Mariners grateful for needed off-day at home

Mariners grateful for needed off-day at home

SEATTLE -- Off days don't come often during the Major League Baseball season and those that come while at home are even more rare. Thursday's home off-day for the Mariners, their sixth of the season, couldn't have come at a better time.

Following an 18-inning marathon on Tuesday and 11 frames on Wednesday against Baltimore that both ended in tough losses, the bullpen was in complete disarray, especially after 7 2/3 innings of work on Monday.

"There's a physical part of this game and there's a mental part of this game," said Josh Kinney, who threw a combined 54 pitches in 2 2/3 innings during the last two games. "I think a good way to look at those situations is probably a big mind over matter. You might feel like crap, you might feel great, but all in all, mentally, you just got to be in check and go at 'em just as aggressive mentally as you can. Don't worry about your body.

"I got home and I was sitting there and I could feel my heartbeat in my arm. But that's OK, that's all right because I didn't have to pitch yesterday. Today I woke up and real excited to get here and get back after it, man. We got 12 games left and a lot of pitching. Let's rock and roll."

The extra innings weren't just tough on the bullpen, though, as two close losses can be a frustrating thing for a struggling offense. The Mariners had entered the series against the Orioles after a tough three-game set in Texas, so it was extra baggage, emotionally.

"I think our team needed it," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "If you look at the tough series at Texas, of course, tough series coming back here against Baltimore. A couple extra-inning games. Of course, those games can go either way, but they're long games. [The day off] was good for us, as much mentally as physically."