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May 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Hector Noesi throws one of best outings this season, but mistakes doom him, Mariners in 3-1 loss

Sorry for the lack of blogging tonight, but there were numerous technical issues I was dealing with. They appear to be sorted out for now, but to recap: that one mistake pitch in the third inning did indeed doom Hector Noesi in tonight’s 3-1 loss.
Noesi hung a curve ball to Elvis Andrus with the count 1-2 and the hitter drilled it to left-center for a triple that provided the game’s two decisive runs. Josh Hamilton hit a double in the very next pitch to bring Andrus home at that was the game.
Against teams like the Rangers, one or two mistakes can be lethal. Noesi made just one and it cost him. And then, a couple more at the plate and on the basepaths put the final nail in his coffin.
“It was a mistake,” Noesi admitted about the pitch to Andrus.
Noesi said he was aiming for “the ground” and considering the curve came in belt-high, that was a pretty huge margin for error. Otherwise, he was great, striking out seven and allowing three hits over eight innings.
But the one mistake was enough to lose.
Seattle then made a big mistake in the fifth with Brendan Ryan on second with two out.

Alex Liddi ripped a grounder that deflected off third baseman Adrian Beltre and rollwed towards the outfield grass. Ryan took a wide turn at third and would have scored easily, but third base coach Jeff Datz had him hit the brakes by applying the stop sign.
The inning ended on a fielder’s choince grounder by Ichiro and the fans let Datz have it afterwards.
I asked Datz about it after the game and he took full responsibility.
“I had a good view of that and I screwed it up,” Datz admitted. “With two outs, I saw the ball hit off Beltre and I didn’t think it was going to roll that far.
“He (Ryan) did his job and I stopped him. I screwed it up. I feel lousy about it.”
Then, with two on and none out in the eighth, the plate approach that served the M’s so well last night wenty a bit off-kilter at a critical time. With tough set-up man Mike Adams on the mound and his tailing fastballs giving the M’s fits, Jesus Montero flied out to left without advancing the runners.
Then, Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager swung at Ball Four on full-count pitches in consecutive at-bats to end Seattle’s last real threat. Seager didn’t see a pitch inside the zone the entire at-bat.
Adams is tough, yes. But the M’s did not help themselves.
“I felt like we got a little anxious with two strikes there at the end,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s really what stuck out to me. We want our guys up there ready to hit and they are, but I felt like we just expanded a little too much with two strikes there at the end.”
Between that and Safeco Field potentially knocking down two more home run balls, the M’s were outnumbered in the making-their-own-luck department. Casper Wells almost had a first-inning grand slam and Alex Liddi almost had a third-inning solo homer.
Both times, Josh Hamilton made running catches right at the wall.
Liddi thought his ball was out and that the Wells ball was gone coming off the bat.
“I felt like they both had a chance,” Wedge said. “Hamilton made a great play on Liddi’s ball and I felt the ball Wells hit had a chance too. But it was hit to the biggest part of the ballpark and just didn’t get out of here.”
Wedge liked the way Noesi put the one bad pitch behind him and worked his way through eight innings. He didn’t bury his club with any more mistakes and a three-run lead was not insurmountable.
“It’s big league baseball,” Wedge said. “I mean, more times than not, when you hang a breaking ball or you make a mistake, it gets hit. You’re not going to be perfect out there. We had our chances offensively.”
So, Noesi helped turn a negative pitch into what was still a positive night. But the way things were rolling, it wasn’t going to be enough to extend the winning streak to five.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Jesus Montero


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