The Seattle Mariners have come up with a new lineup to face Oakland lefty Brett Anderson, and it includes the left-handed batting Michael Saunders, who will play center field.
"He has a history with Anderson," manager Eric Wedge said.
True enough - Saunders is 3-for-8 against Anderson, which works out to .375. That'll get you in a lineup. Adam Moore will catch, but it has more to do with giving Miguel Olivo a night off than any history against Anderson.
"We’re not going to push Miguel early," Wedge explained. "If he plays the day game (tomorow), that gives him more time to be ready for the night game on Monday. We'll see how that works."
Wedge was loose and willing to joke with the media today, and when asked if he'd talked to Felix Hernandez between innings in his complete-game win, was happy to take absoluely no credit.
"I didn't say a word to him," Wedge said.
Any opening night surprises? Yes, one.
"Figgy’s home run from the right side. I managed my ass off on that one," Wedge said.
There was one ticklish question: After Jack Wilson bunted Brendan Ryan to second base to give Ichiro an RBI, Ichiro attempted a bunt of his own on the first pitch and fouled it off. On the next, he grounded an RBI single into left field.
Was Wedge surprised by the bunt attempt?
“Some of what Ichiro does is for show, some of it for purpose. That’s part of his game. He got the infield in, and then shot one through for the RBI. I’m not going to question what he does," Wedge said.
And now, the Mariners lineup for Game 2:
Ichiro RFChone Figgins 3BMilton Bradley LFJack Cust DHJustin Smoak 1BBrendan Ryan SSJack Wilson 2BMichael Saunders CFAdam Moore CJason Vargas P