July 20, 2013 at 2:47 PM
Mariner pre-game notes: Homers, Morse, Gutierrez, Miller, Zunino
Here’s what manager Eric Wedge had to say about the Mariners’ ongoing 23-game homer streak, a team record and tied for fifth longest in MLB since records began being kept in 1916:
“It’s something that’s never been done before with the Mariners. There have been so many great teams and players here I think it says a lot about our current roster. It’s a level of consistency, which is rare, to be driving the ball and hitting the ball out of the ballpark. And you have to put together good ABs, a volume of good at-bats together to get your hits. It’s not just hitting the ball hard and making it go a long way. There’s a lot more that goes into it than that. I think it’s one hell of an accomplishment.”
Next on the list at 24 is the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1953, who featured homers from Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges and Duke Snider.
““Those are pretty names there. But nothing changes here. We’ve had guys get themselves in a good place and this is about coming out here and playing good baseball and be tension free and work to win the ballgame.”
Wedge said that Michael Morse (quad) is “feeling good” and still on schedule for a rehab assignment next week.
“I’m hoping we take a good look at him on Monday and get him out after that,” he said. “That’s what we are hopeful of doing.
Meanwhile, Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) is on a rehab assignment already with Tacoma.
“We are going to keep him in right field and try to keep him healthy,” Wedge said. “We’ll just continue to bounce back and forth between DH and the outfield and ramping up his innings in the outfield to get him there.”
After his big two-homer night on Friday, Brad Miller got a chance to hang out at the hotel with his parents, who made the trip from their Florida home. Miller had joked the previous night that his parents have attended so many games since he got called up, “I don’t even think my dad really works any more.”
Miller managed to obtain both homer balls for his archives. For the the first one, caught by a young Astros fan, Mariner equipment man Billy Sepich traded an autographed ball, a hat and a t-shirt. And the second one was thrown back onto the field, so that was easier.
“I have the first one with the authenticity,” Miller said. “That was pretty cool.”
So was hearing from numerous acquaintances via text, email and phone messages.
“I got a good amount. Just people saying congrats and that we have a lot of Mariners fans in Orlando. I was pretty pumped about that. It’s just cool hearing from old coaches, and old teammates, and buddies back home who are just excited as I was. That’s really cool.”
Mike Zunino received a lot of praise for his three-walk game on Friday, which was one less than his total in 24 previous games. He did have a three-walk game while with Tacoma on April 18, against Fresno.
“I was joking around with some guys,’’ Zunino said. “I couldn’t tell you when my last one was. I was joking that I should have had four. I chased a slider. I don’t remember ever having four, so that would have been something else.”
Speaking of his approach on Friday, Zunino said,“You’ve just got to be patient and pick the pitches you want to look for and stick with that. Obviously it’s easy to get too aggressive, but you just have to stick to your approach and wait for that one pitch.”
Roger Clemens was a pre-game visitor in the Mariners’ clubhouse.