Just got upstairs from the clubhouse, where the lineups have been posted and Ryan Langerhans is indeed starting in left field for the Mariners against C.C. Sabathia and the New York Yankees tonight. That’s not a huge surprise, since it’s already been stated that Langerhans will get the bulk of playing time when there’s a righthanded pitcher on the mound. Thing is, there’s a lefty out there tonight in C.C. Sabathia, so yeah, it is a bit of a surprise.
The Mariners wanted to get Langerhans in there ASAP and since they didn’t do it on the first night, the day he joined the team, they are doing it this time around. And you have to admit, Wladimir Balentien gave them the excuse they needed last night, getting picked off base the way he did. That’s not going to earn you a lot of trust.
The Yankees lineup will not be as potent as the one the past two nights.
That’s because New York will have 23-year-old Francisco Cervelli catching instead of Jorge Posada. But running on him won’t be easy. He’s thrown out 10 of 16 would-be base-stealers already. Yikes.
I chatted with Ronny Cedeno, who came close to going deep a couple of times last night. On one occasion, he drilled a ball to dead center but it appeared to get knocked down by the wind.
Another time, he hit one into the right field wind tunnel, but it fell short of the fence.
“I missed that one,” he told me. “I didn’t really hit it well. If I’d put the bat a little more on top of the ball, it might have had a chance.”
On the ball to center, he didn’t know what was going to happen. A-Rod hit his home run to roughly the same spot. But that’s because he’s A-Rod. Cedeno doesn’t have that kind of power, though it’s been tough to tell the first two games here. Remember, he hit one out in the series opener.
A bit of a change from the .100 hitting shortstop we’d seen a couple of weeks ago.
“I just come out here every day and try to figure out my swing,” Cedeno said. “It helps to be playing more often, just about every day.”
Before, he figures he fell into some bad habits while sitting on the bench. He thinks he was swinging too hard and that his timing was off.
Now, he’s working on putting a swing that’s “inside and out” on the ball. He’s stepping into the pitch earlier and trying to put the barrel of his bat right over the plate.
So far, he says, he feels more comfortable. We’ll see how that goes, since he’s due to see plenty more playing time.
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
CF Franklin Gutierrez
C Kenji Johjima
LF Ryan Langerhans
3B Chris Woodward
SS Ronny Cedeno
LHP Jason Vargas
SS Derek Jeter
LF Johnny Damon
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
DH Hideki Matsui
CF Melky Cabrera
C Francisco Cervelli
LHP C.C. Sabathia