Notes: Batista suspects tipping
Rocky start against Yankees leads righty to examine tape
SEATTLE -- The Mariners will check out the video of Saturday night's game to see if they can detect something that Miguel Batista did to tip off some of his pitches.The right-hander lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his second start against New York in six days and said afterward that the Yankees hitters "had a good idea what was coming." "I didn't have a sense of that during the game," manager Mike Hargrove said on Sunday morning, "but it's entirely possible. We'll look at video to see if we can pick something up that he might have been doing. "I don't know if it happened in this case, but if Miguel said he felt like he was doing that, then there probably is legitimacy to it, and we'll look at it." Hargrove said there are several ways a pitcher can tip his pitches. The pitcher might use a higher windup when throwing a fastball than he does for a curveball. He might turn his glove differently when he throws a certain pitch over another. "There are things you can do that tip off the pitch you're going to throw," Hargrove said. Batista threw 57 pitches, a large chunk of them in the second inning, when the Yankees batted around and scored five runs. "Two or three guys can get hot, but the whole team? No," Batista said. "Something's happening. That's not actually cheating, it's just another part of hitting." Mariners pitching coach Rafael Chaves agreed that it looked like the Yankees hitters knew exactly what was coming, adding that another key factor was familiarity. Batista faced the Bronx Bombers last Monday night in New York, allowing seven hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Batista will look at more film between now and his next start -- on Friday against the Padres at Safeco Field -- and use his bullpen session to work on any corrections. "It should be fixed easily," Batista said, without being more specific. Job well done: Mariners left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty keeps pitching like he has no intention of returning to the Minor Leagues. O'Flaherty tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in Saturday night's loss to the Yankees. He realizes the importance of every chance he gets to pitch. "I don't take anything for granted, not even one day," O'Flaherty said on Sunday. "I realize how fortunate I am to be up here, and I remind myself of that every day when I put on my jersey and go look in a mirror." Chaves said that the biggest difference in O'Flaherty since his promotion from Triple-A Tacoma "is his aggressiveness in the strike zone. We didn't see that in Spring Training. He's like a different pitcher." The young left-hander has a 1-0 record and a 0.77 ERA in six outings, and the 4 2/3-innings stint on Saturday was his longest of the regular season. The Mariners will make a roster move prior to Tuesday night's game against the Angels to make room on the 25-man roster for Felix Hernandez. The corresponding personnel move is not likely to involve O'Flaherty. "He's pitching like he deserves to be here," Chaves said. To catch a thief: When Ichiro Suzuki stole two bases in Friday night's game, it marked the 34th time in his Major League career that he's swiped more than one base in a game. He also extended his streak of consecutive thefts without being caught to 43, extending his own American League record. The Major League mark is 50, set by Vince Coleman from Sept. 18, 1998, to July 26, 1999. Ichiro hasn't been caught stealing since April 19, 2006. Mac can relate: The way Major League Baseball ties Mother's Day and raising money to fight breast cancer hits home every year for Mariners bench coach John McLaren. His sister, Cheryl, who lives in Houston, had a cancerous breast removed nearly 14 years ago. On the farm: Tacoma outfielder Jeremy Reed had three legs of the cycle in Saturday night's game against Albuquerque. He singled in the first inning, hit a three-run home run in the second, singled in the sixth and doubled in the eighth. The 4-for-4 night raised his batting average 23 points to .275. ... Adam Jones had the triple that Reed needed to complete the cycle. ... Mike Morse has at least two hits in 13 games this season. ... Jeff Frazier is working on an 18-game hitting streak with Double-A West Tennessee. Let's play nine: The Mariners are the only Major League team this season that has not played an extra-innings game. Seattle was 8-8 in such games last season. On deck: The Mariners will return to the AL West, but only briefly, to take on the Angels at Safeco Field in a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night at 7:05 PT. Hernandez (2-1, 1.56 ERA), who last pitched on April 18, will make his long-awaited return to the rotation, facing Kelvim Escobar (4-1, 2.21 ERA).
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.