(update 9:17 p.m.) Felix goes complete. Threw 115 pitches, 80 for strikes and struck out 8. Excellent pitching from Felix, excellent win for the M’s. Let’s get the sweep tomorrow. Until then, keep it classy.
(update 9:10) Felix gets a huge strikeout to end the A’s threat in the 8th inning. Felix has thrown around 106 now and should be lifted for the 9th, lets hope the M’s can hold on to the 4-2 lead and give Felix the win he most ardently deserves tonight.
(update 8:27 p.m.) In the bottom of the 6th now and Joe Blanton seems to have settled in after yielding four runs thru three innings. Meanwhile Brad Wilkerson continues to play like he doesn’t even know how to play, 0 for 3 on the day all literally on the first pitch and weakly hit balls. Felix also pitching nicely right now. He has thrown 66 pitches thru five frames and has four strikeouts to just four hits.
(update 7:55 p.m.) Felix has a 1-2-3 inning in the third, his first of the game and the Mariners tack on another run to extend their lead back out to three after another Adrian Beltre double, this time for an RBI. Beltre sure loves his doubles so far this season.
(update 7:44 p.m.) A little bit of a scare here in the bottom of the 2nd after Hernandez reached back with his throwing hand to field a Kurt Suzuki comebacker. YuBet charged in to try to Suzuki at first but ended up committing an error on the wild submarine throw. Hernandez, however, struck out the side and thru 2 innings has given up four hits (3 cheap ones) and an unearned run. Mariners lead 3-1
(update 7:17 p.m.) Mariners get off to fast start, scoring three runs in the first inning. Ichiro got things started with a single to left center then took second on a passed ball. After Jose Lopez moved him over to third with a groundout to the first baseman, Raul Ibanez laced a single to center and Beltre followed with a double into the gap in left. That put runners on second and third for Vidro and he didn’t leave them stranded as he doubled underneath a diving Ryan Sweeney. Mariners have the early 3-0 lead, let’s see if that’s all Felix needs tonight…
(update 6:10 p.m.) Just got back up from batting practice where Adrian Beltre was putting on a show for the large contingent of A’s fans that decided to show for the game (that was a joke). Once again the crowd is quite sparse here in Oakland and the few who did come got to see Beltre leave some dents all around the ballpark including one way up in left center off the glass windows of the suites they have here. You have to know the ballpark here to know just what kind of poke that is but I’d say he hit it a good 450 feet.
Anyways, not much news to report. MacLaren talked about using Morrow in the 6th and 7th at first and will see how things go, how things develop. He also mentioned while talking with a local radio host that he would like to see his starters get some complete games. He’s definitely the type of manager who wants his starters to finish what they started, or so he says. So far we haven’t seen it in his actions but hopefully that changes today with Felix Hernandez on the hill.
(4:15 p.m.) Just arrived at the ballpark here in Oak-Town and the early news of the day out of the M’s camp is that Brandon Morrow is indeed the player that has been called up to take Erik Bedard’s temporary spot on the roster. We should see soon enough whether he and his arm are ready to take over the 8th inning set-up job permanently or at least share the work load with Mark Lowe when closer J.J. Putz returns from the DL. On that note, J.J. Putz is optimistic for a Monday return from the DL.
This is a huge series for the Mariners. They are currently positioned two games back of the first-place A’s and Angels and without Bedard for another start, would really like to make some hay in the division this week. Not only do they have two with the A’s, but continue down the I-5 to face Anaheim for a three-gamer this weekend with the trio of Dickey-Washburn-Batista scheduled to take the hill.
The M’s got the bats going against the Royals in the final game of that two-game series, obtaining the split with a 11-6 win in which they tied an MLB record with five sacrifice flies in one game. Hopefully, this is a sign of big things to come and not just a blip on the radar screen for the M’s bats.
Well down to the field for bp…