June 10, 2010 in Sports

Snell’s time may be over

Geoff Baker Seattle Times

ARLINGTON, Texas – A composed-sounding Ian Snell talked about holding his head high, something pitchers try to do when they’re on their way out of a game and headed for the showers.

But in Snell’s case, the beating he absorbed in a 12-2 loss taken by the Mariners on Wednesday night will likely result in a far more serious exit from the starting rotation and possibly the team. It became clear in watching Snell give up eight runs – seven earned – in just 1 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers that he can no longer be trusted to take the ball every fifth day.

It remains to be seen whether the M’s will attempt to keep working with Snell in a bullpen role, or designate him for assignment as they try to repair a season going up in flames.

“I sucked it up out there and nobody can blame this on (anyone) but myself. I can take this on myself,” Snell said. “Just keep my head held high, keep going after it. It’s still a long season, and things can turn around.”

The problem is, the Mariners likely won’t want to wait for that turnaround at the risk of Snell punting away every fifth game. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who knows his team has to start winning before he is held accountable, said that Snell’s status will be reviewed over the next day or two.

Wakamatsu may have found Snell’s rotation replacement in Luke French, who came on and tossed 5 1/3 frames of four-run ball in his first prolonged stint since being recalled from Triple-A last weekend.

“Possibly,” Wakamatsu said of French joining the rotation. “It was his first long outing up here, and we were able to stretch him out. It gives us that option.”

French had little doubt what his job was when the team called on him. “Just to get outs,” he said. “To pick up your teammates. Just go out there and get as many outs as you can and when you’re done, you’re done.”

The Mariners opened the scoring, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Jose Lopez and Josh Wilson off Rangers starter C.J. Wilson.

But Snell gave two runs right back in the bottom of the first on a Michael Young home run and a Vladimir Guerrero double. Then, in the second, the Rangers launched a two-out, six-run rally when Young muscled a 0-2 hanging slider into center field for an RBI single.

Snell was asked whether his game might have gone differently had he not served the two-strike, 83 mph pitch right across the middle of the plate.

“No, to tell you the truth, I don’t think any pitch would have made a difference,” he said. “He got the bat on the ball and they found a spot in the outfield and that’s how it was all night for us.”

Rangers 12, Mariners 2

I.Suzuki rf 401001.346
Langerhans rf 100001.192
Bradley dh 311010.208
F.Gutierrez cf 401000.287
Jo.Lopez 3b 411100.239
Jo.Wilson ss 402101.296
Tuiasosopo 1b 200020.170
Alfonzo c 400002.318
M.Saunders lf 300011.206
Figgins 2b 300010.225
Totals 3226256
Andrus ss 500100.304
M.Young 3b 422201.317
A.Blanco 3b 100000.196
Kinsler 2b 232110.267
J.Arias 2b 100000.297
Guerrero dh 523200.336
Hamilton lf 412301.304
Gentry lf 000000.231
Dav.Murphy rf 412100.256
Smoak 1b 401002.216
M.Ramirez c 411000.245
Borbon cf 322100.263
Totals 3712151114
Seattle 200000000—261
Texas 26021010x—12150

E—Tuiasosopo (6). LOB—Seattle 8, Texas 4. 2B—I.Suzuki (12), Jo.Lopez (8), Jo.Wilson (6), Guerrero (12), Dav.Murphy (12). 3B—Borbon (3). HR—M.Young (6), off Snell; Hamilton (12), off Snell. RBIs—Jo.Lopez (25), Jo.Wilson (13), Andrus (19), M.Young 2 (38), Kinsler (14), Guerrero 2 (51), Hamilton 3 (39), Dav.Murphy (17), Borbon (15). SB—Bradley (5). SF—Borbon. RLISP—Seattle 4 (Tuiasosopo, F.Gutierrez, Langerhans 2); Texas 2 (Dav.Murphy, Smoak). GIDP—Guerrero. DP—Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Figgins, Tuiasosopo); Texas 1 (Dav.Murphy, J.Arias, Andrus).

Snell L, 0-5 12/388711485.89
French 51/374403846.35
White 10000065.87
C.Wilson W, 5-3 7422341163.52
Nippert 11/320011224.60
N.Feliz 2/300011182.67

IR-S—N.Feliz 2-0. HBP—by French (Kinsler). WP—Snell, C.Wilson, N.Feliz. T—2:50. A—26,432 (49,170).

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