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August 15, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Josh Bard out of lineup one day after making history for the Mariners

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You can see Josh Bard, in the photo above, describing how close he was to a 5-for-5 night and getting that missing triple for the cycle in his final at-bat. OK, maybe that’s not what he was discussing. We’re taking some artistic liberties here, since eavesdropping isn’t our style.
Bard becomes the first Mariners catcher to ever have four hits and a home run in the same game. He’s the second MLB catcher to do that this year, after Bengie Molina did it when hitting for the cycle a few weeks back. Buster Posey also did it, but was playing first base at the time instead of his usual catching role.
All that and Bard still isn’t in today’s lineup. Adam Moore is because, with the team vying to avoid the AL basement, it’s not about playing the team’s best guys. It’s about taking a look at the future and Moore — despite his struggles — is still a big part of that.
“We need to see Adam,” manager Daren Brown said this morning. “We need to see a lot of him. Bard’s done that. He’s done that job before. Like I said last night, he puts his work in, he’s ready to go. Obviously, the way he’s swung the bat, you like to get him back in there. We’ll see.”

Well, actually, we won’t see. This is part of adjusting to his role that Bard has had to accept. That he can have a career night, then not see the field again for a week at a time. And then, he has to maximize that playing time as much as he can, or he’ll have a tough time finding work next winter. Not an easy job.
Speaking of finding work next year, Chris Woodward gets his first major league start of the season today. Woodward hasn’t started a game in the majors since last year against Toronto while playing for the Red Sox.
Felix Hernandez continues his strong season today. I still think he has a shot at a Cy Young Award, but needs to keep this pace up and notch a whole bunch of wins. The latter part isn’t really in his control and that’s too bad. But he’s inching ever closer to Cliff Lee in ERA and still is only two complete games behind him.
One thing to watch today — the heat. It’s not as bad as Seattle right now, believe it or not. But it’s expected to be 83 degrees at gametime with a ton of humidity. That humidity can make it tough on pitchers as a game wears on. Especially in August as fatigue from a long season sets in.
It was a year ago this month that Hernandez had his last really tough outing of the season right here at Progressive Field. He got beaten 6-1 in that game, giving up six runs — three earned — in six innings. The unearned runs happened after Jose Lopez booted a ball, but Hernandez was hit hard and often after that. So, the runs were unearned, but he was beaten by the other team’s bats. It was a lot cooler that day — 69 degrees and cloudy. So, Hernandez has that non-similarity going for him.
The lineups:
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Michael Saunders
SS Chris Woodward
RHP Felix Hernandez
CF Michael Brantley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Shin-Soo Choo
DH Travis Hafner
2B Jayson Nix
LF Trevor Crowe
1B Matt LaPorta
3B Luis Valbuena
C Lou Marson
RHP Justin Masterson

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins, Chris Woodward


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