May 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM
There are moral victories and then there are real ones. After taking a bunch of moral victories out of Cleveland, the Mariners need the real thing this afternoon as they conclude a road trip currently at 2-6 after starting off oh so promising with two wins and nearly a sweep in New York. For all of the nice things being said about how well the Mariners have played and how hard, they are now just 20-26 on the season and the platitudes won’t matter if they finish roughly the same as last year.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge isn’t panicking yet, or so he says. But his lineup today refelcts just how badly he wants the win here today just to give his team something to build off with the Rangers coming to town this weekend. Wedge had Jason Bay in the leadoff spot once again, a role he occupied in Houston last month after Franklin Gutierrez got hurt with Michael Saunders already on the 15-day DL.
Saunders is now healthy, but his offensive numbers have taken a nosedive on this road trip. He is just 4-for-32 (.125) with an on-base-percentage of .152 with a .188 slugging mark for a .340 OPS. It’s amazing that the Mariners as a team had done so well offensively on this trip prior to last night, given how poorly the leadoff hitter has been performing.
But with two shutouts in three days, the lack of a presence atop the order may be catching up to the Mariners. That’s why you see Bay in there today, with Saunders at No. 2 and Michael Morse now No. 3 with Kyle Seager given a rest.
May 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Hard not to notice Raul Ibanez in the lineup tonight against tough southpaw C.C. Sabathia. Ibanez has not performed well against left-handers either this year or in the recent past.
We asked manager Eric Wedge about that decision pre-game.
“He’s faced him a lot,” Wedge said of Ibanez. “I know a lot of the history goes back a ways, but that’s OK. And the history he has in this ballpark, too. I think you have to take that into consideration as well.”
Ibanez is 12-for-42 (.286) lifetime off Sabathia with two homers, two doubles, a triple (!) and an OPS of .872.
Not too shabby. The question is whether he can still replicate his hitting prowess of the past. We know that Sabathia can still deal the way he used to several years back.
April 27, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Right-hander Joe Blanton is on the mound tonight for the Angels and that means the Mariners have their more typical lineup out there. Endy Chavez leads off while Jason Bay gets the night off. Raul Ibanez also sits once again as far as fielding goes, but will be the night’s DH. Carlos Peguero gets another look in the field. Peguero had that monstorus homer the other night while Ibanez has not been getting it done when he’s in the lineup and playing the outfield at the same time.
April 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM
Well, well, this is quite the interesting development for the Mariners, who tonight will send Jason Bay to the plate to start a game at the leadoff spot for the first time in his career. A career that began back in 2003 and has spanned 1,227 games.
So, how surprising is it? Well, it’s surprising in that Bay is 34 and you’d think he would have gotten a leadoff turn beforehand if he profiled to be any good at it. He might be one of the oldest guys ever to make their leadoff debut.
Then again, if you’ve been paying close attention to what’s gone on this season, the move is not that shocking.
April 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM
The lineups are out and Franklin Gutierrez is back in there. The trick will be to see whether he’s in the lineup tomorrow night. Raul Ibanez is sitting for a second straight day despite there being a right-handed starter on the mound. Endy Chavez will be in left field.
One thing I’m watching right now is early batting practice and there are several Mariners’ regulars in attendance, including Ibanez, Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales and others. Pretty much the entire team is out there.
April 20, 2013 at 1:47 PM
Well, Franklin Gutierrez will give it another go tonight. The Mariners desperately need some offense and hope he can help supply it.
Jesus Montero is also back in there, since the Mariners have been overusing Kelly Shoppach the first few weeks and can’t keep playing him every day. Another guy being overused is Raul Ibanez, but he’s back in there tonight in eft after a real tough game in the field last night.
April 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Franklin Gutierrez didn’t play yesterday in the series finale win over the Detroit Tigers. And he is out of the lineup a second straight game today as the Mariners prepare to take on ace right-hander Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers.
This can mean one of several things.
April 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM
This will come as welcome news to Mariners fans, but two of the team’s three starting outfielders are back in the lineup tonight.
Michael Morse is back after breaking his pinkie finger, while Franklin Gutierrez is also in there after missing the past three games with tightness in his groin area.
April 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Franklin Gutierrez had the night off last night, only coming in late as a defensive replacement. Tonight, he’s still not out there as the Mariners go with the same outfield combo as last night against tough right-hander Alexi Ogando.
April 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Michael Saunders is going to be out for a while and today, the Mariners wasted little time getting a new leadoff hitter and center fielder, Endy Chavez, in against right-handed starter Yu Darvish. Saunders is the primary leadoff man versus righties while Franklin Gutierrez last night played in his fifth consecutive game — hitting his third leadoff homer in less than two weeks.