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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 16, 2008 4:29 PM

M's lose ugly

Posted by Geoff Baker

steal 032.jpg

The Mariners trudge off the field after an unusually long, 8-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Not much of a game from a Seattle fan's standpoint. Felix Hernandez gets mugged, the base running was terrible and the team president pulls a Steve Bartman on M's catcher Jamie Burke. Chuck Armstrong was OK, by the way, having the towering pop-up by Ozzie Chavez bounce off the palm of his hand.

Burke made contact with Armstrong, the latter saying that's what caused him to drop the ball. It's hilarious when the games don't count. And they don't, so let's not go too crazy on this.

By the way, if you look closely at the front row in the photo below, the guy with the blue cap and gray hair (in the blue jacket, not the beige one) is Armstrong. No, I don't have much to talk about today, you've got me.

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Mariners manager John McLaren wasn't the happiest looking guy afterwards. Yes, the weather conditions were cold and windy. It affected some of his pitchers. Chris Reitsma, Arthur Rhodes and Mark Lowe had some problems. Lowe allowed just one hit and otherwise got through the seventh unscathed.

But the only truly dominant Seattle arm belonged to J.J. Putz, who fanned all three batters he faced. I think it's getting to that point in spring where some guys just want the real games to start. Things really dragged today.

This was not a well-played game and McLaren knew it.

McLaren said he felt Hernandez got a little frustrated. Later on, he talks about team president Armstrong in this clip. "Looks like it's spring training for him, too,'' McLaren said.

Hernandez himself was pretty consistent about what went wrong.

"When I fall behind in the count, that's what I can expect,'' Mariners starter Hernandez said. "They're going to hit it and hit it hard. They were waiting for the fastball and I gave it to them.''

"I've got to throw strikes,'' he added.

Hear a Hernandez audio clip right here.

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