You’ll notice that Miguel Olivo is catching today. That’s unusual, since the Mariners always try to rest Olivo during day games after the team plays at night.
But Olivo has five hits his first two games in this series. He’s on a real tear right now for the first time all season and manager Eric Wedge isn’t about to mess with that as his team goes for the series sweep this afternoon.
“With the off-day Monday and another off-day the following Monday with what we’re trying to do with this lineup and everything, it’s probably a good idea to push him through this series and try to get him an off-day Saturday or Sunday in Boston,” Wedge said.
Wedge added that the sacrifice fly Olivo managed against Justin Verlander “might have been the best at-bat we had as a team all year.”
Olivo worked the count, fought off some pitches, then drove a change-up from Verlander to deep right center.
Wedge said that plate appearance “epitomizes everything we’ve been talking about” in terms of players having good at-bats.
One thing that hasn’t worked out as well yet is Jack Cust, who will sit today’s game out. Cust did have that double in his final at-bat last night after striking out the previous four times. Wedge was asked whether he’d considered not sending Cust back out there with a shot at a fifth whiff.
“No, it’s the big leagues,” he said. “You’ve got to handle everything that comes with it.”
Wedge said his goal has always been to get the most consistent lineup possible out there.
“It’s always cracked me up when people get on you in the past because you’re having different lineups,” he said. “Do you think I want to have a different lineup every day? I mean, really, huh? You think I’m choosing to do this stuff? You want that consistency. I mean, that’s something you want to have.
“If you can have the bulk of your lineup with some consistency, I think that can make a big difference.”
Justin Smoak enters today on a nine-game hitting streak and has homered in three consecutive games as well.
His five RBI night last night was the first for Seattle since Mike Sweeney did it last May against San Diego.
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
C Miguel Olivo
1B Justin Smoak
DH Adam Kennedy
SS Luis Rodriguez
CF Michael Saunders
2B Jack Wilson
RHP Michael Pineda
CF Austin Jackson
SS Ramon Santiago
DH Magglio Ordonez
1B Miguel Cabrera
RF Brandon Boesch
LF Ryan Raburn
C Alex Avila
3B Don Kelly
2B Will Rhymes
RHP Brad Penny