Dynamic duo make their lone spring showing
It was fun seeing Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda pitch back-to-back today in Phoenix as the present and the future were on display in the Mariners’ 6-3 win over the A’s at Municipal Stadium.
But don’t plan on that double dip happening again as Eric Wedge says Pineda will be brought back Friday on three day’s rest this week in order to get the two hard-throwing right handers pitching on different days the rest of spring.
Felix will follow on Saturday, though I suspect the Mariners will put him in a “B” game that day rather than face the A’s again … given they don’t want their AL West rivals getting too comfortable against him prior to an Opening Day rematch on April 1.
But Pineda needs to get on an every-fifth-day schedule as well, so he was limited to two innings today so he can be brought back against the Indians Friday and then begin his own five-day format.
Hernandez gave up five hits, including some pretty well-stroked balls, in 2 2/3 innings and threw enough pitches (53) that Wedge took him out before his planned three frames. But given it was his first Cactus League game, none of that should be unexpected.
Pineda wasn’t perfect this time either, giving up his first hit and two walks of the spring. So he is human. But he’s a very large human and his four scoreless innings thus far would indicate he’s fitting in fairly well.
The only pitching downside Monday was Rule 5 guy Jose Flores giving up a two-run homer in the ninth inning to Andy LaRoche on an absolute blast to deep center. But the Mariners did get two strong innings from Josh Lueke, who is a guy that seems to be figuring more and more in the bullpen mix.
Offensively the Mariners totaled just six hits and took advantage of some A’s wildness — six walks — to score their six runs. Chris Gimenez, filling in for an ill Adam Moore behind the plate, went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Jack Wilson made his first start at second base and turned an early ground ball into an adventure when he casually underhanded a throw wide of first base. But Mike Carp made the tag to save that play.
Young prospect Johermyn Chavez, replacing Ichiro in right field for the final five innings, threw out a runner at second base.
That’s all for today. The Mariners have two games Tuesday, their Cactus League contest against the Giants in Peoria and a “B” contest against the Dodgers that will give some pitchers — including Luke French — a chance to get some extra action.