For those asking, here’s the podcast of today’s Talkin’ Baseball segment on Sports Radio 950 KJR with host Mitch Levy of the Mitch in the Morning show. Just remember, you can follow along on my @gbakermariners Twitter account throughout the game.
Close call in the bottom of the seventh as David Murphy doubled and then Blake Beavan hit Mike Napoli up on the corner of his batting helmet with a pitch. Napoli shook it off and stayed in the game, but Eric Wedge pulled Beavan and brought in Tom Wilhelmsen from there.
Wilhelmsen got a very deep flyball to center that traveled about 400 feet before being caught. Lead runner Craig Gentry — pinch-running for Murphy — made it to third. But that was it as Mitch Moreland grounded out to the shortstop.
Great work by Beavan tonight. The Mariners still trail 1-0 and Neftali Feliz is now out of the game after allowing just four hits over seven frames. Mike Adams on to pitch.
6:34 p.m.: Great job by Blake Beavan to pitch out of a fifth inning jam and keep the score at 1-0 in favor of the Rangers. David Murphy made it to third base after a double and then a throwing error charged to centerfielder Michael Saunders. The throw back in ticked off the glove of cutoff man Munenori Kawasaki, then deflected off the foot of Dustin Ackley — who was backing up the play — and rolled on towards the infield, allowing Murphy to move up a bag.
But Beavan managed to get both Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland to pop out and keep Murphy from advancing any further. The Mariners have two singles in five innings off Neftali Feliz so far. This could come down to a bullpen battle.
6:20 p.m.: We’ve moved on to the fifth inning and it’s still a 1-0 game, Texas in the lead. The Mariners took a bit of a step forward in the fourth when Justin Smoak hit a two-out single off Rangers starter Neftali Feliz. The Mariners had been 0-for-58 off Feliz heading into the Smoak at-bat, some of it coming tonight but most of it previously when Feliz was a relief pitcher.
5:50 p.m.: The Mariners trail 1-0 after two innings of play, with some heads-up baserunning helping to push the marker across. Adrian Beltre led the inning off with a double, but was later caught dead-to-rights between second and third when Beavan snagged a comebacker. Instead of giving up, Beltre kept hustling up and down the line and allowed hitter Michael Young to make it all the way to second before he was tagged out.
That was important because Miguel Olvio failed to get completely in front of an ensuing Blake Beavan wild pitch and had the ball scoot to the left side of the plate. That was just enough for Young to take third base and he wound up scoring when David Murphy notched an infield single that diving shortstop Munenori Kawasaki knocked down but could not make a play on. The little things do matter.
5:24 p.m.: Last night, it was Yu Darvish. Tonight, it’s Neftali Feliz making his debut as a starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers.
The only difference is that Feliz had been a bullpen mainstay for the Rangers the past couple of seasons and was their closer in the World Series last year. So, we’ll see whether the Mariners can make him sweat the way they did Darvish yesterday.
Much quicker first inning tonight, with Feliz and Blake Beavan throwing 29 pitches between them, compared to 74 from Yu Darvish and Hector Noesi last night. Beavan had a 10-pitch, three-up, three-down inning.