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February 24, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Chone Figgins works 10-pitch walk, gets on base twice in Mariners intra-squad affair

PHOTO: Erasmo Ramirez lets fly with a pitch to Vinnie Catricala in today’s intra-squad game.
Some of the best stuff we witnessed in today’s 3-3 intra-squad tie happened at the very beginning of the game. Chone Figgins came up in the bottom of the first inning and worked a 10-pitch walk against Danny Hultzen.
Figgins fouled off three two-strike pitches before finally taking the walk. He’d later score on a Justin Smoak single for the first run of the game. Figgins later drew another walk off of James Paxton, looking every bit like the pitch-taking, count-working pest he was known to be when last leading off for the Angels.
Of course, we’re not even in the official pre-season yet, so let’s not get too excited. Then again, if we’re going to talk about these games, let’s talk about them.
Hultzen admitted to some pre-game nerves and said the Figgins walk wasn’t how he hoped his first unofficial spring appearance would begin.
“He did a great job of battling and spoiling some pitches that other hitters I’ve faced in the past would probably would have either swung at or hit into play,” Hultzen said. “It was a good experience getting just a taste of what these major league hitters are like.”
Hultzen said the outing “didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but it was nice to get the first one out of the way like that.”
Hultzen wound up yielding a single to center by Casper Wells and then the RBI hit by Carp after that. The inning was halted with two out so that he didn’t overtax his arm.
James Paxton was pleased with how he battled out of a jam after falling behind the first two hitters early and seeing them reach base. His first batter faced was Michael Saunders in what he termed the “Canadian matchup”.
Paxton said he last faced Saunders in a high school all-star game in British Columbia when Saunders was playing for Victoria and Paxton for the North Delta Blue Jays.
“I was five inches shorter and more baby-faced than I am right now,” Paxton quipped. “He was a strong, tall skinny guy when he was in high school, but he’s definitely filled out. He’s a lot more muscular right now.”

Paxton did a good job of escaping the two on, none out jam by getting a flyout from Dustin Ackley that moved the runners up 90 feet. He then caught Wells looking at a called third strike before getting a groundout to end the inning.
“I think it was good to get some work out of the stretch like that,” he said. “It’s a starting point. I think I was a little nervous, excited going into this, but once I got out there I was OK.”
Erasmo Ramirez said pretty much the same thing. He served up an early double to Michael Saunders but then rallied to get out of the inning with a popout on Vinnie Catricala and two strikeouts.
“I just looked at where the catcher was putting the mitt and tried to hit it,” Ramirez said.
In the clubhouse, Brendan Ryan said he meant no disrespect by not running the bases on that home run to left off Oliver Perez.
“I was trying to show him respect,” Ryan said. “That would have been an easy flyout at Safeco.”
Smoak came up and began to tease Ryan about heading back to the dugout withut rounding the bags.
“Dude, run the bases next time!” Smoak said. “It’s not going to happen often, you might as well enjoy it.”

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Oliver Perez


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