No outdoor BP today because it’s been steadily drizzling since about 4 p.m. The tarp is on the infield, but the forecast for tonight looks decent, and it’s looking like we’ll get the game in. Whether it will start on time is another question.
James McDonald, the Pirates’ scheduled starter tonight, was scratched because of a sore shoulder and actually placed on the disabled list. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, who is 1-0 with a 3.06 this year in six games (one start) will get the start instead. Also, veteran catcher Russell Martin was scratched because of a stiff neck. Michael McKenry will do the catching.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge has set his rotation for the upcoming series with the A’s in Seattle: Hisashi Iwakuma will be pitching on Friday, Brandon Maurer on Saturday and Joe Saunders on Sunday. Maurer will be working on 10 day’s rest, having been skipped on his last turn, partially to keep Felix Hernandez on his regular rest, and partly to help them manage the workload of a young pitcher. The Mariners will be facing, in order, Dan Straily, Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone. That sets up a potential matchup on Tuesday in New York of former Cy Young Award winners Hernandez and CC Sabathia.
This series is meaningful for Jason Bay, whose career blossomed in Pittsburgh after he was traded (with Oliver Perez) from the Padres to the Pirates for outfielder Brian Giles in 2003. Though he returned many times with the Mets, he said he still enjoys coming back to Pittsburgh.
“I think anyone who plays in a place six years, gets a chance to play in the big leagues, has some success – obviously, we didn’t have the huge success we’d like – but I have a lot of respect and thanks for this organization for giving me a chance,” he said.
“I feel like I could walk down the hallway to the home clubhouse, I’ve done it so many times. But it’s been five years removed, and I’m in a different progression of a career at this point. I’ve been a visiting player here a few times; it’s more about this team now. When I’m done playing, it will be a better time to reflect. When you’re still playing, it’s hard to put it in perspective.”
Bay still ranks first in home runs (61) and RBIs (241) in PNC history, and second all-time in games played (368) behind former Mariner Jack Wilson (583). Bay was a two-time All-Star with the Pirates.
It’s interesting how the careers of Bay and Perez (the losing pitcher the last time the Mariners played at PNC, back in 2004) have gone down parallel paths. Both were developed in San Diego, traded to Pittsburgh, then landed with the Mets and signed big contracts, only to struggle. And now both have landed with the Mariners to resurrect their careers.
“I’m just following him,” joked Bay.