Monday’s Game 23 recap: Mariners 6, A’s 5
Player of the Game: Left fielder Michael Morse (pictured) went deep again, unloading his sixth home run of the spring with a towering shot to left in the sixth off A’s starter A.J. Griffin. Morse’s six bombs is tops among all Major Leaguers this spring and two shy of the Mariners club record for a spring set by Mike Wilson in ’09.
Stat of the Game: Hisashi Iwakuma got 10 flyouts and four ground outs, a far different scenario from his previous spring starts when he continually induced grounders with his nasty sinker. Iwakuma said the dry Arizona air caused him some problems gripping the ball and he didn’t get his normal downward movement, but still was able to battle through five innings with three runs on six hits.
Storyline: The Mariners put up five runs on six hits against Griffin, who is one of the A’s young pitching studs and a guy they’ll likely see several times this season in the AL West. It could have been better for Seattle, but A’s center fielder Coco Crisp robbed Jesus Montero of a two-run bomb with a great catch above the fence in the second.
Worth noting: Sometimes momentum is an elusive thing in baseball, especially in short spurts like Spring Training. After his 8-for-11 week in the WBC, Michael Saunders has gone 2-for-17 with the Mariners after a 1-for-4 day Monday. And Casper Wells, red-hot before injuring his neck, is now 0-for-10 since returning from a five-game absence.
Quote of the Day: “He’s had a real good spring for us. He knows what he wants to do up there. He’s a smart hitter. He’s strong. He does a good job making adjustments. That’s why he’s in the middle of our lineup.” — Eric Wedge on Michael Morse.
Next: Young right-hander Brandon Maurer starts Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. against the defending World Series champion Giants at Peoria Stadium. Maurer, trying to win a rotation berth as a 22-year-old prospect, is slated for five innings. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen and Charlie Furbush are among the relievers scheduled to throw. Veteran lefty Joe Saunders is on tap for a Minor League start in an intrasquad game at 10 a.m. at the Peoria Complex.
Here’s is the link to today’s boxscore.
Here’s a full story on today’s game.
Here’s my feature on Brandon Maurer as he keeps battling for a rotation berth.
And finally, here’s video of Morse’s towering home run.