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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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July 6, 2008 6:55 PM

Why no Rhodes?

Posted by Jose Romero

Many of you are questioning the use of Burke as a reliever today and why not Arthur Rhodes or Brandon Morrow.

True, both were in the bullpen and available if needed. But here is how manager Jim Riggleman explained their absence from the game:

"Arthur, he came in today and said he slept on his arm funny and just didn't feel good. So he said "If I get up, I want to get in.' He didn't want to get up (in the bullpen) and down. So we had a point in the lineup where we were going to use him, and Norm (Charlton) called down and said he's not feeling to good, so we shut him down."

Riggleman also shut down Morrow because he had pitched four of the past five days.

Morrow will be available tomorrow.


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July 6, 2008 5:14 PM

7/6 game thread

Posted by Jose Romero

Top 15
-Burke uncorks a wild pitch and Cabrera goes to third. Deep fly ball to left by Marcus Thames drives in Cabrera, it's 2-1 Detroit.
-Burke is throwing in the low 80s in mph, and Miguel Cabrera just tagged him for a leadoff double. The fans are getting behind him.
-Well it's official, the M's have run out of available bullpen arms. Backup catcher Jamie Burke is now the pitcher. He's the third M's position player in team history to pitch.


Bottom 14
-Clete Thomas, the Tigers LF, just dropped an attempted basket catch in fair territory and Cairo is on at second with two out for Jamie Burke.
-Sexson pops out to first and is now 0-for-6 today.
-Aquilino Lopez, long ago a Mariners minor-leaguer, is now on to pitch for Detroit. Read this from my colleague Larry Stone from years ago, while you wait for the next inning to start (I was Larry's translator for the story).

Top 14
-It's now time for the 14th inning stretch as we head to the bottom of the inning still tied at 1. They're singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" again."
-Just to clarify, this is NOT Geoff Baker writing this. OK now moving on...this is officially the longest game as far as innings the Mariners have played this season. Jimenez has thrown more than 50 pitches and anything he gives them now is just a bonus. Two outs with a man on second for Detroit. Not a great many folks have left the stadium. That's good to see. Someone is actually starting a "Let's go Tigers" chant.


Bottom 13
-Ichiro walks, but is thrown out trying to steal second. Riggleman comes out to argue but when he sees the replay, he will see that Ichiro was tagged out before his foot hit the bag.Too bad, because Lopez just singled and that might have been the game winner right there.
-Three great innings by Jimenez. Impressive against a very good offensive team. Now the Mariners have to find a way to make it worthwhile.

Bottom 12
-To the lucky 13th we go after a ground out to first. Jimenez back out there for his third inning of work.
-Willie can be the man again, like he was the other night (July 1). Cairo at second with two out.
-I got away from this for a bit, but it's Richie time to lead off the 12th against a new pitcher, Freddy Dolsi. And he grounded out meekly to shortstop. More boos.

Top 11
-Jimenez, the sixth Seattle pitcher, gets it done. The bullpen has been huge today but they will be taxed for the upcoming series at Oakland that starts tomorrow.
-This game was breezing right along until no one could score in the late going. Now Cesar Jimenez is on to pitch for the M's.

Bottom 10
-Betancourt fans to end the inning.
-Bloomquist just fouled off what the Safeco speed gun clocked at a 101 mph fastball. Next pitch was over his ducking head a la Charlie Sheen as "Wild Thing" in "Major League." Willie is fouling off pitch after pitch, and just drew a walk.
-Flamethrower Joel Zumaya is on to pitch for Detroit. Robertson was outstanding...9 IP. 4 H, 1 R, 1 K, 2 BB both intentional.

Top 10
-Sean Green now pitching for Seattle, Batista might yet make that Wednesday start. Green is 5th M's pitcher of the day.

Bottom 9
-Sexson flies out to center, gets a few more boos. We're going to extra frames.
-Ibanez strikes out swinging, and now Sexson gets the chance to atone for the 7th and be the hero after Beltre is intentionally walked. A lot of cheers for Big Richie.
-Lopez executes the sacrifice bunt, Ichiro to second.
-Ichiro leads off with an infield single, typical of the All-Star. Robertson is still in there for the Tigers.

Top 9
-Batista gets through it, and now it's game time. Sun is out, maybe a good sign for the M's.
-Miguel Batista is in the game. If he goes beyond this inning, he probably won't start Wednesday as planned.

Top 8
-Give Corcoran credit. Dude shut down the Tigers in order for two innings, including this one.

Bottom 7
-And as if on command, Sexson hits into the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, stranding Ibanez after a one-out double.
-The Tigers just intentionally walked Beltre and his .248 average to get to...everyone's favorite whipping boy, that singles machine Richie Sexson.

Top 7
-Roy Corcoran is now pitching for the Mariners on a sleepy Sunday here at the ballpark. Has anyone out there ever won Blowers' Rally Fries? Just asking.

Bottom 6
-Now it's the Pistons, I mean Tigers, playing defense. Beautiful diving catch by the new RF, Joyce, to rob Betancourt of a hit.

Top 6
-Soft fly out to Ichiro ends the threat by "The D," which is what a couple of my friends call Detroit. Still 1-1.
-Lowe walks pinch hitter Matt Joyce with two out and two on, loading the bases. Roy Corcoran now warming up in the pen. Lowe has thrown 35 pitches this inning.
-Five pitches and out for Detroit starter Nate Robertson in the bottom 5. Now Lowe is on to pitch for the Mariners. RRS line: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 87 pitches, 56 strikes.

Top 5
-M's get away with just the one run allowed. I could swear Lopez forgot there was one out on that grounder to Beltre. He caught the throw to get the lead runner, but didn't even attempt a throw to first for the 5-4-3 DP. Johjima was running up the line pointing at first, Beltre stood there in disbelief, it looked to me, and Lopez patted himself on the chest as if to say "My bad." But it doesn't cost them.

-RRS up over 70 pitches now, so Mark Lowe is now warming up in the pen for Seattle. And there it goes...a solo HR to LF to tie it at 1. Ryan Raburn goes yard. RRS is on the ropes, it seems, but if he can get out of this, he still should buy his teammates dinner for all the times they rescued him today.


Top 4
-Lights are on here, its mostly cloudy but there is a bit of blue sky.
-More D...Ichiro goes down to a knee to make a sliding catch for the second out. And as I write that, Johjima just threw out Pudge Rodriguez trying to steal second.

Bottom 3
-Mariners on the board when Bloomquist gets an infield hit, scores on Betancourt's double off the base of the left field wall. Betancourt is tagged out off second base but Bloomquist beats the throw home. 1-0 Seattle.

Top 3
-Wicked hard line drive to third by Carlos Guillen is knocked down by Beltre, ball glances to Betancourt, who throws out Guillen after Miguel Cairo scoops the one-bounce throw. M's are d-ing up today so far.

Bottom 2
-A few boos for Sexson as he fouls out to the catcher

Top 2
-Nice diving catch by Bloomquist in center. Keeps RRS out of trouble for the moment after a leadoff single.
-Back-to-back walks loads 'em up for the Tigers, but Adrian Beltre picks up his pitcher with a diving stab of a Placido Polanco grounder to Beltre's left and he throws him out. End of inning. 44 pitches for RRS.

Bottom 1
-Ichiro got a nice ovation after a video tribute to him being named an All-Star was played on the big board here at Safeco.

Top 1
-Rowland-Smith threw 25 pitches but emerged unscathed.

64 degress at first pitch, 1:10 p.m.

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July 6, 2008 12:36 PM

A bit more on Ichiro the All-Star

Posted by Jose Romero

-He is the only Mariner named to the All-Star team.
-He received 2,012,912 votes, third-most among AL outfielders.
-He is 6-for-18 with a double, HR and 4 RBI in 7 ASGs.
-He was the MVP last year, going 3-for-3 in San Francisco and hit the first inside-the-park HR in ASG history.
-He's batting .304 this season
-This is the 15th consecutive season Ichiro has been named an All-Star, with seven in a row in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave before he came to Seattle.

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July 6, 2008 11:56 AM

The Riggle-marole

Posted by Jose Romero

Sorry, I had to have fun with the skipper's name just this one time.

Riggleman said reliever J.J. Putz could get a couple of rehabilitation outings during the All-Star break. Putz is on the DL with a right elbow injury and might be able to re-join the roster as soon as a week after the All-Star Game July 15.

Riggleman would like to use Putz earlier than in his typical closer role -- currently taken by Brandon Morrow -- for at least the first few outings after coming off the DL. "Just to kind of get the rust off," Riggleman said. "Then just go from there."

The starting rotation will be juggled some leading up to the break. Miguel Batista, who pitched two innings last night and got the win, might return to the starting rotation if the M's can get some quality starts in the next few days and not need him out of the bullpen again. Erik Bedard will have his scheduled start Wednesday moved back to Thursday or Friday because of tightness in his left shoulder -- no big shock there -- and Batista could start that day. If it isn't Batista, Riggleman said, R.A. Dickey, last night's starter, might get the call. Then Hernandez would make his return from the DL Thursday, if all goes well with his bullpen sessions. Or it will be Bedard Thursday, Hernandez Friday.

Did all that make sense?

Bedard, Riggleman said, "has caught a lot of grief for coming out of games." This time, Bedard told trainers that his shoulder was tight after Friday's game, which he won.

"Everything looks good," Riggleman said. "He's going to get pushed back a little bit."

Riggleman said Bedard is a little frustrated. "He doesn't want to come out of games," the manager said.

Now let's go to the alineaciones (Spanish for lineups) for today's game against Detroit:

Ichiro RF
J-Lo 2B
Ibanez LF
Beltre 3B
Sexson DH
Cairo 1B
Johjima C
Bloomquist CF
Betancourt SS

Riggleman said Jeff Clement, who hit two HRs last night, isn't in the lineup because the Tigers have a lefthander going today in Nate Robertson and it is a day game after a night game.

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July 6, 2008 11:40 AM

Felix in the pen

Posted by Jose Romero

No, Felix Hernandez is not moving to the bullpen. He's just in there as I write this, throwing a bullpen session at Safeco Field under the observation of Mariners trainer Rick Griffin and others (Update: it just ended).

Manager Jim Riggleman said Hernandez, who is on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle and could come off the DL as soon as Tuesday, will throw another lighter bullpen session on that day. Then the plan is to have him return to the starting rotation this Thursday or Friday when the Mariners are on the road.

Hernandez threw some pitches off a mound yesterday but had a more extensive session today.

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July 6, 2008 11:35 AM

Ichiro an All-Star starter

Posted by Jose Romero

The starting lineups for the All-Star Game were announced just a little while ago, and Mariners outfielder Ichiro was voted a starter.

Ichiro, 34, is on the AL squad for the eighth time in his eight seasons in Seattle, and seventh as a starter. Here's a link to the lineups on mlb.com.

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