Texas 6, Mariners 4: In his first start since July ’09, Erik Bedard did a respectable job against the red-hot Rangers, and the M’s hung around despite an early deficit. But a key Ichiro error led to two unearned runs, and M’s hitters couldn’t get a key hit when they needed it. Mariners 2-2, 2nd place in West, 2 GB. Next game today @ Texas.
Debuting Dominicans start tonight: Neat pitching match-up in tonight’s Mariners/Rangers game, as Michael Pineda faces Alexi Ogando. Both are fireballers from the Dominican Republic making their first major league starts. Pineda is from San Cristobal (fun fact: former Dodger Raul Mondesi is the current mayor), Ogando from San Pedro de Marcoris, about 60 miles east along the island’s southern coast.
Nick Lachey no longer owns the Rainiers: A local ownership group bought the Tacoma Rainiers from Lachey’s Schlegel Sports, dropping the odds of seeing a celebrity in Tacoma below those of seeing an attractive woman at Oakland Coliseum.
Better know a Mariner pitcher: Michael Pineda
Pineda debuts today in the majors, but he’s already been a Mariner for nearly a quarter of his life. Signed from the Dominican Republic in 2005 at age 16, Pineda has steadily risen through the farm system, making the leap to the big club after a stellar spring training. He’ll rely on his mid-90s fastball, mix in a hard slider, and — rarely, if ever — a change up. Pay close attention when Josh Hamilton is up. Right-handed Pineda’s biggest weakness is facing lefties. Hamilton may be the best lefty hitter in baseball–he hit .401 against righties last year.
**Note: Last Mariner pitcher to have his major league debut also be his first major league start? Felix Hernandez, on August 4th, 2005.**
Tonight’s target: Alexi Ogando
Not only is this fireballing Ogando’s first major league start, it’s only his fourth professional start. Ogando spent two years as an OF in the A’s system before becoming a pitcher for the Rangers, getting to the majors as a reliever late last year. Like Pineda, Ogando’s only major league level pitch is his fastball, which gets into the high 90s with great movement. He also throws a slider, but he has poor control of it. He was working on a splitter in spring training. LET’S BASH OGANDO BACK INTO OUTFIELDING! DESTROY HIM, MARINERS!!!
In other news…
Check out this stunning double play Jack Wilson turned last night.
Another name to learn in the Huskies’ big man search: Richard Peters, a 6-10 Canadian post, is considering a move to Montlake.
Ready for some draft depression? Field Gulls’ Danny Kelly is counting down the Seahawks top ten draft busts, while USS Mariner’s Jay Yencich has a frightening look at the Mariners’ draft history from 2003-06. Viewer discretion is advised.
Former Cub Kevin Millar is bitching about Lou Piniella’s managerial style for some reason.
M’s legend Ken Griffey Jr. was paired with Roger Clemens at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Tournament on Saturday. They lost to Drew Brees and Wayne Gretzky.
A look back at how the wildcat formation worked out for the Seahawks last year.
Seven days closer to a championship…
Today, April 5
Mariners @ Texas, 5:05 p.m. (FSN now ROOT)
Wednesday, April 6
Mariners @ Texas, 11:05 a.m. (FSN now ROOT)
Thursday, April 7
Friday, April 8
M’s Opening Night vs. Cleveland @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. Magnetic Schedules! (FSN now ROOT)
Saturday, April 9
Sounders vs. Chicago @ Qwest, 1 p.m. (KING-5)
Mariners vs. Cleveland @ Safeco, 6:10 p.m. Felix Bobblehead! (FSN now ROOT)
Sunday, April 10
Mariners vs. Cleveland @ Safeco, 1:10 p.m. Ichiro T-shirt! (FSN now ROOT)
Monday, April 11
Mariners vs. Toronto @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. Half-price family night! (FSN now ROOT)
Check out my Seattle sports calendar, currently listing all M’s, Sounders, Storm and Husky football games. I use it in conjunction with my Google calendar to make sure I don’t schedule my inoculations during a big game.