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June 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Mariners Sunday lineup and pre-game notes

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Here are today’s lineups:
Mariners (28-39)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
63 Jesus Montero DH
33 Casper Wells LF
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
30 Miguel Olivo C
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
26 Brendan Ryan SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Giants (37-29)
7 Gregor Blanco (L) RF
48 Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
53 Melky Cabrera (S) LF
28 Buster Posey DH
16 Angel Pagan (S) CF
9 Brandon Belt (L) 1B
29 Hector Sanchez (S) C
35 Brandon Crawford (L) SS
2 Emmanuel Burriss (S) 2B
40 Madison Bumgarner LHP
As you can see, Casper Wells is back in there after homering yesterday. Manager Eric Wedge said he’s been looking for a chance to give Michael Saunders a day off (“We’ve been pushing him pretty hard”) and he also likes what he’s seeing from Wells.
“He’s off to a great start since he’s been back here,” Wedge said. “He worked really hard in Triple-A, spent a lot of time in the cage. The thing with Casper is trying to slow the lower half down with his leg kick. Just get more in control, less violent. When he does that, it frees him up with the upper half and allows him to use his hands better, and that’s what you see him doing.”

Today’s starter. Felix Hernandez, has been tinkering with things in an attempt to regain his form after a rough stretch that has seen him lose four of his last five decisions.
“He’s not trying to fix anything,” Wedge said. “He’s just working to get a better position over the rubber, get that balance point which allows him to be a little more on-line to home plate. Which is what we want all our guys to do, for the most part, especially starters, for whom it’s so important to repeat their delivery.”
Wedge said that Hisashi Iwakuma will be used more frequently in setup roles, as he did in earning his first major-league win last night.
That’s something Carl (Willis) and I talked about yesterday, and why for more reasons that one that was a pretty important outing for him, and for us yesterday. As you’ve seen, we’ve been ramping him up with the frequency and type of game he’s been pitching in.”
Wedge said Iwakuma has bounced back from relief outings “quicker than I expected. Not so much earlier. But as we’ve gone on, one, he’s been getting ready quicker, and I never would have thought that. At the beginning of the year, I thought I’d have to get him up the inning before, and a few times I did, actually. His resiliency has been a lot better, too, which is good.”
One other note: Jesus Montero’s home run last night is now being estimated at 445 feet by the ESPN Home Run Tracker, which has become the standard for home-run distances. That would make it the 10th longest homer in Safeco Field history, according to available records from ESPN and STATS INC, and tied for sixth longest by a Mariner. It would also be the second longest into the left-field upper deck, trailing only Richie Sexsoin’s 448-foot blast on July 27, 2005 off Detroit’s Chris Spurling.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesus Montero


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