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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 7, 2008 2:27 PM

Mariners at Baltimore Orioles: 4/7 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

orioles3 023.jpg

Looks like the Mariners aren't much of a draw in Baltimore. Not in the middle of a Monday afternoon, anyhow.

2:27 p.m.: Obviously, we'll have to see whether something is wrong with Ryan Rowland-Smith. If not, this is going to be an interesting post-game session with John McLaren. Not sure I agree with using Eric O'Flaherty three straight games. Gives up a go-ahead home run to Aubrey Huff (yes, a lefty) in the eighth and the M's are now three outs from victory, down 5-4. Felix Hernandez took the heat off McLaren yesterday, but I have a feeling it's now back on flame broil. Let's see if there's an explanation down below after the game, other than letting O'Flaherty "get back on the horse.'' Don't think this was the time, if Rowland-Smith is available.

orioles3 015.jpg

A look at Ichiro during batting practice, sizing up the ballpark prior to his leadoff homer.

2:10 p.m.: A gutsy effort by Carlos Silva to get through seven innings today. Second time in a row he's done that. Did it in style, too, fanning Nick Markakis on a called third strike with a 91 mph fastball and the count full with two on. I expected to see Ryan Rowland-Smith warming up in the bullpen. Not Eric O'Flaherty. Thought John McLaren might bring in a lefty to face Markakis in that situation, but did not think I'd see O'Flaherty warming up. I wonder if Rowland-Smith is fully healthy. Will have to ask him. But anyway, you see now why the team picked up Silva. Two seven-inning efforts already this season. This rotation is well ahead of last year's with him added, never mind Erik Bedard. Still 4-4 heading to the eighth.

1:59 p.m.: I wasn't a big fan of letting Jose Lopez bunt in that seventh inning after Ichiro's leadoff single. I know there haven't been a lot of runs generated by this offense, but why give up an important out when there are other options available? Like a hit-and-run, or even a steal? I know there was a lefty on the mound, making steals more difficult, but you also have a guy on first who the manager thought could swipe 80 bags this year. Remember? So, the M's give away an out, Raul Ibanez taps out for the second out of the inning and then Mike Morse fans against the righty. I agree with bringing Morse in and getting Jamie Walker out of the game (not to mention an ineffective Brad Wilkerson). But I think the m's put themselves behind the eight ball needlessly by having Lopez sacrifice. If your No. 2 hitter can't execute a hit-and-run, he shouldn't be hitting second.

1:36 p.m.: Is Kenji Johjima ever going to get another hit? That's twice today where his broken bat pieces have gone further than the balls he's hit. How many times are you going to see Jose Vidro walked intentionally? Well, he was. Richie Sexson hit a double to right center (just where he wants to be driving the ball, good piece of hitting there) with one out in the sixth, leaving first base open. Vidro was walked and Johjima barely lofted a broken bat blooper to the shortstop. Yuniesky Betancourt flied out to right to end the threat. A disappointing end to a promising inning for the M's.

1:29 p.m.: Carlos Silva got roughed up again in the fifth, though he held the O's to just a run that tied the game 4-4. Adam Jones led off with a double to left field, took third on a bunt, then scored on a single to right by Brian Roberts. But Silva got out of further trouble with a strikeout on Melvin Mora and a flyout to left by Nick Markakis. On to the sixth.

1:23 p.m.: Mariners are now leading 4-3 midway through the fifth after Raul Ibanez doubled home Yuniesky Betancourt in the top of the inning. Some of you were ready to bury Ibanez yesterday morning, but he's now got five hits, including two homers and a double, the past two days. Looking through the comments from this morning, I see that Chris from Bothell has a bunch of you stirred up by saying we aren't six games into the season, but truly 168 in given how the M's seem to have picked up from where they left off last year. A cute comment, but the only problem I have with it is, once again, that with a healthy J.J. Putz last Tuesday and again yesterday, the M's are probably a 4-2, first-place club in spite of their struggles. If that were the case, no one would be panicking like they are. So, who do you blame for that? Putz? That's why it's important to keep a level head about this. Or, at least, understand what's driving some of the decision-making.

Anyhow, Brad Wilkerson is stinking up the joint again today. He's been doing a lot of extra cage work with hitting coach Jeff Pentland and the word is, he's close to a breakthrough. We'll see. Ibanez was close to one last year, if you'll remember, and did actually come through a few days later. The team is giving guys like Wilkerson plenty of time (or rope to hang themselves with, depending on how you see things). But they can't keep a guy batting .050 or whatever in the middle of the order for too much longer. There is, believe it or not, a sense of urgency about what's gone on. I don't think we're going to see a repeat of the past, where guys could hit at a sub-.200 level for months. I get the feeling from talking to folks that it will be different this year. Things like the hitters, or even with Eric O'Flaherty. Nothing says he has to be situational lefty for life or that Ryan Rowland-Smith can't take over that job if O'Flaherty implodes a couple of times more. I think Arthur Rhodes will be that main lefty come May. But for now, it's too early. O'Flaherty is still the No. 1 lefty and he gets the call in the eighth and ninth. Until he shows he can't handle it. But you don't base that off two outings to start the year.

1:03 p.m.: Nice bit of hustle by birthday boy Adrian Beltre to tie the game 3-3 in the fourth inning. Beltre was standing on second base after a leadoff single and a one-out walk drawn by Richie "Ball Four" Sexson. Jose Vidro then hit a grounder to first base that the Orioles tried to turn two on. But Vidro beat the throw back to first, with pitcher Daniel Cabrera covering. Cabrera seemed to fall asleep after that, not realizing that Beltre, who had gone to third, was darting for home. Beltre scored, nearly running over umpire Brian O'Nora, who wound up in a locked embrace with Beltre as they tried to slow their momentum.


12:53 p.m.: Rough third inning for Carlos Silva, who gives up three and now trails 3-2 heading into the fourth. The switch-hitters touched him up that frame, with Luis Hernandez notching a one-out single to center and then being driven home on a Brian Roberts double to the left center gap. The outfield throw was fine, but cutoff man Yuniesky Betancourt turned in a poor showing on his relay to the plate. Betancourt had time to nab Hernandez, but seemed unaware of that and rushed an off-balance throw that had no juice on it. That made it a 2-1 game. Melvin Mora stepped up next and drove a ball over the wall in left to put the O's ahead 3-2.

Daniel Cabrera has retired seven in a row. Mariners need to start hitting before they let another quick start go for naught.

12:34 p.m.: A pair of 1-2-3 innings by both starters in the second. Carlos Silva did a decent job against the lefties in that second frame, handcuffing Aubrey Huff on the 4-1 groundout. What's with the diving by Richie Sexson at first base? Looks like a lost soccer goalie. Luke Scott hit one to the warning track in right field, but Brad Wilkerson was there for the catch. Style points don't count. Only outs.

12:23 p.m.: The home runs just keep coming for the Mariners, who lead 2-0 after an inning of play. That's 15 of the last 16 runs via the long ball scored by Seattle's offense after Ichiro led off with a solo blast to right center off Daniel Cabrera and Raul Ibanez followed two batters later with a shot to right. Mariners manager John McLaren made some minor lineup adjustments, moving Adrian Beltre into the cleanup spot, putting Richie Sexson sixth and Brad Wilkerson fifth. McLaren wants to split up the righty bats.

The Orioles put a lefty-stacked lineup out there against Carlos Silva in the bottom of the inning. Silva got a quick groundout and a popout, but then saw lefty Nick Markakis double down the left field line. Markakis is now 7-for-10 lifetime with three doubles off Silva, not exactly renowned as a lefty-killer. Did a good job against the Rangers' lefties, but he's not in Safeco Field anymore. Got out of the first with a flyball to center by Kevin Millar.

Here are the lineups:

MARINERS (2-4)

51 Ichiro (L) CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez (L) LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson (L) RF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
3 Jose Vidro (S) DH
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

52 Carlos Silva (1-0, 1.29) RHP


ORIOLES (4-1)

1 Brian Roberts (S) 2B
6 Melvin Mora 3B
21 Nick Markakis (L) RF
15 Kevin Millar 1B
17 Aubrey Huff (L) DH
30 Luke Scott (L) LF
55 Ramon Hernandez C
10 Adam Jones CF
2 Luis Hernandez (S) SS

40 Daniel Cabrera (0-0, 13.50) RHP


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Posted by Big Ebu

12:22 PM, Apr 07, 2008

2 Home runs in the first inning. Maybe the offense is starting to pick up!

Also see that Sexson got moved down to the 6-hole.

Posted by Jared

12:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ichiro and Ibanez HRs... sweet deal!!!!!

Man how many people are at that game Geoff?!?!

Posted by i heart Morse

12:35 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Doesn't AB like to hit behind righties (although, I don't understand how that would help him)? He's been fairly solid so far...I hope this doesn't mess him up.

Posted by JI

12:37 PM, Apr 07, 2008

HRs are the best way to score, let's hope this continues.

*BTW is has to be the most user-unfriendly comment system I can recall.

Posted by Ben

12:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

If silva can keep this up for the whole year, i think the mariners are in pretty good shape. That would be the equivolent of having 3 aces... probably a bit too much optimism to put onto silva right now - it being the beginning of week 2, but 19 pitches through 2 innings is nice.

Now if washburn can turn in some decent outtings.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:47 PM, Apr 07, 2008

AB batting 4th, Sexson batting 6th - very, very good sign. Gets to the need to be adaptable that I harped on recently.

I wonder - how long before Ichiro needs to convert to being a doubles / power hitter instead of a slap singles hitter? Every time he hits one out, or the 2 or 3 times a season we hear about him teeing off in batting practice, it makes me wonder. One of these years even his speedy legs will slow down, and he won't be able to count on infield base hits anymore. Not a knock on Ichiro now, or pining for anything different. I just think it will be fascinating to watch, since if anyone could reinvent themselves that way and be productive for a couple extra years, he could.

Posted by Ben

12:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ah i have jinxed him! The season is in ruin now!!! Silva gave up a run...

Posted by oregongal

12:51 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Yes, Ben, I blame you! :)

Chris, I agree, that will be interesting to watch, but as long as he can still get the infield hits, I don't see him changing. Then there's the eventual change to pitcher. Ichiro knuckeballing, pitching until he's 50?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:00 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Oregongal - I wonder if Ichiro ever talked with Jamie Moyer about how to pitch into one's 40s...

Posted by Donovan

1:01 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I took the weekend off of baseball to attend a little family get together down in Texas. Now I'm nursing a moderate sunburn and catching up on a M's-O's series that I'm happy to have missed.

Lots of second guessing the manager here, as always. That's a fan's right, but if I could characterize Mac's management of the team so far this season, I'd say he is managing like a man who believes his team is a good one and believes that the season will prove him out. He is not managing like a man who has something to prove or is desperate. I think that's good. I realize there are a fair number of desperate M's fans, but that isn't Mac's problem, and he'd be a fool to start managing to address that problem. A desperate manager is doomed. We saw that in graphic detail last year with Hargrove. A week into the season, Mac is subtlely tinkering with the batting order and trying to deal with the loss of his closer without completely tossing out his whole plan for the pitching staff. I think that's appropriate. I'd be far more concerned if he was making wholesale changes to the team gameplan before the second series of the season was complete. The last thing I want to see is a scared manager in April.

Posted by Ben

1:01 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ooof... wilkerson... Can Morse/Jimerson not hit right handed pitching? I know we paid wilkerson to play every day and it is early, but he is not looking so great. I'd rather see Johjima up 5 or 6th and Wilkerson further down in the lineup...

Posted by Addie

1:02 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I can't understand why Mac is sticking with Wilkerson when he made so many comments during Spring Training about how hot Morse's bat has been. Why isn't he giving Morse equal looks to give them a chance to take some offensive opportunities when they present themselves? I'm sick of watching Wilkerson strike out with runners on base.

Posted by Addie

1:03 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Now that's heads up base running. Go AB!

Posted by oregongal

1:04 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ah, Adrian. Even the umpire wasn't watching him.

Posted by Ben

1:17 PM, Apr 07, 2008

RAUUUUUUUUUL!

Posted by Ben

1:19 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Since i can't see the game right now - is Silva keeping the ball down or is he having a little difficulty with his command? I saw that he had 5 ground ball outs and 5 fly ball outs - along with the 2 homers. So it seems that Baltimore is able to lift his pitches today.

just checking if thats to Baltimore's credit or if Silva is missing his spots occassionally.

Posted by Frankie

1:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well, even though it's only the 5th inning, the Mariners lost this game.

If they keep going like this, the bullpen will eventually come in and the O's will blow it open. The only way the M's can win is if they can score 4-5 runs in an inning and have about a 4-5 run lead in the 8th inning.

We are about to be 2-5!!!

Posted by couger

1:27 PM, Apr 07, 2008

selfish ichiro, hits a meaningless solo HR but then flies out as usual when there is a runner on. sick of watching his crap.

Posted by Jordan

1:28 PM, Apr 07, 2008

jesus we are turning into cub fans....keep the faith people

Posted by mike

1:39 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I'm glad to see sexson not batting cleanup but wilkerson in the 5th hole. He's worst than sexson he should be on the bench.

Posted by James from Walla Walla

1:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I figured Ibanez would pick it up once you got
Ritchie out of hitting behind him.

Personally I think Ibanez should hit 4th and Beltre should bat 3rd. Then put Vidro behind Ibanez.

Thoughts?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:43 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Way to dismiss a pattern of bad decision-making from the Ms, and what's really going through a bunch of fans' heads, with one hypothetical, there, Geoff. I could just as easily say "if Ichiro went 4-for-4 in every game we wouldn't be worried". I can make silly handwaves too.

You missed my point. Go back and read what I wrote again, please. (Much later, obviously - you're a wee bit busy now.) Let me say that Mac moving Sexson to bat 6th is a good sign and is more of what I was looking for.

Posted by couger

1:46 PM, Apr 07, 2008

God, we never should have got rid of griffey. im sooooo sick of ichiro never walking, swinging at every pitch. he has to hit over .340 to be an effective MLB player!! Corey patterson would be a better option!! arrgghhh

Posted by duce duce

1:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow! Ichiro is selfish huh? Man, you are an idiot! I know he is a great hitter and all, but he can't just get a basehit whenever he wants. It may seem that way at times, but do you have any idea how hard it is to hit a baseball? Especially one thrown from a professional pitcher who throws in the 90's and throws all of these other junk pitches. Now, I am not watching the game right now and don't even know who is throwing, but it doesn't matter. It still isn't an easy thing to do. I have read some pretty stupid blogs before, especially on the Seahawks one, but that is the dumbest thing I have ever seen!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Re: Joh - hey, maybe he just historically starts slow in April. ;) ;) ;)

Posted by i heart Morse

2:01 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Kudos to Mac for the pinch hit...showing some signs of urgency towards the vets...didn't work out but i still heart Morse

Posted by Batter Up!!!

2:06 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Morse was robbed. 2 called strikes well off the plate.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:07 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Silva sounds like he's doing the innings-eating he was brought over for. Sounds good.

But it's annoying to hear, yet again, "Eric O' Flaherty and Sean Green getting warmed up in the pen". Do we need to get one of those "Hello, My Name Is Ryan" tags for RRS?

Posted by hcoguy

2:07 PM, Apr 07, 2008

EOF up again?????

Posted by fish93

2:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

The only reason that Morse got those strikes called against him was because the catcher framed them. He earlier against AB.

PS

That was a huge K for Silva.

Posted by Nat

2:13 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Carlos' strikeout of Markakis was very timely. So nice to see! Keeping fans away from the edge... for now :)

Posted by Dignan

2:17 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Hold on to your butts...

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:19 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Thanks a lot, Eric.

Posted by fish93

2:20 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Let me be the first to say, Where is RRS

Posted by Adam

2:20 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Dear John McLaren,


I exist.


Sincerely,

Ryan Rowland-Smith

Posted by slyther

2:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Dignan: I love the Jurassic park reference!

Posted by Frankie

2:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I really hate it when I'm right.

Mariners losses= 5
McLaren's losses= 3

Posted by Dawkins

2:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

This is the end.

Geoff, there is now no way you can defend McLaren.


His bullpen mismanagement is worse than Hargrove. Where is Ryan Rowland Smith? Why is O-Flaherty being used on consecutive days, clearly not rested, when RRS is available?

Posted by Adam

2:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

BTW, O'Flaherty is on pace for about 115 appearances this year...

Posted by Alex

2:24 PM, Apr 07, 2008

If I am correct the starters have now given up 13 ER in 45 innings over 7 starts, which is a 2.60 ERA and 6.42 innings a start. Looks like we got what we wanted, just lost our bullpen in the process.

Posted by O's are Best

2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA


O's sweep M's.

O's will win 2008 World Series.

Tell the M's manager thanks for the 4 wins.

O's rule, M's drool

Posted by Nat

2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Three days in a row for Sherrill? Hopefully he's human and hopefully Betencout, Ichiro, and Lopez can get something going.

Posted by Adam

2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Alex - not to pat myself on the back, but I was pointing that out even before we traded for Bedard.

Posted by Dignan

2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

LOL...I left the room and, suffice it to say, was quite suprised to see Eric O walking out of the pen for a 3rd straight day. I didn't realize his role is so clearly defined this early in the season given his shaky start.

Posted by David Gee

2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2008

No one player can win a game for you, but one player sure as hell can lose one. And O'Flaherty has just lost another game for the Mariners. Is he even TRYING? My god, I wouldn't even have given up that home run to Huff, and I SUCK.

Posted by Ben

2:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

why...

Posted by Alex

2:27 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Where is Rafael Soriano when you need him?

Posted by AY CARUMBA!

2:27 PM, Apr 07, 2008

AY CARUMBA!!!!!!!!

Posted by JI

2:28 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I can't wait for the explanation on this one.

Posted by Dawkins

2:28 PM, Apr 07, 2008

David, O-Flaherety's a good pitcher -- he's not the problem.

It's McLaren.

He is reapedetly overusing O'Flaherty when we have Rowland-Smith rested in the pen. Any pitcher will suck when overworked.

Posted by Seth Cotner

2:28 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Dude. I seriously cant take this anymore. When should I start worrying? Please name a time when I can worry... you say 2-20? We may be there soon...

Preseason - "dont worry"
Game 7 - 'dont worry"
Game X? - "worry"

Please tell me what X equals as it relates to last place.

Posted by Alex

2:28 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I wouldn't mind seeing Jimerson and Baek go for Dickey and Rhodes? Morrow?

Posted by O's Rule

2:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

No need to get too upset guys.

All that happened was that the M's got swept by the eventual 2008 World Series Champs.

Nothing to be ashamed about in that.

Plus even Erik Bedard was too scared to pitch against the O's. He knows what the deal is.

Posted by RH

2:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

No need to blame O'Flaherty. This is just ridiculous. McLaren is losing these games single-handedly by making incredibly stupid decisions. I don't care what 'role' he has in mind for Ryan Rowland-Smith - he's a better pitcher than O'Flaherty and always has been. Rowland-Smith should be a middle-man along with O'Flaherty, not a long reliever. How many long relievers do we need??? Baek is more than enough..Can't wait to hear McLaren's stupid rationale now. It's not a good matchup!

Posted by The Raven

2:30 PM, Apr 07, 2008

CROW CROW CROW CROW.

You ready to eat it?

2-5 vs Texas and Baltimore ROFLMAO.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

2:30 PM, Apr 07, 2008

The eighth inning looked a lot like yesterday's script. Sigh. Who needs more pitchers when we don't use the ones we have.

Posted by Al

2:30 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Where's George Sherrill when you need him?

Oh wait...How ironic.

Posted by fish93

2:31 PM, Apr 07, 2008

How long before Rhodes is back up with the big club and EOF is back down in AAA. I give it the flight down to Tampa.

Posted by Ben

2:32 PM, Apr 07, 2008

We've got to be able to hit Sherrill... especially on the 3rd straight day.

Posted by w

2:33 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Can Charlton pitch? ;-)

Posted by The Raven

2:35 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well, I'm just glad we sacrificed long term potential for a 100 win AL West winner!

Oh, wait.

CROW CROW.
Eat it.

Posted by David Gee

2:35 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Sorry, but O'Flaherty does suck. Last year he was okay, although in the second half he was getting lit up. He's been given more responsibility this year and choked every time. He has. And he's not being overworked. He's only facing a few batters each time out. He's just killing the team right now. As is McLaren.

Posted by Bill

2:36 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You've got to be kidding me.

Posted by Ben

2:36 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Sweet jesus...

Posted by fish93

2:36 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ichiro and Lopez hit the ball hard but right at people.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:36 PM, Apr 07, 2008

WTF.

(Which obviously stands for "Why Tolerate 'Flaherty".)

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:37 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Argh. So Mac is whining about the BP when all he does is overuse the same 3 guys. Where the heck is RRS? Why is Baek up here in the first place? He's NOT a reliever nor will he ever be one.

Did RRS call Mac "dawg" or something to get this kind of mistreatment?

Note to Mac, if you know the other team has a rightie warming up when the leftie is still on the mound leave Wilkerson IN. Sure, he sucks but his history against lefties is better than righties. You bring in the RH MOrse and they pull the LH pitcher for a good rightie.

Can we put this guy out of his misery now before we fall so far behind it won't matter anymore? Mac CANNOT defend his inexcusable bullpen management.

Time for Bill to step in and call up Wlad, bench Wilkerson and release Baek (or see if he'll clear waivers). BTW, I thought Mac WANTED Miguel Cairo on this team. If he's so "good" why the heck has he not played yet (or has he)?

Sure, it's only 7 games into the season but momentum is working against us here.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

David, HE IS being overworked and was so last year. Blame the manager, not the pitcher here.

The kid is being set up to fail by a manager I have to wonder is sending a message to the front office.

Posted by The Raven

2:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You've gotta love the look of a contender boys and girls!

At least one Seattle team gets it. Wake me up when the NFL season starts.

CROW CROW
Eat it.

Posted by Thomas

2:39 PM, Apr 07, 2008

When's the NFL draft? Football season can't get here soon enough.

Posted by AlmostHawksSeason

2:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Rant Alert:

1. Why is McClaren a major league manager?
2. Why is Richie Sexson still playing? He plays well 1 in 5 games and people still defend him?
3. Who decided Vidro would make a good AL DH?
4. Mel Stottlemeyer has to know what is going on with the pen? Say something!
5. Where is the team speed?
6. Why is Raul still in left field?
7. Why won't Ichiro speak english, talk to the media, slide head first, dive for a ball, or steal a base when we need it?
8. Why do I watch this team? Damnit

Posted by RH

2:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

O'Flaherty is a decent enough pitcher if he's used in the right situation. Rowland-Smith clearly has more skills, yet McLaren seems to have a love affair with O'Flaherty. And, yes, he IS being overworked - 53 pitches in 3 days.

I'll be very disappointed if McLaren attributes these losses to a lack of arms in the bullpen or purely due to the performances. He has plenty of arms and is using them very poorly.

Posted by David Gee

2:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow...swept four straight by a team that doesn't even belong on a major league baseball field. I think that in the post game interviews the players need to make a point of expressing their embarassment in losing to those guys.

Posted by Good grief

2:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Offically second worst record in AL

Posted by Frankie

2:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

This is honestly more than I can take. 7 games into the season and I've already been pushed over the edge. This is completely RIDICULOUS!!! McLaren has to be fired. There is no reason for EOF to be used 3 STRAIGHT DAYS!!! He isn't that good to begin with and he is only getting worse!!!

I've kept my emotions in check the first week but this is absolutely TERRIBLE!!! McLaren sucks, O'Flaherty sucks, & Wilkerson sucks!!!

Moves that have to be made:

-McLaren is fired
-Baek, Jimerson sent down to AAA for Morrow, Rhodes
-Morse becoming the regular rightfielder and Wilkerson being released.

I have NEVER seen WORSE managing like this in my entire life!!!!

Posted by i heart Morse

2:42 PM, Apr 07, 2008

yikes...could not have gone worse...the organization has to be pretty embarassed right now.

Yes, it's still a long season, but not much to be encouraged by when your manager seems thoroughly confused night after night.

On to Tampa Bay I guess...we just need complete game shut-outs and 10 runs a night to off-set the negative impact of Mac

Posted by Mark WS

2:43 PM, Apr 07, 2008

All those that thought Sherrill was replacable and would not be missed should take a bow.

Posted by Dawkins

2:44 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Uh no, O-Flaherty is actually a pretty good pitcher. It's McLaren that's putting him in the wrong situtations.


"choke" is a really bad term to use.

Posted by LB

2:44 PM, Apr 07, 2008

It's becoming quite clear here in the early going that McLaren has little in the way of adaptable, in-game managerial skills. Apparently, according to Johnny Mac, EOF is the premier lefty-setup man in all of baseball, and Wilkerson-Vidro is the best hit-and-run combo in the league. He, and the M's organization, are so worried about what "roles" their players fit into, that they're constantly handcuffed during the game.

The manager should be taking a lot of heat for this pitiful sweep; in Baltimore, of all places.

Posted by Adam

2:46 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well, I'm sure Arthur Rhodes is going to be on a lot of people's minds over the next few days.

If Mac isn't going to use RRS, then send him down to Tacoma so the kid can at least play. Then bring up Rhodes so that Mac can have his precious veteran arm. Arthur has been through the wars, you know. He's even got a Purple Heart for missing all of 2007 with an injury.

I know others want to get Dickey up here, but I am sure the team is waiting for Morrow to be ready, even though there is real idea of when he'll be ready (4 BB in 3 2/3 IP so far at AA).

Let's face it, this is not a good bullpen, and even when Putz comes back, it will not be as good as 2007's pen. You saw this weekend how good Sherrill is.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:55 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Frankie,

Baek and Jimerson would have to be released then CHOOSE to go to AAA or sign elsewhere. They can't go to AAA that easily.

I have no problem with Jimerson. It's CAIRO or Willie that need to go. They are one and the same (speed is the difference and Jimerson is faster than Willie).

Posted by Choska

2:58 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow!

I thought the prosecution's case against Bavasi couldn't get any stronger.

The best case scenario for the Ms is to keep losing so we can bring Chris Antonetti to Seattle by the end of May.

The worst case is that we somehow make it back to .500, which buys Bavasi a reprieve.

These sad results are going to continue until someone else is calling the plays.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:58 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff, Can you ask Mac why Cairo is even on this team if he can't even get playing time after 7 games?

Why is he wasting space on the bench when Norton is a superior off the bench hitter?

Also ask him why Lopez, one of the worst bunters on this team, is being asked to BUNT all the time. He'd be better off putting the ball in play vs. bunting.

Posted by RH

2:59 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ditching Baek or Jimerson is not the way to go about fixing this. McLaren needs to wise up and start making proper decisions. If the Mariners want to shake up this team, then they should DFA Cairo (not Jimerson) and option O'Flaherty back down. Activate Rhodes and bring up Dickey. If McLaren continues to be idiotic and not give Rowland-Smith a proper role, then at least he should use Rhodes in set-up.

Posted by Seattle Sports Blog

3:19 PM, Apr 07, 2008

gotta love the fact that not only are we losing, we are losing to a team with a bunch of scrub starting pitchers. The four guys we lost to in Baltimore, the starters, all have had below .500 winning percentages. How do you think this pathetic offense of Wilkerson and Sexson are going to do against a Dice K, or a Holiday, or a K-rod?

This is not the way this team should have started out. McLaren better turn things around fast or it's time to start looking for a new manager and front office. I'm sorry, but we've watched this lame team make dumb decisions over and over again.

fire bavasi, fire armstrong, fire lincoln

Posted by David Gee

3:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I just checked O'Flaherty's game log (even though I didn't need to) and the "overwork" has nothing to do with it. He's given up runs in four of his five appearances. He SUCKS.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

3:59 PM, Apr 07, 2008

David, you are using a small sample size. It's MANAGEMENT that is causing this problem. That's fact. The kid can pitch. For whatever reason, he's been pidgeonholed into a "role" by a manager that has no imagination.

I remember many years ago a young rightie came up and everybody thought HE sucked...his name is JJ Putz.

C'mon. While EOF is not JJ Putz and never will be, he's a decent BP arm IF USED PROPERLY. Mac has another lefty in the pen he's used all of ONCE in 7 games.

There is your problem. A manager who overuses 3 of 6 BP pieces (EOF, Corcoran, Green), has a starter pretending to be a reliever (Baek - AND he's been used ALL OF ONCE) and the other two rot away into nothingness (Lowe barely an inning pitched in 7 games and RRS all of 2/3 IP).

Tell me why Mac is not to blame here?

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:16 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Can you believe that Wilkerson is getting paid a million dollars this year? The guy should be making minimum wage given the way he's playing. For the love of god just get rid of him, please oh please get rid of him. What a disgrace...

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