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May 4, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Mariners vs. Rangers game thread, May 4

POST-GAME NOTES AND QUOTES — Well, this one was pretty cut and dried — Texas got to Pineda just enough, and the Mariners couldn’t do much of anything against Wilson, especially once the bloopers stopped falling and the Rangers stopped playing sloppy.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he thought Pineda threw fine other than a couple of pitches that “maybe caught a little too much of the plate,” — specifically the two solo home runs that put the Rangers ahead for good.
Pineda said the first one, in the fifth to Moreland, was a fastball down the middle trying to get ahead in the count on the first pitch of the inning. On the HR in the seventh by Chris Davis, Pineda said he was trying to go low and away on an 0-2 pitch, an effort that also probably just caught too much of the plate. As for the three hits in the first that Pineda allowed, the explanation seemed to be that he just started a little slow, not hitting top speed with his fastball yet.
Otherwise, as evidenced by the nine strikeouts and 79-20 strike-to-ball ratio, he hardly threw a bad game.
Wilson retired the last 14 Mariners following Figgins’ single in the fifth as Seattle simply couldn’t solve him. They haven’t often as Wilson is now 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA in eight career starts against the Mariners.
“I’ve seen him throw better games,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington of Wilson. “But we certainly needed him to throw his best tonight. He was very efficient with his pitches. I think he threw 38 pitches the rest of the way (after the sixth).”
A lot was made of whether Texas might make some adjustments to Pineda, having also faced him last month in Arlington. Wedge said he didn’t think so, just that the Rangers have good hitters and took advantage of the chances they did get.
Wedge said such nights are all part of the learning process for a young pitcher, and that one of the lessons tonight for Pineda may be that there are times when you “want to expand the strike zone.” Specifically, probably, on 0-2 pitches.
IT’S OVER — M’s go down 1-2-3 in ninth and lose 5-2 and fall to 14-17 on season.
TOP NINE — Nothing for Rangers in ninth. Last chance for the Mariners, down 5-2.

BOTTOM EIGHT — 1-2-3 for the M’s so Texas leads 5-2 heading to ninth. Tom Wilhelmsen now on the mound for Seattle.
TOP EIGHT — Rangers use a walk, stolen base, sacrifice and wild pitch to score a run off Chris Ray and take a 5-2 lead to bottom of eight.
PINEDA LINE —- 7 IP, 7 hits, four runs all earned, no walks, 9 strikeouts, 2 HRs, 97 pitches, 77 strikes.
BOTTOM SEVENTH — 1-2-3 for M’s in seventh and Chris Ray, who hasn’t pitched since April 23, now in the game.
TOP SEVEN — Rangers again take a little command of this one as Chris Davis hit a solo HR to right-center to make it 4-2. He ht a 97-MPH that was a little low and golfed it out. M’s will again need to mount a rally to win this one.
BOTTOM SIX — M’s go down a quick 1-2-3 in the sixth as Wilson has struck out eight.
TOP SIX — Rangers got a hit from Young but nothing else in the sixth, so it remains 3-2.
ATTENDANCE TONIGHT — M’s announce attendance tonight at 13,896, so not a record low.
BOTTOM FIFTH — Figgins singles and steals two bases to get to third, but inning ends there when Bradley and Olivo strike out. In fact, Wilson struck out side as Texas holds its 3-2 lead.
TOP FIFTH — Pineda gives up leadoff HR to Moreland but gets the next three. Texas leads 3-2, Pineda has incredible 55-12 strike-to-ball ratio.
BOTTOM FOURTH — A promising inning — two on and no outs — ended quickly in a Saunders K and a Ryan doule play.
Gaylord Perry getting a nice round of applause as he’s introduced between innings.
TOP FOURTH — Pineda again dominant, another 1-2-3 inning. He’s now retired 10 in a row, with seven strikeouts, and if Texas had found something in the first it has lost it since. Still 2-2 to bottom fourth, and Texas is ruing the sloppy play that gave up its early 2-0 edge.
BOTTOM THIRD — The M’s used two errors — Andrus and Kinsler — a bloop hit (Bradley, his second of the game) and a sac fly by Olivo (his second of the game) to tie the score at 2-2.
TOP THIRD — Three up, three down for Pineda who is settling in after the rocky first. He’s thrown 28 strikes and seven balls.
BOTTOM SECOND — M’s get nothing. Wilson reached on a strike out turned wild pitch, but a fielder’s choice and Ryan double play ended it.
TOP SECOND — Easy 1-2-3 for Pineda with two fly outs sandwiched around a strike out. So score remains 2-1 Texas.
BOTTOM FIRST — M’S GET ONE BACK — A Figgins single, a blooper by Bradley and an Olivo sacrifice scored a run. But the M’s left two on when Cust struck out after another bloop hit by Smoak. Wilson, though, had to throw 23 pitches to get through the inning.
TOP FIRST — RANGERS GET TWO — Texas got two runs on three hits off Pineda, who otherwise struck out the side.
Andrus hit a fastball up the middle for a one-out single, and Beltre then hit another fastball to right for a two-out double. Andrus ran through the stop sign of Texas 3B coach Dave Anderson (who memorably told Josh Hamilton to go a few weeks ago, resulting in an injury to Hamilton) to score. David Murphy then singled in Beltre. So 2-0 Texas and the Rangers, at least some of them, appear to feel more comfortable against Pineda.
PRE-GAME — Just about ready to start here where the Mariners’ official game notes say that the expected crowd is 11,000.
If so, that would be a record low, apparently showing that Michael Pineda on the mound and a team that has won six of seven isn’t doing much to draw in fans — at least not yet.
It’s a pleasant night here at Safeco, a little breeze but a lot warmer than it has been after what was one of the better days we’ve had here in Seattle lately.



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