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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 31, 2008 6:33 PM

Texas Rangers at Mariners: game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

opening.jpg

6:33 p.m.: Texas got a run back in the eighth inning after Erik O'Flaherty hit the first batter, Hank Blalock, with a pitch. O'Flaherty then notched a strikeout and a gorundout, the runner moving to second, but David Murphy singled to center to bring the run home. Mark Lowe came on at that point, getting Gerald Laird to ground into a 6-4 fielder's choice. Seattle leads 5-2 with three outs to go after the M's hit in the eighth.

You can get a look at former Mariner Ben Broussard taking BP earlier today in the video I've posted below. You can also get a look at the crowds massing outside the ballpark, what it looks like to walk up the dugout tunnel and on to the field the way the players do, not to mention the crowds being let into the stadium. Hope you enjoy.

6:21 p.m.: A huge seventh inning by the Mariners has blown this game wide open. Seattle has a 5-1 lead after scoring three in the seventh off Kazuo Fukumori, who recorded only one out on a leadoff grounder by Jose Vidro. Kenji Johjima drew a walk, Yuniesky Betancourt singled, and both advanced on a Fukumori wild pitch. The Rangers opted to walk Ichiro to load the bases. But with Jose Lopez up, another wild pitch brought the third Seattle run home as Johjima scored. Lopez then doubled down the left field line, scoring a pair of runs. Big offensive inning by the M's, all started with the fourth walk of the game drawn by Seattle hitters.

6:00 p.m.: Excellent work by Sean Green in the seventh inning, striking out Ben Broussard (his third whiff of the day) and Ian kinsler to start things off. Jose Lopez then failed to get to a grounder to his left by Michael Young. They ruled it a hit, but again, Lopez has to make that play. Seattle went to lefty Eric O'Flaherty after that with Josh Hamilton due up. O'Flaherty came through, getting Hamilton to pop out foul to Beltre at third. M's lead 2-1 as they begin the seventh-inning stretch.

Kazuo Fukumori is now on the mound for the Rangers, with Kevin Millwood done after six.

5:51 p.m.: The Mariners did some little things right in their half of the sixth and now have a 2-1 lead, courtesy of two runs off Rangers starter Kevin Millwood. Jose Lopez did his job after a leadoff error by shortstop Michael Young put Ichiro on first base. Lopez hit the ball to the right side on a hit-and-run with Ichiro. The ball would have gotten through to the outfield if the field was a little harder. But all the soft grass did was slow the ball up enough for second baseman Ian Kinsler to field it. An infield hit for Lopez put two on with none out. Raul Ibanez then lined a single to right that scored Ichiro and sent Lopez to third. Richie Sexson popped out to shallow center, Lopez holding. But Adrian Beltre then did a good job hustling up the line on a grounder to third that could have been a double play. Beltre reached first base a step ahead of the throw and then run scored to put Seattle ahead.

That broken-bat out Bedard got on Josh Hamilton is looking rather big right now. Bedard held the Rangers to just the one run after the error had put a runner at second with one out in the fifth. While he won't win today's game, getting Hamilton right away after that error now looks key. As we've said, the bullpen will determine today's outcome.

5:37 p.m.: Kenji Johjima threw out his first would-be base-stealer of the year, nabbing Milton Bradley after his leadoff walk in the sixth. Marlon Byrd flied out to center. David Murphy then rocketed a comebacker that popped out of Sean Green's glove for an infield hit. But Gerald Laird grounded into a 6-4 fielder's choice. Mariners head to the bottom of the sixth needing some offense in a game they trail 1-0.

Erik Bedard wound up throwing 106 pitches over the five innings. The scoreboard here was a few pitches behind. Bedard did a good job of holding the M's in it, despite being squeezed by the umpire and having problems locating some of his pitches. Only the Michael Young homer and the Murphy shot to the warning track, both in the first inning, were really hard hit. A good sign for M's fans, even if the innings given today were not enough for a No. 1 starter. More is expected from Bedard than we saw.


5:25 p.m.: Now the commentary can truly begin in ernest. Brad Wilkerson worked a nice full-count walk to start the fifth inning off for the Mariners. But Jose Vidro grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play. I'm sure some of you will have something to say about that. Any thoughts? By the way, it's snowing outside. Erik Bedard should feel right at home. I know I do. Kenji Johjima drew a two-out walk in the fifth, but Yuniesky Betancourt went down swinging at a 1-2 pitch. Seattle needs some offense, trailing 1-0 as we head to the sixth. Sean Green is on the mound, as Bedard is done after five. Only three hits allowed by bedard, but those four walks and all the full counts ensured he will not get the victory today.

5:16 p.m.: That could be all we see of Erik Bedard today. He got through the fifth inning on les than 10 pitches, surviving a leadoff single blooped to left center by Ian Kinsler. Michael Young then hit what looked like a double-play grounder until shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt one-hopped the back-end relay past Richie Sexson for an error. But with the runner on second and one out, Bedard shattered Josh Hamilton's bat on the very next pitch for a groundout. The runner held. If the M's come back and win, that could wind up being the pitch of the day by Bedard. He then got Hank Blalock on a grounder to shortstop to end the inning. Still a 1-0 game.

5:08 p.m.: First strikeout of the season by Richie Sexson was the second out of the fourth inning. No boos heard from the crowd. Sexson at least worked the count full, the second time he's done that against Kevin Millwood today. Raul Ibanez had grounded out to start the inning. Adrian Beltre lined a two-out single that dropped in front of center fielder Josh Hamilton for his second hit of the afternoon (and second by the M's). But Beltre was thrown out by a mile at second on a steal attempt. The Rangers guessed correctly and called for the pitchout. Texas leads 1-0 as we head to the fifth.

5:00 p.m.: Erik Bedard finally got a 1-2-3 inning under his belt, but it took him 18 pitches and now has him at 95 after just four innings. He trails 1-0. Bedard went full on David Murphy before notching a groundout to second. He then got a 2-2 flyout to right by Gerald Laird and struck out Ben Broussard (swinging) on a 3-2 curveball. The strikeout was Bedard's fifth of the day. But he's walked four and is in serious pitch-count trouble. Might not even get the requisite five innings in. Bullpen will be a big factor today already.

4:51 p.m.: Kevin Millwood is breezing along with a 1-0 lead after three. He set the Mariners down in order in the third, getting a groundout to shortstop by Yuniesky Betancourt, a lineout to center by Ichiro and a flyout to right field by Jose Lopez. The Ichiro out and the earlier single by Adrian Beltre are the only balls the M's have hit hard so far.

4:45 p.m.: Still a 1-0 game, heading to the bottom of the third. Erik Bedard started off the third inning by getting Michael Young to swing at a 1-2 offering down low for his third strikeout of the afternoon. But Bedard then walked Josh Hamilton on a full-count. Hank Blalock then bounced out to move the runner over to second. After that, we had some fireworks involving Milton Bradley (who else?). A 2-2 pitch from Bedard struck Bradley on the foot. Bradley headed to first base, but plate umpire Jim Joyce waved him back, ruling (correctly, from the replays I saw) that the ball hit the dirt first. Rangers manager Ron Washington came out to argue. Bradley drew a walk on the next pitch and flung his bat as he trotted to first base on the walk. Joyce appeared to issue him a warning, getting Washington out of the dugout again. Ben Broussard was also yapping from the visitors' dugout and got a stern rebuke from Joyce. After all was said and done, Bedard struck out Marlon Byrd on a 2-2 curveball. So, no runs across, but more damage done on the pitch-count front, with Bedard needing 25 more to get out of that inning. Now at 77 on the day and we're only in the third inning.

4:30 p.m.: Mariners just wasted their first scoring chance of the season with two on and none out in the second inning. They trail 1-0 heading to the third. One thing I noticed about Richie Sexson in spring training was that he was taking his share of walks. Sexson worked the count on Kevin Millwood in his first plate appearance of the season in the bottom of the second, taking a very close pitch at 2-2 (umpire Jim Joyce evening up some of those non-strike calls on Erik Bedard from earlier) and then drawing a leadoff walk. Adrian Beltre then lined a single to left field for Seattle's first hit of the year. Brad Wilkerson went down swinging at a 1-2 pitch, doing a poor job of getting the runners over. Jose Vidro then narrowly missed a double down the right field line on a ball ruled foul as it skipped past the first base bag. Vidro eventually went down swinging at an 0-2 pitch. Kenji Johjima then popped out to second on the first pitch. So, a wasted opportunity. As I said before, not a good idea to do that against a guy like Millwood. I've seen him bounce back too many times before. None of that aggressiveness on the basepaths we'd heard about at spring training, either. Let's not jump the gun. The season is only two innings old.


4:20 p.m.: Still a 1-0 game, Texas leading, heading to the bottom of the second. Erik Bedard just found out why he's going to love Safeco Field. The first batter of the second inning, David Murphy, looked to have gotten all of a full-count offering from Bedard. But the ball died on the Safeco Field warning track and landed in Ichiro's glove. That's a home run in spring training, or at Camden Yards, for that matter. Bedard then went full on Gerald Laird and walked him.

Ex-Mariners first baseman Ben Broussard came up next and took a called third strike on a 2-2 pitch for the second out of the inning. Bedard then fell behind 2-0 on Ian Kinsler, came back with a called strike and a foul ball that evened the count, then put a pitch high to go full. Kinsler then swung at a curveball and bounced out to third base. But it was a 23-pitch inning for Bedard, now at 52 for the game after only two innings. Mariners manager John McLaren is prepared to let him go between 100 and 110 for the day, but Bedard is still in a bit of trouble and needs some quick outs the next couple of innings.

4:06 p.m.: A sputtering start offensively for the Mariners, with Ichiro grounding out to shortstop, Jose Lopez popping out weakly to shortstop and Raul Ibanez hitting a foul popout to the third baseman. A lot of mishit balls that inning. Rangers starter Kevin Millwood will do that to hitters. If Millwood makes any mistakes, the M's will have to jump on him. Otherwise, he can be very troublesome when he gets in a groove. Millwood reported to camp in better shape than he was a year ago. They are expecting a big season from him in Texas. Still 1-0 as we head to the second.

3:56 p.m.: Erik Bedard had a rough, 29-pitch first inning and trails 1-0 heading to the bottom of the frame. Bedard looked absolutely filthy in striking out Ian Kinsler, the first batter of the game, on just three pitches. Threw him back-to-back curves after landing a first-pitch strike. The curveball looked like it dropped a foot each time. Good start to his Mariners career. Unfortunately for him, the quick start didn't last. Bedard fell behind 3-1 in the count on Michael Young, then watched him take the ball the other way for a home run to right field. Air feeling a little thin and dry today. I'm kidding.

Bedard then yielded an infield single to Josh Hamilton that took a bad hop off the glove of second baseman Jose Lopez. Got to come up with those more often than not. Bedard then didn't get the check-swing call on a 2-2 pitch to Hank Blalock and wound up walking him. But he got a chopper to third for a second out on Milton Bradley, then induced Marlon Byrd to bounce out to shortstop. Too many pitches, obviously. Was squeezed a bit by plate umpire Jim Joyce, but has to economize.

3:04 p.m.: A quick lineup change to note: Kinsler is leading off for the Texas Rangers today. He has the flu, but is going to play. See the lineups on the next page. We'll be updating our game action on this front page ofr the post all afternoon. Broussard is batting ninth. How many first basemen can say that?

opening 022.jpg

Up above, a view from our blogging position here at Safeco Field. The roof was opened briefly, but it began drizzling, so it's been closed for first pitch.

Here are today's lineups:


Rangers (0-0):

5 Ian Kinsler 2B
10 Michael Young SS
32 Josh Hamilton CF
9 Hank Blalock 3B
21 Milton Bradley DH
22 Marlon Byrd RF
7 David Murphy LF
15 Gerald Laird C
23 Ben Broussard 1B
----------------------------
33 Kevin Millwood RHP

Mariners (0-0):

51 Ichiro Suzuki CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson RF
3 Jose Vidro DH
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
----------------------------
45 Erik Bedard LHP

opening 020.jpg

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Posted by manjini

3:37 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Here's to a great season.

For all of us: Here's to another season made better by Geoff and this blog.

For the pessimists: Here's to winning instead of being right.

For the optimists: Here's to winning AND being right.

And for me: Here's to actually posting more!


Posted by Nat

3:38 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I don't care what the national pundits say about the AL division being comparatively weak, I think lots of people are going to be surprised at how well the A's, the Rangers, the Angels, and the Mariners all play this year. Have people forgotten how Texas creamed the M's last year? They may not have much in the way of pitching but they can hit. And A's fans on AN blog are very excited about their team this year with all their young warriors, as opposed to last year with all their injuries. And the Angels, despite their 1-2 pitchers out to start the season just keep on coming. I'm glad it will be competitive b/c it will keep the Mariners sharp.

I love the story of 11-year old Ben. You go, Ben!
And go Mariners!!!

Posted by jon

3:50 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Is that a beer I see next to the laptops? blogging has its benefits..

Posted by Mariner's Fan in Hawaii

3:50 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Ok who imported the Arizona air to Safeco??

Posted by Frankie

3:50 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Great...

Posted by oregongal

3:52 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Jose, I'm so wanting to love you, but you gotta do your part...

Posted by Frankie

3:54 PM, Mar 31, 2008

And the season begins!!!!

...I'm back on the ledge

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

3:54 PM, Mar 31, 2008

whats up with the game not being available on mlb.com. i just paid the damn subscription, and they claim "see all out of market mlb games", yet its not available.

and also whats up with our "cy young winner" bedard giving up a homerun to his second batter faced.

ugghh.

and now a walk before i can even finish posting.

double uggghhh.

Posted by SoCal M's Fan

3:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Stupid wilkerson...Jones would have climbed the wall and snagged that one!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:56 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Air must be thin today....

Posted by oregongal

3:57 PM, Mar 31, 2008

tallahassee, apparently mlb.tv's having huge problems right now, so hopefully, you'll get on soon.

My mantra today is "Bedard always starts slowly, don't worry til May."

Posted by The Fremont Troll

4:00 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Bedard just wanted to get his money's worth with the 30-pitch first!! I can't believe the season's here!!

GO M'S!!

Posted by Nat

4:00 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Hold on, Frankie! I think Ichiro is gonna hit it out of the yard here--

Posted by Frankie

4:04 PM, Mar 31, 2008

He didn't even hit it out of the infield....

Posted by manjini

4:08 PM, Mar 31, 2008

For me, it's all about how Bedard comes back in the second inning. That will say a lot.

Posted by Nat

4:09 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Well, that was a lousy start. Is it too early in the game to say the M's look like they're pressing?

Posted by manjini

4:09 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Tallahassee, you getting the game on MLB now? I am in Massachusetts and it has started working as of 5 minutes ago.

Posted by Frankie

4:15 PM, Mar 31, 2008

At least last year the umpires waited until September to squeeze us on every call....

Posted by Basker

4:15 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Besides that homer, Bedard's stuff is looking nastyyyy... he's getting squeezed a bit too by the ump

Posted by Steve

4:20 PM, Mar 31, 2008

How's Bedard's velocity looking?

Posted by Openning Game

4:24 PM, Mar 31, 2008

MLB Gamecast's pitch location must be off. Otherwise the 5th pitch to Kinsler was almost in the center of the strike zone and was called a ball.

Talk about getting squeezed at home on your openning night...

Posted by Basker

4:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Bedard is topping out at 93mph with the fastball- good control with it, he's really been nipping at the corners. Tough calls.

His curve has great movement- got Broussard looking on the outside corner.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

the game has thankfully come in. Bedard ain't looking too bad...I think he's just getting used to the American strikezone, which has a conversion rate of 0.974 to 1 to the Canadian strike zone.

I can't believe Sexson didn't strike out for old times sake.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

4:35 PM, Mar 31, 2008

LOL - Just heard Rizzs mention that Adam Jones went 0-for-3 today.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

4:39 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Geoff - That view from the press box is sweet. Never take a picture like that again. ;) You do realize you have the best job in the world, yes?

tallahassee-mariner's fan - You officially win today's game thread. I'm gonna be repeating that metric conversion joke to my friend every time Bedard struggles, if you don't mind. :) :)

Posted by thatgirl

4:42 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Bedard really should've had that double-play to help him out. First Lopez 'kicks' one and now Beltre bobbles one. Does our infield have the 1st game jitters?

Now Bedard has back to back walks.......

Posted by skiba

4:42 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I love the M's and watch every game that I can; but sometimes Dave and Blowers can be impossibly boring. The M's fans tend not to be the loudest of fans in general but these telecasts can be so slow sometimes.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

4:43 PM, Mar 31, 2008

wow you are talking about Jones going 0-3 and Bedard has thrown 74 pitches in 2 2/3. Definition of glass is half full....

Posted by oregongal

4:46 PM, Mar 31, 2008

tallahassee--I always like a good conversion joke.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

4:47 PM, Mar 31, 2008

AKMF - So that means in the Great Bedard/Jones Beaten Horse debate, today is a tie. Right?

Knew I should have remembered to record today's game on TV; interested to see just how squeezed Bedard really is today.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:51 PM, Mar 31, 2008

what I fail to bring to this blog in statistical-knowledge and well-researched analysis i hope to make up for in wit, sarcasm and satire. that being said, nothing said is trademarked or copyrighted in any way- share and share alike.

Question: if Bedard pitches a few more inning and doesn't give up any more runs, will this first outing be a success? (what if there's even MORE walks???)

Posted by Nat

4:54 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I'd guess there are a few of 'those jitters' going around first game of the season. I'm not on the ledge but it is hard watching this lineup...think I'm gonna have to take up knitting or something to get through these games this year...

Posted by dave

4:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Agreed AK, bedard is stinking up the joint and these guys are making apologies for him left and right while constantly trying to justify it with jones debut. Face it, we got fleeced and wont go any where. losing to texas? RAD

Posted by oregongal

4:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I haven't even needed my mantra since figuring out the weird strike zone. Except for the high pitch count, I'm only worried about Bedard because of our iffy defense and I'm not sure how many runs our lackluster offense can come back with.

Opening Day. Great atmosphere, but I never expect great baseball for another month or so.

Posted by Basker

5:01 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Nice 4th inning EB!

Posted by thatgirl

5:02 PM, Mar 31, 2008

One-two-three inning ! That was sweet...Bedard is getting stronger as the game goes on.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

5:03 PM, Mar 31, 2008

FWIW, the Tigers and they're much-discussed frightening offense lost in extra innings today to the Royals. So, yeah... it's just 1 of 162 games...

Mr. Niehaus just started his work on today's game. Makes me smile. :)

Posted by Brian

5:05 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Dave is right, Bedard is TERRIBLE! After all, he actually gave up a run in four innings, and he has given up TWO, count 'em, TWO base hits. Let's see, that works out to an ERA of 2.25. That will not stand! Let's trade him to any club that will take him, and maybe get back a couple of buckets of baseballs!

(sarcasm off now) . . . Yes, too many pitches thrown so far (maybe Felix has taught him everything he knows), but the problem so far is the M's haven't been able to score. But it is only the 4th inning of the first game.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:05 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Did Millwood win the Cy Young last year?

Posted by The Fremont Troll

5:08 PM, Mar 31, 2008

If he didn't, it's probably just because he didn't pitch against the M's enough! Come on offense!!

Posted by Basker

5:08 PM, Mar 31, 2008

No, MIllwood did not win the Cy-Young last year. That was a silly question.

Posted by Frankie

5:11 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Bedard HAS thrown a lot of pitches, but let's not forget...

two base hits and A LOT of blown calls.

And let's just remember, Jones went 0-3 today.

Posted by Frankie

5:14 PM, Mar 31, 2008

There are Betancourt's wild throws again...

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:15 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Maybe Cairo isn't pushing Betancourt enough

Posted by SoDo Something or Othert

5:15 PM, Mar 31, 2008

There's always next year!

Posted by dave

5:16 PM, Mar 31, 2008

not a good sign when our ace can only go 5 ip while laboring.

Posted by Basker

5:17 PM, Mar 31, 2008

8 pitch 5th inning...

Solid opening day performance for EB

Posted by thatgirl

5:20 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Other games have been rained out and it's snowing in Seattle. Weird. Maybe it's due to the twilight zone and the M's offense is somewhere in the twilight zone. Let's GO M's !!!

Posted by Frankie

5:21 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Everyone can blame Bedard for losing right now, but face the fact. He gave up 1 run in 5 innings.

If there is anyone to blame, it would be the guys swingin the bats. It isn't Bedard's fault that he isnt gettin any support...

And as I talk, Vidro hits into a DP. Case and point.

Posted by Al

5:24 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Vidro is the best DH any A.L. team could pay ofer 8 million a year for. It would have been better if he struck out, but a DP.

Bedard's day was pretty good conisdering how the ump's strike zone is BS.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:25 PM, Mar 31, 2008

It isn't Bedard's fault that he isnt gettin any support...

And that is exactly why people were against the trade. Giving up the farm for an ACE has little value if your offense can't score enough to win. Thanks Vidro for putting the explanation point on this statement...

Posted by KBD

5:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Dave,

At least he only gave up one run. Sure he wasn't great but his breaking ball had great movement, and the one fastball he hung cost him, one mistake, less than stellar control, but still found a way to give us a chance.

Sure it isn't Felix '07 on Opening Day, but it is promising.

Millwood is pitching well, just need to work counts and wear him down. He is Kevin Millwood and will make mistakes

Posted by Frankie

5:28 PM, Mar 31, 2008

AK-

I get what you are sayin, but if we did not get Bedard, who would be in his spot? HoRam? Morrow?
We all know what HoRam is like, and Morrow isnt developed to start, especially with his control.

Btw, we didn't give up the farm. We still have Clement, Wlad, and other real good prospects.

Posted by JR

5:30 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Dave N still can't see which side of the plate the ball is on and the M's can't score. Damn I love baseball!

Posted by The Fremont Troll

5:42 PM, Mar 31, 2008

There's our break. Time to capitalize...

Posted by The Fremont Troll

5:44 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Raaaaaaaa-uuuuuuuullllllll!!!!

Posted by thatgirl

5:44 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Yes ! Now we're talkin' !! I raise my wineglass to this sudden offensive outburst and our 1st run of the season. Fitting it's Ichiro that crosses the plate first. Weeee !

Posted by Mariner in DC

5:45 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Alright Raaaaulll!!

to those people watching - what happened on Lopez's infield hit? sadly blacked out from the M's here on the east coast!

Posted by thatgirl

5:46 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's LEAD !!

Posted by Frankie

5:47 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Good hustle Beltre....

Posted by jujay

5:51 PM, Mar 31, 2008

DC- apparently kinsler was covering second as ichiro was stealing then couldn't get there in time....I can't watch it either

Posted by Maui Mariner

5:52 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Yeah Baby....................................get off that ledge Frankie!
Go M's!!!!

Posted by Frankie

5:56 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Haha, don't worry Maui, i'm off the ledge. But the window is still open just in case ;)

Posted by nat

5:56 PM, Mar 31, 2008

C'mon mariners, let's capitalize now - just checked the angels-twins game.It's 3-2 twins in the 6th. It would be nice to make a little tiny statement on opening day...mostly it would just be nice to win, jonesin' for that feel good win!

Posted by John

6:01 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Great play by play. Thank you from Jupiter Florida

Posted by thatgirl

6:01 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Beltre with the bat, Beltre with the glove....this was supposed to be EB's night. But we'll take it - just win baby!

Posted by So Cal M's Fan

6:06 PM, Mar 31, 2008

7th inning - Vidro 0-2 on the day. Wouldn't this be a great time to PH Morse?

Posted by thatgirl

6:09 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I'd love to see Ichi use his 'power' stroke now....get some RBI's Ichi....

Posted by John Ostendorff

6:09 PM, Mar 31, 2008

From Jupiter Florida: Thanks. Great reporting and I appreciate it.

Posted by Mariner in DC

6:13 PM, Mar 31, 2008

lets go Jose!!

Posted by Maui Marinerr

6:13 PM, Mar 31, 2008

High drama folks, it doesn't get any better than this.
What a great opening day

Posted by thatgirl

6:16 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Isn't baseball wonderful? 5-1 Seattle, wow.

Posted by Mariner in DC

6:17 PM, Mar 31, 2008

alright!!! let's go M's!!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

6:18 PM, Mar 31, 2008

And look who is getting it done...and who is NOT getting it done...

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:18 PM, Mar 31, 2008

blame it on the drinking, but i could have sworn that was foul. 5-1. god bless the m's.

Posted by Nat

6:19 PM, Mar 31, 2008

We live to see Lopez hit!!!! Yay, 5-1 mariners! Good for the M's, good for Lopez' confidence!

Posted by thatgirl

6:21 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Why did Lopez go with a left-handed hitter at the plate? No harm though.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:21 PM, Mar 31, 2008

and just a side-note, but the Angels are down 3-2 in the 7th

Posted by Nat

6:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

EOF is dealing now!

Posted by MarinerLuvinTexas

6:37 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I know Big Sexy went o-for, but with the walk and how hard he hit the ball a couple of times (the sac fly may have worked in the 6th) I'm happy with his showing.

More importantly, even in the 8th the fans were cheering his effort, when we were up by 3.

I'm pleased with his effort tonight.

Much love, even here in Texas,

Brian

Posted by thatgirl

6:46 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Geoff is right and Blowers just reiterated that 7 walks showing the M's patience at the plate has been a huge contribution for their offense. New twist.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:47 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's are about to be in first in the AL West:

M's 1-0
A's 1-1
TX 0-1
LAA 0-1

The predictions are already true!

Posted by thatgirl

6:51 PM, Mar 31, 2008

JJ's on the mound...'say goodnight Gracie'....strike out #2.

and the Twins still lead the A's in the 9th.

Posted by Maui Mariner

6:51 PM, Mar 31, 2008

This is great, JJ gets a save in the 1st game.

Those folks at the game are so lucky!

This place has gotta be rockin.

So has the sky fallen yet AKM?

Posted by Nat

6:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

In Minnesota Joe Nathan strikes Torii Hunter out. Kotchman gets an infield hit, on 1st. Reggie Willits in to run for him. Howie Kendrick up to bat, and twins win 3-2!

Posted by Maui Mariner

6:58 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Close the window Frankie, we're in FIRST PLACE!

Posted by Frankie

7:00 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Don't worry...the window is closed for tonight :)

1 down, 161 to go!!!!

Happy Early Felix Day!!

Posted by helpFelix

7:12 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I say lets start the playoffs today! :)

COME ON SEATTLE, lets distance ourselves from 2nd place by 9 before Lackey gets back...

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Bedard had a "little" control issues, but man can he paint those corners for strikes!!! I kind of was thinking that he had a few butterflies this evening as this was his 1st game with a new team. Just my thoughts anyway!

Despite the high pitch count in 5 innings, you can't complain about all those 0 he was throwing up there! Our bullpen was OUTSTANDING!!!

Posted by Bedard Backer

7:13 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Let's face it Bedard pitched a lot of pitches, but he pitched well. If not for an extremely stingy ump, he would have gone 8 IP w/ 10-12 K's. He is the real deal. And everyone that hates on the trade will soon be shown to be nothing but pessimistic morons. Just root for our team and stop criticizing! We got a good thing going on this year.

GO M'S!

Posted by jeff in SoCal

8:09 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Good job by EB in giving up just 1 run in 5 innings despite the number of pitches--the Rangers are not exactly chopped liver. It reminded me of "Bend but not break" Batista from last year (incidentally, he won more games last year than either Erik or Felix). Strong pitching by the bullpen in support of Bedard, timely hitting in overcoming Millwood, who pitched well. I expect the weakest links will be Oliva, Washburn (I don't think either will post winning records this year) and Sexson, though he reminded me that it is not necessary to get a hit to make a contribution (it is nice that he is receiving some love from the fans).

Posted by kingk

6:21 AM, Apr 01, 2008

t

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