Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
March 12, 2008 1:05 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Milwaukee Brewers (9-5):
30 Craig Counsell 2B
22 Tony Gwynn CF
7 J.J. Hardy SS
28 Prince Fielder 1B
14 Gabe Gross LF
27 Joe Dillon DH
20 Laynce Nix RF
21 Abraham Nunez 3B
18 Jason Kendall C
12 Carlos Villanueva RHP
39 Chris Capuano LHP
57 Mitch Stetter LHP
Seattle Mariners (5-8):
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
3 Jose Vidro DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
44 Richie Sexson 1B
50 Wladimir Belantien CF
2 Kenji Johjima C
4 Jose Lopez 2B
12 Mike Morse RF
25 Charlton Jimerson LF
52 Carlos Silva RHP
33 Chris Reitsma RHP
38 Jon Huber RHP
49 Jake Woods LHP
53 Arthur Rhodes LHP
54 Sean Green RHP
57 Mark Lowe RHP
59 Eric O'Flaherty LHP
3:45 p.m.: Here's Eric O'Flaherty (above) delivering to the final batter of the game in a 5-1 victory for the Mariners. Down below, the Mariners congratulate one another.
And then promptly head off the field, to applause from some of the 6,743 fans in attendance. I'll have more for you in a bit, including John McLaren's post-game words and some clubhouse comments from Arthur Rhodes. All as part of our "Sights and Sounds" segment.
3:15 p.m.: Seattle just scored four runs with two out in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead. The key hit of the inning was a two-out double to left center by Miguel Cairo. Yes, you heard that one right. Miguel Cairo. The M's then got a big boost from an error, leaving runners at the corners. Charlton Jimerson then blooped a double to left center, Rob Johnson reached on an infield single off pitcher Chris Capuano, scoring another run. Another error and a single capped off a four-run inning for the M's, who now take a 5-1 lead into the ninth.
Just got back up from talking to starting pitcher Carlos Silva. Says he was happier with this outing but still has a long way to go. He left a few too many pitches up, but got the groundball double plays when he needed them.
"The only thing I'm looking to get more comfortable with is my grip on the ball,'' he said.
Apparently, the dry air here makes it tough for him to grip the ball when he's out on a mound for any length of time. The solution? He wipes his sweat on the ball. Spits on it too. I'm serious. Have a listen to his quotes right here.
3:02 p.m.: Mike Morse tied the game up 1-1 with an RBI double to right center in the seventh. Jose Lopez had reached on a two-out error and wound up scoring all the way from first. It's now the bottom of the eighth, with the score still knotted.
2:43 p.m.: Very nice inning from Arthur Rhodes. Gets the Brewers 1-2-3 on three consecutive groundball outs. Went 2-2, 2-1 and 0-2 on the three hitters before getting the grounders.
"Hey Mike Hargrove, my ballclub only has three hits and zero runs through six innings today. What would you have them do?''
Any suggestions from you folks? It's still 1-0 for the Brewers heading into the seventh. Arthur Rhodes making his spring debut this inning. First mound appearance in a year.
2:30 p.m.: Milwaukee just opened the scoring in the sixth off Chris Reitsma, who started the inning in place of Carlos Silva. Reitsma struck out Prince Fielder (swinging), but Gabe Gross doubled to right and Joe Dillon hit a dribbler up the middle to bring Gross home. Lance Nyx hit into a double play to end that frame.
Seattle got a hit off Capuano in the fifth, a single by Mike Morse. But that was it. Milwaukee leads 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
2:13 p.m.: What we saw from Carlos Silva through five scoreless innings today was about what the M's hoped to see when they signed him. Nothing overpowering, some scattered hits and a lot of ground balls for his fielders. Silva allowed two more singles in the fifth. But with one out and runners on first and second, J.J. Hardy (helping Silva out a bit today) hit a chopper over the bag at third that Adrian Beltre snared on his backhand. Beltre stepped on his bag for one out, then made a strong throw to first to nab Hardy.
So, that's seven singles given up by Silva, but zero runs. Carlos Villanueva is done on the mound for Milwaukee after four. Chris Capuano, one of the Brew Crew's big-time starters, is now on in the bottom of the fifth in a scorless affair.
2:08 P.M.: Still scoreless to start the fifth inning. Carlos Silva yielded just a one-out single in the fourth before retiring the side. Seattle then wasted a leadoff double by Jose Vidro in the bottom of the inning. A legit double too. Right off the center field wall without a bounce. Yes, I do think Vidro can post an OPS superior to .800. Well beyond that, actually. We'll see.
Anyhow, the double was about the best thing that happened. Adrian Beltre promptly grounded out to the left side, the runner holding. Richie Sexson then, after a wild-pitch moved Vidro up a base, took a 3-1 pitch for a walk to leave runners at the corners. But Wladimir Balentien flew out to shallow center. No chance for Vidro to score, though he bluffed a break towards home. Nearly went a little too far off base as the pitcher cut the throw off. Kenji Johjima then hit a sharp grounder that was snared by third baseman Abraham Nunez, diving to his left. He threw Sexson out at second on the force to end the inning.
1:42 p.m.: Nice job by Carlos Silva of escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third. Silva notched the first out, then yielded three straight singles. The second of those was a blooper behind the first base bag that dropped between Richie Sexson and right fielder Mike Morse. Looked like Jose Lopez had time to get over there and should have been covering with a lefty hitter, Craig Counsell, at the plate. In any case, he didn't get there. Silva was soon in a jam. But he got J.J. Hardy on a chopper to third, with the force out coming at the plate. Prince Fielder then hit a flyout to right.
Mariners went 1-2-3 again in the bottom of the third. Still no score. Silva back out for the fourth.
1:35 p.m.: Carlos Silva retired the side 1-2-3 in the second, getting Gabe Gross on a soft groundout, then a pair of flyouts to center field. The second of those, by Lance Nix, made it all the way to the warning track. Might have been trouble at the Metrodome. Not here. Not in Seattle.
Mariners also went 1-2-3 hitting-wise. Groundouts by Wladimir Balentien, Kenji Johjima (off pitcher Carlos Villanueva, but right to his second baseman) and Jose Lopez. Scoreless after two.
1:23 p.m.: Some of you were desperate for a Richie Sexson update. He just struck out to end the bottom of the first inning with Adrian Beltre on second. Beltre had singled to left with two out, then stole second base. All for naught. Feels like last spring already. Let's not forget, this is only my first Cactus League game of this spring. Ah, Gabe Gross is now leading off for the Brewers in the second. Some of you football fans may remember Gross as the Auburn University quarterback of some really lousy teams in the late 1990s and 2000.
1:15 p.m.: Carlos Silva looked OK in the first inning, notching a groundout to shortstop and a strikeout on Tony Gwynn (junior, natch). He then yielded a single by J.J. Hardy off the glove of Yuniesky Betancourt. But he escaped the inning on a Prince Fielder groundout (what's with all these kids of ex-big leaguers today?). The ball hopped off the glove of Richie Sexson at first base, but bounced straight to second baseman Jose Lopez (nice to see him in proper position). Lopez easily threw out track star Fielder.
To answer some questions by Scrapiron, yes the photos will continue during the regular season. We'll also have regular video. Today's Sights and Sounds segment will be posted after the game. So, keep clicking in here. Also, yes, I do think the Ramirez release bodes well for R.A. Dickey. One more free roster spot open to keep the Rule 5 guy. One less long reliever contending. Let's not forget Ryan Rowland-Smith and Cha Seung Baek. But right now, I'd say Dickey has the inside track.