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Mariners 8th win: It took the whole team

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on April 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm with 9 Comments »
April 24, 2012 8:29 pm

All the Seattle Mariners needed to beat Detroit tonight was all they had – a solid start by Jason Vargas, a 15-hit night by the offense and splendid relief work from Steve Delabar, Tom Wilhelmsen and Brandon League.      

Oh, and big nights by Alex Liddi and Michael Saunders, who combined for five hits – two doubles, a home run and four RBI – in Seattle’s 7-4 win.

 “We were playing pretty well and then had a bad week at home,” rookie Liddi said. “We didn’t panic. Tonight we put men on base almost every inning and we got them in.”

That last part was the downfall of a 3-6 home stand.

“Last week was tough, some real tough losses,” manager Eric Wedge said. “Vargas came out and gave us six solid innings and then the bullpen really shut down Detroit the final three innings.

“That said, the offense really stepped it up.  We had a good night with men in scoring position, and it’s hard to get over that hump.”

Given 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Mariners delivered on six of those. No one came up bigger than Saunders, the outfielder who came to spring training without a job.

No, his .229 batting average isn’t going to get him many All-Star votes, but against the Tigers his third-inning double turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 edge.

Then in the ninth, with the Mariners looking for an insurance run, Ichiro and Jesus Montero singled, and Casper Wells ran for Montero. With two outs, Saunders doubled again.

Ichiro scored to make it a three-run lead, and though Wells was out at the plate, the hit was clutch.

In relief, Delabar had the seventh inning and League closed Detroit out for his sixth save. The roughest work was done in the middle inning by Wilhelmsen.

“Yeah, because I gave up hits to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder,” he deadpanned afterward.

Well, there was that.

Protecting a 6-4 lead, Wilhelmsen’s inning opened with back-to-back singles, then Delmon Young yanked a ball to right field that Ichiro grabbed at the fence.

“That was in the air about two minutes,” Wilhelmsen said.

 From there, he struck out Jonny Peralta on an hellacious 3-2 curveball, then blew away Alex Avila on a fastball.

“You’ve got to know you can throw that pitch for a strike there,” Wilhelmsen said of the breaking ball. “That’s my out pitch. I have confidence in it.”

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. bartseviltwin says:

    Good start to the road trip, and it would be great if the M’s can keep it up for a few games.

  2. I feel pretty good right now. I felt really bad after the perfect game loss. Fortunately, no aneurism…so far.

    Hope they can do some good for Felix tomorrow. I’m wondering whether Smoak will be back in the lineup.

  3. “I’m wondering whether Smoak will be back in the lineup.”

    I hope not, I’d much rather see Liddi at 1b.

  4. The offense had better score fix some run.

  5. The offense had better score felix some run. It would be very disappointing other wise.

  6. mojjonation says:

    They were up against a guy who had an ERA of something around 8. Or maybe it was 6. Can’t remember and I’m to lazy to check.

    Anyway, here’s some thoughts. Turn the lineup upside down. Have the moose deliver the card to the ump. Pitch every pitcher one inning. Turn Figgins into a ball girl. Trade 22 guys for Albert Pujols. Then have him bat 2nd behind Ichiro. If Ichiro dosn’t score, then use a ghost runner. Have Felix and Vargas pitch every other inning. What’s the worst that could happen?

  7. Why is it that it seems the M’s play so much better on the road and play awful at home??? Close Safeco and let them be on the road the entire year!

    I love it when the “King” pitches…but all the other players fall asleep and they score no runs for him! Its been the story of his career! Great pitching, no scoring, and no decision.

    Its good to see the M’s got some hits yesterday! I hope they could turn this around a little.

  8. mojjonation says:

    I think it was KJR who mentioned the other day that Felix is 86-68. In 38 of his starts, he has gone 7+ innings, given up two runs or less, and has either gotten a no decision or lost. If he pitched for any other team with half an offiense, he’d probably have 110, or maybe 120 wins.

  9. Don’t ignore the fact that Felix received good run support in one of his starts this year and let it get away from him. He’s human too. I’m expecting better run support from him as the year goes on, and hopefully today the M’s will give him four or five to work with.

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