Mariners Insider

Archives: May 2009

May
31st

Game 51: Mariners go for the sweep

Having won three – yes, three! – games in a row, if the Seattle Mariners take the Angels today it will be more than just a sweep.

It will be the second-longest winning streak of their season.


To the hot bats of Ichiro (.342) and Russell Branyan (.321), add that of Adrian Beltre, who has hit .341 in the past seven games.

It’s Garrett Olson vs. Ervin Santana, and Olson is getting the opportunity to show himself as a starting pitcher as the Mariners look down the road into the none-too-distant future.


Ichiro leads off,

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May
31st

On Wakamatsu and Barry and, of course, Junior


Don Wakamatsu was telling baseball stories and, not surprisingly, Ken Griffey Jr. was among the listeners this morning.

Wak was talking about going to college with Barry Bonds, then meeting him again six years later.


“I finally made it to big league camp, and he’d already been an All-Star four times,” Wakamatsu said. “The first thing he said when he saw me was, ‘What took you?’”

Years later, the two ran into one another again, and Wakamatsu asked his famous friend for a signed jersey.


“He signed it,

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May
30th

Game 50 – Which Felix will pitch tonight?

Ichiro just singled to open the game, extending his hitting streak to 23 consecutive games – the second longest of his career.

Now, the question is which Felix Hernandez shows up on the mound. Will it be the man who has won five games and had six marvelous starts this season?

Or will it be the other Felix, the one who’s allowed five runs in a game twice – and six runs in a game three times?

With two wins in a row behind them, Seattle needs its ace to be just that tonight.

And

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May
30th

Ichiro is more than consistent – on and off the field



Ichiro’s 22-game hitting streak is his seventh of 20-or-more-games, which means he’s been here before.


Asked why, his newest manager – Ichiro has had six – said it was an almost obsessive dedication.

“Ichiro has a routine, and it lasts from the moment he gets up in the morning until the moment he goes to bed at night,” Don Wakamatsu said. “He prepares to play the same way each day, and he prepares to suceed.”

Ichiro has always had, for instance, his own stretching program.

“In Japan, we

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May
29th

Game #49 – There’s Ichiro and eight other Mariners…

Ichiro starts the night with a 21-game hitting streak, a .343 batting average and 16 runs scored.

Why? The answer is in the lineup behind him.


Adrian Beltre is batting third tonight, Ken Griffey Jr. fourth – and Beltre is hitting .212, Griffey .218. No team in baseball will field a weaker 3-4 punch tonight.

Want more? Jose Lopez (.216) and Rob Johnson (.211) are in the lineup, too, which puts a lot of pressure on the pitching – in this case, lefty Jason Vargas.

It’s Vargas vs. John Lackey, and Lackey has to be dying

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May
29th

Rain & Changes in the wind

It sprinkled in Southern California today, and hundreds of locals ran screaming into the sea like lemmings – convinced the sun had disappeared forever.

That’s the depth of life here, where cloudy weather is thought to be the beginning of the end of the world.


The Mariners, of course, took the drops like men and went through with early batting practice. None melted. No one was washed away.

That won’t be the case by, oh, say Aug. 1.


If you recognize the infield, it’ll be a surprise. Adrian Beltre, Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt could all

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May
29th

LINKAGE: Time to trade for the M’s, more love for Adam Jones

Much of the discussion amongst Mariners fans and the media has started to turn to possible trades of several people. Columnist John McGrath discussed this in today’s column in the News Tribune, saying the Mariners need to clean house. Larry also had a story which discusses similar ideas. And not to be left out, I also did my weekly segment with KJR’s Ian Furness where we also discuss that similar idea.


One thing I think I failed to mention when talking about Yuni Betancourt, and his trade value. Yes, the

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May
29th

Ryan Rowland-Smith looks solid in rehab start

Ryan Rowland-Smith was solid tonight in his second rehab start with the Tacoma Rainiers. He pitched five shut-out innings allowing three hits, striking out three and walking one. He threw 81 pitches with 54 of them strikes.


From Grant Clark’s story in the News Tribune.


"Everything pretty much went the way I wanted it to go out there tonight," said Rowland-Smith, who was placed on the disabled list by the Seattle Mariners on April 15 because of tendinitis in his left triceps. "My pitch count got a little high with (Michael) Garciaparra (in the third)

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