No tears, no overturned food spreads after the Mariners’ 10-game win streak ended Wednesday with a 7-6 loss to the Brewers.
Manager Eric Wedge lamented some failures to convert with runners in scoring position, but he was said he continues to be pleased with the Seattle offense. The Mariners added two more homers – one by Kendrys Morales, shown above, and another by Michael Morse that was crushed to left-center.
Erasmo Ramirez obviously stuck out today with his three-inning scoreless stint (one hit, three strikeouts) after Blake Beavan – a possible rival for a starting berth – gave up six hits and three runs (two home runs) in his three innings.
“He looked really good today, using all his pitches,’’ Wedge said of Ramirez. “His stuff was really crisp. He’s still working on a couple of things just to tighten up his game a little bit, but I thought he threw the ball well today.”
Ramirez has shown no hesitancy to work the inside corner, which impresses Wedge.
“It’s great, especially for a young pitcher,” he said. “He’s able to expand the plate that way. He’s a command guy. He throws the ball where he wants to. For him to be able to make sure those hitters don’t get too comfortable and he can expand the plate a little bit, that’s only going to help him.”
Beavan, meanwhile, was lamenting his inability to put away the Brewers. In each of his three innings, he got two quick outs, then ran into trouble.
“There’s a lot of positive, and a couple of negative,’’ he said of his outing. “I could sit here and say it’s early and everything, excuses. But just some bonehead pitches, at times. Especially with two outs. It makes you cringe when you give up something with two outs and you’re almost through the inning. It’s something to look at and keep in mind for the next time I go out there.”
But Beavan did strike out three, using his curve as an out pitch, and said he’s getting more comfortable with his new mechanics.
“I feel like everything for the most part has gotten sharper,’’ he said. “Now it’s a matter of repeating it and getting comfortable with everything that’s new to me as far as my delivery and stuff.
“I feel like all the changes I’ve done to this point, and what I worked on in the offseason, is night and day better than where I was last season. Just from my angle and everything coming down the hill, and everything coming from the same arm slot. Last year I think I had a tendency of tipping pitches at times, giving hitters more of an advantage by me slowing my mechanics down. I don’t feel I’m doing that at all now with the stuff I’m doing.
“Now it’s a matter of getting these bad ones out of the way and working hard in the bullpen and trying to repeat my delivery and get comfortable with that before we crank it up.”
Morse absolutely crushed that homer off Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers and said he made an adjustment after grounding out his first time.
“I know my swing,’’ he said. I felt something in my first at-bat, especially with that pitcher. He works the outside corner really good, and I felt myself coming off the ball. So I made sure that at-bat I stayed on it and reacted on a good fastball middle away.”
Morse said it’s not right to minimize the Mariners’ offensive production – 26 homers in 12 games.
“No matter what it is, you can say it’s spring, you can say it’s whatever, but you still have to hit the ball, you still have to play the game. I think, half of the way we’re playing is because the guys are relaxed, confident and believing in their abilities. And everybody’s playing within their abilities.
“It’s something we have to remember, bottle up and carry over to the season.”
Morse played right field today, as he has done frequently this spring, and said he’s actually more comfortable in right than left. His biggest challenge?
“Don’t get in Guti’s way. That’s my challenge.”
On a more serious not, “The biggest thing in right field, the balls kind of fade to the line. Me being the fastest guy ever, I have to make sure I can get to the line and let Guti get the gap.”
Morse, who for the record knows he’s not the fastest guy ever, said he “cheats” toward the line to take away slicing hits, especially knowing the ground Gutierrez can cover.
“I play the line more. I hate giving up those little hits, those little flares that get in. Especially on right-handed hitters. They get that little dunk flair. I try to take those away.”
Here’s Wedge on whether Morse will play left or right.
“For me, I’ve never said it’s going to be one way or the other. With Bay, Ibanez and Morse, and Casper can play all over the place. Saunders can play all over the place. Plus Guti in CF. I think it’s a positive for those guys to be able to play left field and right field, depending on what we want to do with the other two guys.”
Finally, here’s Wedge on today’s lineup with Gutierrez hitting first and Dustin Ackley second.
“We’ve been looking at that. We’ve been looking at multiple people up top. Obviously, the veteran presence of Gutierrez up there and the way he sees pitches and of course the way he’s been hitting the ball, all those things are positive for us. Ackley’s looked good. I feel like he’s using the field better this year. His direction is better, his legs are underneath him more. He sees a lot of pitches as well.”