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Remember back when we were saying spring training wins and losses don’t matter much? Well, keep that in mind now that the Mariners today dropped their fifth game in six tries since that 10-game win streak. Today’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was secured when Hector Noesi, a pitcher who won’t be anywhere near a big league mound when April 1 rolls around — unless he’s traded to the Astros (get used to these jokes from me, Houston) — yielded a three-run homer to Mark Teahen in the fourth inning.
The Mariners started scraping back from a 5-1 deficit in the fifth on a solo homer by Brad Miller and an RBI single by Brendan Ryan. Miller then doubled with two out in the ninth and scored when a Julio Morban pop-up was dropped in the infield. But Nick Franklin grounded out to the right side and that was the game.
Prior to that, we saw Felix Hernandez toss three innings of one-run ball with 38 pitches, then throw another 12 in the bullpen to get his total up to about 50. That sets him up nicely for a 65-pitch outing his next time out. The Mariners didn’t want him starting the fourth inning and having tocome out partway through once he reached 50, hence the bullpen work.
“I had more command,” Hernandez said of the outing. “More command and there was a good finish on the pitches. It was a little bit different.”
Hernandez said he needed work on throwing from the stretch position, something he tried more of in the bullpen.
“It’s coming along pretty good,” he said. “I’m feeling better and better.”
The home run, he said, came when he left his sinker a little bit up to Hinske. Hernandez also cited “Arizona” as a reason, meaning the air here might have contributed to the blast leaving the yard.
“He was strong and using all of his pitches,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He looked great out there today.”More