Monday, April 14, 2008

Seattle Mariners Game 13: Angels 10 Mariners 5

This day had FAIL written all over it from the beginning. First I turn the game on to realize that newly acquired ace Erik Bedard was to miss yet another start with that lingering hip issue. Then I realized that Baek was getting the start in place of Erik and I just knew bad things were coming in this game. As much as a I like Baek, he looked terrible when he came in for some relief work the other night. Then they announced that Beltre was out of the lineup nursing a sore hamstring. Not really the end of the world on the Beltre front, he is bound to get days off whether he is hurting or not. Miguel Cario got the start at 3rd in place of Beltre and Mike Morse got the start in right field in place of Brad Wilkerson. Once I calmed down I thought to myself that maybe I was overreacting and we still did have a chance to sweep the Angels in this first series of the season. Then I remembered who was starting for them...

None other than Joe Saunders who has been outstanding early in this season. His ERA going into this game was something like 0.64. I think Saunders is a good pitcher but I don't think he is great. Something has to give eventually and I secretly prayed that this game was the game he would get lit up. Would this be the day he throws 80 pitches in 3 or 4 innings and struggles to get an out? Not a chance kids. While he only went 5.1 innings in this one, he also managed to only give up 2 earned runs on 6 hits. He left the game with a 4-0 lead and that would be all he needed.

Baek was not exceptionally sharp. But even still he only gave up 2 runs through 4 and a bit innings. When he came out of the game there were two runners on base and when I saw who was coming in from the bullpen I just knew those runs were going to come around to score. Eric O'Flaherty ladies and gentleman. The very guy who has cost this team at least 3 games this season. WHY I ask did we bring him into a game that was still very much in reach? Things got ugly in a hurry. As I said, those 2 runs came around to score. Then for some reason I cannot comprehend McLaren sent Eric back out there for the 6th inning where he managed to give up 3 more runs. The score was now 7-0. Sure the game seemed unreachable at that point but our team is known for their late inning scoring. It was that way a lot of last year. When we managed to actually put 2 runs up on the board in the 6th I was like ok, we are down 5 with 3 innings to go. But then when I saw Eric on the mound for the 7th inning I realized that our coach had decided to just give up. He decided that Eric working out his issues was more important than our team coming back from behind to win a game that even though early in the season means something. Eric went on to give up 3 more runs in that inning. Now a 10-2 game. We did end up putting up 2 more that inning and one in the 9th making the final score 10-5. O'Flaherty's line for the night was 2.2 innings pitched, 61 pitches, 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 2 k's and a home run. Disgraceful yes but what is probably more disheartening to me is that McLaren let it happen. In my opinion McLaren gave up on his team in this game. What kind of message does that send? What does that do for the confidence of a young pitcher? FRUSTRATING!!!!!

O'Flaherty isn't the only goat in this game however. For the first 5 innings this team looked dead. They looked like little leaguers who didn't know how to swing a bat. Mike Morse made 2 costly errors in right field and ended up hurting himself. He is now on the DL and the Mariners have called up pitchers Dickey and Rhodes for some much needed help in the bullpen and sent O'Flaherty to AA Tennessee. PHEW!!

Now let us all just hope that this hip thing with Bedard is not serious and he will be back on the mound in a couple of days. The Mariners desperately need him to be healthy and anchor their pitching rotation.

The Kansas City Royals are in town starting tonight for a quick 2 game series. Washburn will take the mound for the M's opposite Zach Grienke for the Royals. KC is playing great baseball right now so it could be and entertaining couple of days.

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