Before the game manager Don Wakamatsu was asked about the idea of expectations for this team and if maybe they were unfair considering the rebuilding process that needs to be done thanks to the dark days of Bill Bavasi ... here's his response.
“I think you look at it both ways. Expectations, we have higher expectations than the fans inside this clubhouse. We want to go out, get to the World Series and win it. We have a better view from inside the clubhouse. I think managing wise there are only two ways to manage. One is to win the ballgame and the other is to manage on a daily basis to benefit the organization. That’s where you talk about a game plan. You’re trying to juggle different things, whether it’s trying to get Tui at-bats last night at first base or Saunders in left. That’s an investment in the future you feel good about, but on the same note, are they ready? That’s kind of what we’re doing right now, and it’s a balancing act with trying to go out and win ballgames.”
Jason Vargas gets himself into a little bit of trouble as he walks JJ Hardy and then gives up a double to Joe Mauer, but a lineout by Justin Morneau was caught by Casey Kotchman and then Michael Cuddyer grounded out.
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The Mariners get on the board early, as Ichiro and Chone Figgins started the game off with singles. Gutierrez scored Ichiro on an infield single. But the inning comes to an end as Mike Sweeney reaches for a ball out of the zone and it leads to a 4-6-3 double play and Jose Lopez flies out.
Again Vargas finds trouble as he gives up a single to Delmon Young and later gives up a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Nick Punto. But he manages to coax a fly out from Denard Span to end the inning.
The M's get a two-out single from Eliezer Alfonso, who apparently sings and raps on the track he uses for his walk-up music. Saunders has a decent at-bat and grounds out hard to end the inning.
Well the Twins tied the game as Justin Morneua hit a laser of a line drive to right field for a solo home run. With Morneau and Jim Thome on the team, they have two of the hardest swingers I've ever seen.
The M's go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Vargas just seem to not be able to have a 1-2-3 inning, getting two outs and then walking the light-hitting Punto yet again. But he gets Span to pop up to end the inning
The M's have a lead as Mike Sweeney reaches on an infield single and Jose Lopez rips a two-run homer to left field of course. Seattle keeps it going as Wilson and Alfonso come up with back to back hits and Wilson later scores on Ichiro's two-out single. Chone Figgins doubled to right off of Blackburn, he is now 11 for 18 in his career off of Blackburn. M's lead 5-1.
Vargas gives up a lead-off hit to JJ Hardy and then was almost decapitated by a Joe Mauer line drive, which he somehow caught in an act of self-preservation. But the big play came when he got Morneau to ground into a nifty 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The M's go down 1-2-3.
Vargas gets out of the inning after allowing a single to Jason Kubel. He's at 96 pitches. It appears we could see Sean White.
Three batters up, three guys strike out for the M's
We are spared from Sean White for the moment. Vargas comes back out and gets a 1-2-3 inning his first of the game.
Lefty Ron Mahay is in for the Twins.
The Marines greet him rather rudely scoring two runs as Figgins walks, steals second, advances to third on a throwing error by Mauer and then scores on Jose Lopez's single to left. Casey Kotchman drives in another run with a hard single to right.