Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 24, 2008 9:57 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
Thanks to all those who said kind words about me. To all those who don't like my blogging (especially you, Joey), don't worry, I've got only one more day at the controls. Geoff will take it back over during the next series in San Diego. He's the master.
Well, that was a rare Mariners' laugher tonight. I couldn't help but think that if Willie Randolph hadn't gotten fired last week, these first two games by the Mets would have done it.
You have to figure that the Mariners, at some point this season, are going to rise from unbelievably terrible to, say, moderately awful. Maybe that transition is in progress now.
Maybe Richie Sexson read the blog before the game and realized he had to step it up. He actually hit the ball with authority a few times, including his first extra-base-hit since May 24. He may have bought himself a little more time to show if he can maintain a hot streak. And, yes, Jim Riggleman and others did say that they could see it coming, that he's been swinging better of late and it was only a matter of time until he broke out. I'd like to see more than one successful game before I declare that Sexson is back.
Johjima also had a good game with a homer and three hits, Raul Ibanez had a homer, three hits and three RBI, and Willie Bloomquist made a great catch in center to preserve the shutout. But give some kudos to R.A. Dickey, who pitched both well (seven shutout innings) and long. The Mariners needed both of them with a depleted bullpen.
One interesting Dickey note: He said he put out a call to fellow knuckleballer Tim Wakefield yesterday, seeking advice on his recent troubles. Wakefield actually watched a tape of one of Dickey's recent outings and called back last night to offer some advice that Dickey said was quite helpful.
"He was coming home from his game, and gave me a shout,'' Dickey said. "He's a good friend to do that. That's pretty awesome. I called out to him first and said, 'Look, man, I'm kind of going through a scuffle period and I need a little advice.' He called me back and gave me that advice, and I was able to take it into the game.Obviously, it was helpful.''
Dickey didn't go into complete detail, but apparently it had something to do with varying the speed in his knuckleball, and having confidence in it.
Of course, if the Mariners beat out the Red Sox for the pennant, and Dickey wins the Cy Young, Wakefield's going to feel pretty silly.
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