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May 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Felix Hernandez discusses the sinker that didn’t sink in Seattle’s 6-2 loss to New York Yankees

There weren’t many bad pitches thrown by Felix Hernandez tonight. But one of the worst was a sinker that didn’t sink to Raul Ibanez in the sixth inning.
Ibanez hit a three-run homer and the Mariners saw a one-run lead vanish in a 6-2 loss.
“That was a mistake,” he said. “I tried to throw a sinker, the ball didn’t move and stayed in the middle of the plate. One pitch, game over.”
Pretty much. Hernandez said if he could take it back, he’d throw the pitch outside of the zone instead of down the middle of the plate like he did.
Ibanez has six home runs this year and 76 since leaving the Mariners after 2008. He’ll be 40 next month, but still knows what to do with a fastball down the middle.
Ibanez prides himself on a short-term memory. It helped him get over a rough spring with the Yankees after Philadelphia didn’t re-sign him.
“My wife hates my short memory,” Ibanez said. “But I really do have a short memory. So, I don’t remember what happened and it works out a lot of times. I don’t even remember that far back.”

Ibanez did remember enough to know that Hernandez hurt him in his at-bat prior to the home run, striking him out after he’d been a bit too patient.
Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long told him he’d been jumping out front on the pitches he did swing at, so Ibanez reminded himself not to try to do too much. But he still went after the first pitch when Hernandez grooved it.
“You can stay aggressive without getting overly aggressive,” Ibanez said. “It’s a fine line, but it’s a balance.”
Sounds a lot like what Eric Wedge wants his hitters to find — that balance. Knowing when to go after stuff and what to do with it.
Anyhow, the M’s didn’t do enough when it mattered tonight and paid a price in the end when Hernandez was less than perfect.
“We had a first and second situation with nobody out and a bases loaded situation with one out and we don’t score a run,” Mariners manager Erc Wedge said. “It could have been the difference right there. In a tight ballgame like that, you squeeze one run across both those innings and it’s a different feel, a different ballgame.
“We didn’t get it done.”
Some postiives? Three hits by Justin Smoak. It’s a start.
Jesus Montero had the home run in his first game back here, a bit of a pressure situation for him and he delivered.
And Mike Carp helped keep things close by throwing out A-Rod at the plate in the fourth inning. It was the first real test of Carp’s shoulder after that sprain kept him out a month.
“That’s the first time,” he said. “And I let it go right on the money.”
Not enough this time around for his team. Hector Noesi goes tomorrow.

Comments | Topics: Jesus Montero


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