05/08/10 9:30 PM ET
Mariners OK with no lefties in 'pen
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Wakamatsu: No issue with Felix's back
SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez has gone two starts without a win, including Friday night's 8-0 loss to the Angels in which the Mariners' ace gave up three home runs and departed after a season-low 3 1/3 innings.Hernandez had back stiffness in last Sunday's outing, so it was natural to wonder if his back was acting up again Friday in the chilly night air of Safeco Field. Not so, according to Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. "We checked with Felix about the back issues, and there was nothing," Wakamatsu said on Saturday afternoon. "[Pitching coach] Rick [Adair] is working on some mechanical issues, and we'll address those, but the back was not a factor last night." So what was it? "I don't think it's emotions," Wakamatsu said. "I saw it in the game before last when he had the stiff back and all of a sudden [his pitches] just weren't consistent. I thought coming out of Spring Training that he was as good as I've seen him. I think he's regressed a little bit for whatever reason." Wakamatsu said one thing he noticed during Friday's start was that Hernandez featured "about eight deliveries." "When he got frustrated out there, I thought he tried to create things, and that's what you don't see in him," Wakamatsu said. "You see a lot more consistency. Just the action of his pitches, to me, was different. It's evident when you give up that many extra base hits -- especially him -- and very little strikeouts."
Wilson, Lowe progressing from injuries
SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said shortstop Jack Wilson, who is experiencing discomfort in his right knee, is still not a candidate for the disabled list and the club still could use him in an emergency."It's not progressing as fast as we hope," Wakamatsu said, "but the target date is now probably Tuesday." As for reliever Mark Lowe, who's on the DL with and injured back, Wakamatsu said the right-hander was "feeling much better" on Saturday. "We're hoping he'll stay back and join us in Oakland," Wakamatsu said. "We'll see if we can get a bullpen in there." The two-game series against the A's begins on May 17 and Lowe could be activated from the DL the following night.
When Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a double play on Sunday against the Rangers, it was the first time he had done that since April 15 of last year, a span of 736 at-bats without a GIDP. That is the longest stretch without a GIDP since Tony Womack had a 918 at-bat streak from May 30, 1997-Aug. 4, 1998. Ichiro's streak is the third-longest of its kind, dating back to 1920. ... The Mariners' bullpen worked 5 2/3 hitless innings in Friday night's loss, with Jesus Colome (2 2/3 innings), Brandon League (one inning) and Kanekoa Texeira (two innings) combined to allow zero hits and three walks while striking out five. It's the 10th time in club history that the bullpen pitched five or more hitless frames.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.