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Tuesday Afternoon Mariners

A win! A 5-4 eight-inning win, to be specific. A remarkably low-scoring affair, considering how well the ball was flying. Observe:

Home Runs:

Luis Gonzalez
Jerry Gil
Carlos Quentin
Raul Ibanez
Adrian Beltre
Richie Sexson

Probably shouldn't be too surprised, given the ballpark environment and the flyball tendencies of both starting pitchers, but still, six homers? And only nine total runs? Peculiar.

Anyway, you did read that right - Beltre went deep again, giving him five bombs in 20 at bats so far between the WBC and the Cactus League. Since I know you're curious, that's two more homers than he hit during ST 2004, immediately prior to his total flipout season. I keep trying to temper my expectations, making sure not to put so much stock into stats of questionable value, but with each additional home run Beltre is chipping away at my skepticism. It could be a fluke, but I'd obviously much rather have Beltre going crazy right now than strugging to hit .250, so it's something.

Here's another way to think about it - Mariners fans who watched the guy fight himself all summer long last year are looking for any indication that he's about to bounce back. If what he's currently doing doesn't count, then what does? Adrian Beltre couldn't possibly be doing any more than what he already is. It's time to start getting excited. Beltre isn't some kind of Kevin Millar-esque overachiever; he's a young player with the natural talent of a superstar, and if he's terrorizing everybody in Spring Training, then that suggests that he's ready to continue into April. It might not turn out that way, but honestly, we couldn't be asking any more of him right now.

Oh, and Sexson's good, too. Am I too much of a homer because I have Beltre, Sexson and Felix on my keeper league team?

Nothing else really worth pointing out, save for Jose Lopez going 2-2 to up his BA to a healthy .286. Gotta fend off Fernando Vina's 0-4 days somehow, after all.

Gil Meche looks to continue his hot streak against the Royals tomorrow. He'll be relieved by Emiliano Fruto, Cha Baek - who apparently does still exist - Jake Woods, and George Sherrill. Please, George, for the sake of all of us, force yourself onto the roster. Hargrove isn't going to grant anyone any favors (except for Vina, who's being paid back for babysitting a young Hargrove while his parents went to a talkie). We need you.