Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
March 25, 2008 7:04 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez (L) LF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson (L) RF
3 Jose Vidro (S) DH
15 Jamie Burke C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
43 Miguel Batista RHP
20 J.J. Putz RHP
33 Chris Reitsma RHP
59 Eric O'Flaherty LHP
Texas Rangers (14-10-2):
5 Ian Kinsler 2B
7 David Murphy (L) LF
10 Michael Young SS
9 Hank Blalock (L) 3B
21 Milton Bradley (S) RF
27 Frank Catalanotto (L) DH
22 Marlon Byrd CF
2 Adam Melhuse (S) C
23 Ben Broussard (L) 1B
14 Kazuo Fukumori RHP
43 Kameron Loe RHP
50 Frank Francisco RHP
54 Franklyn German RHP
58 Wes Littleton RHP
59 Josh Rupe RHP
A look above at the beautiful sunset here in Surprise, Ariz. on a night when it was 82 degrees at first pitch. Some news of note for M's fans: Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar has been shut down again. Won't be back with the big club until at least June.
9:15 p.m.: Eric O'Flaherty (see him on the mound in the photo below) gave up a run on a pair of singles sandwiched around a wild pitch in the seventh, making it 5-1 for the Rangers. Hank Blalock is now 4-for-4, driving in a run with a single to center.
8:56 p.m.: Arthur Rhodes got out of the sixth inning, to the usual loud ovation he's received here -- home or road -- from Mariners fans. Rhodes struck out Frank Catalanotto (a lefty who doesn't hit lefties at all), walked righty Marlon Byrd, got a popout on switch-hitter Adam Melheuse, then struck out lefty Ben Broussard.
8:47 p.m.: Miguel Batista is done after five innings, four earned runs allowed on six hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. Now the interesting part comes, with Arthur Rhodes in the game in the bottom of the sixth. Still 4-1 for Texas.
8:32 p.m.: Texas tacked on a run in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Miguel Batista got a pair of groundouts to start the inning, then issued back-to-back walks. Seen him do that out of nowhere before, haven't we? Ian Kinsler then doubled the run home.
Ichiro got a one-out single in the fifth, but Jose Lopez lined out and Raul Ibanez was caught looking at strike three. On to the bottom of the fifth.
8:13 p.m.: Adrian Beltre crushed -- I mean crushed -- a ball over the fence in left center in the fourth inning to get Seattle on the board. Now a 3-1 game. Brad Wilkerson singled after that, stole second, and then Jose Vidro drew a walk to put two on with two out. But Jamie Burke fanned to end the inning.
A hard double rapped into the left field corner by Yuniesky Betancourt in the third inning went for naught as successive groundouts stranded him. Miguel Batista has retired seven of his last eight batters.
7:42 p.m.: Still a 3-0 game as we enter the third inning. Mariners got a one-out walk from Adrian Beltre in the top of the second, but ccould not advance him from there. Miguel Batista threw a perfect second frame, getting a strikeout and two groundouts.
7:26 p.m.: A rough go of things for Miguel Batista in the bottom of the first. Gave up a one-out walk, then a two-run homer to right center by Hank Blalock (thanks Snowbound, for pointing out the lineup change in the comments thread) on an 0-1 pitch with two out. Milton Bradley then tripled to right center. He's got game. (Sorry, had to do it at least once this spring). Frank Catalanotto then drove him home with a bounding single up the middle. Now 3-0 for Texas after one.
7:17 p.m.: Seattle went down in order in the top of the first. Ichiro flied out to right, Jose Lopz struck out and Raul Ibanez grounded out. Mariners manager John McLaren said pregame that he's leaning towards using Lopez as his No. 2 hitter when the season opens.
"We're thinking about it strongly, I think that's safe to say,'' McLaren said. "He's hit behind the runner. He's swinging at more strikes. He's going to get more strikes with Ichiro going first. I'm not going to say it's 100 percent but we're leaning that way.''
A look below at Ryan Rowland-Smith, delivering a pitch in today's Class AAA outing against the Texas Rangers' affiliate. Rowland-Smith allowed a run on three hits over two innings.
Posted by markus
7:15 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Thanks Geoff!! We appreciate your work!
Posted by Snowbound
7:31 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Geoff, The Rangers changed the lineup on you.... Blalock hit the homer, Bradley hit the triple, and Catalanotto hit the single....
Posted by Chris from Bothell
7:35 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Gee, I wonder what the responses will be on here if Broussard goes 2 for 3 or 3 for 4 today.
Your moment of zen: The Ms are in a 3-way tie for 1st place today, without even having been in Washington State yet in 2008.
Posted by Frankie
7:48 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Wow....Escobar is out, Lackey is out, Shields is on the DL, and Matthews is questionable with a sprained ankle.
I am a pretty happy M's fan right now (knock on wood).
Posted by PRchef
8:00 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Hasn't Lopez been a better hitter in the 2 hole in the past?
Things are looking good for us with the Angels having so many injuries. I am with you Frankie. I hope we can take advantage of that in the first couple of months and get off to a strong start.
Posted by ice
8:01 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Who do you think is the going to be the odd man out on the Cubs roster now that Reed Johnson has been signed.
Posted by Batter Up!!!
8:08 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Beltre's wrist maybe hurting but it doesn't seem to be hurting too much based on that blast !!!
Play Ball !!!
Go M's !!!
Posted by markus
8:08 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Nice stroke by Beltre!!
Posted by oregongal
8:25 PM, Mar 25, 2008
I was still awake at 3 AM, so I watched the Sox-A's game, which turned out to be really fun. But after having seen a real game with stakes, where lead changes were important, tonight's spring training game seems even less riveting. Kind of fun to see Wilkerson, and the AB blast, but I am so ready for the season to start.
Posted by Pete
8:28 PM, Mar 25, 2008
I really like the Rangers line-up. It's has balance and power throughout.
- Catalanotto and Mench as the probable DH platoon
- Hamilton, Bradley, and Byrd are the outfielders. Murphy is pushing for a spot.
- Blaylock, Young, Kinsler and Broussard around the infield
- Saltalamacchia and Laird as catchers
I don't know how their Opening Day line-up will look, but it might look something like this: ...?
DH Catalanotto/ Mench
C Saltalammachia/ Laird
That's a deep line-up with solid bench players. If Hamilton and Bradley stay healthy, it is likely the best line-up in the West.
Unfortunately... their pitching sucks royally, and they play in Arlington, Texas.
They are kind of the opposite of the Mariners, which makes me think the two teams could finish within 5 games, above or below each other.
...Anyway, I love all that left-handed power; it would look nice in Safeco.
The Rangers gave up Edinson Volquez for Hamilton. I would have given up Morrow in a second for him, and would have been much more optimistic about this year's offense. But Brandon Set-up Man Morrow is an untouchable commodity in Seattle. Nice.
But I digress...
Posted by markus
8:46 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Nice at bat by Wilkerson, guy walks two straight and he swings at that? That's not going to help score runs with runners on.
Posted by Charles
9:10 PM, Mar 25, 2008
No one seemed to have the line up right tonight maybe some of those Rangers runs shouldn't count because guys batted out of order. I was also looking at Jose Lopez and physically he looks nothing like a baseball player, barely any muscle definition and I don't know if you guys have noticed this but the look on his face always seems like he's not interested or doesn't care. Maybe I'm just horrible at reading body language. I was also at Safeco today talking to some people and they were so optimistic about this upcoming season and the attitude around the ballpark is uplifting, everybody is putting a lot of effort into their work to make the place look good.
Posted by ethan
9:18 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Surprise is my favorite stadium. i dont know why. possible Greek revival?? its just more relaxing to get drunk there on the lawn than anywhere else. plus its next to white tank mountains. excellent hiking. i cant wait for the season to start!! and for that August collapse!
Posted by Nat
9:31 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Frankie, I've been keeping tabs on the angels and their growing dl list, but it will take Vlad to go down before I would write off the angels even with their 1-2 pitchers out for awhile. They’ve got a bunch of good young guys they can plug in. And with their new acquisitions in the offseason and Scioscia's strong team first philosophy they won't miss a beat...at least for awhile. I've been very impressed with how the angels go about their business in the last couple years. But hopefully the good guys will make them pay! I'll be at the first home game when they play them so that should be exciting.
On another note, it's great to see Beltre hitting so well even with a hurt wrist!
Posted by Charles
9:40 PM, Mar 25, 2008
Does anybody know why tug hulett is still on the team?
Posted by Adam
9:43 PM, Mar 25, 2008
I was flying cross-country today, so I didn't get to add my take about Geoff's "fan" topic from earlier. I do appreciate that he didn't inlcude me among those hoping for failure.
I want the M's to succeed. I really do. But the reason I rarely have anything good to say about this franchise is the fact that this franchise has rarely done anything good. So, I am naturally skeptical about any move they make.
And when I dig a little bit deeper, I usually find that my skepticism is well-founded. Despite his two months of over-achievement, Vidro wasn't a good hitter for 2007. The HoRam trade hurt on several levels (if Morrow never becomes a good ML-starter, blame that trade). They refused to play Adam Jones when they should have. They traded away Adam Jones when they should not have. They hired John McLaren. Etc, etc, etc...
All this said, I will admit it right now: I worry if the Mariners win the division in 2008.
I think that Bavasi and McLaren are at least in the bottom-three of GM/Manager combos in the game. I think they are terribly unqualified. I think the Mariners incorrectly value players, and I believe the Bavasi regime's track record bears this out. I believe the fluke that was 2007 has allowed them wrongful justification which will be detrimental to this franchise's future.
In short, I don't believe they are the right men to lead this team (saying nothing about Lincoln and Armstrong) and not even a division championship in 2008 will change that. I do not believe that a 2008 division title would evidence that they are qualified to lead a ML franchise.
So I am stuck. I want the M's to win, but I don't want Bavasi and McLaren to win. I want Bedard here for the next six years, but not Bavasi and McLaren. I want the team to build the right way, like the smart teams (see: Boston, NY, Cleveland, Arizona, Colorado, Milwaukee, Anahiem), so that it can contend for years at a time, rather than go all-in with a Bedard trade.
It's the same reason why I was fine with a so-called "tanking" of 2008, so long as we kept Adam Jones. Keeping him was the right way to build this franchise. And I'd much rather see them build the right way rather than sell their souls for "a shot" to win it all.
So I will be rooting for the M's in spite of McLaren and Bavasi. I'll be mostly happy if they win the division. But I won't be nearly as upset as most of you if they tank in 2008 and Bavasi and McLaren are canned. In fact, that's probably what I would prefer (so long as a competent person replaced both of them).
So have at me. I'm obviously not a "real fan." I look forward to your self-promotion...
Posted by jujay
9:44 PM, Mar 25, 2008
where did keven witt come from
Aug 19, 08 - 04:52 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-19
Aug 19, 08 - 04:08 PM
Love this cartoon
Aug 19, 08 - 09:08 AM
Nah, on second thought
Aug 18, 08 - 08:56 PM
Same as it ever was
Aug 18, 08 - 04:45 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-18