© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/01/08 11:14 PM ET
Running game is work in progress
Mariners' aggressive style hits and misses during opener
By Jim Street / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- The Mariners' version of the run-and-shoot offense was hit and miss during the first game of the season. While a perfectly executed hit-and-run play in the sixth inning helped Seattle score its first two runs of the regular season, two stolen-base attempts were unsuccessful. Third baseman Adrian Beltre was thrown out trying to swipe second base in the fourth inning, and second baseman Jose Lopez, standing on second base after delivering a two-run double in the seventh, was gunned down attempting to pilfer third. "We're going to try to open the game up a bit," manager John McLaren said, "but that was not the situation I had in mind. We talked about it." McLaren instituted an aggressive base-running style during Spring Training, and the Mariners stole 24 bases in 36 attempts, compared to 14 steals in 30 attempts by the opposition. Seattle was seventh in the American League in steals during the spring. When to run and when not to run remains a work in progress. "We saw both, didn't we?" McLaren said Tuesday night. However, the attempted steal by Lopez was not necessary. The Mariners already led by four runs, and he was in scoring position with Raul Ibanez, one of the team's best RBI producers, at the plate. Asked when and why he decides to put the game in motion, McLaren said, "There are some numbers we digest. There's a lot that goes into it. We try to pick a good time and there will be times when [the opposing manager] will be thinking right along with us and probably pitch out. "But that's a risk you take when you put the game in motion. But if we want to be aggressive ... [taking risks] is something we have to do."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.