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June 6, 2013 at 7:03 PM
M’s finally break through — Kyle Seager’s run-scoring double in the eighth finally has Seattle on the board. Seager has two well-struck hits, and along with Blake Beavan, is the only Mariner bright spot. It’s 6-1 after eight.
At least Beavan is a bright light — Through seven innings, the Yankees are holding onto the 6-0 lead they built entirely in the third inning, when they knocked Aaron Harang from the game. His replacement, Blake Beavan, just recalled from Tacoma to shore up a fatigued bullpen, has been spotless — well, at least until Travis Hafner led off the eighth with a single, the first hit off Beavan and the Yankees’ only hit in any other inning but the third.
M’s first rally nets nothing — Seattle’s first signs of life against Phil Hughes turned out to be more smoke than fire. The M’s, in their half of the sixth, got a walk to Brendan Ryan and a single from Kyle Seager. But Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales followed with popups to shortstop Jayson Nix, and the Yankees are still ruling, 6-0.
Nothing stirring offensively for M’s – Much as Seattle mucked through the first 13 innings against the White Sox Wednesday without a run, they haven’t done anything against Phil Hughes, either. Hughes has shut them down on two hits through five innings, and New York is breezing, 6-0.
Still Yanks by a six-pack — Blake Beavan has seemingly stemmed the tide for the M’s, but it’s likely way late to do any good, as they trail 6-0 in the middle of the fourth. After Phil Hughes set down the first eight M’s he faced, Brendan Ryan got a two-out single to right in the third. Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are 38-2 when they get a three-run lead with Hughes on the mound. Wonder what they are when he enjoys a six-run lead?
6-0, Yankees, in the 3rd – Just as I was about to write that M’s manager Eric Wedge would try to get as many innings as he could out of struggling Aaron Harang, he must have realized that there are limits to every situation. Blake Beavan was recalled from Tacoma for precisely this purpose, long relief, and he might get a lot of it tonight, as no doubt Wedge is going to want to save a tired bullpen. the Yanks sent 11 men to the plate in the third and had eight hits, seven of them consecutive. New York catcher Austin Romine had the dubious distinction of making two outs in the inning. One more thing: There are a whole lot of Yankee fans in the house, enjoying the proceedings.
Yankee thunder — Without warning, Aaron Harang is gone, having given up seven straight hits and being lifted after a mere 2 1/3 innings in favor of newly-called-up Blake Beavan, with the M’s in a big 6-0 hole and the third inning still blazing for New York. Harang had allowed only a hit-by-pitch in the first two innings (my mistake earlier when I said NY went out 1-2-3 in the first). Leading off the third, shortstop Jayson Nix stung a sharp single to left, and with one out, Brett Gardner roped a perfect hit-and-run single to right center. Robinson Cano then pounded the first pitch he saw from Harang, a high fastball, for a homer to rightfield for a 3-0 Yankee lead. Mark Teixeira followed by tagging a fastball low in the zone for a longer homer to right-center and a four-run lead, and now Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis have added a bloop single and an off-field double, and Vernon Wells has dunked a single to right to score Hafner. Ichiro added the seventh straight hit of the inning, a liner to left over a drawn-in infield, and Harang is done for the night.
Ditto the 2nd — (Updated) Check that on the three-up, three-down thing. Robinson Cano was plunked above the knee on a pitch in the first, so there has been a baserunner. Nothing in the way of a hit yet as Aaron Harang and Phil Hughes have each set down six straight. Michael Morse, in his first at-bat after a seven-game hiatus due to a quad strain, struck out on a breaking pitch from Hughes. In the top half of the inning, Ichiro, getting polite applause from the crowd, flied to rightfield.
Scoreless after 1 — Both sides went out in order in the first, Aaron Harang striking out Mark Teixeira and Travis Hafner to end the Yankees’ half. Phil Hughes has already made it longer than he did in his lamentable May 15 start in New York against the M’s, when he lasted only 2/3 of an inning, shortest of his career, and allowed seven earned runs.
Hey folks, as they say, it’s a beautiful night out for baseball, not that the M’s didn’t play a lot of it Wednesday against the White Sox. The Times shot the bullpen in the 16-inning, 7-5 Chicago win a day ago, so they called me, Bud Withers, up from Class AA to cover this one. I’m guessing it’s in the low-to-mid 70s nearing first pitch here, with the faintest of breezes.
June 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Ichiro took a seat in a corner of the visiting clubhouse Thursday night a couple of hours before the Yankees met the Mariners. He was light-hearted but hardly introspective, high-spirited but displaying the same veil of enigma for which he was known in almost 12 seasons with the M’s.
He remarked that he wasn’t used to coming into the clubhouse from a strange direction, that he had never come to Safeco Field from downtown, that it was odd seeing Ted Walsh, the visiting clubhouse manager who has switched from the home side this year.
“It’s definitely different,” Ichiro said through an interpreter. “I obviously know this place really well, but it kind of feels distant.”
Ichiro was dealt by the M’s late last July in a move that abetted their youth movement and his desire to play post-season baseball. Seattle manager Eric Wedge said, “I don’t think it could have been handled any better by anybody,” and Ichiro assented, “It definitely worked out for all of us.”
On that occasion, the Yankees were in town, so Ichiro merely traded clubhouses. He conceded that he had little time to process the move then, saying, “As you can see, the time I prepare before the game is very important to me. I had no time. It was just a hectic, busy time.”
Ichiro hit .322 in his 67 games with the Yankees in 2012 (after only .261 with the M’s), but New York hasn’t seen vintage Ichiro in ’13. He’s at .266 with a .303 on-base percentage, a tepid start that he shed little light upon.
He’ll be 40 in October, and his contract runs through 2014. Ichiro betrayed little of his hopes for longevity in his twilight baseball years, saying he probably wouldn’t have believed he’d be in Seattle 12 years and adding, “It’s really difficult to plan out what your future holds.”
He has 2,655 hits. To the question of whether 3,000 is a goal, he said, “I would say no, that’s not a goal I’m after.” And with that, he heeded a high sign from a staffer and headed for the field.
The Day After
Wedge got a text before he got to Safeco from catcher Kelly Shoppach, saying he was ready to be back behind the plate if Wedge needed him, despite Shoppach having caught all 16 innings of the gut-twisting 7-5 loss to the White Sox Wednesday.
“That makes me feel a little better,” Wedge said wryly, “or less guilty.”
So Shoppach was in the lineup again, with the M’s shy of proven catchers as Jesus Sucre recovers from a sore wrist.
“I’ve never played that many innings before, no,” Shoppach said.
The strain on the bullpen is obviously severe, and the M’s brought up Blake Beavan from Tacoma for possible long relief duty and sent Hector Noesi down. But Wedge said he didn’t think there was anybody in the ‘pen unavailable because of the Wednesday marathon.
“We should be all right,” he said.
Wedge said closer Tom Wilhelmsen had been unavailable Wednesday because of work earlier this week, and said he was probably down to infielder Alex Liddi if the game had somehow continued.
“And I understand for them it was going to be Casper,” said Wedge, referring to ex-M’s outfielder Casper Wells. “So it was going to be an interesting next inning.”
As for Shoppach, he was hardly looking for sympathy. Asked how his Wednesday evening went, he said, “I lay down for about 15 minutes. The kids came and gave me big hugs, I got a little bite to eat and we got up and did baths and put the kids to bed. Fatherhood doesn’t stop.
“They need me to be their dad. We had a 6:45 wakeup (Thursday morning). I got them breakfast and took them to school. Nobody else cares how many innings I played yesterday.”
– Michael Morse was back in the Mariner lineup at DH after missing seven games with a right quad strain. Wedge said Morse would be conservative in running the bases.
– Among the statistical pearls to come from the Wednesday marathon was this: It was only the third time in MLB history that one team scored at least five runs in the top of an inning and the opponent matched it in the bottom half.
– Kyle Seager’s 14th-inning grand slam that tied the White Sox game now puts him in the team lead with 12 two-out RBI. He had 44 with two outs in his breakout 2012 season, second in the AL.
– The M’s have 71 homers, tied for fourth in the league. But 45 of those are solos, and only four are three-run blasts.
June 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM
May 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM
Oliver Perez finishes with a flourish, striking out the side in the ninth for the M’s.
After 8, M’s, 6-1 — Should be a fourth series victory in the last five (with one push in Pittsburgh), assuming the M’s close out the A’s in the ninth.
Bay gets M’s one more — Jason Bay whacked a Jerry Blevins pitch over the dead centerfield fence in the seventh with nobody on, giving the M’s a 6-1 lead entering the eighth.
M’s 5, A’s 1 after 6 — Joe Saunders is now into the seventh over the 100-pitch mark and looking strong, having allowed four A’s hits. Whoops, make it five now. Saunders is just now exiting, having thrown 104 pitches and going 6 1/3 innings and pointed toward his third win of the season — all at Safeco, of course.
M’s get another run — In somewhat unorthodox fashion, the Mariners have stretched their lead to 5-1 after five innings with a run in the fifth. Michael Saunders led off with a bunt single — a bit of a lucky one, in that he blooped it about 25 feet high, but it fell perfectly maybe six feet inside the first-base line where nobody could track it down. Then Jason Bay hit a hard grounder to the left of third baseman Josh Donaldson, who seemed to get his feet tangled, and the ball hit his glove and squirted into short leftfield on what could have been a double play. Kyle Seager’s deep drive to the rightfield warning track scored Saunders.
M’s extend lead — Jesus Montero’s line single to left scored Michael Morse, who had doubled leading off, and the Mariners have a 4-1 lead after four.
M’s 3, A’s 1 after 3 — It hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride for Joe Saunders, who has allowed five baserunners in the past two innings. But he’s still atop a 3-1 lead entering the fourth. He got a break when, with two on and one out in the third, Josh Donaldson, on a checked swing, foul-tipped a third strike into Jesus Montero’s mitt, and then Saunders got Luke Montz on a hard grounder to second.
M’s 3, A’s 1 after 2 — Joe Saunders wavered in the A’s second, allowing back-to-back doubles by Josh Donaldson and Luke Montz, followed by a hit by Derek Norris that moved Montz to third. But after allowing that run, Saunders regained control, getting Nate Freiman on a fielder’s choice at the plate, striking out Brandon Moss and inducing a weak pop to first by Michael Taylor.
Big Start for M’s — Kendrys Morales, whom Mariner manager Eric Wedge had spoken of as pressing just two hours before, took Tommy Milone deep to left for a three-run homer in the M’s half of the first inning to stake his team to a 3-0 lead. Michael Saunders led it off with a hit to left and Kyle Seager walked on four pitches to set up Morales, who got a fat pitch about thigh-high and rode it out for his fifth homer.
Hey folks, Bud Withers here at Safeco Field. Happy Mother’s Day to y’all. Our great weather is departing us, but the roof is rolled back to reveal partly cloudy skies this afternoon.
May 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM
After slotting Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse in the 3-4 spots the first two games of the series, Mariners manager Eric Wedge has put Kyle Seager back in the three hole for the first time since Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
“I’m playing around with it a little bit,” Wedge said before Sunday’s game. “I still stand by the fact Morales and Morse and trying to do too much. They know they’re ‘the guys’ here.”
Morales is hitting .262 but with limited power – three homers and 14 RBIs. Morse, on the other hand, has been a big source of power for the M’s with nine homers but is hitting only .220, after three years of .289, .303 and .291 with the Nationals. He was also hampered by a broken pinky finger in April.
“You see both of them chasing a little bit more than you should be chasing,” said Wedge. “And you start trying to do a little more than you should be trying to do, when sometimes, you gotta just lay the bat down (take a walk) and let the next guy try it. They’re not gonna come into the zone unless you allow them to.”
Playing into the equation is Seager’s continued strong effort at the plate. He’s hitting .287, and in Wedge’s words, “is a very mature young hitter. There’s not much we can give him he can’t handle. He’s proven that.”
Wedge says that in the big picture, he sees Seager as a No. 2, 3 or possibly a 5 hitter, but in the short term, much of the Mariner lineup revolves around the progress of Morales and Morse.
“When you bring somebody over here and they’re ‘the guys,’ it’s a little bit different from when they’re the secondary guy, and they know that,” Wedge said.
Ackley takes a rest
Wedge is giving second baseman Dustin Ackley, who is 1 for 12 over his past three games, the day off. Still, Ackley has had a good run over his past 21 games, hitting safely in 16.
“I had a good talk with him earlier,” said Wedge. “He’s done a great job of kind of fixing himself fundamentally. I just need to give him a break mentally. These guys want it so bad – I respect the hell out of it – they want it so bad their heart gets in the way. He just needs to trust his ability.
“Sometimes a day off, especially a day before an off-day (the M’s have a travel day to New York Monday), can be a big help.”
Reliever Stephen Pryor is starting to play catch, Wedge said, in his recovery from a tear in the right latissimus dorsi (side) muscle, but his return date is indefinite.
“That injury’s going to take a little time,” Wedge said. “For a pitcher and a guy his size (6-4, 250), it is a tricky spot. We’ll evaluate him after this road trip and kind of go from there.”
The nine-game trip through New York, Cleveland and Anaheim takes the M’s through May 22.
It’s been a spectacular fall from grace for Philip Humber, the Houston pitcher who, as a member of the White Sox, threw a perfect game at the Mariners April 21 of last year.
The lowly Astros just designated Humber for assignment, after he compiled a 9.59 ERA and 2.02 WHIP for them in the first six weeks of the season. Humber was 0-8, and after five weeks in the Houston starting rotation, he was demoted to the bullpen. But he allowed five hits and five runs Saturday in two-thirds of an inning against Texas, and that was the last straw for the Astros.
May 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM
|Michael Saunders (L)||CF||Adam Rosales||SS|
|Jason Bay||LF||Jed Lowrie (S)||2B|
|Kyle Seager (L)||3B||Yoenis Cespedes||CF|
|Kendrys Morales (S)||DH||Josh Donaldson||3B|
|Michael Morse||RF||Luke Montz||DH|
|Justin Smoak (S)||1B||Derek Norris||C|
|Jesus Montero||C||Nate Freiman||1B|
|Robert Andino||2B||Brandon Moss (L)||RF|
|Brendan Ryan||SS||Michael Taylor||LF|
|Joe Saunders||LHP||Tommy Milone||LHP|
April 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM
M’s wrap it up – Mariners win it 6-0 behind Brandon Maurer’s strong effort on the mound and homers from Carlos Peguero and Kyle Seager, who stretched his hitting streak to 14 games.
M’s, 4-0 after 7 — Jason Bay doubled the Mariner lead with a two-run single off Angels starter Garrett Richards with the bases loaded in the seventh. Justin Smoak had started it with a walk, Dustin Ackley followed with a hit to right, and after Kelly Shoppach sacrificed, the Angels walked Carlos Peguero intentionally. That set the stage for Bay, and now it’s up to the M’s bullpen to close it out.
Defense is shining – The M’s protected their 2-0 lead with some shining defense in the sixth. First, Kelly Shoppach threw out Mike Trout trying to steal second, and that doesn’t happen every day; Trout was successful on 49 of 54 tries last year and three of three before this misfire. Then, after Albert Pujols lined a single up the middle, Josh Hamilton hit a hard grounder down the first-base line that Justin Smoak backhanded, turned into an out by stepping on the bag and then turned two when he threw down to Robert Andino to victimize Pujols. Seattle 2, LA 0 after 6.
It stays 2-0 after 5 — Angels got something stirring in the fifth, but Kyle Seager started a crisp 5-4-3 double play off the bat of fleet Peter Bourjos to keep LA off the scoreboard. M’s 2, Angels 0.
2-0, M’s, after 4 — Not much doing in the fourth, although Justin Smoak, showing signs of breaking out of a funk that has encircled much of his April, hit a shot destined for centerfield, except it was gloved in self-defense by Garrett Richards to rob Smoak of a single. Brandon Maurer has limited the Angels to three hits.
M’s bats perk up — Seattle broke through for two runs in the bottom of the third for a 2-0 lead, highlighted by Carlos Peguero’s first homer in his initial at-bat since being recalled from Tacoma Tuesday as a replacement for Franklin Gutierrez. Peguero had a long at-bat against Garrett Richards, taking him to 3-2 and ultimately crushing a pitch low and out of the strike zone 451 feet to the batter’s eye in centerfield. Then the M’s had three singles, the third by Kyle Seager to sustain what is now a 14-game hitting streak, to make it 2-0. Of dubious note: Kendrys Morales has hit into 4-6-3 double plays his first two times up.
Still scoreless after 2 — Nothing happening in the second, except for the Angels’ Mark Trumbo getting a gift hit. He hit a little nubber to Kyle Seager at third, and replay showed Seager’s throw to first to have been in time to get Trumbo, but umpire Scott Barry called Trumbo safe. That’s the only hit so far off Brandon Maurer.
Scoreless after 1 — Good start for Orange County product Brandon Maurer, striking out Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout to start the game and getting Albert Pujols on a broken-bat roller to short. But other than the leadoff single by Endy Chavez, the M’s didn’t get much going, either. They’ve got kind of a patchwork lineup going tonight, with Dustin Ackley moved up to No. 5 in the batting order, and Justin Smoak hitting cleanup.
Hey folks, Bud Withers here, sitting in for our regulars on the first night of a seven-game homestand. Tonight, we’ve got two teams, the M’s and Angels, that are coming off double-digit-runs allowed in blowout losses to the Texas teams (but I’m thinking it’s slightly more honorable having had it happen at the hands of the Rangers, if you know what I mean).
Beautiful evening here at Safeco, though it’ll get chilly later on. Brandon Maurer, coming off a pair of quality starts against Texas, goes for the Mariners, and righthander Garrett Richards for the Angels, a guy with a career 4.47 ERA in 43 appearances but fresh off a seven-inning, two-hit effort against the Tigers Saturday.
April 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM
From different sides of the Mariner clubhouse, covering two different experiences, the verdict was the same: The heat is on, and much of it’s self-induced.
“I just put so much pressure on myself at times,” said Brendan Ryan, replaced at shortstop by Robert Andino at least in the near-term. “The thing with me, you know what you get defensively, that there should be so little pressure offensively. I know how athletic I am. I know there’s so much more there.
“I just try too hard, I don’t know. I get in my own way.”
Across the way was Michael Morse, who got off to a sizzling start, then was hit in the right hand by a pitch against Texas April 11, breaking his pinky finger. He’s hit just .162 since.
“It has nothing to do with my finger; I’m not hitting,” Morse insisted. “I need to make an adjustment. I’ve got to play better.
“I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself. I just need to go out and relax and have fun.”
May 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM
“All right,” Eric Wedge said, settling back into his office chair for the daily pregame media chat. “Let’s have at it.”
And for the next 15 minutes, Wedge, the Mariner manager, had at it. In what was part stern lecture, part pep talk, he took on critics of his lineup choices, preached fan patience as well as player discipline, and generally seemed to give off the vibe that he’s feeling the pain of the Mariner growing process as much as any outsider but that he can’t give in to it.
“Where most people get into trouble, they give in to that (expletive),” Wedge said, referring to the notion of deviating from the course to satisfy fans. “You can’t do that. You’ve got to be tough enough, you’ve got to be disciplined enough to stick to the plan, be convicted with what you’re doing, regardless of what anybody says.”
Wedge – and the M’s – have been criticized by an increasingly disgruntled fan base on a wide variety of issues, from the retention of Chone Figgins; to giving catcher Miguel Olivo games behind the plate instead of Jesus Montero or John Jaso; to the continued use of Ichiro in the No. 3 spot in the order.
“You’re not going to have a consistent lineup until you know what your players are capable of doing,” Wedge said. “They’re too young. So for all the yahoos out there that say you should play the same people every day, that you haven’t had a consistent lineup, you don’t know (expletive). Period. Because you can’t do that until you know what you have.”
As an example, Wedge returned Alex Liddi to the lineup in leftfield for Sunday’s series finale against the Angels. Liddi fluffed a fly ball Wednesday against the Rangers, but his grand slam won the game. Then he looked lost the next two days at the plate, striking out six times and showing what Wedge said Saturday was an an inability to immediately adjust.
So Wedge sat him down Saturday. But he talked a day later about a bright future if Liddi can master first, third and leftfield.
“Let’s get through this,” Wedge said of Liddi in left, crossing his fingers. “We tackled first base this spring with Alex, now we tackle leftfield.”
Wedge used the Liddi development — which he said might include holding him out of the lineup when fans think he should play every day — as emblematic that sometimes the M’s might have to sacrifice short-term gain for long-term results.
“If people don’t understand that, then frankly, I don’t care,” he said.
The M’s have dropped into the cellar in the American League West, entering Sunday’s game No. 50 of the year with a 21-28 record. At the 50-game mark in 2011, they were 25-25.
“If we progress to the point next year at this time as we have to this point – and most people won’t understand because they look at wins and losses and nothing but that – then that’s going to be a good thing,” Wedge insisted. “The startup (in a career) is one thing, but once you get past that and you’re playing in the big leagues a little bit, what you can do with the next full year’s progression, that’s pretty real.”
Winding up his pitch, Wedge said with a grin, “That’s my speech for the next 10 days. Chew on that for awhile.”
And What’s More . . .
–Wedge said he was encouraged by Franklin Gutierrez’ workouts here in a recovery from plantar fasciitis. Gutierrez will be sent to Arizona shortly for more work and then to what figures to be a lengthy rehab assignment in Tacoma.
– Figgins got a start partly because he has a career .294 average against Angels starter C.J. Wilson. Wedge said he had targeted Saunders for a day off awhile ago.
May 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM
ANGELS COMPLETE THE SWEEP — LA got a run in the top half of the ninth on Kendry Morales’ double, and eventual sacrifice fly by Howie Kendrick. Seattle got a two-out hit from Justin Smoak</strong, but Kyle Seager grounded out to end it with Smoak at third.
3-2 AFTER EIGHT, ANGELS — M’s had a threat in the bottom of the eighth as John Jaso, leading off, drew a walk off reliever Ernesto Frieri. Brendan Ryan sacrificed, and Dustin Ackley connected on a deep drive to left-center, but speedy Peter Bourjos tracked it down. Then Frieri fanned pinch-hitter Michael Saunders with two pitches on the outside corner, preserving the Angels’ one-run lead.
AFTER 7, 3-2 ANGELS — The M’s drew within a run after reliever Jordan Walden spelled C.J. Wilson. Walden walked Jesus Montero leading off and quickly wild-pitched him to second. Justin Smoak’s grounder advanced Montero, and with two out, Walden wild-pitched Montero home. The M’s have but two hits.
ANGELS EXTEND LEAD — Mark Trumbo has LA up two, 3-1, after 6 1/2, thanks to a second 0-2 pitch that Hector Noesi made a little too fat. Trumbo reached the second deck in leftfield with his homer and it’s 3-1, LA, as the M’s prepare to bat in the last of the seventh.
AFTER 5 1/2, STILL 2-1 — Both Hector Noesi and C.J. Wilson seem to have settled into a groove, leaving the Angels leading 2-1 in the middle of the sixth. Noesi has retired nine straight since the Kendry Morales homer in the fourth.
FINALLY, A HIT, AND A RUN — M’s have dented C.J. Wilson in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Jesus Montero struck a solid double to left-center, the Mariners’ first hit of the afternoon, and Justin Smoak sent an off-field single to right. Mark Trumbo’s throw from right was up the line toward third and Montero made it home safely, so it’s 2-1, Angels, after four.
AFTER 3 1/2, ANGELS 2-0 — Safe to say Hector Noesi’s 0-2 serve to Kendry Morales was a “mistake” pitch. Morales deposited it into the seats just to the right of centerfield, and the Angels have a 2-0 lead as the M’s come up in the bottom of the fourth.
They’re still without a hit against C.J. Wilson, who took a bouncer off his meat (left) hand from Justin Smoak in the second inning, but checked out OK.
AFTER 2, ANGELS, 1-0 — Brendan Ryan just turned in a fielding gem behind second base as the Angels begin the top of the third, robbing catcher Bobby Wilson of a hit. Ryan ranged far to his left and fired off-balance to get Wilson at first base.
But the Angels took their 1-0 lead in the top of the first. And no, Albert Pujols wasn’t part of it. Mike Trout, who has really tested Mariner catchers in this series, singled leading off, stole second and eventually came around on a hit by Kendry Morales. Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson hasn’t given up a hit yet to the Mariners.
Hey folks, Bud Withers here, spot-starting for our M’s regulars, Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field. Gray skies but certainly not uncomfortable here at game time. There’s a bit fo a breeze over the leftfield stands, couple of miles an hour but not much more.
The M’s are trying to salvage a game in this four-game series with the Angels, which has been a disaster in several different ways for the local team. LA has won five in a row and showing signs of stirring in the AL West race.
Manager Eric Wedge had some interesting things to say in his pregame chat with the media. Some fans may even find his comments provocative. I’ll have those posted in a short while.