Opponent: Anaheim Angels
When: 7:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Safeco Field
TV: FSN (cable) on Friday, Fox (Ch. 13) on Saturday, KSTW (Ch.11) on Sunday.
Radio: KOMO (1000 AM) all three games.
Pitchers: Friday – Seattle left-hander Jamie Moyer (9-4, 4.29 earned run average) vs. left-hander Jarrod Washburn (6-6, 3.28). Saturday – Right-hander Ryan Franklin (6-11, 4.61) vs. right-hander Bartolo Colon (14-6, 3.56). Sunday – Right-hander Gil Meche (10-8, 5.12) vs. right-hander John Lackey (10-4, 3.48).
Asked to reflect on 19-year-old Felix Hernandez’s performance Tuesday, Mike Hargrove’s first response didn’t come out the way he meant it.
“Nothing in particular stands out,” the Mariners’ manager said Wednesday.
Nothing? Hernandez stymied the Twins on five hits in eight shutout innings in one of the Mariners’ best pitching performances of the season.
“The whole thing was good,” Hargrove said. “He threw a lot of strikes, fielded his position well, kept his composure when the error was made to load the bases.
“He did things to keep the game in order. But not just one thing stands out.”
Well one thing.
Besides the fastball that consistently reached 97 mph and sometimes 98, Hernandez threw a sharp-breaking curveball and had control of it the entire game.
“He is so consistent with it,” Hargrove said. “When you can get that pitch over and throw a 97 mile-per-hour fastball, it makes the fastball seem like it’s 197. That makes your job as a hitter twice as difficult.”
Hargrove said Hernandez would start nine more times for the Mariners, the next being Monday against the Royals at Safeco Field.
Soriano superb: Injured relief pitcher Rafael Soriano threw 27 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday afternoon and, unless he arrives at the ballpark today with a sore arm, could return to real games by this weekend.
Soriano, who appeared close to rejoining the Mariners after several strong outings on a minor league rehab assignment last month, instead came down with a sore shoulder and has been working his way back. He had “Tommy John” elbow surgery last August and was ahead of schedule in his comeback before the shoulder problem.
Pitching coach Bryan Price said Soriano threw well Wednesday and felt good during the simulated game.
“He was extremely sharp with his fastball, slider and change,” Price said. “He threw all of them for strikes and had good command, good life on the ball and everything was really good. The shoulder is a non-issue as far as there is no pain and there doesn’t seem to be any strength deficit.”
Price said it’s important for Soriano to pitch in the majors this season to ease his own mind going into next year.
“Is it imperative? No,” Price said. “But it probably would help him. We know what he can do when he’s healthy but for him, I think it would be nice knowing that he’s going to have his good stuff when he reports for spring training.”
Out of left field: One day after Hargrove said the Mariners would start giving Mike Morse some work in the outfield, Morse was there Wednesday afternoon fielding balls alongside Raul Ibanez.
“Just shagging flies,” Morse said.
It could develop into more than that. Yuniesky Betancourt is considered the Mariners’ top shortstop prospect, but they would like to keep Morse in the lineup as long as he’s hitting well.
Hence, the work in left field.
“I’m fine with it,” Morse said. “It gets me into the game, and that’s the main thing.”
Of note: Hargrove said he has decided who will start Saturday’s game but wasn’t ready to announce it. Ryan Franklin will be eligible to come off his 10-game suspension for violating baseball’s steroid policy and he threw a simulated game Monday that would put him on scheduled to start Saturday. However, right-hander Jeff Harris, who started in Franklin’s place Sunday in a 3-1 loss at Chicago, also is a possibility. … Right-handed pitcher Jorge Campillo’s “Tommy John” elbow surgery has been scheduled for Aug. 23. … Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez are the only Mariners to have played all 113 games this season.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer