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May 11, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Iwakuma: ‘My finger is good now. It’s all healed up, and I was able to pitch my game.’

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Apologies for not being able to get to a more in-depth postgame piece — my other beat is calling ahead of an early game Saturday — but here is some reaction from the Mariners following a 6-3 win Friday to open a three-game series against Oakland.

*     *     *

ERIC WEDGE, manager

(On Iwakuma’s performance…) “‘Kuma was good again. What he’s been doing is just executing pitches. He kept the ball down good. He had good nice splitting work tonight. He did a good job of using his fastball and moving his fastball around. Another solid effort by ‘Kuma.”

(At this point, are you surprised to see him allow runs?) “What you like to see is him come back and get us back in the dugout after that, and he kept going. He pitches with a lot of experience out there. You can tell in the way he handles himself, the way he handles the situations.”

(On pulling him after seven…) “We talked to him a little bit, and that was enough. We talked a little bit. Not directly … (laughs) … but we talked a little bit and felt like that was enough there. Oliver, that first guy got him, but after that Oliver did a great job, did a nice job. And of course Tommy finished it off.”

(On if Iwakuma’s blister is OK…) “Yeah. He’s in good shape there.”

(On what Iwakuma does well…) “You know what he does is he repeats. He’s so consistent with his delivery, his arm action, his arm slot, release point. It’s tough to see what’s coming out, which is what you have to do if you’re going to be a solid starting pitcher up here. You have to do that.”

(On Ibanez’ home run…) “Yeah. Big. Good for Raul. Good for us. That was a big shot in the arm for us. The guy has been working so hard and you know he’s going to continue to get better. But that was a big boost for us today.”

(On the team’s offensive approach…) “I thought our guys did a good job of being patient and seeing some pitches early on and making them work. Smoak came up with a big hit there. Of course Raul. Seager getting on base. There are a lot of things that you like, and it’s more sporadic — in a positive way. It’s not just one guy or a couple of guys. It’s not necessarily the same guy each night, and when you start doing that, then things really start to come together.”

(On Iwakuma’s blister being OK…) “It should be. Knock on wood. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I think he’s in pretty good shape. We just obviously have to continue to manage it and make sure we stay ahead of it.”

RAUL IBANEZ, left fielder

(On the home run…) “It’s always nice to contribute. The last few games I’ve played have been better. It’s always nice to be a part of the team scoring.”

(On his approach…) “You just keep working; you keep fighting. It’s more a mindset than anything else — staying positive and expecting good things to happen. Fortunately it worked out tonight.”

(On Iwakuma…) “That was awesome. He’s so consistent. He goes out there and gives you a great outing every time. He’s a great pitcher, a lot of fun to play behind.”

(On the team’s improvement…) “We’re doing it together. It’s a collective effort; it always is. Guys are contributing. Guys are having good at bats. There’s definitely a good feeling in here, but we’re doing it as a group and as a team, and it’s a great environment.”

HISASHI IWAKUMA, starting pitcher (through interpreter)

(On the blister…) “My finger is good now. It’s all healed up, and I was able to pitch my game.”

(On key to retiring 16 in a row…) “Pitch with composure. Just stay patient, because we had the lead in the first inning. … Pitch my own game.”

(On what is easier with a healed finger…) “Nothing drastic, just pitching my game and controlling each side of the plate.”

(On getting an early lead…) “It was a mental relief. Being able to pitch with that much of a lead is big for myself, so being able to pitch with a better rhythm helped me pitch through seven innings.”

(On if he wanted to stay in the game longer…) “Well yes, I wanted to stay in the game, but you have to think about the next start, too.”

KYLE SEAGER, third baseman

(On the win…) “It was definitely a good win and it was good to especially jump on them early and give yourself a little cushion.”

(On the Hernandez/Iwakuma combo…) “It’s special. Our starters have all done well; those two have just been on a different level. ‘Kuma is up there. Everybody knows Felix, obviously, but ‘Kuma is kind of flying under the radar a little bit. He’s been just as impressive. It’s been pretty fun to play behind those two.”

(On his night…) “Definitely getting first stolen base was nice. I got caught a few times, so it was good to be able to get one and hold my head up a little bit.”



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