Oakland – The box score from the Seattle Mariners’ victory on Friday didn’t contain the name of rookie right-hander Erasmo Ramirez – but it almost did.
In the eighth inning, with Tom Wilhelmsen pitching, left-hander George Sherrill and Ramirez were told to get loose.
“That was awesome,” Ramirez said Saturday. “The adrenaline took over and I was loose in 10 pitches, ready to go.”
Wilhelmsen got out of a minor jam, Brandon League worked a quick ninth and the game ended without veteran Sherrill or Ramirez appearing. That meant the 21-year-old’s big-league debut was postponed.
“When you’re in the bullpen, you have to be ready to pitch every night,” Ramirez said. “You have to be ready for what happened last night, too. It’ll happen again. It was great just getting loose in a big-league game.”
The Mariners used a franchise record 152 lineups last season, so manager Eric Wedge surprised the media Saturday by posting the same batting order as Friday.
It stayed up almost an hour.
Then shortstop Brendan Ryan’s stiff neck didn’t improve enough, so Wedge scratched Ryan and inserted Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki, who then made his major league debut.
Ryan apparently slept wrong in his hotel bed Friday night and reported in with a stiff neck. Treatment improved it, but Wedge made the final decision – and Ryan sat.
“We have an off day (today), and I don’t want to push this and have it become a four- or five-day thing,” Wedge said. “We’ll give Ryan the night off, he’ll get (today) off and hopefully be ready to play in Texas on Monday.”
Chone Figgins had a big night Friday and was back at it Saturday, playing left field and hitting a triple and a double in his first two at-bats, all while nursing a tender left thigh. What happened?
“I’ve been real serious about doing my exercises all spring and felt great, and then (Thursday) we played our last game in Arizona and we bused to play Colorado,” Figgins said. “We got there, played catch and played, and it got a little tight.
“It’s fine, just tight at times.”
Starting pitchers Kevin Millwood and Blake Beavan threw bullpen sessions Saturday, and rookie Jesus Montero caught them both. … The Mariners’ 25-man roster is the second-youngest in the American League despite the presence of Ichiro Suzuki (38) and Millwood (37). The average age of 28 years, 33 days trails only the Kansas City Royals (27 years, 42 days). … Steve Delabar’s two appearances have left him with a 3.00 earned-run average, but here’s the stat teammates love: He’s stranded all four inherited runners. … Dustin Ackley had three hits Friday and in a fourth at-bat lined out to right field. “Should have pulled it more,” he said. … No Mariners player began the game Saturday having batted safely in the first three games this season. … Since 1968, the career leader in hits against Oakland is Ichiro, with 284. He passed Rod Carew (282).
The Japan trip continues to affect Seattle’s schedule. The Mariners have today off. They flew to Texas after the game with Oakland and will open a four-game series Monday with the Rangers.