Follow us:

Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

April 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Mariners piled on the hits tonight, but their legs did almost as much damage

Downstairs in the clubhouse, I began to think a bit more about tonight’s game and realized that it wasn’t merely the 13 hits by the Mariners that helped bury the A’s in a 7-3 win. Think about all the running that made a difference as well.
You had Chone Figgins keying that four-run third inning with his bunt up the third base line that Josh Donaldson threw away at first base for an error. Figgins later bunted for a single up the first base line to score Michael Saunders from third.
Figgins said down in the clubhouse that he knew he’d be bunting once he saw the infielders playing back. At his best, Figgins gets up the line quick and his hustle tonight made a big difference.
“I’ve done it for years,” Figgins said of beating out such bunts. “I was just able to bring it back this year.”
Michael Saunders also legged out an infield single in that sixth inning ahead of the Figgins bunt.
In the third inning, an Ichiro stolen base moved a second runner into scoring position which Kyle Seager drove home with his key, two-out hit.
“I’ve been saying all spring that once we get nine guys rolling, doing the little things right, I think we’re really going to surprise some people,” Saunders said. “We’ve got a lot of talent in this clubhouse. I son’t think we’re a team that can rely on the three-run homer every inning. But if we play small ball, we can surprise some people.”

The A’s certainly seemed caught by surprise on the Figgins bunts. Another key play, of course, was the Seager single with two out to double the M’s lead in the third.
“Those two-out hits with runners in scoring position are separators,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s something I hope we can be more consistent with this year, but I think you saw a number of our guys put up the at-bats you want to see.”
Seager, as we know, is getting to play third because the Mike Carp injury sent Figgins to left field. If Figgins keeps getting on base, he’ll have to keep playing every day once Carp returns — which is the plan this season — so Seager has to show early that he’s deserving of more than sporadic playing time.
“I think if you press, you’re going to put yourself in a bad position,” Seager told me. “You just kind of go out there and if you’re name’s in the lineup, you play hard. I haven’t really thought in-depth about it.”
And that’s probably best for now. Seager produced tonight. So did Saunders, so did Figgins. If they produce, the Mariners will win more games than they lose and any worries about playing time will be good ones for the team to have.
Nice start to the U.S. part of the season.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►