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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 22, 2008 6:38 PM

Mariners vs. Orioles, 4/22, game thread

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.

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Posted by Jon

7:03 PM, Apr 22, 2008


Thanks so much for the great work on the blog. I have a quick request, if you haven't fulfilled it already. Is there any chance you can post a video of Safeco Field? I live out of town and only seem to get back to Seattle for Christmas, and I assume there are others out there in the same boat. If you could do that, I would be most appreciative.


Posted by joe

7:10 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I predict a solid start from Felix, Rithcie coninues his hot hitting and smacks a couple jacks and Vidro has 3 foot long dogs by the 5th inning.

welcome back Mariners!

Posted by Jon

7:17 PM, Apr 22, 2008

What's with the letters behind the mound?

Posted by Cheers

7:22 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Remembrance: JM - John Marzano - a former Mariner who recently died at 45l

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:35 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Boston beats the Angels 7-6.

Posted by Nay Laren

7:44 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Does McLaren not know how to delegate? Why burn a trip to the mound by the manager? Mel should be able to handle it.

Posted by Nay Laren

7:46 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Is anyone worried about Felix tonight?

Posted by BavasiRocks

7:48 PM, Apr 22, 2008

96MPH 2-seamer to K Scott looking and end the 2nd. Great pitch Felix!

Posted by Matt

7:48 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Felix'll do just fine. Just taking him a little longer, that's all.

Posted by Turbo Charged

7:50 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Our DH hitting .208 ... how long is going on?

Posted by Nay Laren

7:52 PM, Apr 22, 2008

The odd thing was McLaren visiting the mound instead of Mel, makes one a little uneasy.

Posted by Gator Bait

7:54 PM, Apr 22, 2008

The slugging... slug right fielder at the plate, whoosh!

Posted by Babu

7:58 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Felix's pitch count is worrisome; the bullpen is going to have multiple innings of work tonight.

But what is really worrisome is the batting in our 5, 6, 7 spots:

and Moe

Posted by Cheers

7:59 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Nice Felix!

Posted by Nay Laren

8:00 PM, Apr 22, 2008


You got that right!

Posted by Babu

8:02 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Much better: 11 pitches, 3 outs.

Posted by Njina

8:04 PM, Apr 22, 2008

If your are in a slump, take a walk! Good AB Joh

Posted by Gator Bait

8:16 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Don't mess with Felix!

Also, Let's give it up for Wilky's tight right hamstring, how about his going on the DL for the rest of the season?

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:17 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Nice hit AJ, but the King still put you away!

Posted by Turbo Charged

8:25 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Low outside edge of the plate - Beltre's weakness, earlier he seemed to be laying off that pitch with better results.

How about Turbo? olde Dave abd Dave were excited for the moment ... forget Valle's words of wisdom. By the way, who was complaining about Blowers? Listen to the alternative.... ugh

Posted by First Son

8:40 PM, Apr 22, 2008

How about that for manufacturing a run? What stop sign?

Posted by First Son

8:42 PM, Apr 22, 2008

PS reminds me of Tommy Harper in the old Seattle Pilots days - that one year in 1969.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:06 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Offence is just pathetic! DH hitting .200. So let's see 5-6-7-8 -9hitters are batting .200-.224-.214-.211-.258. That's with Wilky sitting who is batting .178. Am I worried about Felix? No. I am worried about no offence.

Posted by Matt

9:11 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Felix has another fantastic game, and yet again, we can't give him the win! Wake up, Mariner batters!

-Why does the call to the bullpen make me exceedingly nervous?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:23 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Best shortstop in the A.L.

Posted by Nat

9:23 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Man, Yuni can run! He's so fun to watch...that is, as long as he doesn't get picked off. That's what makes me a little nervous.

Authur acquitted himself very nicely. And look who's warming up in case they get a run in --- tada! Putz!

Posted by Nay Laren

9:27 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Beltre has looked terrible tonight against Guthrie and 0 for 12 lifetime against him. McLaren, why not pinch hit with Norton? Have you got a clue?

Posted by Nat

9:28 PM, Apr 22, 2008

OMG no, not the professional hitter!

Posted by vidro for prez

9:30 PM, Apr 22, 2008

nice rip vidro. i would still prefer thomas.... but singles are good sometimes

Posted by Turbo Charged

9:31 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Caw, Caw, Caw, give it up for Turbo, I am choking on that Crow.

Posted by Babu

9:31 PM, Apr 22, 2008

And the designated hitter designates a hit -- possibly the game-winner! Credit where credit is due, possibly even "clutch."

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:32 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Vidro comes thru!

Posted by Miles

9:34 PM, Apr 22, 2008

What's the point of blogging the game if the blogger is going to go silent for an hour?

Posted by scottM

9:36 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Vidro doesn't like the idea of the big hurt–– Very nice CLUTCH hit. CLUTCH because of the situation, and CLUTCH because he needed it for his own job. Sweet!!!

Posted by Adam

9:37 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Man - that just bought Vidro another month of playing time. Glad to see us go up.

Trembley just blew it for the Orioles, though. LHs are death against Raul. He could have used Walker against Raul. And when Guthrie walked Beltre, Trembley could have gone down to get Sarfate, who would have given Vidro fits (Vidro now 6-12 against Guthrie).

Nice to see there are some managers as incompetent as Mac.

Posted by TimsHead

9:38 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Great hustle by Yuni. Nice patience by Beltre. Clutch hit by Vidro.

Now holding my breath, hoping JJ is back in form.

Posted by Nat

9:43 PM, Apr 22, 2008

JJ - 97 mph! Great win!!! Game over!

Posted by scottM

9:46 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Nice job, JJ. He started out looking shaky. Got lucky with a wide strike zone and free swinging O's. By the third and fourth batters, he looked great!

At least it wasn't an adventure of the young bucks pitching by committee.

Posted by TimsHead

9:46 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Wooooooo JJ! The Big Wolverine!

Shame Felix didn't get the W, but sort of neat Arthur picks it up ... his first win in three years or so.

A bit of clutch hitting, good starter and bullpen work and JJ back in the house. I call this a feel-good win!

Posted by Babu

9:47 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Nice pitching by Felix, Arthur, and JJ. We can all breathe a little easier that the bullpen is getting back to where it should be.

Posted by Scott

10:00 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Felix is really learned how to pitch. Last few years, he doesn't go 7 innings in a game like this where he doesn't have his "A" stuff. I'm really impressed with how Felix has matured.

Sign Frank Thomas now. Nothing to lose.

Posted by Frankie

10:03 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Very happy to see J.J. back tonight. Great win for the M's, pickin up a game on the Angels, and getting back over .500 at 11-10. It's really a good day to be an M's fan!!!!

Posted by Faceplant

10:05 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"Best shortstop in the A.L."

Edgar Renteria says hello.

Posted by Faceplant

10:06 PM, Apr 22, 2008

And I agree with everyone on Felix.

Felix's bad days are still better than most pitchers good days.

Posted by NB

10:12 PM, Apr 22, 2008


You think so? From my understanding Renteria is pretty Jeter-esque with the glove. The two are fairly even in my mind.

Posted by The King

10:12 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Great job Felix! Arthur! and JJ! Good Day all around - and Howard Schultz filed his lawsuit - Get lost Clay and go empty handed!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:35 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Speed, range, base running, Advantage: Betancourt

Bat : Advantage: Renteria

I'll take Yuniesky every time at this point in their careers.

Posted by Adam

10:57 PM, Apr 22, 2008

The best shortstop in the AL has a .619 OPS?

And zero SBs?

And a zone rating only 3 points higher than Jeter's?

Posted by couger

11:02 PM, Apr 22, 2008

felix performance tonight really concerned me....he was fucking horrid the first 4 innings, like...horatio ramirez awful

Posted by John

11:13 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Personally, I'd take Aybar.

Posted by BrianL

11:16 PM, Apr 22, 2008

couger -

Felix was getting squeezed something awful in those first few frames. Toss in the fact that he was going through flu-like symptoms and didn't have his best stuff as a result, and I'd go as far as saying that it was a pretty dang good start. After the second his control came into place and his breaking pitches were lights out.

Nothing to worry about with Felix. He's fine, today's start was a good one.

Posted by BrianL

11:17 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam -

Yikes, to be anywhere near Jeter as far as zone rating is concerned is pretty damning.

Posted by OlyHomer

11:18 PM, Apr 22, 2008

How can you say Felix was Horatio bad in the first four innings? Horatio would have given up six runs. Felix goes seven innings and only gives up two runs. He didn't have his best stuff but was still good. He gets the win if the offense was really clicking to start. I did hear McLaren say he has the flu that was going around. Sounds like Bloomquist has spread it to everyone.

I'd take a bad Felix like tonight over a great Horatio any day!

Posted by Freddy Fingers

11:20 PM, Apr 22, 2008

atta boy ADAM way to throw a sogggy wet fart into a nice win celbration! Knew we could count on ya for your usual dose of nagativity. Now go cry yourself to sleep

Posted by Freddy FIngers

11:22 PM, Apr 22, 2008

and yes I meant to spell it NAGATIVITY, part annoying little whiny nag, all negative

Posted by David Gee

11:42 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Felix struggles tonight, still only gives up two runs, and Vidro of all people gets the winning hit. Eat poop, Orioles.

Posted by NB

11:46 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Hooray our one millionth Adam is a nerd and is negative post!!!!!! You win an all expenses paid trip to Adam's mom's basement where Adam resides covered in cheesy poofs!!!

Also, this just in, citing stats and being a realist doesn't make you negative. News at 11!!!! Back you to Freddy!!!!

Posted by kingk

1:30 AM, Apr 23, 2008

according to some Mclaren can't even visit the mound right...Great posts here

Posted by Chris from Bothell

7:14 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Things I think I know:

That, my good and dear friends, is why they call him King Felix. He didn't have his best stuff, his first inning was shaky, his concentration and contorl of emotions was closer to 06 Felix than 08 Felix... but inning by inning he collected himself and went deep when it looked initially like he'd barely make 5 innings. All hail the King!

Oh, if only Joh hadn't bounced his lead leg when sliding into 3rd, the pitcher wouldn't have caught him. Or if Beltre had his glove down just a smidge for Joh's toss during the rundown later. Game of inches.

Every time I give up on Vidro, he comes up big. If it takes things like Frank Thomas rumors to motivate him, I say we hold up a big sign every few days asking for some new guy at DH. I wonder if he came through in that at-bat by pretending he was pinch-hitting for himself?

Adam Jones looks so... mortal... in person.

Would someone let Ichiro know that he doesn't have to play every shallow center bloop single on a hop? That we'd forgive him if he tried, I dunno, running for the ball in those situations? Sure he might overrun from time to time, maybe even allow a single to become a double. But with his speed, he should also be able to convert some of those into outs. (Without doing that inefficient sliding thing he dislikes so much.)

I could also swear I saw him giving his fellow outfielders (and once, Lopez) dirty looks as he raced over to call them off and take fly balls. That last one that he got in about the 7th or 8th, where Raul was clearly able to get to it (for once) but Ichi called him off and took it anyway... hm. Likely my imagination, or projection on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ichiro is a little tired of having to go practically foul line to foul line.

Mr. Wilkerson, do take all the time you need to rest that tight right hamstring. No sense rushing back and possibly reinjuring, possibly going to the DL. We want you at full strength in order to... do... whatever you... um, do.

I'm more and more comfortable with Arthur Rhodes being back.

Oh, JJ, how we missed you. He didn't look sharp, or pitching 100% (likely a bit conscious of the rib), but like Felix, 90% of JJ is usually better than 110% of many other guys.

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