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April 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Easter lineup: Ichiro at DH, Jack Cust sits

Here are today’s lineups:
Oakland
Coco Crisp CF
Daric Barton 1B
David DeJesus RF
Josh Willingham LF
Hideki Matsui DH
Mark Ellis 2B
Landon Powell C
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Cliff Pennington SS
Brett Anderson LHP (1-1, 1.63)
SEATTLE
Ichiro DH
Chone Figgins 3B
Milton Bradley LF
Miguel Olivo C
Adam Kennedy 1B
Brendan Ryan SS
Michael Saunders CF
Jack Wilson 2B
Ryan Langerhans RF
Doug Fister (1-3, 3.60)
As you can see, Ichiro will be the DH today, a chance to give him two days off his legs when coupled with Monday’s day off. Ichiro had three hits yesterday and is now at his customary spot above .300 (.304). Manager Eric Wedge said he’s still learning what makes Ichiro tick.
“I’m still getting a feel for him, too,” he said. “I saw him sporadically from the other side of the diamond. His approach is obviously unique. He knows exactly what he wants to do up there, and you know it’s going to happen. You know the consistency is going to come. Form one at-bat to the next, regardless of results, you don’t see a whole lot of difference there because he is very consistent with his approach.”


Jack Cust, meanwhile, gets a day off against tough left-hander Brett Anderson. Cust is down to .171, and is hitting .150 (3-for-20) with runners in scoring position. For a cleanup hitter, that’s obviously becoming a major concern.
“He’s been a little bit off. He’s working at it,” Wedge said. “I think he feels like he’s getting a little bit closer. We are not seeing the results we want to see from Jack right now. And obviously being in the middle of the lineup, we want to see him get it going. I’ve had conversations with him. I will continue to have conversations with him. I think he’s still confident and still feels like it’s going to come. I still fee like its going to come for him.
But when you talk hitting with runners in scoring position, we need everyone to do their part, particularly in the middle of the order.”
Asked if it’s a mechanical breakdown, Wedge said, “There’s always mechanical side of it. With him, it’s more about approach and feel and timing. I think that’s what he’s focusing on.”
Cust is known for having a good eye at the plate, and has walked 16 times (four times with the bases loaded — not three as I had originally — for four of his seven RBIs). Is he being too selective?
“He’s always been kind of an exact type of hitter,” Wedge said. “He’s always had a great eye,. I think it sticks out more now because he is struggling. I’d like to see him be a little bit more aggressive at times. But I think part of him getting himself going is walking that line.”

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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