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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 14, 2008 11:02 PM

Gracias y buenas noches

Posted by Jose Romero

Thanks so much for all the comments from tonight's game. And also to those who welcomed me back personally, if only for a night.

Washburn was really mad about his mistake changeup that Miguel Olivo hit out of the yard for a home run.
The guy hasn't won at home since June 29 of last season and is now 0-7 at Safeco ever since.

"I'm too old and been playing too long to ever be happy with a loss, so no," Washburn said when asked if he was happy with his outing tonight.

Washburn was also impressed with Zack Greinke, who he said "looks like he's figured it out." The Royals, Washburn said, have a solid lineup 1 through 9, with speed, power and guys who provide tough at-bats.

Another note from tonight: Ichiro has a 25-game hitting streak against KC dating to April 14, 2005. He had two hits tonight.

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Posted by oregongal

11:52 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Thanks for the update, Jose. Washburn's been really unlucky to have lost some of those games.

Come back soon.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:58 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Thanks for keeping it going Jose, be well.

Posted by JJ

1:09 AM, Apr 15, 2008

again....again....again....Washburn pitches just well enough to lose.....again

Posted by PRchef

1:36 AM, Apr 15, 2008

A ti Jose

Nos vemos pronto

Posted by Babu

5:22 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Thank you, Jose. The positives about Washburn last night were the strikeouts -- and no walks. But it looked like the same pattern as last year: way too many pitches too early (and therefore the inability to go long in the game) and one blow-up inning. Aargh.

Let's see if Batista can get himself and the Ms back on track tonight.

Posted by Ziasudra

7:28 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Geoff - sometime when you have a minute with Stotlemeyer, ask him if he recognizes the name Hayden (Sidd) Finch (Yes/no). Thanks.

Posted by Mr. X

7:32 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Geoff, is Rich Amaral still with the organization, or was that just for spring training? I can think of at least one player who could use more than a couple baserunning lessons.

Posted by eastcoast

7:56 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Oddly enough, when Washburn was struggling, I found it reassuring to know that we have a more competent, and slightly larger bullpen. Wow, I really need to get a life.

Just one other statement. And it is just a statement so please don't all get your panties in a bunch. The AL is full of young talented pitchers like Grienke, Jackson, and Saunders.. somehow they have to learn how to scratch and claw in these games. Unfortunately, when the M's fall behind to one of these pitchers, one gets the sense that the game is essentially over. I nearly fell asleep watching Greinke hypnotize the M's bats. Anyway, like I said yesterday, it is early.

Posted by Fed Up

8:25 AM, Apr 15, 2008

The trouble is that when this team falls behind, there is no emotion, no fire to come back. I think that this is mainly due to the older guys, as leaders. I mean, look at the older players...Beltre, Sexson, Ichiro, Ibanez.....not alot of fire there. The only guy on this team with any fire is JJ, and how much can he do when he only pitches 1 or so innings a few days a week?

Posted by mark logan

8:27 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Can anyone shed some light on why Carlos Triunfel hasn't been playing at High Desert the last week or so? Injury?

Posted by NB

8:29 AM, Apr 15, 2008

I personally am shocked, SHOCKED I say, that old, veteranny grit couldn't some how outsmart young talent. Maybe we just don't have enough veteran leadership. Lets trade Clement for Paul Lo Duca and lock him down for 4 years at 12 million per. He'll help us out hustle all these young whippersnappers with their "ability" and "skill".

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

8:33 AM, Apr 15, 2008

"The trouble is that when this team falls behind, there is no emotion, no fire to come back."

Yep, thats it. And I point the blame at Mac. He's just such a wuss. Hypo: Mac orders steak in a restaurant and asks for it to be cooked medium rare. It comes, and its totally overcooked. "um sir, I think this is a 'tad' overcooked. could you please, um, um, give me a new one, please"? "oh, you have a new guy cooking tonight, well that makes sense. he's just learning, i'm fine, i'll eat it. thank you sir".

Pathetic right? I miss Lou. That guy was a sociopath, which is what we need out there, and not the Mr. Rogers we have now.

Posted by Everett fan

8:33 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Impressions - Greinke had great control, hitting the corners, eps. with his slider; Washburn did not. Wash had to throw in the middle of the plate, and got blasted (in the 2nd).
However, I was frustrated with Sexson's strikeout - the first pitch was clearly low, but called a strike; the second was on the low edge of the zone, so Sexson tried for it. Now it's 0-2, instead of 1-1, so Greinke wasted a slider low and outside, and Sexy went after it. They never showed the strike zone box for the first pitch, but that out was poor umpiring, pure and simple.
Which reminds me of Betancourt on Sunday, getting the count to 3-1, and swinging at the next pitch in the dirt! 3-2 and he grounds out. Why is he swinging at a bad pitch, just because he is allowed to swing at a fat 3-1 pitch? Pentland should have been in his face over that one. . . .

Posted by Chris from Bothell

8:43 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Eastcoast, TM - Exactly.

After the umpteenth time that the Tigers lost, Jim Leyland blew his stack at them. Next night, they won with a commanding lead. After something like yesterday, and the past few days... nothin'. I don't know what McLaren does to talk to these guys later in the day, or next day. But whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be working.

I mean, sure ZG was dealing, yes there were a lot of groundballs finding infielders last night. But that's when you get more patient (we saw the 07 Sexson last night, not the 08 one) and more focused on baserunning (lookin' at you Ichiro) and defense (WTF, Jose?). You battle back, and show it in the batter's box and on the field. This stoic professional thing is all well and good for being a good role model, but it ain't winning games. For most of the game, the Ms were only down by 2 runs. 2 runs!

Now, if it had been down *4* runs, well, that's TOTALLY different. Then you put in a long relief guy and save your bullpen. Because no one comes back from that. ;) ;) ;) ;)

Posted by eastcoast

9:16 AM, Apr 15, 2008

C from B.. you nailed it. Patience. Perennially good teams like the Yanks and BoSox have the patience at the plate to be able to take good young pitchers deep into counts and eventually get into the bullpens. I said it last yr, and I'll say it again, the M's have too many free swingers at the plate who will hack at anything near the strikezone, 2-0 and 3-1 like Everett fan pointed out. Now I haven't played ball in a long time, but I would think if ahead in the count, I would be telling myself to look for a certain pitch in a certain location. If it is not there, take it. Yuni isn't the only guilty one. You see Joh and Beltre taking defensive swings at pitchers pitches when ahead in the count. And as much as I love Yuni, he joins the list of Ichiro, Beltre, and Joh as being overly aggressive at the plate (Lopez was on the list last yr but his approach has significantly improved). And when 4 of 9 starters are free swingers, it becomes very difficult to increase that pitch count.

Posted by John in Queen Anne

9:18 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Agree with the other posters saying the M's lack a little fire.

Not to pile on but in addition to having an arm and being the firey leader, Guillen could hit. This year we have a huge hole in the middle of our lineup and those guys can't be counted on to liven things up.

Posted by scrapiron

9:21 AM, Apr 15, 2008

The Royals are leading MLB in pitching and last night they showed why. Greinke has always been an elite pitcher, the problem has always been between his ears. He seems to have harnassed those issues, and last night was dealing.

Good pitching always beats good hitting, especially early in the season when hitters timing isn't at mid season form. It also makes hitters look like they are giving a lack of effort, when there really is nothing you can do without runners on base.

You tip your hat to the Royals and go at them today.

As for Washburn, no one has ever said he's an elite pitcher, and last night showed why. He's got average stuff, keeps you in the ballgame, but needs offensive support to win. If you can't scratch out 5 runs with Jarrod on the mound you'll probably lose, like last night.

Posted by Nat

9:23 AM, Apr 15, 2008

On the 'fire in the belly' topic, I think Mac's excuse would be that the RO and BP are in flux with the injuries and roster moves, and with Beltre playing injured. Wah, wah, wah...but good teams suck it up, picking up the slack, and managers (like Leyland, I read the article too) know how to get their teams going when they're not at full strength.

What else is there to say...

Posted by higbie

9:42 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Morse done for the season.

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