The good, the bad and the pain in the…
A day that started with the news that left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard was being scratched from his start because of pain in the…err, uhhh, hmmm…backside, ended with the Mariners absorbing a 9-2 loss to the Royals in Surprise.
As substitute pitchers go, right-hander Chris Jakabauskas was at the top of his game without much advance notice. He walked into the clubhouse expecting to pitch an inning or two of relief, but became the starter because of Bedard’s gluteus maximus situation.
Three innings of no-hit baseball didn’t put the player with the longest last name in camp — one letter longer than Matt Tuiasosopo — into Seattle’s projected startring rotation for the regular season, but manager Don Wakamatsu liked what he saw.
“He was impressive,” Wak said.
Catcher Jeff Clement was especially impressed with the way “Jak” went after the hitters, getting ahead in the count regularly and challenging the hitters.
The game, played under another mostly-clear Arizona afternoon sky, included two hits from designated hitter — and former Royals All-Star — Mike Sweeney.
He beat out an infield hit to deep third base in the second inning and singled sharply into right field in the third. He wasn’t supposed to run as hard as he did in his first at-bat, but he’s knows only one way to play game — hard.
Wakamatusu said Sweeney most likely would play first base in Thursday’s game against the Rangers at Peoria Stadium and Ken Griffey Jr., would handle the DH duties. It would be the first time both veterans have been in the same lineup.
Other Wednesday noteworthy events:
* Wakamatsu liked what he saw in Wladimir Balentien’s base running, citing the tag-up and advance to third base on a fly ball hit to right field.
“Those are the things we are talking about,” Wak said.
* Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez added two more hits and is now batting .417 this spring.
* On the other hand, third baseman Tuiasosopo went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. He had hit safely in eight of his first 10 Cactus League games.
* Former Mariners Super-Sub Willie Bloomquist started at second base for the Royals, went 1-for-2 and scored a run. He’s batting .348 this spring.
The Mariners still have 63 players in camp, but that figures to be reduced by a couple of players on Thursday and several more next Monday.
— Jim Street