Not much of a change in the lineup tonight. It’s pretty much the “regular” one we’ve come to know. In the photo above, you can see Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who’s been dealing with many of his own issues this season. The Red Sox have started winning again of late and sit tied with Tampa Bay for third place in the AL East, 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees but in the thick of wild-card contention.
So, there’s pressure on the Bosox to do well here. They just started closing the Safeco Field roof as well, so we could see some baseballs fly out a bit more tonight. Who knows?
As for the Mariners, manager Eric Wedge said he doesn’t want his players adapting their approach to a more Safeco Field oriented mindset. You’ll remember that yesterday, catcher John Jaso had this to say postgame.
“It’s hard because no team that plays here really has the production that they would somewhere else,” Jaso said of Safeco Field. “You look at Texas and how many runs are put up on both sides when we go play at Texas.
“I mean, they are different places. But this still is a great place to play. And the challenge is doing the best with it, knowing things like, if you hit that fly ball, it’s not going to go out.
“So, you concentrate on hitting low line drives, hitting grounders and that’s what will beat the other teams that are coming in thinking the fly balls are going to go out. So, it’s kind of a mental swing.”
Today, though, Wedge said he doesn’t want that happening.
“If you just work on hitting the ball hard, then all of those other things, those numbers, will take care of themselves,” Wedge said. “So, I want them to simplify it as best that we can. Because if you go up there trying to hit a home run, or trying to hit a double, or trying to hit a single, you’re not focusing on your approach and your plan and your mindset up there to hit the ball hard. That’s what the good hitting clubs do and good hitters do.
“And our guys are getting much better than that.”
For now, Wedge said, the players can’t start giving up and abandoning the “fight” and the approach they’ve used on the road simply because they’re at Safeco Field. He said it’s important for them to mentally enjoy the place where they come to work 81 times per season.
“These guys are in it,” he said, meaning they’re close to the results they need.
“This is the hardest part of the fight right now,” he added. “You can’t give in to it because we’re so close.”
In other news, Kevin Millwood is feeling better but has yet to see team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan. That’s going to happen later today and then the team will decide what happens next.
LF Daniel Nava
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Cody Ross
CF Ryan Kalish
SS Mike Aviles
LHP Franklin Morales
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Kyle Seager
DH Jesus Montero
LF Casper Wells
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
2B Dustin Ackley
SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Felix Hernandez