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February 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM
1:20 p.m.: Taijuan Walker touched the upper 90s with his fastball and allowed just one hit in tossing a scoreless fourth inning. Walker got a quick groundout from Jesus Guzman, then a fyout to center on Travis Buck. He had Nick Hundley at 1-2 and then nearly got him to chase a 2-2 pitch but Hundley checked his swing and took the count full. Hundley then lined the next pitch into center for a single.
Walker got out of the inning on a lineout to right by Cody Ransom. The Mariners still lead it 2-0.
12:30 p.m.: Jason Bay has to beat out Casper Wells if he’s going to make the team. Yesterday, Wells finished off the scoring in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run homer. Today, Bay just opened the scoring with a two-run homer to left-center on the second pitch he saw from Tyson Ross in the top of the first inning. So, the Mariners lead it 2-0.
This should be an interesting battle for the fifth and final outfield spot. Barring an injury, only one of Bay or Wells will make the team.
11:53 a.m.: Some of the more interesting pitchers in this game will come after scheduled Mariners starter Blake Beavan. We should see Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker at some point, in what will be only the second Cactus League appearance of their careers. Both pitched in a game last March 10 against the Diamondbacks in nearby Scottsdale. There was also a “B” game they appeared in against the Reds, but that was more about prospects than anything else. Today is more like the real thing.
We’ll also see non-roster invite Kameron Loe at some point. He’s worth keepinh an eye on since the Mariners would like to add experience from the right side in their bullpen if he’s up to the task.
February 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM
1:40 p.m.: We’re midway through the sixth inning and it’s still a 6-0 game, so at least Seattle’s pitching has managed to plug the early Hector Noesi leak job. The Mariners have just two hits of their own today — singles by Michael Morse and Jesus Montero — so up to now, the first inning has been much of the story.
12:30 p.m.: So, that went rather well, didn’t it? I’ll spare you the short strokes. Hector Noesi threw 42 pitches, got only two batters out and yielded a grand slam to Jedd Gyorko along the way in falling behind 6-0 in the top of the first. Oliver Perez had to come on to get the final out on a hard grounder that shortstop Robert Andino made a nice play on.
In fairness, Noesi really did get three outs since Raul Ibanez let a Will Venable flyball to left field deflect off his glove for an error that put the first two batters on. That’s about all the fairness we’ll toss around after that stinkeroo turned in by Noesi.
The Mariners went 1-2-3 on just seven pitches in their half of the opening frame. Hey, it’s early. There, somebody was going to say it.