After the Seattle Mariners lost their fifth game in a row and the sixth in their last seven tonight, 4-2, Eric Wedge said his team wasn’t yet taking into games the lessons he and his staff had been trying to teach them.
“We’re fouling fastballs back, we’re taking fastballs for strikes and we’re not squaring them up,” Wedge said. “There’s too much of all three. Our players understand what we’re giving them, it’s just not translating into the games.
“You can’t have to play perfect baseball to win games, but that’s the position we’re putting ourselves in.”
On a night when they led only once – 1-0 in the first inning – the Mariners gave up a pair of Rangers home runs, then scored in the eighth inning when Texas gave them a chance to climb back in the game.
One of the key plays was an eighth-inning triple that third base coach Jeff Datz tried to help Brendan Ryan turn into an inside-the-park home run.
“I turned third base and reached for another gear and there wasn’t one,” said Ryan, who lost speed and was thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate.
“From the moment (center fielder) Craig Gentry dove and missed that ball, it was on.”
Michael Saunders, on base after an infield single, scored from first base. Ryan came around second base running all out and Datz watched the play develop.
“It was 4-1, then 4-2 and I thought he could make it,” Datz said. “They made a great throw, the relay was a seed and (Mike) Napoli put a great block on at the plate and they still barely got him.
“But you never want to make the first out of the inning at the plate.”
For his part, Ryan refused to blame his coach.
“I’ll never forget the play as long as I live,” he said. “I’ve never had the opportunity for an inside-the-park home run before, and I don’t know if I ever touched the plate.”
Kevin Millwood started and left after five innings and 97 pitches.
“I wasn’t locating and they weren’t swinging at bad pitches,” Millwood said. “Combined, that made me throw a lot of pitches.”
Steve Delabar relieved, walked one man, allowed a single and then a one-out three-run home run to David Murphy.
“It stayed over the plate, a little away,” Delabar said. “If it’s where it was supposed to be, he might roll over it and we get a double play.”