Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners-Marlins, Wednesday, 6-18

Final: Florida 8, Seattle 3.

McLaren's take:

"Dickey had a tough time with his release point. He pitched out of a couple of jams, but it finally caught up to him – the pitch count got him. It's a whole new ballgame when you have to go to the bullpen that early. ... We had a lot of hits. We just couldn't put some big innings together."

Dickey's take:

"I had a good knuckleball, I just didn't have a very good release point with it. It was moving good. I just couldn't keep it in the strike zone enough where they really had to commit to swinging at it all the time. That's a tough thing, but I had a pretty good knuckleball. Outside of that ball that Jacobs hit out, they didn't really cover it very well."

Florida starter Ryan Tucker was making his third Major League start since his June 8 promotion from the Double-A Southern League. He picked up his second Major League win and his first quality start, allowing seven hits over six innings before handing a 7-2 lead to his bullpen. He needed fewer pitches over six innings than Dickey threw in 3.2.

The Mariners out-hit the Marlins, 13-11. But Adrian Beltre's fourth inning double was the only extra-base hit.

Jose Lopez was moved up to the No. 3 spot in the order, and went 0-for-5. Richie Sexson was moved down to the seven hole, went 1-for-4 and drew boos for a sixth-inning strike out with two aboard. Jeff Clement went 0-for-2 with two walks in his first start since being recalled from the Rainiers. Jose Vidro got three hits while snapping an 0-for-14 streak. Raul Ibanez extended his season-high hitting streak to nine games and is batting .351 during the streak.

Seattle pitchers struck out 11 Marlins, marking the third straight game of 10 or more strike outs. That's their longest such streak since September 2002.

The Mariners lost the series, 1-2, and concluded the homestand 1-5. They are 25-47 on the season.

On Friday they'll begin a nine-game road trip playing without the designated hitter in the National League cities of Atlanta, New York and San Diego.


Top of the ninth: Marlins 7, Mariners 3.

8:30: Tonight's attendance is 24,163.

Through three and a half: Marlins up, 5-1. Dickey's ugly line: 3 2/3 innings, five runs, all earned, six hits, four walks, four K's, one wild pitch, 97 pitches, 56 strikes.

Top of the fourth: R.A. Dickey's stay was short. He is headed to the showers with two out in the fourth, trailing 3-1 with Fish on first and second.

8 p.m. -- The Mariners have just announced a pair of changes to their schedule. See the new post above.

Bottom of the second: Tied 1-1. The Marlins are doing a nice job of laying off Dickey's knuckleball, and for now it's mostly fluttering out of the strike zone. That's a bad sign for the home team. But by the same token, the Mariners hitters seemed right on Ryan Tucker's pitches last inning, sending even a couple of the outs deep toward the fences. There might be some runs scored tonight.

7:10: Fair crowd all things considered. And an unusual number of fans seem to be spread out in the right-field area of the upper deck, taking advantage of the remaining sun on what is a surprisingly -- disappointingly -- cool night.

Play ball.

4:40: The Mariners' lineup has been posted for the final game of this homestand:

1. Ichiro, rf

2. Vidro, dh

3. Lopez, 2b

4. Ibanez, lf

5. Beltre, 3b

6. Clement, c

7. Sexson, 1b

8. Reed, cf

9. Betancourt, ss

That will be the last Mariners' lineup for a while that has a DH rather than a "P" in the batting order. After tonight, the Mariners head to Atlanta, Shea and San Diego, where National League rules will rule.

Manager John McLaren said he isn't excited about having his pitchers swing, bunt and run the bases, but that's the way things are.

As far as this lineup, McLaren explained that the recent organizational shakeup has nothing to do with Ichiro being back in right field. McLaren said it was something he had been thinking about since last season. McLaren said Ichiro is the best right fielder in baseball and it's "where he belongs." McLaren said that he would have made the move whether Ichiro wanted to make the move or not -- although Ichiro clearly welcomed the return. "As soon as I said it, his face lit up," McLaren said. "As soon as I saw his eyes, I knew it was right."

He also said he doesn't want his players thinking about the organizational changes or what it might mean as the trade deadline approaches. He said player moves are always discussed, whether the team is in first or last, and that players' shouldn't worry about what they can't control, whether they're in first or last.