The Mariners’ lineup for Tuesday’s game has one sizeable switch. Russell Branyan is batting second, something he hasn’t done yet this season. In fact, the last time he remembers hitting second was with the Reds under manager Bob Boone.
“You put a lot more pressure on the opposing team to pitch to him,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “As well as Ichiro has been getting on base, it forces them to pitch to him. They’re not going to want to walk him in that situation.”
Outfielder Endy Chavez is the player the Mariners used most often in the No. 2 slot this season, starting 19 games at that spot. Franklin Gutierrez started 10 games at that No. 2 slot.
“The two hole has been a big struggle for us all year,” Wakamatsu said.
Wakamatsu discussed the move with Branyan, emphasizing to him that the Mariners did not want him to change his approach at the plate with a move to the No. 2 spot and to emphasize that he wouldn’t be using small-ball tactics with Branyan at that spot.
“The way Don explained it to me, and his thoughts on the way our lineup shakes up, I’m excited about it,” Branyan said.
|VISITING TEAM||Avg.||HR||HOME TEAM||Avg.||HR|
|No. 1||2B Brian Roberts||.294||6||No. 1||RF Ichiro||.352||5|
|No. 2||CF Adam Jones||.344||11||No. 2||1B Russell Branyan||.319||11|
|No. 3||RF Nick Markakis||.298||7||No. 3||3B Adrian Beltre||.227||3|
|No. 4||DH Aubrey Huff||.264||8||No. 4||DH Ken Griffey Jr.||.208||5|
|No. 5||3B Melvin Mora||.270||2||No. 5||2B Jose Lopez||.226||5|
|No. 6||1B Ty Wigginton||.226||3||No. 6||SS Yuniesky Betancourt||.256||2|
|No. 7||C Matt Wieters||.133||0||No. 7||C Rob Johnson||.186||0|
|No. 8||LF Nolan Reimold||.286||5||No. 8||LF Endy Chavez||.289||2|
|No. 9||SS Cesar Izturis||.262||1||No. 9||CF Franklin Gutierrez||.255||3|