An underwhelming start by Miguel Batista to say the least as he gives up 8 runs in 2 innings of work. An almost never ending 37 pitch first inning was capped by Michael Cuddyer’s 4th career Grand Slam. The Twins sent 11 batters to the plate and the erratic Batista looked like he would never finish the inning. Somehow he was able to and after giving up another couple of hits and a run in the 2nd he was lifted for Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Rowland-Smith on the other hand was amazing in relief. He pitched 4 innings of scoreless, no-hit ball with 6 strikeouts and just 2 walks. It really looks like the Mariners have found a long reliever in Rowland-Smith and then they also have Sean Green or O’Flaherty if they need them in those situations. Needless to say the Mariner bullpen again showed its stellar ability.
The Mariners however, were never able to recover after those 8 runs Batista gave up and were forced to lose their first game in six days.
A lineup filled with a couple of bench players in Bloomquist and Broussard — the latter hitting his 7th homer of the season — because of the day game after night quick turn-around, did its best to scratch and crawl its way back into the game but just couldn’t get much done against Twins starter Carlos Silva who pitched 7 strong innings, giving up just 2 runs on 8 hits.
Once again Adam Jones was left out of the starting lineup, this for the 4th straight game and it really appears that manager John Maclaren doesn’t understand the type of player that he has in Jones. You don’t sit a guy 4 out of 5 games and expect him to be ready to contribute offensively on the game that you play him. So no wonder the guy is hitting .270 and not necessarily overwhelming you at the plate. It’s just another excuse to play Ibanez who conveniently has gotten hot in August when Jones was called up. A coincidence? I think not. Even with his current hot play it shouldn’t earn him a reprieve for his less than impressive start of four months in the season. The Mariners need to make room for Jones as an everyday player starting with the opener in ’08 and with Guillen looking like the team’s MVP right now, Ibanez is the odd man out. An offseason trade for a strong bullpen arm (which would provide an arm to take Morrow’s spot as he moves to the starting rotation) or a starting pitching prospect. Either way Ibanez should be dealt for something instead of just demoted and left to sit on the pine. But thats an argument for another time.
The Mariners now go on Texas for a four-game series against a team that swept them in Arlington just under a month ago in a series of 1-run games. Payback should be on the M’s minds…
For the complete Mariners-Twins game 3 boxscore go here