Giants closer Brian Wilson sharp in first spring outing
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A packed house of 10,900 got to see a former AL Cy Young Award winner and a three-time NL All-Star closer in action Sunday in the San Francisco Giants‘ 7-5 spring training win over the Seattle Mariners.
Dark-bearded closer Brian Wilson got a standing ovation from Giants fans at their spring training home as he jogged to the mound to start the fourth inning. Wilson, who said he noticed the cheering, allowed a hit but finished his nine-pitch day with a strikeout-throwout double play.
“The way my brain works is, if there’s not a lot of adrenaline pumping then I don’t feel normal,” Wilson said. “In situations like pitching in a live game, whether it’s nerves or what not, I always feel calm because it just feels normal to me to be out on the mound. It’s just where I live.”
Wilson pitched last season with a tender right elbow.
“I know it’s still going to be on people’s mind, it’s just one inning. We’ll see how the next nine go and then opening day, All-Star break, playoffs,” he said.
The Mariners featured 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez making his second spring training start. He allowed two runs on four hits in four innings and threw 53 pitches, striking out three.
Both runs against him came in the third.
“Good command, I was throwing a lot of strikes,” Hernandez said. “The third inning, some little mistakes but it happens. Up a little bit.”
Hernandez said he hopes to throw 80 pitches in his next start as he gears up for the Mariners’ Opening Day of the regular season in Japan on March 28.
“He’s right on target,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Wilson’s catcher was 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey, who played in his second spring training game after his left leg was wrecked in a home plate collision last May. Posey went 0 for 2 at the plate, but both he and Wilson were glad to be working together again.
Posey ran to first base and also made a couple of throws down to second base.
“It’s nice just to kind of have some different situations,” Posey said. “As much as I went them (innings) to be 1-2-3, I think for my own sake it’s good to have a little bit longer innings and to test it a little bit.”
Posey said throwing felt normal, and he expects to play four innings again Tuesday. His goal is to be ready for opening day.
“Good day for him to go four innings, he looks like he’s over the hump,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Trayvon Robinson had three hits, including a home run for Seattle. Center fielder Michael Saunders had two hits as he continues his goal of opening the season at that spot with injured Franklin Gutierrez out until sometime in May.
Giants ace Tim Lincecum, who has struggled in his first two spring training starts, is scheduled for his third start Monday against Kansas City. Lincecum has allowed six earned runs on 11 hits in four innings of work this spring… P Ryan Vogelsong is expected to get three starts before spring training ends, Bochy said. Vogelsong is coming back from a lower back injury.
Giants closer Wilson sharp in first spring outing
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