New Kids Make a Big Splash

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                       The silver lining can be sometimes incredibly hard to see, but the upside of the Mariners 8-3 loss to Cleveland Indians last night was as clear as day. For the first six innings, Mariners hitters were able to tag Indians starter Cliff Lee for sporadic hits that led to no runs until the top of the seventh when Wladimir Balentien, called up from the minors yesterday, came to plate with two men on and no out. His purpose in being brought up was to add a little pop to the Mariners struggling offense and he did just that, taking a 2-0 pitch from Cliff Lee over the wall in right-center field. For Mariners fans across the land it could not have been sweeter (except if it was a game winner), as most had been calling for Balentien to be on the everyday roster since spring training. With one swing of the bat, Balentien pretty much equaled the total season production of former right fielder Brad Wilkerson. Wilkerson, who was designated for assignment as a part of the call-ups, had 1 run, 5 RBI and zero homeruns until being designated. I, for one, feel completely vindicated in my constant loud mouthed complaining for both Balentien and Jeff Clement to be called up. Clement, in his first plate appearance since coming up from AAA, singled into center in the top of 9th and, though the game was already out of hand, it was nice to see him get his feet wet. The two noobs went a combined 3/5 with 3 RBI (all Balentien’s) and lived up to all the hype so far. Though it is an incredibly small sample size, and a very long season, I can’t help but be encouraged by the production the two young players already are bringing to the table.

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