Updated 3:49 p.m.
Fernando Rodney is unavailable tonight because of workload. Danny Farquhar will be the interim closer.
As for the arrow controversy, Lloyd McClendon just shrugged it off.
“I heard somebody say that it fired the Angels up and gave them incentive to win the game, that’s a bunch of baloney,” McClendon said. “They understand the importance of these games as much as we do. The fact is they had the best all-around player leading off and they had a hall of famer hitting behind him. That had a lot to do with them winning the game, not Rodney’s arrow shooting. We all entertain. This is an entertainment business. Players hit doubles and they have all the signs they do (waving his arms) and everybody has celebrations in the dugout. So Rodney shooting arrows is no different. In the old days, if you didn’t like it, you’d go out and fight. We don’t do that anymore.”
McClendon hasn’t decided on a Wednesday’s starter. He said that how Erasmo Ramirez pitches on Tuesday may also be a factor in that decision.
Obviously Taijuan Walker is a candidate. But would McClendon possibly start Tom Wilhelmsen.
“It’s a possibility,” McClendon said. “I will take all possibilities under consideration. I’ve told you guys before my fascination of possibly starting him. He’s probably built to go five innings and 65-70 pitches. So certainly that’s a possibility.”
Why push back Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma?
“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “When I have an opportunity to give them extra days, I’ll do it. I think one of the telltale signs was my starter (Iwakuma) came off the break, pitched 77 pitches and was fatigued.”
But the thinking is beyond just these few starts.
“It’s for the benefit for the entire staff, not just the two pitchers,” McClendon said. “This is a grind. Nothing was more grueling than the series. People think it’s easy to go out there every five days and throw 110 pitches. It’s tough. And when you can take care of them and give them and an extra day on their legs and arm, just do it. My job is to look at the whole picture, not one start for any one player. I know what we are doing is the right thing to do. It gives them extras days. It keeps them strong. It keeps them sharp to go from start to finish throughout the season.”
McClendon was asked about the need for more offense after being just two hits away from sweeping the Angels.
“My job is to manage the players that Im given,” he said. “I’m not trying to dodge your question. But I don’t argue for my limitations. I just take what I’m given and go out and do the best I can.”
But then the conversation turned elsewhere.
“If you really think about it we were one check swing that was a strike that wasn’t called from winning that game,” McClendon said.
McClendon was referring to the two-strike check swing on Howie Kendrick, who singled up the middle with the reprieve.
“That’s strike three,” McClendon said. “If you really want to talk about replays and what should be replayed, that’s one right there. If you really think about it, that has a lot more impact than some other things, particularly with the game on the line.”
McClendon went back and checked the plays and believes Kendrick went.
“We had two check swings earlier the series, one on Seager where he took the bat off his shoulder – strike three,” McClendon said. “They just need to be consistent with it. I think it cost us a ballgame.”
As expected, Robinson Cano is back in the lineup today. With a lefty on the mound Brad Miller and Logan Morrison get days off. Morrison has been limping around the clubhouse a little, not sure if it’s just normal wear and tear.
As you can see above, the Mariners have made a rotation adjustment, pushing Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez back a day, giving them an extra day of rest. Erasmo Ramirez willl start on Tuesday. The Mariners will have to make a roster move tomorrow. Ramirez is at Safeco Field and is on the “taxi squad.”
The Wednesday starter is TBA. Conspiracy theorists will think trade. But Wednesday is Taijuan Walker’s turn in Tacoma. So my guess is that Ramirez will pitch on Tuesday and then be optioned to Tacoma after the game and Walker recalled for Wednesday’s start. I could be wrong. I have been before.
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