Updated: 4:40 p.m.
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Here’s some pregame video of McClendon talking about Tony Gwynn. He also talked about Felix’s hitting. He prefers to not have pitchers out there taking crazy hacks in games. It’s a reason why he doesn’t have them hit on the field ever.
McClendon on James Jones …
“This guy is a student of the game. He knows what he’s doing. He recognizes situations. He understands what pitchers are tying to do to him. He’s excelled at a lot faster pace than I thought we would.”
On batting Jones second …
It gives him a chance to see the pitcher a little bit. Every day is a new experience for him. When he goes out, he’ll see this guy for the first time. Having Endy in front of him, hopefully gives him five or six pitches to see what this guy is trying to do to hitters.
On his baserunning …
My hope is that it gives (Cano) fastballs. And if they don’t give Robby fastballs, it gives (Jones) a good chance to steal a base.
*** Hisashi Iwakuma (neck) threw a flat ground session.
“He’s not 100 percent but he’s getting better,” McClendon said.
Iwakuma is still scheduled to make his start on Friday in Kansas City vs. James Shields.
*** Justin Smoak (strained quad) is starting his rehab assignment tonight with Class AAA Tacoma. He is at DH tonight and batting seventh.
“The leg is feeling good,” McClendon said. “He will DH the first day or two and then get back in the field. He just needs to get his at-bats built back up.”
But don’t expect Smoak to be out on rehab for 20 days like Logan Morrison.
“I don’t foresee this being a 20 day for Justin,” McClendon said.
*** Corey Hart (strained hamstring) and Michael Saunders (shoulder inflammation) are expected to join the Rainiers on Friday. Saunders is taking batting practice on the field today in Tacoma. Hart will DH mainly to start off with. He’ll then eventually play some first base and then outfield.
Hart could see close to the full 20 days.
“When he comes back here, I want him swinging the bat well,” McClendon said. “He needs some at-bats. He’s missed a significant amount of time.”
No DH here in San Diego, line-up seems pretty typical
The Mariners lead this year’s Vedder Cup standings 2-0 after the two-game Safeco sweep. But how can you lose when Jesus Montero gets a start at first base and also hits a homer.
Felix Hernandez gets the start. He’s been dominant in interleague play, particularly at Petco Park. He is 16-7 with a 2.63 ERA (63 ER, 215.1 IP) in 30 career interleague starts (22 quality starts, 2 complete games, 1 shutout)…in 12 career starts in NL parks is 8-2 with a 2.09 ERA (20 earned runs, 86.0 innings pitched)…in 6 career starts at PETCO Park is 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA (8 ER, 46.2 IP), the lowest ERA here among pitchers with a minimum of 5 starts.
Here’s the Padres numbers against Hernandez.
The Mariners don’t have many people who have face Andrew Cashner and his blazing fastball.
Here’s the numbers …
There will be a brief ceremony tonight at Petco Park to honor Tony Gwynn. I’m told they will do a bigger tribute this weekend.
This is the big screen pregame.
Here’s his right field.
When I was out running (yes, I run sometimes), I stopped by the statue of Gwynn outside Petco Park. There were people there dropping off flowers and pictures and other tributes. Pretty moving site.
Here’s the inscription on the statue.
OFFICIAL GAME NOTES …
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