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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 25, 2008 10:07 PM

Oakland Athletics at Mariners: 4/25 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

10:07 p.m.: Teams just can't squander gifts like the M's just did against Andrew Brown in the eighth inning. Brown saw shortstop Bobby Crosby make a throwing error to start the frame, and then, with one out, he walked Greg Norton and Brad Wilkerson to load the bases. But Yuniesky Betancourt grounded into a meek-looking 6-4-3 double play and that was that. I can't believe this is still a 4-3 game. The M's have not allowed a baserunner since the Emil Brown double in the third.

Since my still camera is on-the-fritz, I thought I'd post some video of this afternoon's Kenji Johjima press conference. You'll see a touch of humor from Bill Bavasi, Johjima talking through interpreter Antony Suzuki, with both the English and Japanese media, then a shot of him taking BP.

9:20 p.m.: Good job by the Mariners of getting some runs across in the sixth. Seattle trails 4-3 after Jose Vidro and Richie Sexson produced a couple of sacrifice flies after the M's loaded the bases with none out. Yeah, they probably could have had a bigger inning. Sexson did a good job though, fighting off a 1-2 pitch from Santiago Casilla and muscling it to right. Sexson had been jobbed on some low strike calls by plate umpire Dana DeMuth. The first baseman tends to get strikes called below his knees, which are higher up than many umpires are used to.

His hitting was better than what Brad Wilkerson offered up. Wilkerson went down swinging in a pinch-hit appearance to end the inning. Got to feel for him a bit, though. He's barely played the past week and he's got to deal with 98 mph heat right off the bat. Not the best pitcher to be breaking back in against. You'd almost want to leave Willie Bloomquist in there.

Cha Seung Baek is on fire right now. Retired 12 in a row heading into the seventh.

8:49 p.m.: Nine in a row retired by Cha Seung Baek. But unless he can swing a bat as well, this M's team has to start hitting. Seattle still trails 4-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth. This is not a game they want to lose, already down three to Oakland (and 3 1/2 to the Angels) in the AL West.

8:20 p.m.: Cha Seung Baek gave the A's a run back in the third after a leadoff double by Emil Brown, who took third on a flyout to right. Brown then scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Ryan Sweeney. So, it's now 4-1 for Oakland. The two games in Oakland last week, the M's attacked the zone and dared the A's to hit the ball. Here tonight, they walked six batters the first two innings. Brown's hit is the only real hard one on the night by Oakland, but the A's have four runs because of all the walks.

8:01 p.m.: Team just announced that Miguel Batista has a mild groin strain on his right side. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. The news gets better and better doesn't it? Hey, at least Erik Bedard pitches tomorrow. Cha Seung Baek walked another batter -- the sixth by Seattle in two innings -- but got out of further trouble.

7:52 p.m.: Seattle got a run back in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1 on consecutive singles by ichiro and Jose Lopez and a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez. Miguel Batista walked the first batter he faced in the second inning and has already been pulled. Looks like some kind of medical issue with him. Could this be why the team had Cha Seung Baek on standby? This gets "curiouser" and "curiouser" doesn't it? Baek is now in the game.

7:36 p.m.: Not sure that's what Miguel Batista had in mind when he said last weekend that he'd discovered something new that might prolong his career by five years. Might prolong an inning by five years, the way he looked in tonight's first. Walked four batters in the inning, gave up two singles -- an RBI hit to Frank Thomas among those -- and also uncorked a wild pitch. Now trails 3-0 after a half-inning.

No Brad Wilkerson again tonight. He did some pre-game running to test his sore hamstring and the team will make a call on his playing time in the next day or so.

The lineups:


24 Kurt Suzuki C
10 Daric Barton 1B
14 Mark Ellis 2B
35 Frank Thomas DH
32 Jack Cust LF
8 Emil Brown RF
7 Bobby Crosby SS
15 Ryan Swseeney CF
12 Donnie Murphy 3B

30 Dana Eveland LHP

MARINERS (11-12)

51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Jose Vidro DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
16 Willie Bloomquist RF
5 Yuniesky Betnacourt SS

43 Miguel Batista RHP

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Posted by Ben

7:25 PM, Apr 25, 2008

alright, well i'm going to close this site now... before everyone starts complaining about the poor play of batista and everone else.

Posted by Nat

7:27 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Batista must have forgotten his "secret" way of pitching. It's not that I doubt him, it's just that when you proclaim something publically like he did after the last game, it comes back to bite you. Always.

Gonna be a very very long game...

Posted by Nat

7:32 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Yup, THIS is what they kept Baek around for.

I wonder what kind of ailment we're gonna hear that Batista has come down with after the game.

Posted by FireBavasiNow

7:32 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Cannot find the plate -- long night indeed. Didn't we just learn that we are 0-8 when trailing by 2 or more runs. Game over?

Posted by AZ Nick

7:35 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Why would you want Frank Thomas...we have a DH that will hit .240 with 7 HRs and cannot run...Basically this whole team is a can thank Bavasi...we have no power, no speed (Ichiro very seldom runs)...pitching is suspect at best...why would anyone want to go to and watch them play..I saw them in Arizona a few times for the $$ I can barely watch 3 innings...Dave Sims does not even know the infield fly rule...Blowers should wear a cheerleaders dress...OK, I have vented..

Frustrated in Arizona....please prove me wrong.

Posted by kkoufax

7:35 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Whatever Batisita's secret is i hoope he keeps it to himself

Posted by zona

7:40 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Looks like we'll be into the bullpen by the 3rd inning tonight. This should be fun.

Posted by ajdaddy

7:54 PM, Apr 25, 2008

What was found, is lost. To paraphrase Bart Simpson, 'I didn't think it was possible, but this both sucks and blows!".

Posted by kingk

7:56 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Nat you are Nostradamus

Posted by ethan

8:05 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Thomas looks good...MAYBE BILL BAVASI "IS NOT A GOOD FIT" for the Mariners.

Posted by Al

8:06 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I'll be honest I thought Batista was a piece of $h!t last year when he tried to make a stupid excuse that the Yankees blasted him cause he was tipping his pitches. In my opinion I could care less what happens to him.

Posted by sfmsfan

8:06 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Earn your new contract right here.

Posted by Greg K.

8:11 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Vote on the Johjima contract. I personally don't get it!

Posted by Nat

8:21 PM, Apr 25, 2008

kingk- yeah, well, what else was the team gonna say? "As you all could see, Batista sucked tonight," Bring on Baek!

I have no real problem with Baek but how many #5 pitchers do we have to have to carry? We've got Batista, Washburn (a true # 5), Baek for insurance, and if I had my way we'd have Dickey up here as well. At least Dickey is fun to watch.

It's not only gonna be a long night but it's gonna be a long season...

Posted by ajdaddy

8:31 PM, Apr 25, 2008

There's a reason Jack Cust is a DH....

Posted by scottM

8:37 PM, Apr 25, 2008

from GEOFF: "Not sure that's what Miguel Batista had in mind when he said last weekend that he'd discovered something new that might prolong his career by five years. Might prolong an inning by five years, the way he looked in tonight's first."

LOL. Was beginning to think that this Blogger angst had destroyed your sense of humor, GEOFF!!

Posted by Colin

8:45 PM, Apr 25, 2008

can someone explain to me why we sign Johjima to a contract extension when he is batting under the Mendoza line?

I love the M's but this is painful to watch. They get down by two runs and its near impossible for them to catch up.

Posted by Mark in Beaverton

8:56 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Anyone venture to guess what the roster move will be to make room for EB? I think most people would guess Roy Corcoran. I have no idea about who has how many options left. But I would suggest sending Mark Lowe down to straighten it out. So far his ERA is 6.75 while RC is 1.69. This would keep the best relieve in the pen; make a statement that if you are not getting the job done we are not going to coddle you; allows the coaching staff to control ML's number of appearances so that he get's the right amount of work in, probably something like 1 inning every other day. One other point, I can't find any statistics on Inherited Runners Scored, but if my memory is correct ML is allowing a lot of IRs to score. Does anyone know of any stat sites that include IR vs IRS?

Posted by Nat

9:00 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Baek has pitched two really fast innings!

Okay, Washburn or Batista to DL for at least 15 days please!

Or bring up Dickey and insert BOTH of them into the RO.

It's great to see Baek dealing here, but what's the point if there's no offense?

Posted by Nat

9:07 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Cust = terrible D. If all the Mariners hitters could just manage to hit to LF now...

Posted by OlyHomer

9:12 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Am I the only one who doesn't feel confident when Vidro is up? It's a giant dropoff from Beltre to Vidro then back up to Sexson.

Nice of him to get that sacrifice though.

These sacrifices are nice and all but a hit would be better right now with this offense. I guess you gotta take what you can get but being down by three doesn't call for a sacrifice.

Posted by Colin

9:21 PM, Apr 25, 2008

We have inept offense.. We seem to score all of our runs on sacrifice flies and to pinch hit with Wilkerson baffles me

Posted by seatown fan

9:23 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Great Mac, way to throw away an at bat by pinch hitting wilkerson. What a damn waste.

Posted by Alex

9:26 PM, Apr 25, 2008

What is the purpose of having Norton on the bench? I thought he was Mr. Pinch Hitter

Posted by bandwagonJumber

9:27 PM, Apr 25, 2008

How many more times do we have to let Wilkerson hang himself before we get a better replacement, why PH him for bloomy in the 6th.

I suppose it could be the batting average, but why.

At least Baek is keeping us in it.

Posted by M's Fan

9:28 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Wilkerson has had enough chances. Cut him or assign him to AAA. Bring up Balentein or Reed.

Posted by scottM

9:36 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Tonight demonstrates why the M's kept Baek as an insurance #6 SP, and why Wilkerson is a "mutual fund" that is not panning out.

Posted by Nat

9:46 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Dfa Wilkerson, and if Bavasi can't bring himself to tap Balentien for RF YET, then why not give Reed a chance. He hit 2 doubles and a HR last night. He can't be any worse than Wilkerson.

Lope is seeing the ball very well tonight.

C'mon Raul, keep it going here...yeah!

Beltre! Oh well, what's new...ho hum...

Posted by Alex

9:59 PM, Apr 25, 2008


What do you guys think of this lineup? Interestingly it would go L/R/L/R/L/R/R/L/R

Posted by colin

9:59 PM, Apr 25, 2008

strikeout here. you watch

Posted by Alex

10:00 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I love giving a guy 24 mil so that we can pinch hit for him...

Posted by colin

10:06 PM, Apr 25, 2008

hahaha this team sucks.. They cant score a run if their life depended on it. They cant hit at all and have to rely on the hope that pitchers walk them

Posted by Matt "Disgruntled Mariner Fan"

10:09 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Wow what a team. We really suck! And how about Mr Extension????? What a joke! Alright Bavasi operation ruin the Mariners is complete can you go now?

Posted by pained soul

10:11 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I hate to say it, but vesting any interest into this team is only bringing me down. I really had some hope at the beginning of the season, and I know it's still early, but the many ways this team seems to find to beat itself are maddening. What happened to the plate discipline of a week or so ago? The A's are giving them every shot to tie or win and the M's simply won't do it. When Wilkerson finds a way on base and Yuni grounds into a double play, I am left with a massively bitter taste in my mouth. What a lousy, lousy team!!!

Posted by Scott

10:11 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I wonder what Geoff will have to say after this one.... could it be, that it is way too early to panic, the offense will turn it around? I would love to hear when it will be late enough to admit that this team just isn't very good.

Posted by Frito Bandito

10:12 PM, Apr 25, 2008

"What do you guys think of this lineup? Interestingly it would go L/R/L/R/L/R/R/L/R"

Any line up that does not include Wilkerson and Vidro looks good to me. Note to Mac: Enough already!!!!

Posted by Matt "Disgruntled Mariner Fan"

10:16 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Please bring Clement up tomorrow!!!!

Posted by broke99

10:19 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Is there a worse manager than McLaren? No situation he isnt overmatched by..I would rather watch Balentien or Clement hit with the knob end than watch Wilkerson or Vidro's pathetic little swings.

Posted by Alex

10:21 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I miss Lou!

Posted by Pete

10:23 PM, Apr 25, 2008

This is painful.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:24 PM, Apr 25, 2008

scott - no matter how bad tonight's game is, the time to panic is mid-may. no team can make excuses after mid-may.

Posted by colin

10:25 PM, Apr 25, 2008

no hitting= no wins. im sorry guys the M's arent going to win very many games this year it looks like

Posted by matt "Disgruntled Mariner Fan"

10:26 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I wish we could score another way besides sac flies! This is so pathetic! Simms needs to be put down, i love how he just said..... "Wow lots of close games for the mariners" .. DUHHHH because we can't score you Idiot!

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