Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 6, 2008 8:47 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
A lot of shock taking place at Fenway Park tonight. The Boston Red Sox had a 13-game winning streak at home before the Mariners waxed them 8-0 behind the pitching of Felix Hernandez -- who tossed six scoreless and has not allowed a career run in 15 frames at Fenway Park.
And behind the hitting of Richie Sexson. Three singles for Sexson. Two RBI. Like I said, a whole lot of shock happening here. Want another? Sexson actually spoke after the game. First time in a while. Talked about getting used to his new open stance. Also about the team and tonight's win, only the second on the road for Seattle since...April 29 in Cleveland. That's right. Only the second road win for Wladimir Balentien in his 2008 stint with the team. The M's had been 1-13 in their last 14 road games, winning only that 12-inning affair in Texas.
"Obviously, it feels good,'' Sexson said. "We needed a win. We've had a lot of negative things surrounding this team the last month.''
Sexson was by no means saying those things were over. He even joked about the one win making everything OK. He knows it isn't. Knows it will take more than beating up on Boston's Class AAA lineup and a tired-looking Bartolo Colon.
I asked Sexson how the team reacted to what was said by John McLaren and Bill Bavasi two days ago.
"I don't know about that,'' he said, rather uncomfortably. "It is what it is. Obviously, there's frustration here. It just came out.''
Sexson then continued: "We just came out and played a good game. I don't think anybody was thinking about two days ago when we came out and won the game today.''
And how does he deal with the personal negativity surrounding his play?
"Go out and get a few hits,'' he said. "It's the only thing you can do.''
There were the obvious towel and food jokes being tossed around the clubhouse. Remember, GM Bavasi ordered the team's post-game food spread be witheld, along with towels, following the loss on Wednesday at Safeco Field. The idea was that players wouldn't eat or shower and would be forced to stand by their lockers and talk to the media about their poor play.
So, Ichiro, noted jokester, had to chime in after driving home two runs in this one.
"I was worried that there might not be any food after the game today,'' Ichiro said, through an interpreter. "I was worried that if we won today, maybe they would continue the streak of not serving the food.''
Pretty funny guy. Here's some more. I asked him how the players -- and he -- felt about the way they were treated post-game.
"I felt it was kind of cute, actually. It's something a parent would do to a young kid and that’s basically my emotion.''
So,the kids have been chastened.
Ichiro said most of the players knew the food and towel thing was only temporary. He said he'd like to see changes of a more permanent nature take place. I'm pretty sure he was refering to on-field play, but he wouldn't get specific.
Mariners manager John McLaren mentioned after the game that "Ichiro is still not Ichiro" and that the team needs him to come through more like he did tonight. McLaren wasn't breaking out the champagne after one win. Especially a win over this injury-depleted Red Sox lineup, in which early errors kept Seattle ahead.
"We took advantage of the other team, which we hadn't been able to do until tonight,'' McLaren said. "They opened the door and we took advantage.''
Now, they have to win two in a row.