Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
March 19, 2008 7:07 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
We're just getting underway here on a beautiful night in Arizona. Richie Sexson still has a bit of a sore shoulder from the other day. He was due to sit out, but wanted in the game so is now the DH. Jose Vidro moves to first. Greg Norton sits.
Arizona Diamondbacks (8-12-1):
24 Chris Young CF
34 Conor Jackson 1B
1 Orlando Hudson 2B
22 Eric Byrnes LF
19 Chris Snyder C
27 Mark Reynolds 3B
6 Stephen Drew SS
10 Justin Upton RF
44 Micah Owings RHP
*Arizona will not use the DH
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez (L) LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
10 Richie Sexson 1B
6 Brad Wilkerson (L) RF
3 Jose Vidro (S) 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
56 Jarrod Washburn LHP
18 Ryan Rowland-Smith LHP
20 J.J. Putz RHP
54 Sean Green RHP
9:30 p.m.: A nice 4-6-3 double-play registered by Sean Green on D-Backs hitter Stephen Drew to get out of the seventh after hitting a batter. I talked to Green before the game, this being his first outing since giving up six runs against the Giants in a loss last Saturday. Green said the competitive side of him never wants to give up six runs, but he wasn't looking to make a statement tonight.
By the way, the M's are making two more cuts after this game. No, I don't know who they are yet.
"You just try to forget about it,'' he said. "You have to have a short memory with these things.''
9:20 p.m.: The M's just scored a pair in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. One scored on a three-base error when Justin Upton dropped an Ichiro fly ball to right field. Ichiro then came home when Jose Lopez laced a double down the left field line. Boy, the crowd here tonight is 12,711 -- the sixth largest in Peoria Stadium history. Too bad they're seeing a terribly-played game. Highlight for me so far has been the pitching of Ryan Rowland-Smith, who has held the D-Backs in check since coming on in the fourth.
Just got back from interviewing Jarrod Washburn, who threw a whopping 87 pitches in just 3 1/3 innings tonight. Funny thing is, he left with a 5-3 lead. "It's pretty impressive, getting 87 pitches in 3 1/3,'' he said with some self-effacing humor.
Washburn could have pointed a finger at his defenders. But he didn't. Also said he wasn't that tired despite all the extra pitches thrown early. He's been working on his change-up and had some success with it tonight in situations he normally would not have thrown it.
"This is the place to find out if I can trust that pitch,'' he said. "That's the luxury of spring training, the outcome doesn't matter.''
Washburn was pretty funny tonight. Said it felt a little strange to be throwing in a night game and that he's usually back at the cottage eating a bowl of ice cream this time of day.
"I like ice cream,'' he said, with a shrug.
8:45 p.m.: Now a 5-4 game as we enter the bottom of the fifth, the M's still leading. Arizona scored a pair off Jarrod Washburn in the fourth, bringing a quick end to his night. Washburn was done in by his defense in this outing. That and some control issues at times. By the time the fourth inning rolled around, he'd thrown so many pitches that he seemed to be missing spots. Got hit hard to open that frame, with Mark Reynolds drilling a single and Stephen Drew launching a double to right field. Justin Upton then singled to bring one run home. Upton was soon picked off by Rowland-Smith, but Chris Young came through with an RBI infield hit on a hard shot towards third. Young barely beat the throw by Adrian Beltre after a fine play by the third baseman.
Rowland-Smith pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning, striking out Eric Byrnes and Reynolds.
8:15 p.m.: Above, see a shot of the setting sun in the packed parking lot here at the stadium. We have some early deadlines on newspaper stuff tonight, so the blog filing has been a bit sporadic. Seattle has a 5-2 lead after three innings, scoring five consecutive runs off an unimpressive-looking Micah Owings. Two more were added on by the M's in the second inning on a nice Yuniesky Betancourt double to deep center, followed one out later by a hit batsman and an RBI bloop single by Raul Ibanez. Adrian Beltre followed with another single for the fifth Seattle run.
7:38 p.m.: Seattle just scored three off Micah Owings in the bottom of the first to go up 3-2. Ichiro led things off with an infield single towards third base, Jose Lopez drew a walk and Raul Ibanez doubled both home with a blast that one-hopped the wall in right center. Two outs later, Brad Wilkerson singled up the middle to bring Ibanez home.
7:29 p.m.: Jarrod Washburn struggled with his control a bit in the first inning. But he struggled with his defense even more and actually did a pretty good job of undoing some of their mess. Washburn gave up a pair of runs and trails 2-0 after a half-inning. The D-Backs opened with some hard hit balls, a double down the left field line by Chris Young and a single lined to left by Conor Jackson.
That left runners at the corners. Yuniesky Betancourt then flubbed a potential double-play grounder. A run scored and Jackson took third on the play. First baseman Jose Vidro then misplayed a pop-up by Eric Byrnes in foul territory, calling off catcher Kenji Johjima, then allowing the ball to drop in. Vidro has to be more aggressive on such plays. He wasn't close enough to that ball. Far too hestitant. You have to take charge and he seemed reluctant to do so -- almost surprised that Johjima backed away.
An ensuing walk to Byrnes loaded the bases, still with nobody out. But Washburn got a big ground ball double-play off Chris Snyder, which scored a run, but allowed the pitcher some daylight in a dark hole. Washburn promptly fanned Mark Reynolds to end the inning.