Time to Plan
Catcher Rob Johnson and pitcher Jarrod Washburn have had three days to do nothing but study Twins hitters and plan their approach today.
"Don (Wakamatsu) told us before the first game when I'd be catching, and who," Johnson said. "That let Jarrod and I sit on the bench for three games and talk about hitters and how to attack them."
Now, we'll see if planning helps.
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Two Outs, Here They Come
The Mariners have been impressive with two outs in this series, and Adrian Beltre's two-out single scored Franklin Guttierrez in the first inning to give Washburn a lead.
In their three-plus games here, the Mariners scored 17 runs - nine of them with two outs.
Mariners 1, Twins coming up.
Now that's a center fielder
The game has just started, and Franklin Guttierrez has dominated it. His double set up the only run, and his diving catch robbed Alexi Casilla of extra bases when the Twins were batting.
Washburn loves the 'dome
Coming in wih a 5-1 record and a 2.76 career ERA in the Metrodome, Washburn is pitching like a man who owns the building.
Through five innings, he's thrown 54 pitches and allowed two baserunners.
Yes, this is the $10 million No. 4 starter. So far, he's pitching as if he's a bargain.
Now, unless they expect him to throw a shutout, the Mariners need to score a few more runs for Washurn.
After five: Mariners 1, Twins 0
A couple of throwbacks
Good as Washbun as been, Minnesota's Glen Perkins has been right there with him, and this has become the kind of pitching duel the American League rarely sees.
Perkins got a standing ovation when he walked off the mound after the eighth inning, having allowed one run on 104 pitches.
Washburn? He got into trouble one out into the eighth inning, giving up a walk, then a single to the No. 9 hitters, Brendan Harris.
Rick Adair went to the mound, David Aardsma was warming in the bullpen, the top of the Twins order coming to bat.
Denard Span popped out for the second out on Washburn's 96th pitch.
Alexi Casilla grounded out. Inning over.
Now, to the ninth. Do you stick with Washurn, who's thrown 96 pitches? Do you bring in closer Brandon Morrow to protect a 1-0 lead?
OK, it's Morrow
The closer is in, and Wakamatsu has gone with his best infield defense - putting DH Adrian Beltre at third, Ronny Cedeno at second and moving Lopez from second to first base.
That means the Mariners lose the DH for the rest of the game.
Morrow's first two pitches were high, and catcher Johnson - who drove in the Mariners second run in the top of the ninth - trotted to the mound for a conference.
Michael Cuddyer walked on four pitches, meanin Morrow had walked the last four batters faced.
Justin Morneau was called out on strikes after chasing a couple of high fastballs.
Joe Crede took a called third strike, too - and either third strike could just as easily have been ruled a ball.
Pinch-hitter Jason Kubel flied out.
Final: Mariners 2, Twins 0.