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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 23, 2008 10:30 PM

Silva update -- injury not believed serious

Posted by Larry Stone

Just came back up from the clubhouse, where the word was that Silva's injury is not believed to be major. In fact, Silva flat-out stated, "I will make my next start."

He said he tweaked his thigh when his spikes caught while making a pickoff attempt on Brian Roberts in the sixth. He finished the inning (giving up the only two runs he allowed), but alerted the bench of the problem after the inning. They let him start the seventh, but didn't like what they saw when he walked the first hitter, and took him out.

"It's not bad,'' Silva said. "It's hard to come out of the game, but sometimes you have to be smart. It's only my fifth start. There's a long way to go.''

Here's what McLaren said: "It's nothing serious. He felt something in his leg driving off so we took him out. It doesn't seem to be serious at all...I'm hearing good things from the training room."

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Posted by PRchef

10:42 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Let's hope that is the case. It would be really bad if this was something serious

Posted by Nay Laren

10:43 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Sorry Carlos, pitched a whale of a game only to get a no decision. When your pitching can hold another team in check with three or less runs, you really ought not lose the game.

So when will the M's management wise up to the pathetic offense? They need to make some of the moves many of you have been advocating.

Posted by macdoubter

10:45 PM, Apr 23, 2008

New headline:M's pathetic offense -- SERIOUS! Oh, wait, that's old old old old old old news. What a horrible lineup.

Posted by fastrs4

10:47 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Had a rare opportunity to attend the game tonight sitting 2 rows back from visiting dugout. A couple of observations...

- Adam Jones: Class Act. Came in from center field with the game ball, saw my 7 year old daughter and her friend waving their arms. Pointed at them and lobbed the ball. A fan in front of us reached up and grabbed it as he went down the steps to the dugout. He came back out, pointed at the fan and yelled to give it to the kid. The fan turned around and handed them the ball. Great moment for my daughter and now she loves baseball...

- Morrow: Dominant. Threw 7 straight strikes with a good mixture of offspeed. He was practically unhittable tonight. Extremely encouraging.

- Sexson: Useless. I don't need to elaborate.

- Beltre: Unbelievable defensive player. Absolutely crushed that fly ball out in the 9th. Bad luck.

Fun night.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:51 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Greg Bell calls it

How refreshing to see John McLaren called out on his obsession for lefty-lefty matchups. I wonder if it's because Greg Bell isn't connected to the Mariners and has to see McLaren everyday that he can speak freely without upsetting the M's brass. The brain dead decision to pull Green out was reminiscent of how Bob Melvin ran the bullpen. plain stupid decision, close game, Mac blows it yet again.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:56 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Markakis hit .274/.318/.457, in 197 at bats last year versus lefties. Not exactly indicating he's been shut down by lefties in the past. Mac doesn't care about raw stats, he's old school lefty vs lefty= advantage pitcher. Can't wait to hear the excuses made for Mac tonight.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:00 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Suzuki now has a .313 OBP for April. Ichiro's slow ice cold start is starting to concern me a bit.

Posted by fastrs4

11:02 PM, Apr 23, 2008

I think you can throw stats out the window on that Markakis HR. He was looking for a first pitch fastball strike. RRS obliged and threw one. Happens sometimes. RRS threw well after that.

Posted by Nay Laren

11:02 PM, Apr 23, 2008

In all the years he has been in baseball, has McLaren learned anything except rah, rah?

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:07 PM, Apr 23, 2008

ANGEL LUCK.........let's talk about it....

It's driving me crazy how the Angels are missing all the top flight pitchers. To review.

*Angels on the verge of getting swept in Seattle only to have Erik Bedard get 'scratched.' Of course JJ is out too.

*Seattle at LAA and they miss our #1, 2 and 3....

*LAA at Boston......last night Beckett gets scratched and is replaced by some stiff and tonight Dice K gets scratched due to the flu or something.

*This is absolutely ridiculous. It seems like the loss of Lackey and Escobar is being off-set by them not having to face top flight pitchers.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Posted by PRchef

11:08 PM, Apr 23, 2008


Can you give out the link for this (Greg Bell calls it) again?

I could not open it on the original post. Says the page is expired

Posted by John

11:10 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Youth isn't suddenly going to turn this offense around, especially since most of the young guys we've got on the farm outside of maybe Clement couldn't handle major league pitching any better than the guys we've already got ... which obviously isn't great. I hate our offense. We're going nowhere this year. We'll tag along for a few months, but we just don't have the hitters. I really like our pitching, but we just die offensively for innings at a time. Same as it's been for the past four years.
Guys like Sexson, Vidro and Wilkerson are dead weight with no improvement in sight. Johjima might pick it up, but that's hardly enough.
I don't see any answers. People talk about Thomas and Bonds, but we just have too many holes. This offseason we're going to have to throw some money at guys like Teixera to really have a shot in 2009.
Geoff, what do you think?

Posted by PRchef

11:14 PM, Apr 23, 2008


Very interesting.

Now if we could just find a "lack of luck" reference for our lack of offense...

I'm sure someone can come up with a fun theory in this blog. (just a joke by the way, no need to rehash everything)

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:14 PM, Apr 23, 2008


*To no one's surprise, we have eleven hits in the past two games. What great production. Tonight we had four guys in the lineup hitting .200 or below.

Oh, I know, it's 'EARLY'. I hate that word. But wait, Wilkerson will be back to help in a couple of days.

Sherrill has four of his seven saves against us! Unreal! We are jinxed.

Boy, Vidro the professional hitter looked like a little leaguer on that last pitch from Sherrill. Why was he the only one in the house that couldn't figure out that he was going to be thrown a breaking ball just off the plate. He got a fastball in the pitch before. C'mon.

We just don't have many guys who can spray the ball around. I am sick and tired of watching Beltre try to hit an outside pitch. He needs to take a stride towards the ball and lace it out there. That is actually easier to do (a la Edgar) than to turn on a ball and pull it (which he is good at). Instead, his rear end is moving towards third and he's just reaching for it with his arms. Does he work on these things? Doesn't look like it. I thought Pentland was a 'great' hitting coach.

As discussed so much on this blog the past month, our offense is SORELY lacking. This crew won't get it done. Great job starting staff. Too bad you will have to pitch shutouts to win.

Posted by macdoubter

11:16 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Look at how many earned runs Felix has given up and he should have more wins. Same for Silva. This team is a lot worse than its record. Don't kid yourselves. They did NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING to strengthen their offense over the offseason (they actually made it worse subbing Wilkerson for Guillen) and then they have the unexplainable nerve to tortuously rub our noses in this offensive pile. Suckson doesn't belong in the lineup. He wouldn't be in the Red Sox lineup, or the Angels', or any other well-managed and successful team. Neither would Wilkerson. Or Bloomquist. Even Ibanez is not a #3 hitter on any properly-constructed team. At best he's a #6 hitter. Come on. This has got to be a joke!

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:19 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Yes Mac Doubter,

This offense is just about 'unwatchable'....if that is a word.

It seems like when we are at visiting parks, there is so much more excitement and drama and things for the visiting fan watching the game to be scared of. It seems like no advantage for us when we are hitting at home. Just bland and you know certain guys are going to make outs.

Posted by Ninja Joh

11:20 PM, Apr 23, 2008

The problem with RRS's pitch to Makakis was location, he through the pitch right into Makakis's power zone. Sometimes, I have noted where Kenji sets up on left handed hitters and it is inside above the needs and below the waist. Not a good place to get a left handed hitter out. When I was a boy pitching to my older brother who batted left handed against me so as to give me chance, I sometimes made this same mistake and he would kill the ball. The one day our cousin who had pitched for the Pittsburg Pirates came over and he showed me how to through a screw ball that broke down and away from left handed hitters. After that I was an all star over night. Jamie Moyer had similar success through a very similar pitch - the circle changen which broke down and away from right handed hitters, so he was very effective against righties, however, he didn't seem to have the same out pitch against lefties who hit him well. At any rate, the location as set up by Johjima looked to me to be the real problem in giving up this winning home run. Coming from Japan, maybe Johjima has a different strategy from his experience there, however, you bust a left handed hitter high and inside then go low and away with the screw ball, it looks like Beltre swinging at that low off the plate pitch that he so often strikes against, Perhaps Clement understand ths characteristic of American baseball, but JOh also needs some more schooling behind the plate as his setups are often in the power lanes of the opposing hitters. At least that is my take on the pitch.

And Putzy, I am not telling you how to pitch.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:25 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Ninja Joh,

I agree with the lefty circle change or screw ball down and away to righties and righties to lefties is an extremely effective way to get outs. However, while you are right about Kenji's set-up, if RRS had a screw ball and wanted to use it, since he is left handed it would break IN to a left-handed hitter.

I agree that Kenji needs work. I am not impressed much of the time on how he calls games.

Have we found an offense yet?

Posted by macdoubter

11:32 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Are the M's still Japanese owned? And isn't the team hugely followed in Japan, or so the news and tv commentators say? If so, is that why Clement-who may be a better hitter than Joh-is stuck in Tacoma?

Posted by Ninja Joh

11:44 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Since I am right handed the screwball was my out against lefties, the left handed Moyer used the circle change the same way against right handed hitters. Yes RRS is left handed and the screw ball will not work so effectively against a left handed hitter, my point was that you set them up high inside and then go down an away with a breaking pitch. It is of course opposite for RRS when compared to my own experience. When facing right handers, I used a slider low and away like the ones that Beltre fans at and that would be the kind of move for RRS, but I am not so much question his pitches. What I am questioning is the way Johjima set the hitter up and in the case of the home run, Joh set up inside and low which is the power zone of a left handed hitter. In such cases, it does not matter that RRS is a lefty, because the ball is arriving in a location that matches the hitter power swing. Often I have noticed this location problem in Johjima's sets and I am trouble by it. Note how other teams pitch the likes of Beltre and Sexson, it is always up and in followed by low and away, then lower and further away, so that more often than not these guys fan at the ball. Someone earlier noted this problem inherent in Beltre's at bats, in stead of striding into that low just off the plate pitch, like Edgar used to do when lining such pitches to right, Beltre steps toward third and misses the pitch. Like the other poster, I am wondering if Beltre and Sexson are even aware of this problem in their hitting technique. And surely Clement could do no better in setting up than Joh is doing, I am often trouble by Joh's choice of location, but then again I was only a high school pitcher.

Posted by Nat

11:53 PM, Apr 23, 2008

I get the frustration, I really do...but having thought about it a little more, maybe we could hold off a bit until we see how the Mariners play when they're not playing with the flu...don't know about you all but I don't function too well when I'm really sick. I certainly don't go to work when I'm really sick!

Resin: who is making aplogies for McLaren?!?!

Posted by Nat

11:55 PM, Apr 23, 2008

I meant to say, who is making EXCUSES for MacLaren?

Posted by Nay Laren

12:06 AM, Apr 24, 2008

There is no excuse for McLaren, he is simple inept as a baseball strategist and tactician, Mc Karen is, as I have said before, a glorified bench coach. He is good with players - motivating, patient and non-judgmental to a fault. It is no wonder that this team seems to have no fire, passion or mental toughness, as it is simply a mirror of John McLaren and his passive, rah, rah baseball plan that wemt out of vogue when with the fifties. But maybe that is where McLaren is in his head.

Posted by Chocolate Frogg eeya

4:32 AM, Apr 24, 2008

And the good news is....we have softy Washburn throwing tonight! Who, by the way is 1 -3. Washburn is about as tough as a bubble bath, the guy has no bulldog in em. Look for the bullpen to get some work tonight.

Posted by lwl

6:38 AM, Apr 24, 2008

I forget, why do we have Greg Norton???????

I guess there is no use for a pinch hitter when you have a solid offense like ours..

Posted by KirklandDawg

7:01 AM, Apr 24, 2008

And I forget, why do we have Cairo?

Posted by byebyeSexson

7:11 AM, Apr 24, 2008

In order for the M's to go anywhere this season two or three of the five guys in the lineup have to improve dramatically. Only Yuni, Lopez, Beltre, and Raul are satisfactory.

Ichiro is about 80 points below his average!

What did Richie hit for the season last year? He is now at .205. Sounds familiar... Oh well .205 kept him in the line up last year. Maybe he will heat up in september to .240 and get a raise for 2009.

If our pitchers would just bear down and hold the opposition to one run a game, maybe we could make a run at the top.

Posted by Everett fan

7:13 AM, Apr 24, 2008

To Ninja Joh - Jojima set up outside on RSS's HR pitch - RSS just didn't get it outside, he left it on the inner half, belt(ed) high. That wasn't Kenji's fault. Some of his calls are his fault, but not that one.
I was flabergasted in the 9th - after a leadoff single by "no-legs" Ibanez, where is the pinch runner? Isn't Cairo kept around to provide speed on the bases? Does he have the flu also? It seems like Raul was in fact fighting a cold, perhaps some of the others. . . .
That ump had the largest strike zone in recent memory half the time. The two called strikes on WB (6th inning?) were atrocius. And, some strikes called on Baltimore were equally atrocius. Then later on we couldn't get a called strike. Players hate inconsistency like that, they don't know what to swing at.
PS - Ibanez made a great play on that hit off the wall to corral the ball and throw out Huff at the plate. We all agree that Raul has no speed, but at least he plays smart.
And, sad to say, my favorite, WB, messed up on that "triple" that gave the O's their first 2 runs. He reminded me a little of Mike Morse on that play. It may be that Reed is our only option until Vlad can take over RF.
PS - what is the status of Wilk?

Posted by KirklandDawg

7:19 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Thanks Everett Fan for reminding me why we have Cairo.

Posted by eastcoast

8:04 AM, Apr 24, 2008

All the pitching in the world will not save this pathetic offense. It really is painful to watch this lineup flounder night after night despite good pitching. After all that talk about more BB's, etc to start the season, we are now hitting .248 as a team and only the Twinkies and Royals have a lower OBP than the .313 posted by the M's. I just can't believe we're 11-11 with all the great starts we have gotten. And Cabrera to the growing list a SP who've dominated the M's. Cabrera!! are you kidding me!! He's horrible.. a Gil Meche/Joel Piniero clone. Great talent, but no control, and never lived up to expectations. 8IP and no walks! Just embarrassing. And I don't want to hear any comments about a big strike zone, or "he was dealin'", because I'll have to cyberslap somebody. AARRGGHH. I actually started thinking about Bonds last night. Now that's bad.

There is no quick fix to this O. We are old, slow, and not disciplined at the plate. Even Beltre is wearing me thin with his hacking mentality and inability to hit with RISP. He is NOT a clean-up hitter - 6th at best. And Joh... oh, forget it.

Here's the big problem. The FO seriously believes that it has put together a contender. And we all know the M's prefer the vet to the rookie. So you can pretty much guarantee that we will be seeing a lot of Vidro, Sexson, Wilk.. ?Thomas, etc, while guys like Clement and Balentien grow old in the minors, and then get dealt at the deadline for some past his prime 37 y/o vet. Sorry for the negativity, but this offense just really has me bummed and I don't see an end in sight.

Posted by Mike

8:05 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Bad roster construction. Doubts about our offense and the way we construct our roster were what led me to believe that Bedard woudln't put us over the top. Here's hoping the Ms do something to improve the team to prove me wrong.

Posted by Mr. X

8:06 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Actually Resin, it's down to .310 after last night. Historically, Ichiro is a "3 month wonder". The 3 months are usually so good that it wipes out everything else from the mind of the Ichirobot. He's a May/June/July player primarily. He's below average in April and starts doing his disappearing act in August and September.

When Ibanez makes a mistake that allows a hit, the board overflows with garbage analysis. When his defense saves a run, which is more important than a hit, one person mentions it. To paraphrase Michael Irvin, why not bring that same intensity when Raul does something that helps the team defensively? Especially when it matters more.

Anyone using a non-stat like zone rating to try to say that Betancourt isn't much better than Derek Jeter really has no clue about the game of (real) baseball. Watch some games. If you're going to use zone rating, why not use numerology (you have to use his full name, not just "Yuni") or astrological charts? It's just as credible.

Posted by Mike

8:27 AM, Apr 24, 2008

X---I didn't watch the whole game. Are you referring to the play where he hit the cutoff man after not getting to the flyball?

For what it is worth, when Raul can get to balls he's fine.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:38 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Well sorry for the link. The Seattle Times decided to remove Greg Bell's AP article, I found it at the Washington Post.

Greg Bell's AP article

It hits the mark on Mac's overthinking. I am perplexed why the Times removed the article after it was posted on their site last night. I do have my suspicions why...

Posted by Chris from Bothell

8:46 AM, Apr 24, 2008

fastrs4 - That story about AJ brought me a smile. Definitely a classy guy.

April's almost over. One more week, and then "it's early" truly can't hold up anymore. Flu, schmoo - Felix pitched 7 inning 2-run ball with the flu, the offense can bloody well create 3 or 4 runs with the same. And what kind of conditioning programs do they have when there's all these pulled-hammy-here, tweaked-leg-there sorts of injuries happening? Shouldn't they be in full condition after spring training and nearly a month of baseball?

Nyrggg. A few more hits at the right times from the middle of the order, and we'd be 2 games up instead of 2 games back. Seriously. The Angels and Atheletics are 4 and 4 in 1-run games. The M's? 1 AND 5. Tells you much of what you need to know right there. It's only a matter of time before the pitchers start pitching scared when up or down by 1 or 2 runs, because they KNOW the offense won't back them up.

April was supposed to be the soft part of the schedule, the chance for the Ms to take advantage of the Angel's injuries. Yes, we lost JJ and that was almost as big a blow. But Joh, Wilkerson, Sexson, Vidro and Ichiro just were not getting it done in April (about in that order of missed opportunities).

Anyway. *whack* neigh! *whack* neigh! *whack* neigh! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result each time. It also seems to be the definition of certain M's batters approach at the plate, and a certain manager's approach to his bench and bullpen.

And finally, no offense Larry, but where's Geoff? He seems to be off from the blog a little more than usual. Special assignments? Flu? Sick of people b****ing about RF and DH? :)

Posted by Chris from Bothell

8:51 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Relevant portion of Greg Bell's article:

"Forgetting helped Nick Markakis. Too much thinking doomed the Mariners.


Markakis hit the first pitch he saw from left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1), a high fastball, five rows into the bleachers beyond right field. Mariners manager John McLaren had summoned Rowland-Smith to relieve Sean Green, who had allowed only a walk in 1 1-3 innings, because left-handers were 3-for-17 against him.

Make that 4-for-18."

Not exactly a damning, ranting screed, but it does state the truth simply enough.

Though I suppose it could be said that Green had walked enough of a tightrope with his bases-full performance the previous inning, that if Green had been left in there and it was Green who gave up the go-ahead run, we'd all be rolling our eyes at Mac for leaving Green in too long. I don't agree with that - RRS was obviously off, judging from his couple of nearly-wild-nearly-headshot pitches after the homer - but I can see the argument.

Posted by Mike

10:12 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Our BP gave up one run in three innings. It is not the problem.

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