The Mariners, along with all of baseball, honored Jackie Robinson on Sunday on the 60th anniversary of his first major league game to break baseball’s color barrier.
Four Mariners – Jason Ellison, Adrian Beltre, Jose Lopez and Miguel Batista – wore Robinson’s No. 42. They’re far from the first to do so.
Former Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. led efforts to allow major leaguers to wear No. 42, and 10 years ago he was one of the first when he wore it April 15, 1997, on the 50th anniversary. He and M’s teammate Lee Tinsley wore 42 and pulled their pantlegs to just below their knees the way Robinson did when he played.
Twelve Mariners have worn the number, the last being Butch Huskey in 1999.
Learning curves: Finally able to begin life in a new league, Mariners left-hander Horacio Ramirez immediately began keeping mental notes on American League hitters Sunday.
Ramirez, obtained in the offseason from the Atlanta Braves, allowed seven hits and one earned run in six innings in Sunday’s victory over the Rangers.
He said it was important to study the hitters’ reaction to hit pitches not only from one at-bat to another, but from pitch to pitch.
“Knowing the hitter tells you when to make an adjustment,” he said. “You can fool a hitter on a certain pitch, and some guys can’t make an adjustment so you keep throwing that pitch. There are some you make look bad, but they will make the adjustment and put a good swing on you their nets at-bat. That comes from knowing the hitter.
“My situation now is that I don’t know who can make the adjustment and who can’t. That’s going to come over time.”
Lucky 13th: Ichiro Suzuki flipped foul ball after foul ball against Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy before he grounded a single in the second inning, helping start a four-run rally by the Mariners.
“At some point, it did become fun,” Suzuki said. “The fans began to understand what was going on and the atmosphere was enjoyable. Most times I don’t get a hit out of that, so I was happy.”
Of note: The Mariners have played just eight games, but they’ve hit two or more home runs in three of them. They have nine homers by six different players – Richie Sexson (2), Adrian Beltre (2), Jose Vidro (2) Jose Guillen (1), Yuniesky Betancourt (1) and Ichiro Suzuki (1). … Catcher Kenji Johjima is hitting .750 during his four-game hitting streak. … Closer J.J. Putz has pitched four times this season, none of them save situations. … Willie Bloomquist made his first start of the season Sunday, playing shortstop as Yuniesky Betancourt got the day off. … The last time the Mariners scored 14 runs was May 31 last year.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer