Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
April 22, 2008 6:38 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
UPDATE 8:11 P.M. Willie Bloomquist just took over right field in the fourth. Wilkerson has a "tight right hamstring."
UPDATE 7:46 p.m.: Felix has gone into the seventh inning in each of his four previous starts, and is coming off a complete-game win over the A's, but he'll have a hard time matching that tonight. While his stuff looks outstanding, he is laboring with his command, and just threw his 52nd pitch to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. It was a beauty, a called third-strike on Nick Markakis, who was 9-for-16 off Hernandez coming into the game.
UPDATE, 7:20: Hernandez's third pitch to Luke Scott in the first inning -- his 19th of the game -- was just clocked at 100 mph. Felix is struggling a bit with his control, but the RBI single by Kevin Millar was a great pitch that broke his bat. He blooped it into center field. It looks to me like he's really dealing.
It's an awfully small crowd tonight. One of these weeks, there will be a night game at Safeco where you don't freeze to death. I hope.
As usual, I'm anxious to see Felix, who could be going for his fifth win tonight but is only going for No. 3. I'm sure he's happy to see a healthy J.J. Putz back in the closing role, after the debacle in Baltimore when his 2-0 lead evaporated in the ninth.
The Mariners have some payback to give the Orioles after the four-game sweep in Baltimore. this is a classic example of a series this team should win if it expects to compete for the title. Let's see what happens.