PEORIA, Ariz. -- Carter Capps wiggled himself into a little trouble in Thursday's game against the Giants, allowing back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning while looking to preserve a 4-2 lead.
But what the hard-throwing right-hander did next opened a few eyes, as Capps dug in and struck out the next three batters with his upper-90s heat. It was the kind of outing that reminded the Mariners what they have in the lanky 22-year-old from North Carolina.
"Obviously he's got that live fastball," said manager Eric Wedge. "And when you get into those situations, you have to rely on it a little more to potentially get a strikeout. You either want a strikeout or double play with that lead batter, but he was able to get the three strikeouts and leave 'em all out there. That's pretty impressive."
While some hurlers are working on things this time of spring, getting their timing down or perfecting secondary pitches, Capps has no such illusions about his Cactus League appearances.
"It's exactly like a regular game for me," said Capps, who pitched in 18 games for Seattle last year after getting called up in August. "I've got to make the team, so I'm going out there pitching like it's the World Series. Obviously, I got the ball up against the one guy, and the other guy got kind of a bloop hit, but other than that, it was a good outing."
Capps now has thrown two innings of scoreless ball as he makes his bid for a setup job in the Mariners' bullpen. There's a long way to go this spring, but he appears to be throwing as well as anyone in camp.
"I feel good," Capps said. "I feel strong. I'm ready to go."