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May 7, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Wednesday’s pregame notes and line-ups for Game No. 1 — “Let’s play two!”

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When Ernie Banks famously said, “Let’s play two!” he wasn’t talking about playing them at Coliseum … just kidding. Actually, this is the first ever big league doubleheader I’ve ever covered. The magic of Safeco Field and competent grounds crews from almost every other stadium in the major leagues had helped that streak.

Look at all those lefties in the Mariners’ line-up. Why?

Well here’s Dan Straily’s career splits … courtesy of Baseball Reference.

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And this year (small sample size) the splits are a little more dramatic.

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*** The Mariners officially recalled Erasmo Ramirez from Class AAA Tacoma as the 26th player for the doubleheader. He will start the second game. 

*** Seattle has scored 134 runs and allowed 129 runs this season for a +5 run differential 31 games into the season. With a little help from Jeff Evans of the Mariners, we ascertained that through 31 games last season the Mariners had scored 107 runs and given up 131 for -24 differential.

*** A few people asked on the Twitter … so to clarify: This is not a day/night doubleheader. Game 2 will start approximately 30 minutes after the end of the first game.

*** Manager Lloyd McClendon said that he will try to stay away from Dominic Leone today. The Mariners are trying to be careful with the usage of the hard-throwing rookie and pitching three straight days in a row is not good for him. McClendon also said he would like to limit using Charlie Furbush if possible. But knows that might not be likely.

*** The A’s starter will be …

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***  For nw4ever55, who wants to know when we are ever going to ask Cano about his “power drought.” First of all,  I don’t respond in the comment section because I’m not quite sure how to login there. While I don’t read every single comment on the blog (just too many), I’ve seen your multiple complaints about Cano’s lack of power. So here’s your answer:

We’ve asked him about it. He’s said often: “I’m not a home run hitter. I’m a line drive hitter.” And he believes that if he starts trying for extra base hits and trying to yank pitches over the wall it takes away from his overall approach and leads to bad habits. He said that happened to him in the Marlins series where he expanded the strike zone a little and started swinging at borderline pitches trying to force hits, specifically extra base hits.  He has also admitted he’s missed a few driveable pitches early on. Like most good hitters, he’s just trying to grind out at-bats and hits until he starts feeling better in the box and getting pitches to drive.

Not sure what your definition of power is. Obviously a .387 slugging percentage isn’t ideal.  But if you are looking for 30 homers from him, you will be disappointed. The park factors of playing in Safeco for 81 along with Oakland and Anaheim for added games instead of Yankee Stadium, Fenway, Camden Yards and the Rogers Centre will limit his home run production. Should you expect more doubles? Yes. That’s fair to ask. But to complain because he’s only hitting singles seems a little misguided. He has 37 hits and has scored 15 runs and driven in 18 runs those are not poor numbers. Are they representative of a guy making $24 million? Probably not. But they are also representative of 31 games. If you are going to base everything off, “they’re paying this guy $24 million a year” then you are bound to be disappointed because no player can live up to that type of per annual salary. Let’s face it, the Mariners overpaid the market value to get him. It wasn’t because they believed he could ever justify the per year annual salary.

At this point, if I’m an opposing pitcher, I’m still not giving Cano anything that he can beat me with and take my chances with Corey Hart, Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager. As for the Ichiro comparisons? Cano has yet to bunt with two outs and runners on second and third.

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