Be sure to read Seattle Times sports editor Don Shelton’s take on the Paul McCartney concert at Safeco Field.
Eric Wedge expounded a bit today on the Mariners’ thinking regarding the trade deadline, which is now 10 days away.
“Jack and I have already talked about this,” he said. “Unless it’s something that raises the bar, I don’t think we’re going to do anything. We’re not going to move somebody just to move somebody. Unless it’s something we feel like, again, it raises the bar — which, depending on the team and their situation, it can happen; you don’t ever count on that happening.
“If not, we stand pat. We’ve got a good group of guys out there. It’s fun to watch them come to the ballpark every day right now.”
In fact, Wedge loves what he’s seeing from the Mariner offense. Even while getting just one hit last night, he liked the quality of at-bats that led to six walks and raised the pitch count for Erik Bedard to the point he was pulled with a no-hitter in the seventh.
“You are seeing a lot of these young kids mature as big league hitters,” he said. “Because of the veterans we do have here and the example they set, that’s been a big difference for us. And now you are seeing a level of consistency that you haven’t seen in a while, or at least in my time here.
“I went through this in Cleveland. It was about the same time it started to happen there too. It just takes time. People want to talk about this. I’ve been here 2 ½ years. I haven’t been here five years or 10 years, so in regard to the program we are running here, it takes that period of time. You’ve got young and old both working through that. And you’ve got kids that have been here for 2 and 2 ½ years or 1 ½ years or a month or two months, but they are still kids and they are still figuring it out. But it’s been fun to see that happen.”
Speaking of Bedard, Wedge was asked about taking a pitcher out in the midst of a no-hitter. He referenced the quote by Houston manager Bo Porter that when he went to the mound in the seventh and gave Bedard a chance to stay in the game, the pitcher told him, “I’m done.”
“Bo went out there and gave him every opportunity to stay in the game,” Wedge said. “If the guy says he doesn’t want to stay in the game, what are you going to do. You take him out of the game. Bo did it the right way. If the guy says he’s done, you can’t leave him in there and put him in a position to fail. He didn’t have a choice.”
Mike Zunino gets a day off, but he’s earning a lot of praise for his work behind the plate. Here’s what Wedge had to say about why he sat him, and how he’s progressing:
“It’s just everything. It’s the mental, it’s the physical. He’s done a great job. I love the fact he’s in on every pitch. He doesn’t take a pitch off. As a catcher, that’s how you have to be if you’re going to be a championship-caliber player and that’s what he’s shown us so far. Because we have put a lot on him so quickly, I’ve got to give him periodic days off.”
And catching Hisashi Iwakuma, with his challenging split-fingered fastball, and Felix Hernandez, today’s starter, with all the movement on his pitches, is an ordeal back-to-back.
“It is, especially Felix,” Wedge said. “He’s so tough to catch and has such great stuff. He can throw anything at any point in time. I don’t even think he knows what some of his pitches are going to do because he’s so nasty. You’re definitely taking more on when you catch him.”