Brandon Morrow's transitions from reliever to starter to reliever to starter - et al - have been well documented.
For all that, he's making his sixth start of 2009 tonight, and the 11th start of his big-league career.
In those, he's gone 2-2 with a 4.97 earned run average.
Morrow has a plus fastball, and everything else in his arsenal remains a work in progress. Tonight, against the Texas Rangers, would be a fine time for him to take a large step forward in his career.
The Mariners need him to be more than a project now, more than a pitcher who needs 30 pitches to get through an inning.
They need for him to start winning.
It's Morrow vs. Scott Feldman, a 26-year-old right-hander who's gone 7-2 in the first half.
And the Mariners lead
Ichiro singled for a nine-game hitting streak and Russell Branyan snapped an 0-for-12 stretch with an RBI double to left-center field.
Jose Lopez grounded out, moving Branyan to third base for Ken Griffey Jr. With the infield in, Junior grounded into a fielders choice and Branyan was out at the plate.
Franklin Gutierrez - the hottest thing this summer in Seattle - doubled to right-center field and Griffey scored from first.
That's a 13-game hitting streak for Gutierrez.
After one: Mariners 2, Rangers 0
Texas long ballMorrow's 13th pitch of the game disappeared ovefr the wall in right-center field, urged on by Hank Blalock.Blalock's 18th of the season was the fourth solo home run Morrow has allowed in his last 7 1/3 innings.
In the second: Mariners 2, Rangers 1
Texas long ball II
One out into the third inning, Morrow lost conrol, and it may beat him.He walked No. 9 hitter Omar Vizquel, then walked leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler. When he threw his 38th pitch of the evening, it was a hittable pitch that Michael Young hit for his 11th home run.
Josh Hamilton singled and, with two outs, Morrow walked Blalock. Marlon Byrd grounded out.
A bad inning, created by walks.In the third: Rangers 4, Mariners 2
A step back, not forward
Morrow's night is done: five innings, 74 pitches - 41 strikes, 33 balls - six hits, four runs, four walks, two home runs.
It wasn't what he or the team wanted or needed, and how far the Mariners want to take this internship at the big-league level will be interesting.
Ryan Rowland-Smith has more experience starting and is pitching well in Tacoma. Morrow is struggling in Seattle. Sooner or later, that won't make sense to anyone.
After five: Rangers 4, Mariners 2
Texas long ball III
Two outs into the eighth inning, Shawn Kelley in to relieve, and Marlon Byrd singles.
The next batter, Nelson Cruz, hits one three quarters of a mile, and Texas leads by four.
All six Rangers runs have scored on home runs. That's about a weeks supply of power for the Mariners.In the eighth: Rangers 6, Mariners 2
Junior catches Joe Cronin
Give them this, the Mariners don't seem to know when they're beaten, so they aren't as often as they probably should be.
Lopez led off the eighth with a single and Griffey bounced a ball over first base for a double - the 515th of his career. That ties him with Joe Cronin for 38th-place, all-time.
Gutierrez grounded to first base, pushing Lopez home and Griffey to third. Langerhans grounded out, leaving Griffey at third.
Johjima doubled into the right field corner, scoring Junior, and Don Wakamatsu pinch-hit Chris Shelton for Chris Woodward, and Shelton grounded out.After eight: Rangers 6, Mariners 4
And in the ninth
Closer Frank Francisco in for Texas, and Ronny Cedeno popped out, Ichiro struck out but Branyan walked to bring Lopez to the plate as the potential tying run.
Lopez, as clutch a hitter as the Mariners have this season, struck out.
Texas extends its lead over Seattle to 4 1/2 games in the AL West.
It's a final: Rangers 6, Mariners 4