Break up the Mariners?
Seattle’s forgotten team improved to 13-4 on the spring with a 6-3 win over Arizona in Scottsdale Thursday, just a shade behind the 12-2 of Cleveland for the best record in the Cactus League.
Okay, so spring training record matters little.
What may have left a lasting impression from this one was the pitching of Blake Beavan, who continues to have a good spring.
He got the win to improve to 2-0, allowing five hits and a run, while striking out four and walking none, throwing 79 pitches in 4.2 innings, the longest stint for a Mariner starter so far this spring.
“Pretty impressive,” said manager Lloyd McClendon, who insisted that while most observers may not be thinking much about Beavan being in the rotation, he’s not one of them.
“For me, the list (of potential starters) was a circle,” he said. “There was nobody at the front of it other than Felix (Hernandez). But he (Beavan) has done well. Really impressed with what I’ve seen.”
Asked what he said Thursday from Beavan, who four singles and a double, McClendon said: “I saw the same stuff, I just saw more consistency. Today he really worked ahead, first pitch strikes. 0-2, didn’t fiddle around and really went at the strike zone. That’s important.”
Beavan has been here before — he’s started 43 games for the Mariners since being acquired as part of the Cliff Lee trade in 2010. His 16-19 Seattle record and 4.61 ERA may not excite anyone, especially his 0-2 record and 6.13 ERA in what was a lost 2013 season spent mostly in Tacoma.
Beavan, though, says dealing with tendinitis in his left knee was the main issue a year ago and that being healthy now has made a “night and day difference.’’
“It’s a lot easier when you are not having to pitch through some pain and not having to worry about compensating for your knee and creating bad habits in your mechanics,’’ said Beavan “That’s what happened to me last year. It was good to kind of get back to where I was in 2012 (when he went 11-11 in 26 starts with the Mariners). .. I feel like it’s coming along pretty good.’’
Otherwise, not a lot of huge takeaways from today. But here are a few. …
— The offense continues to shine, pounding out 12 hits, Robinson Cano leading the way with a 2-4 day, now 14-23 (.609) for the spring. Not much to say about Cano other than it’s better than not seeing him hit this way in his first spring as a $240 million man.
— Dustin Ackley went 1-3 and scored two runs, and keyed a three-run second with a nice bit of hitting on a hit-and-run that moved Nick Franklin to third. Ackley slapped a grounder right where the shortstop would otherwise have been, putting men on first and third with no outs.
— Logan Morrison hit his first home run of the spring on the first pitch he saw in the fifth inning. He’s hitting .303.
— Justin Smoak hit a double to the opposite field for his one hit in four at-bats and is now hitting .258.
— Hector Noesi had a good 2.1 innings with just a hit and a walk and has a 2.25 ERA in eight spring innings.
Finally, here’s some video of McClendon’s post-game meeting with the media:
[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”3336677858001″/]