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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 8:05 PM

Two homers, same pitch

Posted by Jose Romero

From what I saw, the Royals home runs by Olivo and Billy Butler came on the same pitch from Washburn, fastballs that were up and caught too much plate.

Is this former M nite at the Safe? Olivo has gone deep and Jose Guillen has doubled.

Check this out: The scoreboard says Jose Vidro's first job was as a parks department field assistant. I'm excited about these little things because it's my first game that I get to cover at the ballpark this season.

This is a very small crowd. Might be because it was only 45 degrees at game time and you should have seen the guys coming up from batting practice earlier. Complaining about the cold. Washburn is pitching in shirt sleeves. He's a Wisconsin guy, he can handle it.

And this from my esteemd colleague Larry Stone, who got some quotes from Arthur Rhodes before the game. Rhodes said Brandon Morrow had a minor setback down in the minors.

"He’s looking real good, throwing all his pitches," Rhodes said "He had a little setback, his arm was hurting a little in his bicep, but he took a day off, maybe two days off, then back throwing. Came in and got two outs on five pitches. He’s looking good."

Hope you are all enjoying the game. I'm happy to step in briefly for Geoff tonight.

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Posted by oregongal

8:18 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Welcome back, Jose. Hope you don't regret it!

Posted by ricofoy

8:37 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Yeah, extend Guillen. That .135 average w/ no HR's would fit right in. Every year Guillen gets a little a few years, he going to be 5'6" and 150lbs.

Posted by Nat

8:41 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Well, looks like Washburn is holding his own after giving up three. I think that's the difference a pitching coach like Mel has had on a pitcher like Washburn. But it doesn't surprise me Kansas City is playing well this year with all the young talent they have. The teams we've played that have been hot are the ones that have something to prove: Baltimore, KC, Tampa Bay. That's the intangible that a team with a few hungry young players brings- that DRIVE. Wish Bavasi understood that.

Posted by PRchef

8:43 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Hola Jose

Que bueno verte otra vez

Posted by Ballgame

8:46 PM, Apr 14, 2008

this team sucks. nothing has changed. shitty to watch. slipped another game back tonight. 2 games is as close as they will get to the AL West lead as well as .500

Posted by Ryan

8:46 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Can the Mariners ever attempt a straight steal or does everything have to be a hit and run.
Let Ichiro take second and give Jose and Raul a chance to hit him in.

Posted by ricofoy

8:47 PM, Apr 14, 2008

I thought McLaren said Ichiro was going to steal 80 bases this year but I was mistaken. He said Ichiro was going to steal 8 bases this year.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:49 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Hola Jose!

Ichiro showing nice speed but no clue on where the ball is.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:51 PM, Apr 14, 2008

I really wish a reporter could get a straight answer why Ichiro needs a sacrifice or hit and run to get to second base. Is it Ichiro afraid of injury or does Mac doesn't want to steal with Ichiro?

Posted by oregongal

9:01 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Yay, RRS! Nice to see him out there.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:06 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Hey Jose, How about that home opener in Pittsburgh? That was a game. Hope you enjoyed the trip to my old home town.

Posted by Nat

9:08 PM, Apr 14, 2008

How many pitches for Greinke? I want to see the Royals BP...NOW! This is getting very old...

And listening to Dave go ga ga over the Kansas City Royals is also getting very old!

And now for the rally fries...just can't pin my hopes on rally fries for some reason.

Posted by GW

9:09 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Anyone aware if Chris Reitsma returned after leaving to head home and consider the M's offer of going to AAA and continue his program? Just curious, may be able to use him before the summer hits the way things are going right now with injuries and performance or lack there of in some cases. Thanks in advance for info.

Posted by Pokenour

9:18 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Down by four - time for the towel - where's EOF when you really need him?

Posted by kranky

9:18 PM, Apr 14, 2008

GW, Reitsma walked away from his Ms contract. He declined to report to the minor league team so he broke his contract and is done.

Posted by kranky

9:23 PM, Apr 14, 2008

This game is just bad karma. Stinking Olivio going 3 for 4 with a two run home run. Too bad Cirillo doesn't play for KC or he could pile on too.

Posted by FuKell

9:24 PM, Apr 14, 2008

They are blowing this thing up! what the hell? the defense doesn't help out the bullen either. Can we buy Red Sox franchise? I mean WHAT THE HELL????

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:31 PM, Apr 14, 2008

RA Dickey !!!

Boy he woke up the crowd.

Where ya been RA?

Knuckleball Closer............

Posted by dx

9:36 PM, Apr 14, 2008

We are getting our clocks cleaned tonight. I agree, there's something wrong with Ichiro. After he got that fat raise, he got fat and doesn;t want to run. Mac is surrounded by vets like Mel, yet his leadership skills have always been suspect to me.

Posted by hugh

9:36 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Don't jump off a cliff, sillies! A 6-8 start for a team that hasn't done jack in 6 years should inspire confidence! Plus, it's Geoff's job so you shouldn't say mean things about his bread and butter. You silly noobs you! He will mock you for months for your lack of positivity!

Posted by Pokenour

9:38 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Do ya suppose McLaren watched this game?

Posted by Anthony

9:40 PM, Apr 14, 2008

I told you guys, the Royals are for real. Bannister and Greinke are pitching lights out. I mean I'd go as far as calling that the best duo there is in the bigs right now. Let's get the split tomorrow. C'mon Batista!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:42 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Complete game by Greinke. What a concept!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:43 PM, Apr 14, 2008

It's a shame, starting pitching did the job and Green loading the bases without being removed after the first base runner didn't help, or the two infield miscues. Dropping the ball turning a double happens, but that last mishap was pure laziness. The team needs to score runs.

Posted by oregongal

9:47 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Great to see Dickey. Kenji's bat is warming up.

At least it was a dynamite pitcher tonight that shut us down. Not much you can do about that. And Yuni almost jacked it anyway.

Jose, Jose, why is it you just lose the ability to field a ball?

Posted by FuKell

9:49 PM, Apr 14, 2008

you know Greinky is tough. why don't you take some pitches and make him work and hopefully you can get to the bullpen and try to win the game. WTH, hit and run don't work with a pitcher like that on the mound. Just watch these games...they'll come back and haunt us in Sept (if we can last that long)...just watch. Also last night's game and the Baltimore games too. All winable game. Btw, nice catch by the KC's LF, something our corners fielders could never do in this life. We're just lousy!!!

Posted by Adam

9:56 PM, Apr 14, 2008

May I present the Royals as Exhibit A as why rebuilding isn't a bad thing if you do it the right way?

When Dayton Moore came in less than two years ago to GM the Royals, they were a joke. Now, thanks to shrewd moves (Meche, Bannister, Soria) and proper roster construction, the Royals are on the rise.

Rebuilding doesn't have to be a five-year process if you've got smart people running the show. With Gordon, Butler, Grienke, Meche, Bannister, Moustakas, Hochevar, and Soria, I think the Royals' future looks bright - even moreso than the Mariners' future.

But I'm sure Bavasi knows what he's doing...

Posted by scottM

10:01 PM, Apr 14, 2008

If McLaren kept Cairo to motivate Jose Lopez, then maybe tomorrow would be a good game to let Jose sit. Lopez needs to get his head in the game defensively. Maybe Mac can nip this complacency in the bud. This way Lopez can study Grudzielanek and see how a good defensive second baseman is supposed to field.

RRS, Corcoran, and Dickey all looked good. Green not so much.

Was the Royals pitcher that good, or the M's batting that bad?

Posted by joe

10:04 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Man, I really like this Corcoron kid, he's got some swagger to him!
Dickey has a little bit of a Chuck Norris look goin : )
I wonder if the boys, down 3-0 just figured it was over and quit...followed the example that McClaren set....

Posted by Pokenour

10:07 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Given we didn't have a chance in this game, why did we burn so many relievers - RRS, Corcoran, Dickey - after all there is a game tomorrow. Maybe Green should have taken one for the team?

Posted by cesame

10:11 PM, Apr 14, 2008

I'm usually upset when the M's lose but after realizing the players basically just threw this game away and played like they didn't care, I don't care. This team is not making the playoffs so who gives a crap.

Posted by sfmsfan

10:14 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Is an 8-5 record a legitimate sample size to call the Royal's rebuilding successful? They just had a stretch where they scored 1 run in 3 games. I think the A's past success has everyone wanting to spot the next small market, do it the "right" way team. I'm not here to defend Bavasi, but lets wait until at least August before we laud KC's GM for his shrewdness.

Posted by scottM

10:18 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Adam, would you pay Gil Meche $10 million a year for 4 years after how he looked in '06 with the M's? He choked in all the big games he played in that year. Would you pay $12 a million a year for three years of Jose Guillen (when he would have signed with the M's for $8 a year for three years).

This Grienke kid is homegrown. Would you trade him straight across for the M's homegrown stud, Felix Hernandez? That's your apples-to-apples comparison. Grienke looked great tonight, but, as you would be sure to say, one game ain't much of a statistical sample size. Let's see where the Royals are by the end of the season.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Despite tonight's pitching gem by Grienke, I'll take this M's team over the Royals any time.

Posted by Pokenour

10:28 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Ya think McLaren could have done anything to try and get the bats going against Greinke? How about a pinch hit performance from Norton following Turbo's single? Oh Richie is going to have a great bounce back season.

Or how about that hit and run, was that thought out?

The M's have a history of making marginal pitchers look great, I wonder if something of this sort was not at work tonight.

Posted by Pokenour

10:42 PM, Apr 14, 2008


Given three of the five hits of Grienke where by left handed hitters, it might have been appropriate to have pinched hit for Sexson with Norton. When standard lineup is being shut down, it is sometimes a good idea to go to the bench for some and use some of the tools you have there. But it is unlikely that McLaren ever considers removing one of his veterans under such circumstances.

Last year the M's repeatedly made middling pitchers look great.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

10:47 PM, Apr 14, 2008

It's finally getting some attention from some of you fellow bloggers, but I've still yet to see Geoff comment on it.....Jose's HORRIBLE fielding so far this year. It is very concerning and we can't put up with it. He's failed to get to three or four balls to his left so far this year, he's had at least two balls thrown to him at second base that he barely had to reach left for that he didn't catch, and then tonight. Couldn't turn the double play and then couldn't make the backhand force to second in the eighth. Corcoran was pissed...and rightly so. It was an earned run for him when basically he had to get five outs in the inning due to Lopez's ineptness. Geoff, will you please comment and/or ask the equally inept McLaren to see if he's bothered to notice. It's embarrassing. He looks like a little leaguer out there. I would venture to say he's the worst defensive second baseman in franchise history and in all of MLB right now. Pathetic.

Grienke OWNED us.....It's amazing. Brad Adam wasn't even ten seconds into the postgame show when he talked about how cold it was and how tough it was on the hitters. Yeah, it can/does effect the hitters - advantage pitchers. But you know what, I don't want to hear excuses. I want results. The Royals, an up and coming nice young squad, had only hit five home runs the whole year coming into tonight's game. Well, they hit two tonight. If former M's reject Miguel Olivo can go three for four with a homer on a night like this, then everyone else should be able to produce as well. The Royals whole outfield may as well have taken the night off with the exception of Yuni's at bat.

Dickey looked good, Corcorcan continues to compete and Jarrod did alright too. But I'm fed up. We have a punchless offense and a shoddy defense. We are going nowhere. NOWHERE

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:07 PM, Apr 14, 2008

In defense of Lopez, he's not the worst second baseman in the league. He plays in the same infield with probably two of the best defensive infielders in the league in Yuni and Beltre. So his mistakes or laziness is magnified.

He was in position to make both those plays, one was a simple drop while trying to throw to first. The second in my opinion was laziness in not using both hands, and taking an extra step to allow him to underhand the ball to Yuni.

Lopez's glove is the least of our problems. We have to score runs. The season isn't over, but changes have to be made at first base, DH, and right field.

Posted by oregongal

11:16 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Amen, Resin.

About Lopez, the thing that frustrates me the most is that sometimes his head's in the game, and he's wonderful in the field. Other times, not so much. But he is definitely not our big problem.

Posted by Stevo

11:23 PM, Apr 14, 2008

Resin / Oregon Gal,

I never said Jose was our biggest problem, but we've beat some of the other subjects to death and not said a word about this. I think it is a bigger problem than most people think.

The bullpen injuries and hitting are our main problems. I don't have confidence that this line-up is one that can get us to the playoffs.

The damaged goods that is supposedly are #1 doesn't sit too well with me right now either.

P.S. - Where did Geoff go tonight? Another night off? Is he taking off for the next road trip?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:57 PM, Apr 14, 2008

I picked a good night to take a night off from the game thread and most of the game in general. Yeesh.

Glad Dickey looked alright though.

And Wash pitched well enough to keep us in it, as did most everyone else, if not for an AWOL offense and some impressive work by Greinke. (Isn't ZG exactly the kind of pitcher the Ms brass always dreams of getting for SafeCo- fast-working groundball guy?)

I'd make a lame excuse for the poor fielding by mumbling something about cold night and slick ball, but not worth it.

The Royals aren't the AL doormat anymore. The Rays aren't the AL doormat anymore. Cats and dogs, living together! Mass hysteria!

Ah well. Maybe an afternoon game will wake these guys up.

Posted by AK1984

5:31 AM, Apr 15, 2008

The horrid defense of both corner outfielders, Raul Ibanez and Brad Wilkerson, causes more damage than Jose Lopez's so-so range at second base.

It's too bad that Ibanez can't be the designated hitter on this team, for the slap-hitting Jose Vidro and his shoddy knees already occupy that slot.

Wilkerson is unable to play his natural position of first base, too, which is because Richie Sexson is earning $14 million this season to be a black hole.

Posted by byebyeSexson

7:24 AM, Apr 15, 2008

Yes, it's true, "The season isn't over, but changes have to be made at first base, DH, and right field."

C'mon Richie, hit your summer stride in this cool spring. We need you!

Go M's


Posted by Dignan

8:24 AM, Apr 15, 2008

"May I present the Royals as Exhibit A as why rebuilding isn't a bad thing if you do it the right way?"

??? How long have the Royals been rebuilding?? Since the '80's?? When was the last time they made the playoffs...or even sniffed the post season? LOL just kidding

I do get your point though. I like a lot of the guys we have in Tacoma and would love to see them get their chance, instead of aging vets. I WAS very excited about Jones, but would still like to see Balentien, Clement, and LaHair.

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