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August 31, 2011 at 10:46 PM

UPDATED: Mike Carp delivers clutch hit, 2-1 victory to the Mariners and Felix Hernandez

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That was a close call at the very end on a deep fly ball to right field, but Felix Hernandez and the Mariners leave here tonight with a 2-1 win.
The M’s were four outs from defeat when Franklin Gutierrez and Dustin Ackley registered hits off Dan Haren. Mike Carp came up next and drilled a two-run double to left center off Scott Downs to give his team the lead for the first time all night.
No call-ups announced by the team post-game, but I’d expect two additions by tomorrow: Shawn Kelley and Chris Gimenez.
Both have done enough in rehab stints so far and the M’s need all the pitching help they can get these next few weeks with this shaky six-man rotation plan still in place. Having a third catcher also won’t hurt and there’s no sense keeping one in AAA for just a few days.
Back to tonight, Carp continues to impress. Not only did he again punish a left-handed pitcher, but he also helped do in Dan Haren by making him work in the seventh inning.
Remember, Haren had allowed just one hit the first six frames before Carp and Kyle Seager singled off him in the seventh. The M’s loaded the bases that inning but did not score.
“I felt like we did a real good job of making Haren work there in the seventh inning and that had a lot to do with it,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “We put up some tough ABs.”
And that carried over to the eighth. Haren was almost good enough to get out of that inning, but he wasn’t as dominant-looking as before.

Carp was 14-for-42 (.333) off lefties heading into the at-bat versus southpaw Downs. Carp’s slugging percentage off lefties was also the highest in baseball and he showed why by drilling a mistake 2-1 pitch left up in the zone by Downs.
The ball was hit so hard that Peter Bourjos — probably the fastest center fielder in the game — couldn’t really get close to it as it soared well beyond his reach in the left-center gap.
Carp told me after the game that he’s adopted a more aggressive approach against lefties this season compared to in previous years. I’d say it’s working out for him.
Jack Wilson was gone by the time we got down to the clubhouse. No final interviews to cap his difficult two-plus years in Seattle. Wilson was always a class act and I’m glad he’ll get a chance with a contender in Atlanta.
But he had no future here and that was evident from the first day of spring training.
The youth movement is in full throttle and tonight we saw it in its positive form.
How different is this team?
Wilson was one of four guys — including Chone Figgins, Jack Cust and Milton Bradley — to lose their Opening Day assignments. He was the fifth if you want to count Michael Saunders, but he was just replacing an ill Franklin Gutierrez.
Better yet, of the position players who began the 2010 season in Seattle, only Ichiro and Gutierrez are still on the active major league roster. Figgins should be back shortly from injury and will be another. Adam Moore is a possibility for next year. But that’s it from the guys who began last year with the club as position players.
That’s a huge turnover when you consider the high hopes some people had for that 2010 team heading into last season.
It should continue even more in coming months as the M’s try to work towards the right combination.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


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