Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
April 12, 2008 6:00 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
UPDATE 7:39 P.M.: I lied. I had to come back to comment on Sexson's tie-breaking two-run homer to center. So much for his bruised psyche, huh? That shows what Sexson can still do when he gets his arms extended. That was just about the deepest part of the ballpark, a very impressive blast. Now we'll see if Silva and the bullpen can hold on.
UPDATE 7:19: Sorry, I took a little blog break to write my Mariners' notebook for tomorrow's paper. I think Silva is very thankful he's pitching in Safeco and not the Metrodome tonight. The Angels have hit two drives to the track that were caught -- one by Torii Hunter in the second,and one by Garret Anderson in the fourth. Not to mention the two-run homer by Casey Kotchman in the fourth that tied the game.
Silva is really walking a tightrope tonight. It's kind of a typical game for him -- lots of hits, no walks (but one costly hit batter), lots of runners stranded. (Oops, he just walked Guerrero in the fifth, but got out of the inning by retiring Anderson on a groundout).
For the Mariners, the key moment so far obviously was the Sexson popup with the bases loaded and one out in the third. That was a chance to break the game open, or at the very least tack on a run. It's the sort of thing that can haunt you later in the game (and it can't help Sexson's psyche, either).
I was just about to send this when Ibanez hit a blast to right that Guerrero caught against the wall.
I'm going to have to start writing the game story. Very tight deadline on Saturday nights. So farewell for awhile. Talk amongst yourselves.
UPDATE 6:19 P.M. OK, shock No. 2 -- a Raul Ibanez triple, scoring Jose Lopez, who had reached on an error by Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick. Ibanez is scorching hot right now. Looking it up, he's actually had more triples than I thought -- 31 in his career, including five last year.
A nice bit of two-out hitting by the ever-maligned Jose Vidro, by the way, in guiding the ball into right field to bring home Ibanez.
UPDATE 6:12 P.M.: I've already had my first shock of the night. No, not Carlos Silva's slick seven-pitch first inning. The Mariners announced the game-time temperature as 80 degrees, which floored me (and others). No way it feels quite that warm. But I'm not going to knock it. I'm just going to soak it in.
It's an unbelievably beautiful night for baseball, for those who aren't in the Seattle area. I'd say it's about 65 to 70 degres, still sunny and bright. Let's hope this weather sticks around for awhile (but don't count on it).
Interesting matchup tonight in Carlos Silva vs. Jon Garland, two pitchers who weren't with their teams last year. The Angels traded their shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, to the White Sox for Garland, and, of course, the Mariners signed Silva as a free agent (four years, $48 million). How those two pickups work out will go a long way toward determining the division winner, I'd think. Garland has been a godsend for the Angels, considering that both John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar are out.
Mike Scioscia said that Francisco Rodriguez, who's been out with an ankle injury, is available to close tonight.
Sorry if anyone was offended by the Dalai Lama comments. None intended.