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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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April 1, 2008 6:36 PM

Game thread, Seattle vs. Texas, 4-1

Posted by Larry Stone

Update 7:08 p.m.: Is there such a thing as a Freudian typo? Make that Game Thread, not Game Threat.

Precisely one year ago today, Felix stepped to the mound for the season opener against Oakland. Remember what he did? Eight shutout innings, 12 strikeouts, in a 4-0 Mariners' win. That was followed by the best game I saw pitched all year, by anyone: A one-hit gem at Fenway against the Red Sox in a 3-0 victory. The story line going in was the Boston debut of Daisuke Matsuzaka, but Felix completely overshadowed him.

Combined line for those two games: 17 innings, four hits, 0 runs, four walks, 18 strikeouts. It was legitimate to think at that point that Felix was on the verge of becoming the dominant pitcher in the game. It didn't quite happen. He had some elbow problems shortly thereafter that landed him on the disabled list, and when he came back, he never regained that dominance.

We'll see if can get back there now.

Here are the lineups:

Texas Rangers

2B Ian Kinsler

SS Michael Young

CF Josh Hamilton

3B Hank Blalock

DH Milton Bradley

LF Frank Catalanotto

RF David Murphy

C Gerald Laird

1B Ben Broussard

RHP Vicente Padilla

Seattle Mariners

CF Ichiro

2B Jose Lopez

LF Raul Ibanez

1B Richie Sexson

3B Adrian Beltre

RF Brad Wilkerson

DH Jose Vidro

C Kenji Johjima

SS Yuniesky Betancourt

RHP Felix Hernandez

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Posted by scottM

6:55 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Nice April fools blog headline. Thought I missed the game. :=)

from drlo: "By the way, does anyone else think that a little more defensive focus by Lopez might have kept Bedard's pitching line to one hit?"

It looked that way to me. When he ranged to his left, that would have been a tough throw, but doable. Instead he bobbled it. Bedard seemed a touch discouraged for a batter or two afterwards. There was one other early play where Lopez seemed unfocused, too. His late game hitting (and the win) overshadowed his defense. Time will tell, but I hope those big hits last night instills more confidence in Jose.

Posted by ethan

6:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Richie Sexson and Brad Wilkerson. AL Co-MVP

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:21 PM, Apr 01, 2008

It's refreshing to see our ace pitcher smile after walking off the mound. I wonder which batter Padilla hits tonight?

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

7:29 PM, Apr 01, 2008

how many more weeks until we can bench sexson?

Posted by Alaska24

7:29 PM, Apr 01, 2008


I live in Alaska and watch Mariners religously on FSNW. The game appears in my on screen guides but they are running national/garbage programing. This happened yesterday and again tonight and I have no idea why nor can I find any explanation on the web. Anyone out there out of the Washington market on FSNW have this problem? Anyone know if this is permamant?? I'm in full blown panic mode!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:30 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Worst at bat I've seen in 2 years by a hitter. I hope Geoff is right about the short leash on Sexson. That swing is slow and long.

Posted by Mariner in DC

7:32 PM, Apr 01, 2008

The M's won't win the division with Richie in the cleanup spot. Just ain't happenin.

Posted by B

7:33 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Larry, I remember that game well. Felix was awesome. I'm thinking he's back. Who heals faster than a kid does? 123 first was EZ. We'll see.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:39 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Lopez goes to his right to help the King!

Now that's an awesome curve followed by serious heat.

123 456

Stand bye!

Posted by Mariner in DC

7:39 PM, Apr 01, 2008

yo Larry, where are the updates!? I'm an out of touch east coast M's fan here!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:41 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Opps! My right!

Posted by jujay

7:49 PM, Apr 01, 2008

look at turbo go!

Posted by Chopper58

7:49 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Did Vidro just steal a base, how did that happen? Can someone give me how. Did the catcher throw it back underarmed?

Posted by The Fremont Troll

7:52 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Are my eyes deceiving me?!? Vidro steals a base??? How big a lead did they let him have???

Posted by drlo

7:53 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Just as I'm bemoaning the M's letting Padilla get through 2.1 innings with 23 pitches, Vidro and Johjima have excellent, patient at bats combining about 13 or 14 pitches to put a run together. That, and Vidro manufacturing a run with his speed...wonder of wonders.

Posted by ID

7:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

In response to Alaska, we're over here in Idaho, which carries FSN rocky mountain, but they still usually carry most of the M's games.

We're getting the same crap as you this year though, it says it should be on on the guide, but it's actually FSN final score or something


Posted by Mariner in DC

7:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

4 runners left on already, yikes....

I guess it's at least good that we're starting to string some hits together. Just gotta do it at the right time.

Posted by stango

8:02 PM, Apr 01, 2008

DC: If my memory serves me correctly, Geoff would do 2, maybe 3 updates a game. It's the top of the 3rd, what sort of update do you want?
And, Larry's not really a blogger, and is pretty up-front about that. What he is is the all-time best baseball writer this town has EVER seen (or, at least since '95, when I got here). No disrespect to Geoff, I like his work, but Larry's the baseball king in Seattle for my money.

Posted by Alaska24

8:06 PM, Apr 01, 2008

FSNW Blackout?

My local cable company in Alaska informed me that as a part of Mariners/FSNW agreement, they now blackout some of the games!?!? That doesn't seem right and I'm guessing the Seattle market isn't being blacked out or we would here about it.

Sounds like ID is in the same boat. Anyone else have any insight?

I guess I will have to roll back the clock and listen to AM radio everynight...

Posted by Extra Innings

8:08 PM, Apr 01, 2008

For the out-of-state people, if you have digital cable the M's are on the Extra Innings channels. It is free for the first week of the season. They are high up there on my TV, so do a search and you should find them.

Posted by Mariner in DC

8:13 PM, Apr 01, 2008

are the ruthless Seattle fans baying for the blood of the big not-so-Sexy yet?

Posted by stango

8:15 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Halfway to the Golden Sombrero. Richie's making his mark.

Why the #%@$& is he batting 4th?!? I guess it goes in the same category as the plan to use Morse to spell Wilkerson (who can hit lefties ok) instead of Ibanez (who can't hit lefties at all): no explanation.

I sure hope we don't have to put up with Clean Up Richie for the whole season, or even half of it. I hope he turns it around, because I just don't believe that the leash will be very short.

Posted by stango

8:18 PM, Apr 01, 2008


Definitely more boo-birds for the last AB than the 1st one. Ironically, he looked much better in the 2nd AB. The first one was simply atrocious: 3 FB's 3 strikes, and he looked silly doing it.

I actually do feel bad for him, but whining about booing will not get the booing to stop. Playing well will.

Posted by ethan

8:25 PM, Apr 01, 2008

didnt someone hand FELIX a blog from the stands last year?

well heres one for Sexson..


Posted by TimsHead

8:33 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Thanks, Extra Innings! I had no idea the free preview was on. Living here in Yankee (boo!) territory, don't see many Mariners games on TV.

Had I known earlier, I could have seen Vidro steal a base. Someday could have told the grandchildren.

Scientists have discovered a black hole. It's hitting cleanup. Hope they start practicing Morse at 1B. Or put Wilkerson there and put Morse in the field. Or bring up Wlad. Or Norton. Anyone!

Ichiro, meanwhile, is just abusing Padilla. Wow.

Happy that, aside from that error, Felix is doing well.

Posted by The Fremont Troll

8:42 PM, Apr 01, 2008

atta baby, Felix!!!

Posted by stango

8:45 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Good, solid single by Richie. Thank you.

Posted by jujay

8:50 PM, Apr 01, 2008

oh I thought that was gone.....I hate watching the games on gamecast!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:59 PM, Apr 01, 2008

That's an outstanding play at the plate by the King and Joji!

Posted by Matt

9:17 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Felix is a one-man team out there! He should just tell the outfield to stay warm in the dugout next inning...

Posted by

9:18 PM, Apr 01, 2008

While waiting for Ichiro to be intentionally walked, I wondered how many times a batter has taken a swing at an intentional ball and hit it out of the park. I would think that some pitcher, some time, could have thrown one of these pitches a little too close to the plate. Of course, that would require that batter to be ready for it.

Posted by TimsHead

9:18 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Felix getting it done in the field! Very nice!

OK, let's get some Mariner runs now.

Posted by oregongal

9:18 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Just got in. Saw Felix's big D and nasty HBP on Kinsler. Scanned the comments. Vidro stole a base? Sexson got a hit? Sounds like a good game, except for the 10 LOB. Yikes.

Posted by SoCal M's Fan

9:19 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Do the M's defensive projections include Felix as a defensive player??!! Looks like we're better than advertised on the defensive front!!!

Posted by Tacoma Rain

9:26 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Did Mac asleep again?
Mac does realize he has players on his bench...correct???

Posted by helpFelix

9:27 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Can we PLEASE bring Morse in to hit for Wilkerson in the 9th?!!!

I "thought" Morse was going to platoon against LHPing for Wilkerson?!

What the hell is Guardado...chopped liver? No pun intended!

Posted by oregongal

9:33 PM, Apr 01, 2008 did a quick Google and didn't come up with a HR, but Miguel Cabrera got a game winning hit off what was supposed to be an intentional ball in 2006.

I'll look some more when it's not during a game.

I always think the other way. I hated the Big Red Machine (Dodger fan here) and even if I wind up a senile old coot, the last memory I'll hold onto is Johnny Bench getting struck out in the World Series when he thought he was getting an intentional pass.

Posted by capster

9:35 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Am I just a pessimist or have the M's played 2 mediocre ballgames in a row? Bedard and Felix battled, but got essentially no help from our pathetically weak offense. We got lucky yesterday. Please tell me I'm wrong.

Posted by oregongal

9:36 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Well, now we know from Larry's headline that he can't foretell the future. I hope he's not dyslexic with the numbers.

Posted by zona

9:42 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Why even have a bench? Mac didn't know how to use one last year, and he still hasn't figured it out.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:43 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Should have put the Big Dog on 1st when we took him off the mound. He would have timed his jump to snag that lliner to right.

Great job tonight by Fleix!

Posted by Walrus

9:45 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I miss GS52 already...

Posted by Andrew

9:45 PM, Apr 01, 2008

No pinch-runner for Vidro? Seriously?

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:46 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Opps! Sorry King Felix!

Posted by Mariner in DC

9:48 PM, Apr 01, 2008

alright Yuni! alright Kenji! alright Jose! now we're talkin!

Posted by oregongal

9:48 PM, Apr 01, 2008

A Jimerson sighting. Then he flies to third (in the good baseball way).

Yuni comes through.

Ichiro steps in.

I love baseball.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:49 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Eric O'Flaherty and Mark Lowe have now been used in back-to-back games. Does McLaren not realize he has other relievers in the pen??? Baek could have been used to pitch a few innings for them if they happen to rally and go extra innings. Now the next game the pen is toast, Mac could have rested O'Flaherty and Lowe to be fresh for the next game. These close games will be determined by the manager this year.

Posted by Nat

9:49 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Yay Yuni! Go Ichi!

Posted by Mariners Fan in Hawaii

9:50 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Geoff can you get the Skip to pick the lottery numbers for the weekend?? I mean talk about luck with the Young throw...the "Lets let Vidro stay on base" idea and then the error at 2nd base...WOW!

Posted by oregongal

9:51 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Can we play Texas' defense every night?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:53 PM, Apr 01, 2008

wasted out. I would rather have Lopez at the plate than Sexson.

Posted by Nat

9:54 PM, Apr 01, 2008

"Putting the game in the hands of Mr. Sexson" to quote Dave Sims - it would be great to see Richie come through. A grand slam would be nice but a good line drive would get another couple runners home too- one out, go Richie!

Posted by Nat

9:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Or not.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

from drlo: "By the way, does anyone else think that a little more defensive focus by Lopez might have kept Bedard's pitching line to one hit?"

That's absurd. Bedard couldn't locate with his curve ball all night. He walked four batters in 5 innings. Bedard may have not been helped but he created his own mess.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:58 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Sexson strikes out with the bases loaded. What a loser!

Posted by Matt

9:59 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Rally Killer Richie's at it again!

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:00 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Careful now, he has a better batting average than Wilkerson, so if you are going to bang on Richie, bang on Wilkerson as well.

Posted by oregongal

10:00 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Richie at bat gives my stomach the same feeling as Weaver pitching last year. I know he's done it before, but I've seen precious little evidence of it lately. Good thing he's not coming up to bat again in this game (fingers crossed).

Posted by zona

10:01 PM, Apr 01, 2008

.....and the Big Stiff comes through again...with another K! What a loser indeed!

Posted by Scott

10:02 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I wish we still had Jose Guillen. I hope that losing him doesn't come back to bite us later this season. He was a bulldog, played through injuries, and lit a constant fire in the clubhouse. It's 2 games -- I know -- but our lineup looks like 2 years ago.

Posted by oregongal

10:03 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Wilkerson has neither Richie's salary nor place in the lineup.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:03 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Wilkerson is Richie's twin brother!

Posted by Nat

10:03 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Hey, we'll take the lead any way we can! If Beltre gets on I was hoping Mac would put Morse in for Wilkerson but no...

Posted by SoCal M's Fan

10:04 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I'm starting to remember why Texas let Wilkerson go...

Posted by The Fremont Troll

10:04 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I hope the M's don't burn through a whole season's worth of luck in the first series. 2 errors and a wild pitch lead to 3 runs, including the go-ahead. And now it's Putz time?!?

Sodo Mojo?

Posted by Batter Up!!!

10:05 PM, Apr 01, 2008

If JJ putz it away, we will have 2 passed ball wins in a row. We need some offense! You can't win like this all season.

Posted by zona

10:06 PM, Apr 01, 2008

.....and "hot bat Morse" continues to ride the pine.

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:07 PM, Apr 01, 2008

He doesn't have the salary, but that is the GM's bad. If anything, this is a contract year for him so you'd better bet he is doing what he can to pull though to continue that payday. I was hoping they would convert Jeff Clement to 1B and ship Richie, but he's here so I think we need to give him a leash.

Posted by helpFelix

10:08 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I was praying that Mac would put Morse in to replace Sexson with bases loaded this past inning! THEN after Richie SO, I was hoping that Mac would replace Wilkerson with Morse.

He could of kept Ibanez on 2B, because we were already ahead 4-3...and then Ibanez would of went back out to LF and we could of put Jimerson in RF.

Now this is interesting...WHY the heck is Willy in LF, and why did Mac bench Jimerson?!! Jimerson has far superior Defense over Willy in the OF!!!

Posted by Joof

10:10 PM, Apr 01, 2008

You know whats terrible? The middle of our lineup. Vomit.

Posted by Nat

10:11 PM, Apr 01, 2008

oregongal, you said you weren't here tonight for most of the game, and so you didn't see that Richie actually got a hit. Shock....

JJ, c'mon baby, blow 'em away!

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:13 PM, Apr 01, 2008


Posted by The Fremont Troll

10:15 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I feel somewhat responsible...

shouldn't have toyed with the superstition gods....


Posted by oregongal

10:16 PM, Apr 01, 2008

jeffinseatown--what a nice paraphrase of all the things I just screamed at the TV...

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:17 PM, Apr 01, 2008

As far as questioning why Willie is replacing Jimerson, Willie for a career has only one error in OF for about 200 put outs. Jimerson hasn't been up enough to put together much history to say he is superior.

Posted by Mariner in DC

10:21 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Don't worry, Troll, not your fault. One number says it all tonight:

23. As in left on base. Most notably, bases left loaded in the 8th with a chance to pad the lead.. " no worries" thought we of much faith in the great J.J.

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:21 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Maybe JJ just wants to swap some of those saves for wins in 2008. Gotta look at the glass half full, right??

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:23 PM, Apr 01, 2008

LOB is a pretty scary concern. That was a pretty big issue in '07. Not much offseason movement has put that problem to bed.

Posted by zona

10:23 PM, Apr 01, 2008

JJ threw 19 pitches last night & 30 tonight. That's a lot to ask of your closer this early in the season. I wouldn't count on him tomorrow.

Posted by oregongal

10:24 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Burke, we need Oregon heroics.

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:26 PM, Apr 01, 2008

That is alright, I give JJ the day off tomorrow, we are facing Jason Jennings...if our offense can't take advantage of him, it will be a long year.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:27 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Texas actively TRIED to give the Ms this game. But I guess the Ms are just too polite or something.

Now I see why the home opener is just a brief 3-game homestand and then some road time... gotta get out of town before the fans start remembering to boo Sexson again.

Hell of a nice bit of fielding by Felix today though.

Posted by Mariners Fan in Hawaii

10:28 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I am sorry and yes I know it is early but WOW can you imagine the pitching staffs around the AL seeing the likes of Sexson, Wilkerson and Vidro and just salivate?

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:32 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Well, I guess....well, we are still at .500 or above, right? Disappointing, given the errors that TX committed.

We play them one game at a time....this loss only counts as one game in the loss column....we see a few things to work on before we hit the road.

Over-under on these statements in the postgame interviews: 5

Posted by Mariner in DC

10:32 PM, Apr 01, 2008

I'll be in Baltimore ready to boo Sexson all weekend.

The rest of the M's... well I'm pretty sure they can take care of the O's :)

Posted by Seattle Sports Blog

10:32 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Richie Sexson is an absolute joke of a baseball player. At 6-8, he is a freak of nature, and should NOT be playing anymore with that kind of a strike zone. He was great when roids were legal, but it's time to go Richie. An error and 3 strikeouts KILLED US TONIGHT and wasted a gem by Felix

Posted by Batter Up!!!

10:33 PM, Apr 01, 2008

No Offense zona but we did not ask jj to throw 49 in 2 days. Seems the Putz is another vet suffering from shell shock from past wars!

Posted by jeffinseatown

10:36 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Sports Blog:

'Roids make you hit the ball farther...Richie can't even hit the ball. So stop being emotional. I think he has been close to 6'8" since coming into the league, which = same strike zone....hmm. Not sure what your point is. If you are saying he is swinging at pitches I wouldn't swing at, I'm with you.

Posted by Adam

10:38 PM, Apr 01, 2008

No judgments here, just an observation:

After two games, this offense looks a lot like it did in 2007 - no power whatsoever. When you have to rely on Jose Lopez and Yuni to get your extra-base hits, that's not good.

But it's only 2 games. I'm sure Richie and Vidro will start raking any minute...

Posted by drr

10:39 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Mariners Fan: agreed. What we're seeing from the likes of Sexson, Vidro and, now, TA-DA, Wilkerson, albeit only 2 games into the season, looks an awful lot like last year's woeful offense. The so-called "meat" of the order is Beltre. Period. And teams just walk him. Sexson will NEVER stop swinging at that 2-strike low-and-away pitch. Never. Ever. Granted, you win with pitching and defense, but, my God, you've got to have SOME offense. String hits together. Like last year, look at how many men we left on base. By the time we eventually start hitting - assuming we ever improve over last year's embarrassing performance - LAA will be healthy and ready to motor on past us.

Posted by couga

10:40 PM, Apr 01, 2008

is putz done?

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:02 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Putz gets a pass on this one obviously. He won't be available tomorrow.

Sexson's 8th inning AB - Dave Sims tried to give him a break by saying it was a great 3-2 slider. IT WAS NOT A SLIDER. IT WAS A FASTBALL way off the plate and low. A major leaguer with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded should be able to lay off that one and take the walk and the lead. I think he's nervous up there and too afraid of failing and therefore, set's himself up for failure. And everyone knows he's going to fail. He's pathetic. Take your money and go away forever.

For those of you who were debating the whole Jimerson/Bloomquist thing, the ‘great’ TV broadcast didn't mention it, but BOTH Jimerson (for Johjima) and Bloomquist (for Ibanez) pinch ran in the 8th. Obviously, Jimerson wouldn't have been going in on defense anyway since he pinch ran for a catcher. Geoff, tell Blowers he needs to smile every once in awhile.

Other notes: Too many singles (only one extra base hit I believe), too many LOB's, but a good start for Felix. I believe this qualifies as a 'quality start' by Geoff Baker standards. Seven innings and one run. Wilkerson looks bad. Great job Uni and Ich! Seven hits in the nine and one slots!

Boy, the Rangers really tried to give us this one, but I guess we didn't want it. Oh well. We can't get too excited about one early win and one early loss. But as Geoff would say, they are all important and we need to take advantage of the Angels pitching issues early in the season. Go get 'em tomorrow boys!

Posted by Mort

11:10 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Well, it didn't take long for the limitations of that bench to reveal themselves. Would have been nice to have Greg Norton available in the 8th or 9th for some situational hitting. Oh I forgot, we need both Bumquist and Cairo to sit around and be ineffectual. .

Posted by JJ

11:40 PM, Apr 01, 2008

Hey Richie....way to step up and deliver big guy. Bases loaded, 1 out, and you swing at an absolute garbage pitch. BALL FOUR WIll somebody please get this F#$@&%$ loser out of Seattle?!?!?!

Posted by JJ

11:42 PM, Apr 01, 2008

It's already time for Barry Bonds people...

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