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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 12, 2008 1:05 PM

Brewers at Mariners: Game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

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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

Other pitchers:
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

Other Pitchers:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

bigisland08 056.jpg

"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.

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Posted by scrapiron

1:11 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Good to have the pictures back Geoff. We missed that while you were gone. Are you going to continue with the photos during the regular season?

Posted by shane/olympia

1:18 PM, Mar 12, 2008

i like the young outfield i hope they do well.

is just me or is jimerson seem like a stud!

Posted by Seattlesfinest

1:20 PM, Mar 12, 2008

I'm REALLY excited about this lineup! I really like the outfield because I feel they all have the potential to play with the big club.

Go Wlad
Go Jimy
Go Morse

Posted by scrapiron

1:33 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Poor Cha Seung Baek. Here's a guy right on the cusp of being a very good pitcher, but with no place to play in Seattle. He's out of options, so he's going to blossum for some other team. I wish there was some way we could stash him in Tacoma as injury insurance for our rotation.

Posted by drake

1:39 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Yeah!! No Cairo!! Either McLaren is actually going to let one of the talented players have playing time to earn a spot, or he's already packed Cairo up and sent him to Seattle so he doesn't have any more 0-fers here in spring training!

I would love for this team to break camp with a bench of Burke, Morse, Balentein, Jimerson and Norton. All the positions are covered, and you have some speed and lumber on the bench. Yes, I know it isn't going to happen, but of all our options right now, that bench is looking the best to me. But I'll probably be wrong and get Burke, Willie1, Willie2(just like the original but somehow hits less, isn't very good defensively and isn't as fast), Norton and and extra reliever.

Posted by reality3

1:47 PM, Mar 12, 2008

I would prefer a bench with Willie, Morse, Clement, Burke and Reed.

Posted by Mike

1:51 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Both Clement and Balentien need to be playing every day. Neither should go north as a bench player.

Posted by SDF Mariner

1:55 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Why have Clement and Wlad wasting away on our bench? They both need to be hitting every day at AAA. Is Wlad out of options or something?

Posted by reality3

1:56 PM, Mar 12, 2008

I understand your point. Reed is a must! His defense only 2nd to Ichiro and looks to have is swing back. That or trade him. Him sitting in Tacoma to lead the PCL in hits again this year makes no sense to me.

Posted by Reggie

1:57 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Reality, send Clement to AAA to hit and insert Jimerson (late inning speed) in that bench and we've got everything covered. Willie can be used as a defensive replacement anywhere on the diamond and Jimerson can be the speed guy off the bench.

Posted by reality3

2:00 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Gotcha, but what happens to Reed? Do yousend himback to Tacoma? If so, i dont understand.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:15 PM, Mar 12, 2008

When Bedard declines arbitration this winter and becomes a free agent, the Horacio Ramirez trade will pale in comparison to the Jones,Butler,Mickolio,Sherrill deal. It will rank up there with paying Ichiro salary 20+ years after he retires. How's Eduardo Perez doing for the M's?, I hear Asdrubal Cabrera is the Indian's starting second bagger.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

2:17 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Silva's looking a lot like Batista. There are going to be a lot of baserunners but hopefully not many of them score. True to form he's not walking anyone.

Posted by Big Wil

2:37 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Hey Resin--It was sunny out until you started whining. Also, get your facts straight. You can't decline arbitration. You either come to an agreement with the team, or both parties are forced to go to arbitration. Bedard is on this team next year no matter what (short of us trading him). We control him. The only thing we don't know is how much he'll cost, but the max raise is 20% if I"m not mistaken. So on the flip side of your argument, once Bedard wins a Cy Young after signing a 5 year extention, no one will remember who Adam Jones or any of the other scrubs were. GO MARINERS!!!

Posted by Get Griffey

2:40 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Resin- I belive we have Bedard through 09 so I donít see how he will become a free agent next year. Other than that your point makes perfect sense.

(that last part is sarcasm if you canít tell through your black, not rose, tinted vision.)

Posted by Get Griffey

2:43 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Darn! Big Wil beat me to it:)

Posted by VanillaGorilla

2:43 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Resin-Interesting to find out that MLB is going to change the rules to allow players with less than 6 yrs of big league exp decline arbitration and become free agents. This is big news. we should sign ryan howard and prince fielder next year, huh?

Posted by Get Griffey

2:55 PM, Mar 12, 2008

There you have it fans, Mís broadcasters are singing Morseís praises and say ďhe would have to completely drop off the charts not to make the teamĒ.
Hope he finally makes it this year, we need him.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

2:56 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Yea, Put Mike Morse on the team and make sure he get's plenty of AB's.

Posted by Get Griffey

2:57 PM, Mar 12, 2008

1-1 all tied!

Posted by scrapiron

3:05 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Interesting note in the AP story on Ramirez:

Last fall, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong hinted the Ramirez-for-Soriano trade wasn't Bavasi's fault, that it happened for more than just baseball reasons.

Armstrong said last Sept. 27, without naming specific off-field incidents, that "a lot of things went on that compelled us to make that move" of Soriano for whatever the Mariners could get.

Posted by DirtyP

3:16 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Geoff, what kind of camera are you using to take those?

Jose did an adequate job but this is much better coverage, thanks. It's more detailed. No real suggestions. I'd like it if the first entry was at the top of the page and then you scroll down instead of the bottom up. It would make it a little easier to read when looking at the whole thing, but that's just my personal preference since I can only check in once or twice a game. It doesn't really matter.

Posted by Ben

3:18 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Yeah i remember something weird like that going on with teh Soriano deal... but still... i would think he is worth more than that. There are plenty of teams taking on guys with troubles as long as they are good.

Also - on a side note - if Mike Morse isn't on the team, then the mariners are a farce...

Posted by DirtyP

3:18 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Geoff, what kind of camera are you using to take those?

Jose did an adequate job but this is much better coverage, thanks. It's more detailed. No real suggestions. I'd like it if the first entry was at the top of the page and then you scroll down instead of the bottom up. It would make it a little easier to read when looking at the whole thing, but that's just my personal preference since I can only check in once or twice a game. It doesn't really matter.

Posted by Jared

3:19 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Morse continues to hit. He's gotta be a sureshot to make the roster.

Posted by MatthewAlan8

3:23 PM, Mar 12, 2008

I believe that was Balentien who got that double in the 8th, not Charlton Jimerson. I could be mistaken though but that appears to be what the broadcasters and box score says.

Posted by reality3

3:25 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Is Reed hurt? To my knowledge he hasn't played sense Sunday. Right?

Posted by reality3

3:26 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Sorry for the typo! Since not sense

Posted by AKmarinersFan

3:27 PM, Mar 12, 2008

Geoff - Why was the Cairo double any bigger than the Balentein double that brought Cairo home? Seems like you go out of your way to support certain (Vidro) players.....

Posted by C&B M's Fan

3:34 PM, Mar 12, 2008

AKmarinersFan -

If Cairo had struck out instead, none of the others would have happened. That brought home the scorers to put the M's ahead. Yes, the others were nice, and the errors helped, but without the first the others are moot.

Posted by seattle_brett

3:37 PM, Mar 12, 2008


Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:40 PM, Mar 12, 2008

AKM - Just a wild guess, but I think Geoff drew attention to Cairo's hit b/c multiple people here have been calling to boot him to the curb...

Posted by Get Griffey

3:40 PM, Mar 12, 2008

AKMís fan- Seems like YOU go out of your way to support certain players.

Ditto to C&B M's Fan also!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

4:05 PM, Mar 12, 2008

I know why Geoff did it, I just don't understand why. We have momentum, we got rid of HoRam today, lets keep it going and get rid of Cairo (and Willie...nah that would be too much to ask). The last thing we need is to sing the praises of Cairo...

I haven't heard a lot of positives from Geoff or Jose about Balentein. I heard things like we has missed some plays in the outfield (does anyone really think that Ibanez would do a better job??). People bring up innuendos about Balentein not playing hard. Bull. He is getting the job done and should be the M's starting left fielder. Lets call it straight.

Posted by drake

4:07 PM, Mar 12, 2008

oh yeah! One double by Cairo and now he's made the team! Craptastic!!

Posted by helpFelix

4:07 PM, Mar 12, 2008

M's release HoRam. Boy I thought they would be on the hook for the entire $2.75M. Just found out that they ONLY have to pay $460k of his salary this year, because he was release prior to next Wednesday.

We already have his replacement rarying to go as a LHP long relief guy. The bullpen is pretty competitive right now with RPs fighting for spots!

Posted by helpFelix

4:10 PM, Mar 12, 2008

M's release HoRam. Boy I thought they would be on the hook for the entire $2.75M. Just found out that they ONLY have to pay $460k of his salary this year, because he was release prior to next Wednesday.

We already have his replacement rarying to go as a LHP long relief guy. The bullpen is pretty competitive right now with RPs fighting for spots!

Posted by scottM

4:25 PM, Mar 12, 2008

AKM's fan,

You sound like that L'il Abner cartoon strip character always walking around with a black cloud hovering over his head.

GEOFF was not proposing that Cairo stay or go, just pointing out that he got a clutch hit.

FAIR WARNING to AK: If the M's only win sixty percent of their games this season, then there will still be over two full months worth of losses by Bedard, Silva, Felix, Batista and Washburn for you to bemoan and trash the franchise over. If Sexson does a stellar job at the plate, he'll not get a hit three-fourths of the time. Plenty of opportunity for your negativity there, too. Oh and BTW, a 60% win average would mean 97+ wins, and Sexson hitting .250 would be great.

Your doom and gloom here gets old, dude.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

4:48 PM, Mar 12, 2008

ScottM - Keep drinking the coolaide DUDE. The Mariners winning 97 games and Sexson hitting .250, yeah that's going to happen. Put on your ruby slippers and click your hills three times...the Mariners are going to win, the Mariners are going to win, the Mariners are going to win...

Posted by DirtyP

5:13 PM, Mar 12, 2008

AK like I said yesterday, your routine is sad and tired and people have had enough of it. It has nothing to do with the M's winning 90 games or them losing 90 games. It's about coming here and posting one obnoxious post after another, after another, after another... all on the same thread.

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