A daily look at the Mariners in spring training.
Wednesday in camp
The Mariners’ starting pitching, the biggest concern going into spring training, has ironed itself out nicely as the team approaches the midpoint of the exhibition season.
Right-hander Gil Meche and left-hander Bobby Madritsch combined to pitch seven scoreless innings Wednesday in a 4-1 Cactus League victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Meche allowed two hits in four innings and Madritsch worked three perfect innings, striking out four. Their performances came one day after Jamie Moyer dominated the San Diego Padres, allowing one hit over five innings, and two days after Aaron Sele turned the Kansas City Royals inside-out with four scoreless innings.
“Forty pitches in four innings, I’ll take that any day,” said Meche, who struggled with his curveball but located his fastball and was content to let the Giants hit it into the Mariners’ stout defense. “That’s going to be the best way for me to pitch. I’m not trying to strike people out.”
Madritsch continued to throw an effective changeup and said he had confidence to throw it at any time in the ball-strike count. Madritsch hasn’t allowed a hit in his past six innings. He, Meche, Moyer and Sele have combined to allow three hits and one run in their past 16 innings.
The only starters who haven’t found such a groove are Joel Pineiro (out with a sore shoulder) and Ryan Franklin, who gave up six hits and five runs in four innings during his last start. Franklin will start Friday against the Giants.
“As pitchers, we’ve got to push each other and build each other up because we’re all in this together,” Madritsch said. “Each pitcher who takes that hill, we’re all pulling for him to do well.”
Today in camp
If you hope to see your favorite Mariners, try the golf course. This is the team’s only off day of spring training. Those hoping for a baseball fix, however, can see the Mariners’ minor leaguers work out this morning on the lower practice fields.
On the trainer’s table
Joel Pineiro, who hasn’t pitched since March 4 because of shoulder pain, threw off the bullpen mound with no problems. He may throw another bullpen Friday, manager Mike Hargrove said.
Closer Eddie Guardado, coming back from a strained right hamstring, is scheduled to pitch off the bullpen mound today.
Sun worshipers should soak up the rays today because there won’t be many over the weekend. The forecast calls for sunshine and 74 degrees today, then clouds Friday and rain Saturday and Sunday with highs in the low to mid-60s.
They said it
“It’s not an overriding goal of mine to watch Jose Canseco talk.”
M’s manager Mike Hargrove on whether he will tune in today to the congressional hearings on steroids in baseball.
They did it
Minor leaguer Sam Hays, who pitched for the Everett AquaSox in 2003, has retired after experiencing another shoulder injury, the Mariners said.
Hays, drafted by Seattle in the fourth round in 2000, missed the 2001 and 2004 seasons because of rotator cuff surgery. He pitched in 18 games for the AquaSox in 2003.
Kirby Arnold, Herald writer