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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 21, 2008 3:54 PM

M's "flat'' in 8-3 loss

Posted by Geoff Baker

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That's what manager John McLaren just called his team. Said they came out "flat'' and were never really in this game with the Kansas City Royals, taking an 8-3 loss. The game ended on an Oswaldo Navarro double-play ball after Seatte tacked on a run in the ninth. Mike Morse had a great at-bat in the inning, staying alive by fouling off numerous pitches before lining a single. So, his day ended better than it began.

But most of the post-game talk was about Erik Bedard.

"I thought Erik centered some balls,'' McLaren said. "An 0-2 count, he was trying to go in and he got it out over the plate. A change-up on Guillen, he got it up and he hit it out. It didn't look like he had a lot of adrenaline to day to be honest with you.''

I asked McLaren whether he thought the dry air in Arizona was wreaking havoc with Bedard.

"I would think that would have a lot to do with it,'' he said.

Hear some of what McLaren said in this audio clip.

Continue reading this post ...

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March 21, 2008 1:13 PM

Royals at Mariners: game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Kansas City Royals (11-10):

9 David DeJesus (L) CF
13 Alberto Callaspo (S) 2B
4 Alex Gordon (L) 3B
11 Jose Guillen RF
16 Billy Butler DH
24 Mark Teahen (L) LF
7 Ross Gload (L) 1B
1 Tony Pena, Jr SS
12 Matt Tupman (L) C
55 Gil Meche RHP

Additional Pitchers:

45 Ron Mahay LHP
48 Joakim Soria RHP
27 Yasuhiko Yabuta RHP
66 Chin-Hui Tsao RHP
46 Leo Nunez RHP

Seattle Mariners (9-11-2):

13 Miguel Cairo SS
3 Jose Vidro (S) 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
44 Richie Sexson DH
6 Brad Wilkerson RF
50 Wladimir Balentien CF
2 Kenji Johjima C
12 Mike Morse LF
23 Tug Hulett (L) 2B
45 Erik Bedard LHP

Additional Pitchers:

18 Ryan Rowland-Smith LHP
48 Roy Corcoran RHP
54 Sean Green RHP
57 Mark Lowe RHP

Continue reading this post ...

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March 21, 2008 12:10 PM

Morrow throws bullpen session

Posted by Geoff Baker

Brandon Morrow just finished his latest bullpen session. If his arm feels fine tomorrow, he could pitch for the Mariners on Sunday. We'll see. You can watch Morrow's session in the later part of some video we've posted for you above. The first part sees Yuniesky Betancourt trying to snag a hot grounder at third base. Regular third baseman Adrian Beltre watches, then shows Betancourt how it's done.

We spoke to Miguel Batista a little earlier on in the day. His back is still bothering him just a little, though not as badly as it had been his last couple of times out.

"Better than last time, that's the good news,'' he said. "My first three starts, I pulled my back and then after I iced it, I couldn't walk.''

But today, he feels "really minor soreness.''

His biggest problems during games have been after he sits down between innings.

Batista hasn't been able to do his regular work between starts because of all the pain. Manager John McLaren said team trainer Rick Griffin "is on top of it'' and devised a plan for Batista to try to eliminate -- or at least manage -- the pain.

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March 21, 2008 9:00 AM

Morse not on team yet

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Just got out of manager John McLaren's office and he's as ticked off as I've seen him all spring. Not with the media, more like his team. He's trying to stay positive but is still very frustrated by what he saw last night when his team left the bases loaded with none out in the 10th inning of a 6-6 tie with the San Diego Padres. Getting runners home in key situations is something the Mariners have preached since the start of camp. With the team set to finalize its roster in less than a week, the same mistakes are being made. The same job isn't getting done. It's gotten so bad that McLaren (pictured above) is apparently ready to step in and do the hitting himself. OK, maybe not.

"It was our Achilles heel last year and we still see signs of it,'' he said. "If we're going to be a good ball club, we can't leave runners stranded at third base with less than two out.''

Mike Morse didn't do himself any favors by hitting into the 10th-inning double-play and botching a pair of late fly balls. McLaren insists he isn't going to use one game as a determining factor, but admits he still has uncertainty about who he's going to go with as his extra outfielder.

Continue reading this post ...

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March 2008