It’s Eric Wedge’s philosophy that dealing with failure well makes great players and, after striking out in each of his first three at-bats Wednesday, Seattle Mariners outfielder Eric Thames was more than willing to buy in.
“Up here at this level, it’s all about making the big pitch, getting the big hit,” Thames said. “This team? We’re playing our butts off, and if pitchers keep giving us the chance to win every game, why not win them?”
The Seattle Mariners won this one, beating the Cleveland Indians, 3-1, on the strength of Thames' two-out, eighth-inning, two-run double and the 19th save of closer Tom Wilhelmsen.
That winning streak is now eight games long, and Mariners are taking turns being part of it.
“We’re like a highlight reel every night,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said. “One night Trayvon Robinson is catching 20 balls in left field, the next night Dustin Ackley is getting outs while lying on his face. We’re getting great starting pitching, timely hitting, defense every night.
“We’re playing Mariners baseball.”
Wedge used Thames as an example.
“It’s how you deal with failure in this game that makes good players,” Wedge said. “You strike out three times, but you next opportunity might be the game.
“You going to go up there thinking about the last three at-bats or the chance to win a game? One swing and you’re a hero. Eric was ready."
“We’re playing with heart,” Thames said. “Me, I just didn’t want to miss the fastball that last at-bat. You get the fastball you want, you can’t miss it.”