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Thursday Game #1

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...in the books. And it's another loss! 6-1, this time, to the Cubs. The split-squad Mariners never had a chance against a lineup of mostly ML-caliber hitters and pitchers, with Luis Gonzalez getting rocked in relief and Raul Ibanez and Greg Dobbs accounting for the team's only two hits. This was a group of guys that probably couldn't so much as compete for a PCL title, much less win a game against actual good players, so there's no real reason for concern. Unless you're a worrier. Which, given the way the Mariners have looked the last two years, you probably are.

Gonzalez allowed four runs in an inning of work, including a home run by Neifi friggin' Perez. For the sake of hilarity, let's compile the ST statistics of Gonzalez, George Sherrill, Jake Woods, and Matt Thornton (pre-trade):

28 IP
37 runs
23 walks
19 strikeouts
8 homers

It's like a competition to see who can get sent to AAA the fastest, with the loser having to remain with the big club and collect a Major League paycheck. It doesn't really make very much sense, but pitchers are idiots. Especially pitchers who surrender home runs to Neifi friggin' Perez.

Honestly, there wasn't very much good that came out of this game - Clint Nageotte allowed a run in two innings of work, but he didn't strike anyone out and he gave up twice as many fly balls as he did grounders. Scott Atchison needed a pair of scoreless innings to keep his ERA even with Dave Burba's. Francisco Cruceta got hit around for the first time all spring. Fernando Vina played (and was again replaced by Michael Garciaparra. This is quickly becoming less and less subtle). Just a bad afternoon all around. May Felix make it all better tonight.