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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 12, 2008 6:00 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Angels, 4-12

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.

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Posted by Nat

6:15 PM, Apr 12, 2008

1-2-3 out - if Silva's innings continue to go so well this could be a quick game! Wishful thinking, I'm sure...

Posted by Batter Up!!!

6:19 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul is on a Rolllllllllllllllllllllll.

Posted by kingk

6:20 PM, Apr 12, 2008

The slowest, worst fielding LF in baseball just tripled in a run...Boy this guy hurts our team almost every game I watch

Posted by kingk

6:23 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Who could be offended by that? The Dalai Lama himself would laugh at that he has a great sense of humor...BTW do you think he's never heard that one before?

Posted by John

6:25 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Two things:
If Raul keeps hitting like this, or anything resembling this, I don't want to hear any more about his defense. If the guy was hitting .240 that's one thing, but he's flat-out deadly right now.

Secondly, this is already the third time I know of that Beltre has failed to get a guy home from third with less than two outs. That's getting a little annoying.

Posted by markus

6:32 PM, Apr 12, 2008

When hitters go the other way, like Raul, this team is such a better hitting lineup. But when they try to pull everything, like Beltre did in his at-bat, they make easy outs. It's such a pretty sight to see the ball in the gaps like Raul hit it! Go M's!!!

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:34 PM, Apr 12, 2008

LOVING IT!!!!!

Posted by Pokenour

6:34 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Who's that testing Ichiro's arm? Was he born yesterday?

Posted by AKMarinersFan

6:50 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Someone who is a great hitter and has power and is suspect on defense. I think that is the definition of a DH.

I don't get the logic of not questioning a players defense if he hits well. Just because he hits a lot of triples doesn't mean that he is a good outfielder.

I love Raul. I would love Raul more if he didn't play in the outfield.

Posted by Pokenour

6:55 PM, Apr 12, 2008

AKM's fan, Your logic and sentiments are flawless. Fortunately Raul can play first and DH, but we have some dead weight at these positions which McLaren naturally seeks to reward with as much playing time as possible.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:56 PM, Apr 12, 2008

thats right...the A's are scared of Vidro....haha

Posted by John

6:57 PM, Apr 12, 2008

AK, it's easy as a fan to sit and plug in people where we think they should go. But as a veteran, and as a guy who likes to play defense, that has a lot of pull. As long as he's a primary contributor on offense, he's probably going to play outfield. Frankly, I don't think he's horrible. He's not great obviously, but considering corner fielders get maybe one marginal ball a game that great fielders turn into an out, I'm OK with him in the outfield.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

7:00 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Sexson sucks

Posted by Pokenour

7:00 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Mighty Richie at bat and the crowd roared while the bat went swish, or was that a pop up from a more patient hitter?

Posted by bandwagonjumper

7:00 PM, Apr 12, 2008

someone walked vidro to load the bases get to sexson, wow

Posted by Nat

7:01 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Mathis out to talk to Garland again - how many times can a catcher go out on the mound to talk to the pitcher?! Is it unlimited or what?

Wilkerson behind Sexson DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! Even if it is R-L...

Posted by AKMarinersFan

7:03 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Wilkerson sucks This team has MAJOR flaws.

Posted by Pokenour

7:04 PM, Apr 12, 2008

bases loaded, one out - no runs, whose is supposed to be the rbi man?

Posted by AKMarinersFan

7:05 PM, Apr 12, 2008

George Sherrill just got his 5th save and has a 0.00 ERA....

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

7:05 PM, Apr 12, 2008

bases loaded, 1 out. should be at least 1 run scoring, right? not with sexson and wilkerson back to back. ridiculous. in richie's defense, it looked to me like he got screwed on that second strike 2 from the 1st base ump, which basically undermined his whole at bat.

Posted by Pokenour

7:08 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Surely there are better options that Wilkerson, some of them on the bench no doubt and a couple others in Tacoma.

There are also better options DH - if only the dead weight could be removed.

Posted by FuKell

7:12 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Not to complain or anything, but we strained quite a few guys on base. We need to do a better job when risp. We need to help the bullpen...as I am typing this Silva just gave a 2-run homerun...That sucks.
In that case, not only helping the bullpen but pitching overall. Good god!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

7:13 PM, Apr 12, 2008

George Sherrill just got his 5th save and has a 0.00 ERA....

Posted by thatgirl

7:16 PM, Apr 12, 2008

When Vidro is the most feared by the opposing team with RISP that does not bode well for the M's. Sexon = 2nd out, Wilkerson = 3rd out. I hope the missed bases loaded opportunity doesn't come back to bite us in the shorts.

Nice job Silva another 1-2-3 inning!

Posted by BandwagonJumper

7:17 PM, Apr 12, 2008

It might be time for the bench to get some playing time at Right field and DH, one night take Vidro out and have Norton DH or put Morse in RF for Wilkerson to get some pop in the line up and when we need the defense late in the game put Wilkerson or Bloomquist in.

Posted by Pokenour

7:19 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Is Garland settling down, will we be haunted by another Sexson and Wilkerson at bat? Failures with risp gave a way of coming back to bite you.

Earlier Beltre failed to focus, aren't these some of the fundamentals of Spring camp?

Posted by thatgirl

7:21 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Uh...Joh, what WAS THAT?!?!?!?

Posted by Nat

7:22 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Listening to Dave Sims talk about the Angel's players is like listening to the other team's announcer.

Posted by FuKell

7:27 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Momentum is shifted after that homerun. Our offense definitely need help...a lot of help! and Silva is in trouble. 3-2 Angels now! That was quick!

Posted by Pokenour

7:29 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Basic fundamental baseball - RISP, one out, you have to avoid popping up. Someone tell Beltre and Sexson.

Posted by John

7:34 PM, Apr 12, 2008

I'll bet Angels fans are ticked that Anderson is so stinkin' slow.

Posted by Nat

7:36 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Pleeeeeze, Turbo, giet a hit here! Beauty!!!

Posted by Pokenour

7:37 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Could it be that Garland feared the on deck Richie Sexson?

Posted by good ol' george

7:37 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Vidro just singled to left, Beltre comes home to tie at 3-3. Shades of "two out, so what?!" Let's keep it going.

Posted by Nat

7:39 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Richie needs to hit it out and get the fans back in the game...or just get a hit, that would be fine...

Yay!!!!!

Posted by Pokenour

7:39 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Maybe Richie's patience is paying off

Posted by thatgirl

7:40 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Okay, I'll eat some CROW tonight. Nice hit Vidro (except with legs it would've been a double). Great blast Sexson. And now...oh my gosh could it be a TRIFECTA ?!?! Wilkerson hits too?!

I eat triple crow...

Posted by good ol' george

7:41 PM, Apr 12, 2008

BIG RICHIE!!! small average (still).
But it could be close to the end for Garland.

Posted by Nat

7:41 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Wow, good to see Wilkerson hitting - hitting is contagious tonight. Why is the South Pacific on the liudspeaker????

How many pitches for Garland so far, anyone know?

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

7:43 PM, Apr 12, 2008

pinch run for wilkerson and take 2nd.

Posted by BandwagonJumper

7:45 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Garland is up to 93 pitches at the end of 5. Now got to get back to work for an hour, hope the M's keep the lead while I'm gone.

Posted by i heart Morse

7:46 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Couldn't be happier for Richie.

For all the disappointment with him, he's remained a stand-up guy, never ducked responsibility, and always seems to be trying to get better.

It'd be hard to not have a bounce-back year...let's hope it's a great one...GO M's!

Posted by Pokenour

7:46 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Yes, Tallahassee, the opportunity was there, despite McLaren's claim he could not use Jimerson - put the game in motion

Posted by Pokenour

7:50 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Silva is a contact pitcher, but do you get the feeling he is flirting with disaster? It will be important to watch him closely with this lead, but lets not worry about building EOF's confidence tonight.

Posted by Pokenour

7:55 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Go Yuni!!!! A good example why Yuni hits ninth, it gives you two leadoff types with speed together

Posted by Nat

7:57 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Yay, Yuni!!!! Oh my, the HH blog is feeliing like hell tonight. Yuni IS so much fun to watch!

Posted by thatgirl

7:58 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Nice to see the defensive problems bugging the A's and not the M's tonight. Yuni is the energizer-bunny.

Posted by John

7:59 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Yuni is going to be a stud. He's on his way right now. This is his breakout season. I predict .310 with 15 HRs, plus a bunch of doubles and a few triples thrown in.

OK ... here we go again.
Beltre up, man on third, one out. He better get it done this time or I'm telling.

Posted by Pokenour

7:59 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Nice example of small ball, if Ichiro can score, perhaps there is some more crow on my table.

Posted by John

8:02 PM, Apr 12, 2008

I'm telling

That's getting really, really old!

Posted by Pokenour

8:03 PM, Apr 12, 2008

What was I saying about crow? Beltre at bat with one our, runner on third. Swish.

Posted by John

8:05 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Runs are precious against the Angels. this could bite us in butt. That's three times now.

Posted by John

8:07 PM, Apr 12, 2008

What the heck was that?!
I can only hope Ichiro was fooled, because that should have been caught.

Posted by thatgirl

8:08 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Amazing Silva has given up 11 hits and the A's have only 3 runs to show for it. Keep it up Carlos whatever you're doing! Hmmm...it must be the double-play balls he illicits off hitters.

Posted by Pokenour

8:10 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Lookout Bad Vlad, Ichiro is in center.

Posted by i heart Morse

8:10 PM, Apr 12, 2008

"HGH" = MVP (for the M's)

Posted by Nat

8:12 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Ya, Carlos has pitched great tonight even if he has given up 11 hits. I wonder if he'll pitch another inning since he hasn't hit the 100 pitch count yet.

Posted by John

8:14 PM, Apr 12, 2008

I can be as negative as anyone, but I do find it interesting that when we're playing well, the chatter really dies down on the blogs, especially from certain folks.

Posted by Pokenour

8:15 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Will the real Brad Wilkerson please stand up?

Posted by Pokenour

8:16 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Thats more like the real Kenji Johjima

Posted by kingk

8:18 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Some posts today "Rrichie sucks"...Sherrill's stats..." Silva is flirting with disaste"r...day after day many negative posters here are so incorrect, don't know anything but spitting back their rehashed stats that don't translate to on the fielsd performance.. what a joke and it's tiresome boring and wrong

Posted by Frankie

8:19 PM, Apr 12, 2008

John--

I've noticed that too lol.
I would be talking on the blog right now, but I'm too busy enjoying the comments being posted on Halos Heaven. It's quite amusing!!!

Back to the game, the offense looks like it has continued where it left off last night, which is really exciting to watch. Also, Silva starting the top of the 8th is really encouraging and hopefully, if he gets taken out, the bullpen can hold it.

Go M's!!!

Posted by Nat

8:19 PM, Apr 12, 2008

John: I've seen it mentioned a lot in the last couple days that people were going to the game today, which might explain why the blog is kinda quiet...

Posted by thatgirl

8:22 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Silva has gotten stronger the longer he's in the game. I'm really impressed.

Posted by M's Fan in Hawaii

8:27 PM, Apr 12, 2008

You know...the more I think about it the more I believe the Baltimore series was just a bit of bad timing and bad weather with the cold. They are scoring at this point and I think the EOF experiment is over. EOF Experiment...sounds like a really bad indi rock group...lol

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:30 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul breaks it open!

Posted by John

8:30 PM, Apr 12, 2008

IT DRIVES ME CRAZY HOW SLOOOW IBANEZ RUNS AROUND THE BASES!!!

Posted by M's Fan in Hawaii

8:31 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Now when Raul hits the ball even the sound of the strike lets you know he is hitting it very hard.

Posted by Frankie

8:31 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Wow, Raul is really showing the Angels up this weekend!!!

Posted by rc

8:32 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Raul esta Caliente'

Posted by Pokenour

8:33 PM, Apr 12, 2008

At the plate, Raul is making it look easy.

Wow, did you see Turbo running down the line?

Posted by Frankie

8:34 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Please tell me why Silva isn't on the mound for the 9th and Sean Green is being used in back-to-back nights when he is not needed...

Mac could have rested him tonight and possibly use him tomorrow if needed. Oh well.

Posted by thatgirl

8:39 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Say goodnight Gracie....."Goodnight Gracie".

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:46 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Great job by Silva!

Nice win M's !!!

Now for the Sweep!

Posted by Frankie

8:47 PM, Apr 12, 2008

That took WAY too long LOL!!!!

Great game today by the M's. Best case scenario for the Mariners right now. Bedard going tomorrow for the potential SWEEP of the Angels.

Posted by Pokenour

8:49 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Ala Baltimore, Hawaii may be right, still there were some problems tonight despite the nice win. Nine runners left on base, Sexson and Beltre popped out with one out and risp, Beltre struck out in the same situation. While easier said than done, these are failures of concentration in playing fundamental baseball. The comment "flirting with disaster" had to do with two innings when Silva managed to strand risp, a mistake and its a different outcome, but he managed to get better as he went along. McLaren did have an opportunity to pinch run for Wilkerson, to put the game in motion as he often speaks of a desire to do so, but he chose to continue with his regular despite his weak obp. It would have been a nice chance to get a bench player some time. With two out in the ninth, Green "flirts with disaster," and as noted, why was it necessary to use him on back to back nights? These are some points of analysis that ought to be considered by a reflective manager, in hopes of improving team performance.
At any rate, nice to have a win - Two in a row, let's get them tomorrow - sweep.

Posted by i heart Morse

9:20 PM, Apr 12, 2008

angels' blog is kinda funny...one of their pregame guess categories is: name a Mariner who will make an error.

I can laugh because Bedard's going for the sweep tomorrow.

Posted by Zach C

9:43 PM, Apr 12, 2008

goin to the game tomorrow, anyone know how early I should get there for batting practice?

hmm AJ and GS for a chance to sweep the angels...YES!!!!

Posted by oregongal

9:46 PM, Apr 12, 2008

There are actually a number of good Angel blogs and fans. They're all frustrated tonight. I liked this bit from 6-4-2. Reminded me of some Mariner games last year.

Top 2nd: Meantime, Carlos Silva is mowing down the typically impatient Angels batters, and when one does get on (hello, Casey Kotchman!), Dino Ebel sends him to his doom on a Howie Kendrick single up the middle. I couldn't tell if he was safe or out at the plate (and given the crappy umpiring going on so far in this series, I wouldn't be surprised if he was safe), but how smart is sending one of the team's slowest runners against one of the best arms in baseball? Use your head for something other than a doorstop, Dino.

Posted by mc_mike

10:17 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Them M's take batting practice 2 1/2 hours before game time.

Posted by M's Fan in Hawaii

1:20 AM, Apr 13, 2008

I tell you what...win lose or draw these guys are FINALLY fun to watch again...there was actually a moment today when I looked up and thought "hey Sexson is up...and thats actually pretty damn good!"

I know I know...it's crazy. Even Kenji is hitting the ball hard...they are getting picked up but he is giving it a wack. And despite the throw he sailed, the Figgins put out and the beautiful blocked plate on Kendrick...fun fun fun!

Posted by BavasiRocks

8:28 AM, Apr 13, 2008

Where's AK Mariners 'Fan' now?

"Sexson Sucks"
"Sherrill just got his 5th save"
"Wilkerson sucks"

You're not a fan. Come back and eat some crow.

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