BY Seth Kolloen 07:46AM 04/13/2011

Exit 164: Mariners Two Games Ahead of Red Sox

And we have Michael Pineda to thank

Pineda dominates: The M’s rookie fired pellets past the Jays, hitting 98 mph on the gun. More importantly, he threw strikes — 74 of his 113 pitches were in the strike zone. Not exactly Cliff Lee control, but then Cliff Lee doesn’t throw 98. The M’s offense –primarily, a two-run homer by Ryan Langerhans — did just enough to get the “Mountain on the Mound” his first MLB win. Read John’s story. And now the M’s are two games up on the struggling Red Sox! Mariners 4-7, 4th place, 5 GB. Next game this afternoon vs. Toronto.

Aardsma throws simulated game: David Aardsma, recovering from hip surgery, threw about 24 pitches in a simulated game yesterday afternoon, without a single Mariner making solid contact (for what that’s worth.) He could be back by the end of the month – –likely as the full-time closer, reports John.

Sounders take their swings: The Sounders broke up training with a team softball game yesterday. Taylor Graham was the hitting star with two long home runs, and Cuban-born Ozzie Alonzo also hit a dinger. Read Stanley’s story — I hope Jack Zduriencik does.

Top 5 all-time fireballers and how old they were when they got their first MLB wins (Pineda is 22)

1) Nolan Ryan, 21
2) Randy Johnson, 25
3) Roger Clemens, 21
4) Walter Johnson, 19
5) Bob Gibson, 23

What they’re saying…

“He’s throwing the ball hard, but usually guys who do that are in the middle of the plate. He’s not. He’s on the corners all the time. That’s tough to do.” — Ryan Langerhans

“When you’re throwing that hard, your offspeed doesn’t have to be that great. I think he has a chance to be something special, and I really don’t like complimenting pitchers that much.” — Corey Patterson

“Mary Zakuani? It was not the most velocity I’ve ever seen on a throw.” — Sigi Schimd on Steve Zakuani’s attempts to throw a softball

In other news…

Lookout Landing has a sweet animated .gif of a nasty slider Pineda struck out Travis Snider with.

M’s catcher Adam Moore is probably out for the rest of the year. His knee ligament tear was deemed “extensive” by M’s doctors and he’ll need 4-6 months of rehab. Chris Gimenez, your tax bracket is about to change.

Check out our Wayback Machine this week, an entertaining look at the boom-and-bust NASL Sounders.

DraftExpress named Matthew Bryan-Amaning to their Portsmouth Invitational All-Tournament team. MBA averaged 16 ppg and 7 rpg in the tourney, and led the entire tourney in steals.

Justin Holiday was less successful, averaging just 5 ppg, 58th among the 63 players at the tourney. He did have four steals in his two games, though.

The Seahawks are scheduled to play their first exhibition game August 11 in San Diego, a game which would be on ESPN if there is actually football by then. The rest of the schedule: 9/20 vs. Minnesota @ Qwest; 9/27 @ Denver; 9/1 vs. Oakland @ Qwest.

Here’s a neat article on Ken Griffey Sr., who is beginning a managing career at age 61, in Modesto of the California League.

Seven days closer to a championship…

Today, April 13
Mariners vs. Toronto @ Safeco, 12:40 p.m. Mariners calendar! (ROOT)

Thursday, April 14
Mariners @ Kansas City, 5:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Friday, April 15
Mariners @ Kansas City, 5:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Saturday, April 16
Mariners @ Kansas City, 10:10 a.m. (ROOT)
Sounders @ Philadelphia Union, 1 p.m. (KONG)

Sunday, April 17
Mariners @ Kansas City, 11:10 a.m. (ROOT)

Monday, April 18
Mariners vs. Detroit @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Tuesday, April 19
Mariners vs. Detroit @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)


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