In Seattle, over and out
Washington has closed-door meeting following big loss
SEATTLE -- Manager Ron Washington closed the doors to the clubhouse after this one.This one required Washington's first postgame team meeting as the Rangers manager. He did not air out his players or jump all over them, but he did feel there was some things that needed to be addressed after a 14-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday afternoon. Washington had seen enough after his team committed three errors on Sunday and six in two losses after they had won the first game of the series on Friday night. "They're busting their tails," Washington said. "They're not making mental mistakes, they're physical mistakes and they can be fixed. So I don't think they need me to kick them in their tails. I told them I'm not panicking and they don't need to panic, we just have to correct the things that are wrong." There was plenty wrong in this one. "We just didn't play well," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "We didn't swing the bats, didn't pitch, didn't play defense. You're going to lose badly if you don't play well." The loss was the Rangers' third in their last four games and also left them 1-5 in their first six games against American League West opponents. "That's not good," Washington said. "If you're going to win you have to win in your own division. We weren't playing well when we were playing Anaheim. I thought we were playing well when we came up here, but we made some physical errors in the last two games. So we're 1-5, but it can be made up." Matt Kata had two of the Rangers three errors while making his first start at third base and reliever Kameron Loe had the other, a throwing error in the Mariners' four-run fourth. But starter Brandon McCarthy had the roughest afternoon of anybody, allowing six runs in just two innings. It was his shortest of his 14 outings as a starter in the Major Leagues. "I expect better out of myself than that," McCarthy said. "It's not one of the more positive outings that I've had." The Rangers were devastated by the top of the Mariners lineup. Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre and Jose Vidro were a combined 9-for-14 with 10 runs scored, four home runs and 10 RBI. They wrecked the Rangers and they wasted no time in doing so. Sammy Sosa gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run single, but the Mariners struck back right away when Ichiro led off the bottom of the inning with a home run into the right-field seats. One out later, Vidro smacked a 2-1 curveball into the right-field seats for a home run to tie the game. "He got some balls up and that's a good hitting team over there," Washington said. The Mariners came right back for more in the second inning as a leadoff walk by Jose Lopez and one-out singles by Ichiro (on a 13-pitch at-bat) and Beltre gave them a lead. Vidro then crushed a 1-2 changeup and hit it into the right-field seats for a three-run home run. McCarthy conceded that the pitch to Ichiro was a bad pitch. Not so with Vidro, and McCarthy went back to the clubhouse afterward to look at video to see if he was tipping pitches. Nothing jumped out at him, but his suspicions remain. He has had trouble tipping pitches before. "The two pitches to Vidro were good pitches," McCarthy said. "They were down in the zone and he stayed on them. Nobody stays on the ball that well. Usually my changeup doesn't get hit that hard when it's down." McCarthy's outing finished off a bad cycle for the Rangers rotation. In their last five games, Rangers starters have allowed 22 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings while giving up 34 hits, including seven home runs, and walking 10. But little went right for the Rangers on a cold Sunday afternoon. Two errors led to four runs in the fourth and the Rangers have now made 13 errors in 12 games which have led to nine unearned runs. It gave the manager something to talk about. "It was a 'recognition' talk," Washington said. "Recognize what's going on and put a stop to it. I don't want this to fester. I don't want to keep saying it will get better. We have to make it better and we will. There are some good ballplayers in there. We were playing good for seven games, I want to get back to that."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.