13 Dustin Ackley 2B
55 Michael Saunders CF
63 Jesus Montero DH
27 John Jaso C
15 Kyle Seager 3B
33 Casper Wells LF
20 Mike Carp 1B
10 Eric Thames RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Curtis Granderson CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Hiroki Kuroda P
The Mariners have just the right person to try to get back on a winning track after having their seven-game streak snapped last night by CC Sabathia and the Yankees. The Mariners counter with their own ace, Felix Hernandez, whose 1.47 ERA in four starts is the lowest career ERA at the new Yankee Stadium. Not only that, Hernandez is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his last nine starts this season.
“He’s been really good,” manager Eric Wedge said. “I’m glad he’s pitching today, excited to get out there and play and try to even up the series. Give ourselves a chance to win the series tomorrow. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Wedge said he’s eager to see how the team handles this stretch, and how they bounce back.
“I liked where the guys were after the game yesterday. I talked to them briefly. You just have to understand what you’re a part of. As I said, that guy beats anyone yesterday. That’s baseball. Now it’s about going out and competing today, which I expect us to do.”
Hernandez, he said, has many of the same characteristics as Sabathia, whom Wedge managed in Cleveland.
“They’re different in some ways, yet the same in others. That’s probably common with most No. 1s. The similarities are, they want to be the man. They want to finish what they started. They take on the responsibility of being a number one, and people leaning on them. The intangibles are the separator to be a true No. 1. You can be an ace of a staff, but to be a true No. 1, which are few and far between in the big leagues, the intangibles are what separate them.”
Wedge raved about Stephen Pryor, who worked a scoreless inning on Friday.
“Pryor was really good yesterday. I wanted to get Pryor in there, because he’ll be pitching meaningful innings for us. He hadn’t pitched in five or six days, and he hadn’t pitched for us since he had been back. I didn’t want that first time to be when we’re, say, winning 4-1. So I wanted to get him in there.
“I wanted to get (Carter Capps) that first one done. I don’t know how many pitchers in the history of the game, their first pitch is 100 mph. There can’t be too many of them. Hey, it wasn’t too traumatic. He got to face three hitters, got an out. He got that one out of the way. That’s good. Big league debut in Yankee Stadium. Not a bad day.”
Wedge had good reports on Charlie Furbush, who struck out three in a one-inning rehab stint with Tacoma while giving up a run. He said Furbush will get at least one more outing in Tacoma.
By the way, Wedge says there is no temptation to try Furbush in the rotation again.
“Not for me. We kind of pinpointed him for this when we traded for him, and everything played out nice. He’s a great weapon in the bullpen.”
Asked if Hector Noesi took a step forward in his outing for the Rainiers last night (7 ip, 5 h, 2 er, 1 BB, 5K), Wedge said, “By comparison to the first four, you mean? My reports were he was a lot better last night. He has good stuff, a good delivery. He lacks with some of the intangibles. That’s what he’s working on.”
Here’s Wedge’s update on Justin Smoak, who is hitting .250/.388/.375 in 12 games since being sent down, wtih no homers and three RBIs: “He’s been doing pretty good from the right side, still working on the left side. Been working hard, everything we saw him doing here. Shows signs of getting it. But still needs to be more consistent.
And Franklin Gutierrez: “He’s going to continue to work in Tacoma. He had a pretty good day yesterday. He’s been officially cleared from the concussion standpoint. It’s just more about the headaches and the (inner-ear infection), which go hand in hand. I told Rick (trainer Rick Griffin), let’s evaluate him after tomorrow and go from there.