Here’s a sneak peek inside odd Tokyo Dome bullpen

This is not an excuse for the Mariners bullpen’s effort on Thursday when they gave up five hits and three runs — as well as three home runs — while getting just five outs in the 4-1 loss to the A’s.

That faceplant by Shawn Kelley, George Sherrill and Steve Delabar spoiled a strong start by Jason Vargas and all three take full responsibility.

But it is interesting, as I wrote in this story before Thursday’s game, how different the bullpen setup is at the Tokyo Dome. You want to know how different things are on this trip? Here’s a picture of where the relievers sit during games.

They’re in “the dungeon” as they called it, a closed-in room underneath the stands back by the hitting cages. They can’t see the game except on a small television set by the chairs where they sit in the back corner. They can barely hear the crowd. They warm up out of sight of everyone, then come through a tunnel out onto the field.

It’s not an excuse and it should have nothing to do with how Thursday’s game came out. But it’s interesting, no doubt, to see how different some things are here in Japan.

A lot of fun stuff went on this week, but the team is ready to get back to normal.

“I’m ready to go home,” said one reliever. And I’m pretty sure he wasn’t alone.

1 Comment

What do you think the chances are that Luetge will make the 25 man?

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