Ryan Rowland-Smith is a man looking for whatever it was that made him a pitcher of promise for the Seattle Mariners, that hard to define something that's been missing throughout the 2010 season.
He'll get a spot start today in place of ailing Doug Fister, who just needs a break - and Rowland-Smith is hoping to rediscover his confidence.
"A belief system works best when you have it before you get results," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "If you need a couple of starts before you believe, it's a longer process."
Rowland-Smith faces the Angels and Ervin Santana today, in a game the Mariners badly need to win. Of course, they badly need to win most every game, but at home against a division rival? That's a big one.
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Rowland-Smith's 7.24 earned run average may not show much promise, but his left arm still does.
- Ouch! Ichiro singled opening the first inning, but for the third time in his last four at-bats, Chone Figgins grounded into a double play. Franklin Gutierrez singled and stole second, Jose Lopez popped up. Another how-did-they-do-that inning for Seattle.
- Rowland-Smith walked Juan Rivera with one out, and through his first 42 1/3 innings this season, he's now allowed 55 hits a and 18 walks - an awful lot of base runners. In the second: no score.
- One-out hits by Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick set up Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly. If you're counting, that's five base runners - and 66 pitches - in three innings. In the third: Los Angeles 1, Seattle 0.
- Michael Saunders bunted for a single. Ichiro fouled off eight consecutive pitches - five with Saunders running - then walked. Figgins bunted, but when Saunders didn't slide at third he was forced out. Gutierrez struck out. Lopez struck out. Another lost opportunity.
- Ichiro opened the fifth with a double and Figgins bunted safely, getting Ichiro to third base. Figgins stole second. Gutierrez grounded out, Ichiro scoring - his 1,000th career run. Lopez lined ino a double play. After five: Seattle 1, Los Angeles 1.
- Garrett Olson opens the sixth inning pitching for Seattle.
- Torii Hunter doubled and, with one out, Mike Napoli's shattered-bat, bloop single scored him. After a wild pitch, Rivera was intentionally walked. Shawn Kelley in to pitch. Bobby Wilson walked. Erick Aybar grounded out, Napoli scoring. Izturis singled, scoring two runs. A hit batter and three walks produced two more runs and a lot of booing at Safeco Field. In the sixth: Los Angeles 7, Seattle 1.
- Can Matt Tuiasosopo pitch? Seriously, the bullpen has nothing today. One out into the seventh, relievers have gotten four outs - and allowed 10 runs, seven walks and seven hits. In the seventh: Los Angeles 11, Seattle 1.
- In the ninth, a pair of walks set up a Figgins RBI single. It's a final: Los Angeles 11, Seattle 2.