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April 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Mariners didn’t do much with their limited opportunities

Another quiet Mariners clubhouse after this 4-0 defeat, much like many of the ones witnessed the past two seasons. Players eventually began to trickle in, though Michael Saunders, hobbling off towards a training room with ice around his leg, didn’t want to stop and discuss Bartolo Colon.
Saunders struck out looking his first three times up and clearly wasnt happy with the calls on the last two of those. He also barely missed hitting a three-run homer that drifted just wide of the right field foul pole and gave 46,026 fans one of their only reasons all night to get excited.

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VIDEO CAPTION: See replay above of Part I of Geoff Baker Live! with special guest Larry Stone outside Safeco Field pre-game.
Other players talked about missed opportunities. Kyle Seager says he didn’t get a good look at the play where Yoenis Cespedes trapped a ball that would have likely resulted in a leadoff double with the game still only 2-0 in the seventh.
Right after that, the A’s padded their lead in the eighth when Miguel Olivo allowed the passed ball that sent Josh Reddick to third base, where he scored on an ensuing sacrifice fly. With a night game tomorrow and a day game on Sunday, you expect another catcher to play one of the two contests. The whole point of getting John Jaso was supposed to be to have a second catcher who can spell Olivo so he doesn’t have to play 130 games and can focus on staying ready and improving on his shortcomings. Now that we’re on a more regular schedule, I’m sure the team will start to do that. Be shocked if it did not.
Thing is, there’s a lefty on the mound tomorrow and that means Jaso won’t be in there. The team could use Jesus Montero behind the plate and make Olivo the DH. I don’t know. Eric Wedge keeps saying there’s nothing wrong with putting Montero behind the plate, so here’s an opportunity. Will he do it? I don’t know. You’d have to think he’ll go with Jaso on Sunday against a right-hander and I’m not sure he’s ready to have Olivo not catch two days in a row.
So, whatever happens, it will be interesting to watch what transpires on the catching front this weekend.
As for the eighth inning, Wedge was asked whether he’d considered having Chone Figgins bunt with two on and none out. And as I expected, he said no, for the very reasons mentioned in the prior blog post. You don’t want to give up an out in that situation when you need three runs — not two — and have only two guys on with six outs to go.
“You still have to do more than that,” Wedge said. “It’s the eighth inning. We’re not looking to try to get back into it with a few outs left. We have to try to create an inning there.”

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VIDEO CAPTION: Above, see video replay of Part II of Geoff Baker Live! from earlier tonight outside of Safeco Field.
Look, I know it’s frustrating to see Chone Figgins hit the ball just about the only place where the A’s could have doubled him up — right back to the pitcher. It’s just bad luck. That stuff happens in baseball. But this game wasn’t lost because of a Figgins non-bunt. It was lost by not getting anything done off Colon.
Don’t forget, the A’s had plenty of chances to pad their lead off Felix Hernandez. It could have been 5-0 by the time Figgins came up, if we’re going to play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game.
Justin Smoak said he didn’t see all that much difference between what Colon threw tonight versus last weekend in Oakland, when the M’s scored seven off him in 4 1/3 innings. The only real difference was that Colon didn’t elevate his pitches as much as he did the last time.
And the few times he did, the M’s didn’t capitalize. One occasion saw Seager robbed of a hit by the umpire’s call on the trapped ball.
Smoak said he saw some hittable pitches early but did nothing with them.
“He gave me two pitches to hit and I fouled them off,” Smoak said. “You can’t do that. When you get a good pitch to hit, you have to do something with it.”
The Mariners had a good pitch to hit with their fans tonight. Those fans filled the stadium to see a 4-4 team that had generated some excitement locally by playing the Texas Rangers tough.
But they fouled that pitch off, as well. And missed an opportunity to send a packed house home with something to remember them by other than 2010 and 2011.
There will be more opportunities to come, albeit against much smaller crowds. And the M’s can’t keep fouling those off either. If they really are better than the product of the past two years, they have to start showing it.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero


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