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April 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Sunday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the A’s

4-6 -- lineups

Win or lose today, this road trip has been a success for the Mariners. It will be a rousing success if they get the win today and go 5-1. It won’t be easy as Seattle faces A’s ace Sonny Gray.

McClendon went with a lefty heavy line-up against Gray with Michael Saunders getting the start in right field and Logan Morrison at DH. Here’s Gray’s splits against lefties from baseball-reference.com ….

splits

McClendon is using Sunday and Monday to give Corey Hart two days off. He still has some tightness in his forearm and bicep.

“To get him two days off makes sense,” McClendon said.

The pain has been an issue  when he swings not when he throws. He does think Hart will be able to see some time in the outfield soon.

McClendon was happy with what he saw from Logan Morrison in the outfield.

“He did great,” McClendon said. “He was excited to come out of the game too. When Saunders caught that ball yesterday, he said, ‘that was one hell of a move, skip’. He’s been fine. He plays the outfield a little better than I thought he would play. I’ve been pleased with him. He’ll be back out there.”

McClendon has been happy with what Saunders has done. Obviously, he’d like to see more offensive production.

“He’s a tremendous defensive outfielder,” McClendon said. “There’s a comfort level when he’s in the outfield. I’d be lying if I said I had a chance to DH LoMo or Hart and play Michael in the outfield that I’d want to do it any other way around. He gives us the best defensive outfield to have him out there. To this point, everything as worked pretty nicely for us.”

Linkage

Here’s my gamer from yesterday … and here’s the notebook. Since Larry Stone is a big shot columnist, I’ve taken over the weekly power rankings. You’ll notice I don’t offer quips for every team. No way I could match the pun-master. I feel like Sammy Hagar replacing David Lee Roth in Van Halen, like Gene Bartow following John Wooden at UCLA, like Manny Alexander replacing Cal Ripken at short. Here’s the Sunday notebook on replay.

The A’s were very complimentary of Felix Hernandez and his stuff yesterday. From Susan Slusser’s game story ….

“The first seven innings, that might have been the best we’ve seen him,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

“I 100 percent agree,” A’s DH Brandon Moss said. “Today, he was nasty. I didn’t see it going very well for us unless he lost it. Everything was moving everywhere, even his fastball, and his changeup was hard, it was good,

“The thing that separated him today was he was throwing curveballs any time he wanted for strikes. And then he would throw a better one after. You couldn’t look for anything, you couldn’t guess. He was unpredictable. … He is not a good draw.”

Why is Hernandez so dominant at the Coliseum? Well, he’s one of the top pitchers in baseball, the A’s have a pitchers’ park – and they seem to face him in Oakland three times a year.

“He pitches here a good bit,” Moss said.  “I mean, obviously this place at night is a much better place to pitch. But it doesn’t matter, he could pitch in Cincinnati and he would pitch well.”

There are also comments from John Jaso and others about Hernandez.

David Schoenfeld of ESPN’s Sweet Spot has this blog on watching Felix Hernandez and Jose Fernandez.

Jim Caple has a tribute to David Letterman with a top 10 list.

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