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 10:09 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
A look at the Mariners congratulating themselves after a 7-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in front of 12,711 fans, the sixth-largest crowd in Peoria Stadium history. Just ran into a couple of fans who attended our Seattle Times Mariners Blog Event back in February. Very cool. Could only talk for a few moments before we had to charge down on to the field to interview John McLaren.
By the way, the M's just reassigned left handed pitcher Philip Barzilla and infielder Matt Tuiasosopo of Woodinville to minor league camp. Nothing surprising there.
For me, the best that could be said about this game was the relief pitching by Seattle. Ryan Rowland-Smith tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing two hits (one an infield single) and two walks while fanning three. Sean Green also went a scoreless 2 1/3 innings, coming in with the bases juiced in the sixth and getting Conor Jackson to ground into a fielder's choice force out at third.
"We brought him in with the bases loaded just to give him a different look for the first time this spring,'' McLaren said.
Green then got Stephen Drew to ground into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
J.J. Putz was his usual dominant self in the ninth, setting the D-Backs down 1-2-3.
McLaren said he thought some of his players had difficulties adjusting to their first night game of the season. He added that a few well-hit balls, including one by Charlton Jimerson, normally would have left the ballpark during the daytime.
He liked what he saw from Jose Lopez in the No. 2 spot tonight as well. Lopez went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a walk.
"I hope so,'' he said. "He's maturing as a player. We're going to look at him there a little bit. Like I said, we're going to run some different lineups. But we'll run this one for a while, see how it looks. Then I'll read some of you, see how you critique it and go from there.''
That latter part was a joke.
McLaren wants to see starting pitchers go deeper than Washburn did tonight. The 3 1/3-inning stint, punctuated by a long first inning, was reminiscent of too many nights last year when a bad early inning doomed the rest of the night.
Hear what McLaren said about it right here.
And now, I've got to run. It's been a very long day. The traffic outside is finally subsiding a bit. Time to head off into the night. Tomorrow morning, I'll have a Sights and Sounds video of Brandon Morrow's bullpen session for you.