with the bases juiced to score the first run of the frame. I swear, it seems like everytime I’ve watched the M’s play the A’s, Blevins can’t get anybody out and just compounds a bad situation. Same with Craig Breslow. The Killer B’s we’ll call ’em. It’s good for the M’s because these two teams are mirro images of each other offensively and this was shaping up to be the worst offensive series since the Dead Ball Era.
Adam Kennedy — who else — then stepped up and delivered a two-run single to center. Yup, still all Kennedy all the time. In the top of the fifth, Kevin Kouzmaoff broke for home on a one-out grounder to Kennedy at first. Kennedy made the throw and Miguel Olivo applied the tag just in time on one of those plays where you can watch the replay 15 times and still not know whether the right call was made.
If you missed Geoff Baker Live! pre-game tonight, we played a clip of shortstop Brendan Ryan discussing whether Justin Smoak or Kennedy has the best stretch at first base. We also asked Eric Wedge about Kennedy’s first base defense during batting practice this afternoon.
Another viewer asked me what’s wrong with Erik Bedard. That took a bit longer to answer.


8:28 p.m.: We’re done four innings here, with the Mariners still up 1-0. Michael Pineda retired eight in a row before a two-out single by Kurt Suzuki in the fourth, but Mark Ellis flied out to end the inning.
The Mariners saw six in a row set down by Tyson Ross — a reliever making his first start of the season tonight — before Ryan Langerhans drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the fourth. Brendan Ryan then popped out foul to first base to end the inning. Earlier in the inning, Miguel Olivo got hold of a ball, only to have it die on the warning track in center. In another ballpark, that might have been out. Not here. And not in this cold weather.
So, Adam Kennedy has still scored the only two runs of this series. He’s done it all on offense and defense.
8:03 p.m.: Michael Saunders just came on to replace Milton Bradley in left field to start the third inning. We’ll try to get more information.
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after a leadoff single by Adam Kennedy. Miguel Olivo popped out, the Ryan Langerhans walked and Brendan Ryan popped out to bring up struggling Jack Wilson.
After starting the year on a tear, Wilson has done nothing since being benched two weeks ago. But he delivered this time, lining a single to left to bring hom the run.
7:49 p.m.: Michael Pineda just did a masterful job of pitching out of a second inning jam. He’d walked the first two batters, but then used his raw power to fan Mark Ellis on a 96 mph fastball. Kevin Kouzmanoff then could not hold off on an 84 mph slider and was called out on the checked swing.
Cliff Pennington ended the inning by grounding out to first base.
So, that’s four strikeouts by Pineda already. Only problem is, his pitch count is now up to 45 after only two innings.
The M’s put runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the first, only to see a slow-running Jack Cust ground into a 4-6-3 double-play. Cust has to get it going soon. He’s killing the team in the heart of the order.
7:19 p.m.: Seattle tries to make it two in a row tonight. They’ll have that other exciting guy not named Felix on the mound. That’s right. Michael Pineda gets the start. He’s the biggest thing to hit this rotation (as a young guy, anyway) since Hernandez back in 2005.
Milton Bradley is back in left field tonight. Adam Kennedy is at first base once again.
Great start for Pineda, who struck out a pair in the top of the first inning. After a lineout to left, Pineda fanned Daric Barton looking at an 83 mph slider. Then, after a two-out single up the middle by David DeJesus, he struck out Josh Willingham with a wicked looking 96 mph fastball.
The lineups:
ATHLETICS
CF Coco Crisp
1B Daric Barton
RF David DeJesus
LF Josh Willingham
DH Hideki Matsui
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Mark Ellis
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
SS Cliff Pennington
RHP Tyson Ross
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
DH Jack Cust
1B Adam Kennedy
C Miguel Olivo
CF Ryan Langerhans
SS Brendan Ryan
2B Jack Wilson
RHP Michael Pineda

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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