Notes: Livingston looks to regain feel

Notes: Livingston looks to regain feel

ANAHEIM -- Bobby Livingston said that has always considered himself a "feel" pitcher.

After walking three batters in Friday's loss to the Angels -- two of which came with the bases loaded -- and needing 31 pitches to get an out, Livingston said he never felt worse.

"It's disheartening, disappointing," Livingston said. "No one ever wants to pitch badly. You're going to have your good days, your bad days and then your really bad days."

The rookie left-hander said that Friday's outing certainly qualified as a "really bad day."

Summoned from the bullpen after starting pitcher Joel Pineiro allowed six runs over three innings, Livingston hit Adam Kennedy with a pitch to open the inning and then struck out Chone Figgins.

The rest, he said, was a blur.

Livingston -- who has never walked more than 30 hitters in any professional season as a starting pitcher -- walked Orlando Cabrera and allowed a single to Vladimir Guerrero to load the bases.

That's when Livingston walked Garret Anderson to force in a run. He then did the same thing with Tim Salmon at the plate. Livingston got the ball over the plate to the following hitter, Juan Rivera, who drilled a grand slam.

Livingston faced one more batter, allowing a single to Dallas McPherson, before leaving.

"I'm a feel pitcher, and I just didn't have a good feel [on Friday]," Livingston said. "... It's really nothing other than that. I was trying to pick corners on those guys, and it just ended up hurting me. It's like every time I walk someone up here, it feels like it's hurting us."

Livingston has walked six hitters in his three appearances that have covered five innings.

"It's never fun watching pitchers walk a lot of hitters, and in the fourth inning, it was real difficult to watch," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "Bobby's a good kid ... a good competitor, but that's tough to watch."

Livingston is learning a common lesson that all young pitchers go through upon arriving in the Major Leagues -- trying to establish a level of consistency.

"The goal here is to be consistent and have more good days and bad days," Livingston said. "You go back over history, and guys like Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson all had bad days.

"I'm 23 and still taking it all in. It's a learning experience, but they didn't bring me up here to learn. They brought me up here to pitch."

Bats heating up: Seattle video coordinator Carl Hamilton has been a busy man lately, almost as busy as first-year hitting coach Jeff Pentland.

Hamilton and Pentland spent part of Saturday afternoon sitting in front of a television in the visiting clubhouse breaking down swings from Friday's 12-7 loss to the Angels with hitters like Raul Ibanez and Jeremy Reed stopping by for a look.

Pentland is encouraged by what he's seen from his hitters recently. Toss aside the Mariners' 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay and Scott Kazmir on Wednesday, and Seattle has scored seven, eight and six runs in its last three games.

In those games, Seattle had 14, 10 and 10 hits, respectively.

"I don't think we're quite as tentative," Pentland said. "I think in the early part of the year, we went up there wishing we would get a hit. I think the intensity level has been pushed up a notch. We're a little more aggressive."

Pentland has been working extensively with several hitters who have been in prolonged funks at the plate, namely Reed and Richie Sexson. Reed had a three-run home run on Friday, and Sexson had two hits in that game.

"I'm not so much concerned about getting hits as I am about trying to hit the ball hard," Pentland said. "It's just trying to make good contact, and with the power guys, the home runs will come. But if you're swinging and missing, it won't work."

Pentland has been around the game long enough to know a three-game stretch doesn't constitute an offensive revival. But he's encouraged by the approach and the work ethic of the hitters.

"The work has been excellent with all of the guys," Pentland said. "The one thing I keep telling them is that if they keep doing the work, it won't get worse it will get better.

"If we can put up five or six runs a game, I think we're going to win our share of games."

On second thought: After Livingston (31 pitches) and Sean Green (63) worked extensively in Friday's loss, Hargrove hinted the team might make a move Saturday to add another arm to its bullpen.

"There's a good chance we'll make some kind of move," Hargrove said after the game.

But that didn't happen, as the Mariners opted not to dip down to Triple-A Tacoma for an additional arm.

"If we get through [Saturday], we'll be OK," Hargrove said. "We feel like if we get into that situation we can cover it. We'll be all right."

Hargrove said that all of his pitchers with the exception of Green, were available for Saturday's game.

On deck: Seattle's Gil Meche (2-2, 4.58 ERA) faces Jeff Weaver (1-5, 6.53 ERA) in the final game of this three-game series at 12:35 p.m. on Sunday at Angel Stadium. The Mariners open a three-game series in Oakland on Tuesday.

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.