Tuesday’s Game 22 recap: Mariners 5, Padres 5
Player of the Game: Brad Miller strengthened his bid for the starting shortstop job – and he wasn’t even playing shortstop. Miller, moved to second base to fill in for the still-absent Robinson Cano, went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and single as he hiked his spring average to .412. The 24-year-old scored three runs and had an RBI while increasing his team-lead in homers to four in Cactus League play.
Stat of the Game: Starting pitcher Randy Wolf threw four scoreless innings, which certainly didn’t hurt his efforts of landing a roster spot this spring as well. The 37-year-old veteran gave up just two hits while throwing 73 pitches.
Storyline: Wolf pitched well, while Fernando Rodney did not. Rodney gave up the lead with a pair of runs on two hits, a walk and a passed ball in the sixth, though manager Lloyd McClendon said he was unconcerned with the new closer’s rough spring since he’s not pitching in normal save situations and is just working to get ready for the regular season.
Worth noting: Miller and Dustin Ackley continued producing this spring, with Ackley dropping a bunt single in a 1-for-2 day that lifted his spring average to .436. But not all the Mariners hitters are enjoying such early success. Kyle Seager went 0-for-4 and is hitting .175, Abraham Almonte was 0-for-3 and is batting .167 and Corey Hart is still hitting just .139 after a 1-for-3 day with an infield single to third. What does it all mean? Not a ton, given Spring Training numbers don’t always add up to much, but certainly the Mariners would like to see those key players start warming up in the final two weeks of Cactus League play.
Quote of the Day: “The fact is, most closers stink in Spring Training. They pitch in the fifth, sixth innings. It’s tough. They’re a different animal and it’s hard to get their adrenaline going. We just need to keep getting him out there and getting his work in.” – McClendon on Rodney’s struggles so far this spring.
Next: Second baseman Robinson Cano is expected back in the Mariners lineup for Wednesday’s 1:05 p.m. PT game in Peoria against the Brewers after missing the past four games. The season’s biggest offseason free-agent prize flew home to the Dominican Republic on Friday to deal with a personal issue and is scheduled to rejoin the club on Wednesday morning. Cano has hit .609 (14-of-23) in nine Cactus League games this spring. Right-hander Blake Beavan (2-0, 2.13 ERA in four games) gets the start, with Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen scheduled for relief appearances. The game will be available for free on Gameday Audio on Mariners.com and tape delayed at 7 p.m. on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Here’s today’s boxscore.
Here’s my story on Hisashi Iwakuma as he finally got the splint off his injured finger today.
And here’s my notebook with all the rest of the news of the day from camp.