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August 21, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Wedge talks about Mariners’ “young moments” — good and bad

If you look carefully, you can see the flag in left-center at Tropicana Field that Wily Mo Pena hit in batting practice yesterday. They’re still buzzing about his power display.
Here is Sunday’s lineup:
Mariners (53-71)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
33 Casper Wells LF
4 Adam Kennedy (L) 3B
29 Wily Mo Pena DH
15 Kyle Seager (L) SS
3 Josh Bard (S) C
36 Michael Pineda RHP
Rays (67-56)
8 Desmond Jennings LF
22 Johnny Damon (L) DH
3 Evan Longoria 3B
18 Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
11 Casey Kotchman (L) 1B
2 B.J. Upton CF
20 Matt Joyce RF
29 John Jaso C
15 Reid Brignac SS
33 James Shields RHP
As you can see, Kyle Seager is back at shortstop after playing the last seven innings there on Saturday — and not getting one ball hit to him. Luis Rodriguez left the game yesterday after getting hit on his right elbow, and still isn’t ready to play. Wedge said Rodriguez’s elbow is “pretty puffy” and he’s undergoing treatment. Brendan Ryan, meanwhile, still isn’t quite ready to start a game, though Wedge hopes he’ll be in there Monday in Cleveland.
“That’s my plan,” he said.

Ryan came off the disabled list Friday from a shoulder injury.
“He’s been available,” Wedge said. “He’s still available. But I’m hoping he’s good to go in regard to starting tomorrow. It’s just the swing. Just trusting a little more, letting it go.”
The Mariners have now had a chance to look at Seager at second base, shortstop and third base in this series.
“Of course, he goes out yesterday and doesn’t get one ball,” Wedge said. “I’m kind of anxious to see him out there. Who knows what kind of role he’s going to be? Is he going to be a starting guy, is he going to be a utility guy? I don’t know. For me to be able to see him at second, short and third is a good thing. We talk about answering questions this year.”
Wedge said that Saturday’s game, a seemingly routine 8-0 defeat, was filled with moments that helped him answer some questions, both positively and negatively.
For instance, he raved about Seager’s at-bat with two outs in the ninth inning, in which Seager fouled off six pitches with two strikes. He eventually worked the count full and struck out to end the game, but to Wedge, that was incidental.
“I loved that at-bat, without a doubt,” he said. “I loved the at-bat for all the right reasons, which probably no one else recognized. They’ll sure as hell recognize it a year or two from now.
“It’s just pride. It’s just respect for the game. It’s fight. You have to have that when things are on the line. When you have it when it doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot, but it matters to you, that means something. That’s means something. Those are the people you can win with, and that’s what we’re looking for.
“That game yesterday, everything on their side, absolutely nothing on our side, but you still had individual moments that played out for us.”
That extended to rookie pitchers Charlie Furbush and Josh Lueke, each of whom Wedge left in the game during jams to see how they would react. Furbush got the final out with the bases loaded in the third, while Lueke walked Ben Zobrist and had to be pulled in the eighth.
“Furbush got it done, Lueke didn’t get it done,” Wedge said. “You give them that extra hitter to see how they react to it. That extra hitter now is the third inning. That extra hitter next year might be the eighth or ninth inning. Same thing with Seager. That at-bat yesterday at the end of the game, it’s an 8-0 game and it doesn’t really mean a whole lot. But it says a lot about that kid’s pride. And that at-bat next year or the year after, it might be in the ninth inning with the game on the line. So you find out. When it’s real easy just to cave in, you find out about guys. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Wedge smiled when talking about another aspect of Saturday’s game, Tom Wilhelmsen’s difficulty controlling the running game. Desmond Jennings stole second and third while he was on the mound.
“We had a lot of young moments yesterday,” he said. “The two kids up the middle trying to control the guy at second base, the pitcher on the mound, a few other things, too, I won’t mention. No one probably knows; that’s fine.”
Speaking of the running game, Miguel Olivo is having a terrible time transferring the ball to get off a throw. He’s bobbled four, I believe, in the first two games in Tampa Bay.
“He’s trying to be too quick,” Wedge said. “These guys obviously have a reputation for running a little bit. They’re very aggressive. He doesn’t need to be too quick. When you try to be too quick, you don’t have the transfer. ‘No faster than motor skills allow.’I can’t say that enough. You can only be so fast. You’re only as quick as you are. If you try to be quicker, if you try to swing harder, you try to run faster, guess what? You’re slower, you’re not as quick, you’re not as fast.”

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