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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Game thread: Casper Wells back in there for Mariners against Reds

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”2226510475001″/]

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The Mariners have made at least one cut and likely several more after today’s “B” game. I’ve been told that pitching prospect Taijuan Walker has been sent to minor league camp. The team has yet to announce anything official.

We’re all tied up at 7-7 here in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Mariners scored four runs in the fifth, three of them on the second homer of the day by Michael Morse. The “blast” was more of a popgun shot over the left field wall and it helps when you’re playing in the Arizona air, but hey, Morse has been swinging the bat well.

Michael Morse arrives at home plate after his second home run of the game, a three-run shot in the 5th, ties things up 7-7.

Michael Morse arrives at home plate after his second home run of the game, a three-run shot in the 5th, ties things up 7-7.

In the clubhouse moments later, his day done, I asked him how his timing is at the plate at this stage of camp.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “My at-bats are starting to become quality at-bats in a row. Early in spring you have one quality at-bat, maybe a couple of bad ones. But I’m starting to get a nice rhythm and a good feel. And for me, it’s a feel that I don’t think about. It’s just something that happens.”

As for Joe Saunders, it turns out he’s sporting a nice sized blister on his left push-off foot. Right where the side of his big toe meets his shoe. He got the blister during warm-ups then when out and decided to “suck it up” and pitch. He says he doesn’t care much about spring results and is just trying to get his arm up to the innings needed to start the season.

But I can tell you, he had to have felt like a knife was slicing at his toe with every pitch thrown. While he won’t say it, I’m sure it impacted the quality of his pitches out there and made him that much more hittable.

2:40 p.m.: Joe Saunders has had better days than this one, as he lasted 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs — five earned — on 9 hits. The Mariners trail 7-3 as we head to the bottom of the fifth inning, having just narrowed the gap a bit on a mammoth two-run homer by Michael Morse just to the left of the batter’s eye in center field. Prior to that, it was all Reds, who hit the ball to all fields off Saunders and also took advantage of some sloppy Seattle defense at times.

1:50 p.m.: Casper Wells is in a battle with Jason Bay to make the Mariners this year. He’s been off the past few days because of a neck stiffness issue, but he’s back in there now trying to continue scorching the ball as he has for much of the spring.

So far today, Wells is 0-for-2. The Mariners trail 4-1 as we head to the fourth inning, with starter Joe Saunders getting roughed up for a pair of runs in the second and then again in the third. An error by Brendan Ryan in the second put two on with no out, followed by an RBI groundout and then a Devin Mesoraco single for the second Reds run.

An infield single to start the third was followed by a Joey Votto double to right and then a single by Denis Phipps scored the fourth run for the visitors.

Seattle’s only run scored in the second when Michael Morse reached out and drilled a pitch near the dirt over the left fielder’s head for a double. Morse came in on a bloop single to right by Justin Smoak.

In case you missed it on Twitter earlier (@gbakermariners), James Paxton and Taijuan Walker threw in a “B” game against the Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. this morning (the Mariners lost 6-0). Paxton gave up a bunch of hits and four runs (none earned) over two innings, but wasn’t helped by his infield defense as shortstop Nick Franklin muffed consecutive grounders that led to three unearned runs in the second inning.

Mariners fan at today's game is cheering for one thing in particular.

Mariners fan at today’s game is cheering for one thing in particular.

Walker came out smoking to start the third, retiring the side on 14 pitches and striking out his final two batters. He gave up a pair of runs in the fourth inning, but again, he didn’t have much help from the defense as left fielder Vinnie Catricala allowed a line drive to get over his head for a double. In the video above, you can see the two strikeouts Walker logged, starting with his strikeout pitch to the first batter, then the entire AB of the second victim, who takes a curveball for strike three.

Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker works on his first strikeout of the day in a "B" game against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. this morning.

Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker works on his first strikeout of the day in a “B” game against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. this morning.

A run later wound up scoring when a grounder shot past minor league second baseman Timmy Lopes. Overall, Walker was the stronger of the two pitchers, had his fastball going in the mid-90s and might have escaped unscathed with some major league gloves behind him.

 

March 14, 2013 – Peoria Stadium (1:05 pm)

Seattle Mariners (11-7)

 

Cincinnati Reds (5-12)

No.

Player Pos.  

No.

Player Pos.

15

Kyle Seager (L) 2B

28

Chris Heisey CF

33

Casper Wells CF

2

Zack Cozart SS

8

Kendrys Morales (S) DH

19

Joey Votto (L) 1B

38

Michael Morse RF

23

Denis Phipps RF

17

Justin Smoak (S) 1B

81

Derrick Robinson (S) LF

4

Carlos Peguero (L) LF

78

Emmanuel Burris (S) 3B

2

Jesus Sucre C

16

Jason Donald 2B

1

Carlos Triunfel 3B

39

Devin Mesoraco C

26

Brendan Ryan SS

26

Xavier Paul (L) DH

Starting Pitcher

Starting Pitcher

23

Joe Saunders LHP

34

Homer Bailey RHP

 

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