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Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on March 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm with No Comments »
March 30, 2009 4:35 pm

TODAY

The Seattle bullpen – pitchers Jesus Delgado, Mark Lowe and Randy Messenger – allowed seven runs over the final three innings, turning a pitching duel into an ugly loss to Milwaukee, 9-7.

TODAY

Seattle plays at Cleveland in a 1:05 p.m. game that will be broadcast by KIRO. Probable starting pitchers: Chris Jabukauskas vs. Scott Lewis.

NOTABLE

Non-roster outfielder Mike Wilson wanted nothing more than to show the Mariners he had power and could drive in runs this spring. After hitting his sixth home run of the spring in the fifth inning – then No. 7 with two outs in the ninth to tie the game – Wilson leads Seattle in home runs and RBI (17). …

Ryan Rowland-Smith, the No. 5 starter in Seattle’s rotation, threw six innings and allowed two runs – on a fifth-inning home run by Prince Fielder. It was his strongest game of the spring, and followed a series of three games in which Seattle starters Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez and Carlos Silva were shelled. Rowland-Smith began the game 2-for-2 at the plate this spring, drew a walk and struck out in two plate appearances. …

Manager Don Wakamatsu and pitching coach Rick Adair took all 19 pitchers left in camp to the bullpen not to pitch but to listen. "A lot of it had to do with their bullpen routines, signs, communication with catchers – how critical that stuff is," Wakamatsu said. …

Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt is taking daily bunting drills on a half field in camp, and is spending more and more time bunting for hits, not just sacrifice bunts. The theory is that the occasional bunt for a hit would open up defensive holes by forcing the infield corners to play in for Betancourt. Will he try it in a game? Not even the Mariners know that. …

Reliever Roy Corcoran talked about accountability after a couple of sub-par appearances, saying there was no excuse he could use. "I don’t care when they say you’re just working on things. It’s not like that," Corcoran said. "I can’t go home and think that because it makes me feel weaker as a person, like I can get away with doing it. I can’t. Jack (Zduriencik) expressed that early in camp – your performance is going to dictate what happens, and there is a sense of urgency. I want to pitch well. But I haven’t. I will." Coming off a year in which he had a 3.22 earned run average in 50 games, Corcoran has battled arm problems this spring – when hitters have batted .357 against him and his ERA has ballooned to 12.79. Still, it’s a small spring sample. Corcoran has pitched only 6 1/3 innings. …

Ichiro Suzuki batted third against the Brewers, and went 1-for-2. Of his 1,264 major league starts, only 13 have been in a spot other than leading off. Neither the team nor the player made much of it. …

Ken Griffey Jr. was smiling more broadly than usual, and with reason. Wife Melissa and the kids haver rejoined him briefly during spring break. "After this, I’ll probably see them three times the rest of the season," Griffey said. "It’s gonna be tough." …

How’s catcher Kenji Johjima doing since his return from the World Baseball Classic. Even in a 17-12 loss, Johjima earned praise from his manager. "Joh did a phenomenal job with (Jarrod) Washburn and made adjustments as the game went on and had four really clean innings," Wakamatsu said. "What’s impressed me is Kenji went out of his way to go over and talk to the pitchers during the game, to work with them." …

After battling high blood sugars all day Sunday – he was up in the high 300s – diabetic Brandon Morrow suspected he had a problem with his insulin pump. He reseated it on his abdomen, got it going again and soon dropped to 98. "I feel a whole lot better today," Morrow said. He didn’t miss work either day. …

QUOTABLE

From Corcoran, on watching other relievers pitch well while he’s struggled: "It’s something I shouldn’t worry about right now, but it’s hard not to worry about it. You’ve got guys throwing the crap out of the ball."





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