GAME OVER — M’s used some wild Chicago pitching and a few good bounces on hits to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth. But that was all as the Mariners lost 13-8 to fall to 12-8-1 and now head to Japan.
Wedge said afterward he wasn’t concerned about Hernandez’s outing today, saying he just was working behind too much and the White Sox were aggressive. He said this is a good time of year to get a game like that out of the way.
He also said today was an unusual circumstance with so much preparation behind the scenes for Japan, likely contributing to the uneven performance today.
HERNANDEZ SAYS HE’S FINE PHYSICALLY — It’s 13-4 in the top of the ninth as I type this.
Back from talking to Hernandez who said there were no physical issues and he wasn’t sure what happened. “I don’t know,” he said. “For real, I don’t know. … they hit everything I threw.”
If there was a problem, it was the common pitcher’s lament of leaving too many pitches up in the zone.
“They were looking for pitches up and I got behind in the count and when I threw the fastball they hit it,” he said.
Hernandez said he wasn’t distracted by this being a somewhat strange day here, with most of the focus on leaving for Japan tomorrow.
But he acknowledged that “it’s time to get serious.”
HEADING DOWN TO TALK TO HERNANDEZ — So there may not be much on blog for a while.
TOP SIX — A 1-2-3 inning for Ruffin so we head to bottom six with Sox ahead 8-2.
BOTTOM FIVE — Looks like the M’s may already have one foot on the plane to Japan as after a Figgins walk, Ackley hit into a double play and Ichiro then grounded weakly to first. So it remains 8-2.
Hernandez is now done having allowed 10 hits and eight runs, seven earned, in five innings. He threw 92 pitches, 56 strikes.
Chance Ruffin now in.
TOP FIVE — A very un-King-like performance from Hernandez today as he was hit hard in the fifth, allowing four runs on four more hits while also hitting a batter and has now allowed eight runs on 10 hits for the game. The inning started badly when Mike Carp lost a fly ball in the sun for a three-base error and Hernandez then hit Gordon Beckham. But then came four straight hits before Hernandez rallied to strike out two of the last three batters of the inning. Now 8-2 Sox.
BOTTOM FOUR — Three up, three down for the M’s in the bottom of the fourth so it remains 4-2.
TOP FOUR — Hernandez was rocked around a little in the fourth inning as the White Sox got four runs on three hits and a walk, the big blow a two-run double by Brent Lillibridge, a former Husky and graduate of Jackson High in Everett, who also had a double in the previous inning. It’s 4-2 White Sox heading to the bottom of the fourth. Hernandez looks to be going again out for the fifth as they wanted him to get near 100 pitches or so in what is his last game before facing Oakland in Japan.
BOTTOM THREE — Nothing for M’s other than an infield single by Montero. Carp ended the inning with his 13th strikeout in 35 spring at-bats (Peguero also has 13 but in 41 ABs).
TOP THREE — The White Sox get a run off Hernandez on a leadoff double and a two-out single. It’s 2-1 heading to the bottom of three. It’s his third run allowed in 16 innings this spring.
BOTTOM SECOND —- Nothing for M’s in the second despite a two-out hit by Ryan and then a walk on a full count by Figgins. Ackley then hit it hard but right to the shortstop for a 6-3.
TOP SECOND — Another scoreless inning for Felix, who gave up a groundball single up the middle to Konerko but then got a 4-6-3 from Dunn and struck out Ramirez to end the inning. 2-0 M’s.
BOTTOM FIRST — Two runs on three hits for the M’s, including a solo HR by Ichiro, his second in three days. He’s now 11-27 overall for the spring. Smoak followed with a double and Montero a single to score another to make it 2-0 heading to the second.
TOP FIRST — Felix in fine form in the first — say that fast 10 times — getting the White Sox three up and three down.
PRE-GAME — It’s the Mariners’ last game here before leaving for Japan in the morning.
You can follow along here and here, and I’ll provide highlights on the blog, as well.
Here’s today’s lineup:
Chone Figgins, 3B
Dustin Ackley, 2B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Jesus Montero, DH
Mike Carp, LF
Miguel Olivo, C
Michael Saunders, CF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Felix Hernandez, P
The listed reserves are also all guys competing for the Major League roster — John Jaso, Kyle Seager, Menunori Kawasaki, Carlos Peguero, Luis Rodriguez, Alex Liddi, Vinnie Catricala, Casper Wells, Mike Wilson, Jesus Scure and Guillermo Quiroz.
Others who could pitch today include Shawn Kelley, Steve Delabar, Charlies Furbush, Lucas Luetge, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Chance Ruffin.
And here’s Chicago’s lineup:
Alejandro De Aza, CF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Kosuke Fukudome, RF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Adam Dunn, DH
Alexi Ramirez, SS
Dayan Viciedo, LF
Tyler Flowers, C
Brent Lillibridge, 3B
Eric Stults, LHP