June 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Justin Smoak appears headed up to rejoin reeling Mariners
Alex Liddi appeared to have been told in the postgame clubhouse that he is Class AAA bound. Liddi emerged from a back room right before we left and was sitting gloomily by his locker while a teammate or two headed over to chat.
If he’s headed back, then Justin Smoak is coming up.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge hinted strongly that he’d be looking to bring up Smoak as a reinforcement for his club’s sagging offense. The Mariners might also want to bring up Dustin Ackley to play some outfield now that Jason Bay has a hamstring issue and Michael Saunders has been invisible the past six-plus weeks.
In any event, something needs to be done. The Mariners were blown off the field, 11-3, by a much quicker, more explosive Angels team.
The top of the order and No. 9 hitter Peter Bourjos wrecked the Mariners all night. Bourjos was awarded an infield hit in the third inning when first base umpire John Hirschbeck ruled — replays appeared to show he was incorrect — that Michael Morse took his foot off the first base bag on a bang-bang throw.
That left runners at the corners and one out and a sacrifice fly scored one run. Then, Josh Hamilton homered to bring in two more.
“Obviously, that play with the throw that pulled Mike off the bag, if that play goes differently and I get the next hitter to fly out, it’s a totally different inning,’’ Mariners starter Aaron Harang said. “I’ll probably get through the next inning and still go out for the sixth inning and maybe even the seventh. It’s crazy how one little play like that can change the whole aspect of a game.’’
Harang wasn’t very good and didn’t try to argue that he was. But he had a valid point about how the call and the speedy Bourjos changed the inning.
Bourjos later had two more infield singles in the same inning in the sixth. Erick Aybar had one as well and the Angels went on to score seven that frame.
“They always say speed kills,’’ Harang said. ‘Whether it’s causing you to make a play that shouldn’t be made, or try to make a play that’s out of your norm. Running the bases on a base hit, taking an extra bag real easily. They did a hit-and-run in the fifth inning that kept them out of a double play.
“It’s amazing what speed can do if you’re getting on base. And when they’re getting on base, they definitely go out and try to cause havoc.’’
Nick Franklin then caused two more runs to score on a throwing error trying to nab the speedy Mike Trout.
“Their speed is definitely a lot different that any team I’ve played so far,’’ he said. “So, it’s just a little different. It’s definitely an advantage towards them, but I think we can defensively maneuver to take that away.’’
But when the Mariners did shift, the Angels hit balls through holes where fielders would normally be standings.
Those are the breaks, sometimes. But when you have speed like the Angels, you make plenty of your own breaks.