A big win for the Mariners tonight. After back to back losses, including a crap-fest last night, they came out and played with a sense of purpose. You can just kind of tell, even from way down the first base line in the hell that is the US Cellular Field press box -- just a tough to place to watch the game.
Still, you could see that the Mariners were putting together better at-bats. Sure Gavin Floyd was sticking it to them for the first few innings, but Figgins of all people had a single and worked a good walk.
A year ago, the Mariners lose this game. There isn't a doubt in my mind. Jamey Wright gacks it up by giving up a homer to Carlos Quentin and they would have rolled over. This team doesn't seem to do that. Maybe it's manager Eric Wedge, maybe it's veteran guys, maybe it's just the examples of success earlier in the situation.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge decided not to play small ball in the 10th. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Wedge didn't have Miguel Olivo bunt, he had him swing away.
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“Most managers would play to bunt,” Olivo said. “The minute he gave me the green light to swing that showed me a lot of respect. He trusted me a lot and I didn’t want to let him look bad. So I focused more.”
The Mariners weren’t through. With Olivo on second, Wedge then went to the bunt twice. He had Greg Halman sacrifice bunt Olivo to third. Then with a 1-0 count, Wedge called for a squeeze play with Franklin Gutierrez, who dropped a perfect bunt down to score Olivo.
The play caught everyone off guard, including Olivo.
“You know what? I didn’t see the sign,” he said. “(Third base coach Jeff) Datz helped me out. He said you got a squeeze. It was my one mistake of the night. I didn’t see the sign.”
It didn’t matter. It was a night when the Mariners overcame mistakes.
Brandon League came on to pitch a scoreless ninth for his league leading 17th save.
“This is a good win,” Olivo said. “We decided to win the game by playing a little better.”