Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
August 22, 2008 10:46 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Yes, that's a runner on first base after J.J. Putz walked him to start the ninth. Putz got an out, then allowed a single to Emil Brown, under a diving Yuniesky Betancourt, to bring Frank Thomas to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Putz fanned Thomas in a key situation earlier this year. Said it was tough not to be intimidated by a future hall of famer stepping in there.
This time, Putz got the better of Thomas again. Thomas grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play. The M's snap their seven-game losing streak with a 7-5 win. Putz gets his eighth save.
Been a while since Putz last had a save. That came way back on June 9 against Toronto. He'd blown four straight opportunities in the interim.
Sean Green nearly blew this game, hitting those first two batters in the sixth, then giving up two singles. The latter of those was a Daric Barton bloop to left. Green had a long conversation with manager Jim Riggleman on the mound upon being removed.
"I thought Greenie was a little upset that I took him out of the game,'' Riggleman said. "I told him 'This is not the time to be upset with me.' ''
Riggleman then told Green that if he wanted to stay out there, he'd have to pitch better.
Well, yeah, that makes sense. But Green did a pretty good job of pitching for this team the first four months of the season. The M's ran him out there more than any other AL reliever had worked. Green probably deserves the benefit of the doubt here. Riggleman was quick to say it was not an overly tense conversation and Green seemed fine after the game.
Ryan Feierabend was taken out after five innings, with the 4-1 lead, so he'd have something positive to reflect on. Feierabend, celebrating his 23rd birthday, said having his normal four days' rest between starts was a big help.
"I think it's all mental for me,'' said Feierabend, who took a no-decision in his second start since being called up from Class AAA last week. "If I go out there and have confidence I'm going to get guys out, it's going to happen for me.''
It happened for the M's tonight. They'll take it.