Mariners Insider

‘The big guy on the hill’ delivers a win

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on April 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm with 2 Comments »
April 12, 2011 10:54 pm

 

The prototypical No. 4 outfielder-turned-slugger,  Ryan Langerhans hit a two-run home run in what became the Seattle Mariners 3-2 victory over Toronto tonight, and after losing seven in a row the team has now won twice

 So what was the storyline? Ask Langerhans.

“The big guy on the hill,” he said, and he meant the 6-foot-7, 260-pound beast that is Michael Pineda.

“I was talking to (Michael) Saunders on the way in between innings and saying ‘He’s throwing 97-98 mph – and not even using the middle of the plate,”  Langerhans said. “He was working in, working out, and throwing his breaking ball for strikes.”

The 22-year-old went 7 1/3 innings and was dinged in the eighth for two runs, one of them earned. His fastball topped out at 99 mph, his slider bit, his changeup … well … it remains a pitch-in-waiting.

Now 1-1 with a 2.70 earned run average, Pineda remains more potential than finished product, but against a team that was looking for fastballs and sliders, he gave them what they wanted – and through seven innings shut them out.

Yes, he’s technically the fifth starter in the Seattle rotation. But, using the off-day to wiggle things around last week, pitching coach Carl Willis and manager Eric Wedge have Felix Hernandez and Pineda now pitching back-to-back.

Want to be a hitter when those two boys pitch in a series?

There will be bumps and disappointments along the way – hey, Felix allowed seven runs on Monday night – but Pineda is worth bringing the kids out to see. At Safeco Field tonight, 15,500 were there, so good seats are likely still available for Pineda’s remaining starts. 

Once he gets this changeup thingie figured out, he might not need three runs. Or a bulllpen.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. SandlotSam says:

    There is a new Mountain in Washington. And he plays baseball. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaah!

  2. The team didn’t look bad last night. (See a couple of stories down.) The error on Jack Wilson’s ball helped; I was walking behind the batter’s eye in center and thought he had a double, so I don’t know what it looked like. Pineda’s fastball looked very straight…and very fast. To hold that bunch to one earned run is seven and a third is pretty impressive.
    Olivo had better hit eventually, because his defense is going to cost the M’s some games.Adam Moore going down now is a very bad thing.

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