Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MARINERS: Late Rally Not Enough for Mariners, lose 5-4

If the Mariners make a run late in the season to try and secure a spot in October, this game may be looked at as the definitive explanation for how they played. Losing 5-4 to the Minnesota Twins in Seattle, the Mariners late inning attempts at offense was a textbook definition of too little, too late.

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Going down early 5-1, the Mariners managed to rally to 5-3 before the ninth. A leadoff double from Jose Lopez, followed by a run-scoring single by Josh Wilson, instilled quite a bit of hope that the awakening offense was going to bring out the late inning heroics.

A fielder’s choice by Ken Griffey, Jr. and a double play by Casey Kotchman later, and those hopes were quashed. Just as quickly as the rally started, fans were left shaking their heads and wondering what might have been.

In a pre-season filled with dreams of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee, stunning defense and a more-potent offense, and shots at playoff contention, we are instead seeing a worn down Griffey flying out to what would have once been a hit-it-here home run, and a beleaguered team with no real answers.

Doug Fister had a rocky outing, giving up 3 home runs and 5 earned runs. His 7.2 innings pitched helped keep the bullpen’s time on the field down, however. Against the potent Minnesota Twins lineup, things could have been far worse.

After the game, the Mariners designated Kanekoa Texeira and Jesus Colome for assignment, which ends Texeira’s time with the Mariners. In their stead, Sean White and Garrett Olson will be returning to the club.

Tomorrow, the Mariners send Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.12 ERA) to match against Twins' Nick Blackburn (6-1, 4.28 ERA). The game will start at 7:10PST.

Reach M. Wend at nextseasonsports@gmail.com