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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

stadium 029.jpg

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.

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You can hear the sound in McLaren's voice. He's not too happy with his ballclub right now. As for me, I'm not all that concerned aqbout Bedard, as I've told you all day. Some parts of this offense are going to worry me if some trends down here continue. That's likely what's got him more worried than anything else. This team does have to do a better job of manufacturing runs. Didn't do that again today. Seattle swung its way out of some potentially big innings yet again.

We all know that Barry Bonds isn't coming here. But this is looking like a team in need of another bat. I would not be surprised to see the M's swing a trade of some sort prior to the season opener.

McLaren was asked whether he cared if Bedard was able to get a really solid start in before the end of spring.

"Not really,'' he said. "For your (media) benefit I would. It would make me feel better. But, like I said, veteran pitchers have ways of doing things. I've seen some real ugly numbers over the years from my veteran pitchers.''

McLaren added that his club was "working out some issues, here and there, with all our pitchers and catchers. We're getting everybody on the same page.''

To conclude, he really doesn't have a good feel yet for what Bedard is all about.

"I think it's really hard in spring training to get a feel for pitchers,'' he said. "In Arizona, it's really hard. You've got so many elements here, we've talked about them.''

That's about all I'm going to write on this one. You read about it here all afternoon. Not much going on for the M's today that will be worth remembering -- or carrying over -- when the season begins. Good thing it's only spring training because, exhibitions or not, this team just doesn't look entirely ready to go.

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